planning boycott on Israel
By Ora Coren
14 April 2002
The Belgian government is considering a commercial boycott of Israel,
leaders of the Belgian diamond sector informed their Israeli colleagues
The High Diamond Council, HRD, informed the general manager of
the Israel Diamond Manufacturers Association, Zvi Shur, that the
Belgian government had told them it was planning to discuss a boycott.
The president of the association, Uri Schwartz, told Ha'aretz that
a boycott would deal a serious blow to the Israeli diamond sector,
but added that it would be just as detrimental to Belgium's diamond
trade. About 65 percent of rough diamond imports to Israel come
from or through Belgium, which is the world's leading trader in
rough and cut diamonds.
According to the association, Israel imports $250-300 million worth
of rough diamonds from Belgium every month. To compare, De Beers,
which is considered Israel's largest single provider of rough diamonds,
sells Israel $100 million worth of diamonds a month. Belgium accounts
for only 10 percent ($30-$35 million) of Israel's diamond export.
The World Diamond Congress, which was scheduled to take place in
he Belgian government is considering a commercial boycott of Israel,
in May 2002, has been postponed due to the security situation.