Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with three of his top ministers to discuss ways to deal with the threat of economic boycotts against Israel, media reported Monday.
The meeting on Sunday night was attended by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz, the reports said.
The meeting comes less than a fortnight after US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that Israel was facing a growing campaign of delegitimization which could worsen if peace talks with the PLO collapsed.
Maariv newspaper noted that Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who echoed Kerry’s sentiment in recent remarks, were not invited to Sunday’s meeting.
Israeli officials have refused to comment on the reports.
A growing number of governments and international businesses have said they will not trade with Israeli firms with ties to illegal settlements, highlighting the creeping success of a Palestinian-led boycott campaign.
The BDS movement — boycott, divestment and sanctions — works to convince governments, businesses and celebrities to cut ties with Israeli companies active in the occupied Palestinian territories, in a bid to repeat the success of the boycott which ended apartheid in South Africa.
In late January, US actress Scarlett Johansson was forced to choose between being an ambassador for Oxfam and taking on a new role as the public face of Israel’s SodaStream, which has a factory in the occupied West Bank, after the international aid group said the two roles were “incompatible.”
She resigned her position at Oxfam.
On the same day, Norway’s sovereign wealth fund blacklisted two Israeli companies involved in construction in annexed East Jerusalem.
Since Jan. 1, the European Union has blocked all grants and funding to Israeli entities operating beyond the pre-1967 war lines, sparking growing alarm in Israel.
(Agencies via Ma’an – www.maannews.net)