The Israeli government is working on ways to counter the boycott threat, particularly from Europe, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told a conference of the European Jewish Congress this week.
“I have heard before and I have to agree to some extent that we do not have a clear-enough policy for Europe and we are working on it,” he said, referring to plans for fighting BDS.
“Let me remind you that our Foreign Minister [Avigdor Lieberman] came back to office just recently and he is devoted to this, we are devoted to this and we are going to work together.”
Earlier this year, Lapid warned about the threat of burgeoning boycotts from Europe in the event of a collapse in peace talks. Even a low-scale boycott would “hit every Israeli citizen directly in his pocket,” Lapid said in January.
Lapid made his initial comments after several European pension funds, including one of the world’s largest, divested their holdings in Israeli banks because of their involvement in the economy of West Bank settlements.
This week, Lapid dismissed the BDS movement’s claim that Israel should be boycotted because of the settlements. “they kind of forgot this conflict started long before” there were any settlements.