‘Money beats ideology’ – Palestinians prefer shopping in Israel

Rami Levy, a low-cost supermarket chain, “has succeeded in breaking down Palestinian ideological principles,” noted an Arabic-speaking Telegram blogger.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A popular Arab blogger showed that Palestinians prefer to shop in Israel for their food because it’s cheaper than in the Palestinian Authority (PA), despite an official ban on helping the economy of the “occupation.”

Abu Ali Express, who has over 100,000 followers on his Telegram channel, wrote Tuesday that Rami Levy, a low-cost supermarket chain, “has succeeded in breaking down Palestinian ideological principles.”

At this time, when the cost of living is growing ever higher, the pocketbook simply talks louder.

“Money beats ideology,” he wrote, using the example of tomato prices, as the vegetable is “a basic commodity for both Israelis and Palestinians.”

Saying that the cost of the red, juicy vegetable “has skyrocketed past NIS 10 per kilo (~3.11 USD),” he cited a video from an auction the previous day in an unnamed place in Judea and Samaria, where “a large box of tomatoes went for 330 shekels, [causing] an uproar on social media.”

Following the ensuing protests, he wrote, “many Palestinians announced on social media that … they are going to buy their tomatoes at Rami Levy, regardless of the fact that it’s an Israeli company and that its branches are ‘located on occupied Palestinian land.’”

“Some Palestinians are trying to fight this phenomenon and prevent the collapse of the boycott, but … money trumps ideology. Even with tomatoes.”

On his English-language channel, Ali explained that at the beginning of the clip he attached of Arab shoppers in the supermarket, “a Palestinian man can be heard thanking Rami Levy for helping the Palestinian people with the high cost of living.” The middle-aged man can be seen filling a grocery bag to the top with tomatoes as he speaks.

In February, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated in Hebron against the rise in prices that has affected basics like dairy products, flour and oil, as well as vegetables and gasoline.

The jump in the cost of living is a worldwide phenomenon, due to inflation rates shooting up amidst supply problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic that shut down so much of the world’s commerce over the last two years. But the PA is also in the throes of a financial crisis due in part to a sharp drop in donations from other countries, and Israel’s refusal to pass along VAT and other tax payments as long as Ramallah keeps supporting Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails.

The Media Line reported in February that the Palestinian government “insists this wave of price increases is temporary.”

Apparently, many PA citizens aren’t buying it.