Silicon Wadi

Everyone supports the boycott until it touches the luxuries they believe they cannot live without. Then they are silent, suddenly forgetting their principles.

It’s easy to say no to figs grown in Israel, or to a pot of jam featuring a barcode starting 729. But to shun that shiny smartphone stuffed full of Silicon Wadi tech, brought to you by a company investigating $1.2 billion in the state? All at once the protestors have lost their tongues.

The truth is, Israeli tech and research plays a major role in nearly everything we do online. International technology giants like Apple, Google and Microsoft; all major chip manufacturers; all major network and storage companies; and all the big players in digital and social media — all of these players are heavily invested in the state that every celebrity activist loves to hate.

Intel is currently investigating $10 billion in a new plant there. So switch to Qualcomm? No can do. AMD? Nope. Arm? Er, no. Ditch Broadcom? What and lose wireless charging, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 3D depth-sensing and GPS in your iPhone? And remove Dropbox, Facebook, eBay, PayPal and Amazon from our online toolkit? Are you joking, comes the inevitable retort.

All of a sudden, the rules of engagement have changed, for we are reluctant to take a stand when it comes to the beloved tech that makes our lives today so easy. Much like our apparently resolute leaders, who talk tough to Israel in public, but who would rather like to sign a deal to secure unfettered access to much needed natural gas.

Clearly, for the revolutionaries in our midst, some comforts are worth more than the principles they proclaim so proudly. But not to worry; anyone who notices can quite easily be written off as a Zionist or Zionist stooge. On with the show.

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