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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Unprecedented NIS 2b Development Plan for Southern Israel Gets Green Light

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

Israel’s Cabinet today approved a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to invest NIS 2 billion in a long-term socioeconomic development plan in southern Israel.

The proposal is intended to upgrade civilian infrastructure in the fields of energy, industry, employment, health, agriculture, transportation, housing, social welfare, education, environmental protection, the economy and tourism, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office.

The proposal comes in addition to one already approved Sunday by the Cabinet that included a detailed development plan for Sderot and communities along the Gaza border.

At the start of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that this plan “includes building an additional hospital in Be’er Sheva, paving roads, assisting small and intermediate businesses, and developing tourism enterprises in the south and around the country in the wake of Operation Protective Edge.”

The prime minister underlined the fact that the proposal came in addition to “the decision we made on Sunday to add over NIS 1 billion for Sderot” and communities in the Gaza Belt area.

“I told the mayors and local council heads that I met with yesterday at the Eshkol Regional Council that the State of Israel was not making these unprecedented investments just for show,” Netanyahu continued.

“We are doing so with a two-fold goal – investing in and deepening our hold on all parts of the country but also as a message to those who seek to uproot us, that they will never succeed in doing so. We are all responsible for this.

“I would like to wish all citizens of Israel a good and happy New Year. I would also like to wish ministers a good and happy year. We are working together in order to ensure the future of the State of Israel and the people of Israel. May we all have a good, prosperous, safe and quiet year.”

Report: Netanyahu, Lapid Reach 2015 Budget Deal

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid have reportedly resolved their differences over the 2015 state budget.

The target deficit will be raised from 2.5 percent to 3.4 percent and the defense budget will be increased by NIS 6 billion, according to the report by The Marker.

There will be a zero percent VAT (value added tax / sales tax) and no increase in taxes.

Media Sells Phony Story of Suffering Palestinian Authority Economy

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Newspapers around the world Tuesday published a wire service article stating that the Palestinian Authority economy is expected to plunge by 15 percent this year and that economic growth will shrink by 4 percent because of the war in Gaza

The headline of the Associated Press article should have read, “Statistics, Statistic and Damned Lies.”

It is indeed accurate that the World Bank’s senior official in Judea, Gaza and Samaria indeed predicted that the Palestinian Authority’s’ economic growth is dropping sharply, but the whole truth, buried in the bottom of the article, is that the economy in Judea and Samaria actually is growing, albeit at a diminishing rate, just like in Israel.

One popular English-language Israeli news site bought the story, hook, line and sinker, and another also published the news of the “dismal forecast,” noting in a gross understatement that Gaza as the biggest impacted area.

You have to skip down to the 18th paragraph in the 19-paragraph story to discover, “According to the bank’s projections, the West Bank economy is likely to stagnate this year, with about 0.5 percent growth, while the Gaza economy is expected to shrink by 15 percent.”

But what about the statement that the “overall Palestinian economy will shrink by 4 percent this year”? How can that be if the economy in Judea and Samaria will grow.

Quick arithmetic comes up with the obvious answer that the statistics for Gaza, whose rulers brought the recent war on themselves, drag down the total figure that includes Judea and Samaria.

It should also be taken into account that the World Bank is the same grandiose institution that in 2005 promoted the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, euphemistically called the “Disengagement,” and was instrumental in the colossal stupidity of turning over Jewish greenhouses to Gaza farmers so that they could build their own economy in peace and freedom.

Within days, hothouses were torn down and became training grounds for Fatah and Hamas terrorists. Ever since the intifada in the late 1980s and the ensuing Oslo War in 2000, Gaza’s economy went from boom to bust.

But let’s stick with the World Bank and its dismal forecast.

By some unholy coincidence, the World Bank’s Palestinian Authority-based official, Steen Lau Jorgensen, released his report a week before a meeting of donor nations to the Palestinian Authority when the U.N. general Assembly convenes.

Just a coincidence, of course.

And what is the World Bank’s solution to the sagging economy? Get rid of Hamas, which no person with an iota of honesty can deny is totally corrupt and has exploited Gaza Arabs, raped them financially and robbed them of humanitarian aid?

No way.

The solution, according to the World Bank, is the “unity government” in which Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Hamas’s rival Fatah movement, is supposed to work with Gaza technocrats who are under the thumb of Hamas.

And of course Israel it to blame for the sagging economy in Gaza by restricting construction materials into Gaza, the same materials that Hamas used to build tunnels for terror.

Staging a promo for the donors’ conference, Jorgensen said, “It’s not clear that you would have substantial amounts … of new money coming in if there is no unified governance framework,” and Israel’s restrictions on the transfer of materials that can be used for terror mean it would take “18 years” to rebuild destroyed Gaza homes.

Remember the Hamas claims during the war, dutifully and  reported without question by the London Guardian, as noted Tuesday by the Elder of Ziyon blog site, that the Israel Air Force supposedly bombed and destroyed Gaza’s power plant?

US Jews ‘Bought Israel’ During War

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

American Jews stepped up to the plate during the recent Protective Edge campaign in Gaza and bought more Israeli products, according to Howard Bernstein, who coordinates the on-line Buy Israel Goods site.

He said there was a notable upswing in activity on BIG in July and August as the Gaza war started and accelerated, somewhat offsetting the Boycott Israel movement.

It is evident that supporters of Israel were motivated to help by seeking out Israeli products on BIG. Bernstein reported that most of the visitors were from the United States, Canada, Great Britain and India. Visitors also came from Australia and Germany.

The Israeli economy took a major hit during the Gaza campaign although industry sources say that the food industry is experiencing a robust back to school and pre-Rosh HaShanah period.

Shekel Dollar Rates Breaks Year High at 3.64

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

The shekel-dollar rate continued its non-stop climb Monday and reached beyond 3.64 shekels to the dollar but is near a short-term resistance level of 3.66

The rate two months ago was 3.40, and analysts were predicting a further drop, but The Jewish Press reported here before the recent rise that the situation of everyone being of the same opinion was a sure sign that a reversal to the upside was in sight.

However, our previous report saw resistance around 3.62, a level that easily was broke but still is only 2 cents from the next level of 3.66

The dollar has risen against almost all foreign currencies this summer after years of being in the doldrums. The Federal Reserve Bank has given clear signals that the  near-zero prime interest rate will rise next year, which will give investors a higher return for putting dollars in the bank.

The shekel had been strong, translated into a low shekel-dollar rate, for several years until this summer. The Israeli currency was strengthened in part by the prospect of Israel becoming an exporter of natural gas, but a slowdown in the economy, hastened by the war in Gaza, regional turmoil, and the tough government choice of having to raise taxes or the debt ceiling have combined with the strong dollar to send the shekel-dollar rate north.

This is good news for anyone with money in shekels or who gets paid in dollars because the conversion rate back into shekels is becoming higher each day.

That is equally true for Israeli-based international companies, whose earnings have taken a hit in recent years because of a decline in the shekel-dollar rate.

A cheaper shekel helps increase exports and tourism because more dollars buy more shekels.

On the downside, the higher shekel-dollar rate reflects pessimism over the local economy, which until last year was one of the strongest and most stable in the world, surviving quite well even the global bust in 2008.

“The economy is slowing down sharply, and when you combine this with the fact that Israel is part of the global picture, it’s likely that the shekel will continue to weaken,” Robert Carmeli, overseas funds manager at Migdal Capital Markets to told Globes business newspaper.

He and others are predicting that the shekel-dollar rate will approach 3.80 by the end of the year.

Lapid Won’t Let Defense Demands Turn Into ‘Turkish Bazaar’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Finance Minister Yair Lapid vows to quit the government rather than raise taxes, an issue being debated as the government considers the budget for 2015, and says he won’t let the defense budget become a “Turkish bazaar.”

Lapid, who chairs the Yesh Atid party, is not willing to quit the coalition without a fight over the issue, however – and certainly not willing to crash the government over it.

“Elections are not a good thing for the state of Israel,” Lapid said in an interview with the Hebrew-language Ynet site. “I’m not afraid of elections, but they’re not necessary.. “

Nevertheless, he said, “I will quit the government rather than raise taxes. I ran with this for office and I said I won’t let it get to a situation in which every time there’s a problem, the government milks the public for all it has.”

At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t seem as though there will be a real problem in getting a budget passed. The kind of wrangling going on over the issue is the same kind of debate that is seen every time a budget comes up for discussion, Lapid said.

“It does not seem to me to be very different to the kind of conduct we’ve seen before every budget passing. I’ve been through a hard budget already with all of the pressures it involved. There are always pressures being put on the finance minister.”

Pressure is one thing, Lapid said, and he understands the defense ministry needs more money to be able to deal with the expenses of this summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge. There must also be a budget to pay for defense against other enemies, and to deal with the issue of possible return shelling and rocket attacks, and terrorists rebuilding tunnels in Gaza.

Yes, he acknowledged, “We need money for that. But I won’t let it turn into a Turkish bazaar. I want to give you all the money we have, but I can’t give you money we don’t.”

Bank of Israel Introduces New NIS 50 Note

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

The Bank of Israel has introduced a new fifty shekel note bearing the likeness of Shaul Tchernikovsky, a Russian-born Hebrew poet identified with nature poetry.

“It is unique in both its design and its security technology, which is among the most advanced in the world,” noted BOI Governor Dr. Karnit Flug.

The note was introduced at a joint news conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday morning.

“In order for this note to retain its value, we must guard both security and the economy,” Netanyahu said. “I very much appreciate your seriousness and professionalism and that of the Bank of Israel staff, in maintaining the stability of the Israeli economy. This is one of our two missions.

“We must increase the security budget due to Operation Protective Edge, and guard the economy, and these items meet in the deficit which we can control and which not topple us,” Netanyahu went on. “This will be our policy and thus we will act, together.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bank-of-israel-introduces-new-nis-50-note/2014/09/10/

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