Anyone who wants to boycott Israel is an anti-Semite, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday night in comments to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem.
“In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses, and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb.”
His hard-hitting statements came in the wake of recent disinvestment of Israeli firms and an outright warning by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel faces boycotts if it does not come to terms with most of the Arab world’s demands. The Obama administration supports nearly all of the Arab conditions for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country on land where hundreds of thousands of Jews would be expelled from their homes.
The time has come to “delegitimize the delegitimizers,” the Prime Minister asserted.
The Boycott Israel movement has hit some snags lately, with entertainers such as Neil Young refusing to cancel a scheduled gig, actress Scarlett Johansson sticking to her guns as a paid ambassador for the SodaStream company that has a factory at a location in Judea and Samaria, and more than 200 universities disavowing the academic boycott approved by the American Studies Association.
Netanyahu said in his remarks that Israel’s successful high-tech industry is one of the country’s most effective weapons to fight the Boycott Israel movement.
Previous efforts to boycott all Israeli products failed after the supporters realized they would have to do without patented and generic drugs produced by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals and without computers that use chips produced by Intel’s giant facility in Israel.