Palestinian Nabil Basharat has worked for years for Israeli-owned SodaStream, where he has risen up to shift manager in its West Bank factory.
He supports his wife and six children on an income he says is quite high by both Palestinian and Israeli standards. Though he’d like to see Palestinians get their own state someday, he doesn’t want it to come at the expense of his career.
“They need to understand what the factory gives the Palestinian workers and there are a lot of factories in this area doing the same thing,” says Basharat, 40, who lives in a village near Ramallah.
The “they” he alludes to are the European and American groups pushing a boycott of Israeli products to get Israel to relinquish claims to the West Bank ….
On a visit to the factory, USA TODAY found that the movement’s allegations were not on the minds of many of the plant’s 1,300 workers, of which 500 are Palestinian and 450 are Arab Israelis and 350 Jewish Israelis.
Israeli Arab Zafid Abu Aballah, 28, has been a machine operator at the factory for four years.
"I have an Israeli passport, if the firm closed I could find another job, but Palestinians would not be able to, there are no jobs for Palestinians in the West Bank.
"This is political, just political but the people here just want to work and live, they don’t have an interest in the politics between Palestine and Israel."
Aballah says he make $2,000 a month, significantly more than the Palestinian Authority minimum wage of $377.
And … scene.