- Iranians burn American, Israeli flags at rallies marking anniversary of Iranian Revolution
- Palestinian writer can’t go home
- Investment expert: Cutting-edge Israeli companies are “underowned and underdiscovered”
- Global entities come shopping for Israeli cybersecurity
Such anti-American and anti-Israel themes are prevalent in Iranian state celebrations. This past November, thousands of Iranians gathered in Tehran to celebrate the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. embassy in 1979 – they also burned Israeli and American flags on that occasion, as well as Saudi ones. In July of last year, at an event called Al-Quds Day, an anti-Israel celebration, tens of thousands of people chanted “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” and also burned the two countries’ flags.
The PA’s record on human rights and freedom of expression has frequently been criticized by international observers. Human Rights Watch condemned the treatment of journalists by both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, stating that their tactics led to a “chilling effect” on freedom of expression in the Palestinian territories. “Both Palestinian governments, operating independently, have apparently arrived at similar methods of harassment, intimidation and physical abuse of anyone who dares criticize them,” Sari Bashi, HRW’s Israel/Palestine director, said last summer.
A survey released by the Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms in 2014 found that “80% of Palestinian journalists in the West Bank and Gaza practice self-censorship of their writing.” A poll published that same year by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found that 70 percent of Palestinians did not feel that they could criticize the PA.
Steven Schoenfeld, founder of Blue Star Indexes and creator of BIGI and BIGITech stock indexes, told ETF.com that contrary to popular belief, Israel’s economic fortunes are not tied to the risks inherent in being located in the Middle East. However, he pointed out other factors that prevent Israeli companies from getting their due from investors.
“The big moves—up or down—in the Israeli market are global economic,” Schoenfeld said. “The tech meltdown in 2000/2001 affected Israel a lot more than the Gulf War of 2003. When you had the global financial crisis in 2008/09, that affected Israel more than the war with Hamas in 2008/09.” Israeli tech companies are generally immune to uncertainties in the Middle East, he added, because “Israel’s tech sector exports by basically clicking a mouse.”
However, some of Israel’s top tech companies still remain surprisingly unrecognized by investors. Schoenfeld suggested that the problem stems from the fact that these cutting-edge Israeli tech firms are “‘Israel inside.'” “For example, people talk about autonomous vehicles, and those cars will be BMW, Volkswagen; they’ll be the name brands we know. But what’s the technology that’s going to be inside? It’s going to be Mobileye. And many people may not know the Mobileye name, but it’s there,” he explained.