BDS Fails, July 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

British MPs vote to ban public bodies from boycotting Israel 

MPs have voted to ban public bodies from boycotting Israel and other countries, despite scores of Conservative MPs not backing the bill, some of whom said the ban was illiberal and others that it would hamper action against China.

The bill will ban public bodies such as local councils from imposing economic sanctions on countries that are not sanctioned by the Westminster government, singling out Israel as particularly worthy of protection.

Michael Gove, the communities secretary, said during the Commons debate on Monday: “[The bill] protects minorities, especially Jewish communities, against campaigns that harm community cohesion and fuel antisemitism.”

Another US state passes anti-BDS law

New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu signed on Thursday an executive order prohibiting the Granite State from investing in or contracting with companies and commercial entities that boycott Israel and its trade partners.

The announcement, made in the presence of Israel’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Gilad Erdan, marks New Hampshire as the 37th state to enact regulations against the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement

Switzerland, Austria to join European air defense project using Israel’s Arrow 3

Abraham Accord countries among the top partners for the Israeli defense industry

Israel’s Elbit looks to cash in on European artillery appetites

Israeli aerospace giant Elbit Systems is ramping up its production of multi-purpose rocket and drone launchers in Europe, as the Netherlands is buying the company’s PULS system which Spain also appears to be favoring for its new rocket artillery program.

On May 17 the Royal Netherlands Army announced on social media that it had contracted Elbit for the supply of 20 of the truck-mounted Precise and Universal Launching Systems. Earlier in April, the Dutch government had stated in a letter to parliament that the country would spend around $650 million on long-range weaponry.

More evidence that BDS is an extremist movement

Mayor London Breed of San Francisco Visits Sister City Haifa 

Two famous “cities on the bay,” Haifa in Israel and San Francisco in California, just celebrated 50 years as sister cities. Appropriately enough, both currently are led by female mayors.

And when San Francisco Mayor London Breed was in Haifa recently to sign a memorandum of understanding with Haifa Mayor Einat Kalisch-Rotem on taking the sister relationship into the next half century, they discovered something else in common: resiliency.

“We were moved by how our entire delegation dealt with the issue of rocket attacks during our visit,” Breed told ISRAEL21c, referring to more than 1,000 missiles launched from Gaza from May 9 to 13, the same five days she and a 30-person delegation were visiting Haifa, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem on a trip organized by the San Francisco – Haifa Sister City Committee and the Jewish Community Relations Council Bay Area.

Economic BDS Fails

UK Ministry of Defence is considering the purchase of Israeli air-to-ground ballistic missiles

The UK was the first to give Ukraine long-range weapons in the form of Storm Shadow cruise missiles. Now the UK is looking for a replacement.

The UK Ministry of Defence is considering the purchase of Rampage air-to-ground ballistic missiles (bottom of picture), formerly known as MARS. It is a development by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI), which was introduced five years ago.

JPMorgan commercial bank enters Singapore, Israel in global push

JPMorgan Chase & Co’s (JPM.N) commercial bank is entering Singapore and Israel this year as its unit catering to midsize and small companies makes a global push, the bank said.

The moves will give the commercial bank a presence in 28 countries by year-end. JPMorgan’s international operations serve American companies that do business overseas, as well as foreign companies that operate in the U.S.

Intel to invest $25 billion in Israel factory in record deal, Netanyahu says

U.S. chipmaker Intel Corp (INTC.O) will spend $25 billion on a new factory in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, calling it the largest-ever international investment in the country.

The factory in Kiryat Gat is due to open in 2027, to operate through 2035 at least and to employ thousands of people, Israel’s Finance Ministry said. Under the deal Intel will pay a 7.5% tax rate, up from the current 5%, the ministry added.

LinkedIn leases entire floor of Tel Aviv’s Alon Tower B

Social media platform company LinkedIn has leased an entire floor, covering 1,400 square meters, in the Alon Tower B in Tel Aviv, “Globes” has learned. The company is believed to be paying NIS 160 per square meter. The space is in the 34th floor of the tower, and occupation is scheduled for July 2024. LinkedIn has about 50 employees in Israel.

Israel reports record $12.5 billion defence exports, 24% of them to Arab partners

Israel exported a record $12.556 billion in defence products last year, with new Arab partners under the U.S.-sponsored 2020 Abraham Accords accounting for almost a quarter of the business, the Defence Ministry said on Tuesday.

It said the 2022 figures marked a 50% increase over the previous three years and a doubling in volume over the previous decade. Drones accounted for 25% of the 2022 exports and missiles, rockets or air defence systems for 19%, it said.

Germany to spend $4.3bn to buy Israeli Arrow-3 missile defence system to intercept ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere

Germany is one step closer to acquiring Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defence system. The German government has expressed its willingness to buy the system as early as March 2022.

The Arrow 3 is the “top layer” of Israel’s missile defence system. The system is used to intercept short-, medium- and long-range missiles at safe altitudes (up to 100 km). The system is also capable of shooting down ballistic targets outside the atmosphere.

French Supermarket Giant Auchan Makes Israel Its First Middle East Target 

The French supermarket giant will likely open its doors in Israel amid growing competition in its home of France. Unlike Carrefour, it will be partly owned by an Israeli company too.

Technological and Medical BDS Fails

Tel Aviv ranks #5 in global startup ecosystem

Israel will have ‘huge role’ to play in AI revolution, OpenAI’s Sam Altman says

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said Monday that he is impressed with the talent pool in Israel and expressed his confidence that the local tech ecosystem will play a “huge role” in the artificial intelligence revolution transforming the world in the coming years.

“There are two things I have observed that are particular about Israel: the first is talent density and the second is the relentlessness, drive, and ambition of Israeli entrepreneurs,” Altman said at an event at Tel Aviv University. “Those two things together are optimal to lead to incredible prosperity both in terms of AI research and AI applications.”

Israeli startups raised $550m in May

Israeli startups raised $550 million in May 2023, 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.

Cultural BDS Fails

“It is an honor and privilege to be here.” – American singer Adam Lambert

Bruno Mars books first Israel gig in October

American pop star Bruno Mars will make his way to Israel this fall for the first time and will perform at Tel Aviv’s Yarkon Park during the Sukkot holiday on October 4.

The Grammy Award-winning — 15 so far — artist’ well-known hits include “That’s What I Like,” “Treasure,” “Uptown Funk,” and “Just the Way You Are.”

Mars, born in Hawaii, also has Jewish lineage. Mars is one of six kids, with a Filipino mother and half Puerto Rican-half Jewish father originally from Brooklyn, New York. One grandparent, of Hungarian and Ukrainian descent, was reportedly a Hebrew teacher.

Rock icons Guns N’ Roses liven up Tel Aviv

‘Antisemitism is not art,’ Frankfurt mayor says ahead of Roger Waters concert

The Sunday concert of renowned English musician Roger Waters in Frankfurt has ignited a firestorm of controversy and accusations of antisemitism, drawing sharp criticism from activists and community leaders who argue that his divisive statements and actions perpetuate harmful stereotypes and undermine efforts to combat hatred.

As the event approaches, tensions mount, highlighting the intersection of music, history, and the fight against antisemitism. Frankfurt Mayor Uwe Becker, and antisemitism activist and Israel advocate Sacha Stawski, support the Jewish community’s protests.

Finnish rapper Käärijä hopeful about Noa Kirel collab in Israel

We could be on the verge of a spine-tingling collaboration: The Eurovision’s first and second runners-up, Finnish rapper Käärijä and Israel’s very own Noa Kirel could be teaming up for a duet.

Reports indicate that Kirel is very interested in bringing the eccentric Nordic star to Israel to perform together at Hayarkon Park in central Tel Aviv, though up until now, no official offer has been extended.

Robbie Williams makes surprise street performance in Tel Aviv

British pop star Robbie Williams surprised locals and tourists alike by singing with a busker on the Tel Aviv promenade, two days before his highly anticipated concert.

The two sang Williams’s hit song ‘Angels’ from his first solo album released in 1997.

Williams returned to perform a show in Israel after an eight-year absence. He gave a press conference on Tuesday, ahead of Thursday’s performance in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon Park as part of a concert that will include other artists participating in the Summer in the City festival. He then made this spontaneous appearance in Tel Aviv.

“The last time I was here, I was excited to discover Israel and its people,” he told reporters during the press conference.

Morrissey thrilled to perform in Israel

Helen Mirren to appear at 40th Jerusalem film festival

When the 40th Jerusalem Film Festival opens July 13 in Jerusalem’s Sultan’s Pool, the award-winning actors and directors sitting in the front row will include Helen Mirren, Oliver Stone, and the Dardenne brothers, along with Liev Schreiber, director Claire Denis, and other guests.

Mirren will receive an achievement award at the festival, celebrating her latest film — “Golda,” which will open the event — marking her illustrious career that has included winning an Oscar, Bafta, Emmy, and Tony. Mirren’s acclaim extends as well to her performances on stage, TV and film, from arthouse cinema to box office hits, such as “The Queen” and the “Fast and Furious” franchise.

Christina Aguilera to perform in Israel 

Five-time Grammy-award-winning American pop singer Christina Aguilera will perform in Israel for the first time this summer, Live Nation announced on Thursday.

She is scheduled to take the stage on Aug. 10 at Live Park in Rishon Letzion.

The 42-year-old is celebrating 25 years in the music business ahead of the silver anniversary of the release of her self-titled debut album that spawned four hit singles, including “Genie in a Bottle” and “What a Girl Wants.”

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