EU boycott would cost Israel millions, says Israeli government-commissioned report

PNN/Bethlehem/

A boycott of Israel by the European Union would cost billions according to a government-commissioned report, further details of which appeared in the Israeli media this week, reports Middle East Monitor.

The study was initiated in 2013 by then-Finance Minister Yair Lapid, and examines possible scenarios based on different types of punitive measures.

In the least severe scenario envisaged, the EU would lead a voluntary boycott of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, leading to a loss to Israeli exports of around 1 billion shekels per annum.

Other scenarios envisaged include the EU blocking settlement products and a partial boycott from non-EU states, costing a NIS 4.37 billion drop in exports.

Israel’s worst case scenario would mean a complete embargo on Israeli products in Europe, with damage amounting to NIS 84.4 billion in lost exports, and a NIS 40 billion drop in GDP.

“Today, the issue of a boycott is being advanced by non-governmental organizations and promoted by people who enjoy high public profiles”, the report states.

Noting the experience of Apartheid South Africa, the report comments: “The tipping point in Israel’s international relationships could push Israel’s economy from its current growth path to another path in which the Israeli economy returns to be a relatively closed one and the quality of life is lower.”

The release of the report comes just after US President Barak Obama signed a fast-track bill for a controversial free-trade agreement between the US and Europe, which contains significant anti-BDS legislation obligating EU countries to refrain from boycotts on Israeli settlement goods.