By Gal Sitty
Despite a still sluggish global economy the Israeli economy is booming. This is due in part to Israeli companies consistent ability develop and sell superior products that improve people’s lives.
The anti-peace effort to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel, commonly known as BDS, has also failed to negatively affect Israel’s diverse economy. This misguided policy propagated by a network of anti-Israel groups, some of which are extremist in their views and may even tacitly support violence and terrorist organizations, fails to recognize several basic facts that makes their efforts irrelevant.
Most prominent among these is that one cannot effectively boycott a democratic country with a developed economy and a free society. In Israel, unlike many nations who are notorious abusers of human rights like Syria and Iran, the government does not control the companies within its border. Israel does not dictate to its citizens what they must and must not produce and sell. Therefore Israeli companies, as is true in any properly functioning economy, create and bring to market products that are demanded by the consumer both in Israel and abroad.
The Israeli economy is fully integrated into the global marketplace and produces a wide array of products. A true boycott of Israel would require shunning a great deal of products including the Intel processor chips which power most of the electronic devices we use each day, an immunomodulator drug for treating multiple sclerosis, and instant messaging services.
Any effort to boycott these and the many more Israeli products which enrich our lives seems doomed to cause more harm to the ‘boycotter’ as opposed to the ‘boycotted.’ Indeed, large well respected companies and organizations have flatly rejected the BDS movement and its predecessor the Arab Boycott of Israel.
It should be noted that the Arab boycott has been in existence since Israel’s founding, and despite being a desperately poor country upon declaring independence, Israel’s GDP today exceeds that of all four of its neighbors.
This is an even more impressive achievement when one considers that Israel’s population is less than one-tenth of Egypt’s population, the neighboring country with the highest GDP.
In fact, some even credit the Arab boycott for creating an economic environment in Israel which forces Israelis to outcompete others. The larger and more influential Arab boycott failed in stammering the Israeli economy, so why do the BDS organizers continue to promote an old failed policy?
The BDS movement once again proves the old charge that those who oppose Israel’s policies would rather harm themselves than work together for peace. If their intentions are truly peaceful as they claim, they would work to increase cooperation and dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. Instead, they actively work towards subverting any efforts to move the two sides closer together in solving their differences.
As supporters and followers of Act For Israel, all you have to do to continue to support Israel and its economy and counter the small and fledgling BDS movement, is to continue with your regular shopping habits. In fact there’s a good chance that many of the components of the electronic device you’re reading this on were developed in Israel.
Photo credit 1: Sky Scraper Life Photo credit 2: YNetNews
About the author
Holding two Master's degrees, from Tel Aviv University and the University of Chicago, Gal has focused his career in the public sector working in education reform before joining Act For Israel. Born in Israel but raised in the United States Gal knows firsthand how often Israel is misrepresented abroad. Understanding that Israel's interests must be heard beyond the established pro-Israel community Gal recently led an effort to raise billboards calling for the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The billboards were seen by over two million people, received news coverage in the US and overseas and garnered Congressional recognition.