Palestine TV, the Palestinian Authority’s official channel, has broadcast an image that equates shopping at a new mall in East Jerusalem, built by Israeli supermarket king Rami Levy, with treason.
The image includes a drawing of a woman holding onto a shopping cart of merchandise while passing a mirror. Her reflection shows the same shopping cart full of skulls.
A statement implores Palestinians not to shop at the new shopping center, Atarot Mall, on the seam between Arab and Jewish Jerusalem.
“Do not be the occupation’s partner in the Judaization of the city,” it says, according to Palestinian Media Watch, an organization that monitors the Palestinian press. “Economic normalization is treason.”
PMW said the bottom of the image includes a call from the National and Islamic Forces, a local group of Palestinians activists, to boycott the mall.
“Calls from the National and Islamic Forces to boycott this complex as it finances the occupation and strives to Judaize the city,” it says.
PA TV broadcasted the image on a program called “Affairs from the Capital“ on January 13, according to PMW.
The Atarot Mall, a NIS 200 million ($54 million) project, opened its doors to the public on January 8.
It’s at the northern end of Jerusalem, where Palestinian and Jewish neighborhoods brush up against one another, inside the expanded municipal limits where Israel has claimed sovereignty since the 1967 war.
Atarot adjoins Beit Hanina, a large Palestinian East Jerusalem neighborhood that is bordered by another Palestinian neighborhood, Shuafat, and the Jewish-majority neighborhoods of Pisgat Ze’ev and Ramot. Nearby but outside the city limits is the Palestinian town of Hizma, and several other villages.
It took five years to construct the 25,000-square-meter mall with its 13,000 square meters of commercial space.
Levy has said he doesn’t care about “the nationality of the people who shop here, work here.”
“Let’s talk less about who’s who. Let’s just shop together, serve each other and respect one another,” he said in January.
In a recent statement, Fatah, PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s party, called on Palestinians to boycott all of Rami Levy’s businesses.
“Shopping at Rami Levy is treason,” Fatah spokesman Osama Qawasma wrote on Facebook on January 8. “Fatah calls on the Palestinian people to completely boycott Rami Levy’s colonial settler markets. Shopping or purchasing or renting space in them constitutes betrayal of the homeland.”
Rami Levy’s chain operates dozens of supermarkets in Israel and the West Bank.
Qawasma added purchasing goods from Rami Levy markets amounts “to supporting the occupation and its economy that is used to kill our youth, confiscate our land, build colonies and Judaize Jerusalem.”