Wednesday, July 19, 2017

A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians



For more of this article read here  

This week, Jason Greenblatt, the US president’s Middle East envoy, did announce some welcome news at a press conference: The Israelis, Jordanians and Palestinians will be cooperating on a large water infrastructure project, which will provide billions of gallons of new water supplies for each of the three parties.

That project — first announced in December 2013 — will take water from the Red Sea, near Israel’s southernmost city of Eilat, and use gravity to carry the water 137 miles via the kingdom of Jordan to the southern part of the Dead Sea. There it will be desalinated, with the brine deposited in the shrinking Dead Sea and the fresh water transferred into Israel for still-to-be-built desert farms. In exchange, a water pipeline will be built from Israel into Jordan’s capital, Amman.

The strategic genius of the plan is that it weaves vital economic interests of these sometimes-antagonists together.

The biggest news out of the press conference is that senior water officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority shared a stage and warmly engaged with each other. It is, so to speak, a high-water mark in Israeli-Palestinian history regarding this precious resource.

Beginning in 2008, the Palestinian leadership decided to turn water into a political tool to bludgeon Israel. The claim, which gained currency among some in the human-rights community and the news media, was that Israel was starving Palestinians of water to oppress them and to break their economy.

To keep this manufactured water crisis from being exposed as a sham, it was necessary to have Palestinian water projects grind to a halt. The self-sabotage of the anti-normalization campaign was felt nowhere more strongly than in water. Israel’s settlements suffered from a lack of new water projects, but the Palestinians suffered more.

Quietly, the Palestinian business community made clear that the value of blackening Israel’s name in some quarters was not worth the price being paid in quality of life and lost business opportunities.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Yet More Success Against BDS

SodaStream, an Israeli company, hit the world headlines  when the boycott (BDS) campaigners attacked the company's products claimed they were produced in "Palestinian occupied lands".

The company at the time was employing over 1000 workers of whom 65% were Palestinian.

Fast forward a few years after the company moved its activities to a new factory near Beer Sheva and bingo:-

- Significant growth in new exiting markets
- A share price increase of 300% in the last 18 months
- A workforce offering employment to the Bedouin community

Some of the original Palestinian workforce  have received work permits to allow  them to work in the new facility and although the present numbers , 80 is likely to double shortly, it is a far cry from the numbers previously employed.

The bottom line is that the BDS campaign resulted in more suffering of the Palestinian community while SodaStream just goes on growing,

Most Dangerous Professor in America

I have always believed that the purpose of this blog is to inform of events or activities here in the State of Israel.

I have not wanted to get involved in the politics of other countries. However, the video below is so blatant in its effect on student attitudes towards Israel that I think it important to bring it to the attention of as many people as possible, including Senators, Congressmen and the media.

How come the American taxpayer is funding this level of anti-Semitism? 

Monday, July 17, 2017

BDS is Losing

The BDS movement  has been demonizing Israel online since the movement was created and although it has taken time, there is an going backlash by pro Israel activists that are turning the tide.
By highlighting the hypocritical actions of the organisers, more and more people are beginning to realise the true message of these bullies.
Recently virulent anti-Israel critic Ken Loach recently chided rockers Radiohead for performing in Israel, while he regularly screens his own films there. Loach vocally condemns artists who perform in Israel as supporting an “apartheid regime” and calls on others to boycott Israel. However, his latest film “I, Daniel Blake” is currently showing in Israeli cinemas.
Further, more and more States in the USA are passing legislation banning the state from doing business with those businesses supporting the boycott message.
We read almost daily of legal battles being won, most recently the students association at the University of Ontario won a ruling against the banning of a pro Israel group of attending campus events.
In the eyes of the Vice President of the Israel Project the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions operatives are already losers.

“When people read about BDS in the media, they get the sense that the delegitimization campaign is winning. But it’s not, it’s losing in a big way,”
 “Our main message is twofold,” he said. “First, that they aren’t about peace, but about hate and bullying. Every time they reveal their true face, we make sure everyone knows about it. Second, that they fail much more often than they succeed. They are on the defensive. With the help of a very wide and large coalition of organizations in Israel and the United States, these BDS activists are finding it more difficult to operate.”

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

So Much for Being Isolated!!

As well as losing the military battles, our enemies seem to have lost their war to isolate Israel.

Not only are more countries leaders visiting than ever before (with the associated traffic problems in Jerusalem) but more and more tourists are coming making it a bumper year,

-    1.74 million tourist entries in Jan-June 2017, 26% more than same period last year increasing revenue from tourism to  NIS 9.4 billion in Jan-June 2017.

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin stated : “The June tourism statistics bring us to record levels for incoming tourism in the first six months of the year.   The significant increase in incoming tourism numbers makes an exceptional contribution to the Israeli economy and workforce. I am convinced that, with the correct activities, we will see continue to see good results in the coming months.”

According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, the following increases were recorded in the first half of 2017 as compared to the same six months in 2016:

-    76% increase in tourism from China
--   30% increase in tourism from Russia
-    20% increase in tourism from USA (the largest source country for incoming tourism)

Monday, July 10, 2017

PA takes ‘historic’ step toward energy independence

BY DOV LIEBER July 10, 2017,

High-ranking Palestinian and Israeli officials gathered in a field outside the West Bank city of Jenin on Monday to turn on the first-ever piece of Palestinian-owned electricity infrastructure and ink a new electricity agreement between the two sides.
The deal, hailed as “historic” by signatories, will for the first time set parameters for the supply of power between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which for years has seen the PA default on billions of shekels of debt and Israel subsequently withhold electricity.
After the signing of the agreement, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, Israel’s Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz, Israel Electric Corporation Chairman Yiftah Ron-Tal and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Major General Yoav Mordechai together turned on the Al-Jalameh Substation.
Al-Jalameh is the Jenin-region village nearest to the station, in the northern West Bank.
The station will allow Israel to send up to 135 more megawatts to the northern West Bank area, though the agreement currently calls for just 60 more. The energy will provide a much-needed boost to the Jenin area, which has suffered power outages more than any other Palestinian West Bank region.
The station also represents the first time the Palestinians will be able to control the distribution of the electricity to their own towns and cities.
The PA will still have to buy its power from the Israel Electric Corporation. But apart from that, once the power is handed off to the PA, it’s in Palestinian hands.
When infrastructure breaks down — which once necessitated Israeli teams escorted by the army to perform repairs, which inevitably caused delays — Palestinian teams will be responsible for dealing with any problems.
The station was built by the Israel Electric Corporation, by both Israeli and Palestinian workers, but it is owned by the Palestinian Electric Authority (PEA) and the PA. The IEC also trained Palestinians to work, maintain and fix the site.
Jenin is the first region to receive a substation, but three more are on the way — in the Hebron region in the south, in the Ramallah region in the center and in Nablus in the mid-northern West Bank. With all four stations, the Palestinian Authority will control the power flow across all the territory it controls.
Hamdallah, the PA prime minister, described the project as “pivotal to enhance our independence so we can meet the growing needs of our people in the electricity sector.”
He thanked Israel for “its cooperation to facilitate” the completion of the project.
These substations are only the first phase in a plan to make the Palestinians more energy independent.
The document signed on Monday only pertains to the Jenin area. It is a smaller agreement that is meant to pave the way for a contract that will deal with the entirety of electricity cooperation between Israel and the PA.
The Al-Jalameh station, built in three years, was bought from the IEC for 12 million euros.
The project was partially subsidized by Italy, Norway, the European Union, USAID, and the European Investment Bank.
In September 2016, the PA and Israel signed an agreement that transferred control of West Bank electrical infrastructure to the PA. Under that deal, the PA also began paying off its outstanding power bill of NIS 2 billion ($560 million).
Three quarters of that is still owed, and is meant to be paid off in 48 installments.
The contract signed on Monday allows the IEC to increase electricity supply to the Jenin region without fearing the piling up of more debt from the Palestinians.
For full article read here

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Israeli and Indian PMs meet with Moshe Holtzberg


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this afternoon (Wednesday, 5 July 2017), met with Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were murdered in the 26 November 2008 terrorist attack on the Mumbai Chabad House. He told them that he misses India; Indian Prime Minister Modi said that his country was open to him.
 
Prime Minister Netanyahu invited Holtzberg to accompany him on his future trip to India.
 
Moshe Holtzberg was accompanied by his paternal grandparents (Nahman and Freida Holtzberg), his maternal grandparents (Shimon and Yehudit Rosenberg) and by Sandra Samuel, his former Indian nanny who came with him to Israel.