Sodastream is a successful Israeli company, that produces soda-making products for the international market. Its factory was located on the West Bank, where it gave employment to hundreds of Palestinian Arabs who otherwise would not have jobs and would either be on welfare or starve. But, the BDS movement found out that Sodastream was located on the “occupied” West Bank and was “exploiting” Palestinians, so they mounted a campaign against Sodastream. They tried to prevent Scarlett Johanssen, the beautiful American actress, from playing in ads for the company, but they failed. So they went on the offensive and mounted a boycott of Sodastream.
In order to avoid the consequences of this boycott, the company made a decision to move its facility to Israel proper, and so they built a new factory at Lehavim north of Beersheva. In order to replace the Palestinian workers they lost, Sodastream employs locals, namely Beduin Arabs from the nearby city of Rahat and Jews from Beersheva. But, the CEO of the company Daniel Birnbaum decided to keep 74 long-time employees whom he particularly valued and offered them jobs at the new location, and they accepted (probably because they had no other choice) even though they would have to drive 2 hours each way in a bus that was provided. But, they need permission from the Israeli authorities, since workers from the Palestinian territories are often very hostile to Israel and constitute a potential threat of terrorism to Israeli civilians. The Israeli authorities have refused permission for these Palestinians, on the grounds that since the company was now located in Israel, it should employ Israeli workers.
The CEO argues that these are particularly loyal employees, who pose no security threat, and since Israel allows some 60,000 Palestinian workers to enter Israel every day, why should they not be included. He argues that these are precisely the kind of Palestinian Arabs who are living in peace with Israel and should be helped. On the other hand, losing their jobs is a message to Palestinians and their supporters of the BDS movement, carry out boycotts of Israeli companies and you will suffer. Personally I do not see that we should employ Palestinians out of sentiment, when there are Israelis who equally need the jobs and they are much closer. If the BDSers don’t like this arrangement let them pay for their Palestinian clients.
Finally, the CEO of Sodastream guarantees that these are perfectly “loyal” Palestinians, who are friendly towards Israel. But suppose one of them smuggles in a knife and then kills an Israeli, which even very loyal Arab workers have done in the past (sometimes under threat to their family by Hamas), what would he do then. Beg forgiveness?