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‘Haaretz’ analyst says surging BDS movement may be contributing to falling shekel

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Haaretz photo caption:”An ad starring Scarlett Johansson. Indirectly, she’s influencing the shekel, analysts say.”       (Photo by SodaStream Frame grab)

Rafi Gozlan, the chief economist at Leader Capital Markets, one of Israel’s top investment banks, is speculating that the threat of boycott and sanctions against Israel, as well as the controversy surrounding Scarlett Johansson’s global ambassadorship for SodaStream, could have contributed to the weakening of the shekel.

There’s no doubt about it, we’re moving to another level of public discourse when Haaretz reports on the dollar reaching the highest rate against shekel in a month with a headline that reads Boycott worries may be undermining Israeli currency, economists say. The article included the above screenshot of SodaStream’s Johansson promotional with the caption: “Indirectly, she’s influencing the shekel, analysts say.”

Haaretz:

The dollar shot up 0.7% to a Bank of Israel rate of 3.521 shekels, setting the month-plus record. In late trading, the U.S. currency was at 3.528 shekels. The euro strengthened against the shekel by 0.2% to 4.75 shekels even as it weakened against the dollar.

….. The central bank was apparently prompted to move when the shekel strengthened to 3.483 shekels on January 24. Since then the dollar has gained about 1% on the Israeli currency. FXCM said that as long as the greenback stays above 3.50, the trend favors the Bank of Israel toward a strengthening of the dollar.

Another factor that may be weighing on the shekel, rather than pushing the dollar higher, is the threat of boycotts and sanctions against the Israeli economy, said Gozlan. He said a spate of announcements of boycott actions by European banks and pension funds, as well as the controversy around Scarlett Johansson’s appearance in an Israeli company’s ad campaign, had drawn attention to the boycott efforts and may have scared off some investors.

“While the market isn’t assigning much importance to it right now, if the boycott issue grows it could easily weaken the shekel,” Gozlan warned.

The shekel weakened against the dollar after Israel’s central bank, the Bank of Israel, along with Israel’s Finance ministry “aggressively” intervened in the market by purchasing a “massive” $500 million last week to halt the appreciation of the shekel “to act to balance the exchange rate so it’s not hurting exports as much.” Israeli exporters have been lobbying for a halt to the climbing shekel, the world’s strongest currency last year, for awhile. Purchasing foreign currency is routine, but some of last months interventions were unexpected, characterized as “surprising” and intervening to a “major extent“.  Monday Bloomberg Business Week reported “the shekel’s best days may be over”.

And as we reported last month, some Israeli exporters (settler farmers) in the Palestinian breadbasket of the Jordan Valley are getting nervous.  According to Bloomberg Business Week Israel’s exporters are expecting to double job cuts this year.

So are those SodaStream bubbles beginning to look like falling shekels yet?

Last week the Economist, in covering the SodaStream/Johansson fiasco, linked to Omar Barghouti’s excellent op ed in the New York Times explaining “Israel has watched with growing anxiety” as Palestinian activists forced Johansson to make a decision over her loyalties to Oxfam or apartheid SodaStream. It’s another great read.

The Economist:

Israel has deliberately set about to erase the lines between its pre-1967 borders and the settlements, in both physical and economic terms. With the state subsidising housing and economic development in the settlements, Israeli financial institutions have no real way to extricate themselves from the settlement project. Earlier this year that led to the decision by PGGM, a major Dutch pension fund, to cut off its tens of millions of euros’ worth of investments in Israel’s top five banks: it could not reconcile them with its corporate code of ethics. Other large European financial institutions are considering doing the same. Israeli infrastructure companies are equally unable to separate themselves from activities in the territories, and European infrastructure firms have now begun cutting off joint ventures with Israeli counterparts. Like Ms Johansson, they are finally being forced to choose.

…Ms Johansson isn’t the only one in this drama who has tried to have things both ways for as long as possible. Israel has watched with growing anxiety as Palestinian activists have succeeded in forcing Oxfam and Ms Johansson to make a choice. The divestment of European firms, the growing power of liberal Jewish organisations that oppose and denounce the occupation, the intense blitz of visits by John Kerry to force progress in the peace process, the widening cracks in Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition: all of this points to what Thomas Friedman characterised this week as a turning point in the relationship to the territories. The question of whether Israel has the intention and the willpower to ever pull out is finally going to have to be answered. Last week a top Israeli think tank laid out a new bottom line: if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel is simply going to have to unilaterally pull out of the 85% of the West Bank it hasn’t directly occupied. The indecision, the deferral, the fantasy of Greater Israel is going to have to end.

P.S. I got raked over the coals by the Jewish News yesterday for reporting that SodaStream stock fell Monday, and an analyst cited the negative effect of possible “sanctions over Jewish Settlements“. I can’t wait for the News to read Haaretz.

(Hat tip Tom Pessah)

annie
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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53 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    February 5, 2014, 4:56 pm

    So far, this BDS-hurts-Israel talk is just worries by people trained to worry. So far, actual harm has been bupkis — though noticeable.

    The fear (and talk like this should encourage the fear as well as encourage that which is feared) is that BDS is just getting started and that the too long (1945-2013) European sympathetic willingness to side with Jews no matter what is losing that “no matter what” part.

    The Israeli economists are saying, “Oops! Maybe Zionism’s long get-out-of-jail-free-card ride is over.”

    I sure hope so. I hope the EU is listening.

    On a strictly legal basis — say “ensuring respect for the Fourth Geneva Convention under all circumstances” — Europe could tighten the screws on Israel without much cost to itself but with major, major consequences for Israel. Kerry/Obama seem to me to be inviting this sort of thing whilst still saying the words AIPAC wants to hear (except on Iran).

    • Krauss
      Krauss
      February 6, 2014, 4:19 am

      Annie, it may get worse for Sodastream:

      http://www.businessinsider.com/sodastream-is-tanking-2014-2

      The new drop is in afterhours, so we won’t see if it tanks until some hours from now as the stock opens. But it probably will.

      (Although this time it isn’t directly related to BDS; it’s still always fun when Sodastream loses, it sends the right signals).

  2. BillM
    BillM
    February 5, 2014, 5:10 pm

    Great story. This also highlights why the the boycott must target the decision-maker (Israel), and not the decision (the occupation). BTW, Annie, I hope you’ll do a take down of Matt Duss’s insipid article in the American Prospect (http://prospect.org/article/whats-responsible-progressive-position-israeli-settlements-boycott) on what the proper “progressive” position must be (i.e. a boycott of the settlements, but not a boycott of Israel). A boycott of the settlement products themselves can never be more than a pinprick to Israel, and Israel can afford to absorb that loss (especially given massive US funding). To change the decision-making calculus on any meaningful level (like the value of the shekel, for instance), the boycott needs to target Israel as a whole. No boycott targets just the offending product, it targets the decision maker as a whole.

    • annie
      annie
      February 5, 2014, 7:25 pm

      thanks for the link bill. i read it and started a response. not sure if i’ll get around to posting it front page.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        February 6, 2014, 10:18 am

        I replied to Duss online at Am Prospect and on my own blog.

        His argument for BDS-on-settlements-only is, IMO, weak or non-existent. Maybe confused thinking about the idea that a full-court-press-on-Israel BDS would somehow “delegitimize” Israel rather than merely press as hard as possible on the entire Israeli society (rather than just on the settlers and the few settler industries).

  3. John Douglas
    John Douglas
    February 5, 2014, 6:10 pm

    “… raked over the coals by Jewish News …”

    Good for you, Annie!! You wrote a clear, thorough report on some effects of the BDS movement and landed squarely in the sights of the typical, ugly, right wing hyperbolists. An honor by any measure.

  4. ritzl
    ritzl
    February 5, 2014, 6:25 pm

    You had me at “…easily….” (!!)

    From your “raking”:

    Mondoweiss’ Annie Robbins gleefully wrote that the Bloomberg headline ”screamed” that the drop is because of its factory in the industrial area of Maaleh Adumim, where no one lived before Jews began to settle there 39 years ago.

    Read more at: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bds-agenda-falsely-links-boycott-with-drop-in-sodastreams-stock/2014/02/04/

    I had thought that the “land without a people” schtick had been retired as a made-up colonial rationalization. Apparently not. Lots of farmland in Iowa with no one living on it either. Is that free for the taking? Ugh.

    So happy you all are making un-ignorable waves, Annie. This sure has the feeling of a tipping point.

    • pabelmont
      pabelmont
      February 6, 2014, 10:29 am

      Jewish press article says the whole stock market dropped that day and Microsoft dropped farther than SodaStream. Then told us that stock nmarket analysts (like psychanalysts) charge money to tell us why things in the past happened (but MondoWeiss does it for free).

      Well, yes.

      It is absolutely unreasonable to explain why things have happened, world affairs being so interconnected and irrational. Worse still to “explain” why things WILL happen.

      But so much fun!

      I predict that BDS activity will increase, the shekel and the settlements will continue to take hits, the Israeli business community will get more and more scared, and just maybe — and within my lifetime — I’ll see motion for an end to the occupation and settlement program.

      Stand fast, Mr. Abbas!

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        February 6, 2014, 8:24 pm

        @pbelmont- Yeah, so typical. Use a one-day/week fluctuation in an attempt to refute and/or mask the longer-term slide of SODA. It’s nuts.

        Having said that, I share in your fun with predictions… :)

  5. Woody Tanaka
    Woody Tanaka
    February 5, 2014, 6:30 pm

    “The Economist:”

    “Israel has deliberately set about to erase the lines between its pre-1967 borders and the settlements, in both physical and economic terms.”

    Shows the inherent inhumanity in zionist ideology that they believe they can erase the borders on matters physical and economic, but not human. Twisted, evil ideology those people have.

  6. Daniel Rich
    Daniel Rich
    February 5, 2014, 6:39 pm

    For decades ‘we’ have been civil and argued and reasoned with ‘You’, the Apartheid State, to become a nation an act as a responsible one. ‘You’, the Apartheid State, choose to ‘walk it alone.’ Fine. Have it your way. But from this day onward, ‘we’ will hurt ‘You’, the Apartheid State, where it is the most painful; your wallet.

    Good luck and keep that chin up.

    Tally Ho!

  7. shachalnur
    shachalnur
    February 5, 2014, 6:50 pm

    Is the shekel weakening?

    That’s good news,since the Bank of Israel intervened buying $ 500 million and another $ 100 million last week ,not managing to lower the shekel then..

    If it was the Bank of Israel or BDS and Sodastream doesn’t matter,that’s all pigeon superstition.

    The shekel was getting too expensive and it dropped.

    By the way,since Karnit Flug is in charge of the BOI ,the bank is back under Israeli control.

    • annie
      annie
      February 5, 2014, 7:24 pm

      Is the shekel weakening?

      it weakened on monday but i think it may have rallied since then. that’s not really the story tho, the story is if the chief economist of one of israel biggest investment banks is saying people’s fears about the boycott may be influencing investors to back off, that says a lot. monday, the day it did weaken, (which one assumes was an intent of the purchase of foreign funds, in response to lobbying israeli exporters) there was some doubt as to what caused it.

      if the controversy itself is influencing the shekel, well, that’s something in the future big banks can’t control so much.

      and i think a lot more people are aware of the boycott then they were a few weeks ago. it was almost as if there was an unspoken agreement in the media to discuss it. and those days are over now.

      it’s really remarkable what the bds movement has done. hat’s off to palestinians for this. finally, i can’t believe we’re finally hearing this. i think it’s really significant.

      • shachalnur
        shachalnur
        February 6, 2014, 8:38 am

        Annie,

        Just want to point out the following,

        TPTB have a century old general strategy in case they want to force a country into submission for whatever reason they deem neccessary.

        They attack the economy,the currency and specifically use the Central Banks in these countries,since they usually control these institutions.(like the FED is not a US govt institution,but a private entity,owned by mostly foreign Bankers)

        What can a country do about that?

        Look at Iceland or Hungary.

        Iceland overthrew their government,arrested the Rothschild Bankers(Iceland actually called them by that name) and put them on trail,and took back control of their Central Bank and currency.(all this is well documented ,eventhough not too much in US/Europen MSM).

        They are getting away with it,because Iceland is small,far away from mainland Europe,and you don’t want to wake up sleeping dogs.(Spain,Portugal,Italy,Ireland,Greece,the so-called PIIGS)

        Hungary is something else,they took control of their government,took control of their Central Bank,their currency , told the EU to take a hike,and hooked up with Russia.

        And now every piece of news in US/Europe MSM about Hungary is calling them Fascist,Nazi, anti-Semitic and what else.

        Ukraine ,same problem;”You don’t want to obey TPTB,we’ll give you “Revolution””(mostly run by extreme right neo-Nazi groups with US/European support).

        Hungary and Ukraine are examples in the former Soviet Union of how to fight these Bankers,and what can’t happen is that too many countries will do the same,i.e. kicking out the London bankers,like Russia, China,Iran and Iceland already did,and Brazil,India,South-Africa,Hungary,Ukraine and various countries around the world are trying by connecting to BRICS(mainly Russia and China).

        Could you believe the same is happening in Israel.

        Stanley Fisher(London Banker First,not Israel First) had to go in a hurry,and was kicked upstairs to the FED by TPTB.

        5 imposed candidates for Head of the Bank of Israel (BOI)were discarted through blackmail and uncomfortable news reports,untill they managed to put Karnit Flug in power(Flug is Israel first,not London Bankers First)

        Bloomberg;”…but some of last month interventions(by the BOI)were UNEXPECTED,characterized as “SURPRISING”,and intervening to a “MAJOR EXTENT”…”(emphasis mine)

        Israel has these boycotts calculated into their strategy,and therefore made billion Dollar deals with China Januari last year and since,in exchange for a building stop in the West Bank

        Israel is announcing plans to build new houses daily,but they actually didn’t build anything new since Jan.2013.Israel simply can’t break their agreements with China(BRICS),unless they want to be crushed by US/Europe.

        The fluctuations in the shekel,relatively the most expensive currency in the world right now, are part of a war between the Bank of Israel and the London Bankers,the growing boycott is part of this war.

        Pension funds from Norway ,Sweden,Denmark and Holland are following orders from their governments(read the press in Norway,Sweden and Denmark carefully,these are companies following govt. laws/orders).

        To understand the behaviour of various Jewish groups and individuals you have to use the same parameters;

        Are they Israel/Jews-First,US-First or Banker-First?

        That’s why the AIPAC is in such a mess right now,and ADL is clashing with Israel.

        It’s not caused by Dual Loyalty,but by Triple Loyalty ,especially the ones putting Bankers-First.

        That’s how cynical the world is.

      • annie
        annie
        February 6, 2014, 9:20 am

        well that was an interesting comment shachalnur. up front, i am really not an expert in economics (at all!) and it’s kind of a mystery to me how it all works. but my ears did perk up w/the chief economist said what he said, even tho i knew the shekel had already regained it’s value by the time i wrote the article. and yes, i did assume there was way more going on here than meets the eye, but i don’t know enough about the topic to be able to determine what that is.

        5 imposed candidates for Head of the Bank of Israel (BOI)were discarted through blackmail and uncomfortable news reports,untill they managed to put Karnit Flug in power

        yes, i knew they had a fumbled time trying to find a replacement for their last chief who resigned. not so sure i’m down with agreeing they were all blackmailed, i think there’s a strong possibility at least some of those people didn’t want the job.

        Could you believe the same is happening in Israel.

        hmm, that wasn’t something i speculated nor would i. but i think there are thoughts and warnings afloat but not by the ptb. i think it’s more grassroots than that at this juncture.

        Israel has these boycotts calculated into their strategy

        i had a hunch. i do think the world is cynical. it occurred to me after i found out coca cola bought 10% of green mountain yesterday there may be actors aside from BDS interested in crushing soda stream or taking over their market.

        anyway, i don’t think we’re seeing a situation where a confluence of world powers are aligned to take down israel. not really.

      • shachalnur
        shachalnur
        February 6, 2014, 10:16 am

        If I’m right about the BRICS/Israel vs. London Bankers sceanario will be clear soon enough,cause the gloves are coming off.

        In my eyes Snowden is a BRICS+Israel operation,and many don’t discard that possibilty anymore,

        Just keep in mind when TSHF what the different actors will feed you,will be fake and most will believe it,that’s how people are conditioned,using cognative dissonance as weapon against hoi poloi.

        Just an example of how news released by the different actors in this war can send you in the wrong direction on a daily basis,was the Norwegian boycott;

        Day 1. “Nethanyahu’s son has a Norwegian non-Jewish girlfriend”,allegedly.

        And the pigeons flap their wings,

        Eventhough the 3 pictures that were released of Nethantahu’s son sitting between the “girlfriend” and another girl,shows him drooling all over the wrong girl..

        Day 2.Nethanyahu denies there’s an affair.

        And the pigeons flap their wings again.

        Day 3. Norwegian bank,under govt orders, declares boycott of Israeli banks.

        See how it works?

        Every piece of news being released now is part of something bigger, called continious psy-ops,because for the parties involved this is a war situation,and that’s difficult to imagine if you’re not in a warzone.

        The real war is invisible,the visible war is an illusion.

      • pabelmont
        pabelmont
        February 6, 2014, 10:37 am

        Explaining TPTB (The Power That Be): http://www.grinningplanet.com/articles/conspiracy/diagram-of-the-powers-that-be-definition-of-tptb.htm

        And there is a lovely diagram. Does this support my constant ranting about “oligarchic” control of the USA’s governments? I suppose so. comments?

      • Theo
        Theo
        February 6, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Shach

        I used to read your comments in another blog and this one makes as much sense as most of them. Very little to me. You take all the ingredients from a cooking book and try to use them to make a single dish, however it just doesn´t work.

        Hungary never was part of the old SU, just to point out one mistake, however was occupied by them for 45 years. I let all others slide, no sense to list them. Apropos, I have 45 years experience to show people how to make $5,000 out of $10,000 in a short time, if you know what I mean?

      • shachalnur
        shachalnur
        February 6, 2014, 12:39 pm

        Theo,

        What other blog was that?

        I stand corrected ,Hungary was occupied and not integral part of the old SU,but in the end economically,militarily and politically aligned with the old SU.

        Some people might think that’s almost the same,and if I was writing an article,and not a comment, I would take care being more precise..

        There’s many parts in my posts that can be attacked on a (significant(?))detail,and used as a reason to ridicule and not to adress the rest of the post.

        Could you give me another example of an outrageously incorrect claim?

        And I haven’t got a clue what you mean with the last sentence,could you enlighten me?

  8. shachalnur
    shachalnur
    February 5, 2014, 7:56 pm

    Dear Annie,

    I don’t remember having said or written anything negative about BDS or any pro-Palestinian organization.

    I completely support boycotting Israel into behaving like human beings.

    I actually believe to be able to solve the conflict, the right of return should be integral part of any permanent agreement.

    I even believe “Deep State” Israel knows this.

    Or do you think a former furniture salesman takes the decisions in Israel,with (former) Generals , (former) Shabak directors and a few billionaires serving him and Sarah?

  9. seafoid
    seafoid
    February 5, 2014, 10:43 pm

    “While the market isn’t assigning much importance to it right now, if the boycott issue grows it could easily weaken the shekel,” Gozlan warned.

    Wow

    This is how finance works

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/9bfd1d18-7b39-11df-8935-00144feabdc0.html

    “First, investors can never ignore the herd. The price of equity and credit is set by fund managers. As investment has grown more institutionalised, so the critical number of investors has been reduced, and they become ever more susceptible to groupthink. Their greatest priority is to avoid doing anything that will cause their clients to pull their money out, as this is what determines how much they will be paid.

    Second, this is magnified by an innate problem we all have in dealing with situations where there is a small probability of a calamitous event. The financial industry as a whole showed this, in spades, in 2007 and 2008.

    Third, there is the issue of reputation. Once it has gone, you cannot get it back.

    Finally, the incident speaks to the ultimate utter uncertainty that is involved whenever we buy a stock. A company’s value lies in the cash flows it will generate in the future. This may be greatly affected by the assets it has built up in the present, but it still means that its value is in essence unknowable.”

    If the herd sense that Israel is losing it could all be over very quickly

    Das ist Natur

    • annie
      annie
      February 6, 2014, 9:32 am

      seafoid, thank you so much for the FT link. “investors can never ignore the herd.”, groupthink.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 6, 2014, 9:47 am

        You’re very welcome.

        I always detested their checkpoint cockiness.
        They don’t understand how the market can turn on a weakened party in an instant. It’s not about guns. It’s about confidence and credibility.

  10. Sibiriak
    Sibiriak
    February 5, 2014, 11:50 pm

    The question of whether Israel has the intention and the willpower to ever pull out is finally going to have to be answered.

    Realize, though, that “pull out” here means Israel annexing the major settlement blocs and some 80% of Jewish settlers stay put, while Palestinians are relegated to an archipelago of quasi-sovereign non-contiguous, Israeli-surrounded and supervised enclaves.

    Last week a top Israeli think tank laid out a new bottom line: if the peace talks with the Palestinians fail, Israel is simply going to have to unilaterally pull out of the 85% of the West Bank it hasn’t directly occupied.

    Translation: if Palestinians won’t agree to the Israeli/US bantustan plan, it will have to be imposed on them.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 6, 2014, 12:31 am

      Sibiriak

      I think it has gone beyond whether or not Israeli Jews want Pepsi or Coke.
      Israel is a strategic liability for the West.
      Climate change is here now in the UK
      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/05/david-cameron-control-flooding-crisis-worsens

      and the Brits don’t have time for Jewish playthings such as Moshiach will be here next week if we build 4 more houses in Hebron.

      This is real serious shit. It’s existential. The economic model is going to be in question when Nigel and Debs join the dots.

      Israel is a waste of everyone’s time.
      Either they find a model that they can run themselves without outside intervention, without AIPAC, without going to war in Lebanon every 7 years, or we’ll find one for them.
      Liability is the new black.

    • wondering jew
      wondering jew
      February 6, 2014, 12:57 am

      I have not seen a map, have you, Sibiriak? But nothing in the reports indicates that the areas will be Israeli surrounded and noncontiguous. What are you basing your conclusions upon?

      • talknic
        talknic
        February 6, 2014, 5:58 am

        yonah fredman “nothing in the reports indicates that the areas will be Israeli surrounded and noncontiguous. What are you basing your conclusions upon?”

        Israel annexing the major settlement blocs automatically makes it “Israeli surrounded and noncontiguous”. That has been the Zionist plan from the outset. You don’t even know what you’re supportive of? WOW!

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 6, 2014, 6:12 am

        @Yonah: Of course, I have not seen an actual map, but I’ve read reports about the maps that Netanyahu and Kerry are promoting. These reports could be wrong; Netanyahu could reverse course and approve the dismantling of major settlements like Ariel and Ma’ale Adumin, but I have seen no indication that such a reversal is likely.

        Regarding Ma’ale Adumin, see:

        http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/12/26/the_settlement_that_broke_the_two_state_solution

        Besides, who says this settlement, the third most populous in the West Bank, isn’t already a stake in the heart of a prospective Palestinian state, even without E-1? “Ma’aleh Adumim was established to break Palestinian contiguity,” Benny Kashriel, the town’s mayor since 1992, told the Jerusalem Report in 2004. “It is Jerusalem’s connection to the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley [on the other side of the West Bank from Jerusalem]; if we weren’t here, Palestinians could connect their villages and close off the roads.”

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 6, 2014, 7:16 am

        yonah fredman:

        What are you basing your conclusions upon?

        First of all, let me say I that the future is notoriously hard to predict, and my “conclusions” are just an assessment of the way things are trending.

        Second, I was giving my interpretation of certain expressions in a particular article which included the statement:

        Israel is simply going to have to unilaterally pull out of the 85% of the West Bank it hasn’t directly occupied.

        Now, that 85% figure and the “directly occupied” expression are revealing.

        Unless I’m completely mistaken, neither the Clinton proposals (2000), the “Geneva Agreement,” nor the terms discussed by Olmert and Abbas involved anywhere near 15% of the West Bank being annexed by Israel.

        As you yourself wrote:

        I don’t think Netanyahu is serious enough to consider the Olmert proposals let alone the Geneva accord proposals and that is why I do not consider the two state solution serious while Netanyahu and the right wing control the conversation.

        I don’t disagree, and I’m basing my assessment, in part, on the likelihood that Netanyahu and the right wing are in fact controlling the conversation.

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 6, 2014, 7:31 am

        @yonah fredman

        http://mondoweiss.net/2012/09/baraks-bantustan-vision-defense-ministers-proposal-for-annexation-would-leave-a-sliced-and-diced-west-bank.html

        “Barak’s bantustan vision: Defense minister’s proposal for annexation would leave a sliced and diced West Bank”

        Alex Kane on September 26, 2012

        If Israel annexed Ma’ale Adumim, it would make permanent an illegal settlement that “infringes [on] the collective right of the Palestinian people to self-determination,” as the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem puts it. “The settlement severs the West Bank at a strategic point, dividing it into two cantons, thus making it impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state with reasonable territorial contiguity.”

        If Israel annexed Gush Etzion, it would make permanent a settlement that does similar things to Palestinian freedom of movement and the viability of a potential state. According to B’Tselem, “the settlements in this bloc…create an obstacle separating the villages and towns of the Bethlehem area from the city of Hebron and its environs.”

        And then there’s Ariel, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared the “capital of Samaria” and an “an integral, inseparable part of the state of Israel in any future arrangement.” Ariel sits on top of one of the largest water aquifiers in the West Bank. At the same time, “the prolonged neglect of treatment of Ariel’s wastewater, due to the malfunctioning of the treatment facility inside the settlement, has led several times to pollution of Salfit’s central water-pumping facility,” according to B’Tselem. Salfit is a Palestinian town in the middle of the West Bank that is adjacent to Ariel.

        Americans for Peace Now notes what the settlement of Ariel does to Palestinian contiguity. The settlement “blocks Palestinian contiguity between the large Palestinian town of Salfit to the south and a group of Palestinian villages to the north, including Marda, Zaita, Jammai’n, and Hares – a strategy of ‘divide and rule’ which has played a part in the location of settlements across the West Bank.”

        1) Are those analyses incorrect, in your view?

        2) What reasons to you have for believing that current Israeli government would be willing to give up annexing those settlements and make a much more generous offer to the Palestinians?

      • wondering jew
        wondering jew
        February 6, 2014, 10:15 pm

        Sibiriak- the definition of contiguity is that all territories have a point of intersection with all other territories. You (and shingo) have presented nothing that describes a noncontiguous territory. (Even if maale adumim cuts off the territory and requires an hour detour, not a desirable outcome, I accept, but it still can be called contiguous. and that is the word you used.)

      • Sibiriak
        Sibiriak
        February 6, 2014, 11:40 pm

        yonah fredman:

        the definition of contiguity is that all territories have a point of intersection with all other territories.

        Definition:

        con·tig·u·ous (kən-tĭg′yo̅o̅-əs)
        adj.
        1. Sharing an edge or boundary; touching.
        2. Neighboring; adjacent.

        “Contiguity” doesn’t necessarily mean, in everyday usage, having a “point of intersection”.

        However, in your rhetoric you could go with B’Tselem’s phrasing:

        The settlement severs the West Bank at a strategic point, dividing it into two cantons, thus making it impossible to establish a viable Palestinian state with reasonable territorial contiguity

        “Without reasonable contiguity”–same political, economic, social, moral and legal implications.

        I hope that helps.

  11. Walid
    Walid
    February 6, 2014, 12:53 am

    “Bloomberg’s friendly advice to pro-Israel, anti-BDS protesters: shut up!
    NYC mayor says vocal campaign against Brooklyn College BDS forum has ‘created a monster;’ tells politicians who threatened to cut funding for school to ‘go to North Korea.’ ” (Haaretz today)

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/west-of-eden/bloomberg-s-friendly-advice-to-pro-israel-anti-bds-protesters-shut-up.premium-1.501909

    In a nutshell, Bloomberg is telling the pro-Israel gang to shut up because all they are doing with their anti-BDS ranting is draw more interest to the BDS movement.

    • Sumud
      Sumud
      February 6, 2014, 1:46 am

      In a nutshell, Bloomberg is telling the pro-Israel gang to shut up because all they are doing with their anti-BDS ranting is draw more interest to the BDS movement.

      Damned if they do and damned if they don’t they don’t, I guess that’s what happens if you’re all about supremacism. The hasbara isn’t working any more and Israel is a runaway train – destination Genocide.

      Orit Orfa (settler siren) was more right than she thinks:

      “We can’t stop, and we won’t stop”

      • piotr
        piotr
        February 6, 2014, 11:33 am

        Ich glaube, die Wellen verschlingen
        Am Ende Schiffer und Kahn,
        Und das hat mit ihrem Singen,
        Die Loreley getan.

        I think that the waves will devour
        Both boat and man, by and by,
        And that, with her dulcet-voiced power
        Was done by the Loreley.

      • Sumud
        Sumud
        February 6, 2014, 12:42 pm

        Thanks piotr was not familiar with Heine until now. A bit of a stretch to call her a siren – not a dulcet tone to be heard – but I liked the luring-to-doom aspect.

    • American
      American
      February 6, 2014, 11:50 am

      No,no no!…they must keep on ranting and screeching against freedom of speech, Obama, academic freedom, Kerry, America, anti semites, etc.etc.etc….
      We want the entire country to hear their Anti-American, anti democracy demands.
      Louder, louder!

    • Chu
      Chu
      February 6, 2014, 2:14 pm

      Even if the former mayor wanted this thing quashed, it’s inevitably going to blow-up down the road. Remember that food co-op in Brooklyn a few years ago? People see the small battles and realize this thing is growing.

      Even if Jews have a significant number of people in the state, and lots of Zionist money going to these causes it come down to one thing – most New Yorkers believe in a system of justice, and BDS is aiding the Palestinians in their quest for justice.

      Also the NY big machers know it’s in their backyard, and they are not sure if they can handle a street fight like this. I think big Zionist donors will never debate this in public, because they’ll lose. Instead the have discussions about it at like say Copper Union, where Jews talk to other Jews and the crowd listens. I’d like to see a fair open and public debate in New York anyday, but Zionists can’t win – it’s at odds with the mainstream. ~the last sort-of fair debate i can remeber on Israel was in Doha in 2007. http://www.thedohadebates.com/debates/item/?d=10&mode=transcript

  12. wondering jew
    wondering jew
    February 6, 2014, 12:56 am

    Comment has been moved to where it belonged, under Sibiriak’s comment.

  13. Greta
    Greta
    February 6, 2014, 2:45 am

    Even if some of these are rescinded, Israel is on the losing side of the BDS movement. There are no longer enough fingers to stick in the dikes of public opinion, and it is always going to be civil society that changes Apartheid.

    Perhaps, Mondoweiss should start collecting the successes.

    Norway: The Government Pension Fund of Norway has sold its shares in Africa Israel Investments, Danya Cebus and Sesa Sterlite.

    Germany: The German Railway Company did not bid to build or operate the train service which runs through the occupied Palestinian territories.

    France: Largest supermarket, Carrefour, removes all Israeli produce from shelves. Legal charges against French BDS activists dropped.

    Belgium: The Belgian government has cancelled a “Tel Aviv – the White City” exhibition which was scheduled in the capital, Brussels.

    Scotland: The Edinburgh International Film Festival returned an award granted by the Israeli Embassy in line with its decision to boycott the state.

    Australia: The Maryville municipality in Sydney province imposed a boycott on Israel and all companies engaged in trade with it. Several pro-Palestinian organisations have called for a boycott of oranges produced in Jaffa and Max Brenner chocolate.

    Netherlands: The Netherlands’ largest water company, Vitens, has severed ties with Israel’s Mekorot water company. The Dutch Pension Fund has withdrawn all investments from Israeli banks.

    South Africa: The South African Foreign Minister announced that the cabinet will boycott Israel and will not visit it. The South African Trade and Commerce Union stopped importing an Israeli-made circumcision device.

    Britain: UK major retail chain, the Co-operative, has boycotted all products produced in the settlements in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.
    Marks & Spencer fashion house has been boycotting settlement products since 2007 .
    Ireland: The Irish workers’ trade Union has announced its decision to boycott all Israeli products and services.
    The Irish teachers’ Union supports imposing an academic boycott on Israel.

    Canada: The Canadian postal workers Union boycotts Israel.
    The Protestant Church in Vancouver launched a campaign to boycott settlement products.

    United States: The American Studies Association has recently joined the academic boycott imposed against Israel by many universities and unions.
    The American Pension Fund has withdrawn its investments from a company that sell agricultural tractors to settlements. http://www.theasa.net/caucus_activism/item/academic_and_cultural_boycott_campaign/
    Anti-boycott-Israel bill halted in New York assembly.

    • puppies
      puppies
      February 6, 2014, 3:33 am

      Thank you, Greta.
      It looks way better when collected on one page.
      Good luck.

    • Walid
      Walid
      February 6, 2014, 4:22 am

      Great list, Greta., a few missing from it such as bad times Veolia is having all over the US and in the UK; the Agrexco bankruptcy, the Dutch Royal HaskoningDHV that walked away from the Jerusalem/Kidron waste water treatment plant project and more. Now we’re waiting for Belgium to follow the lead of others by pulling the plug on its Dexia banking operation on the WB. In Scotland you also have the BDS success over the Eden bottled water company that sells water stolen from the Golan.

      • seafoid
        seafoid
        February 6, 2014, 11:25 am

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Byz7eU8jF0

        http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/31c645f4-8f31-11e3-9cb0-00144feab7de.html

        “The Dutch pension fund had been in talks with Bank Hapoalim, Bank Leumi and Mizrahi Tefahot Bank for over a year due to concerns that they were financing illegal Israeli settlements in Palestinian-occupied territories.

        On Wednesday ABP, the world’s third largest pension fund with €300bn of assets, published a statement saying it has “concluded that these banks themselves do not act in breach of international laws and regulations, and that there are no judicial rulings that should lead to their exclusion”.

        ABP’s decision directly contradicts the stance of PGGM, the second largest Dutch pension fund, which last month became the first big investor to dump its holdings in five large Israeli banks over the settlement issue.

        PGGM said: “Given the day-to-day reality and domestic legal framework they operate in, the banks have limited to no possibilities to end their involvement in the financing of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

        Danish bank Danske on Wednesday also confirmed that it has blacklisted Israel’s Bank Hapoalim over similar concerns.
        Nordea Investment Management, a €130bn Scandinavian fund house, is similarly in talks with several Israeli banks “regarding concerns about the violation of international norms”.
        ABP’s decision comes amid a growing European boycott of Israeli companies with activities in the Palestinian territories.
        Last week it emerged that Norway’s $810bn Government Pension Fund Global, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, has been barred from investing in two Israeli companies due to their “serious violations” of individual rights.
        The Norwegian finance ministry has blacklisted Africa Israel Investments and Danya Cebus, a listed subsidiary 82 per cent owned by AII, because of their alleged involvement in constructing settlements in East Jerusalem, which “must be regarded as illegal”.”

  14. bilal a
    bilal a
    February 6, 2014, 8:53 am

    Rabbis Threaten Kerry with ‘Divine Wrath’
    Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel write open letter to Kerry, compare him to Haman and warn his plans amount to war on God.

    Employing the language of scripture, the rabbis warned “conspire a plan and it will be frustrated; talk the talk and it will not be fulfilled, for G-d is with us” (Isaiah 9:5).

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/177114#.UvOTHbTvl3l

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 6, 2014, 9:09 am

      Employing the language of scripture, the rabbis warned “conspire a plan and it will be frustrated; talk the talk and it will not be fulfilled, for G-d is with us” (Isaiah 9:5).

      I think they meant Isaiah 8:10.

      Isaiah 9:5 is this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MS3vpAWW2Zc

  15. asherpat
    asherpat
    February 6, 2014, 10:10 am

    0.7% falling shekel, gewald, oy vey, this is the end of Zionism!

    Now seriously – Ha’aretz (Proudly the only Arab daily published in Hebrew) is practicing what is called “wishful analysis” – meaning – they wish for an outcome (in this case, long term – end of Israel as a Zionist enterprise, short term – bullying Netanyahu to accept a non-peace agreement to hasten the long term goal) and they try to find support in data whether there is causality or it is just coincidence.

    For example, Apple analysts that are usually not more than Apple fanboys tend to conclude that every market development is “good for Apple” for this or that reason, however feeble. So is Haaretz. Remember its Rihanna “All I see is Palestine/DollarSigns” fiasco? Haaretz correspondent WANTED to hear that Rihanna sang “Palestine” instead of the song lyrics “Dollar Signs” and didn’t bother to ask Rihanna herself.

    But lets look at the numbers of Shekel v Dollar. You can see it here on Bloomberg – http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/USDILS:CUR/chart

    With such a “decline”, who needs a rise, I say!

  16. MHughes976
    MHughes976
    February 6, 2014, 11:38 am

    It’s not quite clear from the link whether it was the anti-Kerry preachers themselves or merely the journalist quoting them who couldn’t be bothered to check the scriptures that they so thunderously use. Mind you, I always think of the Zionist Bible as Joshua in letters an inch high and the colour of fire and most the rest in barely legible small print.
    Isaiah’s style, for all the changes between proto, deutero and trito, seems consistently to draw its astonishing and hypnotic effect by sudden, almost inexplicable changes of mood, perhaps conveying the message that in all our moods and circumstances we should trust in God and not in warriors with their confused noise and garments rolled in blood.
    However if I could see a consistent message through the seemingly conflicted verses of Is. 8 it would be that Judah should be confident that the Syro-Ephraimite threat, the international conspiracy, will be seen off by the Assyrians, whose spreading wings will protect Immanuel. I might ask the angry rabbis to consider that superpowers (Sargon then, Obama now?) are sometimes regarded as friendly. And Obama might not even make Sargon’s mistake of thinking that he had done it all with ‘the strength of his hand’ – I’m getting fanciful.
    I’m visiting Rome in 4 weeks’ time so if you could recommend a good restaurant, perhaps with a Jewish flavour, I’d be interested to know.

    • Shmuel
      Shmuel
      February 6, 2014, 12:21 pm

      MHughes,

      It would appear to be the journalist that got the reference wrong, but Arutz 7 is about the Bible-thumpiest news outlet in Israel, so one might expect a little more circumspection when it comes to such things.

      Having studied the “Zionist Bible”, it’s not just Joshua, but political eisegesis abounds (what the Rabbis of the Talmud called making the Torah “a spade to dig with”), and Isaiah 8:10 has become a favourite cliché among the Eretz Yisrael thumpers. Do these rabbis really understand what it means to “go softly” like “the waters of Shiloah” or Isaiah’s (and subsequent tradition’s) criticism of Pekah and his followers?

      Regarding your upcoming trip, please contact me through Phil/Adam/Annie.

  17. hophmi
    hophmi
    February 6, 2014, 1:38 pm

    Sodastream’s flying upwards today on rumors that Pepsi will buy them out in response to Coke’s purchase of Green Mountain, which makes Keurig.

    Which goes to show you that your boycott has no effect on the stock price.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=SODA

    • Chu
      Chu
      February 6, 2014, 1:51 pm

      Unless you believe Jews can settle anywhere they want in the Middle East, the SodaStream company is breaking international law, as are the illegal settlements.

      Pepsi has not bought them yet, so it’s unknown if they will they close the West Bank factory. If Pepsi buys them, Scarlett can save face though.

    • Woody Tanaka
      Woody Tanaka
      February 6, 2014, 2:19 pm

      “Which goes to show you that your boycott has no effect on the stock price.”

      Nope. It just goes to show that rumors of buyouts can have an effect on the stock price.

      And if Green Mountain releases a soda machine that features actual Coke products, SodaStream’s only chance of surviving is for Pepsi to buy it. If it doesn’t, and the choice is between able to get real Coca-Cola in your home or some hasbara knock-off Cola, then say goodbye to SodaStream.

  18. ToivoS
    ToivoS
    February 6, 2014, 11:58 pm

    Seeing that the value of the shekel might be dropping brings to mind a possible historic precedent. The boycott against S. Africa went on for 27 years. For most of that time the smart money and the right wing supporters of Apartheid concluded that the boycott was a total failure. They were saying that up to about 1 year before the whole thing collapsed. What set off the final collapse was value of S. African bonds. Suddenly, their yields started going up and their face value dropped. It was just a few months that de Klerk threw in the towel and entered serious discussions with Mandela.

    These markets are fickle things. Bond markets are extremely sensitive to what people think might happen a few years down the road. Israel has been immune from that market concern since the US has always been willing to insure Israeli bonds. However, if market participants think that that insurance might be withdrawn, no rational investor would be willing to buy Israeli bonds.

    When people keep on talking about the 3 billion dollars we give to Israel every year, very little is being said about US backing of their bonds. If that were to stop their whole economy would go into a tailspin.

    • seafoid
      seafoid
      February 7, 2014, 12:31 am

      Toivo

      Markets can’t price fat tail risk- low probability, high impact.
      Markets are herds- most people follow the herd. Goldman leads and the schmucks follow (more or less)
      The guys who deal in Wall St are not intellectual- they are more like hunters. Always on the lookout for fresh kill. I believe I can fly.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIQn8pab8Vc

      Sentiment drives markets. The hunters are happy, prices go up. Sentiment is low, they sell. And what’s really interesting is what happens when a stalwart suddenly turns out to have feet of clay. The market has to move fast. Dumb money comes in last.

      JP Morgan , the ultimate Yank bank, had a little problem in London. Guy calling himself the London whale built up a series of derivative positions betting on some price turnround that didn’t happen.

      The guy was out of his depth. The squares in the company found out and they brought it to the attention of the market. Some small losses. Jamie Dimon the CEO was wheeled out. A tempest in a teapot he said.

      http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dimon-london-whale-issues-tempest-in-a-teapot-2012-04-13-937450

      Asked about the trades by an analyst on a conference call, Dimon said: “Every bank has a major portfolio. Obviously it’s a big portfolio; we’re a large company […] It’s our job to invest our portfolio wisely and intelligently.”

      He assured the market the problem was manageable.
      I think he didn’t give a number at that stage.
      The losses kept coming.

      The market was fascinated. Dimon is a god of American capitalism. The only bank major to steer his ship through the crisis without a single quarterly loss.

      Then he came clean and said it was 6bn.

      He said JPM were cleaning up the portfolio and unwinding the positions.

      But there is no mercy on Wall St. JPM was wounded. Money to be made . So his competitors attacked the weak point and went for the mop up operation.

      Then the litigation started

      http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0e7602ac-81fc-11e3-87d5-00144feab7de.html

      But investors told the Financial Times that they were still concerned. One top 10 shareholder said: “Litigation risk is a big concern. This is one of the big uncertainties hanging over Deutsche Bank. Just look at JPMorgan and the cost of restitution in the whale case and the risks are obvious and great.”

      The total loss ended up at $20bn.

      Israel will get to the litigation stage. It’ll be like one of those checkpoints outside Jerusalem. The traders will be taunting them. They won’t listen to anything the politicians say. Those bonds are going to be destroyed.

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