UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Wednesday, January 15 2014:
*Following intensive pressure from Benjamin Netanyahu and the American State Department, Moshe Ya’alon has unfortunately issued an apology for his totally accurate comments concerning the messianic and delusional John Kerry. In pointing out that the security arrangements that the Americans are proposing are worthless, Ya’alon also declared that Israel is not “negotiating” with the Palestinians–it is negotiating with the Americans.
Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely spoke for many of us yesterday when she said: “I congratulate the Defense Minister on his courage; what he said was right. The American stance is disconnected from the reality of the situation in the Middle East. They are trying to force a solution on us . . . There is a blatant attempt here to bind Israel, a sovereign country, to foreign considerations and interests. Moshe Ya’alon stands up for our own interests – and that is exactly his job. An apology was uncalled for . . .”
*Israel was officially recognized as a full member of the European Organization for Nuclear Research yesterday–the only country outside of Europe so recognized.
FM Avigdor Lieberman, who was on hand to represent the government, commented that “acceptance of Israel as a full member is a recognition of the quality and high level of scientific research in Israel and its contribution to the welfare of mankind.”
As an increasingly Muslim Europe continues to turn away from Israel, Israeli businessmen have focused their economic attention on other regions and countries. This can be most clearly seen in the area of Israeli exports.
Even though most (37%) of Israel’s exports are still sold to Europe, it is a number which has been constantly decreasing. Asian exports (China is Israel’s 2nd largest trading partner), on the other hand, have risen in the past year to an all time high of 26%.
It is projected that by 2020 exports to Asia will overtake those to Europe.
But it is not merely Asia that is now receiving Israeli attention.
Farmers in the Jordan Valley have also seen their exports to Europe drop (by about $30 million in 2013). But in the coming year, they are hoping that new markets that they have found in Russia and eastern Europe will more than make up the difference.
Ironically, in reestablishing economic ties with Russia, Israel is returning to the situation in the 1950s when it had a warm relationship with Moscow but a cold one with western Europe.
In addition to reaching new markets in Asia, Russia, and eastern Europe, Israelis are also looking to India. In fact, the Israeli-Indian relationship is an old one with India buying $10 billion in military exports during the last decade. Just yesterday, India’s Defense Ministry green-lighted massive deals with Israel:
—a $2 billion dollar deal to purchase 16 anti-submarine warships
—a $244 million dollar deal to purchase 2 underwater rescue vessels (DSVRs)
—a $143 million dollar deal with Rafael Industries and the IAI (Israel Aircraft) to purchase 262 Barak missiles
—a $49 million dollar deal to purchse 41 Dhruv helicopters
In sum, your humble servant is happy to report that despite the best efforts of those attempting to boycott Israel, business is booming as Israel finds markets away from an increasingly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel Europe.