Daily TIP

TIP CEO pens op-ed in Washington Post

Posted by Tip Staff - March 01, 2017
TIP CEO pens op-ed in Washington Post
Fatah calls to boycott Revlon
Experts: Iran advancing nuclear program with help of North Korea
Zambian leader meets with Netanyahu in further sign of growing Israeli-African ties
Hot off the press--

The Israel Project's President and CEO Josh Block wrote an opinion column in the Washington Post on Wednesday shedding light on a bill in Maryland that would “protect taxpayer money from being used to support discrimination against Israel.” More than a dozen other states have already passed similar legislation.

Speaking to the Israel-Maryland trade relationship specifically, Block wrote: “Beyond sharing our values, Israel is an important business partner for the state of Maryland. More than two dozen Israeli companies have their U.S. headquarters in Maryland, and in 2015, Maryland was Israel’s 19th largest trading partner. All told, we exported more than $145 million in products to the Jewish state that year, and every governor we’ve elected since 1992 has led a trade mission to Israel.”

Block also pointed to the counterproductive nature of the campaign to divest from Israel, as is even recognized by the Palestinians. He noted that in 2013, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, “[W]e do not ask anyone to boycott Israel itself. We have relations with Israel, we have mutual recognition of Israel.”

Passing the bill would be a great step forward in rejecting discrimination and furthering the bond between Israeli and American companies.


Boycott Revlon?

Inspired by the United Nation’s proposed blacklist of companies that “profit from the occupation” and upset by a delay, the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah party decided to release its own list of companies which should be boycotted. A surprise appearance on the list? Cosmetics giant Revlon.

Revlon made the cut because its head, Ronald Perelman, gives money to the “Zionist” Chabad and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The inclusion of Revlon suggests that Fatah objects not only to “occupation” but also to Israel’s right to exist entirely.

Other household names on the blacklist include Volvo (for Israel’s use of its heavy machinery) and ReMax (which sells real estate over the Green Line.)

A little help from North Korea--

Iran is using its strategic ties with North Korea to advance its illicit nuclear weapons program, two experts for the Begin-Sadat Center wrote in a paper published Tuesday. 

Nuclear and ballistic missile ties between the two nations are longstanding and ongoing, though unlike Iran, North Korea already has developed nuclear weapons. While Iran is temporarily constrained by the nuclear deal, it can contribute to the development of North Korea’s program by sharing its technology and through finance. “There is an irony in this, as it is thanks to its [Vienna Nuclear Deal]-spurred economic recovery that Iran is able to afford it,” Lt. Col. (ret.) Dr. Refael Ofek and Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham explained in their paper.

“This kind of strategic, military-technological collaboration is more than merely plausible. It is entirely possible, indeed likely, that such a collaboration is already underway,” they added. In return for the boost Iran given its nuclear program, North Korea is likely “ready and able to furnish a route by which Iran can clandestinely circumvent” the nuclear deal.

The authors noted that a number of Iranian ballistic missiles are modified North Korean models. For example, Iran’s Shahab-3 missile is a variant of North Korea’s Nodong-1. The warhead on the Shahab-3 was redesigned to carry a nuclear warhead in the mid-2000s by Kamran Daneshjoo, a top Iranian scientist.

Zambian in Israel--

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Tuesday with Zambian President Edgar Lungu, who is in Israel on a five-day trip. The Jerusalem Post reported that Lungu “arrived here with a bevy of government ministers, including his ministers for foreign affairs, agriculture, trade, energy, tourism, water development and environment, transportation, health, and industry and employment.”

Netanyahu asked Lungu to restore Israel’s observer status at the African Union, which Israel lost in 2002; the Palestinian Authority enjoys such a status with the body.

Lungu expressed his admiration for Israel. The country, he said, “is a pace-setter in survival instinct, because it has a desert; but they have a thriving education, agriculture and information and communication technology sectors and we can explore and learn from them. A lot of benefits are expected out of this trip.”

Netanyahu said that Israel would like to “deepen its cooperation with the country, which I think is important for both our countries and both our peoples. I know that you’re opening a Jewish history museum in Zambia and soon a synagogue in the capital city. I hope one day I have the opportunity to visit those institutions and to visit Zambia.”

Last year witnessed a series of diplomatic breakthroughs for Israel, especially with African nations. Netanyahu embarked on a historic tour of East Africa in July, restored diplomatic ties with the Muslim-majority nation of Guinea, and met with 15 African heads of state and ambassadors at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

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