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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘global’

Israel-India Alliance is the Real Global Gamechanger

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

{Article by Micha Gefen, originally posted on the Israel Rising website}

In 1948 two former British colonies were partitioned and given independent status.  Like the British Mandate of Palestine, the Indian sub-continent had a rocky relationship with their colonial masters.  At the end the British pulled out of both places due to the yearning for independence within the ancestral peoples of the Land of Israel and India. With relations between the Hindu majority India and the Jewish state of Israel growing at a fast pace on all levels, the parallels appear divinely ordained.

In both areas, as they did in many of their colonies the British supported regime friendly leaders while backing Islamic insurgencies to pressure and weaken the hold of the real indigenous party over their ancestral land.  These policies proved successful as they led to the “necessary” partitioning of both Israel and India. By partitioning their former colonies the British, as well as other Western neo-colonialists would ensure the economic and even military dependency of their former colonies.

Nearly 70 years later, Israel and India are no longer dependent on British military and economic might and over the last decade and a half have forged a growing economic, technological, and now military alliance.

In the latest development Israeli Science, Technology and Space Minister Ofir Akunis met his counterpart Harsh Vardhan last week in New Delhi. The ministers signed a scientific collaboration agreement between Israel and India under which each country will appropriate $1 million for joint research ventures in 2017.

“We are expanding our cooperation in many fields, including science, technology, and innovation,” Akunis said.

In November India signed a $1.4 billion contract with Israel Aerospace Industries and is waiting for ten armed Heron TP UAVs , set to be delivered within three years.  The deal is worth $400 million.

With a billion people in India, making it the largest democracy in the world, Israel finds a partner that has no cultural hint of anti-Semitism (Jews have been living in India for 2000 years) and fights against the same past and present enemies as itself.  Through technology and military partnerships as well long time cultural connections the two countries are set to impact the globe way beyond their regions.  It is the ultimate partnership that will shake the global order currently controlled by the US, Britain, EU, China, and Russia.

Watch PM Modi speak about the relationship below:

Israel Rising

Israel’s Unprecedented Global Economic Integration

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

1. According to a Bloomberg study: “An examination of foreign capital flow into Israel shows a near tripling from 2005 when the so-called BDS was started…. Israel’s economy is expected to grow 2.8% in 2016, compared with 1.8% for the US and the EU.  In 2015, Israel’s industrial high-tech exports rose 13%, from 2014, to $23.7BN…. Israeli startups raised $3.76BN last year from non-Israeli investors, the highest annual amount in a decade…. Foreign investors spent an additional $5.89BN acquiring Israeli start-ups, including a Chinese $510MN purchase of Israel’s Lumenis, followed by a US private equity firm’s $438MN buyout of ClickSoftware Technologies….”

2. Car manufacturing giant, Ford, which is determined to develop a driverless car by 2021, just made its first acquisition in Israel, acquiring SAIPS, a computer vision and machine learning company, for several tens of millions of dollars. General Motors announced the tripling of the personnel in its Israeli research and development center, which has developed a number of technologies, enhancing GM’s competitive edge in the global market. Germany’s Volkswagen, concluded a strategic partnership agreement – involving a $300MN investment – with Israel’s taxi-hailing, delivery and logistics applications start-up, Gett Taxi.

3. According to Cisco’s Chairman, John Chambers: “Israel is truly a startup nation… ahead of every other country in innovation….” Cisco operates four R&D centers in Israel, employing 2,000 people, has acquired 13 Israeli companies, invested $150MN in 30 Israeli startups and $60MN in four Israeli venture capital funds.  According to Warren Buffet: “If you’re going to the Middle East to look for oil, you can skip Israel.  However, if you’re looking for brains, look no further.”

4.  Eric Schmidt, Google’s Executive Chairman, is a frequent investor in Israel’s high-tech via his own private venture capital fund, Innovation Endeavors. Schmidt state: “Israel is the most important high-tech center in the world after the US.” Google established a large engineering and sales operation in Israel.

5. Hewlett-Packard (HP), a personal computers and printers global giant, operates eight research and development centers in Israel.  Intel is one of 250 global high tech giants which operate R&D centers in Israel, operating four R&D centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel, invested in 80 Israeli startups.

6. The Wall Street Journal: “Steve Ballmer [former Microsoft’s CEO] calls Microsoft as much an Israeli company as an American company, because of the importance of its Israeli technologies. Google, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, eBay…live and die by the work of [their] Israeli teams….”

7. Israel is the most cost-effective laboratory of the US research and manufacturing establishments, producing win-win, mutually-beneficial ties with the US commercial and defense industries.

8. The USA, China, Europe, Russia and India are, actively, soliciting high-tech cooperation with Israel. India and Israel have negotiated a free trade zone, which will increase their current $5bn trade balance. Israel is second only to Russia in the exportation of military systems to India.

9.  Chinese investments in Israel surged from $70 MN in 2010 to $2.7 BN in 2015.  The China-Israel trade balance grew from $30MN in 1990 to $6 BN in 2009 and $11 BN in 2015.

10.  George Gilder, a high-tech guru and the author of The Israel Test, wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “The U.S. defense and prosperity increasingly depend on the economic and technological power of Israel…. We need Israel as much as it needs us… Israel is the global master of microchip design, network algorithms and medical instruments…water recycling and desalinization…missile defense, robotic warfare, and UAVs…[supplying] Intel with many of its microprocessors… [supplying] Cisco with new core router designs and real-time programmable network processors… [supplying] Apple with miniaturized memory systems for its iPhones, iPods and iPads, and Microsoft with user interface designs….”

11. IBM just made its 11th Israeli acquisition, Sequoia Capital, one of the world’s leading venture capital funds, introduced its 5th Israeli-dedicated $200MN fund. Hong Kong’s $22.5BN Sir Li Ka-Shing, the 9th wealthiest person in the world, made his 7th Israeli investment. ChemChina acquired 60% of Agan  for $1.44BN. Germany’s Siemens acquired solar energy Solel ($418MN) and 40% of Arava Power ($15MN). Apple made its 1st Israeli acquisition – its first R&D center outside the USA – acquiring Anobit for $400MN. The Dallas-based DG acquired MediaMind $517MN.

12. In 2016, investment in Israel’s high tech – with the most startups per capita – may exceed the $4.43BN raised in 2015, which was 30% over 2014. The value of exits through mergers and acquisitions and IPOs climbed to over $9BN in 2015.

Yoram Ettinger

Surging Overseas Investment in Israel Defy Global Downtrend

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

1. According to KPMG, one of the four largest global auditing firms, Israel has become a leading hothouse for FinTech companies. 9 out of 100 globally-promising FinTech companies are from Israel, an improvement from 8/100 in 2015. One of the Israeli companies, Payoneer digital payments company, raised $180MN on Oct. 6 in a round led by the Silicon Valley-based Technology Crossover Ventures and the Bala Cynwyd, PA-based Susquehanna Growth Equity (Globes Business Daily, Oct. 27, 2016).

2. In defiance of the global financial downtrend – but as a derivative of Israel’s cutting-edge technologies – Israeli hightech companies raised $1.19BN during Q3 2016, the second highest quarterly amount in ten years. During the first nine months of 2016, Israeli hightech companies raised $4BN, 27% above the $3.15BN raised during the first nine months of 2015. However, the third quarter of 2016 has recorded a 24% decline compared with the third quarter of 2015, although the total for September was higher than August (Globes, October 26).

3. Boston Scientifics acquired Israel’s EndoChoice for $210MN (Globes, September 28). Israel’s Ormat Technologies concluded a senior-unsecured-bonds tender for $204MN (Globes, September 11). The NY-based $14BN CA Technologies acquired Israel’s BlazeMeter for $100MN, CA’s 13th Israeli acquisition (Globes, September 22).

4. The $3BN US cyber giant, ProofPoint, acquired Israel’s FireLayers for $55MN, which has become the research and development center of ProofPiont. FireLayers is the third startup developed and sold by its two co-owners (Globes, Oct. 26). eBay acquired Israel’s Corrigon for $30MN, eBay’s 6th Israeli acquisition (Globes, Oct. 7). The Lexington, MA and Dublin, Ireland-based, Shire, a biopharmaceuticals giant, extends its strategic partnership with Israel’s plasma-derived protein therapeutics company, Kamada, which is expected to yield a minimum of $237MN in revenues during 2017-2020 (Globes, Oct. 7).

5. According to Forbes, September 22 issue: “Since 2011, there has been a 50% year-on-year growth of Chinese investment in Israel…. The business relations between Israel and China is growing…. For example, Li-Ka-Shing, the Hong-Kong-based tycoon, has invested – privately and via his venture capital fund, Horizon Ventures – in 30 Israeli companies. China’s $3BN Neusoft IT co-established a $250MN investment fund with Israel’s Infinity Capital Equity Fund, targeting Israeli digital pharmaceutical equipment companies (Globes, September 26). Baidu, the Chinese Internet giant partnered with Israel’s Carmel investment fund, invested in three Israeli companies and opened an office in Israel. China’s Innovative Medical invested $30MN in Israel’s Pluristem (Globes, October 26). About $15BN have been invested in Israel, by Chinese giant companies such as ChemCina (acquired Adama, a crop protection company, for $3.7BN), Bright Food (acquired Tnuva, a dairy producer, for $2.5BN), Fosun (acquired Ahava, a cosmetic producer, for $77MN), Shanghai Giant Network Technology, Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma and additional Chinese investors (acquired Playtika, an online company, for $4.4BN), etc.

Yoram Ettinger

Global Competitiveness Report Gives Israel High Marks for Innovation [video]

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Each year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report, examining data on the soundness, resilience, sophistication and innovation of businesses in each country to compile evaluations of the economy of 138 countries, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.

The 2016-2017 edition highlights that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity. It also highlights that monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms. Final key finding points to the fact that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.

“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.

On the Global Competitiveness Index for 2016–2017, Israel is ranked in 24th place, behind Switzerland, Singapore, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong and Japan, and directly behind Ireland in 23rd place. In last year’s report, Israel was ranked 27th. UAE in 16th place and Qatar in 18th are the other two Middle Eastern countries in the top 25, but for Qatar the ranking represents a 4-point drop from last year’s report.

Among other areas, the World Economic Forum looks at innovation, taking into account the quality of scientific research, company spending on Research and Development, ties between academia and industry, the number of patents, and the number of engineers and scientists in each country. In the index for innovation and sophistication factors, Israel is ranked in 2nd place (the US is 4th), with Switzerland in first place.

In innovation capacity, Israel is 9th, Switzerland 1st, the US 6th.

In business dynamism, Israel is ranked 19th, right behind Canada (the US is in first place, Germany 10th).

The most problematic factors for doing business in Israel, according to the report (in descending order): inefficient government bureaucracy, high tax rates, policy instability, an inadequately educated workforce, problems in access to financing, excessive tax regulations, and restrictive labor regulations.

Israel’s least problematic issues: little corruption (who would have thunk, right?), capacity to innovate (there’s plenty), work ethic in national labor force (Israelis work like horses), crime and theft (very low), inflation (non-existent), and public health (Israel has one of the best public health programs in the West).

According to the International Monetary Fund, Israel’s GDP is $296.1 billion, GDP per capita $35,343.3

The Middle East and North Africa region continues to experience significant instability in geopolitical and economic terms as spillover effects from the conflicts in Libya, Syria, and Yemen are undermining economic progress in the entire region.

Instability is also being created by the uncertain future of energy prices after recent falls, which affect the region’s countries in different ways. Oil-exporting countries—which include Algeria (87th), Bahrain (48th), the Islamic Republic of Iran (76th), Kuwait (38th), Oman (66th), Qatar (18th), Saudi Arabia (29th), the United Arab Emirates (16th), and Yemen (138th)—are experiencing lower growth, higher fiscal deficits, and rising concerns about unemployment. Growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies averaged 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2012, but fell to 2.5 percent in 2015. The forecast for 2016 is also 2.5 percent, and rising oil supplies are  expected to keep prices low and limit growth expectations for the coming years.


Raids, Arrests Show 9/11’s Lessons Are Global

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the IPT website}

They are known as “the 102 minutes that changed America.”  Fifteen years later, it is increasingly clear that the 102 minutes of the Sept. 11 attacks also reshaped and changed the world.

Indeed perhaps even more than Americans, Europeans now feel the strongest aftershocks, having been shaken by more than 10 Islamist terror strikes in the past 20 months alone.

Hence as America commemorates the 15th anniversary of 9/11, several European countries are intensifying their intelligence activity. In the process, they are discovering more and more terror cells, resulting in multiple arrests Europe-wide just this past week. More are likely to come, particularly in France and Belgium, judging from a recent CNN report which found that the plotters of the Nov. 13 Paris attacks had intended them “to be far worse, to occur in other European countries as well, and, investigators believe, had planned to follow them up with strikes in several locations.”

CNN also uncovered signs that ISIS was planning to increase its activity in the UK – which may explain the Sept. 8 arrests  of two West London men suspected of preparing an act of terrorism and funding terrorist activity. A third man arrested in East London the same day was also taken into custody on another terror-related charge. The arrests follow other raids in Birmingham and Stoke in late August, in which four men were taken into custody on charges of planning a terrorist attack.

But ISIS is doing more than planning attacks. It appears also to be exploring new strategies and weapons, according to the 17-year-old son of Belgian imam Shayh Alami. The boy has called for the death of Christians in the past.  After his arrest late last month, according to the Mirror, the youth (who has not been named) told police that the terrorist group has begun inciting a kind of Islamist chainsaw massacre, encouraging its European followers to take chainsaws to Christians in shopping centers.

And in France, four days after a car loaded with gas cylinders was spotted parked near Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, police arrested three women, ages 19, 23, and 39, also on charges of planning a terrorist attack. The arrests, which coincidentally also took place on Sept. 8, soon led to the arrests of four other suspected “radical Islamists,” according to the prosecutor’s office. At least one of the three women, Ines Madani, reportedly wrote a letter pledging allegiance to the Islamic State and spoke on the phone about plots to bomb Paris train stations. Hence, while the parked car appeared rigged to explode, the New York Times reports, officials clearly found its presence suspicious. In short time, they traced its ties to that phone conversation: the car belongs to Madani’s father.

Further investigation also showed that the group planned attacks on police in what French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve described as “new and, moreover, imminent violent actions.”

Apparently, they weren’t the only ones: On Sept. 11, French authorities also arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of preparing “imminent and violent action.” Like the women arrested previously, the boy is believed to have had contact with suspected ISIS militant Rashid Kasheem, who is French. Kasheem is now in Syria, but has regularly called for attacks in France, LeMonde reports.

Not all the activity in Europe of late has been directly related to attacks, however. Among the lessons learned from 9/11 is the importance of terror finance and the insidious methods through which money is transferred to support terrorist groups worldwide.

Tracing those connections remains crucial to counterterrorist intelligence, which explains why Dutch officials last week raided two mosques and several private homes: the mosques and their imams are suspected of laundering money through at least 10 charities.  Those charities, the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) believes, help fund other organizations that, in turn, provide financial support to terrorist groups in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and the Ukraine. According to a FIOD statement, financial transfers to the mosques and the charitable organizations come not only from the Netherlands, but from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.

In addition, FIOD asserts, “One of the suspect foundations has received a transfer of hundreds of thousands of euros from a charitable organization from the Middle East which is connected to a charity that the US has placed on a list of sanctioned groups.”

The suspects, believed to be Ahmad Salam, his son Suhayb Salam, another (unnamed) son and a fourth party, are also said to have connections to Kuwait’s Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS), which the U.S. Treasury Department designated in 2008 “for providing financial and material support to Al Qaida and Al Qaida affiliates and supporting terrorism.”

Both mosques, the Al-Fitra mosque in Utrecht and As-Sunnah mosque in Tilburg, have come under fire in the past for preaching Salafism, the extremist form of Islam that some European countries – including the Netherlands – have discussed banning. Last December, Utrecht’s mayor also expressed concern about the influence the Al Fitra mosque and Suhayb Salam, its imam, were having on members, and the mosque’s alleged efforts to turn Dutch Muslim children against Dutch society. And in 2013, both As-Sunnah and Ahmad Salam were investigated on charges of abusing and beating children during Quran lessons – accusations Salam strongly denied.

But there is this that can be said about what has changed because of 9/11: we know more about radical Islam. We know more about what is needed to defend ourselves against it, and to fight it where it rises. The raids and plots of these past few weeks confirm that point. The threat may be greater now, but we are far better prepared than we were on that bright September day to fight it.  And we will.



Abigail R. Esman

Bennett: Israel is World’s ‘Front Post’ Against Global Terrorism

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Herzliya (TPS) – Education Minister and Chairman of the Jewish Home Party Naftali Bennett told a counter-terrorism conference Monday that Israel is the world’s “front post” in the battle against terror.

“No nation is as threatened by terror as we are,” Bennett told the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism annual conference. “We’ve got Hezbollah in the north, we’ve got Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, we have ISIS in Sinai, we have Hamas in Gaza – four of our frontiers with the deadliest terror organizations in the world, yet we’re thriving and we’re leading the battle because we’re here and we’re not going anywhere.”

“By being here we collect intelligence, methodologies, lessons learned, and we’re out there fighting day in and day out,” Bennett added.

However, Bennett also said that Israel and its leading role in the battle against global terrorism was being undermined by many in the international community pushing for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“My one request from you coming from all around the world is don’t push us to divide our country. Don’t try and break us. Back us,” Bennett concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Global Forum on Anti-Semitism This Year in Buenos Aires

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

For the first time, the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism (GFCA) traditionally held biennally in Jerusalem is taking place this weekend (July 16-18) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The conference this year is organized by the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and the Latin American Jewish Congress, the regional chapter of the World Jewish Congress.

Anti-Semitism is rising around the world, and this year’s conference is focused on creating an action plan to respond to the attacks on an international level.

On Monday forum participants are slated to attend a ceremony marking the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center in Buenos Aires. The attack was suspected to have been perpetrated by Iran via its Lebanon-based terror proxy Hezbollah. In that attack 85 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured.

“The first GFCA in Latin America presents a unique opportunity to discuss the issue of anti-Semitism in Latin America and develop an action plan that would complement the one drafted at the last GFCA in Jerusalem in June 2015,” the HILC said in a statement.

The New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) sent experts to the conference to participate in a panel discussion on best practices in tackling cyberhate – the spread of anti-Semitism online.

ADL resources which have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese are being presented during a session on identifying and opposing cyberhate and community safety online.

“With the advent of various social media platforms, and the volume of pernicious content, no continent is immune to the growing phenomenon of online hate,” warned Jonathan Vick, ADL Assistant Director for Cyberhate Response.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/global-forum-on-anti-semitism-this-year-in-buenos-aires/2016/07/17/

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