The Gaza Port Plan Is Foolish and Dangerous

In recent months, the suggestion to build an offshore port for the Gaza Strip has been circulating in think tanks and among Israeli officials. Ostensibly the port would allow the territory to import and export goods more freely while also enabling Israel to monitor shipments for weapons. Initially, the idea was to build an artificial island a mile or two off Gaza’s coast; now Cyprus has been proposed as a possible location. Martin Sherman argues against both plans:

[First], how would Israel monitor the use of dual-purpose materials like fertilizer (also ‎used to make explosives), metals (used in ‎rockets), and cement? Even today, despite strict ‎supervision, about 90 percent of the cement delivered into ‎Gaza is appropriated by Hamas for non-civilian ‎purposes, such as the construction of terror ‎tunnels. ‎. . . And in the ‎Cyprus version, how would Israel be able to prevent ‎military equipment from being smuggled onto a vessel ‎left ‎unsupervised after it departs Cyprus and begins traveling to Gaza? . . .

[The primary] reason offered in ‎support of the idea is that the proposed Cyprus port ‎would ease the economic hardship in Gaza and therefore diminish the violence ‎against Israel, and also that it would be contingent on the ‎return of two Israelis and ‎the remains of two IDF soldiers ‎held by Hamas.

The first argument essentially validates the false Palestinian ‎narrative that terrorism is the result of the ‎‎“occupation” and therefore Israel is responsible for ‎it. [But] if [Palestinians] ‎want to improve their situation in Gaza, all they ‎have to do is to stop trying to murder Jews and ‎allow Israeli entrepreneurship and creativity to ‎help Gaza prosper. ‎

The second argument essentially fuels Palestinian ‎extortion. If holding bodies and live captives gets ‎the Palestinian a port, why wouldn’t they see it ‎as a clear invitation to continue with this policy?‎ [Furthermore], Gaza already has a ‎port: Ashdod, an Israeli city closer to Gaza ‎than it is to most other Israeli cities. The Ashdod port ‎can easily meet all of Gaza’s needs. Besides, in the ‎event of war, does anyone really want the ‎Palestinians to have access to a port?

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Cyprus, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israeli & Zionism, Israeli Security, Palestinian economy

 

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