UK-Israel Trade Reaches Record High Despite Gaza Conflict and BDS Efforts
Trade between Israel and the United Kingdom reached a record £2.5 billion this year in spite of efforts by campaigners pushing for a boycott of Israeli goods during the summer’s Gaza war, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
Figures released by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics show that trade between the two countries between January and August 2014 increased by 28 percent from the same period last year.
Israeli exports to the UK also rose more than 38 percent since the start of the year, while the value of UK exports to the Jewish state has risen over 14 percent to £957 million. The UK remains Israel’s largest export market after the U.S., according to The Jewish Chronicle.
“Once again, the latest trade figures underline the strong business ties that exist between Israel and the UK,” said Nathan Tsror, who oversees economy and trade at the Israeli embassy in London. “This relationship brings great benefit to both countries and as such is of great value.”
The statistics were revealed after pro-Palestinian activists advocated for the boycott of various companies linked with Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Among the companies targeted by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign are the cosmetics firm Ahava, security company G4S, drinks manufacturer SodaStream, computer company Hewlett Packard and waste management firm Veolia.
Vivian Wineman, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said, “This is a wonderful piece of news that shows that attempts by the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement to discredit Israel are failing. We are all better off – particularly Israelis and Palestinians – when there is strong trade between the UK and Israel, because it leads to tremendous economic growth, innovation and, most crucially, more jobs for all.”
So far in 2014 there have been 37 mergers, acquisitions and initial public offerings (IPOs) involving companies in the two countries, or Israeli firms being floated in the UK, The Jewish Chronicle noted.