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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Intel’s Multi-Billion Dollar Upgrade to Kiryat Gat Plant

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The Intel Corporation has announced a multi-billion dollar upgrade to its plant in Kiryat Gat.

The investment plan, worth approximately $5-6 billion, includes a deal between the company and the state that includes a government grant to the firm of some NIS 750 million ($216,706,500).

The grant comes in return for a commitment to invest five percent of the funds into the Israeli economy, according to an announcement by an Intel statement.

“This investment plan is the result of the process we’ve been working on for several years,” commented Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“Israel is the focus of global technology and the investment generates profits, both for investors and for the citizens of the State of Israel. I call on other international companies to increase their investment in Israel, and those who have not yet taken advantage of the benefits offered by the Israeli economy to come and invest here,” he said.

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, called the announcement “the best gift we could ask for, for Israel’s 66th Independence Day.”

Bennett Slashes Import Duties on Dairy Products

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Custom duties on imported butter, yogurt and other dairy products will be drastically slashed in a move by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to increase competition and lower prices.

Import taxes on some dairy prices account for as much as 100 percent of the final cost, according to Bennett, who also is chairman of the Jewish Home party. He said he expects importer to pass on the savings to customers.

Ironically, it was Bennett’s “odd couple” ally Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, who capitalized on the “cottage cheese” protests of two years ago to draw widespread support for his party in the last Knesset elections.

Lapid Puts Cheeses under Price Control; Consumers Say ‘So What?’

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Finance Minister Yair Lapid called a press conference to announce great news for consumers – soft white cheese and whipped cream now will be under price control.

Lapid’s move is a belated populist reply to the :”cottage cheese” protests of three summers ago, but Monday’s publicity stunt did not make an immediate positive impression on Israelis.

The Israeli consumer has woken up the past several years and no longer is so dumb.

Placing cottage cheese under price control is like “giving aspirin to a cancer patient,” said Itzik Alrov, who founded the Israeli Consumers Organization.

He said it makes more sense to break up the monopolies that control the food market, For example, Tnuva, Strauss and Tara hold 90 percent of the white cheese market.

Lapid said that an accountant hired by the government examined the market and discovered what Israelis have known for years – that Tnuva’s profits on soft white cheese and whipped cream is “exceptional and unreasonable.”

Lapid’s price controls will reduce the price on “5 percent” soft white cheese by approximately 38 percent from the current price of 6.54 shekels to approximately 5.23 shekels.

During the “cottage cheese protests,” a public boycott forced the price down to 5 shekels.

“The markets in Israel are run like a Soviet system,” said Alvor.

Lapid can count on his Yesh Atid party’s gaining zero seats in the next Knesset in the next poll, and his insult to the intelligence of consumers might even cost him a couple of seats.

Was Desperate Gaza Man, Ready to Sell His Daughter, Once My Boss?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This story happened today, Thursday, but it goes back 30 years, when this writer was a greenhorn in Israel, trying to learn the Israeli culture.

A Gaza man was reported on Thursday to be prepared to sell his six-year-old daughter because he is so desperately poor.

“Hani al-Hadidi, 33, a construction worker from Gaza’s al-Shajaiya neighborhood, says he is struggling to provide for his wife and five children,” the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported. “No one dares to sell his children, but the hard situation we live in has forced me to make such a decision.”

The news site, closely affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, naturally followed this description of al-Hadidi’s dire state with the comment that Gaza “has been under a under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007.”

Now let’s go back 30 years to my greenhorn years, when I was trying to get the hang of Israeli culture after parachuting into Israel from planet America in October 1983.

By December, I was volunteering on the Jewish community of Atzmona in Gush Katif, which at that time was located a few hundred feet away from Rafiah. Even back then, Atzmona residents told me it was a drug smuggling capital.

I worked building greenhouses for a Jewish farmer named Chaim, but my foreman was Ahmed. That’s right, “Ahmed,” from Khan Yunis in central Gaza.

He had six children and told me life was good, he was making a decent living working for Chaim and that he could care less about politics.

Gaza’s few thousand Jews shopped in Khan Yunis and Gaza City for cheap vegetables and clothes. The Egged bus I took, when traveling north, rolled peacefully along the main drag through Gaza City.

Tens of thousands of Gaza Arabs worked in Gush Katif farming communities and in construction in the rest of Israel. Gaza was under Israeli control, but municipalities were run by Arabs, who – pardon the expression – never had it so good.

The unemployment rate in 1984, as seen in the chart below, was a miniscule 0.9 percent while it was four times that number for Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

I left Gush Katif in 1984 to learn more about other parts of Israel.

Three years later, an Arab in Gaza City stabbed an Israeli to death while he was shopping there. The following day, after four Arabs were killed in a traffic accident in Gaza, unfounded rumors spread the libel that Israelis had killed them as an act of revenge.

Arab blood was boiling, and the violence spun out of control, with a firebombing of an IDF patrol, mass rioting, blocked roads and tire burnings.

The Intifada was born and the unemployment rate began to rise.

In 1986, it was only 1.5 percent. By 1988, it climbed to 2.3 percent and then 3.8 percent in 1990.

Jews were thinking twice about employing Arabs because of terrorist attacks. In 1992, the jobless rate soared to 12 percent.

In the early 2000s, when Arabs were murdering Jews left and right, Arabs found themselves out of work not only in Gush Katif but also in the rest of Israel.  The unemployment rate soared to 50 percent  by 2003 and is estimated at more than 30 percent today.

Thirty years have passed since I worked for Ahmed in Khan Yunis.

I do not know Hanai al-Hadidi, the man who is ready to sell his daughter so she can eat and the family can have some income.

Maybe he is Ahmed’s son. Maybe not.

One can argue that money is not everything and that Arabs were deprived of their political rights, but the other half of the truth is that they had even less rights under Egyptian rule. The difference is that under Israeli rule, they can blame the Jews. If they had blamed Egypt, their lot would have been worse and they would not have gotten any sympathy from the anti-Zionist world, especially UNRWA, which has built up an empire than keeps more than half of Gaza’s population in bondage.

The facts are there, as they always have been there, but they are not facts that John Kerry want to see.

Is there anyone out there who can connect the dots between Ahmed and Hanai al-Hadidi?

Amazon Opens Cloud Center in Israel

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Amazon amounted Tuesday it is opening a Tel Aviv office to support cloud service through Amazon Web Services in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

Amazon Web Services was launched in 2006, and Amazon stated, “Israeli companies use Amazon Web Services to foster innovation, shorten time to market, and expand their global businesses. The decision to open an Amazon Web Services office in Israel demonstrates the rapidly growing customer base, the wide range of skills, and our investment to support the adoption of cloud services across the EMEA.”

The new center will employ managers, solutions engineers and a support team.

Gas to Pump $60 Billion into Economy in 20 Years, Says Lapid

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Israel’s new offshore gas industry will generate $60 billion in revenues in Israel over the next 20 years, Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid told the Knesset in its first day of the winter session Monday.

He charged the Opposition with damaging the economy by placing obstacles to the natural gas hook-up, which Lapid said will help lower the price of electricity and boost employment.

Taxes on gas will allow Israel to lower taxes, he added.

The High Court is to decide on who has the authority to decide how much of the gas can be exported. Several Opposition parties are demanding that Israel retain all of the gas for domestic use. The government has adopted a policy of exporting 40 percent of the gas.

Three Americans Win Nobel Awards in Economics

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Non-Jews finally have taken home some Nobel awards, although not officially Nobel Prizes.

After an almost embarrassingly large number of Jews  who won a vast majority of the prizes awarded this month, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Monday honored Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller  for their “for their empirical analysis of asset prices.”

The award in economics is not a Nobel Prize as such, a category reserved for the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace, as designated by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895.

The Central Bank of Sweden added the economics prize in 1968.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/three-americans-win-nobel-awards-in-economics/2013/10/14/

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