ELKAN’S VIEW 1st July 2015
The boycott of Israel, so widely trumpeted, does possibly have a pernicious moral effect but in practice it is difficult to view it as a serious threat. Indeed, an examination of what is actually going on leads to the conclusion that trade relations between Israel and the outside world are constantly improving.
The UK Ambassador to Israel, the charismatic and very competent Matthew Gould, reported that in the last year bilateral trade between Britain and Israel increased by 26%, eight Israeli companies have gone public on the UK stock exchange, and the Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva now produces one out of every six pills sold in the UK.
Indeed Sajid Javid the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills recently hailed the last few years as “a golden era for Anglo Israeli business”. He went on to say that as a “proud British-born Muslim” he “shared Israel’s love for freedom and democracy.”
Airline links between Israel and the UK at the moment include ten flights a day between London and Tel Aviv, while easyJet flies between eight other European capitals and BenGurion airport. British Airways is about to introduce its latest 787 Dreamliner aircraft onto the Tel Aviv route.
In so far as the BDS movement is concerned, the truth is that without Israeli support and investment Palestinian economy is non-existent. Even the electricity and water that Gaza received during last summer’s war came from Israel. Agitation against businesses in the West Bank is not good news for the Palestinians many of whom want to improve ties with Israel and work towards coexistence and peace. Boycotts of West Bank products only hurt Palestinians because they work in Israeli enterprises that are situated there.
But the greatest Israeli export story concerns a balloon bearing a Chabad poster that drifted into Lebanon and was seized by Hezbollah. No doubt regarding it as pernicious propaganda, they proudly displayed to the world the famous slogan “We Want Moshiach Now”!
NB I want to acknowledge much of the help for this article from my friend Michael Ordman whose websites www.verygoodnewsisrael.blogspot.com and http://blogs.jpost.com/users/just-look-us-now are invaluable sources for the truth about Israel.