Offend the Boycotters: Buy Israel Bonds

Offend the Boycotters: Buy Israel Bonds

By Izzy Tapoohi

Izzy Tapoohi
Izzy Tapoohi

We all know the old adage “the best defense is a good offense.” In the era of boycott, divestment and sanctions, investing in Israel’s economy has become our greatest form of offense.

While it has long been a sound financial decision, today investing in Israel takes on added relevance as an expression of confidence that the country’s economic resilience will continue despite geopolitical instability and BDS tactics. Through every challenge, Israel’s economy remains an outstanding example of innovation and progress

The statistics speak for themselves: Israel’s 2014 fourth-quarter growth was 7.2 percent, double initial projections.

The country’s debt-to-GDP ratio — a key indicator of the strength of the economy that helps determine credit ratings and interest payments — decreased by 0.5 percentage point to 67.1 percent. This is lower than many developed countries. The U.S. debt-to-GDP ratio is 105.6 percent. The Euro Zone average is 107.7 percent. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development average is 94 percent.

For a small country like Israel, which has no real export markets in its region and is constantly in a state of heightened military preparedness, this is a considerable accomplishment.

The success of Israel’s economy infuriates BDS advocates. Their response includes boycotting Israeli products, companies and social institutions, divesting from corporations that do business with Israel, demanding that companies and institutions rid their portfolios of Israel Bonds, and sanctioning Israel in various diplomatic and economic forums.

These actions raise the question of who actually wants Israel boycotted.

Certainly not individuals around the world benefiting from Israel’s lifesaving advances in science and medicine.

Certainly not the millions of people using made-in-Israel technology to make their daily lives more engaging and productive.

And certainly not the distressed citizens of nations afflicted by natural disasters — Nepal, Japan, the Philippines, Haiti and more — who rapidly receive vital supplies and essential medical care from Israeli emergency response teams.

While it might seem tempting to engage BDS advocates, who cynically ignore the most egregious abusers of human rights, head-on through Internet forums or verbal confrontations, the most appropriate response is this: Every call for divestment should be met with an investment in Israel’s economy through Israel Bonds.

Investing in Israel Bonds defeats the BDS goal of weakening Israel’s economy by doing the exact opposite: helping to keep it strong.

In 2014, the Israel Bonds organization, which has been a cornerstone of Israel’s economy since 1951, exceeded $1.1 billion in U.S. domestic sales for the second consecutive year. Significantly, 84 percent of all retail sales in 2014 were transactions under $25,000, demonstrating an ever-growing trend of individual investors becoming stakeholders in Israel’s economy through Israel Bonds.

During this time of geopolitical uncertainty, hypocritical double standards, and calls for divestment and boycotts, an investment in Israel Bonds is a definitive and personal response to the actions of those who wish Israel harm.

Izzy Tapoohi is the president and CEO of the Development Corporation for Israel (Israel Bonds). This column originally appeared at The Times of Israel.

read more: