Sunday, September 25, 2016

From Ian:

Jewish Voice for Peace disavows BDS activist Miko Peled: “No place 4 antisemitism in our movement”
The problem is not Peled, but that BDS is a Settler Colonial ideology that thrives on negative stereotypes of Jews.
We have not written before about Miko Peled, an Israeli who is an anti-Israel pro-BDS activist based on the West Coast.
His main claim to fame is that his father was famous Israeli General Matti Peled. Miko’s book, The General’s Son, is his talking point when he makes his frequently visits to campuses. Being Israeli and from such a prominent Zionist family gives Peled a seeming credibility on the stump that few other pro-BDS speakers have. But his rhetoric is every bit as vicious, nasty and inflammatory as just about anything we see.
JVP just disavowed Peled.
The story is one that is reminiscent of the Weir disavowal. At some point, the rhetoric becomes just too toxic, too much playing on centuries old negative stereotypes of Jews as a means of making anti-Israel arguments.
This is the tweet that started the ball rolling down hill, saying that in light of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently signed for future military aid to Israel, Israelis should not be “surprised Jews have reputation 4being sleazy thieves….”
That tweet, and Peled’s defense of it, led to cancellation of a campus appearance at Princeton organized by the Princeton Committee for Palestine, which expressed its disgust on Facebook:
Peled, of course, blamed Zionists:
The cancellation received surprising support from JVP, which tweeted “antisemitic language is not acceptable in our movements for justice.” [If only that were true.]
Rebecca Vilkomerson, Executive Director of JVP, tweeted that “Princeton group did right thing cancelling @mikopeled talk b/c of his tweets-no place 4 antisemitism in our movement.”
Peled rejected the accusation, as did Alison Weir when she was disavowed by JVP, in a series of Facebook posts and tweets which doubled-down on the rhetoric, including blaming Israel for “playing into the hands of racist antisemitism” — in other words, blaming Jews for anti-Semitism.
Jewish Voice for Peace "thick as thieves" with Miko Peled
Jewish Voice for Peace has been "thick as thieves" with Miko Peled for years. He tabled with the extremist group, representing them at a conference on Reform Judaism
In January he gave a talk at UCLA sponsored by JVP and SJP, along with fellow "AsaJew" Max Blumenthal.
He spoke at a JVP Rally in Washington DC on March 3, 2015
JVP even featured Peled's book, "The Generals Son" in its book club
With such intimate contact with Miko Peled, you'd think that JVP might have noticed before now that he harbors anti-Semitic beliefs.

Senior Lebanese Journalist: Arabs Are Outraged When Israel Destroys A Home While They Destroy Entire Cities
Veteran Lebanese journalist Samir Atallah penned a scathing article on the Arab people’s inability to conduct negotiations without resorting to threats, as well as the hypocrisy of the Arab world’s outrage towards external threats like Israel, which may have demolished “a house or two” while Arabs destroy entire cities.
Writing in English in the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Atallah slams the Arab nations’ proclivity to speak of one another in terms of endearment including “brother” and “comrade” – even though they refuse to talk directly to each other.
“From the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf, ‘the great Arab homeland’ is in the hands of international mediators,” Atallah writes, noting that many Arab conflicts have been mediated by third parties such as the UN.
But even in those cases, he adds, the parties cannot come to an agreement because Arabs do not know how to hold a dialogue and always “demand, impose and threaten rather than discuss.”
Atallah points to the failed reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas, though he applauds the two for meeting in the past in an effort to rise above their own differences so they can work together against the “brutal Zionist enemy.”
But Arabs are not capable of following through, Atallah says. They prefer to express fury and indignation when “the brutal enemy destroys a house or two from time to time while the gracious brother destroys cities, re-destroys them and then sees a wall that is still standing and vies for it.”

Obama calls Yesha 'Palestinian,' contrary to Oslo and Int'l Law
Amid the countless words of analysis of US President Obama's address to the United Nations last week, precious little has been said about his use of the words "Palestinian lands." The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) is apparently the first and only organization to comment on it.
"Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel ... [and if] Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land," Obama said.
The ZOA says that using the words "Palestinian land" to refer to Judea and Samaria "prejudges the issue of sovereignty and borders, and is not accordance with international law, which designates Judea/Samaria as unallocated territory, without a recognized sovereign."
Over the past century, Judea and Samaria (collectively known as Yesha) has been under the control of the Ottoman Empire, the British Mandate, Jordan and Israel – but never under "Palestinian" control. In fact, no such Arab country has ever existed in history. Only since 1993 has there been a "Palestinian Authority," but it was specifically not granted control or authority over areas of Jewish settlement. For Obama to say that Israel cannot to "settle Palestinian land," therefore, is a total misnomer.
The ZOA noted that Obama's use of this term "unjustly designates the biblical, religious, and historical heartland of the Jewish people for millennia, before the Arab conquest of the region in the seventh century, as belonging to Palestinian Arabs."
The ZOA acknowledges that Judea and Samaria are disputed areas, "but it is also important to note that Israel has better claim [to them] in law than any other party."
Why Netanyahu is unfazed by Obama’s settlement critique
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was trying to flatter US President Barack Obama when he noted his “terrific golf game” during their meeting here Wednesday. “And by the way,” the prime minister added, “I don’t play golf but right next to my home in Caesarea in Israel there’s a terrific golf course.”
What was meant to sound jovial and welcoming could have also been understood as a backhanded insult. Politico’s story on the meeting did not focus on military aid, unprecedented security cooperation or even the settlements but on Netanyahu’s awkward attempt to be friendly. “Netanyahu poked fun at President Barack Obama’s golf obsession,” the site reported.
Were Netanyahu and his aides not aware that Obama’s passion for golf is rarely cited by his admirers but usually only by his detractors, who more than his athletic proclivities seek to highlight his alleged aloof elitism and contempt for the simple man?
In December, Republican presidential hopeful and perennial Obama basher Donald Trump accused the president of playing more golf than Tiger Woods. “We don’t have time for this,” The Donald said. “We have to work.”
Just last month, Trump accused the president of not visiting flood victims in Louisiana for fear he could miss any golf games during his vacation in Massachusetts.
A senior diplomatic official on Wednesday night told The Times of Israel that Netanyahu was honestly trying to be friendly and hospitable. “The claim that the prime minister in any way intended to take a dig at the president is utterly preposterous and further shows how comments like these, made in earnest, get blown out of proportions and into tensions where they don’t exist.”
Elliott Abrams: A Candid Speech from President Abbas
Many Israelis have said for a long time that they could solve the “1967 issues” with the Palestinians but cannot possibly solve the “1948 issues”–meaning the Palestinian objections to the very establishment of the Jewish State. In his speech, Mr. Abbas showed this to be correct: his complaints went far beyond those related to issues in the West Bank or Gaza. He wants the Balfour Declaration of 1917 undone, wants the British to apologize for it, and complains of the UN’s partition resolution in 1948.
His history is wrong here, when he complains that Israel seized more land than that which the partition resolution allotted to it–because he forgets that Israel accepted the resolution but was then attacked by the Arab states, which did not accept it. The Arabs lost that war and paid the price. Mr. Abbas’s account is false and misleading.
Perhaps some day, a Palestinian leader might say something like this to the UN and to his own people: “We said no in 1947, when we could have had a state, and we chose war instead. We said no at Camp David in 2000, when we could have had a state, and we chose terrorism instead. We said no in 2008, after Annapolis. It is time to say yes.” Until that happens, the “unsustainable occupation” that began in 1967 will continue. In fact, next year marks its fiftieth anniversary. A speech such as Mr. Abbas gave shows us why it has not been possible to make more progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians. As long as Palestinian leaders are inciting violence with fantasies about the Temple Mount and are mired in their inaccurate history of past victimization, from the Balfour Declaration to today, it is hard to see how progress is possible.
StandWithUs: The Biggest LIES Abbas told to the 71st UN General Assembly
We were doing a double-take with most of the claims Abbas made. Here is a debrief of the lies he told to the world at the UN General Assembly.

Kerry: US, Israel can make progress on two-state solution in coming months
US Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Israel and the US could still make progress toward the two-state solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict in the coming months and that Israel could work with Mideast allies to achieve more stability in the region.
Speaking at a joint press conference before a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, Kerry said the US and Israel could use their friendship “to advance (peace efforts), what we believe is not only in the highest priority for Israel to provide for its long-term security.”
Kerry said that there were “things we believe we could achieve in the next months, and there are serious concerns that we all have about the security of the region, the need for stability, the need to protect the two-state solution.”
The top US diplomat added that the US-Israel alliance could also help “create a new relationship within the region that can be powerful in reinforcing that long-term security interest.”
Kerry said to rail at Israel, decry looming binational state
US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly took Israel and the Palestinians to task last week, accusing them of undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.
At a meeting last Monday of nations that fund the Palestinian Authority, Kerry accused Israel of failing to fulfill its promises to the Palestinians and of increasing settlement activity in an effort to put facts on the ground that would make a future Palestinian state “unsustainable,” Haaretz reported Sunday.
Kerry was also said to have accused the Palestinian Authority of inciting violence while not doing enough to prevent attacks. But his focus was mainly on Israel, the report said.
“How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state?” Kerry was quoted as saying. “The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up.”
Netanyahu to ask Clinton, Trump to oppose one-sided resolutions against Israel
If the US presidential candidates don’t come to Jerusalem during the heat of the campaign, Jerusalem will come to them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to meet separately in New York on Sunday with both Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump. The meetings are scheduled to take place just a day before the two candidates square off for their first presidential debate.
Netanyahu made clear earlier in the week his interest in meeting both candidates, and this was followed by a telephone conversation with the Trump camp that dealt with the logistics of a possible meeting. After it became clear that there was interest in a meeting, Netanyahu’s office turned to the Clinton camp, which also expressed interest.
Only after both camps consented was it agreed that the meetings would take place, so as not to present in any way the perception of the prime minister favoring one candidate over the other.
Netanyahu is expected to ask both candidates to come out publicly against any attempt by the UN or any other international organization to impose a settlement on Israel. This comes in light of concern that Barack Obama, in the twilight of his presidency, may either support or even initiate a new UN Security Council resolution on the conflict.
After prepping Trump for debate, Giuliani says US should abandon two-state solution
The United States should give up on a two-state solution between Israel and Palestinians, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Saturday night.
The former mayor addressed the Israeli American Council (IAC)– promising to remain apolitical– after four intense days of debate prep with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. His first debate with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is scheduled for Monday night.
"You can make peace between the two of them, but you can't treat them the same," said Giuliani, condemning moral equivalence between the two parties. The US, he said, should "reject the whole notion of a two-state solution in Israel."
Giuliani has been a close adviser to the GOP nominee for several months. Trump's two top Israel aides, Jason Greenblatt and David Friedman, have also advised the candidate to abandon hopes of two states for two peoples living peacefully side by side.
That position– geared toward two states– is publicly embraced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who reiterated this hope for a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict earlier this week at the UN General Assembly.
"It's not in the interest of Israel to have a terrorist state on its border," Giuliani concluded, adding: "It would not be the interests of my country to create a new haven for terrorists."
Hebron soldier not comparable to fallen soldiers, PM clarifies
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apologized for a comparison he was perceived to have drawn between Elor Azaria, the IDF soldier on trial for allegedly shooting and killing an immobilized Palestinian terrorist in Hebron, and bereaved families.
In a special interview with Channel 2 on Saturday night, in which he was asked about a phone call he made to Azaria's father, Charlie, Netanyahu said, "I've called many parents in distress over children who fell [in the line of duty] or were missing or who were fallen and missing."
Netanyahu said he had no regret over phoning Charlie Azaria: "Do you know what I told him? My exact words: Put your faith in the IDF, in the chief of staff, in the commanders, our soldiers, and in our judicial system."
"I'm sorry if my remarks were misunderstood," Netanyahu wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
"In no way was I trying to compare the suffering of bereaved families, suffering that I know well [Netanyahu's older brother Yonatan was killed in the 1976 Operation Entebbe hostage rescue], to the situation of other parents in distress. There is no comparison, and there can be no comparison," the prime minister wrote.
Rivlin: With Hebron shooter trial, Israel faces ‘abyss’
Israel stands before a “yawning abyss” with the IDF soldier’s trial for manslaughter in the killing of a disarmed Palestinian attacker in March, President Reuven Rivlin said Sunday.
Sgt. Elor Azaria stands charged with manslaughter after he was filmed shooting Palestinian assailant Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in the head on March 24, nearly 15 minutes after Sharif was shot by soldiers during an attempt to stab them in the West Bank city of Hebron.
“The trial can place us before a yawning abyss and not merely a slippery slope,” Rivlin said in a video posted on his Twitter account on Sunday. “My grandchildren, who are soldiers in the army, ask me ‘Grandpa, who do we need to listen to? Our officers or the voice of the masses?’ We have an excellent army, we have the best officers, we have a chief of staff who is unlike any other, and we must listen to them and accept their decisions because these are the rules of the game.”
Rivlin’s comments on the case came hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday vehemently denied that he had intended to draw a comparison between the plight of Azaria and soldiers missing or killed in action.
Soldier stabbed in Hebron backs up comrade Elor Azaria’s claims
An IDF soldier wounded in a stabbing attack after which his Palestinian stabber was shot dead backed up the shooter’s claim that there was real fear the attacker still posed a threat.
During the ongoing trial of IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria, who faces manslaughter charges for killing the disarmed and seriously injured Palestinian attacker in March, his fellow platoon member told the Jaffa Military Court on Sunday that as he lay on a stretcher after the attack he heard people shouting that the stabber could also be armed with a bomb.
“When they put me in the ambulance I started to hear cries that the terrorist is still alive, that apparently he has a bomb, and I understood that the incident was not over yet,” said the soldier, whose name was not cleared for media publication.
Azaria is standing trial for shooting Palestinian assailant Abdel Fattah al-Sharif in the head on March 24, nearly 15 minutes after al-Sharif was shot by soldiers he tried to stab them in Hebron. He testified in July that he feared al-Sharif was fitted with a bomb. No explosives were found on the body.
Much of the court debate has focused on events in the time after al-Sharif had initially been shot and until Azaria opened fire, during which medics and security forces were busy securing the scene in the aftermath of the stabbing attack.
IDF official: Gaza underground wall should be done in months
A senior Israeli military official said Sunday that a massive underground barrier being built along the Gaza Strip border to defend against Hamas tunnels should be completed in a matter of months, assuming its funding comes through.
The Southern Command official said that the structure will include a wall deep below the ground as well as a fence above ground. Some parts of the roughly 60-kilometer (40-mile) border will also be flooded.
“If the budget comes at the right rate, then the barrier will be built in a matter of months,” the officer said.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity under military briefing regulations, said the goal is to turn the underground network into a “death trap” for Hamas.
“We’re putting a lot of effort into that,” he said.
During the 2014 war in the Strip, Hamas terrorists managed on several occasions to make their way into Israel through a tunnel network.
Israel destroyed some 32 tunnels during that conflict. The official said the military is investing great efforts to stop the threat.
Al-Aqsa preacher sentenced to 8 months for incitement
The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court on Sunday sentenced an Islamic preacher to eight months in jail for racism and incitement to violence in a Friday sermon.
Sheikh Omar Abu Sara delivered the sermon at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, located on the Temple Mount in the capital, on November 28, 2015. In the address, which was recorded and uploaded to YouTube, Abu Sara, 51, described Jews in vile terms, comparing them to pigs and monkeys, and urged the worshipers to commit acts of violence against them.
“I say to the Jews loud and clear: The time for your slaughter has come. The time to fight you has come. The time to kill you has come,” the sheikh preached, according to a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Please do not leave in our hearts a single grain of mercy toward you, oh Jews, because when the day of your slaughter arrives, we shall slaughter you without mercy.
“Jews are a people and God made them monkeys and pigs,” Abu Sara continued.
Mixed Gender Parties Spark Controversy in Gaza
Mixed-gender parties organized in conservative Gaza for last week’s Eid al Adha has sparked a controversy in the Strip, ruled by the Islamic movement Hamas.
Videos of private parties, where male and female revelers were seen together in hotel lobbies, were leaked to social media and became viral. In them, male and female singers were seen performing to smoke-filled rooms with a mixed crowd.
Some were deleted following threats. Hardline Islamists accused Hamas of showing leniency in allowing these events to take place.
A Salafi activist in Gaza told Breitbart Jerusalem that Hamas security officers contacted him and other social media users and demanded they delete posts and tweets.
A local human rights activists confirmed that dozens of users received similar messages.
IsraellyCool: Richard Silverstein Colluding With Antisemite To Harm Aussie Dave
For a long time now I have been defending Israel and my fellow Jews online, primarily via this blog, but also on social media, especially Twitter.
In accordance with the old addage “the best defense is a good offense”, I have gone after scum and villainy who defame my people, pointing out their libels and antisemitism where relevant. It should be noted I have always done so within the law.
This has come at a personal cost. Unlike organizations like Canary Mission, I am not fully anonymous. Sure, I have not posted using my real name, but there is a trail from this site back to my real identity, which the vile Israel hater Richard Silverstein has posted online, and which has been picked up by his fellow haters. He has also posted where I live, as well as my employer.
Besides threats of violence, these haters have also tried time and again to harm my livelihood, contacting my employer with the express aim to get me fired from my job. Of course, expressing my personal views online is clearly no crime or something I can get fired for, but they have also libeled me, claiming among other things, I am a pedophile, child abuser, misogynist and hacker. Mocking my wife’s struggle with cancer has been a cherry on top of their poison cake.
In the latest example of this campaign, antisemitic Kristine Doyle, has reacted to my expose of her clear-cit Jew hate, by publishing my details. And guess who is assisting her?
Hinde Street Church: Now, take down that wall!
The truth is that the exhibition has been a complete disaster for the Church. Not only was it vilified by all faiths at the meeting, it has also been criticised by Lord Carey – former Archbishop of Canterbury – as well as in the Mail, the Times and the Spectator. And of course in the Jewish Press. And Alan Dershowitz, referring to the constant singling out of Israel by the Methodists, said this week in London
There’s a name for that. It’s ‘anti-Semitism’.
The decision-makers in Hinde Street Church have managed to erect a wall of mistrust and hurt between the Methodists and the vast majority of the Jewish Community. Israel’s security barrier is necessary to save lives. Hinde Street’s wall of hurt is entirely unnecessary.
Hinde Street has now been asked to host an exhibition of Save A Child’s Heart.
Memo to the clergy at Hinde Street:
Given the one-sided vilification of Israel over the past week, it is surely the least you can do to begin the process of healing and of taking down the needless wall of bad faith that you erected.
Posters Demonizing Jews Crop Up on UC Berkeley Campus, as Controversial Anti-Zionism Course Reinstated
Antisemitic posters have been appearing on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley since a course openly hostile to Israel was first suspended and then permitted to be held this semester as planned, The Algemeiner has learned.
The posters began cropping up when UC Berkeley announced it was reinstating “Palestine: A Settler Colonial Analysis,” decried by a campus watchdog group as “a classic example of antisemitic anti-Zionism.”
One such poster referred to a coalition of 43 Jewish, civil rights and educational organizations that had written an open letter expressing concern about the course and disappointment in UC Berkeley’s vetting process, calling them “advocates for a foreign state” who “seek to control our freedom of speech and academic expression.”
It also claimed that the Israeli government was directly involved in the suspension of the course.
Another poster underscored the large US military-aid deal with Israel, snidely telling “non-Jews” that they had better “pay up and shut up” in the face of “Jewish bullies.”
UC Berkeley Hires Leading Palestinian Religious Leader to Teach Sex Ed. Course (satire)
University of California, Berkeley has responded proactively to critics who claim that the school trampled on academic freedom when it suspended a Palestinian history class.
Administrators have hired prominent Palestinian religious figure Arash al-Rimi to teach a new one-credit Gender Studies course titled ‘Palestine: Getting Laid under the Zionist Jackboot.’
While the ‘Palestine: A Colonial Settler Analysis’ course was subsequently reinstated, “we must do more to obsessively espouse a single viewpoint that makes us feel less shitty about being white, middle class, American, pre-dominantly male and mostly straight,” stated one university official in the Department of Worthless Courses.
al-Rimi said that his class will “raise consciousness about how the Zionist overlords are affecting the Palestinian people’s reproductive choices, solo sex, partner sex, orgasms, sex work, communication, consent, relationships, gender/sex-based violence, empowerment, and of course f#%king in tunnels.”
BBC current affairs revisits antisemitism and anti-Zionism – part one
Readers may recall that earlier this year, as antisemitism scandals plagued the UK Labour Party, the BBC produced a distinctly unhelpful backgrounder titled “What’s the difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism?“. At the time we noted that:
“One might of course argue that the BBC’s public purpose remit – which includes “sustaining citizenship and civil society” and “promoting education and learning” – should have gone some way towards both preventing the appearance of antisemitic discourse in its own content and helping raise the British public’s awareness of antisemitism, thereby ensuring that ideologies such as those which have brought the Labour party into disrepute of late would be relegated to the status they deserve rather than becoming so commonplace within a mainstream British political party.”
With those scandals showing no sign of subsiding, earlier this month the BBC revisted the topic in two separate interviews. Given that discussion of antisemitism and anti-Zionism in Britain quite frequently boils down to non-Jews telling Jews what antisemitism is (or more often – what it is not), it was refreshing to see BBC audiences provided with a chance to hear Jewish Israeli voices.
BBC current affairs revisits antisemitism and anti-Zionism – part two
As was documented in part one of this post, on September 7th listeners to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme heard a rare explanation of why some forms of anti-Zionism are antisemitism from professor of history and Holocaust studies Yehuda Bauer.
The following week, on September 13th, viewers of BBC’s Two’s ‘Newsnight’ saw Israeli author Amos Oz make the same point in an interview with Kirsty Wark.
A clip from the programme was also posted on the BBC News website and a written article about the interview appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘World’ page on September 14th under the title “Amos Oz: Saying Israel should not exist is anti-Semitic“.
Right-wing German politician suspected of selling Nazi souvenirs
The German Prosecutor has opened an investigation against Rudolf Muller, a member of the extreme right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, on suspicion that he sold medals with swastikas and banknotes from extermination camps in his antique shop in the Western German city of Saarbrucken.
Muller is one of the senior politicians in the party, which has advocated stiff opposition to Muslim immigration to Germany. In the past members of the party were involved in a significant number of anti-Semitic incidents.
Muller admitted in his investigation that he had sold the Nazi artifacts but claimed that he was unaware that this contravened the German law forbidding the sale of "symbols of unconstitutional organizations." The law does not detail which artifacts cannot be sold.
In an interview with the German media, Muller said that he does not believe that his actions were illegal. "This is certainly not an immoral or criminal act," he said.
Chinese-Israeli fund to invest $250m in med tech
Chinese IT corporation Neusoft and Israeli-Chinese private equity fund Infinity Group said they would jointly set up a $250 million fund to invest in Israeli medical technologies over the next three years.
As part of the cooperation agreement, Neusoft will also make available to Israeli healthcare companies its cloud database via which they can gain access to clients in China and obtain approvals from China’s equivalent of the US Food and Drug Administration, the two companies said in an e-mailed statement.
This is a first collaboration between Infinity Group, which is backed by investors and partners like the China Development Bank and Israel’s Clal Industries, and Neusoft, among China’s largest IT companies, which offers services and solutions to industries in the mobile, automotive and medical industries, according to their website.
The announcement was made at the start of the China-Israel Investment Summit, which is being held in Tel Aviv as part of the DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Conference that will run until Sept. 29. Ambassadors, government officials and representatives of Israeli and Chinese private companies are attending the event.
Israeli drip irrigation giant says 'hola' to Costa Rica
In a move aimed at strengthening operations in Central America, Israeli drip-irrigation giant Netafim has acquired a 60% share of the Costa Rican firm Regulación y Manejo de Fluidos (R&M), the companies announced on Sunday.
As a result of the acquisition, Netafim will be establishing a new subsidiary called "Netafim Central America," joining the Tel Aviv-based company’s 28 existing subsidiaries around the world. By investing in local irrigation firm R&M, which has up until now served as Netafim's distributor for Central America, the Israel company expressed hopes of strengthening its position as an industry leader in the region.
Moving forward, one major focus of Netafim Central America's activities will be on the world's large-scale, key crops that are increasing in demand, the firm said. In addition, the company stressed the importance of helping local farmers grow more crops using fewer resources, thereby significantly increasing profitability.
"The acquisition is part of Netafim's growth strategy," said Ran Maidan, CEO of Netafim. "Given the high growth potential of Central America, which is one of the world's largest manufacturers of sugar cane, coffee, bananas and other crops in which Netafim specializes, and based on the proven track record of R&M, the deal opens the door to new opportunities in the area, and will allow us to leverage our technological capabilities while strengthening our position as a world leader in smart irrigation."
Samsung opens Tel Aviv branch to invest in local software tech
Samsung Global Innovation Center (GIC), part of Samsung Electronics, opened on Sunday a branch in Tel Aviv to invest in Israeli start-ups and entrepreneurs with a focus on software development.
Called Samsung Next, the Tel Aviv office follows similar ones set up in South Korea, San Francisco and New York by the South Korean conglomerate in an effort to stay ahead of competition by entering into early-stage technologies.
“In Israel you have perhaps the greatest amount of talent per square foot than anywhere in the world,” said Kai Bond, the general manager of Samsung Next New York at the opening of the offices at Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex. “If you want to leapfrog competition you can’t wait to play in an established market.”
Samsung Next Tel Aviv will invest and work with start-ups at every stage of development through incubation, investment from seed to Series B, acquisition and partnership, Eyal Miller, Managing Director and CEO of Samsung GIC Tel Aviv, said at a press conference. The idea is to get projects off the ground, help them grow and get them ready for an acquisition by Samsung or any other exit that best suits the companies, he said.

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