A new mobile application helps would-be boycotters target, or avoid, goods and services that come solely from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Buy No Evil is a free Android app built by the two Israeli bloggers Noam Rotem (the programmer) and Itamar Sha'altiel (the idea man), in conjunction with the open source project Activismos, whose tagline is "Activism is an Open-Source Code."
I have mentioned before in ReadWriteWeb and elsewhere that I consider boycotts a legit action to communicate displeasure with an organization's actions. The rampant boycotts of Israel that have become popular in the last few years, however, have struck me as being indiscriminate, therefore both unfair and ineffective.
Buy No Evil, however, seems very targeted, focused on a settlement-building scheme that many, including many inside Israel, believe illegitimate and counter-productive. The settlement system produces $290 million yearly through agriculture and a boycott could train attention on their vulnerability.
Sha'altiel told the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz that any type of list can be loaded into the app. With the right data, a user can employ it to avoid, say meat or gluten.
But given the expiration yesterday of the freeze on building new Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the first list available for the app is a list of settlement-made products created by an Israeli human rights organization.
According to +972, the Knesset is considering a bill to retroactively outlaw any call for a boycott of settlement products. According to Sha'atiel, that doesn't mean boycotters will get braced, it means the app's developers will.