By Calev Ben-David Jan 29, 2014 1:43 PM ET
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said his country is nearing the “tipping point” where it could face crippling economic sanctions from Europe if it fails to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians.
A recent Finance Ministry report “shows that if the negotiations with the Palestinians reach a dead end or collapse and we enter the reality of a European boycott, even partially, the Israeli economy will contract, and every Israeli citizen will be hit directly in his pocketbook,” Lapid said today at a Tel Aviv conference.
Lapid cited several European economic sanctions in recent years directed at products from Israel’s West Bank settlements, or local companies that conduct business over the 1967 borders on territory claimed by Palestinians for a future state.
One example was the decision earlier this month by Dutch asset manager PGGM, which oversees more than 150 billion euros ($204 billion), to halt investments in Israel’s top five banks because of “their involvement in financing Israeli settlements.”
Lapid said his Yesh Atid party, the second-biggest faction in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led government, would push for a two-state solution with the Palestinians “while maintaining the security and economic interests of the State of Israel.”
To contact the reporter on this story: Calev Ben-David in Jerusalem at firstname.lastname@example.org