Daily TIP

The Daily TIP: Guatemala Announces Move of Embassy to Jerusalem; First Since U.S. Recognition of Capital

Posted by Tip Staff - December 26, 2017

Guatemala Announces Move of Embassy to Jerusalem; First Since U.S. Recognition of Capital
Hezbollah, Iran-Backed Militias Advance towards Syria's Border with Israel
New Jersey Divests From Top Danish Bank after It Boycotts Israeli Companies
Up and Coming Israeli Designers Show Off Their Fashion at Unique New York Showcase


Guatemala Announces Move of Embassy to Jerusalem; First Since U.S. Recognition of Capital

Guatemala plans to relocate its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales announced on his official Facebook account on Sunday, making it the first country to mirror U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision from December 6.

Morales said he had informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and instructed Guatemala's foreign ministry to start the process of moving the embassy, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"We spoke about the great relationships we have had as nations since Guatemala supported the creation of the State of Israel. One of the most relevant topics was the return of the Embassy of Guatemala to Jerusalem,” Morales stated.

Morales said he had informed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and instructed Guatemala's foreign ministry to start the process of moving the embassy, The Jerusalem Post reported.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, at least 10 other countries are in talks with Israel to move their own missions to Jerusalem, with Guatemala’s neighboring state Honduras likely to be the next country to announce the decision. Other countries also reportedly in talks to move their embassies are South America’s Paraguay and the west African nation of Togo.

Guatemala and Honduras were among a handful of nations voting against a United Nations resolution on Thursday to condemn President Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.



Hezbollah, Iran-Backed Militias Advance towards Syria's Border with Israel

Hezbollah and Iran-backed militias advanced closer to Syria's border with Israel marking "a new expansion of Tehran's influence" on Israel's northeastern neighbor.

The Syrian army, supported by Druze militias, and Iran-backed forces, has "pushed deeper into the last rebel-held enclave" approaching the border area with Israel, Reuters reported on Sunday.

According to rebel sources, the Syrian army approached Beit Jin and surrounded a village that has been controlled by rebels for several years. Beit Jinn is the final rebel stronghold in the area southwest of Damascus, which is also known as Western Ghouta.

The presence of Iran-backed forces and commanders from Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist organization, backing the Syrian army was confirmed by a Western intelligence source. The same source said that Iran was seeking to "establish a strategic presence" in Syria Golan Heights, opposite Israel's border.

Regime forces that have been seeking to defeat the rebels have been relying on "heavy bombing on civilian areas and years of siege tactics," to force rebels to surrender. The rebels in Beit Jinn are largely locals. Some are Sunni jihadists, others are members of the Free Syrian Army. Both groups are operating under the name of Itihad Quwt Jabal al Sheikh, or “Union of fighters of Jabal al Sheikh."

An official of one of the rebel groups, Liwa al Furqan, Suhaib al Ruhail, told Reuters, "The Iranian-backed militias are trying to consolidate their sphere of influence all the way from southwest of Damascus to the Israeli border."



New Jersey Divests From Top Danish Bank after It Boycotts Israeli Companies

New Jersey announced that it will divest from Danske Bank, Denmark's largest bank, after the bank announced that it would not invest in two Israeli companies, Benjamin Weinthal reported Sunday for The Jerusalem Post.

The action was taken in line with New Jersey's anti-boycott legislation passed last year.

Danske Bank has blacklisted two Israeli defense contractors, Aryt Industries and Elbit Systems, from investments for its customers. Thomas Hyldahl Kjærgaard, who is in charge of responsible investing for the bank, told the Post earlier this year that "Danske Bank does not boycott Israel or Israeli companies as such, and we do not take part in the so-called BDS campaign targeting Israel.”

However in 2010, when the bank announced that Elbit Systems failed to meet its socially responsible investment standards, reasons cited in the Danish media attributed the decision to its "activities in settlement areas and on the security fence."

New Jersey is the third state to outlaw state business with Danske Bank. Previously New York and Colorado stopped doing business with the bank due to their anti-boycott laws.

It has been reported that Danske Bank has signed a 500 million euro ($593 million) contract with 10 Iranian banks, including Bank Sepah. Germany has frozen contracts with Bank Sepah, which has a history of supporting Iran's missile program.



Up and Coming Israeli Designers Show Off Their Fashion at Unique New York Showcase

Eight up-and-coming Israeli designers showcased their designs for the first time in New York at Beged (Hebrew for “clothing”), a pop-up retail experience in the Manhattan neighborhood of SoHo for one week in December.

The shop introduced a unique selection of clothing and accessories from Israel in an interactive, museum-like way focused on telling the stories of the participating designers hailing from Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem.

“I have to believe that people in New York are interested in ‘the other’ and things they don’t know about,” said the pop-up’s founder, Esther Levy Chehebar, a freelance writer whose bylines appear in Man Repeller, Glamour and Tablet. “Here [at Beged] you’re not just buying a piece of clothing – you can actually read about how it was made, who it was made by, and why it was made.”

Though in time for holiday shopping, the selection spanned the seasons, including a cashmere coat by Maya Reik’s Marei 1998 label alongside Kimka’s ’70s-inspired silk mini dress and lightweight denim kimonos by Kim Dror.

Also featured were Tali Kushnir’s breezy linen workwear-inspired pieces, gender-neutral separates by Tel Aviv’s Muslin Brothers, and Mews’ contemporary, all-black designs by Gal Shenfeld.

“Tel Aviv reminds me of New York in a way,” said Chehebar. “There are so many different groups and types of people expressing themselves.” The result is a style of design and dressing that’s hard to define, but that Chehebar thinks will appeal to New York shoppers and encourage deeper discovery of Israeli designers.

(via Israel21c)


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