web analytics
July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘billion’

Qatar Shopping in Italy for $6.2 Billion Worth of Naval Defense

Friday, July 1st, 2016

MBDA Italia secured a contract to provide $1.1 billion worth of missiles for Qatar’s new naval vessels. These missiles include the Aster 30 Block 1, VL MICA air defense missiles and Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles.

A short while ago, Qatar agreed to a $5.1 billion purchase of seven naval vessels from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, which include four corvettes, one landing platform dock, and two offshore patrol vessels.

David Israel

Official: Water Crisis in Samaria Caused by Arabs Stealing 400 Million Gallons a Year

Friday, July 1st, 2016

On Thursday, during an emergency meeting on water shortages in Samaria in the office of Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi), it was revealed that systematic water theft by Arabs, as well as dereliction of duty on the part of the Israeli water authorities, are to blame for the current crisis.

Over the past two weeks or so, the Jewish communities of eastern Samaria—Karney Shomron, Ariel, Kdumim—have been under emergency water procedure. These communities, with roughly 60,000 residents, experience interruption of their water service every few days, and it has been presumed that the shortages are due to the failure of the water authority to expand its infrastructure to match the Jewish and Arab population growth in Samaria.

On Monday, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) ordered Knesset Finance Committee management to freeze debates over budgets intended for the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), including freezing its budget of about $20 million until the water crisis in Samaria is resolved.

Also on Monday, Yesha Council heads met with Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) and presented alarming data on the absence of long-term infrastructure planning by the various government ministries throughout Judea and Samaria. Steinitz promised to take over the coordination of the different entities, including the Water Authority and the national water utility Mekorot.

The Thursday night meeting in Ben-Dahan’s office on the water shortage in Judea and Samaria (most acutely in Samaria) included representatives of COGAT, the Civil Administration, and the water Authority. During the meeting, Ben-Dahan stated that “for many years there has been neglect of everything having to do with the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria, which resulted in the absence of promoting master plans to develop the water resources in the area. Unfortunately, none of the entities involved has been properly prepared to deal with the growth in both the Jewish and Palestinian populations, as well as the growth in agricultural land which require a great deal of water.”

“In addition,” Ben-Dahan stated, “there’s the phenomenon of water theft by the Palestinians in the amount of 5,000 cubic meters of water daily, a factor in the shortage of water.”

To illustrate, 5,000 cubic meters is the equivalent of 1,100,000 gallons a day. Over one year, water theft by Arabs in Judea and Samaria reaches a staggering 401,500,000 gallons.

The debate in Ben-Dahan’s office, reported by Srugim, resulted in short- and long-term solutions. Over the next few days there will be a regular rotation of 15 water trucks that will refill the reservoirs in communities where they have dried out. In addition, the entities involved will examine the possibility of constructing 27 above-ground pools to provide for locations where the crisis has been particularly acute. Existing pumping stations which have been left in disrepair in Ariel and additional locations will be repaired speedily.

In coming weeks, both Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan and Minister Steinitz will meet to plan the promotion of a master plan for the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.

Interestingly, not one word was said about ways of preventing the flagrant theft of water by Arabs.

Meanwhile, on the Palestinian Authority side, the responsibility for the shortage is being placed squarely on Israel. In mid June, Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said that Israel was “waging a water war against the Palestinians. Israel wants to prevent Palestinians from leading a dignified life and uses its control over our water resources to this end; while illegal Israeli settlements enjoy uninterrupted water service, Palestinians are forced to spend great sums of money to buy water that is theirs in the first place.”

Ayman Rabi, executive director of the NGO Palestinian Hydrology Group, told Al Jazeera that “some areas had not received any water for more than 40 days. People are relying on purchasing water from water trucks or finding it from alternative sources such as springs and other filling points in their vicinity. Families are having to live on two, three or 10 litters per capita per day.”

Mekorot denied cutting the water supplies, but admitted there was a reduction in water supply “as a result of the shortage of water supply.”

“We have made a broad reduction of the supply to all residents in the area,” Mekorot told Al Jazeera. “All the facilities are working and the capability to supply is less than the rate of consumption. The water authority recently approved a master plan for the water sector and accordingly we will build the systems that will meet the West Bank’s required consumption.”

Now, if only Mekorot had told Ministers Ben-Dahan and Steinitz about this new master plan, it would have saved everybody a lot of time.

JNi.Media

Seeking $25 Billion Iran Sale Boeing Kept Pro-Deal Advocate Pickering on Payroll

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

It can be safely said that Boeing is the biggest beneficiary of the Iran nuclear deal, as it is going to drink up about $25 billion of Iran’s thawed funds—released as a condition of the deal—in a sale involving 109 aircraft. On Thursday The Daily Beast revealed that Boeing worked hard for this money, paying off top talent to go public in support of embracing the Islamic Republic back into the family of civilized nations.

Career Ambassador Thomas Pickering, one of the highest ranking US Foreign Service employees, whose four decades in the foreign service included ambassadorship in Israel (1985–1988); Russia (1993–1996); and the United Nations (1989–1992); who served as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs from 1997 to 2000, was a shill for the aircraft manufacturer, quietly taking money from Boeing to use his reputation in strongly supporting the Iran nuclear deal: Pickering testified before Congress, wrote letters to high-level officials and op-eds for The Washington Post and other major publications, never disclosing the fact that he was on the Boeing payroll.

It should be noted that Pickering did not conceal the fact that he serves on the board of directors of the American Iranian Council, which is devoted to the normalization of relations between Iran and the US. He just didn’t want folks to know he was also pimping for Jumbo.

Neil Gordon, an investigator for Project on Government Oversight, a Washington watchdog organization, told The Beast that Pickering “has a direct connection to Boeing,” and should have been honest about his work for Boeing when he testified before Congress on the deal. He could also mention it below those op-eds in major newspapers.

“I think it’s necessary for the public debate,” Gordon said. “It’s necessary for the public to fully realize the participants’ financial interests. Some of them might have a direct financial stake in a particular outcome.”

Boeing certainly had $25 billion worth of financial interest in the Iran nuclear agreement. With the deal Iran got its $100 billion plus interest that’s been frozen in US and world banks since 1979, and US companies could sell Iran their goods again. And one of Iran’s most burning need right off was updating its ancient fleet of passenger airplanes.

On June 19, 2014, Pickering testified before the House Armed Services Committee in favor of a comprehensive agreement with Iran, and did not mention Boeing in the disclosure form he handed the committee before his testimony. He also kept Boeing out of his bio that the House kept on file.

According to The Beast, Pickering confirmed to them via his Boeing corporate email address: “I was a Boeing employee from 1/2001 to 6/2006. I was a direct consultant to Boeing from 7/2006 until 12/2015 when‎ contract for consulting was moved to [Pickering’s company Hills & Company International Consultants] for my work.”

In September 2015, Congressman Mark Takai (D-Hawaii) issued a press release stating, “I spent hours discussing the matter with Ambassador Thomas Pickering, who served as US Ambassador to both Israel and Russia, and later to the United Nations. In no way does my support of the Iran Nuclear Agreement signify my trust in Iran, nor does it signal that I do not feel strongly about preserving and enhancing the US-Israel relationship.”

True, but it does signify Takai’s trust in Thomas Pickering’s integrity, which appears, in retrospect, foolish.

Pickering wrote a long op-ed for Tablet, the Jewish magazine for inquiring leftist minds, with the presumptuous headline, “A Guide for the Perplexed: The Iran Nuclear Agreement.” But nowhere under that clever homage to Maimonides superb book of philosophy did the ambassador mention how the deal benefits the Pickering bank account.

However, in that same Tablet article, Pickering wrote: “It is estimated that Iran will have access to $50 billion (all in foreign banks and all Iranian money) upon sanctions termination,” noting that “Opponents believe this can and will be used to support Iranian activities in the region favoring Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Assad regime in Syria among others,” and “Supporters argue that conclusion is far from certain. Iran has many very expensive priorities including repairing its oil-production base and stimulating its domestic economy.”

And buying $25 billion worth of Boeing aircraft, with a taste of that going to the corrupt career diplomat.

JNi.Media

New Legislation Would Free Up $1.5 Billion in Credit for Israeli Housing Starts

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Construction companies are no longer allowed to charge their customers fees for their own legal services, according to a key item in a new amendment to the Sales Law being promoted by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, Calcalist reported Thursday. Another significant change in the law would remove the requirement that contractors post a bank guarantee for the VAT portion of the cost of the apartment, and instead the state would set up a special fund to cover the buyers’ outlay. This would save contractors millions of dollars, releasing more than $1.5 billion in bank credit to the real estate market. The construction firm would still have to insure the rest of the buyer’s investment, in case said firm goes out of business.

The Housing Ministry, which began the move to amend the law nine months ago, is hoping the changes would pass by the end of the Knesset summer session in August. The move was spurred by the common understanding that the construction section of the current Sales Law is outdated, and has led real estate companies to develop their own ways of bypassing it, at the expense of their customers. The amendments were forged by an inter-office team that included Deputy Attorney General Erez Kamenetz, the Consumer Protection Authority, the Finance Ministry, and the Tax Authority.

“It is our responsibility to help the Israeli public get accessible housing, while legally protecting the buyers and maintaining fairness in all processes,” Minister of Housing Yoav Galant told Calcalist. One of the problems in the way housing business is done in Israel has to do with the buyer paying the contractor’s attorney for processing the new apartment at the Land Registry Office (the local word for the office is Tabu — no relation to taboos, the word is simply the Arabic mispronunciation of the Turkish word Tapu, or title-deed). A recent legislation limited the fees paid to said attorney to about $1,300, but even so, the clients may believe that by paying his fees the attorney is now working for them, which he certainly isn’t — he remains in the service of the contractor.

The Housing Ministry believes that registering the apartment and providing a legal deed is part of the overall product the contractor is expected to provide, and so they now want to go one step further and eliminate altogether the requirement for buyers to pay for this service.

There are other amendments which are not as crucial economically, but certainly add transparency to the process of buying an apartment in Israel. Companies would have to inform buyers of every change they intend to make in the original construction plan, for instance, if they want to add apartments. They also must inform buyers of changes in nearby lots, so that, if, for instance, their magical view of the Mediterranean would now be blocked by a 48-story tower, buyers would have the opportunity to get out of the deal and look elsewhere.

Contractors may no longer be permitted to sell apartments on land that is yet to be re-zoned for construction. If a plan for a new housing construction exists but the permit for building has yet to be issued, firms may sell units to buyers, but only with the proviso that the project is not yet legally authorized, providing the date for the expected authorization, and that buyers can get their money back in its entirety should the permit not be issued.

Also, any significant change in a purchased apartment’s layout, including in common areas such as storage spaces and lobbies, would be considered legally as failure to fulfill the contractor’s commitment and buyers may recoup their investment.

JNi.Media

PMW Reports PA’s ‘Billion Dollar Fraud’

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016

A special report by Palestinian Media Watch reveals a major fraud by the Palestinian Authority, through which it is reaping more than a billion dollars in foreign aid annually.

In 2014, the PA announced that in order to continue receiving more than a billion dollars in financial support annually, it was acceding to US and European donor countries’ demands that the PA stop paying salaries to terrorist prisoners. The PA claimed the money for prisoners’ salaries would no longer be paid by the PA but instead by the PLO.

Even though PMW warned at the time that this was nothing more than a ploy, the US and the EU countries accepted the PA’s assurances, and continue to pay the PA more than a billion dollars in financial aid every year.

The PMW special report cites numerous official PA sources and statements by officials, showing that the PA is violating the trust of the US and the EU. According to all these sources, the PA Ministry of Finance continues to make the decisions and remains the source of the money for paying salaries to terrorist prisoners.

In addition, records of the PA Ministry of Finance show money transfers the PA made to the PLO in the years 2012 – 2015. These transfers show a noteworthy money trail used to transfer money that is used for terrorist salaries from the PA to the PLO. In 2015, after the PA had assured Western donors it was no longer paying the salaries, and after it had closed the Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, it suddenly transferred more than double what it had transferred to the PLO in previous years. The additional amount transferred by the PA to the PLO in 2015 was almost identical to the budget the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs used to have. This extra money the PLO received from the PA in 2015 matches the amount the PLO now needed to pay the salaries of terrorist prisoners.

The payments may be made by the PLO, but the money is still PA money.

Since it continues to fund salaries to terrorists, thereby clearly violating its promise to donors, the PA should be ineligible to receive Western donor money. However, through this deception the PA is still reaping over a billion dollars in foreign aid.

Click here to view the full report in PDF
JNi.Media

Israel: the Impudence Accompanying Betrayal

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

I’ve always been amazed that anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat. There was never any chance that such a thing would happen. The United States would never go to war with tens of millions of people.

Moreover, there was never any chance the United States would let Israel “attack” Iran.

In a Huffington Post article by Steven Strauss, the author quotes Netanyahu:

“‘I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance… We are going to achieve economic independence [from the United States].’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a Joint Session of the United States Congress – Washington D.C., July 10, 1996 (Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs).”

Unfortunately, today, almost 20 years later, this is not a fair statement to quote. Strauss continues: “In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid.”

This, however, is not an appropriate comparison today. Let us look at the current situation: Egypt will receive $2 billion in U.S. aid; Saudi Arabia will receive military aid as well as the anti-Asad Syrian rebels; Turkey will receive billions of dollars and probably military equipment. Moreover, the United States and Europe will also reach out to Iran, and Hizballah and Syria will receive aid from Iran. In addition, the Palestinians have not made the least bit of commitment on a two-state solution. In other words, only Israel would lose. And this is the childhood’s end?

Strauss further notes, “Israel has become an affluent and developed country that can afford to pay for its own defense.” But the point is that other hostile countries will be receiving more while Israel will get the same amount.

He continues, “… Israel has a well developed economy in other ways.” But again, Israel will be placed at much more of a disadvantage.

The article’s claim, “Other countries/programs could better use this aid money,” does not state the reality.

“Even domestically, the aid that goes to Israel could be useful. Detroit is bankrupt, and our Congress is cutting back on food stamps, and making other painful budget cuts.” Again, the United States does not face an immediate threat from its neighbors, while Israel does. Moreover, this is shockingly implying that Israel is stealing money from poor people in the United States.

In other words, this is not equivalent.

“Israel and the United States have increasingly different visions about the future of the Middle East.” But again, so what? This is absolutely irrelevant.

“A major (bipartisan) goal of the United States has been the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Once again, this is a policy that is impossible, but the United States is going to try to force it on Israel anyway.

Note that the less security the United States and the West provide to Israel, the more difficult it makes it to secure or promote a desirable two-state solution. Strauss adds, “However, the current Israeli government is clearly not committed to the U.S. vision, and has done everything possible to sabotage American efforts.”

The problem with this last point is that the Palestinians have always tried to sabotage this. If this concept hasn’t gotten across in a quarter century, I can’t imagine when it will get across.

The current Israeli government has tried for many years to achieve a two-state solution and has made many concessions. And if Kerry can’t take Israel’s side on this issue, then I can’t imagine how decades of U.S. policy has been carried out. To say that the Israeli government is not committed is a fully hostile statement.

This claims Israeli settlement and not Palestinian intransigence has blocked the peace process.

Note that the author of this article has “distinguished” credentials: “Steven Strauss is an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.”

Yet if this is what the U.S. government understands, it will end badly. Moreover, the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons is not the important point; rather, it is the transformation of the U.S. Middle East position that is significant. I do not believe there is any chance Iran will use nuclear weapons. The problem is that this is reversal of the U.S. policy. In other words, it is like going back to 1948 and opposing partition.

Finally, what this is all about is money and greed. Many European countries are drooling about the money to be made. For example, Vittorio Da Rold writes (Il Sole 24 ore), “Italian SMEs are hoping for a rapid agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in order to return as soon as possible to trade without limits with Tehran and the rich Iranian market in hopes of finding new markets in a time when the European market flirts with deflation.”

Barry Rubin

Blue and White, All the Waze

Monday, May 13th, 2013

Waze and Facebook have reached an impasse in their negotiations, but not over whether Facebook will buy Waze for 700 million dollars, or a clean billion, but over Israel, according to the Israeli site Telecom News.

Facebook wants to close down Waze’s Raanana office, and transfer some of the developers to the U.S.

While the proudly Zionist Waze wants the development facility to remain in Israel.

Both companies are holding their ground on this issue.

Of course, Facebook is also not noted for their particularly great coding skills, and the Waze people may be concerned about what will happen to their product if Facebook developers start playing with it without adult supervision.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/blue-and-white-all-the-waze/2013/05/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: