Israel Briefs: Nintendo Chooses Israel for Second Retail Store and More

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Beresheet 2 Won’t Go to the Moon

In a change from original plans, Beresheet 2 won’t attempt a moon landing, but SpaceIL, the Israeli company behind the project didn’t say what the new mission will be, JNS.org reported.

“The journey of ‘Beresheet’ to the moon, despite the hard landing, will last in the memory of Israel and the world as a successful one, a breakthrough, and very significant for future human journeys to the moon,” SpaceIL said in a statement on June 25. “Feedback that we received from across the world in the weeks following the landing points towards the mission being considered an extraordinary success and breaking many world records.”

The first Beresheet had a last-minute issue with its main engine right before its scheduled landing in mid-April and instead crashed onto the moon. If the mission was successful, Israel would have been the fourth country — after the United States, China and Russia — to successfully land on the moon.

Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and SpaceIL chairman Morris Kahn had said right after the crash that a second attempt at a moon landing would be undertaken.

Nintendo Chooses Israel for Second Retail Store

Fourteen years after opening its first retail store in New York, Nintendo opened a second store —this time in Israel, JNS.org reported.

The store opened at Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Center. A few months ago, an online store was launched in Israel.

Tokyo is the site of Nintendo’s next planned store opening, sometime later in the year.

Israel, US and UK Join Forces for Military Drills

F-35 fighter jets from Israel joined with F-35s from the United States and United Kingdom in an exercise above the Mediterranean Sea, the Israel Defense Forces said on June 26, JNS.org reported.

The exercise, which was named Tri-Lightning, simulated combat against advanced aircraft and previous-generation fighters. Multiple scenarios were presented, with other aircraft used as “enemies,” the U.S. Air Force said in a release.

The goal of the exercise was to improve coordination and interoperability among the three countries.

Businesses from Israel Generated $18.6 Billion in Revenue to New York City in 2018

Businesses founded in Israel produced $18.6 billion — and $33.8 billion when spending on local goods and services is included, JNS.org reported, citing a report by the New York-Israel Business Alliance.

The $33.8 billion represents 2% of the city’s gross domestic product.

The report data includes 506 Israel companies and mentions five “unicorn companies” that are valued at $1 billion or more; they are WeWork, Taboola, Payoneer, Lemonade and Compass.

The 506 companies directly employ 24,850 New York residents. Another 27,502 are indirectly employed as it relates to additional demand for locally sourced goods and services.

“Part of the key to understanding Israel’s success abroad is to understand the people and the land,” said alliance founder and President Aaron Kaplowitz. “The Israeli population is highly educated and comprised primarily of first- or second-generation immigrants — natural risk-takers — who acquire leadership and technical skills during their military service.”

The Israeli companies in New York secured $3.5 billion in venture capital funding between 2014 and 2016, according to the report.

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