This past Thursday, I was honored to be the special guest of the ambassador to New England from Israel, Meron Reuben, at the 75th “Birthday Celebration” of the founding of the State of Israel, together with my esteemed colleague and friend, the Honorable Paul Berch.
Exchange with Israel contributes materially to Granite Staters’ quality of life through many of New Hampshire’s most vital trade sectors. In today’s world, it is increasingly important for our state government to ensure our economic interests and competitive edge. Trade with Israel includes all areas of health sciences and pharmaceutics, agriculture, water use, biotech, aerospace, disaster relief, and, as we discovered, 20 amazing wines (all available in our state liquor stores).
Many New Hampshire-based jobs depend upon exports to Israeli consumers. New Hampshire’s total exports to Israel since 1996 exceed $1.2 billion, and in 2022 exports of manufactured goods were $117 million. The State of Israel is New Hampshire’s 18th largest trade partner, and protecting these jobs is a key state interest.
Sadly, Israel is the target of a unique discrimination campaign called “BDS” (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions). BDS seeks to isolate Israel economically, alienate it socially, and coerce neutral businesses into discriminatory practices against their will. Boycotts of entities and individuals of specific countries often amount to ethnic, religious, racial, and national origin discrimination, which directly contradicts the public policy of our federal government, the state of New Hampshire, and our nation’s values. Ignoring national-origin discrimination practices and boycotts by parties simultaneously doing business with our state would weaken our economy, and make us de facto partners in these discriminatory practices and boycotts. This conflicts with the ethical standards of New Hampshire’s state government and its citizens.
The BDS hate movement targets Israelis, Jews, and their trade partners. Its official leadership structure includes U.S.-designated terrorist entities openly committed to the destruction of the State of Israel. In the course of promoting national origin discrimination against Israel, the BDS Hate Movement purposefully uses disinformation and baseless claims, as well as classic antisemitic themes, to demonize and dehumanize Israel, such as the suggestion of Jewish subversion, conspiracy theories, dual loyalty, greed and economic manipulation, and most horribly, blood libels.
To defend New Hampshire’s economic interests, the commercial liberty of our own local business owners, and our state’s public policy protections from discrimination, New Hampshire must recognize and support our economic partnership with Israel. Beyond New Hampshire’s borders, it is incumbent upon the United States of America to continue supporting our closest ally in the Middle East, as we have been doing for all but 20 minutes of the 75-year existence…yes, the United States was the first country to recognize the State of Israel, a mere 20-minutes after its founding. And we have remained the most steadfast of friends.
Our state must continue to pursue policies that enhance our economic strength and support the defense and independence of our citizens by protecting trade with Israel. We should demand the same from our federal delegation, ensuring another 75 years of friendship and prosperity.