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Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Boycott of Israel is Starting to Bite

Shir Hever, an economist who writes for the Alternative Information Centre, has noted that Ha'aretz’s Economic Section has carried 4 articles recently about the growing effect of the Boycott movement on the Israeli economy.

It’s often difficult for activists to guage the effect of what they are doing and it is easy to become disheartening. However it is clear that the growing level of support for Boycott in the trade unions and similar organisations, coupled with a consumer boycott and individual businesses also refusing to trade with Israel is making its mark.

This is wonderful news!!!

Tony Greenstein

Israelis Are Beginning to See the Power of BDS
Shir Hever, Alternative Information Center (AIC)
Sunday, 01 March 2009
In recent years, there has been a gradual growth in the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement, calling to put economic pressure on Israel until it recognizes the rights of the occupied Palestinian people and puts an end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, starting on 27 December 2008, which lasted for nearly a month, has given this movement a powerful reason to redouble its efforts. Dozens of BDS campaigns have gained momentum and publicity; dozens of new ones were launched during or immediately after Israel's attack on the Gaza Strip.

These campaigns range from calls to boycott goods from the illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, to calls to stop all economic contacts with Israel altogether. They include protests at sporting events, two countries cutting diplomatic ties with Israel (Bolivia and Venezuela), and many demonstrations around the world, attended by hundreds of thousands of protestors.

The growing protest against the atrocities committed by the Israeli military in the Gaza Strip have begun to change something in the Israeli political discourse, and the first indication of this can already be seen in the Israeli economic media.

Although the Israeli economic media doesn't concern itself with the moral dimension of the attacks on Gaza, the economic dimension of recent events have created a rising level of concern. In order to demonstrate this trend, here are summaries of four articles that appeared in the Israeli The Marker magazine for economic news:

1. On 2 February, Guy Grimland warned about a growing phenomenon of boycott of Israeli high-tech companies, and several Israeli companies received letters from European and U.S. companies explaining that they cannot invest in Israel for moral reasons.

2. In 3 February, Nehemia Strassler, one of Israel's most famous economic correspondents, attacked the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Yishai, for calling on the Israeli military to "destroy one hundred homes in Gaza for every rocket that falls in Israel." Strassler had nothing to say about the Palestinians living in these homes or about the loss of life, but he warned:

"[the minister] doesn't even understand how the operation in Gaza hurts the economy. The horror sights on television and the words of politicians in Europe and Turkey change the behavior of consumers, businessmen and potential investors. Many European consumers boycott Israeli products in practice. Intellectuals call for an economic war against us and to enforce an official and full consumer boycott.

Calls are heard in board meetings of economic corporations to boycott trade relations with Israel. So far deals were cancelled with Turkey, the UK, Egypt and the Gulf States, and visits by economic delegations were cancelled. It’s much easier now to switch providers while abandoning Israeli providers. Many company boards are required to take wide considerations into account with regards to the good of society and the environment, and they put political considerations in that slot as well.

Of course there is an economic cost to severing diplomatic ties. Qatar cut its trade relations with Israel, Venezuela and Bolivia cut diplomatic relations. Mauritania recalled its ambassador and the relations with Turkey worsened considerably—and this bad ambience seeps into the business sector decisions. Here, just yesterday Dudi Ovshitz, who grows peppers for export, said that 'there is a concealed boycott of Israeli products in Europe.'"

3. On 6 February, Shuki Sadeh wrote about even more companies that have decided to boycott relations with Israel. A Turkish company demanded that Israeli companies sign a document condemning the Israeli massacre in Gaza before they can offer their services for it. Sadeh quoted Naomi Klein's recent call for boycott, the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for boycott and Israeli organizations that support the boycott and provide information for the global BDS movement. Sadeh's article also had concerned quotes by Israeli businessmen who demanded government intervention to protect them from the growing boycott.

4. In 11 February, Ora Koren reported that the Israeli business sectors feel the effects of the attack on Gaza. She reported that Israeli businessmen in Turkey are hiding their names so that the local BDS organizations won't learn about their activities, and that the situation is even worse in the UK.

These four articles are a sign that there is a shift in the effectiveness of the BDS movement against Israel, and that if the momentum is maintained and strengthened, Israeli businessmen may decide to move their headquarters away from Israel, or to begin to put pressure on the Israeli government to begin respecting international law, and ending the occupation.
This article was sourced from Mark Elf's eclectic blog!


Anonymous said...

Nice effort but the American taxpayers and will have to make up every cent that you take away from Israel. We will probably have to make up the gross sales dollars, not the profit dollars.

Sort of like we are doing for General Motors...we give them billions and don't even get the cars!

But keep it up anyway...

Anonymous said...

Truly good news! As you stated, sometimes it is difficult to know if you're doing any good with BDS. Now we know it is working and we can continue or re-double our efforts.

m_astera said...

My guess is that the bankers who set this whole thing up, and who are largely domiciled in Israel, could not care less about failing Israeli manufacturing or anything else.

People who actually produce things of value are lower than dirt to them.

Anonymous said...

Good! The parasites start to feel the crunch.

Anonymous said...

Good one. But as Anon mentioned, the American taxpayers will once again be forced by a docile Congress and AIPAC to make up for Israel's losses. How can anti-federal government types complain that the UN and NWO are out to control the US when it is ALREADY subservient to a foreign power, i.e. Israel? When Israeli PMs can force the US President to dance to their tune saying 'How high, massa?', how much proof do you need, America? Oh yes, the pro-Israeli pliant media...

Darfur is genocide and a warzone(undeclared war between Sudan and Chad with lots of innocents trapped between). Ex-Zaire DRC is an even bigger warzone with even more deaths, but the world turns a blind eye. Enough of this already.

No more racism!

Anonymous said...

To be effective any boycott action MUST include israel's vassal state, amerika otherwise its a pointless feel good gesture. As long as israel can keep helping itself to amerikan slaves debt nothing will change.

Anonymous said...

It is funny that no one has called the BDS movements Anti-Semites

Anonymous said...

I just bought a new PC with an AMD processor and I'm dumping my cell phone. Bye bye Intel and Motorola, you've lost a customer forever!

Eric Vaughan said...

What things like a boycott also reveal is the amount of Western populist enthusiasm for a war with Iran (and Pakistan.)

Dork said...

This is indeed good news!

Thank you for posting such great information and for being positive!

-The Dork

bathmate said...

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way you write is awesome.Thanks. Adding more information will be more useful.