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British firm cuts ties with Israeli company
By Meirav Crystal
Ynet / Israel Business
11 June 2010
British company RedRat announced to Israeli company Disk-In Pro that despite years of cooperation, it would no longer work with the Israeli company because of Israel`s policy in the Gaza Strip.
`A few days ago we received an email from RedRat which said they would not continue to work with us because of the flotilla events,` Dana Levinger, marketing manager at Disk-In Pro, told Ynet. `We are a planning company which also sets up visitors centers. RedRat sells us external cards that enable control of televisions and projectors, and we have worked with them for seven years.`
`We contacted them to order equipment about two weeks ago and didn`t get any reply,` she continues. `Then we get this mail, written by someone whom we don’t usually work with. In reply, we sent a mail expressing our regret that they mix politics and business and see only one side. We can easily buy their equipment, even now, from a sister company in France, but in light of that email, we don`t want them to profit from us.`
Can a conscience-stricken Brit boycott an Israeli company? After all, Israel has a free trade agreement with Britain, and a company cannot just decide independently to drop all connections with Israel for political reasons. Disk-In Pro can turn to the trade attaché in Britain, but this is a small family company, and the owner was the one who sent the letter.
`Happily do business with you in future`
The mail, which reached Disk-In Pro acquisitions manager, was sent by Dr. Chris Dodge, technical manager and owner of RedRat. In the mail, Dodge says that at present he fears they cannot sell their products to a company working in Israel.
Even though Disk-In Pro were good clients, he continues, they do not want to support Israel`s policy in the Gaza Strip as well as in the other `occupied Palestinian territories`. Continuing business as usual, he says, is tantamount to support.
Thus, Dodge says, his company joins a growing list of businesses, academic institutions and artists who think that this is the time to show protest. He also expressed his hope that Israeli politicians would find the responsibility Israel should have as the richest and strongest country in the region, under circumstances that are admittedly difficult. When this happens, he added, RedRat would happily do business with Israel again.
In a conversation with Ynet, the British company confirmed they worked with Disk-In Pro for a number of years and that they do not think this is the time to do business with Israeli companies in light of recent events. They added that in this they are acting as many other businesses, academics and artists are acting, and expressed their best wishes for Disk-In Pro`s success.
They also said that they currently have no other Israeli business partners, but that if they had, they would cease working with them too.
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