Israeli businessmen who encounter harrassment from the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement can now dial a special hotline for expert advice and assistance, Globes reported on Monday.
The hotline was opened by the Presidium of Israel Business Organizations to handle queries and complaints from all over the world.
“The new line will enable us to provide individual and discreet solutions for Israeli businesses exposed to boycotts and attempted boycotts,” said Dan Catarivas, director of the Division of Foreign Trade and International Relations at the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel and International Relations at Israel Business Organizations.
“BDS is not a uniform phenomenon; it is expressed differently in each country. When complaints or reports of such cases are received, we will address the situation specifically, using the tools we have, in order to provide them with a relevant and correct response.”
Through the hotline, assistance from lawyers and economic consultants specializing in international trade will be made available to businessmen running into trouble with BDS.
In a letter sent by Shraga Brosh, chairman of the Presidium of Israel Business Organizations, he wrote, “For a long time, we have been exposed through the media, and some of us personally, to growing harassment by BDS activists promoting an economic, academic, and cultural boycott of Israel. Unfortunately, these attempts at a boycott have worsened and expanded recently, and are not expected to go away in the near future.”
The problem of the media’s role in BDS will also be addressed.
“Media involvement in this question serves the boycott better than anything BDS, which is much smaller than people think, can do,” said Catarivas. “In recent weeks, things have gotten out of hand. The matter has been put on the public agenda, and we therefore decided to provide a proper professional address for the business community that is liable to suffer from these and other initiatives relating to a boycott of products or activity. Our objective is to prevent economic relations from being poisoned with politics.”