Catching up to BDS-related stories closer to home, here’s another bit of information that can help put the whole divestment phenom into perspective.
According to a new study released recently, relations between Massachusetts and Israeli companies generates $2.4 billion in direct revenue and a total of $7.8 direct and indirect revenue for the Commonwealth, making this relationship responsible for approximately 6000 jobs in the region (mostly high-paying jobs in the information technology and life sciences sectors).
This research was performed by the independent firm Stax, Inc. and was commissioned by the New England-Israel Business Council. Because the purpose of this study was more financial than political, Stax was asked to make conservative assumptions when performing its analysis.
After all, this report was created to give business leaders, investors and policy makers hard numbers to justify further expansion of the Massachusetts-Israel relationship at a time when Startup Nation and other works have alerted other states to begin competing for those partnerships. And people making dollars-and-cents decisions would be understandably skeptical of a report that used BDS-style math that counted every Falafel sandwich purchased at Ramis as part of Israel’s contribution to the Commonwealth’s economy.
So, while Israel continues to be responsible for 1-2% of the revenue in the state, a quick analysis of the other BDS story in the region reveals that the Somerville Divestment Project (under their new ungainly moniker of New England Residents for International Human Rights), whose anti-Israel/anti-Sharia non-binding questions passed last Tuesday, has contributed approximately $40 to the local economy: $38.20 coming from photocopying their own press releases and the other $1.80 related to the cost of having those documents recycled.