BDS Fails, May 2023 (Stories you won’t read in the UK 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

US House of Representatives passes pro-Israel, Abraham Accords resolution in 400-19 vote

Legislators voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favor of a resolution expressing support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and the Abraham Accords, in honor of Israel’s 75th anniversary

The resolution represents a strong bipartisan show of support for the U.S.-Israel relationship and highlights the robust support that Israel continues to enjoy in Congress.

North Dakota signs anti-BDS legislation

North Dakota has become the 35th state to pass a law countering the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The legislation prevents those contracting with the state from participating in boycotts of Israel and bars the state from investing in companies that “would have the effect of requiring or inducing any person to boycott Israel.”

William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, praised the “nearly unanimous” passage of the law, which, he stated, demonstrates “North Dakota’s firm commitment to Israel, as the goal of the BDS Movement is to end Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.”

Pax­ton Wins Major Case Defend­ing Texas’s Anti-Boy­cott-of-Israel Law

Attorney General Paxton has secured a victory in the New Orleans-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit while defending a Texas law that prohibits state funds from going to companies that boycott Israel.  

Jeyhun Bayramov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Opens Embassy in Israel

Jeyhun Bayramov was received by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu first asked to convey his greetings to the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. He remembered his visits to Azerbaijan with pleasure. He gave his congratulations on the opening of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Israel. The Prime Minister said that Israel is interested in further development of cooperation with Azerbaijan.

Papua New Guinea to Establish Embassy in Jerusalem

Papua New Guinea, which has a majority Christian population, intends to establish an embassy in Jerusalem, its foreign minister Justin Tkachenko informed his Israeli colleague on Sunday.

Tkachenko and Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen agreed to promote a move to open an embassy in Jerusalem for the island nation in the Pacific Ocean. The process is expected to begin already this year and would open the country’s first representation in Israel.

US Supreme Court keeps Arkansas anti-BDS law in place, declining to intervene

The US Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to step into a legal fight over state laws that require contractors to pledge not to boycott Israel.

The justices rejected an appeal on behalf of an alternative weekly newspaper in Little Rock, Arkansas, that objected to a state law that reduces fees paid to contractors that refuse to sign the pledge.

The full federal appeals court in St. Louis upheld the law, overturning a three-judge panel’s finding that it violated constitutional free speech rights.

Economic BDS Fails

Shake Shack signs deal to open Israel chain

Israel becomes third largest importer of Chinese vehicles

Last week the Chinese customs authority published export figures for Chinese cars in the first two months of 2023. Israel was the third largest market with 15,500 vehicles exported, behind Russia 20,100 and Mexico 18,700. Israel has leapfrogged important markets for China like Australia, Chile, Thailand and Saudi Arabia. 

Saudi Arabia investing millions in Israeli startups

Last week Sanabil, the private investment arm of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with estimated assets of $620 billion, disclosed its allocations to some 60 venture, growth, buyout and other funds globally. These investments include Insight Partners, Coatue, General Atlantic,

Job vacancies in Israel hit two-year low

The number of job vacancies in Israel fell from 135,300 in February 2023 to 130,898 in March 2023, the Central Bureau of Statistics reports. This is the lowest figure since April 2021.

The downward trend comes after the number of job vacancies rose during 2021 and the first half of 2022, peaking at more than 150,000 in the middle of last year. However, the current number of job vacancies is higher than in 2019 when the figure stood at 100,000.

IAI teams with Australian co on missile defense

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Australian defense company Daronmont Technologies, to deliver advanced air and missile defense capabilities as part of the Australian Ministry of Defense Tender (AIR-6502) for the procurement of defense systems and other Australian Defense Forces (ADF) programs. The agreement was signed at the AVALON Australian International Airshow.

First Israeli commercial flights enter Omani airspace, shortening trips to Far East

An El Al flight from Tel Aviv to Bangkok on Sunday night became the first Israeli airliner to cross over Oman’s airspace, three days after the Gulf sultanate made the long-awaited decision to allow overflights for aircraft from all countries, including the Jewish state.

The journey to the Thai capital, which usually took Israeli planes at least 10.5 hours, lasted just seven hours and 49 minutes, shortening the flight by some 2.5 hours, according to Israel’s national carrier.

It was followed two hours later by another El Al plane to Bangkok, with that journey taking eight hours and two minutes, according to a flight tracker website.

Emirates to add third Tel Aviv – Dubai daily flight

Less than a year after inaugurating its Dubai – Tel Aviv route, UAE carrier Emirates is adding third daily flight, starting May 1. Strong demand for travel to and from Israel, will increase the total number of weekly Emirates flights serving Tel Aviv to 21, providing more direct flights to Dubai and enhanced connectivity options to the rest of the Emirates network.

Since June 2022, over 180,000 passengers have travelled on Emirates between Dubai and Tel Aviv.

Technology and Medical BDS Fails

Gamida Cell surges after FDA approves cancer treatment

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a cancer treatment of Israeli company Gamida Cell (Nasdaq: GMDA). In response to the announcement, the company’s share price soared nearly 40% yesterday, bringing its market cap to $91 million. This is the second Israeli drug based on a new mechanism to receive approval for use in the US this year, after years of drought for approvals of new drugs. In January, MediWound received approval for its burns treatment.

Culture and Entertainment BDS Fails

Notable Kuwaiti writer opposes country’s boycott of Israeli athletes

The prominent Kuwaiti writer Jasem Al-Juraid criticized Kuwaiti athletes who boycott Israeli athletes during competitions. 

Al-Juraid told United Arab Emirates-based Sky News Arabia show that “We cannot accept that a Kuwait [athlete], agrees to participate in a sports competition, and agrees with its rules, and then withdraws because he refuses to compete with an Israeli participant.”

Ghanem Nuseibeh, the chairman of the UK-based Muslims Against Antisemitism, told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday that “Boycotting sports events not only goes against sportsmanship one would expect of athletes, but boycotting Israel athletes is also immoral and doesn’t help peace.”

Robbie Williams thinks Israel is “f****** amazing”

“I speak to a lot of my fans on my website and the question ‘Where are you most excited to play?’ comes up a lot. I always say Israel.”

These were the words of Robbie Williams ahead of his first concert in Israel in 2015. And when the interviewer followed up with a withering, “Really, but why?” Robbie just kept going. “Because I am genuinely excited to go there. The people, the place and the history – there is an unspoken energy coming from the place.”

He certainly offended the sensibilities of Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters, who unsurprisingly was one of his most strident critics. But it was Waters off a duck’s back as far as the former Take That star was concerned when he touched down at Ben Gurion International Airport on 30 April in his private Boeing jet, later telling his adoring 40,000 crowd: “Israel is f***ing amazing.”

And now, after infuriating the baying activists nine years ago, Robbie is fearlessly returning to Israel. On 1 June, he is the big name at the Summer in the City festival at Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park.

After several tries, Morrissey confirms two July shows in Israel

English singer and songwriter Morrissey is returning to Israel after a seven-year hiatus prolonged by several canceled shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The performer, who has often expressed his love for the Jewish state, will play July 2 at the Zappa Shuni outdoor amphitheater in Binyamina and on July 4 at Expo Tel Aviv, part of his 2023 UK and Ireland tour.

Morrissey last played Israel in 2016, and he received a symbolic key to Tel Aviv from longtime mayor Ron Huldai at a 2012 performance.

Israeli whiskey company wins ‘world’s best single malt’ award

Israeli whiskey company Milk & Honey (M&H) has been awarded the title of ‘world’s best single malt’ by The World Drinks Awards.

The World Drinks Awards described the drink as having “Fruity aromas of citrus zest and white peach with a dash of wood varnish. Sweet to the taste with a weighty mouthfeel, this whisky has flavours of golden syrup, vanilla, tropical fruit and iced tea, before a finish of oak tannins with hints of anise and lemon peel.” 

Despite misconceptions that the whiskey should be from a single barrel, single malt whisky is a whisky that is produced by a single distillery, according to Kilchoman distillery.

Happiest Countries Prove Resilient Despite Overlapping Crises

The first International Day of Happiness was celebrated 10 years ago on 20 March 2013. Since then, people all over have recognized not only the importance of measuring happiness and well-being but have made gains to support public and private policies to help promote it.

The top ten countries are ordered:

Finland

Denmark

Iceland

Israel

Netherlands

Sweden

Norway

Switzerland

Luxembourg

New Zealand

Jerusalem’s Tower of David named one of ‘World’s Greatest Places’ by TIME

TIME’s list is a wide and varied list. Jerusalem is listed among the other 50 destinations such as Kyoto inJapan, Musanze in Rwanda, Giza and Saqqara in Egypt, Ladakh in India and Aqaba in Jordan.

Ahead of the Tower of David Jerusalem Museum’s grand re-opening in June 2023, TIME Magazine revealed that the institution has earned a spot on its third annual list of World’s Greatest Places. This historic Jerusalem icon boasts a 360-degree view of the city and has been listed as one of the 50 important places to explore around the world.

Adam Lampert to perform on June 13th in Tel-Aviv!

Backstreet Boys announce Israel show as part of DNA World Tour

The 1990s boy band superstars Backstreet Boys will be returning to Israel for the third time, on May 13 at Rishon Lezion’s Live Park. The group last performed here in 2018, celebrating their 25th anniversary before a sold-out crowd of 16,000 at the same venue.

Guns ‘N Roses, Morrissey reportedly to return to Israel this summer

Guns N’ Roses is returning to Israel this summer, playing Tel Aviv’s Park Hayarkon on June 5, if you believe Yedioth Ahronoth’s Raz Shechnik.

The media and music correspondent broke the news via Twitter on Sunday, writing that the contract had been signed, and reminding followers that in 2017, Guns ‘N Roses performed one of the longest concerts in Israeli history, a three-hour-long show to a crowd of more than 60,000.

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