Israeliska high-tech företag har anställt ingenjörer i Gaza

Quietly, Israeli high-tech companies contract Gaza engineers

In Hamas-led Strip, where collaboration with Jewish state can be deadly, some Palestinian firms increasingly forge business ties with Israeli industry

Representatives for Mellanox, Rawabi and ASAL discussed the prospects for Israeli and Palestinian tech partnerships, in Tel Aviv. 12 July 2017 (Courtesy)

Representatives for Mellanox, Rawabi and ASAL discussed the prospects for Israeli and Palestinian tech partnerships, in Tel Aviv. 12 July 2017 (Courtesy)

When Dan Leubitz needed a contractor for a project with his Israeli tech firm, one address in the list of tenders caught his eye: Gaza.

It was 2015, only a year after Israel fought a war with Gaza’s terror rulers Hamas.

Leubitz’s rapidly growing firm Innitel was scouting for a contractor in low-cost, highly skilled tech hubs such as Eastern Europe and India.

But the Israeli-American had never considered looking in a territory just 50 miles away.

The Israeli and Gazan firms have since formed an unlikely alliance, doing business worth around $10,000 a month.

“Now friends at other companies ask me ‘do you have the guy’s number?’” said Leubitz, whose firm provides cloud-based call center software.

It is not uncommon for high-tech companies from the West Bank, run by Hamas’s secular rival Fatah, to work directly with Israeli counterparts.

Illustrative: Palestinian entrepreneurs brainstorm ideas as they compete for acceptance in the third version of Mobaderoon project, hosted by the Islamic University’s Business and Technology Incubator in Gaza City on November 24, 2015. (Khalil Hamra/AP Photo)

But in Gaza, which has seen three wars with Israel since 2008, it is almost unheard of.

Hamas executes Gazans for “collaborating” with Israel, while the Jewish state maintains a blockade on the coastal enclave, worried that materials entering the Strip will be diverted by the terror organization’s military aims.

Hamas has fought three wars with Israel, most recently in 2014, since wresting control of the enclave in 2007. The terror group has attacked Israel through a network of underground cross-border tunnels and has fired thousands of rockets on Israeli cities. Israel attributes the Palestinian death toll in the conflicts — over 2,000 in the 2014 round of fighting — to the terror group’s practice of embedding itself in the civilian population and says most of those killed were fighters.

Though Israel imposes restrictions on trade, the online nature of the tech industry largely avoids the rules that limit other sectors.

Leubitz’s partner firm has now expanded to work with a number of Israeli companies.

Tech giant Mellanox — which makes technology that connects computers, databases and servers — employs 10 of the Gazan company’s staff and plans to double that.

AFP has chosen not to name the company in Gaza for security reasons, but did visit its offices in Gaza City.

Its CEO said that despite the potential gains, he believed it was the only Gazan tech company working with Israeli counterparts.

“It isn’t an easy decision,” he said. “But we have complete conviction to take our services to the Israeli market.”

Eyal Waldman, President and CEO of Mellanox Technologies Ltd. (YouTube)

He stressed that the relationship was purely financial and didn’t stray into politics, arguing that Gazans were simply looking to sell their services to Israel.

As Israel controls what enters the enclave, many Israeli products are imported and sold in Gaza.

“Where do we buy yogurt from? From Israel. And the petrol, where does it come from? From Israel. Some of our fruit we buy from Israel,” he said.

“Does anyone criticize this business? No. As they benefit from us economically, we should benefit from them by selling our services.”

He pointed out that Palestinian companies in the West Bank now deal with Israelis with relative ease.

“At the beginning they had problems. Now there are companies that have dozens of employees,” he said.

Israeli chip maker Mellanox Technologies Ltd., marks Geek Pride Day in a recent video. (YouTube screenshot)

In theory, both sides have plenty to gain. Nearly three out of five young Gazans are unemployed, one of the highest rates in the world. Despite being well-educated, the population has few meaningful job opportunities.

Israeli firms meanwhile benefit from far cheaper labor. Hiring a Gazan engineer costs around a fifth of the price of hiring an Israeli once taxes and other costs are factored in, Mellanox CEO Eyal Waldman told AFP.

The firm also benefits from English-speaking staff in the same time zone.

“There is talent there and they have nowhere to work. So we thought, let’s enjoy… the top talent in Gaza and have them work for us,” Waldman said.

The Gazans, Waldman said, have worked on a variety of research and development projects.

He hopes even such small-scale coordination can have another impact.

“You have Palestinians talking to Israelis that are 20 to 30 years old. They have never talked to Israelis — they see them as the enemy. Now they talk about soccer and joke.”

So far the Gazan company hasn’t faced pressure from Hamas.

When Mellanox announced it was going to take on staff in Gaza, it was covered in both Israeli and Palestinian media.

Hamas, the Gazan CEO said, could reasonably guess the company but taking action would make dozens of people unemployed and their families poorer.

“Gaza is small and everyone saw the news. No one said anything,” he said.

Yet having lost a family member in the 2014 war, he said he could understand that most Gazans were not ready to work with Israelis.

Waldman said right-wing Israeli politicians had spoken out against the idea.

“We also have some employees that have extreme right political views. They definitely voiced their views,” he said.

None of the staff working in Gaza for Mellanox were willing to speak, even on condition of anonymity.

And while the 10 staff in Gaza are effectively employees of Mellanox, their salaries are paid through a Palestinian firm to avoid tensions.

“We felt it was too sensitive for them to have an Israeli company there,” Waldman said. “One missile can blow the whole thing up.”

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Saudierna avråder Kurderna från referendum med tanke på situationen i regionen

Saudi Arabia urges Kurds to scrap independence referendum

Riyadh official tells Iraqi Kurdish leader to drop plans ‘in light of situation in the region’; Israel remains lone country to openly support efforts

Iraqi Kurds celebrate while urging people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 8, 2017. (AFP Photo/Safin Hamed)

Iraqi Kurds celebrate while urging people to vote in the upcoming independence referendum in Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq, on September 8, 2017. (AFP Photo/Safin Hamed)

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday urged Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani to call off a planned referendum on independence for his autonomous region to avoid further “crises” in Iraq and the region.

A Saudi government official said Barzani should drop plans to hold a referendum “in light of the situation in the region and the dangers it is facing, and in order to avoid new crises.”

He called on the Kurdish leader to make use of his “wisdom and experience,” the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Holding the referendum as planned on September 25 could have “negative consequences on the political, security and humanitarian fronts.”

It could also “affect efforts to establish security and stability in the region, as well as efforts to fight against terrorist organizations and their activities,” the official added.

Regional kingpin Saudi Arabia is the latest country to voice its opposition to the referendum in oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan.

But Barzani has so far resisted pressure from Baghdad and Iraq’s neighbors Turkey and Iran, as well as from the United States and its Western allies, to call off the vote.

Iraq’s supreme court has ordered the suspension of the referendum to examine claims made by the federal government that it was unconstitutional.

The Saudi official called on “all concerned parties to engage in a dialogue that would serve the interests of the entire Iraqi people.”

Israel has become the only country to openly support an independent Kurdish state, a result of good ties between Kurds and Jews and expectations that it would be a front against Iran and extremism, experts say.

Israel became the first, and so far only, country to openly voice support for “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state of its own,” as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week, without specifying where and how.

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Trump har beslutat sig vad han gör med Iran och det kommer snart att märkas (I samband med attack på Nord Korea?)

Trump says he’s made decision on Iran deal, won’t say what it is

US president on Tuesday slammed Islamic Republic at the UN as a corrupt dictatorship that ruthlessly represses its own people

US President Donald Trump makes a statement for the press before a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017 in New York. (AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski)

US President Donald Trump makes a statement for the press before a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Palace Hotel during the 72nd United Nations General Assembly on September 20, 2017 in New York. (AFP PHOTO / Brendan Smialowski)

NEW YORK (AP) — The United States and Iran will have their highest-level interaction of Donald Trump’s presidency on Wednesday, a day after the American leader delivered a blistering attack on the Islamic Republic and the landmark 2015 nuclear deal that he appears poised to walk away from.

A year ago, such a get-together would have been considered routine as nations strove to implement an agreement that curtailed Iran’s nuclear activity in exchange for ending various oil, trade and financial restrictions on the country. In the current environment, however, the meeting is anything but ordinary.

Trump said Wednesday he had made a decision on whether to withdraw from the agreement but would not say what it was, setting the stage for a particularly contentious meeting of the parties to the deal.

“I’ve decided,” he told reporters. Asked for details, he replied coyly: I’ll let you know.”

Trump used his UN General Assembly speech on Tuesday to launch a withering critique of Iran, saying its government “masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy” and ruthlessly represses its own people.

“It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” he said, repeating a litany of oft-spoken U.S. complaints about Iran. These include its antipathy to Israel, support for terrorism and Syrian President Bashar Assad, ballistic missile testing and its nuclear program.

“We cannot let a murderous regime continue these destabilizing activities while building dangerous missiles,” Trump said. “And we cannot abide by an agreement if it provides cover for the eventual construction of a nuclear program. The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into. Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States.”

The animosity is mutual.

Hassan Rouhani, President of Iran, addresses the 72nd UN General Assembly on September 20, 2017, at the United Nations in New York. (AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS)

Zarif, who had a friendly, collegial relationship with former Secretary of State John Kerry while they negotiated the nuclear deal, was quick to denounce Trump’s speech. He took to Twitter to offer a glimpse of what may be in store for future exchanges with US officials, including perhaps with Tillerson on Wednesday.

“Trump’s ignorant hate speech belongs in medieval times – not the 21st Century UN – unworthy of a reply,” Zarif said on Twitter. “Fake empathy for Iranians fools no one.”

In comments broadcast shortly before Trump’s speech, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Trump that exiting the nuclear deal would “carry a high cost.”

“No one would trust America again and there is no higher price to pay than this,” Rouhani told NBC. “Which country would be willing to sit across the table from the United States of America and talk about international issues?”

Rouhani was set to deliver his own UN address on Wednesday, shortly before the nuclear meeting.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. (AFP/Brian Snyder, Pool)

Trump has said repeatedly that he is inclined not to certify Iranian compliance after having twice found it compliant at earlier deadlines. That could mean a return of US sanctions on Iran that were suspended under the agreement. Such action could lead Iran to then walk away from the deal or restart some nuclear activities it curtailed two years ago.

The rhetorical threats have worried the other countries in the agreement: Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. The Europeans, in particular, have expressed their disapproval of Trump’s threats and talked about trying to lobby the US to abide by the accord.

Iran rejects that it has broken the agreement, and a U.N. report this month pointed to no Iranian violations.

Under US law, the president must certify to Congress every 90 days whether Iran is adhering to the agreement. If the president doesn’t certify compliance, Congress has 60 days to decide whether to re-impose sanctions lifted under the agreement.

The next certification deadline is Oct. 15, and several officials and people close to the matter have described Trump as determined to “decertify” Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal at that point.
As he met Monday with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump was asked if he would pull the US out of the agreement.

“You’ll see very soon,” Trump said.

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Kommer Trump att ta upp detta spår: Obama kan åtalas för ett avtal som Iran aldrig undertecknat

U.S. State Department Confirms Iran NEVER Signed Treaty, Obama’s Nuclear Deal Fully Illegal

He deserves prison In a breaking news story, we have received evidence that Obama and John Kerry did not require Irans leaders to sign the nuclear deal that his team negotiated with the regime, and the deal is not “legally binding,” his administration acknowledged.

Obama and Iran agreed that a legally binding deal would be strongly discouraged and disapproved of in the United States, so they wanted to skip the “legally binding” part and just give Iran everything they asked for if Iran promised not to use the nuclear weapons on countries.

In a non legally binding agreement, Iran was given:

  • A lift on $100 billion in sanctions.
  • They were paid more than $36 billion for “long overdue actions.”
  • Unlimited access to trade with Europe again.
  • A lift on the arms embargo. They can buy and sell weapons from anyone, anywhere, anytime they want to.
  • They are allowed to run “safety tests” on themselves.
  • They report “illegal actions” themselves to the U.N. Meaning, Iran will tell Obama and the U.N. if they are acting criminally or inappropriately.

What the United States got:

  • Anti-American propaganda videos where American sailors were captured and humiliated.
  • Iran has test-fired an illegal long-range missile on several occasions.
  • Iran detained dozens of Americans and held them until Obama paid them a ransom.

That is it. We got absolutely nothing. We armed a jihadi maniac with nuclear weapons and gave them everything they asked for.

There is a silver lining: The deal was never signed, so two things can occur.

First, Trump can rip the deal up on day one and we can place all of the restrictions and bans right back on Iran while forcing them to destroy their nuclear systems.

Second, this was a clear act of treason by Obama and Kerry, and they should be charged once Trump is in office. The United States labels Iran as the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, so that means the United States is working with terrorists.

Under the “Stop Funding Terrorists Bill,” which is going to House floor next week, if Republicans vote to pass this, Obama and any other government agency or official that supplies terrorists can be charged with treason.

Would you support Donald Trump charging Obama and Kerry with treason for this horrendous deal that placed the entire world at risk?

Share this if you agree and leave us your thoughts below!

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Trump sätter Iran och Nord Korea i skamvrån

Trump puts Iran back in North Korea’s corner, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, September 20, 2017

In February 2016, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump’s victory in the Nevada caucuses, Trump the candidate told me how much he opposed the nuclear deal with Iran, and even spoke with me on the need to cancel it. On Tuesday, Trump told the U.N. General Assembly that “frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States.”

It was surprising, up to a certain point, to watch the commentary box almost satisfyingly explain that Trump cannot cancel the deal because it is multilateral and signed by five major powers – as if the implications of the nuclear deal between Iran and the rest of the world are an internal Israeli political issue. Indeed, Trump will find it difficult to cancel this deal because former President Barack Obama, the so-called “enlightened president,” stuck us with this terrible deal, if you recall. Even a very friendly president like Trump encounters difficulty fixing Obama’s mistakes.

That being said, it is encouraging to have a president who speaks at the U.N. using a different language than what we have gotten used to over the past eight years. The 45th president of the U.S. sees the connection between North Korea and Iran as if he were an Israeli prime minister. To remind you, Iran’s status got elevated to that of a normative country at the U.N. General Assembly in recent years, during the Obama era. Trump dragged it back to the corner, where North Korea was standing alone. The Islamic revolution, which earned recognition thanks to the nuclear deal, reverted to being understood as it really is: a dangerous historic perversion that must be fought against.

Commentators spoke of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s satisfaction at Trump’s speech as if this matter does not affect each and every one of us. Every Israeli citizen understood Tuesday night that it was not Israel that lost America, as predicted by those warning of the “political tsunami” coming at Israel, but rather Iran that lost America.

And another comment: Trump did not even say one word in his speech about the Palestinians. Has the two-state paradigm taken a rest? It seems so. Maybe in turn we should also take a rest from it.

We watched the leader of the free world on Tuesday speak about the criminal regime in Syria, the nuclear deal with Iran and the desire to see a change in the regime in Tehran. He threatened North Korea and criticized the socialist dictatorship in Venezuela. Those opposing the president call him crazy, but after eight years of the opposite sort of speeches, we should all reconsider who is crazy and who sees reality as it actually is.

New days have come to America and Israel, not to mention the world. Indeed, the people understood reality better than the commentators, not only in Israel, but also in America. Happy new year.

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High Holy Days Message From President Donald J. Trump


Trump’s Rosh Hashanah Wishes – and Obama’s, American ThinkerKarin McQuillan, September 20, 2017

Jews across America welcome Rosh Hashanah this week, the Jewish New Year, and receive greetings from our President.  You might assume the annual Presidential greetings are meaningless boilerplate, but they are actually quite revealing of the Presidents’ feelings towards Jews and Israel – and towards the Muslim threat to America.

Here is President Trump, whom the Democrat media would have us believe is a new Hitler:

I am proud to stand with the Jewish people and with our cherished friend and ally, the State of Israel. The Jewish State is a symbol of resilience in the face of oppression — it has persevered in the face of hostility, championed democracy in the face of violence, and succeeded in the face of very, very tall odds. The United States will always support Israel not only because of the vital security partnership between our two nations, but because of the shared values between our two peoples. And I can tell you on a personal basis, and I just left Israel recently, I love Israel.

That is why my administration has successfully pressured the United Nations to withdraw the unfair and biased report against Israel — that was a horrible thing that they did — and to instead focus on real threats to our security, such as Iran, Hezbollah, and ISIS.

Read the whole speech here.

Our former President, Barack Hussein Obama, struck a very different note in his first Rosh Hashanah greetings.  Using his familiar tone of condescending preachiness, Obama told the Jews of America to repent and remember those in need, and promoted the Palestinian cause.  (Remembering, I am overwhelmed with New Year’s gratitude for President Trump.) This was President Obama’s message:

At a time when prejudice and oppression still exist in the shadows of our society, it is up to us to stand as a beacon of freedom and tolerance and embrace the diversity that has always made us stronger as a people…today we had an opportunity to move forward, toward the goal we share — two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

Astonishing for a political holiday greeting, Obama had not one word of praise for Judaism or American Jews.  In fact, he said the word “Jews” only once.

In contrast, Obama’s Ramadan message to American Muslims was a weird outpouring of praise:

Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings. … Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.

Obama false list of Muslim virtues is actually a list of what Islam is not.  Yet these precise virtues are strikingly true of American Jews, for whom Obama had not one good thing to say – nothing.

President Trump’s Ramadan message in May, as the Washington Post noted with dismay, focused on our fight against Islamic terrorism:

This year, the holiday begins as the world mourns the innocent victims of barbaric terrorist attacks in the United Kingdom and Egypt, acts of depravity that are directly contrary to the spirit of Ramadan.  Such acts only steel our resolve to defeat the terrorists and their perverted ideology.

On my recent visit to Saudi Arabia, I had the honor of meeting with the leaders of more than 50 Muslim nations.  There, in the land of the two holiest sites in the Muslim world, we gathered to deliver together an emphatic message of partnership for the sake of peace, security, and prosperity for our countries and for the world.

I reiterate my message delivered in Riyadh:  America will always stand with our partners against terrorism and the ideology that fuels it.  During this month of Ramadan, let us be resolved to spare no measure so that we may ensure that future generations will be free of this scourge and able to worship and commune in peace.

President Trump’s Rosh Hashanah greeting this week was full of warmth and praise.  Where Obama mentioned Jews only once in his message, President Trump spoke affectionately of them ten times:

I am grateful for the history, culture, and values the Jewish people have given to civilization. We forcefully condemn those who seek to incite anti-Semitism, or to spread any form of slander and hate — and I will ensure we protect Jewish communities, and all communities, that face threats to their safety.

I want to thank each of you for the ways in which you contribute to our nation. America is stronger because of the many Jewish Americans who bring such life, hope, and resilience to our nation.

Happy New Year.


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Irans ledare Hassan Rouhani attackerade ‘Cowboy’ Trump som väntat i sitt FN tal

Iran Lashes Out at ‘Cowboy’ Trump After U.N. Speech, Washington Free Beacon, , September 20, 2017

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani / Getty Images

Senior Iranian leaders verbally attacked President Donald Trump late Tuesday and early Wednesday following his first United Nations address, in which the U.S. president harshly criticized Iran for its support of global terror operations, according to regional reports.

Iranian political and military leaders, including the country’s president, mocked Trump for his criticism of the Islamic Republic and threatened military repercussions if the United States decides to leave the landmark nuclear agreement, which Trump hinted could be a possibility on Wednesday.

In brief remarks to reporters following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Trump said, “I have decided” on whether to designate Iran in violation of the nuclear deal, a move that would set the wheels in motion for the United States to leave the agreement and reimpose tough sanctions on Tehran.

When pressed on the issue, Trump smiled and said, “I’ll let you know what the decision is.”

Iranian leaders have vowed a harsh response should the United States move to leave the deal, and have hinted at more aggressive military moves against American interests in the region. Iran will seek to boost its military capabilities and directly confront the United States, according to these Iranian military and political leaders.

“We won’t chicken out for cowboy-like acts of Trump,” Brig. Gen. Seyyed Massoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces, was quoted as saying on Tuesday in reaction to Trump’s U.N. speech, which singled out Iran and its nuclear program as a chief global threat.

Trump’s “remarks recount how the weak and incapable government of the U.S. has fallen in melancholy after keeping the dream of being the world’s superpower,” Jazayeri was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-controlled media.

Trump’s remarks have spurred Iran to further increase its military capabilities, according to Jazayeri.

“For facing a country whose president overtly and blatantly shouts at the lectern of the U.N. that it would ‘totally destroy’ with its military power, no option is left but to strengthen the defensive infrastructures,” he said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offered similar remarks, telling reporters that Iran would “be victorious” in any outcome, even if Trump moves to end the nuclear agreement.

“Iran will be victorious, regardless of what happens” with the nuclear deal, Rouhani said. “If the U.S. backs out of the deal, they will suffer loss and if they remain committed, they will sow benefits. We are ready for any situation and there is no obstacle to our advance toward our objectives.”

Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, said that Iran is already moving to enhance its military capabilities and face down the United States.

“Time is now ripe for correcting the U.S. miscalculations,” Jafari was quoted as saying after Trump’s speech. “Now that the U.S. has fully displayed its nature, the government should use all its options to defend the Iranian nation’s interests.”

“Taking a decisive position against Trump is just the start and what is strategically important is that the U.S. should witness more painful responses in the actions, behavior, and decisions that Iran will take in the next few months,” he said.

Other senior Iranian leaders, such as Rouhani’s deputy chief of staff, took to Twitter to express anger at Trump and mock his remarks.

“A person who takes the presidential office with deception and undemocratic behavior, will be unable to differentiate between delivering speech in the United Nations from the rough American football.” Hamid Aboutalebi, a senior Rohani aide tweeted.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the main official who helped cement the nuclear agreement, described Trump’s remarks as “ignorant hate speech” on his Twitter feed.

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