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

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly round-up of BDS fails:

Economic BDS Fails

·         Legatum Prosperity Index retains Israel at #38 in the world, just behind Italy


·       Israel, Jordan launch first ever joint infrastructure project

Israel has issued a tender for the construction of a new bridge across the Jordan River which would connect it with its neighbor from the east, the Ministry for Regional Cooperation said Sunday. The bridge will be part of the “Jordan-gate” project, which will see the establishment of a joint industrial zone between the two countries.  A ministry statement said that the project, which is the first ever joint infrastructure project between the two countries, will include two industrial areas and employment zones on both sides of the river, with a bridge that will connect between the two.

Israeli and Jordanian factories are set to be built on a 700 dunam swath of land on the Jordanian side, while the Israeli facility, which will span 245 dunams, will serve as a logistics base and an area for the transfer of goods to ports in Israel.

·         Israeli satellite to supply sub-Saharan Africa with free internet

An Israeli space company, Spacecom, is developing its newest satellite for Facebook and French satellite provider Eutelsat, in a venture intended to supply free Internet to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.  The project is part of Facebook’s Internet.org non-for-profit initiative of providing affordable or free Internet to countries with limited or no access to what founder, Mark Zuckerberg describes as “the knowledge economy.”

The AMOS-6 satellite, successor to the AMOS-2, will be equipped with 36 beams enabling it to cover the Middle East, Central East Europe and much of Africa. It will also contain enhanced backup capabilities in order to provide the highest service reliability.

·       Elbit Systems third quarter profit up 50%

[Elbit Systems president and CEO Bezhalel Machlis ] added, “Our results in the third quarter reflect a strong performance in Asia-Pacific, driven by increased defense spending in this region over the past few years. We are also witnessing a growing renewal of interest for our technologies and operational solutions in Europe, which creates the potential for future growth in this important market.”

·         Frutarom acquires Polish savory flavors co AMCO

This is the Israeli flavors and specialty fine ingredients company’s 11th acquisition in 2015.
Israeli flavors and specialty fine ingredients company Frutarom Industries Ltd. (TASE: FRUT; LSE:FRUT; OTCBB:FRUTF) has acquired 75% of Polish savory flavor solutions company AMCO Sp for $20.7 million. This is Frutarom’s eleventh acquisition in 2015 as the company pursues its growth strategy of global expansion.

·         Elbit SYstem to supply Switzerland with drones

Israel’s defense company Elbit Systems has won a contract worth $200 million to supply Switzerland with six surveillance drones. The Swiss Federal Department of Defense, Civil Protection and Sport (DDPS) signed the contract with the Israeli company two months after the Swiss parliament approved the deal. The model, Hermes 900, was chosen by the Swiss government in June 2014.

·         British travel group to hold annual conference in Israel  

While different organizations in the United Kingdom are calling for a boycott of Israeli products and institutions, the British Institute of Travel and Tourism (ITT) has decided to hold its annual conference in Israel of all places. The organization informed its members of the event in a special bulletin, noting that “El Al Israel Airlines is kindly offering preferential rates for ITT delegates, with economy fares available from £295 return including all taxes. Business class flights can be booked from £750 return including all taxes.”

Political BDS Fails

·         Boris Johnson banned from Palestinian charity visit after dismissing Israel boycott supporters as bunch of ‘lefty academics’

The Conservative MP was due to visit the Sharek Youth Forum at its offices in the West Bank this afternoon following a tour of Israel but was told he was not welcome just hours before his expected arrival.

A spokesperson for the charity said the action was taken in response to Mr Johnson’s “inaccurate, misinformed, and disrespectful statement” regarding the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) movement.

·         Israel to open representative office in Abu Dhabi

Israel plans to open a diplomatic-level mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency in Abu Dhabi, the first openly established representative office in the United Arab Emirates, Israeli diplomats said on Friday. The office will not be a full mission, but will consist of a diplomat assigned to the renewable energy agency. Nevertheless, it will be the first time an Israeli foreign ministry official is permanently stationed in the Gulf state.

·         Pro-BDS group linked to Jeremy Corbyn has accounts closed amid fears it may be funding terrorism

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC), whose patrons include Mr Corbyn, told by the Co-operative Bank that “risk-appetite” was the reason for closing its account .The bank closed another 20 organisations linked to Palestine, many of which are local PSC branches or projects launched by PSC.

·         Russia: No Turkish imports, we will import from Israel

On Wednesday, Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev said that Russia may substitute imports of vegetables from Turkey with those supplied from Iran, Israel, and Morocco due to a “breach in sanitary regulations.”  

Scientific, Cultural, & Technology BDS Fails

·         Israeli Shani Elitzur wins 3rd place at Berlin Falling Walls Lab in Berlin  for her innovative concept of renewable energy

Her research is concerned with safer and more based on demand hydrogen production offering by aluminum-water reactions possibilities for storing electric energy. Shani is seen in this clip: From Aluminum and Water to Electric Energy – Boat and Car Powered by Hydrogen  

·         Despite Paris attack, Eagles of Death Metal to return to Israel

During the Israel concert, frontman Jesse Hughes told the audience that the band had got a letter from former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, asking them not to perform in the country. “And you wanna know what I wrote back? Two words: ‘F**k you. Ain’t nobody gonna keep me from my people here in Tel Aviv,” Hughes said.

·         Netanya to host international surfing competition

The Israeli city of Netanya is joining the global family of professional surfing. The World Surf League (WSL) announced over the weekend that a QS1,500 men’s event will be held at the city’s “pristine, white-sand” Kontiki Beach on January 16-27, as the first event of the 2016 Qualifying Series sanctioned by WSL Europe. The 34 best surfers in the world will participate in the global round, competing for the title of world champion in a series of competitions taking place in exotic sites. In Netanya, they will compete for 10 tickets to the main round.  

·         José Mourinho takes swipe at Graeme Le Saux before Maccabi Tel Aviv match  

José Mourinho has claimed he had no “Graeme Le Saux” in his Chelsea squad as he confirmed none of his players had expressed any reluctance to travel to Israel for Tuesday’s Champions League group game against Maccabi Tel Aviv.

Chelsea left for Haifa, where the game will be staged, on Sunday in a bid to use the extra day to acclimatise to conditions before the match against Group G’s weakest side. It is 14 years since the London club last played in Israel and, on that occasion, six members of the squad – Le Saux, Marcel Desailly, William Gallas, Albert Ferrer, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emmanuel Petit – opted out of the trip, many apparently under pressure from their families, and remained in England.

·         Israeli invention to fight AIDS wins coveted tech prize

Life-saving circumcision procedure, already used by 100,000 men in developing countries, makes the cut at this year’s ‘Oscars of Silicon Valley’.  The simple device – two plastic rings and an elastic band – cuts off blood supply to the foreskin, which then shrivels and is removed with the band after a week. “There’s no blood, no stitches, no injection, very little or no pain, and it’s absolutely free…. You can trust me, my brother, I’ve done it myself,” Sabelo can be seen saying as he tries to persuade Johannesburg’s men to consider the procedure.

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