BDS Fails (Oct. 2020): Arab-Israeli Peace edition

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

Political BDS Fails

September 15, 2020: UAE, Bahrain and Israel sign historic accords at White House even

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have signed a historic deal with Israel, becoming the first Gulf states to formally normalise relations, in a move which dramatically re-shapes political dynamics in the region.  

US President Donald Trump hosted the ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, capping several fraught few weeks since UAE and Bahrain first agreed to forge diplomatic relations with Israel despite no formal resolution to the 70-year-old Israel-Palestinian conflict. 

At the US-brokered event, attended by some 700 attendees, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed the “Abraham Accords” alongside Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Bahraini foreign minister Abdullatif Al Zayani.

Here is a timeline of the rapid developments that occurred before the signing:

August 29, 2020: UAE formally abolishes Israel boycott law ahead of delegation’s arrival 

The president of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday issued a decree abolishing a law boycotting Israel and allowing trade and financial agreements between the two nations, two days before a delegation from Jerusalem was due to arrive in Abu Dhabi in the wake of August 13’s normalization agreement.

August 30, 2020: PEACE سلام שלום

August 31, 2020: Israel, UAE start talks to open embassies during historic first visit

 As for the first Israeli flight over Saudi Arabia, Kushner said the Saudis are “very gracious,” and that the flight is “a manifestation of what is possible in the Middle East.” 

“We can take it as a sign,” Kushner said. “It’s an encouragement for this progress.”

Netanyahu radioed in a message to the plane while it was flying over Saudi Arabia. 

Responding to questions as to which Middle Eastern countries may make peace with Israel next, Kushner chuckled, saying: “I know the people in Israel well, and when there’s an accomplishment, they say what’s next. I’m going to ask the Israeli people for just one day…let’s take a moment to celebrate.”

September 2, 2020: Saudi Arabia gives permanent overfly rights to and from UAE

In another breakthrough for Israel’s rapprochement with the Arab Gulf, and a major boon for Israeli air travel, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday announced that it will henceforth allow flights from “all countries” to cross over its airspace on flights to or from the United Arab Emirates.

Israeli leaders indicated they understood this to mean that Israeli flights can head to and from the Far East via Saudi Arabia and UAE, drastically reducing travel time.

September 2, 2020: Building on history, Serbia is modernizing its partnership with Israel

While Serbia takes unrestrained pride in the history of genuine friendship between Serbs and Jews, as well as our shared and individual tragedies, and nothing can undermine the strength of these bonds, it is our common future that we want to focus on.

Just this March, President Vucic took a major step to transform future collaboration between both nations while speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference in Washington, DC. There, President Vucic declared that Serbia would soon open a chapter of the country’s Chamber of Commerce and an official state office in Jerusalem. The Serbian official flag will now fly high in these state buildings, alongside our embassy in Tel Aviv.

Sept. 3, 2020: UAE airline begins selling tickets to Israeli citizens

The UAE‘s national airline, Etihad Airways, has started selling tickets to Israeli citizens, Channel 13 reported on Wednesday.

The tickets will be sold through TAL Aviation, an Israeli tourism company, allowing Israelis to fly to various destinations around the world, in the Middle East, Asia and beyond.

The announcement comes after Israel and the UAE declared that they would normalize diplomatic relations.

September 3: Bahrain to announce normalization with Israel in near future: report

US said to seek a Bahrain-Israel normalization announcement in mid-September

Bahrain is expected to become the next Gulf kingdom to formally normalize ties with the Jewish state, an Israeli official told Kan public broadcaster Wednesday.

According to the report, the kingdom is expected to announce the move after an accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates has been signed. 

The official is cited as saying that Washington seeks to host the ceremony where Israel and the UAE will sign a treaty formalizing their diplomatic ties in mid-September.

September 4″ Bahrain opens airspace to Israeli planes, following Saudi lead

The tiny Gulf kingdom of Bahrain indicated Thursday it would open its air space to Israeli planes flying to the UAE, potentially shortening flights to Dubai by several minutes.

In an announcement carried by its state news agency, Bahrain’s Transportation Ministry said it would allow all flights to the UAE to cross its airspace.

September 6, 2020: Malawi’s new president vows to open diplomatic office in Jerusalem

The new president of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, on Saturday announced plans to open a diplomatic office in Jerusalem.

His promise follows declarations made by the respective leaders of Serbia and Kosovo on Friday.

On Friday, Serbia and Kosovo unexpectedly announced their intention to establish embassies in the capital as well, in the context of a bilateral economic normalization agreement brokered by the US administration.

September 8th: Chad Announces It Will Open Diplomatic Mission in Jerusalem

In what appears to be another significant breakthrough in Israel’s relations with the Muslim world, the chairman of the cabinet of the government of Chad arrived in the Jewish state on Tuesday and said the African country would open a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem.

N12reported that Abdelkarim Déby, who is the son of Chadian President Idriss Déby, told Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen that the mission would be established as early as next year.

September 9, 2020: In blow to Palestinians, Arab League refuses to condemn Israel-UAE deal

The Arab League failed to pass a resolution on Wednesday proposed by the Palestinian Authority which would have condemned the normalization deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

“After a three-hour debate, some Arab countries refused to include [a] statement condemning [the UAE] for abandoning Arab decisions. Additionally, they struck out a clause which discussed the trilateral agreement” between the UAE, US, and Israel, Palestinian Authority Representative to the Arab League Muhannad al-Aklouk told Ma’an News

September 10th: Kushner says Saudi Arabia, Bahrain to allow all Israeli flights to use airspace

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain will allow all flights to and from Israel to use their airspace in a significant change of policy, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner said Wednesday.

The two Gulf countries agreed last week to open their skies to Israeli flights to the United Arab Emirates following the announcement of the normalization deal between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi.

However, Kushner told reporters, in a briefing ahead of a planned White House signing of the deal next week, that this would now include any and all Israeli flights to and from the East.

September 12, 2020: Israel, Morocco to establish direct flights – report

Israel and Morocco are expected to establish direct flights as the next step in US President Donald Trump’s normalization efforts, N12 reported Saturday.

September 14, 2020: UAE already teaching peace treaty with Israel in Islamic Studies textbook

September 14, 2020 – Satire: Rabbi E. Poupko

Florida has announced that it will now issue special license plates that read “Florida Stands with Israel”

Zoom will not host S.F. State event featuring Leila Khaled

“In light of the speaker’s reported affiliation or membership in a U.S. designated foreign terrorist organization, and SFSU’s inability to confirm otherwise, we determined the meeting is in violation of Zoom’s Terms of Service and told SFSU they may not use Zoom for this particular event.”

Economic BDS Fails

Israeli startups raised $650m in August

Israeli tech companies, which raised a record $8.3 billion in 2019, have already raised over $6.5 billion in the first eight months of 2020, despite the Covid-19 crisis.

Israeli startups raised nearly $650 million in August, according to Start-Up Nation Central. The figure may be more as some companies prefer to remain in stealth and not to publicize the investments they have received.

Israeli startups raised whopping $1.1b in September 

Israeli startups raised a whopping more than $1.1 billion in September, according to Start-Up Nation Central (SNC). The figure may be more as some companies prefer to remain in stealth and prefer not to publicize the investments they have received. This is a record one-month raise by Israeli startups and the first time more than $1 billion was raised in a single month

Israel’s Mobileye, Dubai’s Habtoor partner on self-driving cars

JERUSALEM/DUBAI (Reuters) – Israel’s Mobileye and United Arab Emirate’s Al Habtoor Group launched a partnership on Wednesday to create a fleet of self-driving “robotaxis” that could take to the streets of Dubai by the end of 2022.

Amazon to go on a recruiting spree in Israel, exposes scope of local workforce

Amazon, for the first time on Wednesday, revealed the scope of its workforce in Israel. According to a statement issued by the tech giant, it plans to recruit 150 new employees in the near future, which will bring its total number of Israeli employees to 1,300. The new recruits, the company said, are not linked to or meant to serve the company’s retail activities in Israel.

The new positions are meant to fill roles in Amazon’s research centers and offices in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Herzliya, including jobs such as client managers, business development managers, chip development engineers, software engineers, hardware engineers, embedding services engineers and consultants, research scientists, solution architects, validation architects and more.

September 13 2020: Pelephone is conducting negotiations with service providers in #Bahrain  

Technology and Medical BDS Fails

5 patients leave Hadassah coronavirus-free after clinical trial

Five patients recently discharged from Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem were healthy and coronavirus-free after taking part in the first clinical trial of an innovative treatment developed by the hospital.

Allocetra, the drug used in the clinical trial, was developed with the Enlivex Company based on research conducted by Prof. Dror Mevorach, director of Hadassah’s Internal Medicine and Coronavirus departments. It had already been successfully tested on 10 sepsis patients.

All five patients had been hospitalized in serious or critical condition.

This Israeli tech helped ‘grandpa’ stop spilling his drink

When the hand tremors of 72-year-old Will Irwin, the CEO and owner of a Rochester, New York-based telemedicine firm, got worse, he was tipped off by a friend about an Israeli technology that uses ultrasound to help reduce Parkinson’s tremors.

He scouted around in the US to see who was using the technology and through an acquaintance in Israel, Jonathan Wiesen, who’s in charge of medical investments at the Jerusalem-based VC fund OurCrowd, Irwin got in touch with Prof. Gordon Baltuch, a professor of neurosurgery at the University of Pennsylvania. Baltuch was using the technology developed by Israeli startup Insightec to treat patients.

Essential tremor, a neurological disorder that commonly has a hereditary nature, affects more than 41 million people around the world and is thought to originate from a part of the brain called the VIM point — the ventral intermediate nucleus — which is responsible for coordinating and controlling muscle activity.

To reduce the symptoms, Insightec has developed a treatment that allows neurosurgeons to perform an incisionless brain surgery to ease tremors associated with Essential tremor and Parkinson’s disease.

In the procedure, the high-intensity focused ultrasound beams, which pass through skin, muscle, fat and bone, are used to generate heat and ablate the VIM point, leading to an overall reduction of tremor.

“Now I can write normally,” he said. He signed his name, “Will Irwin,” on a yellow notepad: “I was not close to doing that,” he said proudly, showing the slightly shaky but definitely readable outcome.

Baltuch has treated some 70 patients with Insightec’s system.

Israeli Drones to Help Walmart With Airborne Deliveries

U.S. retail giant Walmart is launching a drone delivery pilot program in partnership with Israeli drone startup Flytrex.

Walmart stated that it will carry out trial deliveries from Walmart branches in North Carolina to customers’ homes. Customers will be able to receive products that include diapers, meat, toothpaste and hamburger rolls via drone.

Orders made through the company’s app will be packaged and sent for drone delivery pickup. Drones will drop packages in customers’ yards. Currently the deliveries are being limited to 3 kilograms (6.6 pounds) and no more than 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the store. The drones will be remotely monitored by a control panel.

Yaskawa Israel’s Covid-19 testing robot installed in IDF lab

The R&D Center of Yaskawa Electric in Israel has completed the development of a robotic system that can conduct Covid-19 tests. Yaskawa Europe Technology (YET), which is the Israeli branch of the Japanese giant, is planning on providing labs in Israel with the robotic arm which is capable of conducting around 2,800 tests a day.

Israeli instant COVID gargle test set to deploy in European airports

A new made-in-Israel gargle test for coronavirus is being deployed in European airports, after a leading aviation security company threw its weight behind the tech.

A freshly inked agreement will lead to the tests being piloted in two European airports within days or weeks, and comes as pilot programs for the tests are already underway in 12 hospitals internationally, Eli Assoolin, who led the development team, told Times of Israel.

Israeli researchers: Spit test could allow 10-minute detection of heart attacks

A new study by Israeli researchers has shown saliva tests could provide confirmation of heart attacks in patients in a fraction of the time of current methods, allowing speedier treatment for a life-threatening condition in which time is critical.

The study was presented at the European Society of Cardiology’s 2020 Congress, held digitally this week due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cultural BDS Fails

Gal Gadot to star as Cleopatra despite criticism from clueless anti-Israel activists

Wokesters and anti-Israel activists were mocked after condemning Gal Gadot being cast as Cleopatra because she’s not North African, but failing to realize the iconic Egyptian queen was neither Arab nor Black, but rather a Macedonian Greek.

UAE’s first kosher restaurant launches in world’s tallest building

Following the United Arab Emirates’ signing of a normalization accord with Israel last Tuesday, the UAE’s first-ever certified kosher restaurant has opened on the ground floor of the luxury Armani Hotel, situated in Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

The restaurant, Armani/Kaf, is certified glatt kosher under the supervision of Rabbi Levi Duchman, the UAE’s Chabad rabbi.

The restaurant said it will provide room service for hotel residents who want to enjoy the restaurant’s kosher cuisine without leaving their rooms, as well as offer delivery service throughout Dubai.

Israeli and Emirati film industries to cooperate after deal

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Film agencies in Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced an agreement Monday to collaborate on television production, the latest development to follow a U.S.-brokered deal between the countries to normalize relations.

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission, an Emirati government agency, said it reached an understanding with the Israeli Film Fund and a Jerusalem film school seeking to strengthen commercial ties through training programs for film and television co-production and joint film festivals.

As part of the agreement, Emirati students will be flown to Jerusalem to study at Israel’s Sam Spiegel Film and Television School.

Iranian musicians help out in secret on Israeli singer’s new record

An Israeli singer of Persian heritage is set to release an album she made by working in secret with Iranian musicians, her long-held aspiration for artistic collaboration despite bitter animosity between the two states.

Using encrypted instant-messaging apps like Telegram and by wiring money through third countries, such as the UK and Turkey, Liraz Charhi said she spent months of sleepless nights fearing those who associated would be in danger.

“Technically, it was very difficult” Charhi, 42, said in an interview. “But emotionally, it was much more difficult. I felt night after night that I was doing a bad thing and these people could be arrested.”


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