May 15, 2011
Last week the giant Co-op supermarket group members voted to boycott goods from Israel that may have been produced in the so called ‘occupied territories’. This boycott came as a surprise and it was only that a Co-op member from Leeds decided to attend the annual meeting that the boycott was flagged.
Anyone can join the Co-op movement, it costs £1 and you have a huge amount of power. I was a consultant for a company that worked with them and the power of membership is huge. They are also extremely ethical and perhaps it was on this platform that they became concerned.
Increasing employment is enjoyed by the Palestinians and they have prospered in the West Bank area and enjoy very good standards with no shortages. The mis-information that they are downtrodden will work to harm them as their exports could suffer.
In recent times we have seen boycotts attempted, and with some minor success. Academic ones are crazy as Israeli bio tech and high tech achievements can only be ignored to the detriment of those British universities that succumb.
Will the Co-op stopping to sell dates make any difference, well hardly, if we examine the big picture.
Israel has the seventeenth most competitive economy in the world and has a population of about 7.6 million they got to this level by being ferociously aggressive in their marketing and are now doing business in China and India.
The Chinese believe that Jews are good with money, strong in science and exert a tremendous amount of influence in the world.
India and China are the main target of Israel’s high tech prowess, Israel’s skill in growing food and in desalinating water are also recognised as there are great parts of China that are deserts and the population need fresh water.
Israeli businesses are flourishing in China, and public opinion there is very favourable towards Israel, so whilst certain people here want to try to inflict damage on the Israeli economy they are failing to make any impact on this growing economic miracle.
Also the largely Hindu population of India, where there is no history of anti Semitism, is very well disposed to the Jewish state.
Maybe some of those British institutions so intent on trying to inflict damage on Israel should look outwards and expand their own enterprises to the BRIC countries and make some real money for the UK and reflate our economy.