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World Bank figures show Palestinian boycott of Israeli imports is starting to bite

October 6, 2015
  • World Bank partially attributes 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel to boycott
  • Israel’s escalation of attacks on Palestinians underline urgency for BDS
Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have welcomed World Bank figures that show a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel during the first quarter of 2015 as a strong sign that the boycott of Israeli goods by Palestinians is starting to
  • World Bank partially attributes 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel to boycott
  • Israel’s escalation of attacks on Palestinians underline urgency for BDS

Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activists have welcomed World Bank figures that show a 24% drop in Palestinian imports from Israel during the first quarter of 2015 as a strong sign that the boycott of Israeli goods by Palestinians is starting to hit the Israeli economy.

The World Bank explained the drop as “the result of reduced economic activity, but also a growing trend among Palestinian consumers to substitute products imported from Israel by those from other countries, as a result of which non-Israeli imports were up 22 percent.”

These new World Bank figures follow a drop in Palestinian imports by one fifth during 2014 compared to 2013 and come as Israel’s escalation of attacks on Palestinians underline urgency for BDS.

The Palestinian BDS National Committee (BNC), the broadest Palestinian civil society coalition that leads and supports the global BDS movement, coordinates local Palestinian boycott campaigns against Israeli products, as well as complicit academic and cultural institutions.

BNC General Coordinator Mahmoud Nawajaa commented:

“These figures indicate that the grassroots boycott campaigns against Israel that have taken off across Palestine in recent years are already costing the Israeli economy hundreds of millions of dollars and could become an even more important factor in the near future.”

“This adds to the growing economic and political isolation that Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid is starting to face internationally as a result of the fast-growing impact of the BDS movement.”

These latest figures came as prominent Israeli businessman Edouard Cukierman spoke publicly about a growing fear of investing in Israel among European investors due to BDS.

The authors of a UN report published in June partly attributed the 46% drop in foreign direct investment into Israel during 2014 to the growing strength of the BDS movement.

Just last month, French multinational Veolia divested completely from the Israeli market following a 7-year-long campaign, targeting its participation in Israel’s illegal settlement enterprise, that cost it billions of dollars.

Nawajaa added that Israel’s escalation of its “criminal attacks” on Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, especially in Jerusalem and its Noble Sanctuary, shows the urgent need for further BDS pressure on Israel:

“The recent upsurge in popular resistance by Palestinians is a response to the way in which this far-right Israeli government has done everything possible to intensify the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians, the desecration of our holy sites, the collective punishment of our people in Gaza, the construction of colonial settlements, and the adoption of more apartheid laws.”

“As a typical settler-colonial regime, Israel is viciously attacking and repressing popular Palestinian resistance with military violence, including indiscriminate use of force against Palestinian civilians, which constitutes war crimes.”

“Israel is only able to attack Palestinians with impunity and maintain its decades-old regime of settler colonialism and apartheid because of direct complicity of governments and their failure to ensure that Israel complies with international law.”

“Governments should meet their legal obligations to hold Israel accountable for its indiscriminate use of force against Palestinians, including by imposing an immediate two-way military embargo on Israel and cutting ties with Israeli academic institutions that are deeply involved in military research.”

“Grassroots BDS pressure on Israel will continue to grow rapidly and become even more widely supported both in Palestine and internationally.”

October 6, 2015
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