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France Says Conditions Not Met to Recognize Palestinian State as Other European Nations Announce Recognition

A man walks past graffiti reading ‘Victory to Palestine’ after Ireland has announced it will recognize a Palestinian state, in Dublin, Ireland, May 22, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The conditions to officially recognize a Palestinian state have not yet been met, France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday, after a group of other European countries announced plans to take such a step.

“Our position is clear: the recognition of Palestine is not taboo for France,” French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné said in a statement after a meeting with his Israeli counterpart, Israel Katz, in Paris.

“This is not just a symbolic issue or a question of political positioning, but a diplomatic tool in the service of the solution of two states living side by side in peace and security,” Séjourné continued. “France does not consider that the conditions have yet been met for this decision to have a real impact on this process.”

Germany similarly expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but added that a “process of dialogue” was needed to reach that point.

“An independent Palestinian state remains a firm goal of German foreign policy,” a foreign ministry spokesperson said at a news conference in Berlin. “It’s clear to us that this requires a process of dialogue.”

The French and German statements came on the same day that Spain, Norway, and Ireland announced coordinated plans to officially recognize a Palestinian state on May 28, next Tuesday. Leaders of all three countries argued such a move would help foster a two-state solution and lead to lasting peace in the region, explaining that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza accelerated their plans.

“We hope that our recognition and our reasons contribute to other Western countries following this path, because the more we are, the more strength we will have to impose a ceasefire, to achieve the release of the hostages held by Hamas, to relaunch the political process that can lead to a peace agreement,” Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in a speech to his country’s lower house.

He called the decision one “for peace, for justice, and for coherence,” claiming Spain will be “accompanied by other European countries.”

Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris similarly said the recognition came from a belief in “freedom and justice,” and that peace can only be secured by “the free will of a free people.”

Speaking at a news conference in Dublin, Harris added that Ireland recognized Israel’s right to exist “securely and in peace with its neighbors” while calling for all hostages kidnapped by Hamas terrorists from Israel and taken to Gaza to be immediately returned.

Eamon Ryan, head of one of the Irish government’s three coalition parties said, said Ireland plans to upgrade its representative office in the West Bank to a full embassy and the Palestinian mission in Ireland will also be offered full embassy status, according to Reuters.

In Oslo, Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said the only possible political solution between Israelis and Palestinians is the creation of a Palestinian state next to Israel.

“In the middle of a war, with tens of thousands of dead and injured, we must keep alive the only thing that can provide a safe home for both Israelis and Palestinians: two states that can live in peace with each other,” Store said at a press conference. “There cannot be peace in the Middle East if there is no recognition.”

Norway said the demarcation of the two states should be based on pre-1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both.

Britain, Australia, and EU members Malta and Slovenia have indicated in recent months that they could soon follow suit.

The announcements drew fury from Israel, which recalled its ambassadors from Spain, Norway, and Ireland for immediate consultations.

“I am sending an unequivocal message … Israel will not let this go quietly,” Katz said, adding the three European envoys would be shown footage of the kidnapping of five female Israeli soldiers during Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israel.

The footage will “underscore to them what a twisted decision their governments made,” Katz said in a statement. “Their step will have severe consequences.”

Israel had previously warned European countries that unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip would effectively amount to a “reward for terrorism” that would hurt the chances of a negotiated resolution to the conflict.

Some European lawmakers echoed that point. Michael Roth, head of the German parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, lambasted the moves to grant recognition.

“I fear this will not bring us any closer to the necessary two-state solution,” Roth told the German RND media outlet, adding that it also gives “the false impression that it was only the horrific terror by Hamas on Oct. 7 that led to a new positive dynamic in favor of the Palestinians.”

The US has maintained that Israel and the Palestinians should reach a two-state solution that involves the creation of a “State of Palestine” through direct negotiations rather than unilateral moves by outside powers.

Spain and Ireland have been among the most vocal critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas invaded the Jewish state from neighboring Gaza. The terrorists murdered 1,200 people and abducted over 250 others as hostages in their rampage, the deadliest single-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust. Israel responded with an ongoing military campaign aimed at freeing the hostages and destroying Hamas, which rules Gaza.

“Israel will not be silent,” Katz said on Wednesday. “We are determined to achieve our goals: restoring security to our citizens and the removal of Hamas and the return of the hostages.”

“There are no more righteous goals than these,” he added.

Antisemitism has spiked to record levels around the world, especially in several European countries, since the Hamas onslaught.

The post France Says Conditions Not Met to Recognize Palestinian State as Other European Nations Announce Recognition first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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IDF Operations in Gaza Have Led to Conditions for Hostage Deal, Israel’s Defense Chief Says

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin receives Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant at the Pentagon in Washington, US, June 25, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The ongoing military operations of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in Gaza have created the necessary conditions for a ceasefire and hostage deal to be reached, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told his US counterpart.

Gallant’s office on Wednesday released a statement outlining his overnight call with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on the Israel-Hamas war.

“IDF operations in Gaza have led to the conditions necessary to achieve an agreement for the return of hostages, which is the highest moral imperative at this time,” Gallant said, according to the statement.

Israeli officials have argued that applying significant military pressure is necessary to push Hamas, the Palestinian terrorist group that rules Gaza, to agree to a ceasefire that involves the release of Israeli hostages.

During their call, Gallant provided Austin with a “situation assessment” of Israel’s military operations in Gaza, especially the IDF’s efforts to target senior Hamas leadership.

They also discussed the humanitarian situation in Hamas-ruled Gaza. According to the statement, Gallant informed Austin of his most recent order to build a temporary field hospital along the Gaza border in order to treat sick children.

The war began on Oct. 7, when Hamas-led Palestinian terrorists invaded southern Israel, murdering 1,200 people and kidnapping about 250 hostages. Israel responded with an ongoing military campaign in neighboring Gaza to free the hostages and dismantle Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

Qatar, Egypt, and the US have been brokering talks between the two warring sides aimed at reaching a ceasefire that would include the release of Israeli hostages still in captivity in Gaza. Negotiations are ongoing.

Beyond Gaza, Gallant and Austin discussed the situation in northern Israel, where Lebanese Hezbollah has been striking daily with rockets, missiles, and drones.

Hamas and Hezbollah are both backed by Iran, which provides the Islamist terrorist groups with funding, weapons, and training.

The post IDF Operations in Gaza Have Led to Conditions for Hostage Deal, Israel’s Defense Chief Says first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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Google Acquisition Target Wiz Another Fruit of Israel’s Military Intelligence

Technologists with the Israeli military’s Matzpen operational data and applications unit work at their stations, at an IDF base in Ramat Gan, Israel, June 11, 2023. Photo: REUTERS/Nir Elias

An elite Israeli military intelligence unit may once again be about to prove its value to the nation’s tech economy as Google‘s parent eyes cybertech company Wiz for an eye-watering $23 billion.

Alphabet Inc , a person familiar has said, is in advanced talks to buy Wiz from founder Assaf Rappaport, a former officer from the famed 8200 military unit, which has built a track record in turning out tech entrepreneurs.

As the war in Gaza squeezes Israel’s economy, the deal underscores the resilience of the tech industry, which accounts for some 20 percent of the country’s output and around 15 percent of jobs. It also highlights the military‘s role in developing one of Israel’s most successful sectors.

Along with universities, Israel’s military intelligence and technology units, such as 8200, have provided the leaders for hundreds of tech start ups, helping to turn Israel into what is widely considered the No. 2 tech center globally after Silicon Valley.

Check Point Software Technologies, Nice, Palo Alto Networks, CyberArk, Wix and Waze — bought by Google for $1 billion — are a handful of companies whose founders have military roots.

Rappaport credits the Israeli military for his success, once calling the 8200 unit “the best school of entrepreneurship.”

He served there with his “army buddies” Yinon Costica, Roy Reznik, and Ami Luttwak, with whom he co-founded his previous cloud security company Adallom in 2012, which they sold to Microsoft three years later for $320 million.

In 2020, at the outset of the COVID pandemic, the four started cloud cyber security company Wiz, rapidly building it into a company that was given a $12 billion valuation after a $1 billion funding round in May this year.

“In a way it’s like raising tigers and then releasing them to the wild,” Gili Raanan, founder of Venture capital firm Cyberstarts and general partner at Sequoia Capital, said of the intelligence units.

8200 GRADUATES DOMINATE

He said being from an elite intelligence unit is not a requirement for him when investing; however, “90 percent to 95 percent of the teams I see are made up made up of 8200 graduates.”

“So whether I look into that or not, that’s the talent pool I am looking at.”

Part of the reason is the free wheeling, meritocratic nature of the units, which allow their graduates to move smoothly into the startup world after their service ends, said Raanan, who was an initial investor in both Adallom and Wiz — now headquartered in New York with R&D in Tel Aviv.

Rappaport did not initially want to accept money from Sequoia for Adallom in 2012 and declined a number of meeting requests from Raanan.

Raanan insisted and he eventually agreed to meet at a gas station about 40 minutes north of Tel Aviv. “Essentially we signed the terms on a napkin in a gas station.”

While Israel has mandatory post-high school military service, the intelligence units have the right of first refusal so they “can screen for the best people,” said Dror Bin, chief executive of the Israel Innovation Authority.

8200 is the army’s main information gathering unit, where 18-21-year old soldiers develop and use tools to gather information, which they pass on to senior officials. It’s Israel’s version of the US National Security Agency.

Less known is 81, the Intelligence Corp’s Technological Unit that supplies cutting-edge technologies to Israeli combat soldiers.

Rappaport also served in this unit, which has been the launchpad for many cyber, AI, and fintech firms once soldiers return to civilian life.

START-UP STRENGTH

Despite the cloud cast over the economy by the Gaza war, Israeli companies have been among the major beneficiaries of the boom in demand for cloud security and have benefited from a number of strong financing rounds.

Industry group Startup Nation Central on Wednesday said in a report that private funding in Israeli startups rose 31 percent to $5.1 billion in the first half of 2024 from the second half of 2023, with cybersecurity contributing 52 percent of the funding.

“One might expect the ‘Israeli factor’ to have a stronger impact on the Israeli tech activity, but the data suggests otherwise,” Avi Hasson, Startup Nation Central chief executive, said.

If the Wiz acquisition goes ahead, it would eclipse a $15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye by Intel in 2017 and provide at least $1 billion of tax income into Israeli coffers.

“Even if it doesn’t happen, it’s a sign of confidence in the Israeli tech sector,” said Bin.

“Deciding to make such a big investment in an Israeli based company during time of war means that it’s really a good deal,” he said adding he expected to see more.

“There are many good targets in Israel today for such acquisitions. And maybe even this potential decision of Google will accelerate investment decisions of others.”

Amiram Shachar, CEO and co-founder of Israeli cloud security firm Upwind Security, said Google potentially buying Wiz is the “best thing” that could have happened for both the cybersecurity and cloud industries and Israel’s ecosystem will benefit.

“It confirms that the cloud is the future,” he said, “and underscores the need to build comprehensive platforms, not just feature-specific companies, to protect it.”

The post Google Acquisition Target Wiz Another Fruit of Israel’s Military Intelligence first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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University of Windsor offers separate agreement to Jewish students after making a far-reaching deal with pro-Palestinian protesters

The University of Windsor issued an olive branch on July 16 to its Jewish students—and to Canada’s Jewish community and its allies—pledging to take “tangible” steps to make all students feel included, safe and welcome on the campus. The unexpected statement was released just days after Jewish groups reacted with outrage to the school’s July […]

The post University of Windsor offers separate agreement to Jewish students after making a far-reaching deal with pro-Palestinian protesters appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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