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Taking Back Control, BDS Berlin, Israeli Unicorn


US Calls Golan ‘Israeli-Controlled,’ Drops All Mention of West Bank ‘Occupation’

Eric Cortellessa, Times of Israel, March 13th, 2019

Recap:

The Trump administration referred to the Golan Heights as “Israeli-controlled” and ceased to refer to the West Bank as “occupied” in the State Department’s annual report on human rights.

The Context:

  • Israel captured the Golan from Syria in 1967 and annexed the territory in 1981. The international community considers the area Syrian territory under Israeli occupation. Israel and Syria remain in a state of war although the border was relatively calm until the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011 [1].

  • Despite the language shift, officials denied American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the area. "This is not a human rights issue, it's a legal status issue," said the State Department [2]. “Occupied territory has a legal meaning to it… it is not a human rights term and it’s distracting [3]. “

  • Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely extolled the change saying, “the fact that the definition ‘occupied territory’ is missing from an official document of the State Department is an important step for Israel’s foreign relations and the future of [Israeli] settlements.”

  • Last month, US Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton and Congressman Mike Gallagher introduced legislation to recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan [4].

  • This week, Israel issued a formal complaint to the United Nations over Hezbollah's recently revealed "Golan Project," which positions operatives along Israel's northern border [5].

Conversation Points:

  • Are world powers coming to understand that while Israel and the Palestinians have a dispute, international law does not necessarily provide the answers?

  • Is the wording shift a precursor to a diplomatic shift?

  • If critics of Israel had their way, who would Israel give the Golan back to?

Israel’s Ambassador Shocked Over PFLP Terrorist Speech in Berlin

Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, March 14th, 2019

Recap:

Israel’s ambassador to Germany expressed shock over the slated speech of convicted Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) member Rasmea Odeh.

The Context:

  • PFLP is classified by the US and EU as a terrorist organization and was responsible for numerous hijackings and terrorist attacks in the 1970’s and 80’s.

  • Odeh, a former member of PFLP, was convicted for a 1969 bombing that killed two students in a Jerusalem supermarket. She was deported from the US in 2017 for lying about her terrorism conviction upon entering the US [6].

  • Odeh will address an event organized by Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) about “Palestinian women in the liberation struggle [7]”

  • Dr. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center criticized the German government for allowing Odeh a stage in Berlin saying, “Odeh never expressed regret about the murder of innocent persons and remains a staunch anti-Semite [8].”

  • Germany’s interior ministry defended itself saying it could not intervene since “the federal government is not participating in the event [9].” In 2017, Italy refused entry to Leila Khaled, another member of PFLP involved in two hijackings [10].

Conversation Points:

  • Is a government responsible for intervening in a situation like this?

  • Does Germany have a heightened responsibility to intervene considering its history with Jews?

  • Would Zuroff have felt differently about Odeh’s BDS affiliation had she sincerely regretted her past actions?

Nvidia To Buy Israel's Mellanox for $6.8 Billion In A Data Center Push

CNBC, March 11th, 2019

Recap:

Nvidia will buy Israeli chip designer Mellanox Technologies for $6.8 billion.

The Context:

  • Mellanox was founded 20 years ago by Eyal Waldman and produces hardware for large data center servers used to power cloud computing [11]. The company deals in products meant for rapid transfer of data between servers and storage systems [12] and has a market capitalization of $5.9 billion.

  • California based Nvidia, best known for its graphics processing unit used in many home computers and laptops, agreed to pay $6.8 billion for Mellanox [13].

  • The acquisition will considerably strengthen Nvidia's position in the global technological arms race. Data center revenue accounts for nearly a third of Nvidia's sales and although the chipmaker has grown at a rapid pace in the past few years, a slowdown in China and a fading cryptocurrency craze have started to weigh on its sales in recent quarters. The purchase of Mellanox is Nvidia’s largest [14].

Conversation Points:

  • Is it positive or negative for Israel’s future if successful startups are sold internationally?

Notes:

  1. Us Drops 'Israeli-Occupied' Designation from Golan Heights, Al Jazeera, March 14th, 2019

  2. Ibid.

  3. New Trump Administration Report Softens Language on Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights, Nahal Toosi, Politico, March 13th, 2019

  4. Us Drops 'Israeli-Occupied' Designation from Golan Heights, Al Jazeera, March 14th, 2019

  5. Israel Issues Complaint to U.N. Over Terrorists on Golan Border, Ben Bresky, Jerusalem Post, March 14th, 2019

  6. Germany Slated to Allow Palestinian Terrorist to Speak in Berlin, Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, March 13th2019

  7. Ibid.

  8. Convicted PFLP Terrorist to Speak in Germany Hosted by Anti-Israel Boycotters, The Tower, March 13th, 2019

  9. Germany Slated to Allow Palestinian Terrorist to Speak in Berlin, Benjamin Weinthal, Jerusalem Post, March 13th2019

  10. Convicted PFLP Terrorist to Speak in Germany Hosted by Anti-Israel Boycotters, The Tower, March 13th, 2019

  11. Israeli Company Sold to Nvidia In Massive Acquisition, Arutz Sheva, March 11th, 2019

  12. Mellanox Goes to The Market's Hungriest Player, Tamar Matsafi, Globes, March 11th, 2019

  13. Israeli Company Sold to Nvidia In Massive Acquisition, Arutz Sheva, March 11th, 2019

  14. Ibid.


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