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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘boycotts’

As US Anthropologists Reject BDS Resolution, Israeli Economy Thriving Despite Boycotts

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

On Tuesday, the 10,000-member American Anthropological Association announced the results of a vote on its proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions: the call to boycott failed. After many who are close to the organization had predicted the measure would pass, it lost by 2,423 to 2,384 votes.

The failure of the boycott proposal came as unexpected relief to people like Ted Gup, a professor of journalism at Emerson College, who wrote on the eve of the vote in The Chronicle of Higher Education that it is “misguided, counterproductive, and sure to damage both the association and the Palestinian cause.” He added that “it also puts at risk any network of scholars by inviting similar future reprisals.” Also, he warned that “the boycott will harm the very people it is intended to help and embolden those whose hardline policies the AAA disdains.” But “beyond all this,” Gup, who is Jewish, noted that “the boycott itself is irreparably flawed and discredited by the historical and contemporary context that produced it.”

It also appears that the boycotts have had no influence at all on Israel’s economy, which today is the fastest growing in OEDC, according to a Bloomberg News report citing a steep increase in foreign investments in Israeli assets, which last year hit a record high of $285.12 billion, “a near-tripling from 2005 when the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was started by a group of Palestinians.”

“We don’t have a problem with foreign investment in Israel — on the contrary,” Yoel Naveh, chief economist at Israel’s finance ministry, told Bloomberg.

According to people from the entire spectrum of the market: money managers, economists and government officials, “Israeli assets are an attractive alternative to weak performers elsewhere.” And even though Israel’s economy has slowed down in 2016, it is still growing faster than the economies of the US and Europe and its interest rate is higher.

Interestingly, Bloomberg also reported that the business community rejects the fabricated accusations against Israel perpetrated by the BDS activists, “that investing in Israeli innovation and natural gas violates Palestinian rights, and that Israel’s misdeeds are so exceptional that they justify singling it out for censure.”

Bloomberg quotes data collected by IVC Research Center which suggests that even with an appreciating shekel, Israeli startups have raised $3.76 billion in 2015 from foreign investors, their highest annual figure in ten years. In 2015 Israeli industrial high-tech exports rose 13% from 2014 to $23.7 billion, and in 2016 Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8%, compared with the US (1.8%) and the EU (1.8%).

Or, as the Torah put it, back in 1248 BCE: “But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more the Israelites multiplied and spread, and the more alarmed the Egyptians became.” (Exodus 1:12)

Back to the failed BDS vote at the AAA, there’s a point Ted Gup was making in his thoughtful article which suggests the more Israel makes itself known to the world, the less would anti-Semitic NGOs be able to feed off its flesh. “In the summer of 2015, with the support of a Fulbright, I taught at the University of Haifa, in Israel’s third-largest city and one of its most secular and progressive urban centers,” Gup related. “The university boasts a student population that is one-third Arab. It is common to see student-soldiers of the Israeli Defense Forces, rifles slung over their shoulders, checking alongside their Arab classmates the same class announcement boards or discussing homework. Nor is it unusual for heated debates about Israeli policy to arise between Jews and Arabs in the classroom — and even more commonly, between Jews and Jews.”

Then he made a most cogent point, coming as it does from a leftwing perspective: “So how does a learned society like the AAA justify punishing the likes of the University of Haifa or see doing so as an effective message to the Israeli government? Many of my colleagues on the Haifa faculty openly criticize that government, as do their students. A wholesale boycott of academic institutions applies the same indiscriminate standard of punishment that the association says it abhors. The AAA would argue that you don’t bulldoze a house or bomb a block in Gaza because of one attacker. How then do you justify cutting off relations with all Israeli academic institutions based not on actions but on geography?”

JNi.Media

Native American Academics Join Boycott of Israeli Universities

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

A Native American studies association is the third U.S. academic body this year to recommend its members boycott Israeli universities.

The Native American and Indigenous Studies Association in a Dec. 15 announcement said it “encourages NAISA members to boycott Israeli academic institutions because they are imbricated with the Israeli state and we wish to place pressure on that state to change its policies.”

The statement encouraged “generous dialogue” on the issue and said the boycott was open to discussion at the group’s national conference in May in Austin, Texas.

Like the American Studies Association, which announced its own boycott this week, the NAISA boycott does not target individuals and is not binding on members.

The Asian American Studies Association approved a similar boycott in April.

JTA

The Rotten fruits of Boycotts: Meet Zimbabwe, Formerly Rhodesia

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

An AFP report says that “after paying public workers’ salaries last week, the balance in cash-strapped Zimbabwe’s government public account stood at just $217,” according to the country’s Finance Minister Tendai Biti.

“Last week when we paid civil servants there was $217 [left] in government coffers,” Biti told journalists in the capital Harare, essentially telling them that each one of them was richer than Zimbabwe.

“The government finances are in paralysis state at the present moment. We are failing to meet our targets.”

Zimbabwe’s economy hit rock bottom back in 2000, as a result of President Robert Mugabe seizing of white-owned farms. If there was any confidence on the part of world investors at that juncture, the “liberation” of those farms caused it to evaporate completely. Production was paralyzed, displaced owners started suing for their reparations, and tourism all but stopped.

The country has not recovered. After 13 years of a hyper-inflation of 231 million percent (nothing compares to it in human history) and a collapsing infrastructure — the best one can say is that things are staying as bad as they have been – but no longer getting any worse, either.

That means the country is paralyzed, no one in government knows if they’re getting their next paycheck, utilities, like electricity, are erratic, nothing’s working.

Elections are coming up, but the government is saying it doesn’t have the money to pay for it.

As you may recall, Zimbabwe reached its independence from its white colonialists in 1980, after 26 years of increasing sanctions and boycotts against what used to be known as Rhodesia. It took enormous world effort, and a lot of earnest volunteer work to bring Rhodesia down to its knees. And as the white colonialists were first deprived of their claim to govern, and eventually of their claim to anything at all – Zimbabwe was going into its tailspin.

Robert Mugabe, who won the presidency by a landslide in 1980, still rules, and the country is vying for some nice Europeans—they’ll take Chinese, too—to please come and take over again, through renewed investments.

It’s a lesson of what happens to the folks that nice Europeans and Americans try to save by boycotting the goods made by “their oppressors.” I don’t know of a more surefire way of turning those oppressed totally wretched.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/yoris-news-clips/the-rotten-fruits-of-boycotts-meet-zimbabwe-formerly-rhodesia/2013/01/30/

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