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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘damage’

It’s My Opinion: Trash

Thursday, December 6th, 2012

Recently, a porcelain bathtub appeared atop a jetty off Miami Beach. The gleaming white object was perched upon craggy rocks. Ocean waves lapped around it. The origin of the tub was a mystery.

Some members of the South Florida community have conjectured that the tub was some strange artistic expression, perhaps inspired by the internationally recognized Art Basel festival to be held shortly on Miami Beach.

While some art aficionados might consider this exhibit a bold and creative work, there are others who consider the exploit as trash. A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission declared the action “littering” and a potential risk to the environment.

We are all greatly influenced by our preconceived ideas. We perceive. We interpret. We filter. What we see – as well as how we see it – is more than the reflection on our retina. We might have sight, but do we have insight?

The global reaction to Israel’s recent military incursion in Gaza has been quite compelling and a prime example of how bias affects facts. The mainstream media generally spun the actions as a “cycle of violence” and not as a victim nation responding to attack. After all, isn’t Israel always to blame?

An MSNBC anchor reflected that Israel was responding disproportionately. The anchor reported that Hamas missiles were largely “ineffective” and “rarely do damage” and inferred that innocent Arab civilians were being killed. Fox’s Juan Williams characterized Israel’s defense as overkill. Throughout the world, anti-Semitic rallies, thinly disguised as anti-Zionist in nature, exploded with a fury.

The worldwide Jewish community, for the most part, is just happy that the cease-fire was called and have moved on. There are Chanukah gifts to purchase and wrap, winter vacation plans to make and busy lives to contend with. The televised images of rocket explosions have passed.

Every morning Jews recite the prayer “Blessed are you Hashem, king of the universe, who gives sight to the blind.”

Certainly we need to truly see what is going on.

Trash is trash despite the spin. The Jewish world needs to open its eyes.

Shelley Benveniste

Contractors Poised to Defraud Homeowners after Sandy

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Homeowners must be alert to storm-chasing contractors who try to exploit the confusion after superstorm Sandy to make shoddy repairs or steal down payments, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud warns.

Most contractors are honest, but shady contractors typically descend on disaster areas such as those inflicted by Sandy, whose total damages could reach $50 billion.

Storm chasers typically go door-to-door seeking business. They’re often from out of state, incompetent and unlicensed. They intend to cheat anxious homeowners who urgently need repairs after the storm. Local contractors also may be dishonest.

Homeowners could lose thousands of dollars to contractor scams. Shoddy repairs also can take months to correct, making it harder for homeowners to put their lives back together again.

Contractor inquiries have ranked No. 1 for five straight years by the Better Business Bureau. Contractor-related complaints were ranked 3rd by the Consumer Federation of America for 2011. Home-improvement contractors were the No. 1 source of consumer complaints in New Jersey last year, reveals the state Division of Consumer Affairs.

Five Scams to Avoid

Pre-pay. The contractor demands a large cash payment upfront, then disappears after doing little or no work. The contractor also may illicitly require you to pay for bids.

Shoddy work. The work is low quality, using cheap or substandard materials. Homeowners may have to redo the entire job, often at their expense.

Phantom damage. A contractor creates storm damage. Nicking undamaged sidewall or roof shingles with a screwdriver to mimic hail damage is one come-on.

Inflated damage. Contractors may enlarge holes in a roof to increase their billings. Simply inflating the bill to include more work than was done is another ruse.

Pay your deductible. Offering to pay your insurance deductible to get your business typically is a come-on to lure you into fraudulent work.

Six Ways to Prevent Fraud

Avoid door-to-door contractors. These usually are the storm chasers who canvass damaged neighborhoods for repair jobs. All too often these contractors have fraudulent repairs in mind.

Verify license. Contact your state and local licensing agencies to ensure the contractor is licensed.

Work with your insurance company. Contact your insurer right away to help screen out scam artists. Work closely with your insurer throughout the claim process to assess the damage, determine what repairs are covered, and the cost. Get the right repairs done, and done right.

Watch for red flags. No business cards or referrals…P.O. Box instead of a street address…van looks rundown and has no company name…poor personal appearance…can’t show proof of workers compensation insurance or surety/performance bond.

Insist on a contract. Have a signed contract specifying exactly what work will be done, plus the price and repair schedule. Never sign a contract with blanks.

Contact local Better Business Bureau. Does the contractor have a history of complaints? See if the contractor has a BBB review.

Jewish Press Staff

We Lost the War

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

The last “Color Red” siren was sounded in Regional Council Sha’ar HaNegev at precisely 10:58 PM, and since then—11 hours, give or take—it’s been quiet in the Jewish settlements around the Gaza Strip. Both the IDF and the terrorists have been sticking to their commitment. (Update: The Jewish Press just reported, at 10:15 AM Thursday, that a rocket fired at Regional Council Ashkelon Coast exploded over Arab territory).

Also, according to the IDF Spokesman’s office, out of the 13 rockets and mortar shells fired after the official ceasefire had begun, at 9 PM, 10 fell inside Gaza, two fell in open areas in Israel, causing no damage, and one was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

I’ll deal in a minute with the deeper meaning of having reached a ceasefire through the good services of the U.S. and a Muslim Brother Egyptian president, and also what it means that Israel has now de facto recognized the Hamas government. But before we deal with that, and the rest of the moral, spiritual, and, of course, military and political aspects of this bizarre truce, let’s review what has been achieved over the past week or so of fighting.

Here are the IDF’s official figures: During Operation Pillar of Defense, aka Pillar of Cloud (the literal meaning of “Amud Anan”): The IDF attacked 1500 targets, including 19 major Hamas command centers, operational control centers and senior headquarters. 30 senior terrorists were attacked, wreaking havoc on Hamas’s short-term command and control issues. Hundreds of underground launchers were attacked and destroyed. 140 smuggling tunnels and 66 fighting tunnels were demolished. Dozens of Hamas war rooms and camps were attacked. 26 sites that manufactured and stored weapons were destroyed. Dozens of long-range launchers were destroyed.

These are the top Hamas operatives killed during the operation:

11.14: Ahmad Sa’id Khalil Jabari, head of the military wing of Hamas.

11. 15: Bahabseh Hassan Awadh Mesmeh, senior Hamas police commander.

11.16: Ahmad Abu Jalal, commander of the military wing Al-Mu’az and Khaled Sha’ar, a senior commander of Hamas’s anti-tank system.

11.17: Osama Kadi, a senior activist in southern Gaza smuggling operations and Muhammad Kalab, an activist in the air defense array.

In other words, Israel gained no strategic asset at all. As has been shown in the past with the assassination of every major, “irreplaceable,” terror genius, each time we kill one of those, soon enough he is replaced, and the terrorist system absorbs the damage skillfully, quickly returning to its former functionality if not better.

As the old adage says: the graveyards are full of irreplaceable people.

Yesterday I uploaded a bunch of pictures of the Hamas government district after the IAF had pounded it overnight. It looked like a junkyard, it reminded me of images of Stalingrad during the war. If, God forbid, they had been able to inflict this kind of damage on us, you’d see the lines of Israelis at Ben Gurion airport stretching all the way to Tel Aviv, with everybody holding tickets for safe havens in Warsaw, Berlin, and New York City.

But the Arabs in Gaza, at least the Hamasniks among them, are celebrating. Heck, they celebrate so hard, one got killed and three wounded just from the happy shooting in the air! They live like rats underground, they risk their lives every day, moving Iranian, Ukrainian, Chinese and Russian death technology through the Egyptian desert from the Sudan, from Libya, from wherever they can. Now and then the IAF rains death on their heads and they retreat, pause, and get started all over again.

The last time I saw that kind of dedication on our side was in 1973, when a tiny group of IDF armor soldiers held the entire Syrian army at bay, keeping it from pouring into northern Israel.

But during that 1973 war Israel was transformed. We were forced to take instructions from our masters in Washington, who had different designs for us. It’s true that, back in 1956, we were also ordered by a U.S. president to pull out of the Sinai and give up the territory we had gained in battle. But in 1973 we had an opportunity to finally and unequivocally stake our claim to our homeland, make a clear statement about the fact that we belong here, and will stay here forever, God willing.

Yori Yanover

Damage Inflicted on Hamas in Operation Pillar of Defense

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

IDF reports claim that Israel’s military inflicted serious damage on Hamas during the eight days of Operation Amud Anan – Pillar of Defense.

Israel eliminated Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, 30 Hamas field commanders, almost all of Hamas’s long-range missiles, and thousands of mid-range rockets and launching systems.  Among the dead are senior Hamas police official Habas Masmah, senior Hamas anti-tank missile operator Khaled Shaar, and spokesman for Islamic Jihad in Gaza City Ramaz Harb.

All in all, the Israel Air Force hit approximately 1500 targets across Gaza, destroyed 60 bomb tunnels, 140 smuggling tunnels, and tens of Hamas headquarters and major command centers, including a Gaza media building where Hamas housed its intelligence operations, a Gaza police station, and terror hideout.

On top of punishing Hamas, the IDF had a lot of success defending Israeli citizens.  The Iron Dome system reportedly intercepted 84 percent – 421 – of the rockets headed for Israeli cities.

Malkah Fleisher

Double Bus Exploded in Tel-Aviv, 21 Injured, 3 Serious

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Around noon, Wednesday, a young man boarded the Dan transit company number 142 articulated bus in downtown Tel-Aviv, an area of many government and business hi-risers (the IDF command center is situated only a few blocks away), and while riding for as few minutes, the man planted a bomb on the bus, exited at the corner of Weizman and Shaul Hamerlech Streets, as behind his back a huge explosion rocked the bus, shattering its glasses and blackening its front and interiors.

The 142 bus exploded a minute or so before it would have reached its most popular spot, by the Arlozorov Street train station, where it would have been boarded by dozens of passengers, in the midst of a large crowd of pedestrians.

A police official told Ma’ariv that the organizers of this attack were hoping for a “big” event with multiple casualties.

Large police, Firefighting and EMT forces are arriving at the bus site. The street was blocked.

There are 17 injured, two of them inmoderate to serious condition, who were taken to the Ichilov Hospital nearby. No fatality, thank God.

The Ichilov Medical Center is right on Weizman Street, a short walk from the explosion.

An Army Radio reporter said that the internal damage was not as extensive as in previous explosions in years past.

Unofficial report says there was no suicide bomber on board, which suggests an explosive charge was planted on the bus. This would explain the relatively limited damage, compared to past explosions. Rumor has it that the terrorist was seen fleeing the bus and security forces were giving chase.

An eye witness told Army radio she heard the explosion and went out of her office, to discover a scene of smoke and shattered glass. She saw a female soldier’s body being removed from the bus.

Office workers in the district received warning to remain in their offices, because police suspect that the terrorist, is still at large.

An MDA official said that because of the war there is an increased number of ambulances in the city.

There are warnings about several terrorist teams in the city who are planning more attacks. Traffic jams are paralyzing access to downtown this afternoon.

Tel-Aviv school children were told to stay in school this afternoon, until further notice.

 

Jewish Press Staff

Must Watch: Hamas Bigwig’s Villa Blowed Up Real Good

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

The lovely Mediterranean style villa belonging to Hamas senior official Azi Abudama gets a direct hit and just goes up in smoke. Most satisfying video to yours truly, who’s been sitting here all day, updating the daily casualties and damage on our side.

Wait for it… Wait for it…

Yori Yanover

Ceasefire Tonight, Same War All Over Again Day after Tomorrow

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

As soon as the IDF started pounding the Gaza strip with massive artillery fire and attacks from the air, it was a sign of the end of this polite skirmish. In fact, as soon as the artillery started, I knew it was either to soften the ground in preparation for the ground invasion, or the final salvo armies traditionally deliver before the truce, to inflict as much damage as they still can, and so they’ll have less to schlep home afterwards.

Wars are a wonderful way to clear up the shelves for the new shipment of ammo.

Like the rest of us, Netanyahu, Barak, Liberman et al have weighed the benefits and risks of a ground invasion of a densely populated and very hostile Gaza, and decided to be prudent. All they need is for one bad move to end up in mass killings of either our boys, God forbid, or, possibly even worse, Arab civilians, two months before the elections. So they kicked the can to themselves down the road, as many have anticipated.

After today’s cabinet meeting, one senior Israeli official told Reuters: “Before deciding on a ground invasion, the prime minister intends to exhaust the diplomatic move in order to see if a long-term ceasefire can be achieved.”

Diplomatic moves must include Egypt, Gaza’s Muslim Brothers’ home office. President Mohamed Morsi took a call from Obama on Monday, with a clear request (we’ll call it that) to make Hamas stop shooting rockets into Israel.

The Egyptians have been working on that project ever since (well, almost two days, but it felt longer). We’ll see what kind of hybrid they’ve cobbled.

Here are the difficulties Israel had to consider:

1. It cannot negotiate with Hamas without directly destabilizing the Fatah government in Judea and Samaria. 2. It cannot invade Gaza without removing Hamas which entails staying there as a provisional government – not something the Israeli PM is looking forward to. 3. Whatever truce is reached tonight will not be worth the paper on which it is written.

All of the above suggests that the military cost of Operation Pillar of Defense, combined with the 1200 reported cases of serious damage to property over the past week – not to speak of the lives lost – will only buy Israel a few months of quiet.

Netanyahu, Barak, and Liberman tonight decided to avoid confronting the bully all the way. But as history teaches us, the bully you failed to confront in 1936, at a relatively low cost, or in 1938, at a higher cost, finally forced you to confront him in 1939 at the highest cost imaginable.

I wish all of us a safe life and a happy Hanukah.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/ceasefire-tonight-same-war-all-over-again-day-after-tomorrow/2012/11/20/

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