BY SAM FIELDS
If the 138 to 9 UN vote for Palestinian admission does not convince the Israeli population that they are on a Rightwing road to self-destruction, I wonder if anything will.
Sadly, the upcoming January elections will make it clear they didn’t. Probably nothing will until it is too late.
There is every reason to believe the Likud alliance with the fascist party of Avigdor Lieberman will triumph.
There are 193 members of the UN. Along with the U.S., Canada and the Czech Republic, the only votes Israel could muster were Panama and four other countries that you probably did not even know were countries much less members of the UN: The Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau and the ever popular Pacific powerhouse Micronesia.
Israel learned nothing. Its response was to double-down.
The next day the Israeli government poked the world and the UN in the eye with a sharp stick by announcing they intend to build 3000 more houses in the occupied territories. England, France and Holland made noise about calling home their ambassadors.
Rather than being driven by the national interest of Israel, the government of Benjamin Netanyahu’s response was to throw red meat to its political base and send more settlers into the West Bank. That works well in a parliamentary system where all you need is a plurality to form the next government.
It’s so, so sad. That’s because Israel is, pound for pound, one of the most dynamic and productive countries in the world. Whether measured by Nobel Prize winners, patents, inventions or productivity this country, the size of New Jersey, is a model of success.
Here’s an amazing fact. Israelis have registered more patents in the U.S. than China, Russian and India combined. That’s a country of 7 million versus 2.5 billion people!
Unfortunately and inevitably it’s only a matter of time before Israel’s poisonous political atmosphere begins to drive a brain-drain of the smart and creative folks. It will resemble Jews fleeing German in the 1930’s or the middle-class bolting Cuba.
Hiding Israeli Ties
If that seems farfetched a recent experience I had is a harbinger.
In November, I converted my house to solar energy
I paid quite a few dollars extra to buy American. One exception were “inverters” to convert the solar generated electricity from DC to AC.
It was not surprising that the best ones come from Israel. With few natural resources, Israel has always led the way in solar energy.
When I purchased two 5000-watt inverters my contractor told me the manufacturer, SolarEdge, was Israeli.
You certainly wouldn’t know it if you looked at the box, manual, equipment or even the company website.
It takes researching the officers and top management to learn that SolarEdge is a subsidiary of a company owned by Israelis.
I have little doubt that a marketing decision was made to avoid connecting SolarEdge with the nation that is now a pariah, although it’s been the cutting edge in solar energy.
How strange is that? It would be like trying to conceal the French origin of a bottle of champagne or the Japanese DNA of a SLR camera.
You don’t have to look very hard to discover that boycotts of Israel and Israeli products are growing around the world. We are not just talking about Muslims. One need only look at the Wikipedia entry Boycotts of Israel to see that a variety of Western governments, churches, unions and other organizations are boycotting business with Israel and companies that do business with Israel.
The people who are risking startup capital are not going to want to add political controversy to their investment. The people seeking that money will have no choice but to drop Israel as the manufacturing location to save their project.
Right now masking an Israeli origin seems enough. But when an Israeli connection hurts the bottom line the “brain drain” and flight of capital could be like it was in pre-1990 South Africa.