Here’s our latest installment of BDS Fails:
Rabbi Sacks animated anti-BDS video goes viral.
The Swiss Parliament pulls the plug on BDS
… on Wednesday, the [Swiss]Parliament voted (111 to 78 with 4 abstentions) to “amend the laws, ordinances and regulations so that Switzerland can no longer subsidize, even indirectly, development cooperation projects carried out by NGOs involved in racist, antisemitic or hate incitement actions, or in BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns.” This is not the final word – the Swiss Council of States (the upper house that represents the different cantons) will consider this issue in May.
Regardless of future developments, the long period in which a small group of Swiss officials were able to secretly deliver large sums to radical NGOs under the façade of human rights and promoting peace is over. These officials can no longer hide funds going to Al Haq, Al Mezan and the Palestinian Center for Human Rights – three of the leading Palestinian lawfare NGOs, or sweep under the rug their activities and links of Swiss-funded NGOs to the PFLP.
After Brexit, Israel senses a chance to boost trade with UK
When article 50 is triggered in the coming days, the UK will be only two years away from negotiating its own trade deals. The focus has been on an agreement with the US, but given the probable complications of negotiating with self-proclaimed master dealmaker Donald Trump, Israel might be first to sign on the dotted line.
After talks in No 10 last month, Theresa May and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced a joint working group charged with “preparing the ground” for a trade deal.
The trade relationship between Israel and Britain is already worth £4.9bn, and on Wednesday foreign secretary Boris Johnson told press in Jerusalem as he stood beside Netanyahu: “We are … building a global identity as a Britain that’s coming out of the EU and we want to build on our trading partnership with you. We are the biggest European trading partner with Israel … We have the largest, fastest-growing Aston Martin dealership anywhere in the world here in Israel.”
University cancels Israel Apartheid Week event
The University of Central Lancashire has cancelled an event which was due to take place as part of “Israel Apartheid Week” activity on its campus.
The session was organised by the university’s Friends of Palestine group and was billed as a panel discussion looking at the boycott of Israel.
It was due to feature speakers including anti-Israel activist Ben White and pro-Palestinian academics.
But a spokesperson for the university said “Debunking Misconceptions on Palestine” contravened the definition of antisemitism adopted by the government and was “unlawful”.
In a statement on behalf of the university in Preston, Lancashire, the spokesperson said: “The UK government has formally adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s new definition of what constitutes antisemitism.
“We believe the proposed talk contravenes the new definition and furthermore breaches university protocols for such events, where we require assurances of a balanced view or a panel of speakers representing all interests.”
Israel’s economy grew 4% in 2016
Israel’s economy grew 4% in 2016, according to the second revision of GDP figures published today by the Central Bureau of Statistics. For the sake of comparison, GDP grew 3.2% in 2014 and 2.5% in 2015. Per capita GDP was up 2% in 2016, compared with 1.2% in 2014 and 0.5% in 2015.
According to the figures published by the Central Bureau of Statistics during 2016, the current revision shows that private consumption, which rose 6.3% in 2016, was the main engine in GDP growth. Per capital private consumption was up 4.2% in 2016, after rising 2.3% in the two preceding years.
Best ever February for Incoming Tourism to Israel
Ministry of Tourism – Jerusalem, March 8, 2017 – The best ever start to the tourism year in Israel: In February 2017, 234,000 tourist entries were recorded, 22% increase on February 2016. compared to October 2013. In the two months January-February 2017, 467,000 tourist entries were recorded, 25% increase on the same period last year.
Israel-Australia Trade grew by 8% to $1.2 billion in 2016
With @IsraeliPM's visit to #Australia, the bilateral #trade stats indicate a strong partnership between our countries:#IsraelinOZ pic.twitter.com/KyCiW8u9g9
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) February 21, 2017
Response to Baroness Tonge: UK Department of Health Estimates 100 million prescription items estimated to come from Israeli companies
Israel plays an important role in helping supply medicines for the NHS. Some 100 million prescription items for medicines used in the community in England are estimated to come from companies based in Israel. Teva also funds clinical development in the United Kingdom, including research into dementia.
More flights to Thailand on the horizon
With a new open skies agreement between Thailand and Israel, various airlines are in talks to start flying an Israel-Bangkok route, thus increasing competition, lowering prices; El Al currently has a monopoly on the route.
Talks have begun between the Israel Airports Authority and Thai Airways to possibly create a new direct route between Ben Gurion International and Bangkok.
Israeli startups raise $800m this year
Israeli startups have raised $800 million in 2017 so far, “Globes” has found. With three weeks left in March, this is keeping pace with last year when Israeli startups raised $1.09 billion in the first quarter, according to IVC. Thus Israeli startups continue to raise the record amounts seen over the past two years. Israeli startups raised nearly $700 million in January and February and this blistering pace was maintained in the first weeks of March.
Israeli-Arab Mayor turning his town into a Hi-Tech Capital
[Mayor Muhammed] Bushnaq was speaking with the Post at Tsofen’s year-old offices in the Lev Haaretz Industrial Zone of Kafr Kasim, a city located in central Israel’s so-called Arab Triangle, just north of Rosh Ha’ayin and Petah Tikva and about 20 km east of Tel Aviv. The organization aims to transform the Kafr Kasim region into a hub for hi-tech innovation by training budding entrepreneurs in the Arab sector and drawing Israeli and international companies to open branches in the city’s industrial zone.
UBS: Apple already has 1,000 engineers working on Augmented reality (AR) in Israel
Augmented reality (AR) will likely be Apple’s next major product innovation, according to analyst Steven Milunovich and his team at UBS.
In a research note seen by Business Insider, Milunovich writes that Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly “broken the silence on future products with regards to AR,” citing numerous comments he has made about AR as evidence that the company is pursuing it as the next big thing.
Lockheed Martin spends over $1b in Israel
Since 2010, when the Ministry of Defense signed the first of three deals for procuring 50 F-35 stealth fighters, US manufacturer Lockheed Martin has spent over $1 billion on reciprocal procurement from Israeli defense companies, the Ministry of Defense Procurement and Production Directorate (PPD) announced today.
The first two F-35s ordered from the US landed in Israel last December. The rest will be supplied in the coming years, eventually giving the Israeli air force two full squadrons of F-35s (called Adir).
Cultural and Technological
Arabs donate wood to rebuild Haifa synagogue
Israeli-Arab businessmen who were asked to give an estimate to help repair damage caused to a synagogue in Haifa due to the massive fires there have said they will carry out the project pro-bono, and refuse any compensation for the restoration work.
“I decided to help and not receive any payment,” said Walid abu-Ahmed, a wood panel supplier based in Haifa.
“Jews and Arabs live together in Haifa, and there is no discrimination. We must continue with this co-existence and promote peace.”
Revolutionary Israeli device can eliminate need for follow-up breast cancer surgery
“We have developed the only technology in the world that has a commercial product that allows surgeons in operating rooms, in real-time, to check the margins of the tumor, identify cancerous tissue and decide on the spot if more tissue needs to be removed or not,” Gal Aharonowitz, general manager in charge of Israeli operations, told The Times of Israel in a phone interview.
Clinical trials show that the company’s MarginProbe device reduces the need for re-excision by 51 percent, if it is used during the initial procedure, Aharonowitz said. Commercial use of the product has shown a drop of as much as 80% in the need for repeat surgery, he said.
The product got FDA approval at the end of 2012 and started marketing in the US in 2013. It has also received the necessary regulatory approvals from European authorities.
12 top ways Israel feeds the world
ISRAEL21c has highlighted dozens of food-related advances pioneered by Israelis. [This article lists] 12 major ways Israel helps feed the world.