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The Daily TIP: On "60 Minutes," Egyptian President Sisi Praises Security Cooperation with Israel

Posted by Tip Staff - January 08, 2019

On "60 Minutes," Egyptian President Sisi Praises Security Cooperation with Israel
Binational Fund to Invest $7.3 Million in Joint U.S.-Israeli Innovation Projects
EU to Sanction Iranian Intelligence Agency for Foiled Terror Plots
Israeli Pianist Wins International Jazz Competition

On "60 Minutes," Egyptian President Sisi Praises Security Cooperation with Israel

In a television interview with CBS’s flagship program “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi praised the intimate security cooperation with Israel in the Sinai Peninsula against jihadist forces, The Jerusalem Post reported.

When the interviewer asked Sisi whether the cooperation was the “deepest and closest” that Egypt has had with Israel, the president responded: "That is correct." He explained that “the air force must sometimes move to the Israeli side, so we have broad coordination with Israel."

Israel and Egypt have been at peace since 1979 and in recent years have built a close cooperative relationship. Their cooperation is motivated not only by Israel’s desire to bolster relations with Arab states in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, but also by Islamic State’s presence in the Sinai Peninsula and, more broadly, shared hostility to an increasingly aggressive and regionally influential Iran.

Israel’s deepening ties with Egypt are not an isolated development but rather part of a broader rapprochement with a group of pragmatic Sunni Arab states, including Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States.

In related news, Israel’s Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi said the Jewish State is expected to approve the multibillion-dollar Red Sea-Dead Sea Project with Jordan, which will yield desalinated water and hydroelectric power, and help replenish the evaporating Dead Sea.

“This is the largest joint project in the Middle East between Israel and an Arab state,” the minister told Bloomberg News on Wednesday. “Jordan has severe water issues and Israel wants to maintain Jordan’s stability.”

Binational Fund to Invest $7.3 Million in Joint U.S.-Israeli Innovation Projects

The Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation announced that it would invest $7.3 million in eight new American-Israeli innovation projects, The Jerusalem Post reported Tuesday.

The BIRD Foundation was established by the United States and Israeli governments in 1977 and has invested nearly $350 million in some 974 projects since its creation. The resulting sales of products developed by companies receiving investments have exceeded $10 billion.

The new investments will be directed towards projects in the fields of educational technology, agricultural technology, energy, digital health, medical devices, and homeland security. Together with the grants, the projects will gain access to additional private sector funding, raising the total available to the selected projects to over $20 million.

"Today, what's nice to see is that US companies do not see Israeli companies only as a source of innovation, but actually see a complementarity of innovation," the executive director of the BIRD Foundation, Dr. Eitan Yudilevich, explained.

"The Israeli eco-system has matured considerably, and today you see cases where more mature Israeli companies are looking at US start-ups, which is a reverse model of the BIRD Foundation's original rationale in the 1970s and 1980s. One of our core values is that the benefit must be mutual, even if different."

Among the projects selected for the latest round of funding by the BIRD Foundation are the development of a pipeline disaster prevention system, Upstream by Petah Tikva-based 4Cast Systems and Montana-based Adelos; a platform for testing cybersecurity readiness developed by Ramat Gan-based HackerU and New York-based Just Greens; and the design and manufacture of a Surround Vision Scope by Netanya-based Mitos Medical and Maryland-based Fibertech Medical.

BIRD Foundation funds up to half of a project's budget, starting from research and development and ending with the beginning stages of marketing. If the product is successful, the foundation gets repaid through royalties.

EU to Sanction Iranian Intelligence Agency for Foiled Terror Plots

The European Union (EU) announced that it would place a unit of Iran's Intelligence Ministry and two of its agents under sanctions for attempted terror plots on European soil, Reuters reported Tuesday.

The EU's decision follows two well-publicized attempted terror attacks against dissidents in Paris and Denmark last year.

The action would freeze the assets held by the organization and the individuals in the EU.

In October, the Danish government started pushing for sanctions, after it was reported that an Iranian suspect had been arrested for attempting to assassinate an opposition figure in Denmark.

Four people were arrested in connection with an Iranian-led bomb plot against an Iranian opposition group in Paris this past summer. One of those arrested was an Iranian diplomat, who was captured in Germany. In October, they were extradited to Belgium, which has taken the lead in the investigation.

"Important day for European Foreign Policy! EU just agreed to enact sanctions against an Iranian Intelligence Service for its assassination plots on European soil," Anders Samuelsen, Denmark's foreign minister wrote on Twitter. "Strong signal from the EU that we will not accept such behaviour in Europe."

Saeid Hashemi Moghadam, and Assadollah Asadi, a Vienna-based diplomat, were named as the two employees of Iran's Intelligence Ministry, who would be sanctioned. France, previously, had seized the assets of the pair in response to the attempted Paris attack this past summer.

In October, The Washington Post reported that the attempted Paris terror attack has “sparked growing anxiety” in numerous European countries, the U.S., and Israel, and that Tehran has stepped up its intelligence activities abroad in preparation for more “audacious” terror attacks.

Israeli Pianist Wins International Jazz Competition

Israeli jazz musician Tom Oren, 24, was selected as the first-place winner of the 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition last month at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

Oren performed “Just One Of Those Things” and “Just As Though You Were Here” at the December 3 event. He was among 13 outstanding young pianists from around the world who competed a day earlier in the semifinals at the National Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium.

At the end of the competition and All-Star Gala Concert, the Tel Aviv native joined a host of jazz greats onstage to perform the Miles Davis tune “Walkin’” for the enthusiastic audience.

Presented by the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Oren’s award included a $25,000 scholarship and a guaranteed recording contract with Concord Music Group.

Oren was trained in Israeli institutions including the Thelma Yellin Academy of Fine Arts, Arison Campus of the Arts, Israeli Conservatory of Music and Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. He then won a full scholarship to the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston. During his military service as an outstanding musician, he was pianist and arranger for the Air Force Band. Today he tours with the Eli Degibri Quartet.

In 2014, Oren won the first prize in the annual Jazz Musician Contest at Rimon, giving him the opportunity to represent Israel in the 24th annual International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ) meeting. He was awarded an America-Israel Cultural Foundation Scholarship in the years 2012-2017.

(via Israel21c)

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