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The Daily TIP: UAE Minister of State: “There Is No Enmity between Us and the State of Israel”

Posted by Tip Staff - February 05, 2019

UAE Minister of State: “There Is No Enmity between Us and the State of Israel”
After Dictating Makeup of Government, Nasrallah Says Hezbollah Doesn’t Control Lebanon
After Two Years, U.S. Fills Role of Envoy to Fight Anti-Semitism
Amazon, Samsung Among Corporate Giants Acquiring Israeli Firms in January

UAE Minister of State: “There Is No Enmity between Us and the State of Israel”

Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, a minister of state in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government, said this week in an exclusive interview with Sohrab Amari of The New York Post that, “There is no enmity between us and the state of Israel,” – a groundbreaking statement that would have been unthinkable in the not so distant past.

Nusseibeh made the comments as Christian and Jewish leaders gathered in Abu Dhabi for the first-ever papal visit to the UAE, and the Arabian Peninsula.

“The invitation to the Holy Father solidifies the UAE’s status as the most responsible power in the Persian Gulf region,” Amari observed, adding, “And it gives testament to the Emirati leadership’s determination to transcend the bloody, cruel fanaticism that has disfigured the House of Islam and brought ruin to Christians and other minorities unfortunate enough to dwell inside it.”

To back up his assessment, Amari referenced a recent YouGov poll, which found that opinions in the emirate “overall are often nearer to that of Western samples than to fellow” Middle Eastern countries, “when it comes to general attitudes to world religions.”

While the UAE restricts freedom of worship for non-Islamic faiths in the public sphere, religious minorities can practice their faith in private without government interference, which has given the UAE the reputation of being the most liberal of the Gulf states.

Amari acknowledged that freedom is not absolute in the UAE. However, he asked, “Which is preferable, the joyful materialism of nouveaux riches Emiratis — or the extremism of the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State, Hezbollah, Hamas and other groups of the kind?”

The Israel Project’s Senior Fellow, Julie Lenarz, observed in an op-ed published on Tuesday in Reaction that, “The Pope’s visit also comes at a time, when the Arab World is increasingly engaging in a rapprochement with the global Jewish community and in particular, Israel.” The emirate, she said, “has been one of the leading exponents of this approach.”

After Dictating Makeup of Government, Nasrallah Says Hezbollah Doesn’t Control Lebanon

After the terror group he leads dictated the makeup of a new Lebanese government, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah denied that Hezbollah controls Lebanon, The Times of Israel reported Monday.

Nasrallah's remarks were aimed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who, earlier this week, told visiting ambassadors, "Iran has many branches, one of them is Hezbollah, which has now joined the Lebanese government. This is a misleading description — Hezbollah actually controls the Lebanese government and this means that Iran controls the Lebanese government."

Nasrallah, in a speech broadcast on Hezbollah’s al-Manar TV channel, said, "The new Lebanese government is not controlled by Hezbollah."

“The new Lebanese health minister is close to Hezbollah, but not a member of the party,” Nasrallah added.

He charged that Netanyahu was "inciting the US, European countries, and the Gulf states against the Lebanese government."

However, Tony Badran, a research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, explained in a policy brief published Friday that control of the lucrative health ministry was important to Hezbollah.

"The new minister, Jamil Jabak," Badran wrote, "reportedly is the former personal physician of Hezbollah’s secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah."

Control of the ministry was one of the non-negotiable demands that Hezbollah made of the parties in the government.

More generally, the terror group has insisted that other sects include politicians sympathetic to the Iran-backed group into their coalitions. This means that "Hezbollah stripped any one party, even allies, of the ability to veto government decisions independently," Badran wrote.

"Hezbollah now controls a majority coalition of all the Lebanese sects," he continued "The government formation process demonstrated clearly how Hezbollah actually runs the entire political order, underscoring the reality that Lebanon and Hezbollah are, in effect, synonymous."

After Two Years, U.S. Fills Role of Envoy to Fight Anti-Semitism

After two years of leaving the post empty, the Trump administration has selected Los Angeles prosecutor Elan Carr as the State Department’s new Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, JTA reported Monday.

Carr, a Jewish-American army veteran who served in Iraq, is the grandson of Holocaust survivors. He also served as president of the Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi. Carr, a Republican, unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2014 against Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu.

The envoy’s position was established by the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act of 2004, but it has been left vacant since January 20, 2017, leading to protests from lawmakers and the Jewish community.

Last September, the House of Representatives passed the bipartisan “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2018,” which required the president to appoint an official to the role within 90 days of its passage and to put forward a nominee no more than 120 days after a vacancy.

“I hope I make the difference. At the end of the day, all that matters are results and impact,” Carr told JNS. “And that’s what I pray—that I should have an impact on this terrible [problem].”

Carr is immediately plunging into his work, heading to Slovakia this week for a symposium on anti-Semitism planned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Further meetings are scheduled with the European Union Conference on Antisemitism in Brussels before Carr heads back to the U.S. for meetings with former Democratic and Republican administration officials.

The Israeli-American Council, which has worked closely with Carr for several years, welcomed the appointment. “Elan Carr brings a depth of experience and insights as a prosecutor, military officer, and devoted leader in the Israeli-American and Jewish communities. We believe there is nobody more qualified to combat anti-Semitism head-on across the globe,” IAC Chairman Adam Milstein said in a statement.

Amazon, Samsung Among Corporate Giants Acquiring Israeli Firms in January

The biggest M&A news out of Israel in January 2019 was London-headquartered private equity firm Bridgepoint Advisers’ $260 million agreement to acquire Miya Water, a subsidiary of Tel Aviv-based Arison Holdings.

Amazon Web Services is acquiring CloudEndure, in a deal estimated at no less than $200 million. The cloud computing company, based in New York with R&D in Ramat Gan, develops business continuity software solutions for disaster recovery, continuous backup and live migration.

Samsung signed a deal to acquire Tel Aviv-based smartphone camera company Corephotonics for a reported, but unconfirmed, sum of $150-$160 million.

Keystone Dental of Massachusetts, the largest independent dental implant company in North America, will merge via a stock-exchange transaction with Paltop Advanced Dental Solutions of Caesarea. Paltop does precision manufacturing of state-of-the-art digital implant dentistry solutions.

Accelmed Growth Partners of Herzliya and New York will add $20 million in capital investment to the merged entity.

SolarEdge Technologies of Herzliya has agreed to acquire SMRE Spa of Italy, a provider of integrated powertrain technology and electronics for electric vehicles, for an aggregate investment of approximately $77 million. SMRE will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of SolarEdge, which focuses on PV, storage, EV charging, batteries, UPS and grid services solutions.

Sealantis of Haifa, established on the basis of technology developed at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, was sold for $25 million and royalties from future sales to Advanced Medical Solutions Group of England. Sealantis develops non-allergenic, shelf-stable medical and surgical adhesives that mimic the mechanism of adhesion of algae to rocks in water.

Cybersecurity company Radware of Tel Aviv agreed to acquire bot management company ShieldSquare of Bengaluru, India, as Radware rolls out a Bot Manager product line.

(via Israel21c)

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