Public Comment

How Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Will Affect Israel

By Tejinder Uberoi
Friday February 07, 2014 - 10:38:00 AM

The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) program targeted against Israel is growing exponentially. For example, the $200 billion Dutch pension fund PGGM plans to divest from the five largest Israeli banks. Israeli finance minister, Yair Lapid, stressed the urgent need to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians to avoid further isolation. He warned that failure to do so could lead to a European boycott of the Jewish state seriously impacting exports, the loss of thousands of jobs, soaring inflation and internal unrest.  

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned Israel that it “is likely to face an international boycott “on steroids,” if it continued construction of illegal settlements. An increasing number of American Jews oppose Israel policies and are joining the BDS campaigns (NYT Feb 2 2014). The Institute of National Security, a Tel Aviv think tank, warned that “Israel’s economy is much more vulnerable than its national security.” EU foreign ministers pledged “an unprecedented European political, economic and security support package” to both Israelis and Palestinians “in the context of a final status agreement.” The EU cautioned Israel that further settlement construction could jeopardize the EU offer. Israel would be wise to seize the moment and accept the generous EU offer and embrace John Kerry’s brokered efforts in bringing about a final peaceful settlement to this festering Middle East conflict.