The Israel boycott is back in the news this week. A Wisconsin bill that prohibits agencies from working with companies that boycott Israel passed the State Senate.
If the bill passes the Assembly and is signed by Governor Scott Walker, companies would be compelled to stop participating in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Since the movement’s founding in 2005, more than half of the states in the U.S. have passed some form of legislation against the BDS movement.
Still, the movement is there, and many people jump blindly on board without realizing how much Israel gives to the U.S.
In 2013, the Washington Institute for Near East Policy published an article discussing how the America gains from its alliance with Israel.
One particular example talks about the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Two years prior to the incident, medical experts from Israel helped update the Massachusetts General Hospital’s disaster response plan to handle mass-casualty incidents. Israel’s expertise in treating victims of terrorist attacks allowed doctors and nurses to share their best practices with their American counterparts, including methods for locating fragments lodged deep in wounds and the best ways to distribute the wounded to hospitals.
Israel has contributed much to the U.S., from intelligence sharing to counterterrorism cooperation, and the development of missile defense and unmanned aerial vehicles. Israel has also brought medical and high-tech advances that help America maintain its competitive edge.
On the economic level, Israel generates the most export dollars per job.
Part of the reason why high-paying jobs in the United States are tied with Israel is due to the level of direct investment Israel sends to the U.S.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, cumulative investments from Israel to the United States through 2013 topped China, Finland and other countries.
Investments are spread throughout the country, from Alaska to conservative states like South Carolina, which passed a law that requires companies to certify that they will not participate in the BDS movement. From real estate investment to business investment, Israel invests in the state in many ways.
Every state in the U.S. also has an economic relationship with Israel. Even Alaska did more than $285,000 in trade with Israel in 2014. New York did more than $6.3 billion in trade with Israel that same year. South Carolina did more than $120 million in trade with Israel.
Binational programs, like the Binational Industrial Research and Development Foundation (BIRD), Binational Science Foundation (BSF), and the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Foundation (BARD), help advance technology, science and industry in both countries. Both countries contribute equal amounts to the programs, and each program has helped contribute to a better quality of life in its own way.
It is estimated that the number of U.S. jobs created through the binational foundations is between 18,000 and 50,000. Total economic benefits total $7.7 billion and $700 milllion in tax revenue.
With all of this data in mind, the encouragement of boycotts on economic, scientific and academic levels has a direct negative impact on Americans.