In 2010, American philanthropists donated approximately $3.3 billion to charity â€“ 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 Streetâ€™s toughest players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New Yorkâ€™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 Philanthropyâ€™s Philanthropy 50 top givers of 2010, with their rank and total philanthropic contributions in 2010:
“â€¦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:
â€œThe Labor Party, which founded the State of Israel, got rid of the hump on its backâ€¦Ehud Barakâ€™s masked ball is over.â€
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 donâ€™t belong to the camp that believes Israel is solely responsible for the failure of these [last summer in Egypt and America] negotiationsâ€¦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…”
Henry Kissinger recently apologized for comments made to former-president Richard Nixon in 1973, saying it wouldn’t be an American concern if the Soviet Union sent its Jews to the gas chambers.
Kissinger also forgives Nixon for anti-Semitic comments made, about him, behind his own back.
The recent apology, to Jews (I guess), appeared in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that appeared on its website Dec. 24 but is dated Dec. 26.
The recently released remarks, recorded in the Oval Office, were taken out of context, wrote Kissinger:
“For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events,” Kissinger wrote.”References to gas chambers have no place in political discourse, and I am sorry I made that remark 37 years ago.”
Kissinger made the remarks after a meeting he and Nixon had with then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973 in which Meir pleads for the United States to put pressure on the Soviet Union to release their Jews. Kissinger and Nixon, then the secretary of state, dismiss the plea after Meir leaves.
Kissinger is reported as saying on the tapes:
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policyâ€¦And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
To which Nixon replies:
“I know. We canâ€™t blow up the world because of it.”
Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon rejected Kissinger’s advice to delay an airlift of arms to Israel as a means of setting up an Egypt confident enough to pursue peace.
Kissinger writes in the Washington Post piece that his comments were not a “policy statement,” but were made in reply to a request by Nixon that he attempt to encourage various vocal senators to agree to stick with mum diplomacy in order to get Jews out of the Soviet Union.
Kissinger defends his statement and policy by saying that a silent diplomacy about Soviet Union Jews, was setting an Egyptian peace strategy in place:
“The issue became public because of the success of our Middle East policy when Egypt evicted Soviet advisers. To restore its relations with Cairo, the Soviet Union put a tax on Jewish emigration. There was no Jackson-Vanik Amendment until there was a successful emigration effort.”
In light of its geopolitical under-dog status, Israel’s global reputation for her cutting-edge high-tech industry continues to ripen.
Jewish Ideas Daily recently released a report exploring “The drivers behind Israel’s innovative impulse, drawing in part on a recent series of panel discussions sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” We will also take a glance at the partnerships Israeli companies have forged with U.S. companies; and the causes of the painful adjustment period being faced today by the Israeli venture capital business.
Today, Israel has the second largest number of start-up firms in the world, and the largest number of Nasdaq-listed companies outside North America. Panelists at a conference which happened recently in Washington, D.C., called, “The United States and Israel: Building Business Through Innovation,” explored the issues contributing to innovation in Israel, while debating what has helped and hindered the Jewish Country’s move to be a hotbed of global entrepreneurship.
The fact is hundreds of U.S. and Israeli companies have formed alliances in recent years, while many more partnerships are in the works. The relationships are fueled by a nature of quid prop quo. The Israelis get funding, marketing expertise, job growth and better access to the North American market; while the Americans benefit on the job front and through increased market access. They also reap savings in development and production and have an opportunity to tap into Israel’s talent for innovation.
Once acclaimed in Israel for its ability to launch a rich stream of high-tech start-ups, the VC industry has been injured lately on two fronts: Firms in the sector are not able to raise money for new funds, and they cannot exit easily from existing investments via IPOs. Is this painful squeeze merely part of a healthy cycle or is it representative of something with more severe implications?
“The doomsday scenario, according to some industry experts, is that future high-tech start-ups will not need the VC industry as much as before.”
Wrote a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania who attended the conference.
Who’s Kicking Ass
One company to lookout for is Gazit Globe. Considered among the world’s top real estate investment multinationals, the firm is listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. They operate in some 20 countries and own or operate 6.3 million square meters of space spread over more than 650 properties.
In United States, Gazit’s investment vehicles include Equity one, a real estate investment trust which focuses on high quality retail properties. Gazit’s total asset value exceeds $15 billion. Gazit’s chairman and founder, Chaim Katzman, spoke recently with Wharton real estate professor, Peter Linneman, and Knowledge@Wharton about the firm’s origins, and a bit about his personal management philosophy.
Last week, White House documents were released from the Richard Nixon presidential library, bearing unknown details about his aversion towards Jews and his concern about exposing more details on John F. Kennedy’s policy on Vietnam and Cuba.
According to the documents, president Nixon ordered his aides to keep Jewish Americans excluded from all Israel policy-making.
Formerly classified notes taken by then-chief of staff H. R. â€œBobâ€ Haldeman, from a meeting with the president in July 1971 read:
â€œNo Jew can handle the Israeli thingâ€¦â€ Later in the one-page excerpt, Mr. Haldeman wrote, â€œForget the Jews â€” theyâ€™re against the administration”.
That proviso was explicitly referring to then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger, and included plans to keep him out of the loop: â€œget K. out of the play â€” Haig handle it,â€ says one note, referring to then-aide Alexander Haig.
Apparently â€“ unbeknownst to him â€“ despite being excluded by the president from matters regarding Israel policy on account of his ethnicity, Kissinger has defended Nixon against charges of Antisemitism.
These documents are just now seeing the light of day, yet as the Jewish world may recall, on October 5, 1999, 445 hours of tapes recorded by Richard Nixon were released in which he repeatedly made antisemitic remarks. Nixon had said Washington “is full of Jews” and “most Jews are disloyal“.
Can you imagine catching wind of Barack Obama slandering the ethnicity of former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel?
Coined on the East coast in 1966, it occurs between the 23rd and 29th of November following Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family, getting in arguments about whether the living room television would screen the Detroit Lions or the Macy’s Day Parade and conducting stealth missions into the kitchen to get a taste of the turkey and stuffing despite being ordered not to…Why aren’t we doing a better job being thankful on Thanksgiving? Because the satanic lure of Black Friday is creeping around the corner and turning blessed American spirits into greedy consumers.
Well, now that hellish hoopla has been pushed up in the calendar by two days, with the introduction of online shopping and Cyber Monday. The term made its debut when in 2005 Shop.org presented a press release called, “Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year.”
According to the Shop.org 2005 eHoliday Mood Study:
“77% of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)”.
In the same year the New York Times reported that:
“The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”
Then, in 2006, Shop.org announced that it launched the CyberMonday.com portal, a one-stop shop for Cyber Monday deals. And in 2009, comScore reported that consumers spent $887M online on Cyber Monday, the second highest spending day of 2009.
The term Cyber Monday is also used in the marketing world of Portugal, Turkey, Venezuela, France and the United Kingdom. In these countries, Cyber Monday sales last for eight days, usually from the last Monday in November to the first Monday in December.
There are several theories as to why online sales increase so explosively on Cyber Monday; however, some debate if all retailers experience this trend. One theory suggests that people see certain items in the shopping malls over the weekend and wait until Monday to buy them online, where they may compare prices, avoid lines and take advantage of free shipping or other offers. Yet another theory suggests that shoppers have faster internet connections at work and, henceforth, wait until then to make their online purchases.
This year, Cyber Monday starts on November 29th, exactly 26 days before Christmas.
Simply put, the way to get the most out of the many Cyber Monday deals and specials out there is preparation. Remember that your goal is maximizing savings in your purchases for Christmas needs and to save on effort in buying them.
First it is quite important to know where you are at financially. Check all your bank and credit card balances and determine how much money you may budget for your purchases. You don’t want to go bankrupt after the sale. You can also include how much cash on hand you happen to have that you can use to deposit to pay your credit card purchases.
Start going to department stores and look at the items in your list. Check for designs, brands, colors and sizes so that you would know exactly what you want.
With your budget and your list ready, begin searching online for the stores early Sunday as there are stores who advertise early. Since you already more or less pin pointed what you need, it will be easy for you to search for the stores who offer them.
So now it’s not rush to Macy’s to find the hot sale before it gets snatched from the shelf, with a weapon for self-defense; but rush to the family PC to fill up the electronic shopping cart.
Two weeks ago, Shas Party leader Eli Yishai sent a letter to Netanyahu asking for him to push for the release of convicted Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in the United States for the last 25 years (part of a life imprisonment handed down to the former U.S. civilian intelligence analyst in 1987).
Yishai wrote that, in appeasing U.S. requests to halt West Bank construction, freeing Pollard is a must; if for no other reason than the sake of justice.
Yishai also mentioned that former U.S. officials involved in Pollard’s case admit that his sentence was too severe and they too believe Pollard should be released.
Several Knesset Members joined Yishai’s plea and gave Netanyahu a letter addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu, however, had no plans of taking the letter with him to the United States.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement:
“The Prime Minister has brought up Pollard’s case several times in discussions with the U.S. government, so he does not need to do so through a letter. The proper procedure for transferring letters is to send them in an official manner to the U.S. embassy in Israel,”
Here is a letter by Justice4JP and the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home, published last Sunday:
Sunday, November 14, 2010 Statement of Justice for Jonathan Pollard and The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home
Statement of Justice for Jonathan Pollard and The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home Before any deal with US, pull Pollard out of harm’s way! J4JPnews – November 14, 2010
Justice4JP and the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home unequivocally call for the release of Jonathan Pollard as a matter of simple justice, not as part of any deal that would weaken Israel or endanger other Jews in any way. Nevertheless, it is shocking that Israel would even consider making a major gesture to the Americans at this time (such as re-implementing a building freeze) without first pulling Pollard out of harm’s way.
Israel’s continuing failure to demonstrate the most minimal responsibility for the fate of her agent is shocking particularly in light of all of the latest revelations of government malfeasance by both the US and Israel towards Pollard for the last 25 years.
If there is any American “incentive” to release Pollard as a gesture to Israel — and a matter of simple justice — it is particularly at a time when the US is negotiating with Israel for what it wants. Now is the time to secure Pollard’s release, before any gestures are considered by Israel. Our position remains, now more than ever, Pollard must be freed as a matter of simple justice — and he must be freed now.
JUSTICE FOR JONATHAN POLLARD
In the video below, Netanyahu gets heckled down in New Orleans..
I found it peculiar when, last month, Saudi Arabia purchased, under the aegis of the Obama administration, 84 Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets, attack helicopters and helicopters made by United Technologies Corp. (70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds), satellite-guided bombs and an advanced radar from Raytheon Co..
But one should not be too shocked: according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. sold, roughly, a combined $37 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait between 2005 and 2009.
Israel has historically been apprehensive about U.S. military sales in the Arab world, especially to Saudi Arabia who, while opposed to the current Ayatolla, Ahmadinejad regime, funds terror and does not recognize the Jewish State; ergo, Israel not showing any opposition, let alone a tantrum over the massive deal is a little strange; especially given that last August, the Obama administration cut funding for Israelâ€™s Arrow 3 program missile defense system (more powerful than the Iron Dome), a project totaling just $108.8m out of the American wallet.
Last week, the Washington Post reported:
“According to the military, Boeing – maker of the F-15, the Apaches and the Little Birds – has estimated that the purchase would involve 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states. Some of those would be jobs that would be kept, but an unspecified number of new jobs would also be generated, officials said.”
“Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, said the overseas weapons market has become more active in recent years. Last year, the U.S. exported $3.2 billion in combat aircraft overseas, up from $2.4 billion in 2008. Among the biggest buyers in 2009 were Singapore for $1 billion worth of F-15 aircraft; Greece and Poland, receiving $1.9 billion worth of F-16s; and Australia, receiving $200 million worth of F-18s.”
The word on the street was that America contacted Israel first, (about the recent Saudi sale) who gave the thumbs up. Spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Jonathan Peled said that while the Jewish Country is not â€œthrilledâ€ by the proposal, it has not requested such actions as congressional hearings or assurances.
But if Israel does not have an EVEN WORSE taste in its mouth from the sale, some American politicians do. As far as domestic opposition to the deal, an article in Bloomberg News reported that a letter was put into circulation on the hill, for the signature of lawmakers. Composed by top Democrat and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the letter stresses the danger of the deal â€“ though stops short at pleading the need to nullify the $60 billion transaction.
The letter was written by California Democrat Howard Berman and Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and is addressed to Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.
The lawmakers raise â€œthe potential repercussions for our friends and for our own forces in the region in the event of political change in Saudi Arabia,â€ saying:
â€œWe have serious concerns about the nature of Saudi involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly since the Saudis have failed to take steps toward normalization of relations with Israel or to augment their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.â€
The letter inquires how thoroughly the Pentagon and the State Department have considered the sale’s effect on U.S. policies in the Middle East, specifically the righteous goal of securing Israel’s â€œqualitative military edgeâ€ over its neighbors; a winning goal for American security too.
The two lawmakers cite a report by the Government Accountability Office, concluding the Departments of State and Defense:
â€œDid not consistently document how arms transfers to gulf countries advanced U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.â€
The Saudi F-15 package reportedly does not include arms that could pose a serious threat, like weapons which can be fired from long distances, threatening thereby little Israel. The arrival of F-15s to Saudi Arabia would not begin until 2015, the same year Israel is slated to commence the reception of F-35s.
At the time the deal was announced, Andrew Shapiro of the U.S. State Department said the sale would:
â€œProtect (Saudi) security in a dangerous neighborhood against legitimate security threats.â€
Ros-Lehtinen and Berman, in the letter, ask what Saudi Arabia has done to quell Tehranâ€™s nuclear ambitions. The lawmakers cite potential Saudi â€œleverage in the international oil market to diminish Iranâ€™s oil revenueâ€ as well as actions to stem financing for terrorism or reduce the spread of nuclear-weapons technology.
Congress has until November 20th to prevent the sale before the Defense Department and companies proceed with more detailed talks on contracts.
Other Notes of Interest:
And last month, number two in the House Republican leadership, Eric Cantor of Virginia proposed that when the GOP wins control of the House â€“ and now they have â€“ they should move Israelâ€™s financial aid package and add it to the Pentagon’s budget.
Writes C. Hart of American Thinker:
“House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a staunch supporter of Israel, will become House Majority Leader in the next Congress. He will be holding the highest ranking post a Jew has ever held in Congress. His actions will, most likely, focus on giving less U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia. The United States recently approved $60 billion in weapons sales to the Saudis, which only hinders Israelâ€™s qualitative military edge in the Middle East over Arab States. The sale is expected to be the largest in U.S. history if all purchases are made by Saudi Arabia. Ros-Lehtinen has already spoken out against the sale.”
“According to The Israel Project (TIP), Cantor has also cosponsored legislation that would end U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its culture of hate toward Israel. He also wants to see an end to unauthorized WAQF excavations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which are encouraged and supported by the Palestinian Authority.”
The Bibi and Biden Show:
Meanwhile, Israel PM, Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party is in America this week. First, D.C., to recall the nostalgic stench of a Republican majority House and then New York for a corned beef on rye at Katz’s Deli.
A source who was present at the meeting in Washington reported that Bibi told Biden:
“The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action against it if it doesn’t cease its race for a nuclear weaponâ€¦The economic sanctions are making it difficult for Iran, but there is no sign that the Ayatollah regime plans to stop its nuclear program because of them.”
Bibi will not be meeting with the American president this time, who is currently abroad on diplomatic duties.
Clinton: Welcome back kids. Barack stayed home to focus on his square-dancing lessons and dupe some environmentalists.
Abbas: Bless his heart. We’re not too concerned about the environment in Palestine either.
Netanyahu: That’s OK Hillary â€“ I think that you can handle this.
Clinton: Thank you Bibi. You start.
Netanyahu: I have one demand before we begin!
Abbas: What’s that? â€“ umm, Hillary could you please put down the hookah for a second â€“ it is rather distracting.
Clinton: But I wanted to Walk Like an Egyptian. haha.
(Netanyahu shoots her a strange look)
(Abbas takes the hookah out of her hand)
Netanyahu: I demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state!
Abbas: A Jewish State?
Clinton: (coughs) A wha?
Netanyahu: Yes! A Jewish state.
Abbas: haha. That is ridiculous! But the Muslims! The Christiansâ€¦oh my, oh my.
Netanyahu: Well Mahmoud, firstly I find it a double-standard to demand a Palestinian State where Jews are not allowed to build settlements, alongside a Jewish state where Muslims, Christians, Druze and whoever, are given complete liberty to do as they please. Even serve in our Knesset!
Abbas: Why youâ€”
Netanyahu: Hold on Mahmoud. Hillary, PLEASE PUT DOWN THE HOOKAH! I have something else to say. There will be no extension to a halt on West Bank housing!
Abbas: But you saidâ€”
Netanyahu: I made no promises!
Hillary: That means no spaceship Benjamin!
Netanyahu: So be it! No spaceship! The settlements are more important!
Abbas: No building freeze no deal!
Netanyahu: With all due respect Mahmoud, Israel really does not need anything from you in order to thrive. Hamas poses as big a threat to your own people as it does to mine!
Abbas: I cannot control what Hamâ€”
Netanyahu: You’ll learn to control it!
Hillary: That’s enough! Benjamin you are beingâ€”
(Abbas jumps over the table and begins to choke Netanyahu)
Hillary: Ahh, help help, Mahmoud is trying to kill Bibi!
Netanyahu: GETâ€¦YOURâ€¦HANDSâ€¦OFFâ€¦.MY THROAT MAN!
(fixes his tie)
Netanyahu: This is ridiculous. You cannot expect me to make a deal with an animal! What should I build a zoo for you?
Hillary: Benjamin! Be reasonable!
Netanyahu: You want reason? We do not even have a seat in the United Nations. Now I ask YOU Miss Secretary of State, is THAT reasonable?
Hillary: What’s that got to do with it?
Netanyahu: You two are nuts! Listen, the United Nations partitioned a “Jewish State” in 1947 alongside an Arab State. I think you two will recall UN GA Resolution 181! The Arabs are the ones who refused it!
Abbas: (lunges at Benjamin againâ€¦Hillary holds him back) I will remember nothing you liar!
Hillary: (eyes roll and shrugs helplessly at the sky as if IT provides the answer) Oy voy voy, this is going no where!
For those without a press pass or the time and patience to filter through every tidbit of information available to the public concerning the Middle East tango â€“ you’ll at least want to follow the upcoming peace talks between Palestinian, Israeli and American politicians and think-tanks with a bit of a recent background scoop.
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad recently released this statement:
“I think this is a most fundamental question and I believe, without wishing to really prejudge what will happen in the next few days, the next few weeks, we are approaching that moment of reckoningâ€¦Some questions really need to be answeredâ€¦There is not really a whole lot of time to wasteâ€¦”
The Palestinian Plea:
A state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as the capital.
A poll was recently taken by the French press about the Palestinian population’s general consensus on the matter.
Here is what they came up with:
91% of Arabs in the Palestinian homeland â€“ that is from the Jordan to the Mediterranean â€“ believe that an official Palestinian state is “essential” or “desirable.”
94% of Palestinians in Jerusalem, (both east and west) believe that the city should belong to a Palestinian state.
86% of Palestinians are in support of the use of violence to the creation of a state. (“the use of violence is essential for 36.7% of respondents; desirable for 18.7%, 16.8% acceptable, tolerable for 14.0%”). On the other hand, according to deduction, 13.7% of Palestinians are opposed to violence.
Here is what Israel has done recently to concede with Palestinian demands and the demands of those behind the Palestinian cause:
In the West Bankâ€¦
Since the beginning of 2010, sixty roadblocks have been removed, leaving sixteen checkpoints remaining open.
Road number 443 has opened for Palestinian traffic.
There has been a 50% increase since 2009 of permits issued to enter Israel.
In the beginning half of 2010, there has been a 15% increase for Palestinian patients receiving medical treatment in Israeli hospitals. 82,058 of these permits were issued and 14,675 of which were issued for children.
There has been an 11% increase of the number of trade permits issued for entry to Israel. In the beginning half of 2010, 22,910 trade permits were issued, in comparison to 20,503 trade permits which were issued in the first half of 2009; and 500 additional permits were issued to merchants to enter Israel.
There’s been a 78% increase in vehicle imports to the West Bank in the first half of 2010 in contrast to the first half of 2009.
There was a 2.7% increase in the al-Quds stock market index for the first half of 2010, and this while unemployment decreased by 3% in the first quarter of the year.
3,000 housing units were built for a brand new Ramallah district city.
6 Palestinian Security Forces battalions and 150 civil defense personnel were coordinated for special training in Jordan.
There have also been regular joint meetings between heads of the Palestinian Security Forces and the IDF Central Command. In addition to this, there have been joint Israeli and Palestinian police and firefightersâ€™ meetings.
According to the official IDF spokesman Twitter feed:
“In 1967, 80% of Palestinians in Judea and Samaria not connected to water network. Today, 90% connected to water grid.”
According to the official IDF blog, in Hamas controlled Gaza:
“During the week of 22nd â€“ 26th August 2010, a total of 1,074 truckloads (24,288 tons) of humanitarian aid and development assistance for the local civilian population and 1,697,598 liters of diesel fuel entered the Gaza Strip.”
“Between June and August, the capacity of the Kerem Shalom Crossing was expanded by 210%, facilitating the daily entry of up to 250 truckloads of goods for humanitarian and development projects throughout the Gaza Strip.”
For a chart of Arab Public Opinion of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, click this
Despite a lawsuit by the Chassidic movement, Russia will not turn over a library of Chabad-Lubavitch documents to the groupâ€™s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York City; and a U.S. district judge has upheld the Russianâ€™s plea.
The library, collected since 1772 and comprising over 12,000 volumes and 381 manuscripts was originally seized by the Red Army in Nazi Germany as war loot. The Foreign Ministry of the former center of the Soviet Union said that the ruling â€“ that is to hand over the documents to the United States was a “rude violation” of international law. The ruling claimed that because the Rebbe, Joseph Isaac Scheersohn, who was forced in 1927 to leave Russia, had no heirs, that the library was nationalized.
The Russian ministry claims that the library is available for scientific study and worship. Spokesmen of Chabad-Lubavitch in Brooklyn fear that some of the manuscripts in the library could be for sale on the black market.
Another possibility for the future of the library, one which was not mentioned in the proceedings, would be to hand over the manuscripts to the Israeli government since it is the National body of the Jewish people.
For towns such as Kfar Chabad (founded in 1948), Nachalat Har Chabad (founded in 1969) and Kiryat Chabad (founded in 1979), Israel has become a welcome homeland for the Chassidic Movement.
American district Judge Royce Lamberth said the plaintiffs can sue to recover more than 25,000 pages of manuscripts and letters, which properly belong to the Scheersohns. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2004 in California against the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive.
All of the documents were originally taken to Latvia and then Poland after the Rebbe left Russia in 1927. The Russians seized the library after the outbreak of the Second World War when the Rebbe left for Brooklyn. Since then, they have been filed in a Russian Military Archive.
According to a recent article in Reuters, Washington lawmakers are delaying funds of aid to the Lebanese army for fear of their working with Iran.The article made no specific mention of the Hezbollah.
Could they be more idiotic?
â€œIsnâ€™t it obvious?â€
Thought OneJerusalem. Why else would the Jewish Country have needed to crush the countryâ€™s infrastructure during the 2006 invasion? Who else could be responsible for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri? UNIFIL, Michel Suleiman â€“ nay â€“ democracy isnâ€™t calling the shots in Beirut. The Iran-funded Hezbollah is.
What Lebanese Defense Minister, Elias al-Murr had in mind with his personal contribution of $670,000, according to the Reuters article, was to convince Lebanese citizens living abroad throughout the world and domestically to help pitch in â€“ build up the Lebanese army that is.
But would the $100 million from the United States really be such a good idea? Firstly, after recent clashes between Lebanon and the IDF along Israel’s northern border, it undermines the Jewish Country, which â€“ letâ€™s face it â€“ is only to be expected from this current American administration. At the same time the dangerous Tehranian goofballs too have donated $720 million to Lebanon since 2006. Why should we believe that money donated to Lebanon is going anywhere but into the pocket of Nasrallah the notorious?
The United States of America has officially decided on cutting funding for Israelâ€™s defense system.
The budget signed off by Congress for the Arrow 3 program totaled $108.8 million in 2011.
Well, this included a White House request for $50.8 million, combined with another $58 million added by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.
Now, the allotment from the White House for the project in 2010 was substantially higher, see? The White House had initially budgeted $60 million, and Congress had added another $97.4 million, bringing the total American donation to the program $157.4 million.
American Lieutenant General Patrick J. Oâ€™Reilly, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, once said:
“The design of Arrow 3 promises to be an extremely capable system, more advanced than what we have ever attempted in the U.S. with our programsâ€¦This has to do with the seekers that have greater flexibility and other aspects, such as propulsion systems â€“ it will be an extremely capable system.”
Is he an Indian giver?
In May the White House announced a $205 million grant supposed to fund a 10-unit battery of the Iron Dome system. The Iron Dome is something of a fence which will surround the country and protect its southern flank against short-range Kassam rockets fired by disgruntled Islamists.
The munificent aid package will probably be a one-time grant, while the Arrow 3 funding cuts are permanent.
Besides for this, more cuts could be on the way. For instance, the Magic Wand system (known as “Davidâ€™s Sling”), used to defend Israel against medium-range missile attacks was $84.7 million, while last yearâ€™s budget was $134.7.
The Arrow 3 anti-missile system, with a kill ratio of 99% is intended to intercept and destroy long-range ballistic missiles, such as the ones that could possibly be fired at Israel by the Iranian regime in Persia.
The system which is one of the most advanced defense systems in existence is being jointly funded and produced by the Israel Aerospace Industries and the U.S.- based billionaire Boeing aerospace and defense contractor.
Also known as Hetz, the Arrow 3 is a family of anti-ballistic missiles designed to fulfill a theater missile defense system which would be even more efficient than the MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air missile.
Jointly funded â€“ jointly produced by both the Jewish Country and the former British colonies of the New World â€“ the corporate sector that is, development of the system began in 1986. Israel Aerospace Industries and Boeing are responsible for the fiscal infrastructure.
What happens when you become too weak to kill innocent Israeli citizens? Kill innocent American citizens â€“ that is the modus operandi of the Hezbollah, these days.
US Republican Congresswoman, Sue Myrick of North Carolina says that Hezbollah agents are coming to Latin America, learning Spanish and then working with drug cartels in the Mexico-US border region to obtain falsified entry passes for entrance to the US. She warned that the terrorist organization could start threatening the southern United States from Mexico just as it threatens northern Israel from Lebanon.
Well, I guess now those new US state immigration laws are beginning to make more sense.
Myrick, who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee, has called on Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security secretary to look into the matter.
Apparently, the Hezbollah has been operating drug trafficking rings in South America for some years now. The largest one operates along the Brazil-Argentina-Paraguay border.
Well, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez has also befriended the terror group. Just a few years ago he invited Hezbollah to operate freely in his country.
Meanwhile, in Lebanon, whose military has become none other than the Hezbollah itself, President Michel Sleiman said that he would sign death penalties against spies for Israel.
The Lebanese Cabinet has stressed the need to speed up investigations into Israeli spy networks and follow them by rapid verdicts amid increasing pressures by domestic parties after the arrest of an employee at a mobile phone operator on suspicion of spying for the Mossad.
The Lebanese Cabinet met at the Grand Serail and was headed by Prime Minister Saad Hariri.
According to the Constitution in Lebanon, death sentences issued by the judiciary require the joint signature of the president, the premier and the justice minister.
Sleiman also said that spy cells will be subject to strict punishment, stressing that they constituted a violation to UN Resolution 1701, which put an end to the 2006 summer war with Israel.
President Sleiman said:
â€œI trust verdicts issued by the military court and I will sign themâ€¦we should not go backwards; there was a national will in the past to issue lenient sentences â€¦ but after the liberation [of occupied Lebanese territories] in 2000, all spying acts and collaboration with Israel should be severely punished.â€
Many of the Lebanese who were enrolled in the South Lebanon Army, which fought alongside Israeli forces south of Litani river, prior to the liberation of most of Lebanese occupied territories in 2000, were given lenient sentences when they surrendered to the judiciary following the withdrawal of Israeli forces.
But many Lebanese still reside in the Jewish Country for fear that upon their return, they would face life sentences or death penalties.
Beginning in April 2009, Lebanon embarked on a wave of arrests as part of a widespread espionage investigation in which dozens of people have been arrested on suspicion of spying for Israel. Over 20 people have been formally charged, including an army colonel, since.
Last week, a technician from the state-owned mobile phone firm Alfa, Charbel Qazzi, had been detained by the army on suspicion of spying for the Jewish Country. Qazzi was responsible for maintaining equipment that connects cellular network stations.
Well, for all of those arrested for spying, Hezbollah has called for the death penalty.
On the threat posed on Lebanon by Israel, Sleiman said:
â€œAn Israeli aggression against Lebanon is possible but I do not fear it since the issue is not an easy one for Israel.”
Lebanon’s General Prosecutor Saeed Mirza ordered the arrest of three individuals last week, after authorities interrogated them on charges of libel, slander and defamation against the president on one Facebook social networking site.
â€œWe should know how to use freedom because when it collides with public conduct and ethics, its practice becomes corrupt â€¦ the issue is not a political one but rather an issue of personal insults and slander.”
The real insult, Sleiman will find, is letting Hezbollah take over his country, poisoning it with hate-filled venom and strangling its chances for peace in the region.
In the days of the Clinton era, Helen Thomas reacted to former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleisher’s statements to the press concerning arms shipments to Israel.
“Helen Thomas: Where do the Israelis get their arms?
Ari Fleischer: There’s a difference Helen, and that isâ€”.
Helen Thomas: What is the difference?
Ari Fleischer: The targeting of innocents through the use of terror, which is a common enemy for Yasir Arafat and for the people of Israel, as well asâ€”.
Helen Thomas: Palestinian people are fighting for their landâ€¦I think that the killing of innocents is a category entirely different. Justifying killing of innocents for land is an argument in support of terrorism”.
But sadly Helen Thomas never got the message. The 89-year-old journalist and author, Dean of the White House Press Corps has retired, leaving behind her a front row seat and a legacy as one of the strongest anti-Israel stances observable in mainstream America, say, right up there with ol’ Jimmy Carter.
On May 27, 2010, outside the Jewish Heritage Celebration Day event at the White House, the following conversation happened between Thomas and Rabbi David Nesenoff:
“Nesenoff: Any comments on Israel? We’re asking everybody today, any comments on Israel?
Thomas: Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine.
Nesenoff: Oooh. Any better comments on Israel?
Thomas: Remember, these people are occupied and it’s their land. It’s not German, it’s not Poland …
Nesenoff: So where should they go, what should they do?
Thomas: They go home.
Nesenoff: Where’s the home?
Thomas: Poland. Germany.
Nesenoff: So you’re saying the Jews go back to Poland and Germany?
Thomas: And America and everywhere else. Why push people out of there who have lived there for centuries? See?”
“Anger over Gaza is a distraction. We cannot forget that Israel is the Westâ€™s best ally in a turbulent regionâ€¦In an ideal world, the assault by Israeli commandos on the ‘Mavi Marmara’ would not have ended up with nine dead and a score wounded. In an ideal world, the soldiers would have been peacefully welcomed on to the ship.”
“Israel is a nation with deeply rooted democratic institutions. It is a dynamic and open society that has repeatedly excelled in culture, science and technologyâ€¦62 years after its creation, Israel is still fighting for its very survival. Punished with missiles raining from north and south, threatened with destruction by an Iran aiming to acquire nuclear weapons and pressed upon by friend and foe, Israel, it seems, is never to have a momentâ€™s peace.”
Aznar says the real threat to the region is extreme Islamism, “which sees Israelâ€™s destruction as the fulfillment of its religious destiny and, simultaneously in the case of Iran, as an expression of its ambitions for regional hegemony”.
“Both phenomena are threats that affect not only Israel, but also the wider West and the world at largeâ€¦It is easy to blame Israel for all the evils in the Middle Eastâ€¦Some even act and talk as if a new understanding with the Muslim world could be achieved if only we were prepared to sacrifice the Jewish state on the altar. This would be folly.”