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Israel admits failure to prevent European boycotts

March 15, 2014 at 2:03 pm

An official at the Foreign Ministry has admitted Israel’s failure to stop European campaigns calling for economic boycotts of the state. The official made his comments after remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry, who warned against the increase of boycott campaigns as a direct result of the failure of the peace process.

Sources in the Israeli Foreign Ministry told Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper on Sunday that they are following with concern the latest developments in Europe as more companies and organisations are joining the boycott campaign. He pointed out that Israeli diplomacy has limited means to renew relations with the commercial companies which decide to sever ties with their Israeli counterparts.

“It is not possible to confront the desire to boycott us,” the source said after the Danish Danskebank’s decision to withdraw its investments and suspend transactions with some Israeli banks. The anonymous official said that in northern Europe boycotting Israel has become “fashionable” but hasn’t yet turned to “a wave”.

As long as Israel continues to build settlements, boycotts will continue and it will be difficult to prevent them without a political solution, he added. “We cannot justify settlement building to the Europeans.”