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The Daily TIP: Iranian Blogger in Israel: “I am Safe Now”

Posted by Tip Staff - August 11, 2017

Iranian Blogger in Israel: “I am Safe Now”
Democratic Activist: Bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Bill "Should Hardly Be Controversial"
It's Time to Break With the False “Theology” of Arab-Israeli Peacemaking
Australian Gaming Giant Buys Israeli Mobile Game Publisher for $500 Million

Iranian Blogger in Israel: “I am Safe Now”

An Iranian blogger, whose extradition was sought by Iran because she wrote for an Israeli publication, arrived in Israel from Turkey on Thursday.

Appearing with editor-in-chief David Horovitz at The Times of Israel's Jerusalem office, the publication she wrote for, Neda Amin told reporters, "I am safe now," because no one wanted to attack or arrest her. She also expressed her gratitude for the efforts Israeli authorities made to ensure her safety.

Amin had been critical of the Iranian regime and fled to Turkey, where, in 2015, she was granted refugee status by the United Nations.

Recently she contacted The Times of Israel and said that her life was in danger. She was being threatened with extradition to Iran, and feared that she would be arrested and tortured if she returned.

In a more detailed account, Horovitz wrote that Amin did not arrive earlier in the week because she was missing a required document to leave Turkey. Since she was unable to leave and her cell phone had no power, some drew the inaccurate conclusion that she had been arrested.

Amin had been interrogated by Turkish security authorities at least six times and had been told that she would be deported on August 5. She had been fighting the deportation in Turkish courts when she was finally allowed to leave.

Democratic Activist: Bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Bill "Should Hardly Be Controversial"

A Democratic Party activist argued that the bipartisan Israel Anti-Boycott Act currently being considered by the United States Senate, "should hardly be controversial" because it "simply extends existing U.S. law" against foreign boycotts of Israel, in an analysis published Thursday in the Huffington Post.

Steven Sheffey, a blogger for the National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC), addressed various objections raised by opponents of the bill.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), has argued that the new legislation would stifle free speech. Steffey countered this by pointing out that the Anti-Israel Boycott Act would not penalize someone for exercising their First Amendment right to call for a boycott of Israel, but would impose criminal penalties "for cooperation with foreign governments, and under the new law, with international governmental organizations," which boycott Israel.

Sheffey also challenged the ACLU for "its benign description of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement," which seeks "to delegitimize Israel." Moreover, he added that the ACLU failed to mention "the bipartisan concerns about BDS that motivated the Israel Anti-Boycott Act."

Lastly, Sheffey noted that the bill also applies to products manufactured in the West Bank. While he expressed support for a two-state solution and called settlements an impediment to peace, "those who advocate boycotting West Bank goods assume that all that is needed to reach a two-state solution is pressure on Israel." As he explained, "Putting pressure only on Israel, as if Israel can unilaterally solve this problem, will only stiffen Israeli resistance and encourage Palestinian intransigence."

It's Time to Break With the False “Theology” of Arab-Israeli Peacemaking

At the Herzliya Conference in June, former British prime minister Tony Blair expressed his support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and added:

But to work, we must break with some of the ‘theology’ of peace-making which has become hallowed doctrine over the past 25 years.

Blair, who also served as representative of the Quartet---the European Union, United Nations, United States, and Russia---seeking to achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians, clarified his intent in advocating for breaking with the "theology" of peacemaking as meaning "to integrate the regional approach with a traditional negotiation."

Blair was speaking of the Arab world's growing (but still largely under-the-radar) ties with Israel. He noted that the real fault lines in the Middle East right now are between moderation and extremism, and that "In this battle, a democratic State of Israel should be in alliance with the nations of the region, because Israel faces the same external threats and therefore shares the same strategic interests."

While Blair should be commended for calling on the international community to rethink the premise of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, he's focused on the wrong issue.

Sure, it could be helpful to have Egypt and Saudi Arabia sign on to a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but that's a matter of process. What really needs rethinking are the premises underlying the peacemaking.

Please read the complete essay here.

Australian Gaming Giant Buys Israeli Mobile Game Publisher for $500 Million

Australia’s Aristocrat Leisure has acquired Israeli mobile- and browser-based games publisher Plarium Global for $500 million in cash, it was announced today.

Plarium’s product line includes the top-grossing “Vikings: War of Clans.” The company has more than 250 million registered users across 150 countries.

Founded in 2009 in Herzliya, Plarium employs about 1,200 people in Israel, Russia, Ukraine and Michigan (US). Plarium CEO and cofounder Avraham Shalel will continue to lead Plarium after the acquisition is completed.

Aristocrat CEO and managing director Trevor Croker said the acquisition allows Aristocrat to expand its hold in the mobile gaming segments of social casino, strategy, casual and role-playing (RPG). “It also provides us a stronger platform to target the US$43.6 billion overall mobile and web games market as growth segments.”

Last November, Gamesauce wrote about the Israeli company: “Plarium started out humbly enough in 2009 on Russia’s social networks with only a poker game and a farming game to its name. Today they are the #1 hardcore game developer on Facebook and a major force on mobile that is continuing to grow quickly. How did Plarium get from one to the other? It all comes down to its content, its employees and its players – with a dash of marketing thrown in.”

Shalel commented about the acquisition deal: “Aristocrat is an ideal partner for us given our common aspiration to be a global leader in social gaming, which will be accelerated through leveraging Aristocrat’s financial, strategic and operational resources.”

(via Israel21c)

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