BDS is failing – a continuing series (Aug-Sept 2016)

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails.


Political BDS Fails

Benjamin Netanyahu accepts invitation to be first Israeli PM to visit Australia

Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to make the first official visit to Australia by a sitting Israeli prime minister.

Australian foreign minister, Julie Bishop, extended the invitation on a two-day visit to Israel in which she met Netanyahu and the president, Reuven Rivlin.

At a photo opportunity at their meeting, Bishop said: “We’re thinking there’s a little window of opportunity early next year maybe, and the Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you.”

Netanyahu accepted and described Australia’s friendship as “terrific”.

Israel and Guinea announce diplomatic relations

The Muslim sub-Saharan state of Guinea opened up diplomatic relations with Israel for the first time on Wednesday in a bi-lateral agreement signed in Paris.

As Israel pivots to Africa, top diplomat meets Chad president

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold met President Idriss Déby on July 14 at his presidential palace in the city of Fada, in the heart of the Saharan desert, the Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement.

The meeting follows Israel’s announcement earlier this week of the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the Republic of Guinea, an overwhelmingly Muslim state in West Africa.

The Republic of Chad, in Central Africa, cut diplomatic ties with Jerusalem in the 1970s. Gold’s meeting with Déby last week does not yet signify the formal renewal of relations. “We view the meeting as an important step in our relations with Chad,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon told The Times of Israel.

Knesset members to visit Saudi Arabia

Arab-Israeli member of the Knesset Issawi Frej told Israeli state media on Sunday that preparations are ongoing for a visit of opposition members in the Israeli parliament to Saudi Arabia—a first of its kind.

Frej, 52, member of the left-leaning Meretz party told the state broadcasting service Voice of Israel that a Saudi delegation that visited Israel last week and met with opposition MPs expressed willingness to enhance relations with Israel.

The Saudi delegation was headed by retired general Anwar Eshki and included academics and businessmen but, according to Israeli media, did not include officials. However, the delegation met with Israeli officials including director general of the Israeli foreign ministry Dore Gold.

The meeting of the Saudi delegation with opposition members in the Knesset was attended by member of the central committee in the Palestinian Fattah movement Jibril Rajoub.

Both the Saudi visit and the planned Israeli one serve as an example of the rapidly developing bilateral relations between the two countries that have been officially unrecognised since the two close-in-age countries were established. Saudi authorities deny visas for citizens of Israel or foreigners who have visas for Israel in their passports.

Labour left humiliated after G4S turns down last-ditch plea to provide conference security despite boycott

Labour has been left humiliated after being forced to ask a security company it had pledged to boycott to help police its annual conference – only to be rejected.

G4S, which has provided security at the event for 20 years, is understood to be concerned about staff safety after Labour voted for a boycott over its prison contracts and links to Israel.

It follows a warning from Len McCluskey, the Unite boss, that the conference could be cancelled unless a provider is found urgently.

Sources close to the company warned that the short notice it was given and previous incidents at the event, including staff being spat at and verbally abused, made it impossible for G4S to accept the offer.

Economic BDS Fails

Hundreds of Canadian and American immigrants move to Israel

218 Olim moved to Israel to fulfill the Zionist dream; ‘I thought about it for 50 years and now I am finally here,’ says Elain from New Jersey; Immigrants greeted by Minister of Immigrant Absorption and by dozens of Israelis.

Cyber security company Intsights raises $7.5m

Israeli cyber security company Intsights has completed a $7.5 million Series A financing round. The round was led by Blumberg Capital and included seed investor Glilot Capital Partners as well as Blackstone, Wipro Ventures, the strategic investment arm of Wipro Limited, and additional private investors. Earlier this month Indian software company Wipro reported that it had invested $1.5 million in Intsights.

Brussels Airlines reinstates Israeli Halva

After Israeli political pressure and threats from Israelis to boycott the airline, Belgian carrier Brussels Airways has reversed its decision to stop supplying Ahva brand Halva on its flights.

The airline announced that it would cease providing the product as a part of its vegetarian meal after a Palestinian Solidarity Movement activist saw the product on a flight from Israel to Belgium. The activist claims that the product, produced in the Barkan Industrial Park outside of Ariel, is a settlement product on occupied territory.

In a letter sent by the company to Israeli Ambassador to Belgium Simona Frankel, the airline said “it is clear that Ahva remains one of our trusted providers, without distinguishing the origin of the product, and therefore, we will continue to have Ahva products on our flights, especially in light of the critical role it plays in the (Israeli) community.”

El Al profit doubled in Q2

El Al CEO: Revenue and profitability rose despite the challenge of competition and lower fares.

El Al Israel Airlines Ltd. (TASE: ELAL) has reported its results for the second quarter and first half of 2016. The company’s operating revenue rose slightly, while quarterly profits doubled. El Al announced an $18.3 million dividend.

Ford buys Israeli machine learning co SAIPS

Car manufacturing giant Ford has acquired Israeli computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS. The acquisition of the Rehovot-based company is part of Ford’s pledge to develop a driverless car by 2021. No financial details of the acquisition were disclosed but media reports say Ford will pay several tens of millions of dollars. This is Ford’s first acquisition in Israel.

Culture, Sport and Technology BDS Fails

Egyptian judoka sent home from Rio after refusing to shake Israeli opponent’s hand

Egyptian judoka Islam El Shehaby has been sent home from the Rio Olympics after refusing to shake the hand of Israeli Or Sasson following the end of their bout, the International Olympic Committee said on Monday.

Middle East politics spilled onto the judo mat at the Rio Olympics on Friday as El Shehaby snubbed Sasson after being comfortably beaten in the judo bout – and was booed by the Rio crowd.

He was sent home by his own team and reprimanded by the IOC on Monday for his behaviour.

Israeli Inventions Have Changed Your Life — And You Didn’t Even Know It

… the fact is that Israel is making the world a better place. These wonderful inventions can be found in so many places. At your clinic. In your office. Or at a social function. And I bet that you have benefited from Israeli inventions. Perhaps your parents or children’s lives were impacted by these Israeli inventions. So take a look and enjoy this video about Israeli inventions. Women will find the last one very interesting.

Why you’ll be glued to The Beauty and the Baker, Channel 4’s new Israeli drama

There is no escaping the fact that The Beauty and the Baker – a new romantic comedy set to hit our screens next week – the story is cut from the same cloth [as “Notting Hill”]: rich and famous girl meets humble boy and they fall in love. But rather than being set against the mad bad streets of Kensington and Chelsea, this new take on the classic rom com plunges us into the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, with a love story interwoven with as many political and religious tensions as Richard Curtis had ways of saying “bottom”.

Ricky Martin is coming to Israel

 Charismatic singer Ricky Martin is slated to come to Israel for his first ever performance on September 14. “I am extremely excited,” he said. “It’ll be an amazing event, two hours to forget all the issues in life and just to be yourself.”

In addition to looking forward to experiencing the local culture and cuisine, Martin spoke of a deeper connection to Israel. “I also heard it’s a very spiritual country, so I will allow myself to go there for a minute when I’m in Israel.”

Israeli gymnasts win gold in Baku just before Olympic games in Rio

The International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) World Cup Final was held in the Azerbaijani capital on Sunday, and saw the Israeli team bring home the gold; Israel also took the gold for this event at the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships earlier this month.

Israeli co HomeBiogas turns waste into cooking gas

Israeli startup HomeBiogas is trying to deal with garbage using a special system. HomeBiogas founder and CEO Oshik Efrati told “Globes” that the system was a “home biogas system that receives the home organic waste – food fragments – and turns it into cooking gas and liquid fertilizer using a simple biological process. The size of the device is one meter by 1.5 meters, like a trash can outside your house. At this stage, the device is suitable only for private homes, and is very efficient. Three kilograms of waste produces enough gas for three hours of cooking. One family’s waste can produce enough energy to cook three meals. The byproduct of the process is what is regarded as high-quality liquid fertilizer containing minerals and suitable for the garden. It makes garden crops grow almost twice as big, and also saves on watering.”

Israeli students win silver and bronze at computer science Olympiad

High school students from Israel have won silver and bronze in a computer science Olympiad held in Kazan, Russia; competing against teams from 81 other countries, this win brings the number of science Olympiad medals won by Israelis in competitions around the world to 14.

Tel Aviv boasts being dog-friendliest city in world, holds first ever dog day celebration

Boasting the highest number of dogs per capita in the world, Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is making sure it is also the friendliest city in the world for dogs.

It is a well-known fact that the residents of Tel Aviv love dogs! In recognition of this, and for the first time in Israel, the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality has organized a city-wide celebration of a special day for dogs, held on August 26, 2016. 


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