Chairperson of WUJS, Andi Gergely, visited a number of Israeli companies in Tel Aviv today to talk about how attempts to delegitimize Israel are affecting their businesses and how the GCI can help raise student awareness of the potential economic threat to commerce. Israel has a wealth of high-tech solutions to problems in health services, agriculture, urban planning and industry that are not being properly shared due to campaigns against Israel and companies based here. The Global Campus Initiative (GCI) aims to help students redress this problem and further the advancement of technology through helping Israelis share their ideas and business ideas.
Andi met with strategic consultants and entrepreneurs to hear about the challenges of taking Israeli ideas and products and marketing them to the world. Most said that, so far, BDS has not hindered their operations to any measurable degree and following the latest media hype around SodaStream many feel that ‘no publicity is bad publicity’ and that more of the public may now only know about Israel’s technological prowess due to the numerous articles written after the latest #BDSFail.
Andi spoke to the group about the growing infiltration of misinformation into the political debate, the use of Israel as the world’s whipping boy and the lack of appreciation for the serious undercurrent of antisemitism that is present in many of the antizionist movements. Andi spoke about the double standards leveled against Israel and the problems of intimidation that Jewish students can feel in University environments.
Andi dealt with the concerns of the group towards European institutions in general and parliamentarians specifically. Explaining the need for dialogue, Andi warned against Israel-isolationism and the misconception that Europe, and its political institutions, are a single body, with a single policy against Israel. Andi used the example Horizon 2020 and its huge potential for opening up new avenues of cooperation in innovation between Israel and European bodies.
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