BDS is failing: a continuing series (Nov. 2015)

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly series of posts detailing BDS fails


The Israeli pavilion at the annual World Travel Market (WTM) in London got a significant upgrade this year, giving it a look more like those of the fair’s leading countries. Advanced design work and use of tech have made it especially impressive.

Attractions such as an interactive virtual tree that greets guests, swimsuit-clad models with sashes that say “Land of Creation” (an international slogan of Israel’s) on them, free Bamba (a popular peanut butter-based Israeli snack), and even chefs from a successful Israeli restaurant in London, who made shakshuka (a dish of eggs poached in a tomato-based sauce) all greeted guests.

Israeli online payments solution company Payoneer Inc. has been selected by online retail giant Amazon Inc. to expand cross-border payment options to sellers from 24 countries who sell on marketplaces in the US, Spain, France, Italy, Germany and the UK. As a featured payment solution for select countries within Amazon Seller Central, Payoneer will provide a simple and convenient way for sellers from top markets including China, Japan and South Korea to receive their Amazon disbursements.

Israel signed a deal this week with the US state of Colorado to further increase R&D cooperation. Under the agreement, start-ups and veteran firms will receive funding from either or both governments for research and development projects in the areas of energy, agriculture, cybersecurity and other promising technologies.


Gulf countries fearful of attack from Iran are in talks to acquire a bigger version of Israel’s powerful Iron Dome anti-missile system, the foreign minister of Bahrain has said.

The multibillion-pound deal would involve negotiations between the Gulf Co-operation Council countries — Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait — and Israeli weapons companies, with the US playing the middleman, according to Khalid bin Muhammad al-Khalifa.

The unlikely partnership between the ancient foes has been spurred by a UN-backed agreement to lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbs on the country’s controversial nuclear programme. Israel and the Gulf now share a common enemy in Iran, which was certain to increase its weapons capabilities, Mr Khalifa told Sky News.

guardian blog



According to the Kuwaiti daily Al Qabas, Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal said on Tuesday that he would support Israel in an intifada and that Saudi Arabia must reconsider its regional commitments and devise a new strategy to combat Iran’s increasing influence in the Gulf by forging a defense pact with the Jewish state.

“I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian intifada and I shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv, because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment,” Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA) quoted Prince al-Waleed as saying.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s brother-in-law underwent life-saving heart surgery at a private hospital in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Hebrew media reported Thursday.

He was hospitalized at the Assuta Medical Center in northern Tel Aviv’s Ramat Hachayal neighborhood. The surgery was successful and he was said to be recovering in intensive care.

Despite recent tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel approved the entry of Abbas’s wife’s brother to receive treatment in Tel Aviv, Walla reported. The report didn’t name Abbas’s brother-in-law.

Cultural, Technology  and Scientific

Watch the video – The race is on to get the world’s first self-driving car on the road, and the world’s biggest car brands – BMW, Tesla and Audi – have all turned to Mobileye, a cutting-edge Israeli start-up.

Thirteen academics from several leading universities in the UK participated in a conference over the course of the weekend on quantitative studies of conflict in international relations.

·         Berlin and Tel Aviv Collaborate in “Startup City

Berlin is Germany’s capital for start-ups with around 500 new digital startups each year. It has a fast-growing start-up scene, together with a successful infrastructure for funding and financing. Tel Aviv and Berlin are both known as startup hubs and breeding grounds for creative ways to change the world. And both cities intend to reinforce the international visibility of their startup activities and have therefore signed a collaboration between Berlin Partner and Tel Aviv Global about this matter.

Good news for Enrique Iglesias’ fans in Israel: After the Latin pop star’s December 16 concert was sold out within 14 hours, the Bluestone Production company decided to add a second show on December 22 at the Menorah Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv, which was also sold out within hours.

“This morning I was thinking about Israel and my relationship with that beautiful country,” she said in her speech. “My visit to Israel in those early days is one of the building blocks that have made me into the actress that I am, doing the kind of work that I do, that I seek to do, and the way in which I seek to do it.

“I love Israel. I think it’s a great, great country. I think that through all the difficulties and all the pain that Israel has suffered in the past and will in the future, the great thing that Israel has is Israelis, and they will guide it through.”

Hollywood actor Navid Negahban is standing in line, patiently waiting for a table at the small Persian restaurant, “Salimi,” in the Nachalat Binyamin neighborhood of Tel Aviv. He doesn’t make a big deal out of the fact that he acted in hit TV shows “24” and “Homeland” (in which he played Abu Nazir, senior al-Qaeda terrorist) and doesn’t ask to jump the line.

Levit’s career to date has been a remarkable one, including considerable international acclaim and numerous awards, from first prize at the International Piano Academy Competition in Hamamatsu, Japan (2004) and a silver medal at the Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition in Tel Aviv (2005) where he was the youngest participant.

In 2014, he won the newcomer categories in both the BBC Music Magazine and Royal Philharmonic Society awards and in 2011-13, Levit was also selected as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist — a scheme launched in 1999 that helps talented musicians reach the next stage of their careers.

Levit is currently touring in Germany and then in late October he will be in Israel for a series of five concerts in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem with the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra. In December he will be in New York, playing the Goldberg Variations in collaboration with performance artist, Marina Abramović.

INSIGHTEC, the leader in MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) therapy announces today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved its next generation Exablate system to treat symptomatic uterine fibroids and changed the labeling to allow consideration for women who desire to maintain fertility. The updated labeling specifies that ablation of uterine fibroid tissue can now be considered for women with symptomatic uterine fibroids, who desire to retain fertility and spare their uterus.

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