The Jewish Report Editorial

Cutting off your nose to spite your face

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Do you know the expression, “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face?” It is a warning against pursuing revenge in a way that will damage you more than the object of your anger. Well, it seems quite clear that Boycott Divestment Sanctions South Africa (BDS-SA) is determined to do just that.
by PETA KROST MAUNDER | Feb 14, 2019

Consider this: Israel is willing to invest most of R4.8 billion in a South African company – Clover to be exact. It would be a huge injection of desperately needed cash into our economy. The company is 100% legitimate, and understands the industry as it has developed a similar type of business in Israel. It is a hugely successful international business, the kind of partner we need and want.

President Cyril Ramaphosa is going all out to bring foreign investment into the country, having just said so in his State of the Nation Address. And here, under our noses, is this incredible deal. It would provide and safeguard so many jobs. It would secure the South African company and the industry. I could – but won’t – carry on about all the plusses, which are fairly obvious.

However BDS couldn’t care two hoots about what this deal will do for the country quite simply because it is an Israeli company that is planning to invest. It is as simple as that. It is willing to destroy this deal and lose this investment because when Israel has anything positive to do with South Africa, it will do anything – no matter what that means – to make sure it doesn’t happen. Even if the deal will significantly benefit South Africa and its people.

It does not care about this. All it cares about is making sure that Israel does not succeed in anything to do with South Africa. In fact, if it had its way, Israel would not succeed in anything ever, except in handing over its land.

Too bad for BDS! Israel is a massively successful and innovative country that is succeeding beyond belief economically, socially, and in so many other areas.

It’s funny how those who are anti-Israel still carry cell phones and laptops with Israeli parts in them. Somehow, they conveniently ignore the fact that the parts come from Israel.

In this particular deal with Clover, however, it becomes so very clear that BDS has a blind spot. It simply will not see that it is destroying something so worthwhile for our country because of its determination to destroy Israel.

Perhaps it can see, but simply doesn’t care about what happens in this country or what benefits South Africans. In fact, for the first time I can recall, the government is able to see that BDS-SA does not have the interests of South Africans at heart.

I never hear BDS talking about finding a peaceful solution to the Middle East situation, only about making sure that Israel doesn’t succeed. So, should this deal go through, BDS-SA has threatened to “actively initiate, support and/or join the call for direct action and a militant but peaceful campaign”. Sorry, what is a “militant but peaceful campaign” without any soldiers? Sounds to me like a contradiction in terms.

And, its pièce de résistance – quoted by anti-Israel lobbyists and anti-Israel media – is that leading academic and political analyst Steven Friedman has condemned the deal. He is quoted as saying, “It will create the ground for something I have been advocating for quite a while – a concerted consumer boycott.

“This is ideal. It is very easy for people to show solidarity by buying their dairy products from another supplier, and so this could become a very popular boycott campaign. Obviously, it is better to stop it happening, but all is not lost if that fails.”

Who, exactly, would benefit from that? I am not a political analyst, nor an academic, but just who would benefit? Would it really be to the benefit of South Africa, or would it be to its detriment? What impact would it have on the South Africans employed by Clover? What would the impact be on other large-scale foreign investors considering investing in South Africa? What impact would it have on Israel?

I don’t think it’s rocket science to understand that South Africans will be the only ones who will suffer if the deal doesn’t go through. And, if it does go through and boycotts begin, many South Africans will find themselves jobless. Also, other investors will shy away from dealing with this country. Wouldn’t you as an investor if you thought that this could happen to you?

As for Israel, it will continue as it does, developing, growing, and getting on with innovation as the “start-up capital”. Will this harm it? Not really. Will it harm us? You bet.

Clearly that doesn’t seem to worry those who support BDS-SA. Isn’t it time the country recognised just who these people are, and whose interests they have at heart?

Shabbat Shalom!


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