web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘development’

U.N. General Assembly Passes Israeli-Proposed Resolution

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution proposed by Israel that establishes entrepreneurship as a critical development tool for countries around the world.

Some 129 countries voted on Friday in favor of the “Entrepreneurship for Development” resolution, 31 countries voted against, and nine countries abstained in a vote that is considered an important diplomatic victory for Israel in an international body that frequently criticizes the state.

The resolution calls on governments to foster entrepreneurship and include all interested parties, according to Globes. The resolution also says that forming partnerships between the private and public sectors also creates jobs and promotes investment, and advances economic growth in a country.

The General Assembly’s Arab bloc voted against the resolution.

Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, in remarks after the vote noted that the Arab Group said it would vote against the resolution even before negotiations ended.

“What a shame,” Prosor said. “Few places could benefit from entrepreneurship more than the Arab world. Every Arab delegate who voted no is sending the message that he cares far more about petty politics than human prosperity.

“Israel’s story shows that if you want stability, empower your people. If you want prosperity, invest in your citizens. If you want sustainability, engage every member of society — especially women and youth. This, above all, is the core of this resolution.”

Olmert Flip Flops on E-1 Construction

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Olmert said, according to Maariv, quoting the Jerusalem Post:

“It is clear that at some point in the future there will be a contiguity between Maaleh Adumin and Jerusalem and the area will be built up.”
And from the New York Times:

Olmert Outlines Plans for Israel’s Borders By GREG MYREPublished: March 10, 2006

JERUSALEM, March 9 — In the most detailed description yet of his plans if elected prime minister this month, Ehud Olmert, Israel’s acting prime minister and the front-runner, said that he intended to set the country’s permanent borders by 2010 and that they were likely to run near the West Bank separation barrier.

Mr. Olmert also said he planned further development in Israel’s largest settlement, Maale Adumim, which would eventually link up with nearby East Jerusalem. Palestinians vehemently oppose such a move, because it would further isolate the Arab parts of East Jerusalem. The United States has also objected.

…But Mr. Olmert seems to believe that Israeli voters see the Hamas victory as an opportunity to set their own future borders without needing to negotiate with a Palestinian government, since Hamas refuses to recognize Israel.

…Mr. Olmert said he would wait a “reasonable time” to see if Hamas was willing to recognize Israel, disavow violence and accept previous agreements. But if Hamas “is not willing to accept these principles, we will need to begin to act,” he told The Jerusalem Post. He has also said he does not plan to meet with Mr. Abbas, regarding the Palestinian Authority as one entity that is now effectively controlled by Hamas.

Mr. Olmert said recently that Israel would not undertake any major infrastructure projects in West Bank settlements, though he appeared to be referring only to those that are beyond the separation barrier.

In his latest comments, he said he planned to go ahead with the so-called E-1 development plan, which calls for building some 3,500 homes in the land between East Jerusalem and the large Maale Adumim settlement. Maale Adumim, which has more than 30,000 residents, is a couple of miles from East Jerusalem.

“It’s entirely clear that the continuity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim will be a built-up continuity,” Mr. Olmert was quoted by Haaretz as saying. “In my view there is an absolute consensus in Israel on this issue.”

There was this earlier:-

In early 2005, the Ma’ale Adumim city council announced plans for the residential neighborhood and the police station, and in August of that year, there were submitted for public review, a bureaucratic formality preceding final authorization. The same months, Netanyahu kicked off his campaign to regain leadership of the Likud in E1 and a day later, vice premier Ehud Olmert declared that Israel would build homes to connect Ma’ale Adumim to Jerusalem “at the appropriate time.”

 And this:

In October 1994, while in the midst of hammering out the Oslo Accords, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin declared that a “united Jerusalem” would include Ma’aleh Adumim as the capital of Israel under Israel sovereignty. As part of the effort to make sure Ma’aleh Adumim remained an integral part of a “united Jerusalem,” Rabin provided then-mayor Benny Kashriel with annexation documents for the E1 area –a strip of land that connects the capital with Ma’aleh Adumim. As prime minister in 1996, Shimon Peres reaffirmed the government’s position that Israel will demand applying Israeli sovereignty over Ma’aleh Adumim in the framework of a permanent peace agreement. Dovish politician and co-author of the Geneva Initiative, Yossi Beilin, supported annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. And the 2000 Clinton Parameters called for Israel to be compensated for the partitioning of Jerusalem by annexing Ma’aleh Adumim. During the 2008 Annapolis negotiations, then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni demanded that Ma’aleh Adumim remain a part of Israel.

So, who is kidding who when he now said:

“there was one request by the American government — and there was no question president [George] Bush and [secretary of state] Condoleezza Rice were friends of Israel — they asked me, ‘Please don’t build in E1, because if you do, it will be beyond the capacity of the Palestinian leadership to sit with you.’”

Olmert said he told the American administration that “one day Maaleh Adumim will be part of Israel because we will not leave them as an enclave.” But, he added, his government agreed not to build in the area in order to enable negotiations with the Palestinian Authority to take place.

E1, Olmert suggested, was a point of particular concern for the American administration.

“So [for the Netanyahu government] to build in this one piece of land,” he said, “requires creativity which is beyond my comprehension.”

New Evidence Shows: Iran Working on Nuclear Bomb

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The Associated Press on Tuesday published a diagram showing that Iranian scientist have run computer simulations that would produce more than triple the explosive force of the World War II bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

A.P. reported that it got the diagram from officials from a country critical of Iran’s atomic program to bolster their arguments that Iran’s nuclear program must be halted before it produces a weapon.

A.P.  furthermore wrote that the International Atomic Energy Agency — the Vienna-based U.N. nuclear watchdog — last year reported that it had obtained diagrams indicating that Iran was calculating the “nuclear explosive yield” of potential weapons.

A senior diplomat who is considered neutral on the issue confirmed that the graph obtained by the A.P. was indeed one of those cited by the IAEA in that report.

This alarming news came after the publication of the latest IAEA report that was unusually outspoken about the development of a nuclear weapon by Iran.

The IAEA report contained the following information:

40.  ‘The Annex to the Director General’s November 2011 report (GOV/2011/65) provided a detailed analysis of the information available to the Agency, indicating that Iran has carried out activities that are relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive device.’

Since November 2011, the Agency has obtained more information which further corroborates the analysis
contained in the aforementioned Annex.

42. As indicated in Section B above, since the November 2011 Board, the Agency, through several rounds of formal talks and numerous informal contacts with Iran, has made intensive efforts to seek to resolve all of the outstanding issues related to Iran’s nuclear programme, especially with respect to possible military dimensions, but without concrete results.

43. Parchin:…information provided to the Agency by Member States indicates that Iran constructed a large explosives
containment vessel in which to conduct hydrodynamic experiments…

44. As previously reported, satellite imagery available to the Agency for the period from February 2005 to January 2012 shows virtually no activity at or near the building housing the
containment vessel. Since the Agency’s first request for access to this location, however, satellite imagery shows that extensive activities and resultant changes have taken place at this location.

45. …such experiments would be strong indicators of possible nuclear weapon development….the Agency notified Iran of that location in January 2012. Iran has stated that “the allegation of nuclear activities in Parchin site is baseless.”

Originally published at the Missing Piece.

The Importance Of Strong Management In Day Schools

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

One of the hottest topics across all spectrums in the Jewish community is the financial sustainability of Jewish day school education in America. Schools have invested a lot of time and resources to train their professionals in the art of fundraising, developing donor relationships, and launching effective capital campaigns. And there has been a concerted effort among Jewish educational organizations to establish programs to assist day schools in improving their governance and developmental practices.

In early 2011, the AVI CHAI Foundation, along with local foundations and federations in various Jewish communities, provided support to Yeshiva University’s Institute for University-School Partnership (YUSP) to launch a broad-based program to improve growth and performance. The goal of the program was to collect data from a pool of approximately 35 schools and then use that data as a comparative benchmarking tool to identify opportunities for revenue enhancements and expense reductions at a minimum of 10 percent of their respective budgets. Collectively these schools have a budget of $225 million, so a 10 percent improvement translates to $22.5 million.

In addition, Torah Umesorah is scheduled to begin a training program to educate yeshiva day school executives in effective leadership and management skills, including an emphasis on board development and fundraising.

And the Partnership for Excellence in Jewish Education (PEJE) recently announced the launch of MATCH, for the fourth time since 2004. This program, which went into effect on August 1, is designed to strengthen Jewish day schools by broadening the community of donors. To accomplish this, the program provides first-time donors the opportunity to leverage a donation of $10,000 or more at a matching rate of 50 cents to the dollar, up to $50,000.

These approaches are highly innovative and have the potential to be successful and helpful to many schools. However, programs that focus on fundraising and development can only be effective if there are no cracks in the school’s administrative foundation. A ship can only set sail once there are no leaks in its hull; otherwise it will not get very far.

I know of a school that found itself in dispute with local storekeepers for thousands of dollars in merchandise. There was general confusion concerning what was purchased and what was owed. As is the case with many schools, principals and teachers would purchase goods on credit, often forgetting to submit the bill to the finance office. At other times, the stores would mail the invoice to the finance office, which was unaware a purchase had been made. The invoices would not be paid right away so the store would then fax in the invoice. Over time, no one knew what was ordered, what was actually received, or what was paid. Sometimes the same invoice would be paid twice, even three times.

All this could have been avoided had some simple and easy internal controls been in place. Ultimately, that is exactly what the school did. First, it authorized one person to do all the purchasing of goods and services for the school and put a strict ban on all staff from making any purchases on credit. A letter was then sent to local stores informing them of this new policy. Storeowners were warned that if they accepted a purchase on credit from anyone other than the school’s authorized purchaser, they would be sent a tax receipt for the “donation.” Faxes would no longer be accepted either. Payments would only be made from the original invoice.

A requisition form was also introduced for all purchases of goods and services. Approval from the executive director was required before any purchase was made. When goods arrived at the school, they were counted and matched to both the invoice and the approved purchase requisition form. The school’s administrators were surprised to see how many times the quantity of items stated on the invoice was greater than what was actually received. A lot of money was saved by catching these errors. Even the shopkeepers were happy when they started getting paid on time.

To be clear, there are a great number of schools that do operate at a very high level of competency. Their administrations take seriously their fiduciary duty to parents and donors to operate their schools in the most professional and financially efficient manner. They have their finance offices humming along like well-oiled machines and their lay leadership is to be commended. For these schools, the YUSP benchmarking and strategic planning program, as well as other pioneering programs, would not only work but could ensure their viability and sustainability for decades to come.

Why Economic Development as a Panacea for Middle East Problems is a Myth

Sunday, October 28th, 2012
Visit Rubin Reports.
A reader asks:
“I agree that democracy and economic development are not panaceas for the Middle East, just as they are not for any other location on the planet.  But aren’t they a start?  And since it is possible to chew gum and walk at the same time, does it hurt to at least pay lip service to doing things to bring the rest of the Middle East into the 21st century? And what would those things be in your opinion?”
As you noted, both candidates in the presidential election spoke of economic development as a top priority in their Middle East policy. This sounds good to voters but is pretty meaningless.

A typical example of this meme is given by Obama in his June 4, 2009 Cairo speech:
We…know that military power alone is not going to solve the problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  That’s why we plan to invest $1.5 billion each year over the next five years to partner with Pakistanis to build schools and hospitals, roads and businesses, and hundreds of millions to help those who’ve been displaced.  That’s why we are providing more than $2.8 billion to help Afghans develop their economy and deliver services that people depend on.
 But almost four years later none of these massive expenditures have either changed the situation in those countries or even brought much benefit to their people.
A Western viewer might accept Obama’s claim that people just want good jobs, nice housing, and higher living standards for themselves and their children. Yet the appeals of radical ideology overcome material considerations. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini dismissively referred to this theory shortly after he took power in Iran by remarking that the West seemed to think the Iranian Islamist revolution was about the price of watermelons but that wasn’t true of all.It does make sense to the Western mind that material conditions will determine the political beliefs and loyalties of Arabs and Iranians. Yet over the span of the last century things have simply not turned out that way in practice. This was partly due to the fact that nobody  delivered major increases in living standards except in the Gulf Arab states like Saudi Arabia and in those places it was a highly traditional and religious way of life being reinforced.Elsewhere governments mustered loyalty not by making the pie bigger but by controlling who got what. So if you had the option material well-being for the urban middle class and certain ethnic segments meant supporting the dictatorship and getting some reward. That will also apply if the dictatorship is an Islamist one, which can offer spiritual exaltation as well. And at least for some years many voters–where people have the opportunity to choose–will believe that Islamism is the best chance for a stable, just, and relatively prosperous society.

There are lots of people who would like their children to grow up to be suicide bombers or prefer piety to prosperity. Even though many don’t think that way, they might be persuaded that radicalism is the best route to better lives. And finally, when people and rulers see no real way to achieve prosperity, both the governments and the masses will turn to demagoguery, scapegoating, and foreign adventures.

Countries are not prepared for progress due to ideology, worldview, institutions, political culture, and many other factors. In particular, the presence of such large and powerful radical forces—willing, even eager, to use violence—is a huge problem. Demagoguery is potent. Such factors can override the kind of materialistic orientation and enlightened self-interest that Westerners expect and that underpin the belief that democracy can provide stable polities and ensure moderation.
It should be stressed that every country is different. In general, though, the problem with economic development is that it does not trump politics. The countries of the region can be divided into those that have oil wealth and those that don’t. The wealthy countries don’t need American programs to engage in economic development. In some cases, radicalism and instability keep getting in the way. In others—think of Iran or Iraq under Saddam–economic development is managed within the framework of an extremist regime and ideology.
It is true that the wealth of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have made them more cautious and—often in practice but not in rhetoric or domestic policy—more pragmatic. But one must be cautious here. Saudi Arabia’s wealth and the high living standards of many citizens has not made the country a paragon of democratic values at home and moderation abroad.
Saudi money has been used to spread Islamism and back radical Islamists, most notably in contemporary Syria and in Iraq a few years ago. Qatar has aligned itself with Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood, engaging in mischief as far afield as Libya. Iraq and Algeria need stability but the problem is not economic development as such but merely pumping more oil and doing something about bureaucracy and corruption.
Certainly, though, these countries do not need Western governments to promote economic development.
Radical regimes, like Libya under Muammar al-Qadhafi, Iraq under Saddam Hussein, or Islamist Iran use some of their wealth for development and much of it for projects like building nuclear weapons and subverting their neighbors.
So regarding the wealthy countries there isn’t much for the West to do in promoting economic development. What about the non-oil states? Let’s look at the specific cases. Lebanon, famous for its merchants, had a self-made multi-millionaire as prime minister who focused on economic development. But he was forced out and assassinated. Internal conflict, ideology, and engagement in foreign adventures wrecked the chance for economic development.
The same applies even more to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, which is more interested in fighting Israel than in raising living standards. How can the West help when the local impetus is lacking?
This brings us to Egypt. The truth is that Egypt has a lot of people but few resources and a terrible structural and cultural situation regarding work. Here’s one example. A leading British supermarket chain opened stores in Egypt. Traditionalists, radicals, and competitors (the owners of small stores) spread rumors that the supermarket company backed Israel and was anti-Muslim. Despite the store’s efforts at denial and appeasement, the pressure became so great that it had to close and leave the country.
In a Muslim Brotherhood ruled Egypt, with Salafists engaging in anarchic violence, is U.S.-backed economic development going to make any differences. As for the Palestinian Authority, vast amounts of aid money have flowed in and despite some apparent successes—a lot of luxury apartments have been built and people kept employed in the government bureaucracy—no lasting progress has been made. A lot of the money has ended up in the political leaders’ foreign bank accounts. At any time, Hamas could take over or the Fatah-led regime turn back to a war against Israel.
Economic development sounds good but in practice it is more a way to keep Western citizens happy than to make a real difference in the Middle East. For example, when discussing his economic development policy in the foreign policy presidential debate, Obama cited his government’s “organizing entrepreneurship conferences.” And in reality a lot of the money is simply a pay-off to local regimes or a way to shore them up. It has nothing to do with real development.
The story of the battle of factions and corrupt leaders in the Palestinian Authority over awarding a mobile phone contract; how EU-financed public housing turned into luxury apartments to reward regime supporters; or the sabotage against building an improved sewer system in the Gaza Strip—even though foreign aid was paying for the whole project—are wonderful case studies in how economic development campaigns that look good in the West amount to a joke on the ground.
There are, however, three countries that could benefit from economic development efforts if they were to be focused. Those are Tunisia, Morocco, and Jordan. Tunisia, of course, is currently ruled by an Islamist-dominated regime. Whether that government will remain cautious or turn increasingly radical—pressed on by rampaging Salafists—is not clear. Strengthening the moderate forces in Tunisia, which are more proportionately substantial than in any other Arabic-speaking country, is a worthwhile effort but it might not work.
Ironically, Morocco and Jordan are led by moderate regimes threatened by a public opinion that is often radicalized due to poverty. Even there, however, this is not the sole factor. Jordan, for example, has a powerful opposition Brotherhood and a potentially radicalized Palestinian majority. The Palestinians who came there after being expelled from Kuwait in 1991 (because of the PLO’s support for Saddam Hussein’s invasion) brought in a lot of riches and business skills. Amman has become a much wealthier city but Jordanians generally don’t seem to have benefited much.
But Jordan is relatively small, weak, and doesn’t cause trouble, while Morocco is not a factor in the region’s international affairs. So the places where a real economic development effort could really make a difference get neglected. For a while, the Saudis talked about admitting Jordan to the rich man’s club, the Gulf Cooperation Council and giving a billion dollars in aid. But nothing came of it in the end.
Remember that the United States gave tens of billions of dollars in aid to Egypt without getting gratitude or popular moderation. Similarly, the United States gave or helped organize an effort for the Palestinians that constituted the most aid money given per person in history. Yet this brought neither progress on the peace process, a transformation in Palestinian thinking, or gratitude.
At any rate, while “economic development” sounds like a great idea, a fine way of making people happy, getting them to love America, and undermining radicalism, in practice it isn’t so effective.
Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Son of Ultra-Orthodox Founder of ZAKA Joins IDF

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Ariel Meshi Zahav, the son of Yehuda Meshi Zahav, the Chareidi man who founded the Zaka organization, was recently drafted into the IDF. It’s reported that he was placed in the Golani Brigade.

Many in the Chareidi community were shocked by this development, and some within the community have come out and stated that Ariel Meshi Zahav is not Chareidi.

Touro L.A.: Teaching Teachers

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

In a creative initiative, Touro College Los Angeles’s new education concentration for working teachers is designed to meet the professional development needs of teachers in the Greater Los Angeles area by providing education courses each semester.

This fall TCLA will offer EDU 311: Principles of Early Childhood, beginning September 12 at Ohr Hachaim Academy, and PSY 203: Child Growth and Development, starting September 2 at the Cheder of Los Angeles. Students can earn three credits per course while learning from an experienced instructor.

According to Tamar Andrews, Ed.D., education instructor at TCLA and preschool director at Temple Isaiah, “The field of early childhood education is quickly moving up the ranks as a legitimate profession. Teachers, as the professional practitioners, must welcome this opportunity for recognition and rise to the challenge by educating themselves, as do practitioners in other fields. We will only become equals to lawyers, doctors and others when we, ourselves, are willing to go beyond the minimal requirements of licensing and towards ‘professional.’ ”

To reduce educators’ financial burdens, TCLA is offering a 50 percent tuition discount to teachers. For more information about this program, call Samira Miller at 323-822-9700 x 85155, or e-mail samira.miller@gmail.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/west-coast-happenings/touro-l-a-teaching-teachers/2012/09/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: