Israel struggling against growing boycott campaign
Israel’s Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper has released a report revealing that the Foreign Ministry has acknowledged its inability to face the growing boycott campaign despite resorting to all political and judicial means, which have been ineffective, especially against private companies. The report explained that the ministry has succeeded in putting pressure on some European governments to take a stance against calls to boycott Israel following the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
“It would be useless to launch an anti-boycott campaign to promote settlement products,” said a ministry official. Israel has been able to curb several boycott initiatives, said the report. Even in unfriendly countries, the boycott has not been made law yet; however it is likely that some politicians will push this “due to the sweeping wave of hostility” towards Israel.
According to Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid, “If the peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel would lose exports worth nearly 20 billion shekels”. Furthermore, he added, the EU might also abolish its partnership with Israel, which means an extra loss of 3.5 billion shekels, mainly in the agriculture sector. Lapid noted that major European food chains, especially in Britain and the Scandinavian countries, have banned settlement products.
Yedioth Ahronoth published a list of companies and institutions that implement boycotts against Israel:
Norway: The Government Pension Fund of Norway has sold its shares in Africa Israel Investments, Danya Cebus and Sesa Sterlite.
Germany: The German Railway Company did not bid to build or operate the train service which runs through the occupied Palestinian territories.
Belgium: The Belgian government has cancelled a “Tel Aviv – the White City” exhibition which was scheduled in the capital, Brussels.
Scotland: The Edinburgh International Film Festival returned an award granted by the Israeli Embassy in line with its decision to boycott the state.
Australia: The Maryville municipality in Sydney province imposed a boycott on Israel and all companies engaged in trade with it. Several pro-Palestinian organisations have called for a boycott of oranges produced in Jaffa and Max Brenner chocolate.
Netherlands: The Netherlands’ largest water company, Vitens, has severed ties with Israel’s Mekorot water company. The Dutch Pension Fund has withdrawn all investments from Israeli banks.
South Africa: The South African Foreign Minister announced that the cabinet will boycott Israel and will not visit it. The South African Trade and Commerce Union stopped importing an Israeli-made circumcision device.
- UK major retail chain, the Co-operative, has boycotted all products produced in the settlements in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
- Marks & Spencer fashion house has been boycotting settlement products since 2007 .
- The Irish workers’ trade Union has announced its decision to boycott all Israeli products and services.
- The Irish teachers’ Union supports imposing an academic boycott on Israel.
- The Canadian postal workers Union boycotts Israel.
- The Protestant Church in Vancouver launched a campaign to boycott settlement products.
- The American Studies Association has recently joined the academic boycott imposed against Israel by many universities and unions.
- The American Pension Fund has withdrawn its investments from a company that sell agricultural tractors to settlements.