Looking for Palestinian Statehood in All the Wrong Places

The current strategy of Palestinian leaders and their abetters abroad is to try to obtain Palestinian statehood by various forms of coercion—for Hamas, violence; for Mahmoud Abbas, diplomatic pressure; for European foes of Israel, unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by European governments. These attempts are all doomed to fail because of military, economic, and geographical realities, writes Haviv Rettig Gur. If Palestinians want a state, they will have to convince an already sympathetic Israeli public that they are genuinely interested in a two-state solution, not a two-step plan to annihilate the Jewish state.

Israelis don’t need to be convinced that occupation is immoral. They live in a democracy bordered by dictatorships and are not blind to the fact that the Palestinians of the West Bank don’t elect the Israeli military governor who rules there. Yet recent elections have shown that Israelis are willing to pull out only under one condition: a convincing guarantee that it can be done safely.

Palestinians will not gain independence until the Israeli electorate’s concerns are seriously addressed. Israel is not the fragile political structure that Palestinians or their supporters imagine. It is a nation, a distinct culture and identity, speaking a language spoken nowhere else. It has two million schoolchildren, and it is grimly determined to fight any war it must in their defense. Whatever its mistakes, Israel isn’t going anywhere. It can afford to be disliked, and even boycotted, when the alternative is Hamas controlling the highlands that loom over its tiny but densely populated heartland.

Read more at Irish Times

More about: Europe and Israel, Hamas, Mahmoud Abbas, Two-State Solution

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