Ramallah: A UN report has revealed that the foreign direct investment (FDI) in Israel in 2014 dropped by 46 per cent when compared to 2013.
An Israeli co-author of the report has attributed this sharp decline in investment to Israel’s seven-week war on Gaza — the so-called Operation Protective Edge — and the success of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The report published by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) shows that only $8.58 billion (Dh31.4 billion) was invested in Israel in 2014 in comparison to $15.8 billion in 2013. The report also stated that Israel’s FDI in other countries also decreased by 15 per cent, from $6.3 billion to $5.27 billion last year.
“We believe that what led to the drop in investment in Israel are Operation Protective Edge and the boycotts Israel is facing,” Dr Ronny Manos, one of the report’s authors and a researcher in the department of Management and Economics at the Open University of Israel, told the Israeli outlet Ynet News.
According to Omar Barghouti, Palestinian human rights activist and co-founder of the BDS movement, it is indisputable evidence that the impact of BDS in the last few years has evolved from the academic and cultural domain to the economic sphere.
“This proves the validity of the BDS strategy, which in part views the crucial value of the academic and cultural boycott of Israel in revealing the true toxic face of Israel’s regime, as one of occupation, settler [colonist]-colonialism and apartheid and, consequently, in adversely affecting the appeal of Israel’s products and services around the world. This is one of the key lessons we have learned from the South African anti-apartheid movement,” he said.
Al Barghouti revealed that a Rand Corporation study predicted the BDS could reduce Israel’s GDP by 1 to 2 per cent annually over the next 10 years, while a World Bank report revealed that Israel’s exports to the Palestinian economy have dropped by 24 per cent in the first quarter of 2015.
“BDS has brought Palestinians together on a human rights platform that insists on the rights of all Palestinians. The movement has empowered us to overcome the deep fragmentation that we have suffered from for decades, showing us an effective way to globalise our resistance to Israel’s system of injustice and to organically re-connect our struggle for freedom, justice and equality with racial, economic, social and other justice causes around the world,” he said. “Israel continues to lose and we continue to win. We have unquestionable moral superiority in this struggle for our rights as stipulated in international law. We appeal to basic human decency, whereas Israel resorts to intellectual terror, bullying, intimidation and cooptation, immoral weapons that can only lead to transient surrender, not lasting victory.”
He said that despite all its bullying and pressure, Israel has failed in most cases in reversing BDS successes, especially in the last few years. “It will continue to win some battles, predominantly by using its unmatched influence in Congress and the corporate media, but its losses will keep rising, eventually reaching a tipping point,” he said.