BDS fail (July 2022), Chunky Monkey edition

Here’s the latest installment in our ongoing series of posts documenting BDS fails – the ubiquitous examples of Israeli success that often aren’t covered in the British media.

Political BDS Fails

Ice Cream for Everyone! The End of Ben & Jerry’s West Bank Boycott (newsweek.com)

“Tzedek, tzedek tirdof. Justice, justice you shall pursue,” commands the Bible.

In 2022, we learn that sometimes the long fight for justice flows through a cup of an iconic ice cream.

On Wednesday morning, Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder, and CEO of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, received a call. On the other end was Alan Jope, the CEO of Unilever, who personally told Hier that Unilever is standing against antisemitism. Not only would Unilever denounce antisemitism, but Jope told Hier that Unilever was taking action to end the boycott of parts of the West Bank by one of its companies — Ben & Jerry’s.

Ice cream lovers in Jerusalem, the West Bank and beyond — Jews and Arabs — will continue to enjoy their favorite ice cream and even decipher the Hebrew and Arabic containers to confirm how many calories they are ingesting.

BDS begins to eat their own

Appeals court upholds Arkansas’ no anti-Israel boycott pledge law

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Arkansas’ law requiring state contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel, finding the restriction is not an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

The full 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed a 2-1 decision last year by a three-judge panel of the court that found the requirement to be unconstitutional. The Arkansas Times had sued to block the law, which requires contractors with the state to reduce their fees by 20% if they don’t sign the pledge.

“(The law) only prohibits economic decisions that discriminate against Israel,” Judge Jonathan Kobes wrote in the court’s opinion. “Because those commercial decisions are invisible to observers unless explained, they are not inherently expressive and do not implicate the First Amendment.”

New Zealand joins the IHRA observer group

 U.S. condemns UN Human Rights Council over anti-Israel bias

The United States condemned the United Nations Human Rights Council on Monday for a report published last week that accused Israel of perpetuating the conflict with the Palestinians

  In its 18-page report which focuses on the root causes of the conflict, the United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel identified “forced displacement, threats of forced displacement, demolitions, settlement construction and expansion, settler violence, and the blockade of Gaza” as “contributing factors to recurring cycles of violence.”

Economic BDS Fails

Volume of trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates for January-May 2022:

Investment bank Jefferies opening office in Israel

Brian Friedman, President of the prestigious American investment bank Jefferies, is setting up the local branch in a time of crisis, because “the pricing of Israeli companies is more attractive than ever.” He expects the arrival of 20 private funds by September, and believes the worst of the crisis is behind

“We’ve never been so busy in Israel, and I’ve been working here since the 1980s. In the last two weeks, 10 Jefferies bankers have come here,” says Jefferies Investment Bank President Brian Friedman. “Currently there are seven deals in the pipeline – acquisitions and also private investments – and this is just the beginning.

Google stockholders vote against BDS proposal

Alphabet stockholders voted not to approve a stockholder proposal against Google’s work on Israel’s Nimbus Project, after Alphabet’s annual meeting of stockholders on June 1.

There were 544,653,039 votes against and 55,301,799 for the proposal for Alphabet’s board to issue a report reassessing its role in the $1.2 billion project to transfer Israeli government IT infastructure to cloud-based data centers. There were 3,825,111 abstentions. Each Class A common stock was worth one vote, and  Class B common stock 10 votes.

The vote rejecting the proposal fell in line with the Alphabet board of directors’ recommendation to vote against it.

Pilot Program To See Moroccan Workers in Israel

Shortage of construction workers, caregivers to be ameliorated

Moroccan construction workers and caregivers will work in Israel as part of a pilot project, Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked announced on Tuesday. Shaked spoke to the press following her talks in Rabat with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita. Earlier, she held a working meeting with her Moroccan counterpart, Interior Minister Abdelouafi Laftit.

Shaked publicly supported Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara region, her spokeswoman, Tomer Hassas, told The Media Line. Supporting Morocco’s claim was the main condition for normalizing ties with Israel in December 2020.

Yitzhak Moyal, chairman of the Construction and Wood Workers Union within Israel’s Histadrut labor federation, said, “We’re lacking about 40,000 workers, in 10 different professions. We’re hoping to receive about 15,000 Moroccan construction workers, in a few batches. This could really improve the pace of construction in Israel.

Israel to export natural gas, via Egypt, to Europe

Israel, Egypt and the European Union signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday in Cairo that will see Israel export its natural gas to the bloc for the first time. The landmark agreement will increase liquified natural gas sales to EU countries, which are aiming to reduce dependence on supply from Russia in the wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Last year, the EU imported roughly 40 percent of its gas from Russia. It has faced energy difficulties since imposing sweeping sanctions on Moscow. The agreement will see Israel send gas via Egypt, which has facilities to liquify it for export via sea.

Energy Minister Karine Elharrar said the signing of the MOU had cemented Israel’s role on the global energy stage.

Qualcomm acquires Israel’s Cellwize for around $350 million

Qualcomm, a major US tech company, has acquired Israel’s Cellwize Wireless Technologies, a maker of cloud and artificial intelligence-based software that can help speed up the deployment of 5G networks.

Qualcomm announced the deal on Thursday without disclosing financial details. Estimates put the price tag at around $350 million. Cellwize specializes in 5G mobile network automation and management. Its software, including its flagship CHIME platform, allows mobile operators to automatically launch 5G networks with very little manual intervention.

Technological and Medicical BDS Fails

Bayer to establish cyber-security hub in Israel

(July 3, 2022 / Israel Hayom) Pharma giant Bayer has announced plans to establish a cyber-security hub in Israel, which will be integrated into Bayer’s global cyber unit and will be one of the largest internal units of this kind in the company.

A delegation of top Bayer executives arrived in Israel on June 26 for a three-day visit, meeting with Economy and Industry Ministry Director General Ron Malka to discuss the German company’s plans to deep-dive into the Israeli market.

New Israeli gunfire-detection system attracts global attention

(July 1, 2022 / JNS) A new gunfire-detection system unveiled earlier this month by Israel Aerospace Industries is attracting worldwide attention from potential clients, and company officials say its ability to turn shooters’ locations into precise target data means that “the imagination is the limit” in terms of usage and impact on future battlefields.

According to Eshel, potential clients from around the world have expressed interest in the technology with demonstration requests lining up, and startup companies could become part of the project as well.

Sugar replacement startup wins global award

Israeli company Amai Proteins, which uses a sweet protein to replace up to 70 percent of the added sugar used in the food industry, was named overall winner in one of the world’s largest startup competitions, held June 14.

Amai (Japanese for “sweet”) is a white powder protein that is 10,000 times sweeter than sugar, with zero glycemic index. The award-winning startup in Rehovot has collaborations with food industry giants, including cranberry juice maker Ocean Spray.

Amai was named global winner out of more than 2,000 hopefuls at the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) awards ceremony in Berkley, California, after its CEO and founder Ilan Samish pitched to Bill Gates and others on the judging panel.

UK Guardian reports extensively on Israeli multi-national training for dealing with urban warfare

Caption reads: Israeli soldiers participate in a training session simulating urban warfare. Visiting American troops and forces from European allies — most recently Cypriot soldiers — have also trained in Mini Gaza

Israel is building a U.S.-sponsored regional air defense alliance

Israel is building a U.S.-sponsored regional air defense alliance, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said on Monday, adding that the apparatus has already foiled attempted Iranian attacks and could be boosted by President Joe Biden’s visit next month.

Unveiling what he dubbed the “Middle East Air Defence Alliance” in a briefing to parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Gantz said such cooperation is already under way.

Tel Aviv ranked 7th in annual list of best global tech ecosystems

Tel Aviv was ranked seventh in an annual survey of the world’s most attractive ecosystems for startups and innovation by the US research firm Startup Genome.

Since the last report, Tel Aviv’s startup ecosystem reached a value of $120 billion, notched three $1 billion exits and saw its startups raise a record-high $20 billion.

The city gained 30 new unicorns, or firms valued at over $1 billion, and 20 companies went public, raising $4 billion. Over 130 multinational companies now have innovation centers in Tel Aviv, the report said.

Cultural BDS Fails

Rapper 50cent performs in Israel, Defying BDS movment

Tzachi Halevy (Fauda) to perform as a musician in Bahrein

Goethe-Institut recently uninvited award-winning Palestinian poet, writer and human rights activist Mohammad El-Kurd

In Israel for Tel Aviv Pride, rapper Iggy Azalea asks: ‘BDS? What’s that?’

Australian rapper Iggy Azalea performed at the Tel Aviv Pride Festival’s “Love Stage” in Park HaYarkon on Friday afternoon, in her first trip to Israel.

“BDS? What is that?” she responded when asked about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement that pressures performers not to perform in Israel, in an interview with Channel 12.

Gene Simmons, founder and lead singer of KISS at Western Wall with his son

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli wows Israeli audience at Tel Aviv show

On Wednesday evening, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli took the stage at Tel Aviv’s Bloomfield Stadium and wowed the audiences with an unforgettable show, before hopping on a plane en route to his next concert.

His show in Israel will be followed by concerts in Mexico, San Diego, and Hollywood. After finishing the North American leg of the tour, the Italian star will head to Europe, with performances scheduled in Norway, England, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Greece.

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