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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘competition’

Israel to Compete at World Baseball Qualifier in Brooklyn, NY

Monday, August 29th, 2016

Israel is to be represented next month at the international qualifier for next year’s World Baseball Classic in Brooklyn, New York, against Brazil, Britain and Pakistan.

A number of players from the Major League will represent the Jewish State, including former All-Star pitcher Jason Marquis, former Mets infielder Ike Davis, and Craig Breslow, a player for the Red Sox in their 2013 World Series title.

If Israel qualifies for the WBC, the roster will likely include the greatest collection of Jewish ballplayers on one team in the history of the game, ever.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Bill Approved to Increase Competition in Israeli Financial Sector

Monday, August 1st, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli government unanimously approved legislation to increase competition in the Israeli financial sector on Sunday.

According to a Finance Ministry spokesperson, the legislation aims to shatter the current banking sector oligopoly by allowing new players to enter the financial and banking sector thus increasing market competition.

“The problem with Israeli banks is that they all suffer from a lack of efficiency in costs, which is necessarily rolled on to the consumers of their financial services,” Professor Omer Moav, an economics expert at the University of Warwick, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “Competition can help that. Allowing foreign banks to offer services, even through the Internet for example, will decrease costs and increase efficiency.”

The bill was proposed by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and is an implementation of recommendations made by the Committee on Increasing Competitiveness in the Economy. The committee was formed by Minister Kahlon and the Central Bank of Israel (CBI) in order to find legal ways to increase competitiveness and efficacy in the otherwise concentrated and cartelized Israeli banking system.

“The changes mandated by this law, mainly the recommendation to separate the banks from the credit companies, will create an advanced banking system and more competitiveness in the retail and small business fields in the upcoming years,” said CBI Governor Karnit Flug.

The main clauses of the bill include a separation of the major Israeli banks from Israeli credit companies. The three largest Israeli banks also currently own and operate the credit card companies.

The three banks, Hapoalim, Leumi, and Discount, together control about 75% of credit in Israel. The new law will force Hapoalim and Leumi at the least to sell their existing credit card companies.

In addition the new law will provide certain protections and incentives for potential new actors to enter the Israeli market, such as more flexible regulations to help them compete with the major banks.

“The bill also includes a pathway to the establishment of entirely new Israeli banks, better oversight on existing banks and on their competitiveness, the creation of new and improved databases for credit card companies, and the advancement of technology and innovation in local banks,” Governor Flug elaborated.

However, the measures proposed by the bill have been previously criticized by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of which Israel is a member.

According to the IMF, the government committee that provided recommendations for the bill used old data in its analysis thus rendering the basis of the reform faulty and potentially harming the stability of the entire system.

While Flug and the CBI supported the bill and helped shape it to a large extent, Flug cautioned the government to implement the law responsibly. “An increase in the number of banks and financial brokers that are not banks means a higher risk of collapse,” she contended.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israeli Volleyball Judge Indicted for Attempting to Murder the Competition

Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Is Hollywood having a negative effect on our everyday lives? You be the judge.

The Tel Aviv District Attorney’s Office on Sunday indicted Barak Nagar, 31, a volleyball judge, who attempted to murder his friend over getting picked to judge an international tournament in his place. According to the indictment, Nagar invited his friend, whom he has known from their work for the Israeli Volleyball Association, to his Tel Aviv apartment after the friend had won the job of judging an international European competition which Barak had lost. Nagar decided to hang his friend to death from a seesaw hook in his living room ceiling. After the hanging, Nagar planned to cut up his friend’s body and dispose of the parts.

According to the indictment, the defendant acquired a rope, sleeping pills, garbage bags, a saw, two Japanese knives and a tape. He also killed a dog and a cat from the neighborhood and practiced his plan on their bodies.

Once he felt ready for the mission, Nagar invited his friend over to his apartment, and when he arrived he talked him into drinking liquor, saying he had a house rule of having to do a shot every 15 minutes. He mixed some 29 Klonopin and one Nocturno sleeping pills with his friend’s drinks to get him drowsy. Finally, the friend became sleepy and lied down on a bed. Nagar spread garbage bags on the apartment floor, for his friend’s body. He then stripped his friend naked. His friend woke up now and then and observed what was being done to him, but was unable to resist.

When Nagar realized his friend was not fully sedated, he decided to kill him by cutting his throat rather than by hanging him. He tied his friend’s legs together with the rope, took one of the Japanese knives and sat down on his friend’s stomach. When the friend asked what he was doing, Nagar threw the knife beyond the bed and said he wanted to kiss his friend, but his friend refused. The friend then fell asleep again and Nagar stabbed him several times in the left side of his neck with the knife and strangled him with both hands.

The strangling woke his friend from his slumber and he started fighting back. He asked Nagar to stop, but Nagar continued to strangle him, fought him, smacked his head against the floor and smacked him in the face with his fists. Eventually the friend managed to hit Nagar in the head and escaped from the apartment, naked and hemorrhaging from his neck. Pedestrians downstairs alerted the rescue teams.

Nagar is also accused of interfering with the investigation, when he wiped off his victim’s blood from the floor with a mop and washed his hands. He also hid evidence, by taking his friend’s wallet, cellphone and car keys — and left the apartment. Nagar then dumped the phone and the keys in the sea and threw the wallet in a sewer.

Was this a case of too many Hollywood movies? Probably — and not the smooth ones, but the hectic, Coen Brothers kind, where much blood is spilled over much ineptness and shoddy planning.

JNi.Media

NCSY Southern Region Teens Win JUMP Competition

Monday, April 25th, 2016

Savannah teens from NCSY Southern Region Richard Epstein, Isaac Lichtman, Shani Locker, Tomer Locker, Uri Locker, Mario Maddox, Jordyn Stoltzman, and Sadie Vetter won this year’s NCSY JUMP (Jewish Unity Mentoring Program). Their mentor was Rabbi Eli Lob, director of Savannah NCSY.

JUMP is an international competition run by NCSY in which teens from various high schools join together in their home cities and run three communal events focusing on topics that benefit their community and the future of the Jewish people.

Winners and judges from NCSY's 2016 JUMP competition

Winners and judges from NCSY’s 2016 JUMP competition

At the beginning of last year, four teens from the team started off JUMP by creating programs within their Jewish community. The youngsters presented their programs in the Goldman Sachs board room and were the runner-ups for the 2015 competition. They returned to Savannah proud of their accomplishments but with a drive to be more successful next time.

This year, the team doubled in size to eight teens. Participants started off with many challenges, deciding which programs to run and how best to work together. They persevered, creating an Amazon business as their fundraiser, a “Shabbat of the Generations” and an anti-BDS event. This time they finished in first place. Savannah NCSY returned home with the 2016 JUMP trophy,

NCSY is dedicated to connecting, inspiring, and empowering Jewish teens and encouraging passionate Judaism through Torah and tradition.

For more information on Southern Region NCSY contact Southern.NCSY.org or cohnt@ncsy.org.

Shelley Benveniste

BFF

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

Finance Minister Moshe Kachlon and Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug met today to discuss the problem of Israeli banking.

They talked about the 3 main banks who control 70% of the credit in the Israeli banking market.

They want to open more banks and create competition for the citizen and consumer.

Flug took a more cautionary tone, and added that the new banks will need to be monitored properly.

Kachlon’s next target are the insurance and pension fund companies.

Photo of the Day

MKs and Ministers Trying to Kill the Free Press in Israel

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Israeli Ministers and Knesset members are coming out against the free market of ideas, and the free market as well, by proposing a bill that would potentially kill the popular and free Israeli daily print paper, Yisrael Hayom.

The paper is given out free in Israel, and has become the primary competitor to Arnon “Nuni” Moses’s Yediot Achronot, which leans more to the political left, though not as far left as Ha’aretz, which only has a minuscule market share in Israel.

Among those MKs proposing the bill that would try to shut down the paper are MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid).

Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said today on a Galei Tzahal interview, that Yisrael Hayom is “Pravda“, and serves the interest of one person [the Prime Minister].

It is not clear to us what is stopping Bennett from convincing one of his own supporters to print a daily paper that would be pro-Bennett, or even improving his relationship with the religious-Zionist paper Arutz-7, so they’d give him better coverage in their free weekend paper.

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid chairman), whose party supports the bill, used to write a column for Yisrael Hayom’s main competitor, Yediot.

Yisrael Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, and typically takes a position that is pro whatever position PM Netanyahu recently put forward, though not always a right-wing position. It also publishes articles from those on the left side of the political spectrum. There is no denying that it is agenda driven, but name one newspaper that isn’t.

As an aside, Sheldon Adelson, may soon be purchasing the religious-Zionist paper Makor Rishon, after Makor Rishon over-extended itself financially with its purchase of Ma’ariv.

Some in the Likud say that Moses and Yediot are the driving force behind this bill.

The “Yisrael Hayom” law, as it is being called because it specifically only targets Yisrael Hayom, would require that the top four daily print papers charge fees relative to what the other daily print papers are charging – or more accurately no less than 70% of whatever the second lowest priced paper is charging.

To us, it looks like a blatant attempt to suppress the voices of political opponents and suppress freedom of speech and press in Israel.

Yediot has the same opportunity to build a different business model, take a different political line that is more palatable to most Israelis, or even accept that it won’t be number one in the market anymore.

The free Arutz-7 Shabbat print paper and the fee-based Makor Rishon have coexisted quite nicely for over a decade serving the Religious-Zionist market, each one with their own business model and message – proving that it can be done.

It appears that this is really an attempt to block the basic right for anyone to put down their soap box in the city square and freely express their opinion – if certain people are worried that that opinion is becoming too popular.

Eitan Cabel (Labor), one of the proponents of the bill, played a central role in shutting down the very popular right-wing religious Arutz-7 radio station.

Naftalki Bennett and Bayit Yehudi should really consider who its allies are in this fight and what it could mean for them next.

It appears that in Israel, those on the political left can’t stand that those on the political right have a voice that is heard, and those on the right are too short-sighted to see that suppressing both the free market and the free market of ideas is dangerous for all of us, and that is the real problem.

Shalom Bear

Facebook Buys Israeli Firm for $100-$200 Million

Monday, October 14th, 2013

The website “TechCrunch” reports that Facebook has just purchased the Israeli mobile analytics and market intelligence company, Onavo, for somewhere between $100-$200 million.

Onavo, formed in 2010, will turn into Facebook’s first office in the country.

Onavo’s primary application is for market intelligence, monitoring the performance of mobile apps for the purpose of charting that performance versus that of its competitors. They have another mobile app designed for optimizing performance and battery life on mobile phone devices.

This is the third Israeli company that Facebook has bought, the first was Snaptu ($70 million in 2011), and Face.com ($50-$60 million in 2012).

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/facebook-buys-israeli-firm-for-100-200-million/2013/10/14/

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