Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 50% in 2014 and expert says it’s due to the Gaza war and BDS

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 50% in 2014 according to a 2015 World Investment Report issued yesterday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Newsweek reports: Foreign investment in Israel drops by 50%

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Israel dropped by almost 50% last year in comparison to the year before as the country continues to feel the effects of last summer’s Gaza conflict, a new UN report has revealed.

The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), shows that only €5.7bn was invested into the country in 2014 in comparison with €10.5bn in 2013, a decrease of €4.8bn, or 46%. Israel’s FDI in other countries also decreased by 15%, from €4.2bn in in 2013 to €3.5bn last year.

Newsweek cites one of the authors of the report, Dr. Ronny Manos from the Open University of Israel, as speculating the declining investment is fallout from the Israeli military onslaught on Gaza last summer and “international boycotts” against Israel for “alleged violations of international law.”  Ynet adds that, according to Manos, “these are only conjectures that can explain the sharp decline”

As we reported in 2013 investment committees for European banks were considering recommending their institutions bar loans to Israeli companies that have economic links with the Palestinian occupied territories. At the time Haaretz reported the investment committees “submit a report to their clients with recommendations about where to invest − and where not to invest. The process of examining the Israeli companies that operate in West Bank settlements involved the exercise of due diligence.”

From Haaretz:

According to the report that landed on the relevant desks here, a large number of those investment committees considered recommending to the banks to prohibit loans or aid of any kind to Israeli companies that operate in the West Bank − manufacturing there, selling their products, building homes and so forth − and also to Israeli banks that grant mortgages to home builders or buyers across the Green Line

Investment committees do not issue recommendations to boycott or sanction per se. They make prudent investment recommendations and in the case of Israel, a recommendation of this nature functions as a warning to investors that profiting off the occupation, a business could become ensnared in being complicit and held legally responsible for crimes against international law.

Speaking of which, Palestine’s foreign minister Riad Malki visited the Hague today in his official capacity and submitted files to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) charging Israeli with war crimes, the crime of apartheid, and other charges.

As an investor, it’s a matter of common sense not attaching your business to a potential minefield of liability.

Update:

Bisan Mitri, Palestinian BDS National Committee secretariat member said: 

Ten years after its launch, the BDS movement is being recognised by one of the authors of a UN report as starting to have major impacts on the Israeli economy.

Israel’s shift to the far-right, its intentional crimes against Palestinians and the BDS movement and rapid changes in public opinion following Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza last summer mean that Israel is increasingly becoming a less attractive investment destination.

Businesses who associate themselves with Israeli violations of international law such as G4S, Veolia and Orange are facing costly public campaigns and being held to account by the BDS movement. Major banks and investors are divesting from companies that participate in Israel’s crimes.

As Israeli fanatic right-wing ministers have been saying loudly and clearly recently, BDS is a rapidly growing grassroots movement that presents a real challenge to Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Recent economic BDS developments include:

The BNC is the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that works to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. 

thanks to: Mondoweiss

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