BDS and the crisis of Arab flexibility

All ideas in this synthesis remain the intellectual property of their rightful owners – thank you, you beautiful things…..

The current BDS campaign is yet another example of how financial blackmail of moneyed investors trumps morality. However, something like the Arab-backed BDS will never ultimately succeed because it is impossible to sell a lie to all of the people all of the time.

Just look at Israel’s new trading partners of India and China, as the Jewish state increasingly turns to traditional antagonists of Muslims and Islam.

India and China amount to a market of just over 2.4 billion reasons why Arab Muslim BDS will not, as Israel increasingly turns to Asia for trade, ultimately make a significant dent in its overall trade balance.

China, one of the world’s largest countries and the second biggest economy in the world, has invested billions of dollars in Israel in the last three years. Starting with the World Expo in 2010 in Shanghai where Israel had its own pavilion for the first time, China has shown the Arab world that it has targeted Israel and has plans for future investments as well. As a sampler, according to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, overall trading figures between Israel and China reached $8.4 billion in 2013, compared with $6.7 billion in 2010. There is no reason why this figure will not increase significantly as Israel slowly absorbs the full impact of Obama’s abandonment of formerly close allies in the Near and Middle East, and especially because Israel sees that in building even stronger alliances in Asia, it reduces significantly the leverage that Europe has had as Israel’s largest trading partner. Increased trade with Asia will reduce that one-sided, disproportionate leverage that Europe, at the mercy of Arab voting blocs and money, has traditionally enjoyed. Already, Asia is Israel’s second largest trading partner having already surpassed the United States in that statistic and, if the trend continues, is likely to challenge the European Union in a few years.

And if we take India, that other Asian powerhouse a little further south, new defence and trade deals as late as April 2014 are a harbinger of the accelerating competition for Israeli technology between the two Asian powerhouses. As an example, India has just recently contracted with Israeli companies for a monumental clean-up of the water of the sacred River Ganges!!……

At a pinch, the only water flowing out of BDS eyes would be tears of confused, malevolent frustration.

It may be, that we are witnessing the development of  new anti-Muslim blocs in new configurations as Europe begins to grapple with the early signs of a coming European intifada and countries which have  traditionally dealt with aggressive Islam find new ways to neutralise a re-surgent, oft-violent Islam.

But I digress.

To add to the headaches of the BDSers, there is the ongoing discreet trade between Israel and several Arab Muslim countries in addition to the open trade of Israeli goods to the “Palestinians”.
Israeli business quietly thrives in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, and in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Company owners on both sides do all they can to avoid harmful publicity. Contacts are made at international conferences overseas, through European and U.S. companies familiar with both sides, and directly over the Internet.

Arab entrepreneurs are interested in Israeli technologies and search them out through the Internet and social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

For example, ships belonging to the Ofer Group docked in Iran. That was then. Today, trade continues covertly with Indonesia at the lowest possible profile though without diplomatic relations between the two countries. Singapore serves as a base for businessmen trying to penetrate there.

Clandestine trade is also carried out in the opposite direction. Indonesian business delegations visit Israel, too, but this is kept from the general public and Israel imports eight times as much as it exports in its trade with Indonesia.

A number of Israeli companies export products to Saudi Arabia, including technological goods. This is done through their U.S.-registered subsidiaries. As an example, Israel receives raw materials for its plastics industry – polyethylene and polypropylene deriving from petroleum production – from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. These materials are sent in a roundabout way but Israeli authorities are aware of their source. Israel’s plastics industry, in turn, exports greenhouse sheeting, irrigation drippers, house and garden products, disposable utensils and food packaging back to Saudi Arabia. In addition, quite a few companies in the Gulf states rely on sophisticated Israeli technology for security purposes.

But what of Israel’s own Arabs? Can they not forge a bridgehead for Arab-world markets to circumvent the impact of both the Arab boycott and the BDS campaign?

Increasingly, indeed they do. As a result, many Israeli companies that rely on users elsewhere in the region find creative solutions to avoid being identified with Israel, such as opening branches in Ramallah or Jordan that can more easily interface with the Arab world.

Because being labelled an Israeli company does not help Israel, neither in marketing nor in promotion, if she wants to target the Middle East, Israeli entrepreneurs open branches of their companies in places like Ramallah and Amman. And as Arab entrepreneurial skills expand inside Israel, Israeli Arabs will play an increasingly important role in bridging the political impasse between Israel and the Arabs.

So, is BDS working? Yes it is. But mainly as an increasingly symbolic and fiscally irrelevant anti-semitic protest by the chattering classes who are unable/unwilling to think for themselves.
In hard financial terms however, continuing creative workarounds by Israel and her supporters around the world to counter the attempted economic strangulation of a sovereign state, ensure that Israel’s growing GDP relegates the Arab Muslim BDS campaign to yet another largely side-stepped symbolic Arab Muslim gesture of de-legitimisation; symbolic and concrete gestures which have failed since 1948.

In the meanwhile, international cultural mega-stars like Elton John, Justin Timberlake and the Rolling Stones will continue to play to packed and appreciative Israeli audiences.

In Israel.

May 5774 continue to be a successful one for all.

 

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