Monday, 2 June 2014

A week in Israel to break the hearts of boycotters.

Just look at some of the Israel cooperation and trade developments during one week in the middle of May 2014.

Germany agreed to continue using Israeli drones until 2020. Israel Aerospace Industries will continue to supply its technology and unmanned systems following the expiration of its existing contract which was due to end in 2015. Israel’s advanced intelligence systems for drones are considered vastly superior to any European equivalent.

Israel signed a bilateral industrial R&D cooperation agreement with China. China’s Vice President, Liu Yandong, said China needs Israeli innovation to bring prosperity to its people. The benefits are huge to both nations.

Bulgarian Prime Minister, Planen Oresharski, paid an official visit to Israel looking to benefit from Israeli technology and cooperation, particularly in its newfound offshore natural gas fields. Bulgaria is also looking for more cooperation and trade with Israel in agriculture, medicine, IT, tourism, and defense.

Paraguay has reopened its embassy in Israel following a twelve year closure. They hope to obtain Israeli involvement in infrastructure projects, energy and agricultural modernization in Paraguay. Israel’s Foreign Minister will visit Paraguay in July.

India just signed a new military cooperation contract with Israel. Overall trade between the two countries hit six billion dollars in 2013. Expectations are that it will exceed that figure this year.

Israel, Cyprus, and Greece signed a cooperation agreement which focused on coastal research, oil pollution, and exploration of hydrocarbon reserves. Ministers from the three countries discussed the EU Horizon 202 initiative to depollute the sea, climate change in the Mediterranean, environment and sustainable consumption and production in the Mediterranean.

Israel and the United Kingdom signed a memorandum of understanding on digital cooperation between the two countries. Israel will join the D8 group of advanced digital countries currently being established by the British government. South Korea, New Zealand, and Singapore are among the members.

Israel and Japan look to forge close cooperation in cyber security in which Israel is an advanced nation. The two countries signed a defense cooperation agreement during Israeli Prime Ministers official visit to Tokyo.

With this in mind, and the failures of BDS to push through effective boycott actions on campuses in Britain and America, a true perspective can be seen in which BDS is a minor irritant to Israeli interests. Generally BDS actions against Israel is played out on campuses by radical students or by noisy demonstrators outside local stores selling Israeli products.

Barry Shaw is the Special Consultant on Delegitimization Issues to The Strategic Dialogue Center at Netanya Academic College.  He is also the author of ‘Israel Reclaiming the Narrative’ available at  Also available on Amazon.

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