Schumer, Graham letter underscores bipartisan opposition to unilateral Palestinian moves

 

Opposition to unilateral Palestinian moves toward statehood at the UN gained bipartisan support in Washington on Thursday, with Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) jointly authoring a letter to Foggy Bottom urging the State Department to veto Palestinian moves in the international body that would bypass direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians. He letter called on Secretary of State John Kerry to “make clear to all parties that the United States strongly opposes, and if need be will veto, any effort to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel through the United Nations.” The draft resolution submitted to the UNSC on Wednesday included a demand for among other things a timeline for the withdrawal of Israeli security forces from areas the Palestinians intend to claim for a future state. Hours after the text of the letter was released, State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters that Washington would oppose any measures that set a specific deadline for the withdrawal of security forces and attempt to prejudge the outcome of direct talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The New York Times reported that the “strict deadlines are unlikely to muster the support the resolution needs to pass,” noting that even the Palestinian ambassador to the UN had declined to press the UNSC for a vote. Institution-building failures have long plagued Palestinian efforts to achieve statehood. The Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, has been criticized for widespread corruption and had failed to secure political legitimacy, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the tenth year of a four-year term. The PA has also failed to achieve economic stability, in addition to its failure to establish sovereignty over the territory it declares as Palestinian, with the opposing Fatah and Hamas factions in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively.

 

International corporations have become key players in investing in Israeli startups, according to entrepreneur and investor Ed Frank, founder of Axis Innovation. That’s why Frank organized Axis Tel Aviv: Corporate Edition, an event at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that drew together over 25 investors of global Corporate VC – including Ford Motors, Kimberly-Clark, Master Card, Intel, Citi, Samsung, Deutsche Telekom –and 15 Israeli startup companies seeking funding. According to Frank, there are significant differences between the investments of private venture capital to corporations’ investments. “Many VC’s are mainly looking for an exit,” said Frank. “However, they also examine the investment according the quality of startup technology and how it can serve their business objectives. Therefore, startups should change their approach accordingly.” The startups each gave a five minute pitch about their technological developments in the areas of cyber, electronic commerce, mobile, digital media, Internet of Things (IoT), and healthcare. “We are looking to identify Israeli startups who are interested in ‘getting in the car’ meaning extending their current native app use cases into a car friendly safe experience. My reason for participating in this event is not from a VC or investment perspective but rather in exploring new routes to market for applicable companies we at Ford may want to work with. The Connected Car is a hot topic at the moment and many companies are looking at ways they can take advantage of this which is where I come in,” said Scott Lyons, Business and Partner Development , Connected Services at Ford Motors. “The event enabled reaching high potential start-ups within a short time and check out new opportunities to collaborate. We were definitely impressed with the level of participating companies, the dynamics of the event and the ability to work meetings for the future in a broad array of technological fields,” said Dov Yarkoni, VP of business development at Nielsen Innovate. (via Israel21c)


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