THE AUSTRALIAN: “It’d hurt us to boycott Israel” by Tim Harcourt, 7May13 May 7, 2013

by Tim Harcourt   -    The Australian    -    7 May 2013

FirefoxScreenSnapz004TARGETING Israel by boycotting products and people with Israeli connections is not only misguided but counterproductive to trade, international relations and peace between Israel, the Palestinians and Arab nations.

Much of this activity takes place on university campuses, particularly the University of Sydney and the University of NSW, where we saw a small but tense protest against the opening of a Max Brenner chocolate shop.

Putting aside that Jewish shops were targeted in 1933 by the Nazis in Germany, and we wouldn’t expect one to be targeted in Australia in 2013 (not to mention the virulent anti-Semitic comments made on social media), what about the economics of the boycott?

If we boycotted all goods, services or individuals with Israeli connections, what would that mean at UNSW?

Many medicines are manufactured by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals, the largest generic drugs company in the world. AZT and hypericin-based drugs that help HIV and AIDS sufferers were developed or improved following research at the Weizmann Institute of Science or the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Sufferers of diabetes would not be able to use insulin measuring and injecting devices created by Israeli scientists. Patients with multiple sclerosis would be denied Copaxone, one of the most efficient medicines and the only non-interferon agent, developed by Teva. Ditto for sufferers of Parkinson’s disease, strokes, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, glaucoma or brain tumour, or those in need of a kidney transplant. But hey, it’s all for a good cause.

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