A Small Victory against BDS in Congress, but Further Battles Remain

After the determinedly anti-Israel congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib introduced a resolution defending the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS), Speaker Nancy Pelosi and more mainstream Democrats responded with a resolution condemning BDS—which was passed by a crushing bipartisan majority. Jonathan Tobin warns, however, that this victory over anti-Semitism may be only a temporary one:

The House had an opportunity to deal decisively with this issue earlier this year when both Omar and Tlaib made anti-Semitic statements in which they accused American Jews of dual loyalty to Israel and stated that supporters of the Jewish state had bought Congress. . . . [T]hat should have been enough to motivate Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership to strip the pair of their committee assignments and to pass a resolution rebuking them by name. But with the very vocal Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others on the left springing to their defense, Pelosi and the rest of the Democrats were cowed into backing down.

Rather than being isolated, Omar and Tlaib became the darlings of the mainstream media, as well as fodder for late-night shows where they were given laudatory coverage and fawning interviews. Their undeserved status as popular heroines was only enhanced when earlier, this month, President Trump denounced the two congresswomen and suggested that they “go back where they came from.”

Had Pelosi chosen to let the House vote on the Senate’s [more muscular anti-BDS] bill, it’s likely that it, too, would have passed overwhelmingly. But loath to stand up to liberals who have bought into the false arguments about the Senate bill violating free-speech rights of BDS supporters, the only measure that she allowed to come to a vote was a resolution without any penalties for those who engage in the kind of discriminatory actions that should be considered just as illegal as bias rooted in race, sex, or sexual orientation.

[S]o long as Ocasio-Cortes, Omar, Tlaib, and others making egregious comparisons of Israel with Nazi Germany are still being treated as the “future of the Democratic party”—in the words of the Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez—and benefiting from being the objects of Trump’s Twitter abuse, the BDS movement they support won’t be confined to the fever swamps of American politics.

Read more at JNS

More about: BDS, Congress, Democrats, Donald Trump, Ilhan Omar, Nancy Pelosi, Rashida Tlaib

 

Despite the Toll of War at Home and Rising Hostility Abroad, Investors Are Still Choosing Israel

When I first saw news that Google wasn’t going through with its acquisition of the tech startup Wiz, I was afraid hesitancy over its Israeli founders and close ties with the Jewish state might have something to do with it. I couldn’t have been more wrong: the deal is off not because of Google’s hesitancy, but because Wiz feared the FTC would slow down the process with uncertain results. The company is instead planning an initial public offering. In the wake of the CrowdStrike debacle, companies like Wiz have every reason to be optimistic, as Sophie Shulman explains:

For the Israeli cyber sector, CrowdStrike’s troubles are an opportunity. CrowdStrike is a major competitor to Palo Alto Networks, and both companies aim to provide comprehensive cyber defense platforms. The specific issue that caused the global Windows computer shutdown is related to their endpoint protection product, an area where they compete with Palo Alto’s Cortex products developed in Israel and the SentinelOne platform.

Friday’s drop in CrowdStrike shares reflects investor frustration and the expectation that potential customers will now turn to competitors, strengthening the position of Israeli companies. This situation may renew interest in smaller startups and local procurement in Israel, given how many institutions were affected by the CrowdStrike debacle.

Indeed, it seems that votes of confidence in Israeli technology are coming from many directions, despite the drop in the Tel Aviv stock exchange following the attack from Yemen, and despite the fact that some 46,000 Israeli businesses have closed their doors since October 7. Tel Aviv-based Cyabra, which creates software that identifies fake news, plans a $70 million IPO on Nasdaq. The American firm Applied Systems announced that it will be buying a different Israeli tech startup and opening a research-and-development center in Israel. And yet another cybersecurity startup, founded by veterans of the IDF’s elite 8200 unit, came on the scene with $33 million in funding. And those are the stories from this week alone.

But it’s not only the high-tech sector that’s attracting foreign investment. The UK-based firm Energean plans to put approximately $1.2 billion into developing a so-far untapped natural-gas field in Israel’s coastal waters. Money speaks much louder than words, and it seems Western businesses don’t expect Israel to become a global pariah, or to collapse in the face of its enemies, anytime soon.

Read more at Calcalist

More about: cybersecurity, Israeli economy, Israeli gas, Israeli technology, Start-up nation