Palestinians took to the streets to celebrate the terror attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market on Wednesday night that took the lives of four Israelis and left 16 others wounded. The Jerusalem Post reported that “[u]pon hearing the reports of the shooting, dozens of Palestinians gathered at Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, singing out loud and cheering the gunmen.” In West Bank cities such as Tulkarm and in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian media showed people gathering on the streets and distributing candies. Palestinians also celebrated the attacks on social media with hashtags such as #Webrokethefastkillingthem and #CarloBullet. The latter hashtag refers to the Carl Gustavhomemade machine gun, which is the type of weapon used in the attack and, according toThe Times of Israel has “become the hallmark of a wave of Palestinian attacks” that began last October. In the West Bank town of Yatta, Palestinians also gathered outside of the homes of the two terrorists who carried out the attack. Celebratory fireworks were also set off in Hebron and in Gaza.
The ongoing terror wave has been triggered by incitement from the Palestinian Authority (PA), PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party, and leaders from across Palestinian society. The violence has been marked by Palestinian leaders glorifying and celebrating the violence, including praising the perpetrators as “martyrs” and launching propagandacampaigns in both print media and social media. In February, Abbas met with the families of terrorists who carried out attacks against Israelis, telling them: “Your sons are martyrs.” The PA refused to condemn Wednesday’s attack, issuing a generically-worded statement with no mention of the terror in Tel Aviv. Fatah also released a statement justifying the attacks,claiming that Israel was “reaping the repercussions of choosing violence against the Palestinian people.” Hamas praised the attack and issued a statement that read: “[The] Tel Aviv operation is first of many surprises awaiting the Zionist enemy during month of Ramadan.” On Thursday at the scene of the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed, “We did not hear condemnation from the Palestinian Authority, and there were celebrations in the West bank and Gaza. This is who we are up against.”
Following the attack, leaders from around the world, including members of Congress, condemned the terror and expressed their support for Israel. Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton, after condemning the attack, asserted: “I stand in solidarity with the Israeli people in the face of these ongoing threats, and in unwavering support of the country’s right to defend itself.” British Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “sickened” by the “appalling” attack. French President Francois Hollande condemned “with the greatest strength the odious attack.” Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) tweeted: “Thoughts, prayers and sympathy for victims of this terror attack, their loved ones, and #Israel.”
More than 200 companies in Massachusetts have ties to Israel, generating $9.3 billion in revenue and employing nearly 9,000 people in 2015, a study released Wednesday by the New England-Israel Business Council found.
The study found significant growth in Massachusetts-Israeli business connections since the last time such factors were measured in 2012; revenue has grown by more than $3 billion and employment has jumped by more than 2,000 since that time. A 2009 study recorded $2.4 billion in revenue.
The Israeli-connected sector has grown twice as face as the state’s economy in general since 2012, and the employee base has grown four times as fast since 2013. Israel-connected businesses now account for nearly four percent of Massachusetts’ gross domestic product.
Companies with ties to Israel are also benefiting from a significant share of venture capital funding in the state, with 48 such companies having raised almost $1.2 billion from investors, roughly 10 percent of the total from 2013 to 2015. From 2010 to 2012, companies with Israeli ties in Massachusetts raised about $700 million, or six percent of total venture capital in the state.
The business news site Xconomy reported on some of the companies covered by the study, which represent a diverse array of fields:
Some of the prominent Massachusetts firms with Israel ties include CyberArk Software, Cybereason, and RSA in cybersecurity; Akamai Technologies and SimpliVity in networking and data center technologies; Infinidat and Zerto in data storage and recovery; Applause and VMTurbo in application development and management; Chiasmaand Gelesis in biopharma; ReWalk and Syneron Candelain medical devices; American Welland Medisafe in health IT; Desalitech and Superpedestrian in water and energy; and Formlabs in 3D printing.
Part of Massachusetts’s appeal to Israeli firms, the study concluded, is the economic specialization that Israel and the Boston area share, especially in high-tech fields such as software, health sciences, and cybersecurity.
“Our advantages in talent pool, cost, and other factors puts us in a strong position, but the Massachusetts story on the ground in Israel is often drowned out by the buzz around our two main competitors [New York and the Bay Area],” stated David Goodtree, who authored a white paper based on the study. “While the mutual benefits are well-documented with the 2016 study, the state’s opportunity is to build on our success by cultivating new relationships and new areas of common interest between Massachusetts and Israel.”
The council studied companies that were founded in Massachusetts by Israelis; Israeli companies that either relocated to Massachusetts or opened an office there; founded by an Israeli in either Israel or Massachusetts and later acquired by a Massachusetts company; Massachusetts-based companies that were acquired by an Israeli company; and Massachusetts-based company that sells products based on Israeli technology.
Then-Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick praised the Bay State’s ties with the Jewish state when on a trade mission to Israel two years ago, during which he announced a number of academic partnerships between MIT and Israeli universities. “It’s a very, very fruitful – and tangibly so – relationship,” he said. “The way to keep it going is to keep cultivating it.”
In Israel Gives Much More to the U.S. Economy Than You Imagined, which was published in the March 2016 issue of The Tower Magazine, Aaron Menenberg analyzed the benefits of Israeli trade with the U.S., and concluded:
All things considered, one would be hard-pressed to find an alliance more effective than the one between the United States and Israel. The Jewish state is a small country in population and size, but the benefits America realizes from its trade and collaboration with Israel are often comparable to much larger and wealthier nations, and in some cases may even exceed them. From individual states to the national economy, Israel’s impact is outsized: Hundreds of thousands of jobs, technological improvements, and science and healthcare advances that boost our material and physical quality of life.
Looked at this way, it becomes easy to see that the BDS movement’s attack on Israel’s economy, not to mention its encouragement of academic and scientific boycotts, directly hurts Americans. Just as the movement claims to be helping the Palestinians, but in fact harms Palestinian interests, it also harms what is perhaps America’s most important interest: its economic success. Regardless of your position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, if you support a stronger American economy and workforce, you should oppose boycotting Israel. It is important for Americans to know this, and for the anti-boycott effort to expand to include them. (via TheTower.org)
Israeli applications guru Ori Segal recalls that pivotal moment at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, when a friend showed him “some weird device called the iPhone” and explained he could order a pizza by touching some icons on the screen. Less than a decade later, of course, millions of people are using millions of smartphone apps to order pizza and do a whole lot more. Seeing the potential, in 2008 Segal established one of the first teams in Israel dedicated to mobile app development. Today, iApps Technologies of Herzliya and New York has developed and launched more than 600 iPhone and Android applications and recently spun off a startup in the music apps space. Israelis are among the world leaders in app development, says the iApps CEO, who hosts TV and radio shows and writes columns for Israeli media on the topic. “If 20 years ago Israel was all about Internet and dot.coms, in the last three or four years it’s all about apps,” Segal tells ISRAEL21c. Aleph VC partner Eden Shochat says that Israeli prominence in the mobile app space wasn’t a given. In fact, he tells ISRAEL21c, “The deep engineering and data-orientation capability of the Israeli ecosystem was initially a hindrance, as this isn’t a culture that celebrates ease of use and great user experience. As UI/UX [user interface/user experience] talent improved dramatically through expats coming back from Facebook, Yahoo and Google tenures, this reversed.” Consequently, Shochat continues,“Israeli engineers and growth hackers solve the biggest challenges for application developers: being discovered, growing the user base and monetization. The combination of (newly) great app user interface, rock-solid back-end and data-driven user acquisition are the drivers of the success of the Israeli app developers.” Segal says Israel has become one of the four main centers of app development along with India, Russia and the United States. “The app will cost less and be of better quality here in Israel. Most of the world knows that Israeli developers are the best.” (via Israel21c)