Religion Magazine

Choosing Between Palestine and Israel

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
According to this report in JPost, people ordering goods from Amazon to towns in the Palestinian Territories seem to be faced with a dilemma.
The dilemma is that they can either enter the shipping address as being in the Palestinian territories, but then the free shipping promo to Israel does not apply and they have to pay the regular exorbitant Amazon shipping fees, or they can get the free shipping by entering the address as being in Israel but then they are using Israel as their home country name rather than Palestinian Territories.
Most of us Jews and Israelis would have no dilemma at all and we would put in whatever country name gives us the free shipping with no qualms at all.
The Palestinians, or some of them, are upset that when identifying the address as Palestinian they do not get the free shipping, and they do not want to have to put their location as Israel.
They consider this discrimination.
In the article Peace Now and other human rights organizations are quoted as saying this is blatant discrimination on the basis of nationality.
Amazon has the right to run a promo today in Israel and tomorrow in the Palestinian Territories and not offer the same to the other. Right now their promo is for Israel, but it is also not for Turkey or Jordan or Syria or Russia or Serbia or any of a multitude of countries. Just because they offer a free shipping promo to one country and not to another does not make it discriminatory - it just means they are trying to drum up business at this specific time in that one country but not in others. There might be a multitude of factors, such as shopping trends or shipping difficulties or other issues that might them  not want to offer the same promo elsewhere.
It is strange that the same address in, say. Ramallah, can be entered as being in the Palestinian Territories and as being in Israel, and either way it will get to the destination. That should not be possible. And it is fair to say that there should not be a difference in price if everything else is the same and only the selected country name is different, but I would chalk this up to being a glitch. It is possible that the promotion of free shipping is only meant for Israel but Amazon does not know what towns are where so if you put Israel in it will be included even if it is in the Palestinian territories. They should have an automatic system as you put the address in it identifies street names and associates the address with the city and country and everything is automatic, as many sites online already do. Perhaps it is difficult with many villages and less official street names and that makes it too unwieldy for Amazon.  I do wonder if I could do the same for my address in Bet Shemesh - can I list it as being in the Palestinian Territories, and if I do will I lose my free shipping promo?
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