Anti Israel demonstrators. (AP/Markus Schreiber) (AP/Markus Schreiber)
Anti Israel demo
Israeli Economy


A recent Bloomberg analysis of foreign investment in Israel proves that the anti-Israel boycott movement has failed considerably in its efforts to sideline the Jewish State.

An analysis by of foreign capital flow into Israel shows that the anti-Israel BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement has essentially failed in its primary goal, as the evidence shows a steep increase in foreign investments in Israeli assets.

The study, published on Thursday, shows that foreign investment in Israel hit a record high in 2015 of over $285 billion.

The BDS movement promotes financial, academic and cultural boycotts against Israel, ostensibly as a nonviolent struggle against the so-called “Israeli occupation.”

Critics say its activities are a modern form of anti-Semitism, and its true objective is to destroy the State of Israel.

Bloomberg’s analysis proves that even the more limited focus on the so-called “occupation” and the companies that supposedly benefit from it has had little discernible impact. The stake of non-Israeli shareholders in nine such publicly-traded companies and banks has risen steadily over the past three years.

“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 in an interview.

Money managers, economists and government officials say Israeli assets are an attractive alternative to weak performers elsewhere. The country’s economy is growing faster than those of the US and Europe and its interest rate is higher. Furthermore, many reject the false notions driving the boycott – that investing in Israeli innovation and natural gas violates Palestinian rights, and that Israel’s alleged misdeeds are so exceptional that they justify singling it out for censure, while disregarding genocide, hardship and dictatorships around the world.

Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8 percent in 2016 compared with 1.8 percent for the US and the European Union (EU). In 2015 its industrial high-tech exports rose 13 percent from a year earlier to $23.7 billion, according to the Israeli Export and International Cooperation Institute. The BlueStar Israel Global Index, a gauge of globally-listed Israeli companies, has doubled over the past decade, outperforming the 24 percent gain in the benchmark MSCI ACWI Index of emerging and developed world markets.

Despite the appreciating shekel — a sign of foreign investor confidence — Israeli startups raised $3.76 billion last year from non-Israeli investors, the highest annual amount in a decade, according to data collected by IVC Research Center. Foreigners, who are responsible for at least 50 percent of total yearly investment in Israeli startups, spent an additional $5.89 billion acquiring them. Chinese buyout firm XIO Group’s $510 million purchase of Lumenis Ltd. led high-tech mergers and acquisitions followed by a US private equity firm’s $438 million buyout of ClickSoftware Technologies Ltd.

Negligible Boycotts

BDS activists claim they are not worried.

“BDS is not just working,” said Omar Barghouti, a co-founder of the campaign. “It is working far better and spreading into the mainstream much faster than we had anticipated.”

A series of mostly European pension funds have banned Israeli and international companies tied with operation in Judea and Samaria

A few companies, such as SodaStream, relocated their operations out of Judea and Samaria, to the detriment of the Palestinian employees who lost their jobs as the result of BDS actions.

The finance ministry’s Naveh concedes there have been “some institutional investors that said they are pulling their investments.” But he added, “We don’t need it.”

So far, that appears to be true, Bloomberg writes.

A survey of nine Israeli companies with ties to the Judea and Samaria economy showed major non-Israeli holdings have increased or remained largely unchanged over the past three years.

By: United with Israel Staff