yair lapid

Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid has become the latest senior official to warn about the serious impact of growing boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns targeting Israel.

“The world seems to be losing patience with us,” Lapid told the Hebrew edition of Ynet on 10 January.

“In the case of Horizon 2020 (a scientific collaboration with Europe), we managed to avert the damage, and then all of a sudden, a boycott in American academia. We haven’t managed to create an effect around the Iranian agreement, because our voice was not sufficiently heard, because our standing is not as it should be. If we don’t make progress with the Palestinians, we will lose the support of the world and our legitimacy.”

Lapid, leader of the Yesh Atid faction, is the senior coalition partner of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Things do not look good”

Lapid added: “We have formulated complete scenarios as to what will happen if the boycott continues and exports are hurt. In all scenarios, things do not look good. The status quo will hit each of us in the pocket, will hurt every Israeli. We are export-oriented, and this [export trade] depends on our global standing.”

Lapid was particularly concerned about further announcements by Israel of new tenders for houses in illegal Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank.

Lapid’s frank comments come just days after Dutch pensions giant PGGM took the unprecedented decision to divest from all Israeli banks because of their role in the colonization program.

Interestingly, a 10 January report about Lapid’s comments on the English edition of Ynet by the same journalist mentions only Lapid’s criticism of the settlement tenders and omits his warning about the boycott.

String of warnings

Lapid, an alleged “centrist” who has habitually made anti-Arab comments, joins other senior politicians who have warned about the looming threat of boycott.

Recently, the chair of the governing coalition’s Habayit Hayehudi party said that boycott was the “greatest threat” Israel faced.

Justice minister and war crimes suspect Tzipi Livni also warned that “The boycott is moving and advancing uniformly and exponentially … Those who don’t want to see it, will end up feeling it.”

 

MRN

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