Israel doubles its sale of goods, services to UN institutions


(JTA) — Over the past two years, Israel has more than doubled its sale of services and products to the United Nations and its branches, the country’s UN mission said.

A recent report released by the United Nations shows it acquired goods and services from Israel totaling $91.8 million in 2015 — well above the 2014 total of $69.8 million and more than double the 2013 level of $45 million.

Last year’s total places Israel 40th among the 193 member states in terms of procurement from the United Nations, which purchases goods and services worth more than $15 billion annually.

Israel has accused the United Nations – whose General Assembly in 1975 labeled Zionism a form of racism in a resolution that was later reversed — and many of its branches of anti-Israel bias. Last year, the General Assembly adopted 19 resolutions condemning Israel and just one on the civil war in Syria, where hundreds of thousands of people have been killed.

Notwithstanding, “The United Nations understands that Israel is the ‘Startup Nation’ and that Israeli goods and services of are of the highest quality in the world,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said in a statement Friday. “We will continue to promote the Israeli economy and assist and encourage our companies to work with the U.N. procurement offices.”

Most of the Israeli goods purchased by the U.N. were from the medical, bio-tech, computer and communications industries, Danon’s office wrote. Services accounted for just under half the transactions, totaling $44.7 million last year. The remaining $47.2 million was paid to Israeli entities in exchange for goods.

Separately, the U.S. automaker Ford revealed at a news conference in California on Tuesday that it has acquired SAIPS, an Israeli company focusing on machine learning and computer vision, as part of its effort to produce driverless cars.

SAIPS technology brings image and video processing algorithms, as well as deep learning tech focused on processing and classifying input signals — all key ingredients in autonomous vehicle tech, TechCrunch reported.

Calcalist reported that the transaction was for dozens of millions of dollars but did not provide an exact figure.

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