BDS Fails, March 2022: Negev Summit edition

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails – stories of Israeli success that are often ignored by the British media:

Political BDS Fails

Israel hosts historic summit with four Arab foreign ministers

SDE BOKER, Negev Desert — At their historic summit in the Israeli Negev town of Sde Boker on Monday, the top diplomats of Israel, the US and four Arab nations announced that the conference would be the first iteration of a permanent regional forum, as they reaffirmed the importance of growing ties between Israel and the broader Middle East.

The unprecedented gathering was widely seen as an attempt by Israel and its Arab allies to create a front against shared regional foe Iran. Israeli officials told reporters on the scene that the talks centered around creating a “regional security architecture,” among other issues.

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The foreign ministers of Israel, Egypt, Bahrain, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates and the US secretary of state all condemned terrorism, a day after an attack in the city of Hadera in which two Border Police officers were shot dead.

The unprecedented gathering was widely seen as an attempt by Israel and its Arab allies to create a front against shared regional foe Iran. Israeli officials told reporters on the scene that the talks centered around creating a “regional security architecture,” among other issues.

At a joint press conference of all six diplomats following the meetings, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told reporters that the so-called Negev Summit would become “a permanent forum.”

He said the confab was building “a new regional architecture based on progress, technology, religious tolerance, security and intelligence cooperation.

“This new architecture, the shared capabilities we are building, intimidates and deters our common enemies – first and foremost Iran and its proxies,” he said.

“They certainly have something to fear.”

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken lauded the summit, saying that “once-impossible things have become possible.”

Blinken praised the growing economic ties, solar energy deals, and diplomatic forums taking places across the region in recent months as a result of the normalization between Israel and Arab states.

Blinken pledged that the US will continue to support and help grow the accords, hailing “a new dawn,” and assured those present that the US would help its allies confront common enemies in the region, including Iran.

UAE minister of foreign affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan responds to Hadera terror attack 

Singapore To Open First Embassy In Israel

Singapore will open its first embassy in Israel, nearly six decades after establishing ties with the Jewish state, Israel’s foreign ministry said on Monday.

The announcement came after Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said the city-state would also open a “representative office” in the Israeli-occupied West Bank to boost relations with the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who met Balakrishnan on Monday, said Singapore’s decision to open an embassy highlighted “the good and special relations between our two countries”, which were established in 1965.

Egyptian President Al-Sisi, Israeli Prime Minister Bennett, and UAE Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed hold historic summit in Egypt.

IHRA Antisemitism Definition Sees ‘Widespread Consensus’ With 200 New Adoptions: Study

At least two hundred institutions in 2021 endorsed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) working definition of antisemitism, according to a study released Tuesday.

First adopted in 2005 by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the IHRA definition states that “antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews,” and includes a list of illustrative examples ranging from Holocaust denial to the rejection of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination.

In 2021, Australia, Estonia, Guatemala, Poland, South Korea and Switzerland adopted the definition, with the Philippines’ Feb. 2022 decision bringing the total of country endorsements to 37. At least 60 colleges and universities did the same in 2021, as well 39 non-federal governments and 96 NGOs and other groups.

French Interior Minister Dissolves Pro-Palestinian NGOs Advocating Israel’s Destruction

France’s interior minister on Wednesday announced the dissolution of two pro-Palestinian advocacy organizations, accusing them of inciting violence and hatred.

Gerald Darmanin confirmed on Twitter that both the “Collectif Palestine Vaincra” (“Palestine Will Overcome Collective”) and the Palestine Action Committee were “dissolved this morning in the Council of Ministers, in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic.”

Said Darmanin: “As detailed in the executive order I presented, it called for hatred, violence and discrimination.”

The UK House of Lords has now passed @RobertJenrick amendment to stop local gov’t pension schemes divesting from Israel.

French Prime Minister Denounces ‘Apartheid’ Labeling of Israel in Address to Jewish Community

France’s prime minister delivered a thundering denunciation of the allegation that Israel is an “apartheid” state during a speech on Thursday night to the umbrella body representing the country’s Jewish community.

“How dare anyone speak of apartheid in a state where Arab citizens are represented in the government, in the parliament, in leadership positions and in positions of responsibility, where all citizens, regardless of their religion, have understood that their only hope is peace together,” Prime Minister Jean Castex declared in a speech to the annual dinner of Crif, the French Jewish representative organization, in Paris.

Economic BDS Fails

Israel on way to free trade with China, India, UAE

The list of countries is long, but some of them stand out. China and India, with which talks on free trade agreements have been going on for two years, together represent a quarter of the world’s population.

These two countries are huge exporters of food products, and their food companies can shortly be expected to be selling in Israel.  The pace of the negotiations with India has been stepped up recently.

Israel is also negotiating a free trade agreement with the Eurasian Union. This group of countries is led by Russia, and the negotiations will be delayed because of the war in Ukraine. Other members of the group are Belarus, Kirgizstan, and Armenia.

Historic aeronautics MoU signed between Israel and Morocco

This partnership is part of the implementation of the Joint Declaration between Morocco and Israel from 2020, in which the two countries expressed willingness to promote bilateral economic cooperation in investment and tech.

Morocco, Israel Hold First Summit on Tourism Investment

The “Morocco Israel Tourism Investment Summit” was held on Tuesday in digital format, with a view to promoting tourism investment among the Israeli community.

Initiated by the Moroccan Society of Tourism Engineering (SMIT), under the aegis of the Ministry of Tourism, Handicrafts and Social Economy and its Israeli counterpart, this first bilateral forum was marked by the participation of several key players in the Israeli, Moroccan and international tourism industry, said a joint statement by the Ministry and SMIT.

Israel, Egypt expand direct flights with new Tel Aviv-Sharm al-Sheikh route

Israel and Egypt have agreed to increase direct flights between the two nations with the opening of a new route between Ben Gurion Airport and the Egyptian coastal resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The new flights are expected to start as early as next month, during the week of the upcoming Passover holiday.

Colorado Pension to Divest Unilever Shares Over Ben and Jerry’s

Colorado’s state pension fund will divest a $42 million investment in Unilever PLC after the company’s Ben and Jerry’s subsidiary took economic action against Israel by halting ice cream sales in West Bank settlements, The Denver Post reported Friday.

The divestment is required by a state law pledging support to Israel and opposing sanctions against the country by international corporations such as Unilever for the occupation of Palestine, the Post said.

Iowa governor signs anti-BDS law

Iowa’s governor signed bills into law this week codifying a definition of antisemitism for the state and restricting state business with companies that boycott Israel.

Israel-Morocco Business Forum in Tel Aviv

The Israel-Morocco Economic Forum in Tel Aviv kicked off on Tuesday, March 15, in the presence of more than 250 Moroccan and Israeli business leaders.

The General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), and its president Chakib Alj, dispatched a delegation of 80 businessmen and women to Israel, representing the various sectors of common interest, on the occasion of the inauguration of RAM’s direct airline linking Casablanca to Tel Aviv.

UK & Israel deal worth £80bn

Global retailing giant Carrefour to enter Israel

Carrefour has signed an MOU with Electra Consumer Products on converting Yeinot Bitan supermarkets to its brand.

Less than a year after acquiring the Yeinot Bitan supermarket chain, Electra Consumer Products (TASE: ECP), of the Elco group, reported today that it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with French company Carrefour on the opening of a supermarket chain in Israel under the Carrefour brand.

Under the agreement, over 150 branches of the Yeinot Bitan chain will gradually be converted to Carrefour branches. The first branches under the Carrefour brand will be opened towards the end of 2022.

Technology and Medical BDS Fails

Israeli start-up wins grand prize at inaugural Aviram awards in Dubai

Israeli start-up RedC Biotech won first place in the Tech for Humanity contest of the Aviram Family Foundation partnered with Forbes magazine which was held in Dubai this week for developing a method to use stem cell-generated blood cells to treat seriously ill patients.

At the final event held on Tuesday, the Aviram Family Foundation and the international economic magazine awarded the $500,000 grand prize to RedC Biotech. The firm will also receive mentoring from entrepreneur and foundation president Ziv Aviram.

“The strength and the beauty of Nazareth is that we can be diverse”

“We believe that diversity leads to innovation and I personally believe that the strength and the beauty of Nazareth is that we can be diverse. This diversity leads to innovation. To have people from different backgrounds, different regions thinking and approaching a problem in a different way, that’s what makes things by default out of the box and out of the bubble.”

These remarks about Nazareth and its benefits were made by Johny Abdallah, VP of Software Engineering at Amdocs’ R&D Center. As part of CTech’s Out of the Bubble series, he was joined by Rabea Zioud, Co-Founder and CEO at Hasoub, Amal Ayoub, CEO at Slate Therapeutics, and Hans Shakur, Entrepreneur, Executive Director, and Business Development Catalyst at Tsofen to discuss the region and some of its unique benefits.

Finland to pick between two Israeli companies for anti-aircraft systems

Finland has decided to purchase anti-aircraft equipment from one of two Israeli companies, either Israel Aerospace Industries (ISRAI.UL) or Rafael Advanced Systems, Finland’s defence ministry said on Saturday.

Israel’s second-ever astronaut to carry world’s smallest Bible into space

The second-ever Israeli astronaut will take with him the smallest Bible in the world to the International Space Station.

Developed at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – the so-called “Nano Bible” is a 0.5 square-millimeter silicon nanochip on which the 1.2 million letters of the Hebrew Bible were etched with a focused beam of energetic gallium ions.

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, where the Nano Bible is usually displayed alongside the historic Dead Sea Scrolls, will lend the one-of-a-kind Bible to Eytan Stibbe — who will take off to the International Space Station as early as the end of March as a member of the Ax-1 astronaut team.

Cultural BDS Fails

ILTV + new app offers ‘everything Israel’ to global audience

Israeli based ILTV daily news outlet has launched ILTV+, a new subscription-based application for users around the world on “everything Israel”.

For the past seven years, ILTV’s main goal has been to “present the truth about Israel directly from Israel.” ILTV’s Israel News Daily, co-anchored by Aaron Poris and Lidar Gravé-Lazi, is broadcast on over a dozen channels in the United States, Canada, and Europe to millions of viewers on a daily basis.

Lockheed Martin launches new science kindergarten in northern Israel

Three new MadaKids kindergartens, designed to inspire the scientific side of Israeli children, were launched in the northern Israeli city of Beit She’an on Tuesday.

The science kindergartens were launched by global security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin in partnership with the Education Ministry, as well as with the Beit She’an municipality and Jewish community organizations.

Since the beginning of the MadaKids project in 2015, Lockheed Martin has established seven MadaKids science kindergartens in Beersheba, Kiryat Malachi and the capital Jerusalem.

The new Beit She’an kindergartens are the first located in northern Israel.

For the first time, one of the three kindergartens inaugurated will focus on educating three-year-old children, even younger than other kindergartens in the MadaKids program.

Israeli animator makes his dreams come true at DreamWorks

Liran Topaz decided to pursue his studies, and later a career in America, in animation; after a long journey, he became a leading animator for the animation giant; his latest feat was supervising DreamWorks’ new movie ‘The Bad Guys’

Topaz began working at DreamWorks in 2009, and has since been part of the making of some of its biggest cult hits, including How to Train Your Dragon, and The Croods.

Today, Topaz is the supervising animator of DreamWorks’ new movie – The Bad Guys – being released on Wednesday, just in time for Purim.

WATCH: Israel’s Michael Ben David debuts music video of Eurovision entry

Michael Ben David has released the official music video of his single “I.M” which will represent Israel in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy.

After being crowned the winner of the Israeli edition of the hit reality TV song contest X-Factor, Ben David has been hard at work to represent Israel with a bang on the international stage.

Israeli mulit-ethnic orchestra makes history in Dubai

Almost a decade after it was founded, and only two years after it won praise from the Arab world, Firqat Alnoor Orchestra that consists of Jewish, Arab, Muslim, Christian, and Druze musicians, take the prestigious stage of Expo 2020

Unlike other Israeli orchestras, which are composed primarily of Iraqi and Egyptian musicians, Firqat Alnoor has a unique and inspiring mix of people. “We have Jews, Arabs, Druze, Christians, religious, non-religious, left and right-wing folks, young and old,” says the conductor, music director of the orchestra, and one of its founders – Ariel Cohen.

Nick Cave says invasion of Ukraine ‘not similar’ to Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Australian singer Nick Cave on Sunday said the war in Ukraine can’t be compared to the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians after being slammed for boycotting Russia but not Israel.

The 64-year-old singer, who is set to perform in Israel on August 23 at Live Park RishonLeZion, has refused to scrap his concert in the Jewish state despite pressure from the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement. Cave, however, has announced he will not perform in Russia over its offensive in Ukraine, which on Monday entered its 12th day.

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