Are Palestinians conducting business with Israelis

There is an international movement called BDS. Founded by Omar Barghouti, who curiously enough studied at Tel Aviv University, it seeks to impose an international boycott on Israel, cultural and economic, whether the subject matter relates to Israel pre or post 1967 borders.

So if 171 non-governmental Palestinian organisations started off the protest, you would surely expect to see all Palestinians running from any opportunity to support business relations with Israel?

And then along comes Hani Alami, 43 years old and star of the thriving Palestinian telecom scene. Alami has just purchased 30% of Alvarion, former pioneer of the Israeli internet industry. According to a Hebrew article, the bidding closed around 48 million shekels, or say about US$14 million.

And this poses the question, whis other Palestinians are trading with Israel?

Well, there is an official trade agreement between the two sides, signed at Prime Minister level. A joint chamber of commerce has been created. There is around 3 billion dollars of recorded annual trade. And this is in addition to a plethora of on-the-ground projects that are rarely featured in the international media – sharing water resources, open networking by CEOs, and even occasionally at mutual retail exchanges.

BDS is an evil non-sequiter. Peace can only come through promoting cooperation and further mutual understanding, but by definition BDS prohibits the two sides coming together. And if BDS was so interested in human rights, why does it not object to Palestinians trading with auhtoritarian countries like China or Russia, and why does it not complain about Hamas executions of criminals?

A proponent of Israel advocay, David Olesker, recently wrote that “most reasonable people who are generally supportive of Israel’s rights can’t easily be seduced by the conceptual frame that defines a world where “Israel is the problem.” However, they can fall prey to its less extreme form of the frame, which can be summed up as “Israel is the issue.”……If Israel is the issue, then all problems can ultimately be resolved only by actions on Israel’s part.”

And thus BDS supporters would have us close the circle, except that there are still enough Palestinians out there who understand that hatred serves…….. hatred. It never creates prosperity nor harmony. Witness Alami, who would happily show you how much Israeli tech has been installed into the Palestinian mobile and telecom sector in recent years.

About the Author
Michael Horesh is a recognised business coach and mentor, and has helped clients collectively to create millions in added value over the past decade. He has substantial understanding of the workings of the Israeli economy and the financial situation of the Palestinians, as well as an incisive way of looking at Middle East issues.