BDS fails – December 2021: Stories you likely didn’t read in the British media

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails – stories of Israeli success that are rarely covered by British media outlets.

Political BDS Fails

Britain will ban Hamas as a terrorist organization

LONDON (AP) — The British government said Friday that it intends to ban the Palestinian militant group Hamas as a terrorist organization, saying it will no longer differentiate between the group’s political and military wings.

The military arm of Hamas has been outlawed in the U.K. since 2001 but the organization as a whole is not proscribed.

Canada’s largest labor union votes against BDS endorsement

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) rejected a proposal to endorse the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) movement’s official platform and boycott Israeli businesses in a vote at the union’s biennial summit on Thursday, foreign media reported.

The CUPE, which has 700,000 total members, had voted for a series of resolutions during the summit. Among them was Resolution No. 70: Endorsing the BDS campaign against Israel and supporting “the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and their demands to end Israel’s military occupation and colonization.” The motion lost by a margin of 68% (no) to 32% (yes).

Israel, Jordan and UAE to sign deal for huge solar farm -electricity in exchange for desalinated water

Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates are set to sign a deal on Monday, pushed along by U.S. climate envoy John Kerry, to build a massive solar farm in the Jordanian desert, five Israeli officials tell Axios.

Details: The solar farm will be built by Masdar, a UAE government-owned alternative energy company.

The plans call for the solar farm to be operational by 2026 and produce 2% of Israel’s energy by 2030, with Israel paying $180 million per year to be divided between the Jordanian government and the Emirati company.

The agreement links the electricity deal to further water purchases from Jordan. It states that Jordan plans to double the amount of water it purchases from Israel, either from a new desalination plant or existing facilities. 

Britain and Israel to sign trade and defence deal

Britain and Israel will sign a 10-year trade and defence pact in London on Monday, promising cooperation on issues such as cybersecurity and a joint commitment to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

NYU rejects proposal for academic boycott of Israel

Statement by NYU Spokesperson John Beckman

“NYU and the NYU School of Law are troubled and disappointed by the student-led Review of Law and Social Change’s (RLSC) call for an academic boycott of Israeli universities and academics. Academic boycotts, such as the one proclaimed by the RLSC, are antithetical to the precepts of academic freedom and the free exchange of ideas. For this reason, as a matter of policy, NYU rejects, as it has for many years, calls for academic boycotts of Israel, and the University likewise rejects calls to close its NYU Tel Aviv program, to which it remains fully committed.”

Israel lauds Australia over Hezbollah terror designation

Israeli leaders on Wednesday hailed Australia’s decision to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, calling the move a triumph for Israeli diplomacy.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid touted the move as a victory for efforts by the Foreign Ministry and Israeli security establishment to encourage allied governments to ban Hezbollah as a whole, rather than merely its military wing. 

Economic BDS fails

Israel’s economy growing 7.1% in 2021- Finance Ministry

Israel’s economy will show growth of 7.1% for 2021, reflecting the country’s rapid recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

GDP will continue to grow another 4.7% in 2022 as private consumption and tax revenues continue to rise. The ministry had previously forecast 5.1% growth this year.

The model takes into account dealing with the fourth wave of the coronavirus without severe restrictions on economic activity, the Finance Ministry said.

Israel, UAE begin talks on free-trade agreement

Israel and the UAE began talks for establishing a free-trade agreement when Israel’s Economy and Industry minister, Orna Barbivai, met her Emirati colleague, Abdulla bin Touq Al Mari, to launch discussions on Monday night for a deal that will significantly strengthen trade between the two countries.

Fitch reaffirms Israel’s A+ rating, citing state budget approval

Fitch Ratings on Thursday reaffirmed Israel’s A+ rating with a stable outlook, citing the Knesset’s passage of the 2021-2022 state budget last week as “an important milestone” for Israel’s new government that will reduce “political uncertainty and potential risks to the public finances, affirming the government’s capacity to advance legislation.”

Israeli startups raised $2.8b in November

Israeli tech companies have raised $23.6 billion in the first eleven months of 2021, more than double the record $10 billion raised in all of 2020.

Israeli company Oramed annonces partnership with Mexico’s Genomma Lab Internacional

Oramed Pharmaceuticals, the developer of the Oravax oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate, has announced a partnership with Mexico’s Genomma Lab Internacional to help fast-track a Phase II clinical trial and gain emergency use authorization in the Latin American country.
The companies have entered a 50/50 joint venture, including the intention to enter into a $20 million share swap based on the average closing price of their respective shares during the past 15 days, they said. Beyond resources, Genomma Lab is expected to spearhead clinical, regulatory and commercial activities for the vaccine in Mexico.

Technology and Medical BDS fails

Intel acquires Israeli startup company Screenovate for $100 million

No deal details were released publicly, though a source told the Israeli business daily Globes that Intel is paying $100 million for Screenovate, which is 10 times the $10 million it had raised.

The acquired company develops screen-duplication solutions that allow interaction between multiple devices.

UK deploys advanced ‘detect and destroy’ air defence system

Israeli drones deliver food within 5 minutes to US homes

Back in 2013, Bash and his then roommate Amit Regev co-founded Flytrex to develop black boxes for consumer drones for real-time data tracking, before realizing in 2016 that the “killer application for drones is going to be drone delivery.”

In 2017, Flytrex launched the world’s first fully autonomous urban drone delivery system in Reykjavik, Iceland. One year later, the startup was accepted by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the United States aviation authority, to a pilot program.

In North Carolina, Flytrex has three drone stations operating dozens of deliveries a day for food orders from restaurants and retail chains at the Holly Springs Towne Center. The volume of Flytrex orders across its North Carolina operations has increased more than tenfold since February, with thousands of deliveries to date, the startup reported last month.

Palestinians vaxxed in the territories receive Israeli Green Passes

Palestinian workers who are getting their COVID booster shots in the Palestinian territories are able to receive Green Passes on entry to Israel, a security official told The Jerusalem Post.

Israel vaccinated around 120,000 Palestinian workers – 90,000 who work in Israel and the rest in Judea and Samaria – in March with two shots of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. But six months later, as Israel changed its definition of fully vaccinated and required Israelis and anyone else entering the country to receive a booster dose, these workers lost their [Green] Passes.

Head of Public Health Services Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis said at the Jerusalem Post Annual Conference in October that workers who had received two doses more than six months prior could still enter Israel to work but “if they need to go to a Green Pass [establishment], they need to take an antigen test like people who are unvaccinated.”

Israeli treatment for severe COVID-19 has been found to reduce mortality by 70% in a Phase II clinical trial

UAE, Israel to jointly develop unmanned military, commercial vessels

DUBAI, Nov 18 (Reuters) – Emirati and Israeli state-owned weapons makers on Thursday signed a strategic agreement in Dubai to jointly design unmanned vessels capable of carrying out anti-submarine warfare.

United Arab Emirates defence conglomerate EDGE and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the partnership on the final day of the biennial Dubai Airshow.

In a joint statement, the firms said they would design the “170 M” advanced modular unmanned service vessels that would be able to be used for both military and commercial purposes.

The deal comes after the UAE and Israel last year established diplomatic ties under a deal where the United States also agreed to sell F-35 warplanes to Abu Dhabi.

Aerospace and defence company IAI in March said it would jointly develop an advanced drone defense system with EDGE.

Cultural BDS fails

Actor Kevin Costner in Israel for the premiere of his upcoming  film “Criminal”

Israeli minister battles Chess grandmaster Kasparov

Housing and Construction Minister Ze’ev Elkin battled Chess Grandmaster Garry Kasparov during an event in Jerusalem on Sunday.

The match lasted about an hour, with the former World Champion taking the win after a decisive final move.

Israel to give Gaza Christians entry permits for Christmas holiday

Israeli TV show ‘Tehran’ wins International Emmy award for best drama

“Tehran,” produced by the Kan public broadcaster and picked up globally by Apple TV+, follows a Mossad agent — played by Israeli actress Niv Sultan — who goes undercover on a mission in Iran to disable a nuclear reactor, unexpectedly falling in love with an Iranian man.

New Israeli American film tells thrilling story of renowned Jewish mafioso

Many might have heard about Meyer Lansky, an American organized crime figure who was instrumental in establishing a nationwide crime syndicate in the United States in the 1930s and 1940s.

He was also a devout Jew, who fought against Nazi sympathizers and even helped Israel in its first years as a country.

Harvey Keitel plays the role of the renowned criminal in the last few years before his death, as he details his life in a series of interviews, which were more or less the history of the 20th century.

Lansky’s personal story carries with it the history of the modern U.S., the Holocaust, the Cold War, and the history of the early establishment of Israel. All those are a part of the complicated plot that is his life, which unravels on screen in front of the audience.

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