By Daniel Levitt (Chairman – SAZF Cape Council).
A group of concerned South African Zionists, motivated by the deliberate distortions and attacks from the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanction of Israel) have come together to form BSD Israel – an organization committed to seeding the message of “Buy, Support and Develop” Israel.
“Fed up and frustrated with the continuous anti-Israel sentiment that surrounds our community, we had a burning desire to turn all this negativity towards our homeland on its head.” said Daniel Levitt, Chairman of the South African Zionist Federation in Cape Town, South Africa. “We watch helplessly from our living rooms, seeing our brave soldiers on the front lines, our families and friends in Israel running to shelters and their daily lives being disrupted by the indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas”.
“The question on all of our hearts is what we, as Jewish and Christian Zionists in the diaspora, could really do to play a meaningful role in standing by our beloved State. It is time for action. Israel is facing an ideological, geographical and media battle at the moment.
We cannot allow her to run the risk of an economic battle” says Levitt. “In numbers we can form an economic army.” Established by passionate members of the community, BSD aims to inform the lovers of Israel on how they as individuals can come to the party for Israel. “Israel is a world leading developer of information technology, biotechnology, agricultural technology, produce and medical devices. Israeli entrepreneurs, tourism and agriculture need our diaspora support at all times but especially now.” says one supporter. “By buying Israeli made goods out of your local stores, supporting courageous organizations who stock Israeli products and by making a concerted effort to spend regularly with these retailers, we are directly developing the Israeli economy here in the diaspora.”
BSD Israel works closely with communal organizations, representatives of Israeli companies and trade offices to make sure that all leads and interest from the business community are professionally directed to the correct suppliers and networks. Whatever your business is looking for, be it fabric, fertilizers or new technology, BSD is encouraging you to spend the time and to investigate how you or your business can redirect potential spend. There are professional and established organizations that will assist in finding the correct connections in Israel. The BSD team are continuously available to help establish those connections with dynamic and reliable suppliers in Israel. Beyond the buying of products, BSD aims to empower pro Israel business owners and bring awareness that there are many professional avenues to source and trade with Israeli companies and products.
It is the vision of BSD to help build economic ties with Israel. “If each one of us makes a mind shift around these ideas, we can all play a massive part in giving back to the people of our land who sacrifice for us.” says Levitt, inserting proudly that BSD has received its first significant success as posted on the BSD Israel Facebook page: The following is a message received from a BSD pioneer: “Thanks to the BSD, I have decided to source the fabric that I use for printing from Israel. We are switching 100% of our fabric to Israeli made. This equates to R40 million of spend with Israel per year. Also trying to source an ink manufacturing company out of Israel which would add another R30 million worth of spend with Israel per year. We will continue to source every possible product that we can out of Israel & I am pushing every business owner that I know to do the same thing.”
A courageous supporter! He has identified an opportunity and has taken time and energy to make the switch. We can all make a connection, it may be a large change, as in the example above, or a smaller connection, that is equally relevant. Every action of support makes a difference – it is within our reach!