They are definitely hauling ass, and the truck models seem right – possibly the great escape video of Gaddafi and his entourage leaving Libya…
They are definitely hauling ass, and the truck models seem right – possibly the great escape video of Gaddafi and his entourage leaving Libya…
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is introducing across-the-board budget cuts. This includes the reduction of water costs, the reduction of public transportation prices and the cancellation of the latest tax hike on gasoline. Furthermore, the minimum monthly wages will be raised by NIS 450 ($122).
As for the gas price in Israel, it will be slashed 23 Agurot per liter setting the price at 7.02 NIS per liter. The reason why the increase on January, 1st, was a good idea was that it made room in the economy for the electric car industry, which will see Israeli ingenuity celebrated worldwide in the coming months. However, Netanyahu and Finance Minister, Yuval Steinitz, folded under public criticism.
Meanwhile, opposition leader Tzipi Livni of Kadima said:
“The budget cut is political cowardice and represents a lack of priorities.”
Adding that the lower classes are the ones who will be hurt by the move.
Knesset Member, Shlomo Molla, of Kadima said the Prime Minister
“has once again been exposed as a spineless man and a tireless zigzagger. There is no trust in this plundering government…Today they are lowering (taxes); tomorrow they’ll raise them. Netanyahu is entirely immersed in his political survival. This is why he must resign immediately…”
In 2010, American philanthropists donated approximately $3.3 billion to charity – and 19 of the 53 top givers were Jews. George Soros ranked first with $332 million contributed in 2010.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was No. 2 with $279.2 million. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Eli and Edythe Broad, and Leonard Blavatnik, respectively took places four through six, with $117 million to $119 million in donations.
But are American Jews not doing enough for other Jews? Stephen and Nancy Grand gave more than $20 million of their $28 million of their charitable donations in 2010 to the American Technion Society, that supports the Technion: Israel Institute for Technology. Whereas, Soros gave $1 million to World ORT in September, and Bloomberg gave a smaller donation to the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, their gifts to Jewish organizations made-up a small proportion of their overall giving.
Hedge fund manager, William Ackman and his wife Karen gave away $59.3 million last year. At 44, Ackman is one of Wall Street’s toughest players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New York’s annual Wall Street banquet. He made his most significant Jewish contribution in the past year, directing a move to bail out the Center for Jewish History in New York from its $30 million debt with a gift of $6.8 million.
Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm, gave a $100 million-plus San Diego Symphony with a $100 million-plus gift last decade, he and his wife, Joan, have chosen to give away most of their savings through a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, where Joan Jacobs is a board member. Last year, they gave the fund $39.1 million, which will be spent on both Jewish and nonsectarian causes.
Here is the list of Jews gracing the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 50 top givers of 2010, with their rank and total philanthropic contributions in 2010:
George Soros, $332m
Michael R. Bloomberg, $279.2m
Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs, $119.5m
Eli and Edythe L. Broad, $118.3m
Leonard Blavatnik, $117.2m
Meyer and Renee Luskin, $100.5m
Marc R. and Lynne Benioff, $100m
Mark Zuckerberg, $100m
William A. and Karen Ackman, $59.3m
Charles E. Kaufman, $53.3m
Lawrence J. Ellison, $45.1m
Lee G. and Jane H. Seidman, $42m
Lin Arison, $39m
Herman Ostrow, $35m
Stephen and Nancy Grand, $28.1m
David M. Rubenstein, $26.6m
Paul and Daisy M. Soros, $25m
Iris Cantor, $20m
Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman, $20m
Last December, the High Court of Justice rejected appeals made by Yigal Amir to alter the terms of his imprisonment. The high court ruled that Amir is to be held in solitary confinement for six more months. Amir, who, if you were unaware, is in year 15 of serving a life sentence for assassinating Yitzhak Rabin, rejected last Sunday, an offer from the State Prosecution, permitting him to hold a one hour, bi-weekly Torah study session with one fellow prisoner – in conjunction with permission to join a prayer Minyan with other prisoners. Amir, protesting his rejected appeal, told the court, “no thank you.”
Amir’s attorney, Ariel Atari wrote to the Petach Tikvah District Court:
“The offer disrespects the High Court’s decision…There is no doubt that this position reflects the attitude of the Shin Bet in general and of the Prison Service especially, that the court is at their service – otherwise it is impossible to understand their contempt towards the High Court conveyed by this proposal…There is no doubt that the prosecution wishes to drag out the High Court’s decision, and attempts to draw the court into some kind of negotiations, starting at the opening point, as though the High Court did not speak out…Of course, there is nothing to stop a prison service official from joining the quorum as a 10th man, enjoying Amir’s poetry and hearing all his thoughts and conversations with the rest of the worshipers and with his God…If he finds any faults, he can report them to the court immediately.”
And meanwhile, in Washington, Jewish-American diplomat, Aaron David Miller, wrote a great op-ed in the Washington Post citing the mainstream Arab insanity and anti-Semitism:
“…There’s no doubt that a new Egyptian government and president, more responsive to public opinion – indeed, legitimized by the public in free elections – will be, by necessity or inclination, far more critical of Israeli actions and policies and far less likely to give Israel the benefit of any doubts. Will the new Egyptian leadership monitor smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border as carefully? Will it be more supportive of Hamas and less understanding of Israeli concerns about Hamas’s acquisition of rockets and missiles? And how will a newly elected Egyptian president interact with an Israeli prime minister? (Mubarak met regularly with Netanyahu; it’s hard to imagine a new Egyptian leader doing so without demanding concessions for Palestinians or progress in the peace negotiations.)”
“…Would a new Egyptian government be taken over by radical Islamists? Would it break the peace treaty between the two nations? Would it seek to go to war again? All Israeli prime ministers since the treaty was signed in 1979 have carried such fears in the back of their minds, yet they gambled that in giving up the Sinai Peninsula, the country had exchanged territory for time, perhaps in the hope that a different relationship with Egypt and their other Arab neighbors would emerge.”
The Ethics Committee of the Medical Histadrut (Federation) will now be permitted to sell the psycho-stimulant drug that treats attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) Ritalin (Methylphenidate) without a doctor’s prescription.
Professor Esther Shohami, a lecturer and researcher in the pharmacological department in the Hebrew University’s Faculty of Medicine, is critical of the decision.
She told Yediot Achronot:
“A person who does not need Ritalin and only takes the medication to improve performance could cause certain things that were hidden inside him to erupt…There are people who arrive at the emergency rooms with psychotic seizures.”
The head of the IMA’s Ethics Board, Professor Avinoam Reches said:
“Everyone has the right to make the most of themselves so long as it doesn’t hurt or endanger others…Though a person may not suffer from Attention Deficit Disorder, if Ritalin helps him concentrate then it is allowed. It is the same for memory-improvement drugs. If they help a person with slightly worsened cognitive skills then there is no reason not to give them to him…”
Reches stated, however, Israel will not assist in paying for the drug unless medical need has been proven. Students who need extra help during exams will have to pay the full price for Ritalin, and will not receive financing from their HMOs.
As mayhem continues throughout the Middle East, journalists are in danger, and consequently, so is revelation of truth. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak, has been accused by the Committee to Protect Journalists for “an unprecedented and systematic attack” on international reporters.
The committee’s executive director, Joel Simon, said:
“This is a dark day for Egypt and a dark day for journalism…With this turn of events, Egypt is seeking to create an information vacuum that puts it in the company of the world’s worst oppressors, countries such as Burma, Iran and Cuba…We hold President Mubarak personally responsible for this unprecedented action…and call on the Egyptian government to reverse course immediately.”
Incognito agents have gone so far as to enter hotels and confiscate equipment. The Committee to Protect Journalists reported on Friday 101 direct attacks on news facilities and journalists. Ahmad Mohamed Mahmoud of the newspaper Al-Ta’awun, was shot and killed by sniper fire while filming demonstrations in central Cairo’s Qasr al-Aini, adjacent to Tahrir Square.
Al-Jazzera, BBC, Al-Arabiya, ABC News, the Washington Post, Fox News, and CNN all said they have staff members who’ve been attacked. Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International also reported that staffers were detained.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, despite the ongoing Internet black-out said:
“There have been no instructions to hinder the coverage of the media in the Tahrir area…I made clear that they have full freedom to do anything they want.”
Egyptian and American sources told the New York Times that Egyptian Vice President, Omar Suleiman, who nearly escaped an assassination attempt in recent days that took the lives of two of his body guards, met with army leaders to discuss steps to weaken President Hosni Mubarak’s authority and possibly have him removed him from the presidential palace.
The capital of Sudan, Khartoum, is another city where waves of protests became violent. On Saturday morning, 12 journalists were kidnapped.
Along with similar demonstrations in Syria, Turkey, Malaysia and Iraq, hundreds of Jordanian protesters marched toward the Egyptian embassy in Ankara, calling Mubarak a puppet of Israel. Jordan’s main Muslim opposition, however, said it wants to give their new leader an opportunity to carry out the political reforms promised.
Among reforms that the Jordanian population would like to see are financial. According to a wire by the latest WikiLeaks release, more than 80% of the Hashmonean Kingdom’s budget is spent on “bloated” civil service and a military “patronage system” – including supporting U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
The Jordanian government told U.S. diplomats that:
In spite of increased calls by opposition groups and non-governmental figures to explain its Afghanistan assistance and end its security cooper with the United States … Mash’al Al Zaben, Chief of Staff for Strategy, stated that Jordan would stay in Afghanistan until the last U.S. soldier came home.”
Jordan’s deficit hit a record $2 billion this year, while inflation rose six percent and unemployment figures hit 12.9 percent.
The WikiLeaks documents also told of Jordan’s military support to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. According to the ambassador:
“Jordan has already made a significant contribution of forces in Afghanistan (ref B), currently numbered at 850 troops, which includes an infantry battalion, a special operations company, and a field hospital…Prince Faisal and Minister Hasan will likely make a number of offers for increased participation in Afghanistan. Prince Faisal and Minister Hasan will likely make a number of offers for increased participation in Afghanistan…”
Tweeting around the Egyptian Internet gag order:
As much-needed rain began to pour down on poor old Israel, rumbling thunder sent vibrations through the desert – right down to old Egypt, on the heels of the Tunisian shakedown, causing many Egyptians to decide suddenly that 30 years of autocratic rule means pull the hose out of old Hosni Mubarak. Chaos ensued. Cries of “Allahu Achbar!” Car windows shattering, rubber bullets firing, car alarms and emergency sirens sounded in the streets throughout the country. The scene was like something out of Watts.
Actually, trouble began exactly one week ago. Hundreds are dead. Thousands gathered in Tahrir Square in Cairo to commend Mohamed ElBaradei – once head of the U.N. nuclear agency, Egyptian masses want him to lead the transition to democracy.
Muslim Machiavels, the Middle East wide, are trying to keep their cool. Will the desert thunder create a domino effect? Will coup d’état continue to be the great cry in Tunisia? Will many Iranian students test the fascist powers that be? Will Jordan fall like the walls of Jericho? Will democracy be demanded and served once and for all? If this happens will Israel lose her treaty with Egypt and/or Jordan thereby causing peaceful negotiations? Stay tuned!
PM of the JS, Binyamin Netanyahu spoke Saturday evening with President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and on Sunday, DM Ehud Barak spoke on the phone with DS Robert Gates.
In a statement, the White House said:
“The president reiterated his focus on opposing violence and calling for restraint, supporting universal rights, including the right to peaceful assembly, association, and speech, and supporting an orderly transition to a government that is responsive to the aspirations of the Egyptian people…”
Before 2020, says Israel’s entrepreneurial sweetheart, electric cars will be flying off the showroom floor faster than gasoline-powered automobiles.
“It doesn’t mean that oil is not necessary, but we’re starting the way out…In Israel, in 2016, plus or minus a year, more electric cars will be sold than gasoline cars. When that happens in Country One, within two years you will see it in every country.”
Before the end of the year there will be 56 stations b’Eretz and 5,000 cars produced. In 2012, Denmark, Australia, Hawaii and the San Francisco Bay Area will fall in line.
Agassi has raised some $700m and spent one-third of it on setting up recharging stations. This leaves him with enough cash to absorb losses assuring his breaking even with the initial steps of the venture.
Shai did not shy away from expressing his enthusiasm to the press:
“Israel will become the first country in the world to put 100,000 all-electric cars on the road…Not the US. Not China. Not countries much bigger – Israel!…From 2000 to 2010, China added 120 million cars on the road (and) next year, 25 to 30 million..It’s no longer the US that sets the price (of oil). Now it’s a question of how many cars were added in China, how many were added in Brazil, how many were added in India…The end of the oil era will not come because we ran out of oil – it will come become we don’t want to use oil any more to drive…I can guarantee you that we will finish the need for oil as an energy source for cars before we run out of oil in the ground.”
“…In its formative decades the government of Israel was almost indistinguishable from the party of Labor.”
Wrote Time Magazine’s Karl Vick of Ehud Barak’s departure from Labor.
“David Ben-Gurion, the new nation’s equivalent of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson rolled roughly into one, headed both the party and the government it largely populated.”
Proving his inability to separate Israel from his own United States of America, he compared the formation of the Jewish State to the American colony’s secession or better, coup d’etat from Great Britain, because Barak compared his departure from Labor and formation of an independent faction to Ben-Gurion’s historied Labor departure. This journalist is like a child who misbehaves because of some adult activity, unrelated to his own: a window breaks in the house, mom yells, so the kids pees on the carpet and screams. When the child grows up, he learns to deal with the wild energy like an adult. No call to ring America’s Freedom Bell here Mr. Vick.
With Labor’s pull from Netanyahu’s inter-Knesset support league, the coalition’s majority in the 120-member Knessent falls to 66 from 74.
Isaac Herzog, Binyamin, Avishay Braverman, Ben-Eliezer and the rest of the Labor bongos can finally stretch their legs in the back seat with Barak out of the driver’s seat, Herzog said:
“The Labor Party, which founded the State of Israel, got rid of the hump on its back…Ehud Barak’s masked ball is over.”
Nay, the Palestinian’s masked ball is over!
Einat Wilf, one of four Labor members who will join Barak in the brand spanking new Independence faction said:
“I don’t belong to the camp that believes Israel is solely responsible for the failure of these [last summer in Egypt and America] negotiations…The Palestinians bear responsibility for not entering the talks. Some people have sent them a message to wait around for a new government.”
The other Labor babies to join Barak are Matan Vilnai, Shalom Simhon and Orit Noked.
The Independance faction will be “Zionist, Center and Democratic…”
Two weeks ago, the New York Times had an article about Kabbalistic dancers, it was a reminder of the ubiquity and diversity of the various forms of this ancient mysticism; today, Kabbalah is not just a red-string on the left wrist of Ashton Kutcher, it connects to various aspects of our lives in ways that are sometimes hard to foretell and are always interesting and enriching.
Two of the main fields Kabbalah has always had a hold in are art and jewelry, spiritual home decor and jewelry engraved with verses or blessed with special meaning for a certain purpose. In such a popular and long-established world it’s hard to create something new, but like the Kabbalah modern dancing group, examples of creativity are out there waiting to be found.
Mizze Jewelry, a company in Israel recently created a new line of handmade jewelry that combines two very traditional and popular ideas, the red string strand from Rachel’s Tomb and the friendship bracelet we all know and love, the result is what they call the Kabbalah Friendship Bracelet.
How is it done you wonder, well, within the hand knit friendship bracelet given by men and women of all ages throughout the world, runs a single Red String strand believed to offer the wearer protection and ward off spiritual harm.
What caught my eye about the combination is the fact that the idea marries a worldwide cultural tradition to the ancient Kabbalah mystical tradition while managing to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of each, love and friendship are interweaved with good fortune and safekeeping.
Jerusalem, nay, the Middle East is a place where everyone thinks they have authority over the ‘other-guy’, yet the situation is proverbially out-of-control.
Led by Hezbollah member, Raed Salah, the Northern Branch-Israeli Islamic Movement has demanded all Mezuzot be taken off the gates of Jerusalem’s Old City.
“This is a disgusting attempt to Judaize the Arab and Islamic heritage of the old city…and all Islamic institutions are called upon to act quickly to remove the Mezuzot.”
(Judaize the Jewish State? I don’t know you guys!)
Spokesman for the Al-Aqsa “institution” Mahmoud Abu Atta, says:
“The only religion who owns Jerusalem is Islam…The old city of Jerusalem to the Arabs forever.”
Meanwhile, in a different part of the Old City, the Jerusalem Development Authority opened its Muslim Quarter site – ‘Little Kotel‘ – to Jewish prayer. Scaffolding was removed from under an arch supporting Palestinian homes.
According to the Ateret Cohanim Website, students at Yeshivat Ateret Yerushalayim pray every Friday in the courtyard, where no disturbances a have been recorded in recent years.
This move does not come in response to Palestinian groups last month claiming the Western Wall is not a Jewish holy site, and instead, is sacred to Muslims.
And then, in an unrelated story, Gaza’s health sector seems to be on the verge of collapse due to a lack of medicine.
Medical care, said Medhat Abbas, general director of the Ash-Shifa medical complex in Gaza City, must be separated from political disputes.
Gaza’s Health Ministry has blamed its counterpart in Ramallah for a shortage of medicine in the Strip. Health Minister of Hamas, Bassem Naim, said Gaza was lacking 40% of basic medicines which he accused the PA of withholding.
Meanwhile, Israeli spokesman, Ofer Gendalman, warned Hamas to stop firing projectiles into southern Israel.
Dozens of projectiles have been launched from Gaza at Israel since the start of 2011. The launches have been the work of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the National Resistance Brigades, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Islamic Jihad.
Down in the Republic of Cedars, after a probe looked into the murder of Rafiq Hariri, Hezbollah ministers and their allies quit the Lebanese government, which has now been thrust into political turmoil.
Hezbollah’s exit happened at the exact moment Hariri was in Washington holding talks with US President Barack Obama.
The hard-won unity government of Rafiq’s son, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, finally collapsed Wednesday after months of bitter unrest between the premier and Hezbollah over the UN-backed Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
President Michel Suleiman called on his government to continue in a “caretaker” capacity. Among the guidelines for hiring a new premiere must be a Sunni Muslim.
11 ministers resigned after Syria and Saudi Arabia failed in their bid to neutralize tensions over the tribunal and find a compromise between the two rival camps.
For many months, Hezbollah pressured Hariri to disavow the Netherlands-based court, which is set to indict a handful of high-ranking members of the militant party in connection with Hariri’s 2005 assassination. The group also accused the tribunal of being part of a US-Israeli plot and warned of repercussions lest any of its members be implicated by the court.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Defense Forces have been put on high alert – as a result of the Lebanese schism – however, no additional reservists have been called up.
Military officials are concerned that Hezbollah will attempt some kind of a disturbance on its border with the Jewish State, and thereby deflect attention from the political crisis in the Republic of Splintered Cedars.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Raouf Sheibani, pointed at “sabotage and obstruction by America and the Zionist regime,” as the single contributing factor to the collapse of the Lebanese government.
On Tuesday, Iran’s Intelligence Ministry exhibited computers, weapons and secret equipment publicly, which were allegedly used in the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientist, Masoud Ali Mohammadi, last year. According to the Islamic Republic, the computer used by the assassins, was encrypted so they could contact their operators while staying outside the country.
On Monday, the ayatollahs’ regime claimed they arrested more than 10 people on suspicion of involvement in the murder of the senior physician last year in Tehran, when a booby-trapped motorcycle was planted near his home.
Iranian Intelligence Minister, Heidar Moslehi, assembled a press conference on Tuesday, announcing the discovery and presenting to reporters the equipment which Mossad allegedly gave to the secret agents.
Along with the computer, gun, videos and pictures the minister displayed:
“Spying equipment designed to make videos and pictures, a radio transmitter, a box with documents and equipment to forge documents.”
“We obtained good intelligence and managed to penetrate into the intelligence of this regime, on order to locate people who are linked to the Zionist regime…”
On Monday evening, Iran’s state-controlled television network broadcasted an interview with 28-year-old, Majid Jamali Fash, one of the key suspects arrested for having ties to the spying network, in which Fash said he went to Tel Aviv to meet with a number of senior IDF officers. He did not reveal the exact date of the visit, yet he said:
“I received sabotage training…I was trained how to follow and avoid being followed, as well as how to attach a bomb underneath a vehicle.”
A gang of five Palestinians was recently caught in Kfar Netter, in central Israel, equipped with trucks, receptacles and chainsaws, chopping down the orange trees of a Jewish resident. The Arabs stole the trees to sell in Palestinian villages for firewood, as the wood emits a very agreeable smell when burned.
Boarder Guard Officers discovered that the Palestinian gang members were residing illegally in Israel and were hired by a 31-year old man named, Salah Kabaha, from the village, Zabda, in the West
Zivan Freidan, the one who spotted the trespassers said the orchard owner appeared to be in shock. He said:
“These are trees for which he cared for years and then, before he even got the chance to pick the fruit, these gang members came and tore them down with the fruit still on them…This orchard was part of our childhood and we have a lot of memories there.”
Kabaha claims he told police he signed a contract with the orchard owner allowing him to chop down the trees in exchange for a sum of NIS 40,000 ($11,300). Though, these claims have gone unrecognized by the orchard owners. The court has extended his arrest by five days.
The video below is an example of the war of terrorism waged on Jews in Israel: