How Effective Have the BDS Efforts Against Israel Been?

Wednesday, June 08, 2016 |  Brian Schrauger

Foreign capital flow to Israeli assets hit a record high of $285.12 billion last year, nearly triple of what this figure was in 2005, Bloomberg News reported last week. And while the Israeli economy has been slowing as of late, it is still performing better than that of the United States and other Western nations. Israeli companies, especially high-tech startups, have also become very attractive targets for foreign investors.

The Bloomberg report is consistent with an analysis written for The Wall Street Journal two years ago by David Rosenberg, economic editor of the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The true story is that after nearly 10 years of campaigning, the global BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement has not had the slightest economic impact. Its victories have consisted of coaxing a handful of pop stars and academics to cancel appearances in Israel, and winning empty, sanctimonious declarations of support from the likes of student governments, cooperative grocery stories and leftish church groups.

Far from being isolated, Israel’s exports are reaching record highs and it attracts billions of dollars in foreign investment.

In the weeks that Israel was supposedly under a boycott siege, Japan’s Rakuten agreed to buy the start-up Viber for $900 million and Ireland’s Covidien sealed a deal to buy Given Imaging for $860 million. China’s Bright Food was in talks to buy control of Israel’s biggest food maker Tnuva, and IBM, Lockheed-Martin and ERM all announced plans to open research and development centers in Israel. The Jewish state became the first non-European member of the nuclear research consortium CERN and was admitted as an observer to the Pacific Alliance, a free-trade bloc of five Latin American countries.

A group of multinational firms including Ford, IBM, GE, Tyco, GM, Singtel, PayPal, Yahoo, ProSieben, and Kimberly-Clark came to Tel Aviv at the end of 2015 to find suitable startups to invest in. That year, Israeli startups netted nearly $5 billion in Venture Capital-backed exit deals, a ten-year record.

The BDS campaign attempts to delegitimize and isolate Israel in an effort to advance Palestinian interests, and many of its leaders have publicly affirmed that they seek Israel’s destruction. BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti, an opponent of the two-state solution, said in 2014 that Palestinians have a right to "resistance by any means, including armed resistance,” while leading activist As’ad Abu Khalil acknowledged in 2012 that "the real aim of BDS is to bring down the state of Israel.”

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