From left: Amnon Shahua, chairman and chief technology officer of Mobileye, Klaus Froehlich, member of the management board at BMW, and Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel Corp., at Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Jan. 4. Photo by David Paul Morris/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

Intel to acquire Israeli tech firm Mobileye for $14.7 billion


The U.S. chipmaker Intel will pay $14.7 billion to acquire the driverless technology firm Mobileye in what reportedly is the largest-ever purchase of an Israeli high-tech company.

In a joint announcement Monday, the companies said the combination “is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel called Mobileye CEO Ziv Aviram to congratulate him, calling the deal in a tweet a source of “Israeli pride.”

“This deal proves that the vision we are leading is coming true. Israel is becoming an international technological powerhouse. Not only in regards to cyber, but in regards to vehicles as well,” Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office.

Aviram reportedly told Netanyahu that the company and its research would remain based in Israel.

Mobileye was founded in 1999 with a mission to help cut the number of injuries and fatalities caused by vehicles. It employs 600 people.

Mobileye and Intel already are collaborating with BMW on a project that will see the production of 40 self-driving test cars. They are scheduled to hit the road later this year.

The sale is expected to close in nine months, according to the companies. The boards of both companies have already approved the deal, which is subject to certain regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Mobileye’s technology was developed in Hebrew University labs in 1999 and marketed by the university’s technology transfer company, Yissum.

“We are always happy to see technology started at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem become such a huge success. This is a record deal not only for Yissum and Mobileye, but for Israel,” said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum.

BMW family admits using slave labor for Nazis


The family that owns BMW has admitted to using slave labor during World War II.

Some 50,000 forced laborers are estimated to have worked in the factories of industrialist Guenther Quandt producing arms for the Nazis, according to a study commissioned by the Quandt family.

Gabriele Quandt, grandson of Guenther Quandt, told the German newspaper Die Zeit that it was “wrong” for the family to ignore this chapter of its history.

The independent study by the Bonn-based historian Joachim Scholtyseck concluded that Guenther Quandt and his son Herbert helped bolster the Nazis, according to the newspaper. The three-year study was commissioned in response to public outrage over a German television documentary that made the accusation; the documentary had access to the company’s files from the Third Reich period.

Guenther Quandt also is accused of taking over Jewish-owned companies during the war with the blessing of the Nazis.

The Quandt family bought shares of BMW 15 years after World War II.

Guenther Quandt became a Nazi Party member on May 1, 1933. He died in 1954.

The family still owns a majority of shares in the luxury carmaker.

Arab attacker strikes in Jerusalem; dozen injured, terrorist killed


JERUSALEM (JTA)—An Arab assailant plowed a vehicle into a crowd of Israeli soldiers in Jerusalem before being shot dead.

Two soldiers were moderately injured and more than a dozen others suffered slight injuries. The driver was killed by a soldier at the scene.

The soldiers, who were on a tour of the Old City, were struck at a crowded intersection near the Jaffa Gate by an Arab from eastern Jerusalem driving a black BMW, according to reports.

The attack marked the third time in recent months that an Arab from eastern Jerusalem has used a vehicle to perpetrate an attack in Jerusalem. In the other two cases, one of which resulted in the deaths of Israeli civilians, the assailants used construction vehicles.

Here’s the AP report:

JERUSALEM (AP)—A driver plowed a BMW into a group of soldiers at a busy intersection near Jerusalem’s Old City late Monday, injuring 13 of them before he was shot to death, Israeli police and the rescue service said.

Jerusalem police commander Ilan Franco said a soldier in the group killed the driver.

The driver was not immediately identified, but Franco said he was a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem who apparently acted alone. Israel TV said the car was registered to a resident of Jabel Mukaber, an Arab village inside the city limits.

It was the third incident in Jerusalem in which vehicles apparently have been used as weapons in recent months. In July, two Palestinians living in Jerusalem carried out separate attacks using heavy construction machinery that killed three people and injured several others. Both attackers were fatally shot by police and soldiers.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak released a statement demanding a speedup of procedures to allow the destruction of homes of Palestinian attackers ‘‘to contribute to deterring potential terrorists.’’ Several years ago, an Israeli Supreme Court justice ruled that destroying houses does not deter attackers and the practice was halted.

Ambulances and police units raced to the scene Monday night after the crash about 11 p.m. and quickly carried away the injured.

Police said two of the 13 injured were in serious condition while the others suffered light wounds. Doctors at the hospitals said all were conscious and were being treated.

Israel Radio said the soldiers, from the Artillery Corps, were on a tour of Jerusalem ahead of the Jewish New Year holiday next week.

An Israel Radio reporter described a large group of Jews, most of them ultra-Orthodox, chasing an Arab into the nearby Old City after the incident.

Police said the car rammed into the soldiers waiting at the intersection. Witnesses said the car ended up on the sidewalk near the intersection, which lies along the line between the Jewish and Arab sections of Jerusalem.

Since Israel captured the Arab section of the city in 1967, there are no barriers between the two sides.

Palestinians demand the Arab portion as the capital of the independent state they want to create.

Israel united the city under its rule weeks after the 1967 war, but in recent years some officials have shown a willingness to cede Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinians. However, sharing the city and its holy sites remains one of the toughest issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

 

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