Israeli Channel 2 report: The World against Israel: companies and scientists threatened by the European boycott

English follows, with translation notes, bracketed in italics

העולם נגד ישראל: חברות ומדענים בסכנה בשל החרם האירופי

כבר יותר מעשור שחברות ומכוני מחקר נמצאים תחת סכנה של חרם מצד האיחוד האירופי. בתחילה, היו אלה עסקים שפעלו מעבר לקו הירוק. כיום נכנסים לרשימה השחורה יותר ויותר גופים ישראלים – גם כאלה שפועלים מלב תל אביב. שגריר בריטניה בישראל מזהיר: “בעוד 5 שנים ישראל תמצא עצמה ללא ידידים בעולם”

The World against Israel: companies and scientists threatened by the European boycott

For more than a decade, companies and research institutes have been at risk of a boycott by the European Union. First, the businesses operating beyond the Green Line. And now, more Israeli bodies are being added to the black list – even those operating from the heart of Tel Aviv. British Ambassador to Israel warns: “In five years, Israel will find itself without friends in the world”

Dana Weiss | News 2 | Posted 18/01/14 21:25

Just last month, a 5000 strong association of American professors announced its intention of boycotting Israeli academia. Thus, the association became the largest academic body in the United States to call for the isolation of Israel because of its treatment of the Palestinians. The American boycott is just one of many that have threatened the economy and academia in Israel over the past decade.

In recent months, the office of [Israeli] Attorney Daniel Reisner has become a shelter for firms who had been adversely affected by the boycott. The directors of those companies woke up one morning and suddenly found out that doing business in Israel – even if the business is located in Tel Aviv _____ [end of sentence missing from original report] . “Companies have lost contracts, got into trouble with their managements abroad, and managers even received letters threatening the cancellation of investments in the Company,” says Reisner.

“We are already seeing the boycott of Israeli companies going up a notch, since these [newly affected] companies operate also [but not exclusively] beyond the Green Line,” says Rosner. “I fear a snowball effect.”

The Barkan Industrial Zone near Ariel has been suffering from the European boycott for years. The world regards this industrial zone as a black spot which symbolizes the Israeli occupation, but local business owners claim that it is an island of coexistence, since most of the workers in the businesses are Palestinian.

“I had no work in Petah Tikva,” said Dudi, a factory owner in Barkan.”Israeli workers do not want to work. However, here they [local Palestinians] come every morning and ask for a job. They want to work.”

“The mess began 4-5 years ago when the European boycott began,” says Ami Guy, owner of “Shamir Salads”. “The Palestinian Authority has declared a ban on us and I think I lost sales in the sum of between 400 and 500 thousand [NIS] per month. In some places in Europe, tax had not been charged on our products. Nowadays everyone charges taxes on the products and it causes us harm. I believe that this will reach more places in Israel – regardless of the territories “.

“The fear is that Israel will wake up one day with no friends in the world”

“If there’s one thing the world does not understand, it’s the settlements,” says Minister of Law and Head of Negotiations Tzipi Livni. “Negotiations are the only dam which is holding back this wave right now. In the case of a crisis – [the dams] will all be breached.”

“I spoke with Jews living today in South Africa,” Livni said. “They told me that back then they thought they had more time, and one did not need [good relations with] the entire world in every situation. But this is happening all at once. And I am shouting – Wake up!”

One of the greatest dangers which the European boycott has brought is a threat to the “Horizon 2020”  project – a large scale EU scientific project, of which Israel is also a member. “I think we were very close to a blocking of the connection between British and Israeli science,” says British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould.”I love Israel and I am concerned that in five years Israel will wake up and find that it does not have enough friends,” says Gould. “Israel is losing support in the UK. This is not a tsunami, it’s happening slowly, and if we don’t stop it before it’s too late, it will be very hard to fix this.”

(Translated by Ofer Neiman)


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