One of my readers suggested that I write another anti-boycott article, so I just took excerpts from Israel’s positive news over the last 3 weeks and will let you make up your minds as to whether or not there is a boycott.
The European center of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is in the British Isles (Ireland and the UK). But you wouldn’t be able to infer that from the close relationship that Dublin’s Trinity College has with Israel’s Weizmann and Technion Institutes. Their joint research into treatments for cancer and inflammatory diseases is phenomenal. And as British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Sajid Javid said, during the annual British Israel Business Awards event, “The past few years have been a golden era for Anglo-Israeli business”. Mr. Javid, a “proud British-born Muslim”, told the audience “I share Israel’s love for freedom and democracy.” So it is no wonder that British Airways is upgrading its service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion by operating its new wide-body Boeing 787 “Dreamliner”.
There is definitely no boycott in the field of medicine. For example, the Joint Accreditation Committee of the International Society for Cellular Therapy & European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (JACIE) has recognized the Bone Marrow Transplantation departments of Israel’s Hadassah and Schneider medical centers. It will increase opportunities for international research. However, don’t listen to the BBC if you want to know what’s really going on in the world. The biased corporation gave fanfare to a Belgium ovary transplant story, but made no mention of a similar Israeli one two weeks earlier. And the BBC totally ignored the vital teamwork of Professor Jacob Schachter from Israel’s Sheba Medical Center when reporting the melanoma treatment breakthrough at UK’s Royal Marsden hospital.
Staying in the medical arena, Canada is definitely one of Israel’s best friends. Scientists at Israel’s Bar Ilan University have been working with Canada’s McGill University and have made a breakthrough in the treatment of addiction. By administering a DNA methylation inhibitor, they have removed the cravings that occur during an addict’s withdrawal process. Meanwhile, Canada’s Azrieli Foundation has donated $10 million to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for researching genetic disorders. But Israeli-Canadian cooperation went literally “out of this world” when the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and the Israel Space Agency (ISA) agreed to develop advanced applications in satellite communications. Two research projects have already been initiated.
Israel and the USA have always enjoyed an excellent valued relationship, as former Arkansas Governor and US Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee wrote recently. This year, 65 students from Israel and the US will become Fulbright Scholars and will study in each other’s country. And we were privileged to see at least 100,000 people line up on both sides of Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to watch another 40,000 march in support of Israel at the Israel Day Parade in New York City.
India is one of Israel’s newest friends, ever since Narendra Modi became Prime Minister. Before the year is out, Mr Modi is set to become the first Indian head of state to visit Israel. And at the grass-roots level, Rajasthan is the latest of many Indian states to seek Israeli technological assistance.
Other recent Israeli Government international activities include:
- Signing an Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Agreement with China.
- Launching a joint irrigation project in Kazakhstan.
New international activities involving Israeli companies include:
- Bram Plastics, Caesarstone and Avgol building or expanding operations in the USA.
- Integrity’s banking consultancy support for Belarus.
- Algatechnologies distributing its AstaPure astaxanthin antioxidant ingredients to Japan.
Despite the anti-Israel rhetoric from South Africa, when it comes to building there the largest radio telescope in the world, it is noticeable that Israel’s Mellanox will supply the telescope’s multicast network. Similarly, all the pressure on Israel to reveal its nuclear secrets hasn’t prevented the International Atomic Energy Agency from ordering 400 million nuclear-sterilized flies from Israel’s BioBee. These flies repel the Mediterranean fruit fly, a pest that has been wreaking havoc on citrus trees in the Balkans. (The IAEA wants to promote peaceful uses of nuclear technology.) Another fair-weather friend, the EU, is eagerly looking forward to purchasing supplies of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) sourced from the new Israeli natural gas fields. Finally, practically every country on the planet wants advice and technology from Israel that will help make best use of limited water supplies.
So despite BDS plots to hurt it financially, Israel, as confirmed by Moody’s chief economist Dr Mark Zandi, has one of the world’s best economies. It’s fiscal situation is better than ever, the debt-to-GDP ratio is low and continues to fall, its economy has been growing for 15 straight years, and there’s almost no unemployment. The future also looks rosy, as investment in Israeli startups continues to increase.
Some 280 global high-tech giants have now established R&D centers in Israel. These include IBM, where Israeli scientists have turned IBM’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) system (known as “Watson”) from quiz-show expert (in 2011) and master chef (in 2014) into a medical advisor (today). High-tech giants now include Visa Europe, which has just opened a start-up center in Tel Aviv.
Exports of Israeli cyber security products doubled in 2014 to $6 billion. The free world is reliant on Israel’s expertise in cyber security. Following a cyber attack on Germany’s Bundestag, Europe’s largest private organization for applied scientific research in Europe, the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Security, has decided to establish a cyber-security innovation center in Israel.
So as the Jewish State looks forward following the celebrations of its first “Unity Day” I’ll play out with the messages of support from mega bands One Republic and Bon Jovi, who have totally ignored calls from the pathetic BDS thugs. But special mention must be given of Art Garfunkel, who enhanced the lyrics of “Bridge over Troubled Water” with “I’m on your side, Tel Aviv”.
Finally, a Chabad poster that had been attached to balloons, drifted from Israel into Lebanon. The terrorist group Hezbollah probably didn’t realize their implied message of support to the Jewish State when two of their members lifted up the banner and displayed “We Want Moshiach Now” to the world. Perhaps they thought that they had picked up an Israeli secret weapon? Perhaps they were right!
Michael Ordman writes a free weekly newsletter containing positive news stories about Israel.
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