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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘bank’

Congressmen: Judea and Samaria are Not the ‘West Bank’ But Part of Israel

Friday, September 16th, 2016

{Originally posted to the JNS.org website}

 

US Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) spoke to an Israeli delegation this week about congressional support of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

“I want to say to all the people of Samaria that they are beloved by the American people, and we believe that Judea and Samaria are not the ‘West Bank’ but part of the state of Israel,” Franks told the Samarian Regional Council delegation on Capitol Hill.

The council’s chief Yossi Dagan visited Washington D.C. to meet with more than a dozen Republican and Democrat legislators to discuss the US support of Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria.

“There are people in the US Congress who, no matter what, will continue to work on behalf of Judea and Samaria, who will continue to do whatever they can to fight on behalf of Israel and ensure that you will never feel alone in this world,” Franks said in the meeting that included Texas congressman Louie Gohmert, who echoed that sentiment.

Dagan urged Congress to pressure the Obama administration to stop demanding that Israel freeze Jewish building in Judea and Samaria.

“The pressure the American government is putting on the Israeli government to strangle settlement and block construction creates a situation where our children are forced to learn in caravans rather than normal buildings, like other children around the world,” Dagan said.

Halting construction prevents children in Judea and Samaria from living close to their parents due to lack of housing, he explained.

“The international pressure has also prevented Israel from expanding the water infrastructure in Samaria as needed, which at the end of the day means both Israeli and Arab residents were left without water for much of this past summer,” Dagan added.

JNS News Service

Sanz Hasidism’s Secret Revealed: How Couples Buy a Home for $660 a Month

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

It’s no secret that the Haredi sector in Israel is suffering from a terrible housing shortage which is only getting worse. But according to Walla, at least one Hasidic court has found a solution. Apparently, young newlyweds in Sanz are able to buy apartment in the “periphery” which is Israeli code for not in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Netanya, Haifa or anywhere along the coast, for up to $185,000 without making a significant down payment.

Sources in Sanz are saying the problem is not an apartment shortage but a money shortage: few young Haredi couples are able to come up with the minimum down payment of about $80,000. Which is why at Sanz they launched the Build your Home program that helps every young Sanzer couple buy their own apartment for about $660 a month (2,500 shekels).

The couple would be directed to look for an apartment in T’veria, costing up to 700,000 shekels ($185,000). Each pair of parents must pay in about $6,600, and the Sanz gmach (loan society) kicks in a $93,000 interest free loan, and aids the couple in applying for an $80,000 mortgage from the bank. Since the couples qualify easily under Israel’s system of housing points, they should qualify for a mortgage loan that would pay for the new apartment. The couple only has to pay back about $660 a month — $265 to the gmach and the rest to the bank.

According to Walla, in Sanz about 120 couples get married each year, and there’s a backlog of about 200 new couples. However, according to a source in Sanz, the new program currently has about $14.5 million at its disposal, which should suffice to find housing for many couples. So far they say they’ve found housing in T’veria for about 300 couples.

The upside is, of course, modern housing at a low cost. But Haredi couples are used to living near their parents and close to the religious and educational institutions they grew up with. Moving to a new, remote community, although with many of their movement peers, is the sacrifice they would have to make. Halbershtam said practically all the Haredi movements in Israel are following the Sanz example, he’s being asked to assist Sephardim, Lithuanians, and Hasidim in setting up similar systems. “The housing shortage is like cancer, and we have found the cure,” he said.

About 9,000 Haredi couples get married each year in Israel, and their inability to come up with the down payment for their own home forces them to waste years worth of income on rent, instead of investing this money in acquiring their own place. The new programs, should they proliferate throughout the Haredi population, could liberate all of them. They would also help populate the periphery, expanding and bolstering Jewish settlement across the country.

David Israel

Haredi Party Spearheading Effort to Protect Israeli Religious Charities from US Tax Authorities

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

The heads of charity organizations in the ultra-Orthodox society, commonly known as Gemachim, received at least a temporary measure of relief from the Knesset Finance Committee, chaired by MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), ahead of a new amendment of the Income Tax Act that takes effect in September and compels Israeli financial institutions to report through the local tax authorities on the Israeli financial affairs of US citizens. The amendment is the result of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance (FATCA) agreement between Israel and the US, which was a prerequisite for continued cooperation between Israeli and American financial institutions.

It’s not much, but MK Gafni demanded that the Finance Ministry and the Bank of Israel order the banks to give the Gemachim time until the end of June to resolve their status as public institutions, which he hopes would allow them to exclude themselves from the FATCA rules. Gafni envisions a tweaking of the amendment to exclude groups with deposits of less than $50 thousand, or holdings worth less than $50 million.

According to Chairman Gafni, the new regulations could bring the collapse of the Gemachim. “The Israeli government signed an agreement with the US government without considering the disastrous consequences for one of the most important enterprises of the Jewish people that has existed for millennia — the charity and mutual aid societies,” Gafni said, explaining that the Gemachim are “the only means at the disposal of a person under financial duress to receive an interest-free loan to get back on his feet.”

MK Israel Eichler (UTJ), Chairman of the Public Petitions, summoned Dr. Ilan Steiner, Director of the Bank of Israel Currency Department, to his committee hearing, to warn him against another aspect of the US attack on these charity institutions. According to Eichler, banks are being forced under pressure from foreign governments to close the accounts of Gemachim accounts, “in the name of ‘fighting terrorism’ and stopping money laundering, the IRS and the American government have become supervisors of all bank accounts around the world including in Israel. Everyone has to go through their inspection, so the Gemachim have received a letter that they will not be able to keep their bank accounts anymore.”

MK Eichler told Dr. Steiner: “I hope that the Bank of Israel find a way to abide by the agreements with the US while not mixing up the Gemachim with the war on terror. The banks must not become a burden and a restriction on associations and charity organizations who want to help people and do not engage in terrorism. There are limits to the madness of the banking system. We must not allow the charity organizations and Gemachim to be paralyzed by American pressures.”

The issues of compliance regarding money laundering and the war on terror stem from the side benefits of an IRS act that was intended to make sure US citizens who make money abroad share some of it with Uncle Sam. According to the IRS, FATCA targets tax non-compliance by US taxpayers with foreign accounts, focusing on individuals’ reporting about foreign financial accounts and offshore assets, as well as by foreign financial institutions about financial accounts held by US taxpayers or foreign entities in which US taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

Using the US’ enormous economic clout, FATCA bullies the world’s financial institutions into reporting on their American clients to Uncle Sam. Under FATCA, to avoid being withheld upon, foreign financial institutions must register with the IRS and agree to report to the IRS about their US accounts, including accounts of foreign entities with a substantial US ownership. Foreign institutions that enter into an agreement with the IRS to report on their account holders may be required to withhold 30% on certain payments to foreign payees if such payees do not comply with FATCA.

Talk about working for the Yankee dollar.

According to The Marker, Gemachim stand to suffer three different ways from the new law: instead of permitting a Gemach to transfer money into their accounts, they could now be questioned regarding the source of the funds and whether or not tax was paid on them in the US; each deposit could be subject to harassment by the bank, in order to verify that it is not part of a money laundering scheme; and the Gemach could be saddled with a new definition as a financial institution, and as such would be compelled to report on its fund sources to the IRS or face criminal sanctions.

JNi.Media

Israeli Banks Post Strong Figures for 2015

Monday, February 29th, 2016

Israel’s two largest banks posted a strong year for 2015.

Bank Hapoalim noted its annual revenue rose 2.4 percent last year to NIS 14.36 billion. Net profits rose 13.6 percent to NIS 3.08 billion, according to Globes.

Credit to the public rose 5.8 percent to NIS 278.49 billion and deposits from the public rose 8.2 percent to NIS 321.72 billion.

Bank Leumi’s annual non-interest revenue rose to NIS 6.29 billion in 2015 from NIS 5.14 billion in 2014, although net interest revenue fell to NIS 7.11 billion, from NIS 7.36 billion a year earlier.

Net profit jumped to NIS 2.83 billion for 2015, compared with NIS 1.4 billion in 2014.

Credit to the public grew 3.5 percent to NIS 261.4 billion and deposits from the public rose 8.3 percent to NIS 328.7 billion.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Iran Grants Venezuela $500 Million Line of Credit

Saturday, June 27th, 2015

Iran has granted Venezuela a $500 million line of credit, according to the Saudi website, Aawsat.

The line of credit is part of a larger framework of six economic cooperation agreements with Venezuela.

Back in 2012, when Iran was banned from SWIFT banking transactions, which could have actually kept it out of much of the international markets and made the sanctions even more effective, Iran easily bypassed the problem with an alternative, rogue financial system it help set up with some South American countries, including Venezuela.

The system had already been set up by Iran in anticipation of the SWIFT ban.

The Iranians are demanding an immediate lifting of sanctions and freeing of their assets as part of the nuclear deal with President Obama.

Sometimes it appears the Iranians are always 2 steps ahead of the U.S.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hamas Government District Wrecked by IAF Overnight Pounding

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Last night the aim of the IAF strikes on Gaza broadened beyond rocket launchers and munitions, to include the Ministry of Internal Security – which served as one of the main command and control centers for the Hamas terror organization – as well as an important police compound and a military hideout used as both a meeting place for senior operatives and a communications center. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted a rocket launching site, a Hamas post, and a structure used for Hamas’ terror activity.

In a joint IDF-ISA mission, the IDF targeted, in a pinpoint strike, a Hamas intelligence operations center, which was deliberately located in a media building in the Gaza Strip. In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a senior Hamas operative in the aerial defense operations, several terrorist squads, and a terrorist who was identified at the launching site from which a rocket was fired towards Jerusalem yesterday.

The IDF targeted approximately 50 underground rocket launchers, terror tunnels, three weapons storage facilities, and a weapons manufacturing site.

The IDF also targeted a system of tunnels used to transport fuel to Hamas, as Hamas had used the transported fuel to support its terror activities. This was a major source of income for the Hamas, who used to purchase the gasoline cheap from the Egyptians, and sell it to its own people at Israeli prices ($16 a gallon, in case you were curious).

Here are the results of last night’s attacks. It’s been said that the IAF targets bank is already running on overdraft:




Yori Yanover

My Great Grandmother

Monday, November 19th, 2012

If you look up the word “role model” in the dictionary you will find the following definition: “a person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others, especially by younger people.”

This is the ideal description of my great-grandmother. To me, she is more than just an ancestor in my family tree, she is the epitome of inspiration. She has proved herself to be a rose among thorns and a woman of valor. I am genuinely proud to call her my grandma and I am so blessed to have such an awesome person in my life.

“You don’t have to be a ‘person of influence’ to be influential. In fact the most influential people in my life are probably not even aware of the things they taught me,” (Scott Adams). If I had one hour to be with the person of my choice it would surely be my Grandma.

In May 1911, a very special being came into existence. Her name is Paula. Back then, she was just a decedent of her grandparents, but now she is the heart of the Felsenstein Family. Grandma’s loving nature and uplifting spirit is what makes people, including her family and friends, gravitate towards her. Although Grandma endured many difficult challenges throughout the years, she refused to be limited by circumstance. The long, arduous journeys that Grandma embarked on are ones to remember and pass down to the generations coming.

I can learn much about the act of giving and being selfless from my Grandma. Living in Germany she used to generously give food to the hundreds of people who lined up outside her door. Grandma and her husband owned a horse-hair brush company which also made hats for British soldiers. Both of their products were purchased by Buckingham Palace.

Grandma married young, and a couple years into her marriage the Nazis started gaining power. Grandma and her husband fled to England where they were assured safety, although their plan of escape was far from simple. They were forced to walk across mountains for days, at one point paying people to help them cross borders in the back of an ambulance truck. I am trying hard to visualize the kind of agonizing hardships they’ve lived through. And the truth is, I probably would not be able to handle it the same way they did. The amount of faith and belief they had is simply indescribable.

And the miracles. Before they left Germany, Grandpa put all his money in the bank, leaving everything behind. In 1945, when the war ended, they returned to Germany without a penny to their name. Then a neighbor called asking to buy their house. Grandpa went to the bank and discovered that all of Grandma’s jewelry had been stored in a safe under their name. Grandma and Grandpa were extremely grateful for the miracles Hashem did for them.

About 40 years ago, my grandparents moved to Israel, where Grandma continues to live as a widow.

My desire and longing to be with my Grandma right now grows stronger and stronger each day. At 101 years old, my Grandma is the strongest lady I know – mentally and emotionally. Despite her old age, Grandma is constantly helping others and imprinting the lives of many with her inspirational and motivating stories. I strive to be like her in the way I live my life and hope that one day, when I have kids, they will live that way as well.

A wise man once said, “Someone who influences the thoughts of the people around her influences all the times that follow.” I love and cherish my Grandma unconditionally.

Goldy Felsenstein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/my-great-grandmother/2012/11/19/

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