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February 15, 2015 11:45 am

Israel’s BDS: Bounce, Develop, Surge

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avatar by Yoram Ettinger


In defiance of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, “Ždiplomatic pressure, regional and global geopolitical instability, continued global “Žeconomic uncertainties and the overall anti-Israel talk brouhaha, Israel demonstrates “Ža robust walk, as evidenced (and impacted) by an expanding net-immigration and a “Žfaster-than-expected economic recovery from the 2014 war on Hamas terrorists in “ŽGaza. “Ž

According to the Feb. 3, 2015, Economist Intelligence Unit, “The July-August “Žwar in Gaza appears to have had only a transient effect on the economy. … Private “Žsector job creation has played a more significant role with strong expansion. “ŽEmployment in this relatively well-paid category rose by 5.2 percent year on year. … The fall “Žin the unemployment rate comes despite a rise in the participation rate among the “Žcore 25-64 year age group from 75.1 percent in the third quarter of 2013 to 75.8 percent in the “Žfinal quarter of 2014, and a modest increase in the share of full-time employed “Žpersons. … The unemployment rate averaged 5.9 percent in 2014, compared with 6.3 percent in “Ž”Ž2013, having fallen to a record low of 5.7 percent in the final quarter of 2014. … The “Žunemployment rate in Israel compares well with the 7.2 percent among OECD member “Žstates.””Ž

Israel is highlighted as the second most innovative country in the world following “Žthe USA, attracting an increasing number of global companies and investors. For “Žinstance, the most authoritative source on Israel’s high-tech industries, IVC-KPMG, “Žreported that in 2014, Israeli startups raised an all-time record of $3.4 billion, compared “Žwith $2.3 billion in 2013. Israeli startups raised $1.1 billion during the last quarter of 2014 — “Ža 58 percent rise over the third quarter of 2014, the most raised in one quarter since 1999. “ŽMoreover, in 2014, 10 Israeli biomedical companies went public on NASDAQ. “ŽAccording to The Economist, Israel has the highest density of startups in the world, “Žranking second to the Silicon Valley in terms of absolute number of startups. “Ž

In fact, Young Sohn, the president and chief strategy officer of the South Korean “Želectronic giant Samsung, opined: “Israel is second only to Silicon Valley in total “Žinvestment by Samsung.” During 2014, Samsung invested heavily in Israeli startups, “Žsince “Israel is one of the global centers of entrepreneurship and innovations, a base “Žfor future technologies that can influence the lives of millions.” For example, “ŽSamsung invested in Israel’s StoreDot’s technology which charges smartphones in “Žtwo minutes, RePlay’s development of a three-dimensional 360 degrees video, “ŽEarlySense’s smartphone-related hardware which monitors a patient’s vital signs “Žwithout attaching any device to the body. “Ž

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On Dec. 30, 2014, China (Israel’s leading Asian trade partner) and Israel “Žlaunched a free-trade initiative. China has been aware of the Israel’s long term “Žeconomic viability, expanding bilateral trade from $50 million in 1992 — when diplomatic “Žties were established — to $10 billion in 2014, aiming at $20 billion in a few years. Bloomberg “ŽNews suggests that the China-Israel synergy is a derivative of “Israel’s leading “Žresearch and development intensity and China’s manufacturing leadership.” Thus, “ŽChina considers Israel a prime source of agricultural and irrigation technologies (e.g., “Ža recent $300 million Israeli export of water technologies), required to sustain its urban “Žand economic developments. In May, 2014, China’s Vice Premier Liu Yandong “Žvisited Israel with some 400 business and government officials. China’s Internet “Žgiants Renre and Tencent led a $102 million investment in Israel’s SingulariTeam Fund; “ŽChina’s giant Guangxi Wuzhou Pharmaceutical invested $3 million in the Hebrew “ŽUniversity’s technology transfer company, Integra; Baidu, “China’s Google,” invested “Ž”Ž$3 million in Israel’s Pixellot; and, the electronic trade global giant Alibaba led a $5 million “Žround of private placement by Israel’s Visualead. “Ž

Microsoft has expanded its reliance on Israel’s brainpower beyond its two major “Žresearch and development centers, which have enhanced its global competitiveness, “Žincreased its exports and expanded its employment base. In January 2015, Microsoft “Žacquired Israel’s Equivio for $200 million, following its November 2014 acquisition of “ŽIsrael’s Aorato for $200 million. Currently, it negotiates the acquisition of Israel’s N-trig. “Ž

During the first month of 2015, global “Žcompanies acquired eight Israeli companies for $900 million: Amazon — Annapurna Labs ($360 million), Harman — Red Bend “Ž”Ž($200 million), Dropbox — CloudOn ($100 million), Microsoft — Equivio ($200 million), etc. “Ž

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s private Innovation Endeavors Fund co-led an “Ž”Ž$18 million round of private placement in Israel’s Team8 Incubator of cybersecurity “Žtechnologies, along with Cisco Investment, France’s Alcatel-Lucent, Bessemer “ŽVenture Partners and Marker Financial Advisors.”Ž

The American Treetop Realty is following in the footsteps of nine US real estate “Žcompanies and funds — led by Extell ($1 billion) and Lightstone ($480 million) — with bonds “Žtraded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, leveraging the growing capital market in “ŽIsrael. “Ž

Notwithstanding Turkey’s Erdogan’s visceral anti-Israel policy, Israel-Turkey trade “Žbalance has surged from $2.6 billion in 2009 to $5.6 billion in 2014. “Ž

Brazil has been a constant critic of Israel in the international arena, but Israel’s Elbit “Žjust won a $106 million bid to upgrade Brazil’s naval aircraft, which will be carried out by “Žthe San Antonio, Texas-based Elbit’s US subsidiary. “Ž

Despite Britain’s prominence in the anti-Israel BDS movement, Britain’s top betting site, “ŽWilliam Hill is negotiating the acquisition of Israel’s 888 for some $1 billion.”Ž

Irrespective of the BDS’s original meaning, Israel’s BDS features a bouncing, developing and surging technology and economy, reflecting the brainpower and “Žtenacity of the Jewish state, which has benefited the world at large, and the USA in “Žparticular.”Ž

This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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