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Boycotts hit Israeli exports

July 2, 2012

Thursday, April 16. 2009
 European boycotts in response to Israel’s attacks on Gaza have reportedly resulted in a fifth of Israeli exporters reporting a drop in demand, according to surveys.

The Israel Manufacturers Association reported last week that 21 per cent of 90 local exporters who were questioned as part of the survey felt the boycotts had created a drop in demand, mostly from the UK and Scandinavian countries.

A report from the Israel Export Institute last month said that 10 per cent of 400 polled exporters received order cancellation notices this year due to the Gaza invasion.

Dan Katrivas, head of the foreign trade department at the Israel Manufacturers Association, reportedly said: “There is no doubt that a red light has been switched on.”

He added: “We are closely following what’s happening with exporters who are running into problems with boycotts.”

He said that in Britain there existed “a special problem regarding the export of agricultural produce from Israel”.

British government officials met last week with food industry representatives to discuss the issue.

In recent months, the Israeli financial press has reported the impact of mounting calls to boycott goods from the Jewish state.

Gil Erez, Israel’s commercial attache in London, reportedly told a paper: “Organisations are bombarding [British] retailers with letters, asking that they remove Israeli merchandise from the shelves.”

Finance journalists have reported that Israeli hi-tech, food and agribusiness companies suffered adversely following Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza, and called for government intervention to protect businesses from a growing boycott.

Consumer boycotts in Europe have targeted food produce such as Israeli oranges, avocados and herbs, while in Turkey the focus has been on agribusiness products such as pesticides and fertilisers.

The bulk of Israeli export is in components, especially hi-tech products such as Intel chips and flashcards for mobile phones. It is thought that the consumer goods targeted by boycott campaigns represent around three per cent to five per cent of the Israeli export economy.

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