Another incredibly successful year for Israel is coming to an end. The victory that the BDS movement achieved with Airbnb does not change the fact that Israel is inflicting significant damage to this anti-Semitic organization. The final months of 2018 are just another reminder that the BDS movement will never defeat Israel, despite the extensive assistance they receive from the UN, the MSM, and academia. Israel is a country that is next to impossible to boycott, due to its technological prowess. For example, a record six billion dollars will have been raised by Israeli start-ups in 2018. The vast majority of this venture capital will be invested in Israeli technology.
Just some of the highlights for the holiday season include Israel and China increasing their export financing agreement by $500 million, to keep pace with their surging trade volume. In Tokyo, Israel and Japan signed a major accord to cooperate in cyber-security. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu recently boasted that Japanese investment in Israel has increased by 44 percent in recent years. South Korea announced that it would be purchasing close to $300 million worth of early warning radar systems. Samsung inaugurated a spectacular 46,000 square foot research centre.
Vietnam acquired $160 million worth of advanced Israeli military drones. Singapore announced that it would begin to offer direct flights to Tel Aviv. In India, Israeli aerospace giant Elbit opened a 50,000 square foot facility to manufacture drones for India’s military. Ion Pacific of Hong Kong raised $30 million to invest in Israeli technology. In Taiwan, Israel’s IDE Technology was awarded a $75 million dollar contract to build a desalination plant.
In Latin America, the BDS movement would suffer a number of blows. Argentina’s Defense Ministry hired Israel to provide cyber security and defense for the G-20 Conference. In Chile, a national comptroller ruled that it is illegal for Chilean municipalities to support the BDS movement. Chile and Israel also signed a cybersecurity co-operation agreement. In addition, Chile’s Latam Airlines made history by becoming the first airline to fly directly from Latin America to Israel. Sara Netanyahu led a delegation to Guatemala. Prime Minister Netanyahu also announced that he will be attending the inauguration ceremony of incoming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. Netanyahu’s visit to Brazil will be the first ever by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister. The government of Honduras has also announced that they are in negotiations with Israel to move their embassy to Jerusalem.
In Africa, Israel continued to provide expertise in water, agriculture, heath, and defense. A large delegation of officials from Nigeria, Zambia, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Burkina Faso arrived in Israel for a seminar on agriculture and water conservation. The President of Chad, Idriss Deby, visited Israel to re-establish diplomatic ties, and there is speculation that Niger, Malawi, and even Sudan will do the same.
In the UK, an Israeli anti-drone system was successfully used to prevent a serious disruption at Gatwick airport. In Europe, Prime Minister Netanyahu become the first foreign leader to attend the Balkan Craiova summit to promote Israel’s cooperation with the Balkan states. Israel also closed a deal with Greece, Cyprus, and Italy to supply natural gas to Western Europe, via a 2000 km underwater pipeline. This deal will turn Israel into a major energy exporter, and provide Israel with significantly more diplomatic leverage against the normally hostile EU. Czech President Milos Zeman visited Israel and indicated that the Czech Republic would move their embassy to Jerusalem in the near future.
In the U.S, PepsiCo concluded their $3.2 billion acquisition of SodaStream. Boeing signed a strategic and lucrative agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries to cooperate on military and commercial aviation projects. IBM established a digital health accelerator in Hadassah Hospital. Kentucky became the 26th state to enact anti-BDS legislation.
The defeats are endless, and they will surely continue into 2019. The greatest challenge to Israel is not the BDS movement, but how it will find enough engineers to fulfill the increasing demand for its high-tech sector.
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