Israel News | Zionism Israel Center | Zionism History | Zionism Definitions | ZioNation | Forum | Zionism FAQ | Maps| Edit

Monday, July 9, 2007

British: 'Please don't boycott us'

Indeed, Britain has the trade ties with Israel that are described below, and indeed, Israel probably benefits from them more than Britain does.
Calls for boycotting Britain by Israel alone are senseless. But not everything in this special pleading is quite as true as it should be. For example:
"Remember, too, that these boycotts in no way reflect official British government policy toward Israel."
"Official policy" can mean many things. The BBC for example, is an autonomous broadcasting service licensed by the British government. It has been a source of blatant anti-Israel agitation for quite a while.
Still, we don't boycott Egypt, where media are much more anti-Israel.
Israel is always in a precarious position and should not be initiating boycotts. Of course, that doesn't mean that the US teamsters union is obligated to unload cargoes that were shipped by their UNISON and Transport Workers Union counterparts. Israel is not the place for boycotts of course, but that doesn't mean that the US NIH has to open fellowships to British university applicants.
Ami Isseroff
By Richard Salt

When people talk about good relations between countries, it is important to ask exactly what that means. As I see it, mutually-beneficial trade and investment links are an important part of the "meat" of a bilateral relationship. Major British companies such as HSBC, British Airways and British Gas have interests out here, and two-way trade was close to 2.4 billion pounds sterling (around $5 billion) last year.
In addition, many Israeli companies and businessmen see the United Kingdom as an attractive place to grow and expand their businesses. The UK, as an international financial hub, is the doorway to a world of opportunities for companies and entrepreneurs. More than 200 Israeli companies have set up operations in the UK, and that number continues to rise. Another encouraging figure: close to 40 Israeli companies have already chosen the AIM stock exchange to raise capital, rather than the more expensive and distant option of the U.S.
I am well aware at the shock and anger felt here in Israel by recent attempts by a handful of British organizations, such as UNISON and the University and College Union (UCU), to push for a boycott of Israel, particularly given the warm relations between our two countries. It is important to remember that attempts to boycott Israel generally fail or have no real impact on the strong ties between Britain and Israel. The decision reached by the UCU in late May merely calls on members to consider a boycott of Israel, and does not actually impose a boycott of Israeli academia. The motion passed by UNISON in mid-June simply reiterated the union's long-standing policy on the Middle East & a policy that has not stopped UK-Israel trade relations, or academic links, from flourishing in recent years.
Remember, too, that these boycotts in no way reflect official British government policy toward Israel. UNISON and the UCU are totally independent. The UK government cannot interfere in the their internal deliberations, but we certainly do not support attempts to boycott Israel and have made that clear. We firmly believe that the best way to solve conflicts is through negotiations and inclusive dialogue. I, therefore, firmly believe that calls from some in Israel to impose a counterboycott on the UK are highly regrettable, and I am glad to see that these calls, like those in the UK, do not seem to have broad support.
What the UK government does support is encouraging ties with Israel in key areas, such as science, education, trade and industry. These are not just words, but concrete, continuous activities. Just last month, Britain's Minister of State for Higher Education, Bill Rammell, visited Israel to promote academic ties between our two countries. We also hosted a group of six senior British scientists who attended a conference on stem cell research at the Weizmann Institute. The UK government last year sponsored a visit by our most famous scientist, Professor Stephen Hawking, to advance cooperation between our scientific communities. And we annually sponsor scholarships for Israelis to study in the UK under our Chevening Scholarship scheme.
The scope for continued cooperation between our countries is enormous, for example, under the European 7th Framework Program. Under the 6th Framework Program, in which Israel participated as an Associated Country, there were 262 projects featuring UK and Israeli partners with contracts to the value of 1.5 billion euros. I encourage Israeli companies to keep on investing in the UK, and British companies to realize the huge R&D, investment and business opportunities that exist in Israel.
We now have a new government in the UK with a new prime minister, who brings with him 10 years of experience as chancellor of the exchequer. Israel, and this region as a whole, remain a top priority for Britain. And that includes ensuring that the commercial relationship between our two countries continues to prosper.
Richard Salt is director of UK trade & investment at the British Embassy Tel Aviv.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Subscribe to
email newsletter for this site and others

Powered by

Feedblitz subcription
To this Blog only

You can receive our articles by e-mail. For a free subscription, please enter your e-mail address:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Web Logs & Sites

This Site

Zionism & Israel
Zionation Web Log
IMO Web Log (Dutch)

ZI Group
Zionism-Israel Pages
Israël-Palestina.Info (Dutch & English)
Israƫl in de Media
MidEastWeb Middle East News and Views
MidEastWeb Middle East Web Log

Brave Zionism
Israel: Like this, as if
Israel & Palestijnen Nieuws Blog

Friends and Partners
EinNews Israel
Israel Facts
Israel Proud Adam Holland
Middle East Analysis
Irene Lancaster's Diary
Middle East Analysis
Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
Israel Facts (NL)
Cynthia's Israel Adventure
Jeff Weintraub Commentaries and controversies
Meretz USA Weblog
Pro-Israel Bay Bloggers
Simply Jews
Fresno Zionism
Anti-Racist Blog
Sharona's Week
Z-Word Blog
Jewish State
Take A Pen - Israel Advocacy
Zionism on the Web
ZOTW's Zionism and Israel News
Zionism On The Web News
ZOTW's Blogs
Christian Attitudes
Dr Ginosar Recalls
Questions: Zionism anti-Zionism Israel & Palestine
Southern Wolf
Peace With Realism
Sanda's Place
Liberal for Israel
Realistic Dove
Blue Truth
Point of no Return
Christians Standing With Israel
Christians Standing With Israel - Blog

Encylopedic Dictionary of Zionism and Israel
Middle East Encyclopedia
Zionism and its Impact
Zionism & the creation of Israel
Zionism - Issues & answers
Maps of Israel
Christian Zionism Resources
Christian Zionism
Albert Einstein
Gaza & the Qassam Victims of Sderot
Zionist Quotes
Six Day War
Jew Hatred
Learn Hebrew
Arab-Israeli Conflict
International Zionism

Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel
Israel Boycott
Boycott Israel?
Amnesty International Report on Gaza War
Boycott Israel?
Dutch Newspaper Reporting: A Study of NRC Handelsblad
Hamas (Dutch)
Dries van Agt (Dutch)
Isfake lobby

At Zionism On the Web
Articles on Zionism
Anti-Zionism Information Center
Academic boycott of Israel Resource Center
The anti-Israel Hackers
Antisemitism Information Center
Zionism Israel and Apartheid
Middle East, Peace and War
The Palestine state
ZOTW Expert Search
ZOTW Forum

Judaica & Israel Gifts
Jewish Gifts: Judaica:
Ahava Products

Powered by Blogger

Subscribe to
Posts [Atom]

RSS V 1.0

International Affairs Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory