#BDS is failing: a continuing series (Feb. 2016)

Here’s the latest installment in our monthly round-up of BDS fails. (When debating those who contend that BDS is succeeding, consider citing some of these examples.)

Economic BDS Fails:

Florida becomes 5th state to pass anti-BDS resolution

Florida has become the fifth American state to pass a resolution condemning the anti-Semitic and anti-Israel BDS movement.

On Dec. 21, Florida legislators followed the lead of Tennessee, whose state legislature was the first to pass a similar resolution against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement targeting Israel. Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam became the first state leader to sign a resolution of this type, following efforts by PJTN – Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, a Tennessee-based Christian Zionist organization.

Anti-BDS bill introduced in California legislature

LOS ANGELES – A bill aiming to counter the anti-Israel Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment movement, or BDS, was introduced in the California State Legislature.

The measure introduced Monday forbids the state government from contracting with companies “engaging in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender or nationality.”

Travis Allen, a Republican assemblyman, in introducing the bill said that “boycotts of entities and individuals affiliated with specific countries can amount to ethnic, religious, racial and/or national origin discrimination.”

“No group better demonstrates this fact than the BDS movement, whose use of false, demonizing and delegitimizing propaganda against the State of Israel has become a pretext for the expression of anti-Jewish bigotry,” said Allen, of Huntington Beach in Southern California’s Orange County.

Netflix Goes Live in Israel

Video streaming service Netflix Inc., which is available in 130 countries, has gone live in Israel, too, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced yesterday

Israel’s Foreign Reserves Reached a Record $90b in 2015

Reserves exceeded $90 billion as central bank bought currency to offset shekel strength.

“Stunning” fall in Israel’s debt-to-GDP ratio

The debt-to-GDP ratio constitutes one of the main indicators of Israel’s economic soundness, and is a material consideration in determining its credit rating. The 2015 figures establish Israel as a country that has managed to lower its debt ratio more than any other Western country since 2008. The fall in the debt ratio is also expected to lower financing costs on the debt, which totaled NIS 38 billion in 2014, in the current budget, thereby freeing up money for spending by the civilian ministries.

Political BDS Fails:

JHRW Makes History in UK As Swansea Rescind BDS Motion

Jewish Human Rights Watch is delighted to announced that Swansea Council has offered to rescind its BDS motion, which we have now accepted. We are happy Swansea has seen the true Antisemitic nature of the BDS movement.

We would now like to call upon the other councils with BDS motions: West Dunbartonshire,Highland, Newry & Mourne, Stirling, Leicester , Gwynned and Clackmannanshire to take head and follow Swansea’s lead in not allowing BDS Antisemitism and to spending their money on their local communities, where it matters.

In 2016 JHRW will be left with no option but to go ahead with our Judicial Review hearings in the High Court for Leicester and Gwynned unless they follow Swansea’s logical and admirable lead by rescinding their motions. We will now dedicate our resources to taking similar action in Northern Ireland & Scotland to eradicate the Anti-Semitic BDS from the UK.

JHRW also plan to work on educating Schoolchildren and University Students on the true Anti-Semitic nature of the BDS in order to prepare them for the rising tide of Anti-Semitism it is creating.

Israeli protest gets Barghouti painting removed from exhibit

A Paris auction house recently removed a painting in which terrorist Marwan Barghouti was presented as a Palestinian version of Nelson Mandela after the Israeli embassy sent a letter protesting it. The painting was supposed to be auctioned ,with proceeds going to the Reporters Without Borders organization.

The artist who painted Barghouti wrote in the inscription that “Nelson Mandela was also called a terrorist in the 1950s.” The Israeli embassy sent a letter to the auction house expressing disapproval of the comparison. The letter emphasized that Barghouti is a convicted murderer and a terrorist, while Mandela opposed violence.

UK Co-op Bank to close account of anti-Israel group

An anti-Israel group has accused the Co-operative Bank of “institutional bullying and racism” after it was told its bank account would be closed.

Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) was informed last month that its account with the Co-op would be closed after a 60-day notice period.

FOA describes itself as a “UK based non-profit making NGO concerned with defending the human rights of Palestinians and protecting the sacred al-Aqsa Sanctuary in Jerusalem”.

The group was given notice three weeks after the bank shut accounts belonging to the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and a number of associated groups.

Spain compensates Israeli school in West Bank for excluding students

Spain has paid an Israeli university in the West Bank compensation totaling $107,000 for damages caused by its exclusion from a scientific competition.

The central government transferred the money to Ariel University earlier this month, as per a recent decision by the Spanish Council of State, according to a statement published Wednesday by ACOM, a pro-Israel organization based in Madrid.

In its decision to exclude the university from participating in the Solar Decathlon Europe competition in 2010, the Spanish government had cited the fact that Ariel is located in a West Bank settlement.

ACOM called the decision a “legal victory against BDS,” in reference to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The council, Spain’s highest consulting body, said Spain violated an article in the European nation’s constitution that forbids forms of discrimination based on nationality of place of origin.

Sussex Friends of Israel – BBC reports on Israeli NGO “IsraAid” helping with floods

BBC Look North (Yorkshire) reporting on the work of Israeli NGO IsraAid in helping with the flood relief efforts in the North of England….. (Facebook log-in required)

Canadian Media Mogul, Philanthropist Threatens to Pull Donations to York U Over ‘Antisemitic’ Mural

Canadian businessman Paul Bronfman has threatened to pull “thousands of dollars” in funding from York University in Toronto if campus authorities do not remove a Palestinian protest mural hanging across the student center.

“The upshot is that if that poster is not gone by the end of day today then William F. White [a production subsidiary of Bronfman’s Comweb Group] is out of York. York is going to lose thousands of dollars of television production equipment used for emerging student filmmakers, access to technical people who do education and student training and student seminars, workshops and open houses at William F. White Center that help them develop the hard skills needed to fill industry infrastructure positions like gaffer or grip: they will no longer be invited. York University will be persona non grata at William F. White international until they take that poster down,” Bronfman said in an open letter to university President Mamdouh Shoukri.

Scientific, Cultural, Technology BDS Fails:

IsraAid rescuing Syrian Refugees at The Island of Tears (Video)

Every day, thousands of refugees from Syria arrive by boat on the shores of the Greek island of Lesvos, hoping to find a new start in Europe. Waiting for them on the shore is a rescue team of doctors and nurses, both Arab and Jewish, from the Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAid.

AirBnB now offering accommodation in West Bank Arab and Israeli homes

The global accommodation bookings website boasts listings in over 190 countries, including Israel and the “Palestinian Territories”, as the West Bank and Gaza are described on the company’s website. But while a search for Airbnb properties in the Palestinian Territories turns up rentals in the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus, properties in settlements such as Efrat, Ma’ale Rehavam and Tekoa are listed as being in Israel.

International experts come to Israel to learn how to deal with disasters

Hundreds of professionals from 30 countries participated in a large-scale exercise at the Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva this week, simulating the evacuation of dozens of casualties following a massive terrorist attack.

Dozens of simulated casualties with various degrees of injury were evacuated to Soroka in scenarios mimicking a terror attack in a populated urban facility and leakage of hazardous materials from a train car. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, a delegation of experts in the field of treating victims of large-scale natural disasters came to Israel to learn of Israeli treatment of physical trauma victims. The knowledge they gained will be used back in their home countries, which suffer from frequent natural disasters.

The experts included medical doctors and government officials from India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia. The arrival of Indonesian representatives was a rare occasion since the country has no diplomatic ties with Israel.

The Coolest Israeli Startups And Innovations Of 2015

2015 was a stellar year for Israeli innovation. Over the past year, the Israeli startup ecosystem has made global headlines with a host of new cutting-edge technologies that include breakthrough medical devices, FinTech solutions, cyber-security systems, Internet of Things (IoT) gizmos, and a long list of cool gadgets and apps that have gained immense popularity around the world during 2015.

Furthermore, 62 Israeli startup companies were sold for a whopping $7.2 billion in 2015, compared to 52 companies for $5 billion in 2014, according to a report released today by accounting firm PwC. In addition to acquiring Israeli high-tech companies, corporations and investment firms from all over the world are pouring more cash than ever on budding Israeli startups: In the first three-quarters of 2015, 506 Israeli startups collectively raised a record $3.2 billion, compared to $2.3 billion at this time last year, according to IVC Research Center. The annual report is due to come out next month, and observers estimate that 2015 could break another record, surpassing 2014.

Israeli tech shines at CES conference in Las Vegas

Mobileye, the developer of collision-avoidance technology, unveiled a new mapping systems based on its vehicle cameras called “Road Experience Management (REM)”, for use in autonomous car navigation. Its first strategic partners will be General Motors and Volkswagen, and the company said another major strategic partner would be announced this year.

Intel, amid a slew of flashy announcements that included joint cooperation with the likes of Lady Gaga, New Balance and Oakley Sunglasses, unveiled a project with Israel’s Replay Technologies.

Replay has created a technology called “FreeD,” which allows sports fans to watch events from any angle and make their own sharable video clips. The sixth-generation Intel processors on which the technology runs was largely developed at Intel’s Israel facilities.

Competing chipmaker Qualcomm, meanwhile, unveiled a router it called “the world’s first multi-band router based on 802.11ad – the latest, most powerful innovation in wireless technology.”

The embedded technology that delivers wireless on 60 Ghz bands was entirely developed in Israel.

It also announced the use of its Snapdragon chips on LeTV smart devices, which include fingerprint technology partly developed in Israel.

Following in Mobileye’s steps, chipmaker Valens announced that GM, Daimler AG and Delphi had joined up with its organization HDBaseT, whose technology helps send high-quality information over long distances and can be used in smart cars.

And OrCam announced that its visual-aid technology OrCam-MyEye would be released in Hebrew, finally allowing Israeli users to access the technology that was developed in their backyard.

Two Israeli inventions voted CES favorites

Thousands of companies showed off tens of thousands of products to over 100,000 visitors at this year’s just-concluded Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas – with the action followed by millions on-line. And when the smoke cleared, there were just two gadgets left standing – both of them Israeli.

Both the Last Gadget Standing Live Audience winner, and the Last Gadget Standing Online winner – the VUZE Camera from HumanEyes Technologies, and the Steam CC Ripple Maker, respectively – were feted by no less a tech personality than David Pogue, founder of Yahoo! Tech and a frequent contributor to top news sites like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many others. “It’s awesome to see companies bare their corporate souls in such fun and imaginative ways,” Pogue said of the Last Gadget Standing contest, praising the participants – and especially the winners – for their innovative tech.

Israeli model lands major fashion campaign with Diesel Fashion

Famously androgynous Israeli model Stav Strashko, 24, was announced on Sunday as the face of fashion brand Diesel’s global ad campaign for the upcoming summer – no mean feat in the world of international fashion.

Strashko previously walked the runway for Diesel in 2014. He has frequently modeled women’s clothing and often appears at events wearing dresses.

Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc. leads $15m investment in CartiHeal

Israeli cartilage and bone regeneration device developer CartiHeal (2009) Ltd. has closed a $15 million financing round. The investment was led by Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC Inc. together with CartiHeal’s existing investors: Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (TASE: ELRN), Accelmed, Access Medical Ventures and Peregrine Ventures.

The funds will be used to promote ongoing manufacturing scale-up, plans for initial European commercialization in 2017 and expansion of clinical studies to new therapeutic areas.

Legendary rock band Deep Purple coming back to Israel

Veteran rockers Deep Purple will be coming to Israel to play one live show on May 22 in Rishon Lezion. It’ll be the band’s fifth visit to the Holy Land since their first show in Israel in 1991.

The show, which will take place at the Live Park in Rishon Lezion on May 22, will be Deep Purple’s fifth in the Holy Land since playing live in Israel for the first time in 1991.

Israeli-designed ambulance drone takes flight

The AirMule, which can take off and land vertically, is designed for conditions where landing a helicopter is unfeasible – such as on a battlefield. The drone, made by Israeli company Tactical Robotics, has seen recent setbacks in development but is designed to carry up to 450kg up to 31 miles.

Israeli data recovery co Zerto raises $50m

Israeli startup Zerto has raised $50 million in a financing round led by US fund IVP. Zerto has developed a solution for data protection and recovery and migration for enterprises, especially after disasters, and the transfer of information between virtual data centers and clouds, The company also announced more than 100% growth in its revenue for the fourth straight year. “Globes” selected Zerto as one of its most promising companies for 2015.

US-Israel cyber-security firm ForeScout hits billion-dollar mark

ForeScout Technologies, an US-Israeli cyber-security firm with a large R&D staff in Israel, announced Friday that it had raised $76 million in additional financing. The company now has a valuation of $1 billion, making it the latest tech “unicorn,” the term for a privately held firm that makes it to the billion-dollar club. With the funding, said ForeScout, it has tripled its valuation over the past 18 months. Financing was led by Wellington Management Company LLP.

Brian Wilson announces show in Israel

Beach Boys singer’s site says he will be arriving in Israel as part of a world tour celebrating 50 years of making music.

Heavy metal legends Megadeth coming to Israel

The heavy metal band is returning to Israel to play a live show on July 2 at Rishon Lezion’s amphitheater. It will be the metal giants’ fifth show in the country and was supposed to take place in 2014, but was canceled due to Operation Protective Edge.


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