Samsung Next Withdraws From Israel

The withdrawal of the tech giant is yet another strong indicator of the dramatically declining confidence in the Israeli economy.


Samsung Next, the innovation arm of the Korean technology giant, Samsung, is shutting down its Tel Aviv operations, yet another strong indicator of the dramatically declining confidence in the Israeli economy.

In withdrawing from Israel, Samsung Next, which had invested in some 70 Israeli start-ups to date, is the latest fund to divest from Israel’s once thriving hi-tech sector, which accounts for over 50% of exports. Quite a few US and Israeli tech firms have already withdrawn. In 2023, investment in Israeli tech firms plummeted by 56% compared to 2022. 

Corporate withdrawal from Israel reflects a growing recognition among global companies of two major risks:

(a) The ICJ ruling that Israel is plausibly committing genocide against 2.3m Palestinians in Gaza poses a serious risk of legal liability for complicity.
(b) Israel’s economy has been in clear and steady decline, as even Moody’s had to finally admit, due to neoliberal structural problems, judicial reforms begun by the far-right government, and the growing impact of BDS. 

Already in July 2023, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid wrote: “Israel is no longer the Start-Up Nation. It’s a nation in crisis. It’s a political, social & int’l crisis, but its effects will be economic. … Some of the [economic] damage caused recently will take years to repair.” But since the beginning of Israel’s #GazaGenocide, the BDS impact has grown drastically, almost in proportion to the rise in the savagery and depravity of Israel’s “factory of mass assassination” of Palestinians and its use of starvation as a weapon of war. Many firms in Israel’s hi-tech sector, particularly in cybersecurity, are “borne from the military.” Funding for the Israeli cybersecurity sector in 2023 hit a 5-year low, possibly due to an emerging loss of confidence in Israel’s once envied security prowess.

Investing in Israel’s 76-year-old regime of settler-colonial apartheid has always been unethical and arguably illegal. Now it’s also financially irresponsible.




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