BDS is failing – a continuing series (Dec. 2016)

Here's the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts highlighting BDS Fails.

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts highlighting BDS Fails.

Political BDS Fails

Israel’s Arab and Muslim Allies Aid in Firefighting Effort

( Several of Israel’s Arab and Muslim allies have sent firefighting equipment to help put out the raging fires across the Jewish state in a show of regional cooperation and solidarity.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that Egypt will send two helicopters, while Jordan is dispatching a number of fire trucks to battle the blazes. Azerbaijan, a Muslim-majority nation and one of Israel’s closest allies in central Asia, announced Friday that it sent BE-200CS amphibious aircraft to Israel, the Azeri News Agency reported. The moves by Egypt, Jordan, and Azerbaijan come after Turkey sent firefighting aircraft to Israel Thursday.

The Palestinian Authority is also contributing to the firefighting effort, sending several firefighters from the West Bank to battle blazes in northern Israel.

“Fire doesn’t distinguish between Jews and Arabs,” Member of Knesset Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint Arab List party, said Thursday.

The show of solidarity from Arab and Muslim allies was a welcome sign for Israel after Arabic-speaking social media users had used the hashtag “Israel is burning” to celebrate the fires raging across the Jewish state. 

Israel has also received help from a number of its non-Muslim allies in Europe. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations expressed gratitude to the countries assisting the Jewish state.

“Among those nations sending firefighters and equipment were Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Jordan, Palestinian Authority, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine” and the U.S., the Conference of Presidents said in a press release, noting that Israel “has often responded when other countries faced natural disasters or violent attacks.

Promising Pick for UN Ambassador

If confirmed by the United States Senate, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley will become the next American ambassador to the United Nations, replacing Samantha Power in that role…

…She also introduced legislation that would outlaw BDS. Though the bill did not mention Israel, its definition of “boycott” — “to blacklist, divest from, or otherwise refuse to deal with a person or firm when the action is based on race, color, religion, gender, or national origin of the targeted person or entity” – implies that behavior towards the Jewish state provided part of the impetus for it.

This is why Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon hailed Haley’s appointment, while Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations Riyad Mansour snorted at it.

Russian Prime Minister Medvedev opens Israel trip with visit to Western Wall

Russian Prime Minister Demitry Medvedev began a three-day trip to the region with a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City early on Thursday.

Prior to his arrival he told Channel 2, “Our country has never denied the rights of Israel or the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount or the Western Wall.”

Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch welcomed Medvedev to Judaism’s holiest prayer site.

The visit marks 25-years of diplomatic ties between Israel and Russia. While Medvedev is here, the two countries plan to sign agreements in agriculture, customs, high-tech and construction.

Medvedev will also meet later Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Friday he is due to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Jericho.

In September, Russia proposed to host a meeting between Abbas and Netanyahu but it has not yet come to fruition.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Arrives In Mumbai For 8-Day Visit

MUMBAI:  Israeli President Reuven Rivlin arrived in India today morning on an eight-day visit to further strengthen bilateral ties. Mr Rivlin, who landed at the Mumbai airport with a large delegation of businessmen and academicians, will leave for Delhi today.

He will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and visit several sites of co-operation and joint projects between the two nations.

Mr Rivlin will join President Pranab Mukherjee in opening an agro-tech conference in Chandigarh. He will also pay his respects at the sites of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks in Mumbai and lay wreaths at memorials for Mahatma Gandhi and for Indian soldiers, who died in World War I.
Six people from the Jewish community were killed at the Mumbai Chabad house during the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26, 2008.

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Signs Bill Prohibiting State from Contracting with Businesses that Boycott Israel

Mr Rivlin will also hold meetings with senior Indian officials and with leaders of the Jewish community.

“I am departing now on an important visit to India, an important ally and close friend of Israel, a state with whom we have much in common,” Mr Rivlin said before he boarded the flight to Mumbai.

November 04, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Today, Governor Tom Wolf signed HB 2107, sponsored by Representative Matt Baker, which prohibits the commonwealth from contracting with any company or organization that engages in an economic boycott against Israel. The movement to engage in these kinds of boycotts, called Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BSD, has actively encouraged boycotts in place of peace talks to settle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“We must make clear that we are in favor of a peaceful, negotiated solution to this conflict and that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the United States, stand behind our friends and allies, and will not encourage economic punishment in place of peaceful solutions to challenging conflicts,” said Governor Tom Wolf. “We, as a Commonwealth, must make sure that Pennsylvania is not contributing to a cause that is antithetical to our country’s position on the world’s stage.”

Increasing number of Britons opposed to BDS, poll shows

Fifty seven percent of respondents said they regard Israel as an ally of Britain in the Middle East

The number of Britons opposed to economic and cultural boycotts of Israel has soared considerably over the past year, a new poll made public on Friday shows.

Fifty one percent of respondents to a survey conducted on behalf of the pro-Israeli Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) think tank voiced their opposition to the Boycott Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement, saying they “do not boycott Israeli goods, and find it difficult to see why others would single out Israel given everything else that is going on in the world.”

This represents an eight percent rise compared to last year’s survey. Fifty six percent of respondents agreed that a boycott hurts both Palestinians and Israelis, a nine percent increase on last year.

Mich. U. Central Student Government resolution to divest fails

At their weekly meeting Tuesday, Central Student Government voted 34 to 13 to reject a resolution that would have called on the University of Michigan to divest its investments in several companies that allegedly commit human rights violations against Palestinians.

Scottish Parliament Welcomes New Pro-Israel Group To Its Ranks

A ROW has broken out after a pro-Israel lobby group was approved at Holyrood in a bid to counter claims that MSPs are overly hostile to the state.

MSPs from all parties, with the exception of the Scottish Greens, will be represented on the ‘Building Bridges with Israel’ cross-party group, which aims to establish closer cultural, academic and economic links with the country.

It has been set up in a bid to oppose anti-Semitism and offer an ‘alternative viewpoint’ to what it says is a pro-Palestinian stance that has been dominant since the Scottish Parliament’s inception in 1999.

The group will hold its first meeting early in the New Year, with members including Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie, Labour’s Mary Fee and SNP MSP John Mason.

UN Envoy Danon lauds anti-BDS successes

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon led a special UN conference on Wednesday night under the banner of ‘Lawyers Against BDS.’

The conference, held at the UN headquarters in New York and attended by hundreds of experts and academics, was convened to discuss legal methods to counter the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel and to establishment of a network of pro-Israeli legal experts who will act to combat attempts to delegitimize Israel.

 The conference also aimed to create practical tools to foil local boycott initiatives across the world.

Economic BDS Fails

Fitch upgrades Israel rating

Fitch Ratings has upgraded Israel’s Long-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDRs) to “A+” from “A”. The Outlooks on the long-term IDRs are Stable. The issue ratings on Israel’s senior unsecured Foreign- and Local-Currency bonds are upgraded to “A+” from “A”. Fitch has also upgraded the Short-Term Foreign- and Local-Currency IDRs to “F1+” from “F1” and the Country Ceiling to “AA” from “AA-“.

Fitch thus comes into line with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s on its Israel ratings.

Fitch says that the upgrade of Israel’s IDRs reflects the fact that Israel’s external balance sheet has continued to strengthen. The country has returned annual current account surpluses each year since 2003, and in 2015 posted a record surplus of 4.6% of GDP. The current account surplus narrowed by around 20% year-on-year in the first half of 2016, to USD 6.3 billion, because of a worsening trade balance. Nevertheless, there has been further accumulation of foreign-exchange reserves, which had reached USD 98 billio by end-October 2016 (almost 12 months of current external payments), from USD 90.6 billion at end-2015. Fitch expects current account surpluses to persist in 2017 and 2018.

Warren Buffett Invests $5M in Israel Bonds, Praises Country’s “Brains, Energy and Dynamism”

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett invested $5 million in Israel Bonds at an event in Omaha on Sunday, participating in a fundraiser that netted a total of $60 million for the bonds.

“If you are looking for brains, energy and dynamism in the Middle East, Israel is the only place you need to go,” said Buffett, whom Forbes ranks as the world’s third-richest man with a reported net worth of $60.8 billion.

“You can tell prospective investors that I would have taken a perpetual bond if you had offered one,” he added. “I believe Israel is going to be around forever.”

Buffett called Israel “the most promising investment hub” outside of the United States when he completed his purchase of the Israeli toolmaker Iscar in 2013.

Berkshire Hathaway made a $22.5 million investment in the Israeli cell phone technology company eVolution Networks in 2014.

Daimler plans to open R&D center in Tel Aviv

German corporation Daimler, which, among other things, controls car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz, intends to open a new R&D center in Tel Aviv, it said Monday. The new center will join the corporation’s global network of R&D centers in the US, Germany, India and China.

The Tel Aviv technology center will be managed by Adi Ofek, an Israeli with international management experience who has served in several management positions at Daimler since 2000. The center will focus on “car mobility and information services, in addition to the development and testing of various projects and user interfaces,” Daimler said

India Inks $1.4 Billion Deal for Acquisition of Israeli Radar Systems and Drones

India signed a $1.4 billion contract with Israel Aerospace Industries earlier this month for the acquisition of two airborne early warning and control radar systems and ten unmanned aerial vehicles, Air&Cosmos International reportedthis week.

The deal was said to have been inked during Israeli President Reuven Rivlin’s recent six-day visit to India.

An Indian Air Force official quoted in the report said a pair of EL/W-2090 AEW&C systems — with a combined value of $1 billion — would be delivered to India within two to three years.

Furthermore, according to the report, the Indian military is set to receive ten armed Heron TP UAVs — worth a total of $400 million — within three years.

Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the 1992 establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and India. The two countries currently enjoy a burgeoning relationship, particularly in the defense field.

Cultural, Technological and Scientific BDS Fails

Guns N’ Roses to return to Israel in July with original lineup

Axl Rose, Slash and Duff McKagan will perform in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park on July 15, 2017; OneRepublic in talks for another show in Israel in September 2017.

Citi Refutes Report of Roger Waters Sponsorship, Says It Has ‘No Plans to Work With This Artist in Future’

In a letter sent to a concerned company shareholder on Tuesday, Citibank refuted a report that it was sponsoring an upcoming tour by prominent anti-Israel activist and ex-Pink Floyd rock star Roger Waters.

“We have no plans to work with this artist in the future,” a spokeswoman for the investment banking and financial services firm said in the email, which was seen by The Algemeiner.

Last week, the New York Post’s Page Six reported that American Express had declined to pay $4 million to sponsor Waters’ 2017 “Us + Them” North American Tour due to his stance on Israel. However, the Page Six report noted, the tour would instead be sponsored by Citi.

Moroccan delegation of journalists visits Israel, despite intimidation

A delegation of seven leading Moroccan journalists is currently being hosted by the Israeli foreign ministry with the aim of enabling the participants to view first-hand the situation in Israel and to shatter negative myths associated with the country’s image.

As part of the visit which is taking place despite the absence of any official relations between the two counties, the journalists, comprising five women and two men, will receive political and military briefings, meet with ministers, MKs and senior officials from the Supreme Court and will also partake in a tour of the Gaza border.

In a conversation with Ynet, one of the delegation members from a prominent Moroccan newspaper explained the climate of fear and propaganda which has hitherto precluded the possibility of such a visit from coming to fruition.

WATCH: Israel’s huge breakthrough in finding cure for AIDS

Israeli medical researchers working on a cure for aids have made an exciting breakthrough, bringing hope to tens of millions of people around the world. Video.

WHO: Israel’s field hospital best in world

The IDF Medical Corps’s field hospital, which Israel sets up at times of emergency across the country and the world, was recognized by the World Health Organization as the world’s leader, becoming the first field hospital to achieve the highest possible ranking from the UN agency.

The commander of the General Staff’s Surgical Hospital Unit, Col. (res.) Dr. Ofer Merin, whose civilian job is directing the Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s Trauma Department, said, “It’s a national honor for the State of Israel and for the Medical Corps.”

In recent weeks, a WHO ranking process awarded the IDF field hospital the highest possible grade, 3. The hospital was sent nearly two years ago to assist the wounded in the Nepalese earthquake. As is usual, it provided medical care to families, carried out complicated surgeries, and function as a proper hospital in every sense for several months after the disaster.

Israel, Germany join forces in nanotechnology boost

Irael and Germany have set up a new three-year, €30 million plan to promote joint nanotechnology initiatives and are calling on companies and entities in both countries to submit proposals for funding for projects in this field.

The program will support joint projects and aims to boost cooperation between companies and research centers in the nanotechnology sector in Israel and Germany.

Arab-Israeli technology incubator NGT3 develops advanced lice treatment device

November 17, 2016 | Israeli startup ParaSonic, which developed a comb-like device that destroys head lice using ultrasound waves, has raised $1.6 million from a private American investor, the company said yesterday. ParaSonic is an early-stage startup led by David Tavor and backed by Arab-Israeli technology incubator NGT3, which is located in Nazareth.

Top Parisian chef hits back at BDS activists over trip to Israel festival

Top Parisian chef targeted by promoters of a boycott against Israel for his plans to visit the Jewish state hit back against his critics, whom he accused of dishonesty and discrimination.

Stéphane Jégo has leveled the accusations in correspondence on social media with activists for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel who in recent weeks have picketed outside his Parisian bistro and criticized him online for his attendance this month at an international culinary festival taking place in Tel Aviv.

Naming two of his accusers on Twitter, Jego wrote that they are “an affliction [hitting] people who are, at best, misinformed, mix everything up or at worst biased and dishonest.”

Jego, the head chef at L’Ami Jean in Paris, is one 13 chefs from renowned dining establishments around the world who are scheduled to participate in the Round Tables festival, which is sponsored by American Express.

Microsoft, Tel Aviv University Start $20 Million Fund to Invest in Israeli Startups

Five multinational corporations, including Microsoft, have established a partnership to invest in Israeli startups developing technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), The Times of Israel reported Thursday.

In addition to Microsoft, the venture capital arms of General Electric, Qualcomm, the Indian conglomerate Tata, and the Chinese company HNA Group have joined forces with Tel Aviv University and the Israeli firm Pitango Venture Capital. The fund, which will be called IoT Innovations – i3 Equity Partners (“i3”)

The Internet of Things, which refers to technology connecting objects and appliance to the internet, is expected to receive some $3.7 billion in funding globally this year. GE is one of the leading investors in IoT technologies.

The i3 fund has been established to provide 3-5 startups each year with an investment of up to $1 million each. The companies receiving the investments will also benefit from “technology, tools, mentoring, business development and other services” provided by the fund’s partners, the consortium said in a statement. Selected companies will also gain exposure, with the possibility of the sale of their products and distribution to markets like India and China.

Aerosmith to perform in Tel Aviv in May 2017

Aerosmith, one of the most successful rock bands in history, has closed on a deal to perform at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park in May 2017, in what may be the last tour of lead singer Steven Tyler’s career as lead singer of the band.

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