Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 50% in 2014 and expert says it’s due to the Gaza war and BDS (Updated)

Israel/Palestine
on 51 Comments

Foreign direct investment in Israel dropped by 50% in 2014 according to a 2015 World Investment Report issued yesterday by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Newsweek reports: Foreign investment in Israel drops by 50%

Foreign direct investment (FDI) in Israel dropped by almost 50% last year in comparison to the year before as the country continues to feel the effects of last summer’s Gaza conflict, a new UN report has revealed.

The report, published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), shows that only €5.7bn was invested into the country in 2014 in comparison with €10.5bn in 2013, a decrease of €4.8bn, or 46%. Israel’s FDI in other countries also decreased by 15%, from €4.2bn in in 2013 to €3.5bn last year.

Newsweek cites one of the authors of the report, Dr. Ronny Manos from the Open University of Israel, as speculating the declining investment is fallout from the Israeli military onslaught on Gaza last summer and “international boycotts” against Israel for “alleged violations of international law.”  Ynet adds that, according to Manos, “these are only conjectures that can explain the sharp decline”

As we reported in 2013 investment committees for European banks were considering recommending their institutions bar loans to Israeli companies that have economic links with the Palestinian occupied territories. At the time Haaretz reported the investment committees “submit a report to their clients with recommendations about where to invest − and where not to invest. The process of examining the Israeli companies that operate in West Bank settlements involved the exercise of due diligence.”

From Haaretz:

According to the report that landed on the relevant desks here, a large number of those investment committees considered recommending to the banks to prohibit loans or aid of any kind to Israeli companies that operate in the West Bank − manufacturing there, selling their products, building homes and so forth − and also to Israeli banks that grant mortgages to home builders or buyers across the Green Line

Investment committees do not issue recommendations to boycott or sanction per se. They make prudent investment recommendations and in the case of Israel, a recommendation of this nature functions as a warning to investors that profiting off the occupation, a business could become ensnared in being complicit and held legally responsible for crimes against international law.

Speaking of which, Palestine’s foreign minister Riad Malki visited the Hague today in his official capacity and submitted files to prosecutors at the International Criminal Court (ICC) charging Israeli with war crimes, the crime of apartheid, and other charges.

As an investor, it’s a matter of common sense not attaching your business to a potential minefield of liability.

Update:

Bisan Mitri, Palestinian BDS National Committee secretariat member said: 

Ten years after its launch, the BDS movement is being recognised by one of the authors of a UN report as starting to have major impacts on the Israeli economy.

Israel’s shift to the far-right, its intentional crimes against Palestinians and the BDS movement and rapid changes in public opinion following Israel’s massacre of Palestinians in Gaza last summer mean that Israel is increasingly becoming a less attractive investment destination.

Businesses who associate themselves with Israeli violations of international law such as G4S, Veolia and Orange are facing costly public campaigns and being held to account by the BDS movement. Major banks and investors are divesting from companies that participate in Israel’s crimes.

As Israeli fanatic right-wing ministers have been saying loudly and clearly recently, BDS is a rapidly growing grassroots movement that presents a real challenge to Israeli settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Recent economic BDS developments include:

The BNC is the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), the broad coalition of Palestinian civil society organisations that works to support the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement. 

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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51 Responses

  1. hophmi
    June 25, 2015, 4:31 pm

    “As an investor, it’s merely a matter of common sense not attaching your business to a potential minefield of liability.”

    And yet, it doesn’t seem to have stopped major companies like Apple and Intel from investing.

    In reality, almost every indicator is positive. There is a global slowdown and there are multiple conflict going on; FDI around the world dropped 16%, and Israel was coming off historic highs to begin it. Israel is considered a cyber superpower by the UN WIR. It also is the recipient of rising investment in its private funds, which totally cuts against the thesis that institutional investors are scared off by BDS.

    It’s easy to misread Roni Matos because she mentions both BDS and Protective Edge (and she represents one person’s opinion), but Protective Edge is a far, far large contributor to the drop than BDS is.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 25, 2015, 5:26 pm

      Protective Edge is a far, far large contributor to the drop than BDS is.

      perhaps you misunderstood the text of my article. my point was not that BDS is responsible for 50% drop in investment. try reading it again. my point — Israel is a bad investment.

      • RockyMissouri
        June 26, 2015, 11:44 am

        Thank you for your perspective.

      • hophmi
        June 27, 2015, 7:42 am

        “Israel is a bad investment”

        That was your point? Well, there are no empirical facts to back that up. I think maybe you mean that BDS means to make Israel a bad investment, because right now, it’s one of the better investments around.

    • diasp0ra
      June 26, 2015, 3:31 am

      “in reality”

      It’s a UNCTAD report, you can’t get more real than that. I’m seriously starting to believe you live in a different reality from the rest of us when you dismiss all evidence in many articles and studies by going “but in the real world”.

      Has it ever occurred to you that maybe we are the ones in the real world and you live under the privileged rock of denial?

    • Kay24
      June 26, 2015, 10:08 am

      According to that narrative, it seems Israel is doing it to itself by displaying it’s “brilliance” at attacking unarmed civilians, sending precision bombs into homes, and decimating a city.

      After that BDS takes over and does the needful.

      Maybe Israel should end the occupation, stop the land theft, if they want the investments to pour in. Simple.

  2. diasp0ra
    June 25, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Only the tip of the iceberg. The world is slowly waking up.

    Even in Germany, a country where any negative mention of Israel by formal institutions and most of the mainstream ones is considered taboo, a new report shows that the vast majority of Germans have a very poor opinion about the Israeli government. With only 19 percent of all Germans having a favorable view of the Israeli government.

    https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/BSt/Publikationen/GrauePublikationen/Studie_LW_Germany_and_Israel_today_2015.pdf

    • just
      June 25, 2015, 8:19 pm

      diasp0ra~ I think that some Germans just got a bucket of ice water tossed in their faces:

      “Israeli diplomat in Berlin: Maintaining German guilt about Holocaust helps Israel

      A spokeswoman for the Israeli embassy in Berlin recently told Israeli journalists it was in the country’s interest to maintain German guilt about the Holocaust, and that it isn’t seeking full normalization of relations between the governments. …”

      – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2015/06/controversy-ignites-flotilla#sthash.uGm0Xo16.dpuf

      • CigarGod
        June 26, 2015, 8:07 am

        Yep…”in the real world”, stuff like this won’t go away…right, Hophmi?

      • RockyMissouri
        June 26, 2015, 11:50 am

        That’s just gross. And offensive.

  3. amigo
    June 25, 2015, 4:38 pm

    I have to wonder if Adelson and co got an advance warning of this just last week and put together that rushed meeting to fight BDS.

    It is great to know that something is getting their gander up.A 50% drop in direct FI is very significant but watch for the usual suspects making like it,s no big deal.

    The number 1 disease amongst Zionists must be self delusion and denial.

    • lysias
      June 25, 2015, 4:42 pm

      Surely Adelson has more than enough to make up the shortfall, easily. Is he too cheap to pony up?

      And it wouldn’t be like he was throwing the money away. It would be an investment. (Unless he thinks investing in Israel is throwing money away. Which perhaps it is.)

    • DoubleStandard
      June 25, 2015, 4:59 pm

      Foreign investment in the US dropped by more than 50 percent — worse than Israel.

      You can’t just check up on Israel; that is intellectual laziness. If you look at the rest of the developed world, investment fell by 28 percent.

      Nothing to do with boycotts or Gaza.

      See my post below yours, please.

  4. DoubleStandard
    June 25, 2015, 4:42 pm

    http://unctad.org/sections/dite_dir/docs/wir2015/wir15_fs_il_en.pdf

    Here is a timeline chart of foreign investment in Israel:

    9 637 9 095 8 055 11 804 6 432
    2005-07 2011 2012 2013 2014

    The decline this year doesn’t really indicate anything. Assuming the decline owes to the Gaza war, it is ludicrous to think that foreign investment in Israel dropped so much.

    Let’s do the math: suppose Israel got “x” dollars of foreign investment last year, and is expected to get “x” again this year. Also assume the investment would be evenly distributed throughout the year (this may not be the case, but close enough). Therefore, in the first half of 2014, Israel should have gotten 0.5x dollars of investment. For it to finish with that, it would have to get practically ZERO foreign investment at all for the remainder of 2014. This is made convenient by the fact the Gaza war happened in July, roughly halfway through the year. BDS has gained steam, but not enough to totally dry up all foreign investment.

    Second of all, Annie’s analysis (if you can call it that) is misleading because it compares this year to last year and then gloats at the decline. If you consider all the data though, it seems that 2013 was just an explosive year for Israel; an anomaly. 2014’s decline is easily attributable to economic factors if you compare it to 2012, 2011, or the 2005-2007 average.

    It may give you guys a BDS rush to think your fanaticism is paying off, but the global economy is a complicated picture and isn’t so susceptible to the picketing of anti-Zionist zealots.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 25, 2015, 5:34 pm

      Annie’s analysis (if you can call it that) is misleading because it compares this year to last year

      actually i didn’t even mention this year, nor did i do any yearly comparatives (at all) in my “analysis”. .

    • DoubleStandard
      June 25, 2015, 5:59 pm

      The 50 percent drop you quoted means 50 percent from last year (2013).

      It wasn’t an accusation.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2015, 6:13 pm

        It wasn’t an accusation.

        “Annie’s analysis is misleading “?

        how is that not accusatory? why not just claim ynet’s analysis is misleading, or newsweek’s? if that’s the ‘analysis’ you’re referencing.

        regarding the 2015 report, i reported what was stated and reported by newsweek and ynet. my only commentary (what you reference as analysis) is at the end which acts as a critique buttressing the analysis by the israeli expert. and is backed up by 2013 press reports about the coming year (2014).

      • DoubleStandard
        June 25, 2015, 6:22 pm

        It’s more confusing that way, but yes — you are just quoting.

      • Mooser
        June 25, 2015, 10:28 pm

        “It’s more confusing that way, but yes — you are just quoting.”

        Yes, that whole “quoting” idea, along with “reporting” seems to be very confusing to Zionists.

    • JLewisDickerson
      June 25, 2015, 9:44 pm

      HERE is a timeline chart of direct foreign investment in Israel
      SOURCE – http://www.tradingeconomics.com/israel/foreign-direct-investment/forecast

    • Qualtrough
      June 26, 2015, 2:22 pm

      DoubleStandard: The more time you waste here telling us how BDS is not and will not be a threat to Israel the more obvious it is that you don’t believe that. Even Netanyahu is worried about BDS. Did you not get the memo?

  5. James North
    June 25, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Hasbara Central must be truly worried about these economic statistics. Two hasbarists have already rushed to this thread to insist that Israel continues to thrive.

    If there is no problem, why are they here?

    • echinococcus
      June 25, 2015, 5:44 pm

      Starts looking as if posts by the MW resident Zionist propaganda writers are not even accepted on Zionist discussion boards (no wonder, looking at the content) and that’s why they publish here. The MW checkpoint seems to have decided to give them all the rope they want.

    • DaBakr
      June 25, 2015, 6:06 pm

      @jn

      you make this same comment every time a so-called “hasbara central” comment points out serious flaws in MW ‘analysis of data-be it economic, personal or social. Couldn’t the same be said about an ‘editor’ who comes on and basically spouts a pee-wee hermanesque line similar to you being rubber and Hasbro Central being glue. If there is no problem why comment at all?

      @ec
      as usual I have no f’n clue as to what nonsense about ‘Zionist discussion boards’ your writing about. MW is perfectly capable of banning any comments from pro-Zionists by simply changing its policy.

      • DoubleStandard
        June 25, 2015, 6:22 pm

        “you make this same comment every time a so-called “hasbara central” comment points out serious flaws in MW ‘analysis of data-be it economic, personal or social. ”

        +1

        And those flaws are numerous in quantity and egregious in nature.

      • Annie Robbins
        June 25, 2015, 8:11 pm

        a so-called “hasbara central” comment points out serious flaws in MW ‘analysis

        dabkr, i’m really not understanding what MW analysis you’re referencing here. no one has even addressed the only thing that could be construed as ‘MW analysis’ in the entire article.

      • Mooser
        June 25, 2015, 10:31 pm

        “And those flaws are numerous in quantity and egregious in nature.”

        That bad? Gee, I’m surprised you guys let Annie post on your blog.

  6. just
    June 25, 2015, 6:09 pm

    Delightful news, Annie!

    Thanks for bringing it here.

    • Annie Robbins
      June 26, 2015, 1:54 pm

      thanks just. hey, i was just interviewed about this story on scott horton’s radio show. exciting.

      • just
        June 26, 2015, 2:11 pm

        woo- Hoo!

        Well- deserved, annie. ;-) Sorry I missed you!

      • Annie Robbins
        June 26, 2015, 2:12 pm

        ;) maybe it will get replayed i have no idea. i have not heard it myself.

      • Kay24
        June 26, 2015, 4:40 pm

        Congratulations Annie, I wish I had heard it too. Any chance of linking it for your friends here?

  7. Citizen
    June 25, 2015, 6:35 pm

    In comparison, the global drop was 16%, and 28% re developing countries. It was Israel’s biggest drop since 2010.

    http://www.jpost.com/Business-and-Innovation/UN-Israels-foreign-direct-investment-dropped-46-percent-in-2014-407152

  8. Laurent Weppe
    June 25, 2015, 7:39 pm

    I daresay that there’s a much more powerful phenomenon than BDS at work here: remember that interview given by Avraham Burg eight years ago, when he pretty much said that Israel was toast because its elites were already planning their exit?

    If the Israeli elites do not believe in Israel’s long-term viability, Why would foreign elites invest in a polity their local peers see as a fated to collapse? It just took longer for the economic Powers That Be to notice the writings on the wall that Burg had already noticed back then and to adapt their behavior in accordance to their perceived self-interest.

    • Froggy
      June 25, 2015, 9:34 pm

      Laurent Weppe : “I daresay that there’s a much more powerful phenomenon than BDS at work here: remember that interview given by Avraham Burg eight years ago, when he pretty much said that Israel was toast because its elites were already planning their exit?”

      The image of rats leaving a sinking ship comes to mind.

      • Laurent Weppe
        June 26, 2015, 2:00 pm

        Rats leave the ship when it is lost.
        Here it’s more akin to first class passengers deciding to leave the luxury cruiser because the captain and the rest of the officers would rather sink their own ship than allow the third class out of the cargo hold.

  9. Kay24
    June 26, 2015, 8:17 am

    Despite the pooh-poohing, it seems BDS is hitting the occupier very hard. This must be accurate, or else why should Bibi declare war on BDS, put in millions to fight it, and get his little mindless minions to parrot that it is “anti-semitism”.

    Here is one way they seem to be getting around it:

    “But the product called Moroccanoil — and some other argan-oil based hair treatments — is actually manufactured in Israel (and only contains a proportion of the raw oil, combined with lots of the nasties that go into most other mainstream cosmetics).

    Moroccanoil’s Israeli links, however, take a back seat on the company’s website.

    The product’s origin only is mentioned just twice on that site . One is tucked away in the terms and conditions section.

    The other is a disingenuous little note titled “Behind the brand,” which reads: “Our story began when our co-founder, Carmen Tal, was traveling in Israel. After a color service that left her hair badly damaged, a friend brought her to a salon where she experienced an astonishing oil treatment. The result was that her hair instantly transformed from damaged to shiny, smooth and manageable.”

    https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/sarah-irving/moroccanoil-israeli-hair-products-glamorize-apartheid

    Ah those devious zionists. Someone should put out a list of such products so that consumers around the world will know.

    50 percent investment dropped eh? No one deserves it more.

    PS
    Morrocanoil is carried by Nordstrom and Amazon.com

  10. CigarGod
    June 26, 2015, 8:18 am

    Love it.
    The nice thing about what we consume and how we invest, is that it’s like the voting booth. You may not voice your real feelings in public for fear of losing business or social status, but in the privacy of the booth, it is just us…and our growing sense of justice.

  11. Citizen
    June 26, 2015, 8:43 am

    Obama’s trade bill passed–complete with an AIPAC amendment that targets EU for daring to BDS Israel’s OT products: http://www.jta.org/2015/06/25/news-opinion/politics/congress-writes-boycott-opposition-into-trade-talks
    Is there any bill on any issue that Congress passes that does not come complete with more penalties for agents and organizations anywhere that join BDS efforts to at least target OT business? These pieces of pork for a rogue foreign country’s benefit are never mentioned in the US main media.

    • CigarGod
      June 26, 2015, 9:49 am

      AIPAC openly celebrates their success in your link. I’m sure if we looked at the donations made to the rep and dem sponsors listed in your link, we’d find the money. We always do. Bribery doesnt even make people blink anymore. We are more and more like a corrupt little banana republic.

    • Froggy
      June 26, 2015, 11:09 am

      Citizen : “Obama’s trade bill passed–complete with an AIPAC amendment that targets EU for daring to BDS Israel’s OT products….”

      Okay…. The EU can BDS all Israeli products, both OT and Israeli domestic. That’s a simple solution.

      ‘The bill “urges the U.S. Trade Representative to seek the elimination of politically-motivated economic attacks on Israel by America’s free trade partners,” AIPAC said….’

      http://www.jta.org/2015/06/25/news-opinion/politics/congress-writes-boycott-opposition-into-trade-talks

      Yeah. Good luck with that.

  12. brenda at fol
    June 26, 2015, 9:01 am

    Note Israeli outflows also fell–from 4671 to 3975 million.

    And for comparison, Palestine’s inflow also went down, but by only about 29% (compared to Israel’s down by 46%), and Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon (Israel’s other neighbours) all went up slightly.

  13. Citizen
    June 26, 2015, 9:47 am

    Sheldon Adelson is unelected US trade and vital energy rep for both US & Israel: http://www.haaretz.com/news/israel/.premium-1.663097

  14. Kay24
    June 26, 2015, 10:58 am

    OT, but it seems Bibi is threatening Iran (again) even if there IS a nuclear deal. Let’s not forget that we are told ad nauseam that it is poor little Israel that is threatened.

    “Netanyahu sends implicit threat to Iran ahead of nuclear deadline
    ‘Israel will always defend itself, and its air force will play a major role,’ prime minister says in comments at pilots’ graduation ceremony.

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted Thursday that Israel may attack Iran’s nuclear facilities, even if Tehran and the powers nail down a historic deal to curtail Iran’s nuclear program next week.” Haaretz

    • CigarGod
      June 26, 2015, 11:02 am

      He’s a dedicated Chicken Little, isn’t he?
      As most mainlining hysteria, are.

      • Kay24
        June 26, 2015, 12:56 pm

        Not only Chicken Little, but Chickenshet too. He can also be called the Booby who cries “wolf”.
        Heh.

  15. jacobgypsum
    June 25, 2016, 10:25 pm

    According to the World Investment Report 2016, FDI inflow to Israel in 2015 was up 71% compared to 2014, nearly reaching the 2013 level, and much more than in 2012. Suck it up, idiots!

    • Annie Robbins
      June 25, 2016, 11:33 pm

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-05-16/israeli-economy-slows-in-first-quarter-as-exports-plummet

      May 16, 2016: Israeli Economy Slows in First Quarter as Exports Plummet

      The Israeli economy slowed far more sharply than expected in the first quarter as exports plunged, prompting calls for government investment to boost growth.
      Gross domestic product expanded at an annualized rate of 0.8 percent in the January-March period compared with a revised 3.1 percent in the previous three months, the Central Bureau of Statistics said Monday. Exports, excluding diamonds and startups, sank 12.9 percent. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey had been for 2.6 percent growth.
      “Exports are going through a very difficult period and the impact on GDP was worse than expected,” Alex Zabezhinsky, chief economist at Meitav DS Investments Ltd., said by phone, citing Israeli makers of pharmaceuticals and electronic components as the hardest hit. “This is going to continue to affect growth all year.”

      The Bank of Israel has been reluctant to use unconventional tools, such as the negative rates adopted by other central banks, to stimulate the economy after 20 months of annualized price drops and tepid growth. The new data should propel government policy makers to act more aggressively to stave off a recession, said Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel.

      ‘Dangerous Direction’

      “The Israel economy has been moving in a dangerous direction for a long time,” Brosh said in an e-mail. The government, he said, must take steps to “promote industrial growth and exports, improve productivity and create new jobs in the private sector.”

      Sluggish global demand and the strength of the shekel have hurt overseas sales, which account for about a third of the $300 billion economy. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd., one of the country’s largest insurers, lowered its 2016 growth forecast last week to 2.7 percent from 3 percent. Zabezhinsky says growth will probably be about 2 percent.

      The fourth-quarter figure was revised downward from an earlier estimate of 3.8 percent released a month ago.

      Because private consumption rose 4 percent and capital investments went up 17.3 percent, the numbers “are not weak enough for the BOI to use the interest rate tool,” said Rafi Gozlan, chief economist at Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. “Yet we believe that due to the downward trend in exports, the low inflation and the strong shekel, the BOI will increase its volumes in the forex market.” The central bank’s benchmark rate has been 0.1 percent for more than a year.

      Market Reaction

      The shekel weakened 0.8 percent to 3.8149 per dollar, the lowest level since April 6 at 6:17 p.m. in Tel Aviv. The Tel Aviv benchmark index of stocks closed down 0.1 percent.

      Beyond the decline in exports, economic indicators are strengthening, said Ori Greenfeld, chief economist at Psagot Investment House, pointing to growth in consumption and investment.
      “It’s not as bad as it looks,” he said. “The bottom line is that even if we don’t see exports rebounding, we may see yearly growth holding strong.”

      Sales of Israeli goods are plagued by several industry-specific problems, Zabezhinsky at Meitav said. Intel Corp., which has large production facilities in Israel, is suffering from the global slowdown in the personal computer sector, he said. Pharmaceutical companies, an important Israeli export industry, are in a “negative momentum” and may cut investments, he said.

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