Report: Netanyahu Tells UK That Boycotting Israel Would Be EU’s Loss
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu impressed upon British Prime Minister David Cameron that efforts in Europe to restrict trade with the Jewish state could cost the continent access to Israeli tech and strategic influence in the region, the U.K. Jewish Chronicle reported on Thursday.
According to a high-level Israeli source, the prime minister stressed that Indian and Chinese investment could surpass Europe’s in the Jewish state, especially amid increasing efforts in Europe to limit business between its companies and Jewish settlement-related enterprises.
Netanyahu’s visit to London, as well as his statements, came a few days after E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s announcement that the E.U. was close to finalizing policy regarding labeling products from Israeli settlements, a move supported by Britain and at least 15 other European states, including France and Spain.
Netanyahu’s message to the U.K. and Europe was clear: “Europe should support Israel — not pressure Israel, not attack Israel, but support Israel, which is the only real shield that Europe and the Middle East have against extremist Islam, which is surging,” he told reporters in London, according to the JC.
In remarks to his British counterpart, Netanyahu encouraged closer ties between the countries, specifically on technology.
“The future belongs to those who innovate,” he said. “Britain and Israel are two great centers of technology. Israel is a global hub of innovation, especially in cyber security. And I think that if we pull our resources together we can offer a better future and great prosperity.”
Cameron and other senior British officials have rejected a boycott of Israel and actually stressed growing trade between the two countries, which British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid valued at about $7 billion per year.
Both China and India have boosted investment in Israel, with some predicting $500 million in Chinese investment for Israeli high-tech in 2015.