So who benefits from trading with Israel?

Brighton is a picturesque seaside resort in southern England. About three months ago, the Israeli company, Sodastream, opened its first UK branch in the city. This sparked a constant flow of anti-Israel demonstrations. The protesters demand that the public boycott Israeli-made products. And their prime argument is that Israeli aggression against whoever should not be rewarded.

Why this protest on behalf of peace should see just today 15 demonstrators take on the police, I do not understand? I note that the same people are happy to buy plastic products from China or drink Russian vodka, governments not known for their delicate handling of protests. And I gather that there were few words uttered on the picket lines against the 1,000 plus rockets that have landed on Israeli civilians from Gaza during 2012.

Hypocrisy? Let’s go one step further. If the organisers were to boycott all Israeli associated products and technology, the soldiers of the seafront would not even have received their marching orders. You see in 2012 vast parts of Microsoft, Intel and mobile technology emanates from r&d centres inside Israel. That’s right, your computer and cell phone are full of made-in-Israel code.

And just how much does the world look to, support and need Israeli products and services? Just peek at these news items from last week.

  • Protalix, which has proven a unique treatment for Gaucher’s Disease, is to sign a major agreement with Brazil.
  • Sanofi-Aventis, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, has authorized Sanofi-Aventis Israel Ltd. to acquire a consumer healthcare products company for several tens of millions of dollars.
  • LiveU, which provides live video transmissions from any location with wireless networks and played a significant role in the global coverage of the London Olympics and American elections, has raised a further US$27 million.
  • P2W (pollution to water) has signed a major contract with in South Africa for purifying water in a large mine.
  • By the end of this decade, Israel will be a net exporter of gas and maybe oil energy.

And so the list goes on. In the words of the governor of the Bank of Israel, Israel’s economic growth for 2012 and 2013 is expected to beat current predictions of around 3%.

So, while the vocal and violent proponents of open speech voice their concerns on the coast of Britain, the world as a whole is benefitting from the successes of the one democratic country in the Middle East. Now, what kind of person would want to boycott that?

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