Divesting From Israel Could Hurt Palestine: NCPA
July 27, 2016
The growing movement to boycott Israeli products and divest from Israel could financially devastate the Palestinians it was meant to help and destabilize the Middle East, warns a new report by National Center for Policy Analysis Senior Fellow David Grantham and Research Associate Danielle Zaychik.
“The self-styled Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been seeking to discredit and reverse Israeli policies with respect to the Palestinian Territories since 2005,” write Grantham and Zaychik. “The political aims of BDS are contrary to nearly 40 years of U.S. policy, yet the movement has gained traction in the U.S., primarily in academic circles, and among religious and labor organizations. But divesting from Israel would have severe negative economic repercussions for Americans and Israelis – and for Palestinians as well.”
Economic relations between the United States and Israel have benefitted the U.S. economy, the Palestinian economy, and promoted economic interdependence in the Middle East:
• U.S.-Israeli collaboration has created permanent channels of shared innovation between the brightest minds in both countries. Investments by American-Israeli foundations have contributed to the creation of 18,000 to 200,000 U.S. jobs.
• At least 32 percent of Palestinian tech firms collaborate directly with Israeli companies to take advantage of the neighboring tech industry. Over the past 15 years, American tech conglomerates have, in turn, pushed their Israeli subsidiaries to outsource and collaborate with Palestinian start-ups.
• The prospects of regional stability that come with economic engagement extend beyond the Israel-Palestine issue. A prime example involves the Qualified Industrial Zones, which allows Jordan and Egypt to piggyback on the American-Israeli Free Trade Agreement. This agreement strengthened ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt, bolstered national economies, created jobs, and added millions of dollars in annual economic activity.
“The divest movement against Israel has the potential to hurt those it claims to help,” says Grantham. “It is a wholly unwise and ill-conceived strategy that undermines Palestinian and American financial independence.”