Solidarity with Journalists, But Not with Jews?

Sunday’s massive march in France was “a wonderful sight in many ways,” writes Elliott Abrams, “and represents France’s rejection of efforts to crush freedom of expression and especially to ban criticism of Islam.” But, he argues:

[I]n addition to the ubiquitous “Je suis Charlie” slogans, it would have been nice to see more “Je suis Juif” signs as well. After all, the journalists of Charlie Hebdo knew exactly what risks they were running. Their offices had already been bombed, and the constant presence of two police guards . . . was a powerful reminder of the dangers. The French Jews who were murdered were just shoppers, preparing for the Sabbath. . . .

And suppose that last week’s terror attack in Paris had not aimed at Charlie Hebdo, but “only” killed four Jews—or eight or twelve, for that matter. Does anyone believe a million French citizens would be marching in Paris, with scores of world leaders joining them? . . .

This week in Paris, numerous synagogues did not hold Sabbath services, Jewish schools were closed, and community events were cancelled or postponed. Those that went ahead did so under very heavy police guard, and that guard will be maintained for a long time. French Jews and other European Jews may well decide that when they can live, work, and practice their religion only under the highest levels of protection, surrounded by special police brigades, it is time to leave. The brave journalists of Charlie Hebdo, after all, took risks with their lives—but not with the lives of their children.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Anti-Semitism, Charlie Hebdo, European Islam, France, French Jewry

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