SodaStream Is a Factory, Not a Settlement (Yaacov Lozowick)
In any other context, worldwide, a private company maintaining a factory in an underdeveloped country to take advantage of its lower labor costs would be regarded as a boon for the hosting country.
SodaStream, however, isn’t paying hundreds of Palestinian workers what they’d get from a Palestinian employer. It’s paying the Palestinian laborers Israeli wages, with the social benifits mandated by Israeli law.
Nobody lives in the SodaStream factory: it’s a factory.
If ever there is peace between Israel and Palestine, Israeli-owned factories in Palestine employing Palestinians is precisely the sort of thing everyone should be wishing for – for the quantifiable advantage of employment and foreign currency.
In any other context, this is called FDI (foreign direct investment) and is eagerly sought by politicians.
When it comes to Israel-Palestine, however, normal discourse goes silent.
The writer is Israel’s Chief Archivist.