BDS Fails: Stories about Israeli success the media ignore (Rosh Hashanah 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

The Abrahamic Accords – a Political and Financial Success

Figures compiled by Israel’s Foreign Ministry

Israel welcomes the Inspector General of the Moroccan Armed Forces

Japan, Israel step up defense ties amid regional tensions

Japan and Israel, which are both strong U.S. allies, are marking the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties this year.

Visiting Defense Minister Benny Gantz told a joint news conference after meeting with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada that strengthened defense cooperation “will elevate the 70 years of excellent ties between our countries to the strategic level.”

Their cooperation in broader areas from defense technology to information sharing and military-to-military activities “will strengthen the defense capability of each country as well as our joint contribution to peace and stability in our regions and all over the world,” he added.

Ben & Jerry’s lose bid to block sale of ice-cream in Israeli West Bank settlements

Ben & Jerry’s has lost its attempt to block its parent company Unilever from selling its ice-cream in West Bank settlements, which the US firm said would run counter to its values.

The company, known for its political activism, took the unusual step seeking an injunction after London-based Unilever announced it had sold its interest in the ice-cream to an Israeli license-holder.

But a US federal judge ruled on Monday the ice-cream company had “failed to demonstrate” that the move to sell the goods in the Israeli-occupied settlements caused it “irreparable harm”.

Israel-Chad ties are warming – fast

When Israel’s non-resident ambassador to the Republic of Chad, Ben Bourgel, presented his credentials to President Mahamat Idriss Déby in May, the biggest surprise was that it all felt very normal.

“When I went to present my letter of credence, the presidency did exactly the same for me as it would do for any ambassador presenting his credentials,” Bourgal, who is resident ambassador to Senegal and, as well as Chad, non-resident to the Gambia, Cape Verde, Guinea and Guinea Bissau, told Jewish Insider in an interview.

“They published it in exactly the same way as any other ambassador and explained it would be beneficial for everyone,” he continued, adding, “it all seemed to be totally normal, and it was that normalcy that was so striking for me.”

The meeting, Bourgel explained, marked “a new era” for Israel and the landlocked central African nation, after 50 years of no formal diplomatic relations. In 1972, facing pressure from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Chad severed ties with Israel.

Anti-Israel Exec Departs Ratings Giant Amid Scrutiny

A senior executive at the ratings giant Sustainalytics—who spent years working at an anti-Israel advocacy group—announced last week that she is stepping down amid scrutiny of the company’s reliance on sources that critics say lead to bias and discrimination against Israeli companies.

Heather Lang, a onetime official at the anti-Israel activist organization B’Tselem, announced last week her departure as a senior vice president at Sustainalytics, a subsidiary of the corporate-ratings giant Morningstar, after 18 years at the company.

Economic BDS Fails

Israeli startups raised $1.1b in August

Israeli startups raised $1.1 billion in August 2022, according to press releases seen by “Globes.” The figure may be more as some companies prefer to remain in stealth and sometimes do not publicize the investments they have received.

Israeli privately-held tech companies raised a record $25.6 billion in 2021, according to IVC, more than double 2020’s figure of $10 billion, which was itself a record. Israeli startups raised $10.9 billion in the first half of 2022, according to IVC, so although well of the pace of last year’s record, startups have already raised more than all of 2020. Israeli startups have raised $12.7 billion in the first eight months of 2022.

EL AL to Launch Direct Flight from Dublin to Tel Aviv in March 2023

El Al, Israel’s largest airline is expected to begin operating a direct flight from Dublin to Tel Aviv in March 2023. The flight launch will make El Al the only airline to fly between Israel and Ireland and becoming the first airline to fly to Tel Aviv in over two decades. The route will operate three times a week on a Boeing 737 aircraft. The direct flight will allow easy access between the two hi-tech cities, and will encourage travel and business collaborations between the two. The flight time is approximately six hours.

Israel’s gas royalties jump 48% in H1 2022

Israel received royalties of NIS 829 million in the first half of 2022 from natural gas, quarries and resources, up 50% from the first half of 2021, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources reports. Most of this figure – NIS 824 million – was from natural gas, up 48% from NIS 557 million the first half of last year. Since the state began collecting royalties for offshore natural gas in 2013, it has received NIS 10 billion.

Israel to ramp up gas exports to Europe as EU energy crisis intensifies

While global price hikes have impacted Israel, the small nation’s domestic gas supplies currently outstrip its needs, leaving it well-placed to increase exports as other countries scramble for solutions.

In the first half of 2022, Israel’s natural gas production soared by 22 per cent ahead of plans to funnel more gas to Europe.

Production also expanded year on year to 10.85 billion cubic metres by June, 42 per cent of which are for exports.

Meanwhile, the combined royalties from gas, minerals, and fees climbed to around 50 per cent to 829 million shekels (over £214 million), mostly accumulated from natural gas.

UAE-Israel Trade Reaches $1.4 Billion This Year So Far, Surpassing All of 2021

Bilateral trade between Israel and the United Arab Emirates reached $1.407 billion in the first seven months of 2022, surpassing the $1.221 billion of trade recorded between the two in all of 2021.

The figures, which account for trade of goods excluding software, were shared Thursday by Amir Hayek, Israel’s ambassador to Abu Dhabi. Hayek was appointed to his post nearly a year after Israel and the UAE normalized relations with US support as part of the Abraham Accords in September 2020.

Israeli retailer announces deals with Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber

An Israeli digital retail company said it has partnered with media personality Kim Kardashian as well as pop star Justin Bieber on a host of special projects.

Global-E that specializes in the digital retail market also said it will cooperate with fashion industry giant Louis Vuitton.

Israel’s Innoviz secures $4b deal to supply Volkswagen with LiDAR sensors

Israel’s Innoviz Technologies, a maker of sensors for self-driving cars, has landed a contract to supply sensors and perception software to Volkswagen in a deal worth about $4 billion, the company said Tuesday.

Under the deal, Innoviz will provide LiDAR technology and software to VW’s autonomous vehicles unit called CARIAD starting in 2025. Innoviz expects to supply between 5-8 million LiDAR units across multiple brands within the Volkswagen Group over an eight-year period, according to CNBC.

Technology and Medical BDS Fails

Israel ranks 1st in digital quality of life

According to SurfShark’s fourth annual edition of the Digital Quality of Life Index (DQL), Israel now ranks first in 2022, pushing Denmark to second place after a two-year lead. The study considers 117 countries; 92% of the global population.

What is digital quality of life?

Digital quality of life is defined by five metrics, according to the report: internet quality, e-government, e-infrastructure, internet affordability and e-security. By evaluating each country’s standing in these metrics, a score can be derived, which in turn gives residents of high-rating countries a minor boost of confidence when they flit over the headline declaring that their thing is better than others.

Microsoft integrates Israelitech to upgrade video streaming quality

A year after acquiring Israeli streaming firm Peer5, Microsoft has launched new technology based on the company’s developments to roll out high-quality video streaming in large-scale live broadcasts.

The tech, developed at Microsoft’s main R&D center in the coastal city of Herzliya, will be integrated into Teams, the tech giant’s business communications platform and its answer to Zoom and Slack, both of which soared in popularity at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, when work-from-home and hybrid work environments started taking shape.

Fruit-picking drones can solve the farm labor shortage

Israeli startup Tevel Aerobotics Technologies has developed flying autonomous robots (FARs) that take off from a base station, pick only the ripe fruit off the tree and gently lower it for collection.

Because they’re not human, Tevel’s robotic pickers can work 24/7 during the harvest. They never get tired and never need to step out for a coffee or bathroom break.

Improved Iron Dome sharpens foreign interest

Parts of the Iron Dome system, mainly the radar and the command and control module, have been sold to other countries, among others to Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and the UK, for billions of shekels. Sales of Elta’s radar amount to over NIS 4.5 billion. There have been media reports of a sale of the full system to Singapore, but these are unconfirmed.

In the past two years, with the signing of the Abraham Accords with the UAE and Bahrain, interest in Iron Dome has increased considerably. Sales to the UAE, Bahrain, and to Saudi Arabia have not yet happened, because of the fear of the leak of technological information, despite the urgent need of these countries for such a system in the face of the threat from Iran and its Houthi proxy in Yemen. Morocco has also made inquiries about the system that are still being examined.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has also raised interest in the system.

Israeli companies lead world in plant-based food tech investments — report

Israeli companies are leading the world in food tech investments in the plant-based alternative proteins sector, and come second only to the US in funds invested in the alternative protein industry as a whole, according to an updated report published this week by the Good Food Institute (GFI) Israel.

The alternative proteins sector includes plant-based substitutes for meat, dairy, and egg, cultivated dairy, meat and seafood made from cells, and various fermentation processes and products. Cultivated protein startups and fermentation tech startups often overlap.

The GFI report highlights new figures in the Israeli food tech sector from the first half of 2022 (H1 2022), showing that $160 million in funds were poured into Israeli startups developing plant-based food products, equivalent to 22 percent of the world’s total, and slightly ahead of the US in this sector.

Cyprus strikes deal to buy Israel’s Iron Dome, report says

Greek Kathimerini newspaper says deal has been finalized, but it’s unclear how many batteries would be purchased; Cypriot Defense Ministry reportedly started to ‘implement the government’s decision to purchase’ the Iron Dome

UK signs defence deal with Israel for ‘next generation’ radar to track Putin threats

BRITAIN has signed a “next generation” defence deal with Israel which will see Babcock sign off its second deal in two weeks in a boost to the UK’s military programme.

The news comes as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has vowed to increase defence spending following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, placing NATO members on high alert in the process. As a major contributor to the Ukrainian defence forces, Britain has been continually threatened by Moscow, with Russian state TV going as far as suggesting nuclear weapons should be used against the UK.

Cultural BDS Fails

Israel’s Shira Haas lands super hero role in new Captain America film

Israel’s Anastasia Gorbenko wins gold medal at European Aquatics Championships

Israeli swimmer Anastasia Gorbenko on Tuesday won a gold medal at the European Aquatics Championships in Rome, taking the top spot in the women’s 200-meter individual medley for the second straight year.

Gorbenko, 19, finished the event in 2 minutes, 10 seconds and 92 milliseconds, nearly a second longer than last year when she became the first Israeli woman to win the gold at the European Championships.

Finishing second place this year was Dutch swimmer Marrit Steenbergen, followed by Italy’s Sara Franceschi.

Israeli men’s marathon team wins gold in Munich

Israel’s men’s running team clinched a gold medal in the team marathon at the European Championships held in the German city of Munich, 50 years after the city saw a terrorist massacre that claimed the lives of 11 Israeli Olympians.

The winning team comprised Marhu Teferi, Gashau Ayale, Omer Ramon, Yimer Getahun and Girmaw Amare; with the exception of Ramon, all the athletes are Ethiopian Israelis.

Gal Gadot to play Queen Grimhilde in Disney’s Snow White

Israeli actress Gal Gadot will play the role of evil Queen Grimhilde in Disney’s new remake of Snow White, it was revealed this weekend at the D23 Expo in California.

“It’s unlike anything I’ve done before,” Gadot said. “I’m used to being where the heart should be. Stepping into the Queen’s shoes was amazing. She really isn’t me, but pushing boundaries was delicious.”

Israeli ceramics exhibition showcased on streets of Paris

A unique Israeli art exhibition is being showcased currently on the streets of France’s capital of Paris as part of an event celebrating the best in creation and design.

The “Present Future” exhibition, curated by Galina Arbeli, presents the works of 16 Israeli artists as part of the Paris Design Week this year, taking place September 8-17.

Israeli runner Blessing Afrifah wins gold at World U20 Championships

For the first time in history, an Israeli finished first in a major athletics event at an international competition.

Israeli sprinter Blessing Afrifah won the gold medal in the 200 meters on Thursday night at the Under-20 World Championships in Cali, Colombia, with a record time of 19.96 seconds.

The 18-year-old is the first Israeli in history to finish the race in under 20 seconds.

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