web analytics
June 26, 2016 / 20 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ben Gurion’

Israeli Scientist Wins World Food Prize for Drip Irrigation

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

An 81 year old Israeli scientist whose revolutionary irrigation methods have saved and improved the lives of millions of people throughout the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South America, has received the prestigious World Food Prize, according to an announcement made by the foundation on Tuesday.

Daniel Hillel, Los Angeles native and father of Israel’s famous drip micro-irrigation method to conserve water while nourishing growing fruits and vegetables in the world’s most arid climates, was named the winner of this year’s $250,000 prize in a ceremony in Washington.  US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the key note speech.  Hillel will be celebrated in an official ceremony at the World Food Prize Symposium in Des Moines, Iowa on October 18.

World Food Prize Foundation President Kenneth Quinn praised Hillel, not just for his system which carries water through narrow plastic tubing to drip sparingly above the roots of the growing plants, but for his contribution to bridging divides between diverse peoples.  Over  the past half century, Hillel has taken his agricultural know-how to over 30 countries around the world, including Jordan and Egypt.  Hillel has also shared his knowledge with leaders in Palestinian agriculture.  Quinn noted that several letters of support for Hillel came from institutions in Egypt, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.

“He’s able to reach across the intercultural gap with this agricultural achievement in order to address that problem that they have in common about how to lift people out of poverty and reduce hunger by working together,” Quinn told the Associated Press. “In an area of the world and in lands where the divides — whether they be ethnic, political, religious, or diplomatic — seem so great, here is a man who by devoting his life to this peaceful development has sought to bridge those gaps.”

Hillel was born in Los Angeles, but moved in 1931 at the age of 1 to Palestine after his father died.

At age 9, Hillel was sent to live on a kibbutz, where he learned about agriculture and preserving resources in the difficult pre-state period.

Hillel returned to the United States for high school and university, and came back to Israel in 1951, at which time he joined the Ministry of Agriculture, mapping the new country’s soil and water resources. In 1952, Hillel joined a group of pioneers who developed a viable agricultural community in the Negev – the new community of Sde Boker – by fashioning small holes in cheap, small plastic piping readily available after World War II, and running water and fertilizer through them directly to plants.  The town so impressed Israel’s Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion, that he made it his home.

The World Food Prize, honoring people engaged in fighting world hunger, was created by Iowa native Norman Borlaug, the winner of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in developing hybrid crops in order to increase food production in emerging nations.  He died in 2009.

Malkah Fleisher

Israelis To Coast Through US Security – and Vice Versa

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Frequent travelers to the US from Israel – and vice versa – will soon have a smoother time making the landing, thanks to Israel’s entry into the US Global Entry Program.

In a letter of intent signed by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and US Secretary for Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Israel and the US entered into an agreement whereby participants may enter the United States via automated kiosks at select airports, rather than standing on line to be checked by border authorities.

Britain, Holland, Austria, New Zealand, Japan and Qatar already participate in the program.  Participants will pay a $100 fee and undergo a security check.  Upon approval, they will simply have to swipe a finger through a biometric identification machine on arrival in order to pass through into the United States.

Israel will also set up a special border control line for US visitors who go through their own application process for the system at Ben Gurion Airport.

Malkah Fleisher

Chabad Emissary Held at Ben-Gurion; Police Crack Down on ‘Right Wing Publication’

Friday, May 11th, 2012

Rabbi Hanan Herbst, a Chabad emissary and resident of Ma’ale Levona in the Binyamin region who returned with his wife and children Thursday morning from half a year of outreach work in India, was arrested at Ben-Gurion airport in Lod. After negotiations between the police and a Honenu attorney the emissary was released.

Honenu is a not-for-profit legal aid organization

According to Honenu’s report, Hanan Herbst and his family spent the past six months operating a Chabad House – teaching and also running a kosher restaurant for the benefit of Jews traveling in the area, the city of Dharamsala, India, a spiritual and mystical center which attracts a large number of travelers from all over the world, among them many Jews.

On Thursday morning, the family landed at the Ben-Gurion airport where an unpleasant surprise awaited them. Airport police informed Harbest that the National Unit for Serious and International Crime Investigations had declared him “wanted for an interrogation” which is why he was being detained. After a short discussion, Herbst learned that the investigation concerned the publication of articles supposedly calling for violence, in “HaKol HaYehudi” (“The Jewish Voice”) more than a year ago.

“HaKol HaYehudi” is a right wing publication focusing on providing an alternative to Israel’s mainstream media for news and opinion. The publication has been under widespread investigation for about a year, including raids on its offices, confiscation of equipment and arrests of staff members.

Last week, two Yitzhar residents were summoned to the offices of the National Unit for Serious and International Crime Investigations for an interrogation concerning the publication of articles in “HaKol HaYehudi” which supposedly incited to violence.

In negotiations with Honenu attorney Adi Kedar the National Unit for Serious and International Crime Investigations agreed that Herbst would report of his own volition to an interrogation this coming Sunday and that he and his family would be free to return home.

Back in 2006, Hanan Herbst was among 19 Jews from various outposts in the Yitzhar area of Samaria who received administrative orders over the Sukkot holiday ordering them to leave their homes, and in some cases all of Judea and Samaria, for periods ranging from three months to a year.

Previous charges against the 19 were quite minor, ranging from blocking traffic in protest of government policy to preventing a police officer from carrying out his duty. But the GSS at the time was said to have provided secret information about the 19 harboring “secret, violent plans against Arabs or Arab property.”

Yori Yanover

Pro-Palestinian ‘Flytila’ Busted; 43 Refused Entry, 12 Returned, 31 Detained, 9 Israelis Detained

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

The latest Israeli Police figures: 43 activists altogether have been detained at Ben Gurion airport. Out of this number, 31 were transported to the Givon detention facility for processing and 12 were put on returning flights. Nine Israeli activists waving pro-Palestinian banners were detained for questioning.

————————————

Some 650 Police were deployed in and around Ben Gurion airport Sunday with orders “to exercise restraint, but to intercept any troublemakers,” according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, as the great “flytila” of Palestinian sympathizers is beginning to arrive. But so far this has been more of a drip than a wave.

According to Ynet, one Portuguese passenger aboard a Royal Jordanian flight from Amman, and one Canadian national aboard American Airlines were expelled.

Organizers of the “flytila” had been expecting between 1,500 and 2,000 arrivals, a third of them from France. But Israel has been preparing since last week to prevent their entry into Ben Gurion, much less into the PA governed areas of Judea and Samaria.

AFP quoted campaign organizer Mazin Qumsiyeh, who said that “a lot of people did manage to board planes and a lot of people have been denied.”

“We are expecting 1,500 people from at least 15 countries, but most of them from Europe,” Qumsiyeh elaborated.

Lufthanza, Air France, Jet2.com, as well as the Turkish authorities in Istanbul, have been preventing protesters from reaching their seats on flights to Ben Gurion.

The “Welcome to Palestine” campaign reported that at about 6 a.m., Sunday, Swiss police and customs at Geneva airport prevented “a half-dozen passengers, duly provided with their boarding passes and already in the waiting room” from boarding an Easyjet plane to Tel Aviv. The activists were arrested and placed in a detention room.

But if European pro-Palestinians aren’t able to arrive, local leftist groups have been planning to fill in the void. According to “Welcome to Palestine,” Israeli groups of peace activists are going to the airport carrying signs to welcome those who do manage to break through.

Mick Napier, a British activist coordinator, told the AP that his group would sue airlines which deny access to activists wishing to fly to Israel.

He said organizers have asked participants to be honest with Israeli airport authorities about their purpose of arrival.

The Confederation de Syndicats National (Quebec, Canada) denounced the denial of one of their members, Julie Lachapelle, her right to visit Israel and be part of the WTP campaign.

Jacob Edelist

Israel Fighting Flytilla Battle with Commercial Muscle and Irony

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Israeli security forces are preparing for a “fly-in” of as many as 2000 pro-Palestinian provocateurs, who will be trying to push their way in front of the cameras at Ben Gurion airport on Sunday.

Responding to Israeli demands, Air France, Jet2.com and Lufthansa have canceled seats which have been sold to activists on flights to Tel Aviv, without offering a refund.

Those activists who will make it through, coming in mostly from Europe, will be turned around and sent right back to their ports of origin, but not before being handed a leaflet expressing the sentiments of their brief hosts:

Dear activist,

We appreciate your choosing to make Israel the object of your humanitarian concerns.

We know there were many other worthy choices.

You could have chosen to protest the Syrian regime’s daily savagery against its own people, which has claimed thousands of lives.

You could have chosen to protest the Iranian regime’s brutal crackdown on dissent and support of terrorism throughout the world.

You could have chosen to protest Hamas rule in Gaza, where terror organizations commit a double war crime by firing rockets at civilians and hiding behind civilians.

But instead you chose to protest against Israel, the Middle East’s sole democracy, where women are equal, the press criticizes the government, human rights organizations can operate freely, religious freedom is protected for all and minorities do not live in fear.

We therefore suggest that you first solve the real problems of the region, and then come back and share with us your experience.

Have a nice flight.

Tibbi Singer

Israeli Labor Strike Causes Closures, Delays

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Israel’s main labor union, the Histadrut, declared a general strike on Wednesday impacting services across the country.

The Histadrut, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor Shalom Simhon were unable to come to an agreement over the conditions and contract terms for outsourced workers on Wednesday, with the failed talks leading to several closures, tie-ups, and delays.

The institutions which will be closed as a result of the strike include all government ministries, the National Insurance Institute, unemployment offices, Municipalities (meaning no parking tickets or garbage collection), religious councils, courts, the Chief Rabbinate, trains, ports, the Stock Exchange, and banks.  Ben Gurion International Airport will be on strike from 6AM to noon, and public hospitals are operating on reduced Sabbath schedules.

Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz chastised the Histadrut for calling a strike which is expected to cost the economy $400 million a week.

On Tuesday, the High Court of Justice rejected a petition by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce against the strike, sayingit did not see a reason to intervene at this time.

An agreement between the Histadrut and the Coordinating Bureau of Economic Organizations, which represents private employers, have reportedly come to an agreement on the same issues.  If signed, the agreement will obligate employers to hire full time outsourced workers who have been employed for at least one or two years, rather than maintaining them as outsourced workers through an employment agency.  Compensation of those workers would also be matched to that already given to workers at the hiring company.

Finance Minister Steinitz reportedly told Histadrut head Ofer Eini that a similar agreement could not be reached with the state, because hiring outsourced workers for ministries and agencies would end up costing too much.  Instead, he offered salary and benefit increases, and increased monitoring to ensure workers’ rights were upheld in government offices.

At a conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Steinitz explained that obligating the state to hire all outsourced workers would ultimately force it to hire everyone who provided a long-term service to the state.  He also noted that Israel would be the only OECD country hiring outsourced employees and requiring the same of local councils and high-tech companies.

Malkah Fleisher

Preempt Iran — At All Costs!

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

The discussion about the cost of a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is valuable only if intended to advance the attack and neutralize the possible retaliation by Iran and its allies. However, such a discussion is harmful, ignores precedents, plays into Iran’s hands and threatens Israel’s existence, if it reflects hesitancy, skepticism and fatalism, aiming to preclude preemption, and assuming that Israel can co-exist with a nuclear-armed Iran.

On May 12, 1948, the pre-state Israeli Cabinet decided by a vote of six to four to declare independence and include Jerusalem within Israel’s boundaries, despite internal opposition and pressure by the U.S. and despite a terrible price: The U.S. withheld military aid, threatened economic sanctions and surmised that the declaration of independence would result in a second Holocaust, this time at the hands of the Arabs. Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion refused to abide by the American pressure to postpone the declaration of independence by a few years, knowing that such a delay would be tragic in the long run, and that independence exacts a painful price.

On Oct. 5, 1973, the eve of the Yom Kippur War, Prime Minister Golda Meir rejected the option of a pre-emptive strike to repel the clear and present danger of a joint Egyptian-Syrian attack. She was concerned about the cost of such a strike — namely appearing as the aggressor and severely damaging ties with the U.S. — and preferred to be portrayed as the victim. However, the terrible, long-term cost of that war has been far greater than pre-emptive action would have been. As expected, Israel was not viewed as a victim, but rather as a country that lost the “spirit of the Six-Day War,” eroding is own deterrent power, and undermining its position as a strategic asset for the U.S.

In June 1981, on the eve of the destruction of the nuclear reactor in Iraq, then Prime Minister Menachem Begin weighed the cost of a pre-emptive strike versus the cost of inaction. The heads of the Mossad and Military Intelligence, former Defense Minister Ezer Weizman, opposition leader Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister Yigael Yadin, Israel’s national security adviser and the Head of the Atomic Energy Commission all opposed striking Iraq. They presented apocalyptic scenarios that would result from such action: an irreparable rift with the U.S., harsh sanctions, conflict with the Soviet Union and Western Europe, reconciliation between Muslim countries and a pan-Islamic attack, threats to the peace treaty with Egypt and other doomsday events. They underestimated the probability of a successful pre-emptive attack and overestimated Iraq’s military capabilities. Some claimed there was a greater chance of seeing Israeli pilots being dragged through the streets of Baghdad than being welcomed back to their bases. But, Begin decided in favor of a pre-emptive strike, determining that the cost of restraint could be far greater than that of a pre-emptive strike; that a nuclear threat would subordinate Israel both politically and militarily; that a nuclear attack could not be ruled out considering the violent, unpredictable and hateful nature of regimes in the region, and that the ratio of Israeli territory to that of surrounding Arab states (0.2%) did not allow for a Mutual Assured Destruction. Begin understood that the window of opportunity for a strike against Iraq’s nuclear reactor was about to close. The destruction of the reactor drew short-term isolation, which was promptly substituted by a long-term strategic esteem and cooperation.

In 2012, after a decade of failed attempts at engagement and sanctions, and in light of the assistance (in terms of development and acquisition) Iran has received from Pakistan, North Korea, Russia and China for its nuclear program, Israel must decide between launching a pre-emptive attack to eliminate that threat or facing it. Opponents of an attack warn that it could potentially result in a harsh response from Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas, and international anger directed at Israel over higher oil prices, a wave of terror and Persian Gulf turbulence. Yet, these pale in comparison to the lethal cost of a nuclear threat, which includes a withdrawal of overseas and Israeli investors from the country, a record number of Israeli emigrants and a sharp decline of Aliya (Jewish immigration), dwindling tourism, intensification of military-political-economic dependence on the U.S., a more powerful and influential Iranian regime that takes control of the Persian Gulf , and the transformation of Israel from a strategic asset to a strategic liability. Israel would wither without even one nuclear warhead needing to be launched.

The discussion about the cost of a pre-emptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities is valuable only if intended to advance the attack and neutralize the possible retaliation by Iran and its allies. However, such a discussion is harmful, ignores precedents, plays into Iran’s hands and threatens Israel’s existence, if it reflects hesitancy, skepticism and fatalism, aiming to preclude preemption, and assuming that Israel can co-exist with a nuclear-armed Iran.

Yoram Ettinger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/preempt-iran-at-all-costs/2012/02/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: