BDS put in its place
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For all the noise they make, the BDS mob are proving spectacularly unsuccessful. The 21.9 per cent increase in trade between Britain and Israel between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013 is a far more eloquent denunciation of the campaign to get the British people to boycott Jews than any words from us.
It is no surprise to see hi-tech trade so buoyant, given the strength of the Israelis in that sector. But one of the key areas of BDS focus, Israeli food produce, is actually one of the prime factors behind the 55.6 per cent rise in imports in the figures. That is a heartening rejection of the boycotters. What makes these figures even more remarkable is that they are achieved despite the barriers that still exist to trade with Israel. Although the British Ambassador to Israel does sterling work in promoting trade and there are ad hoc free trade agreements such as the recent EU pharmaceutical deal, there remain too many barriers.
It is, of course, geographically correct that Israel is left out of the MSCI Europe Index. But in every other sense it is advanced enough to be classified with other European economies. But the overall message of this quarter's figures is more than merely positive. It is cause for celebration.