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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘economy’

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.

Is Obama Listening? Israel’s Debt Shrinks by 30 Percent

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013

The Israeli government’s deficit shrank by 30 percent, from $5.7 billion in the first nine months of 2013  to only $4 billion in the same period this year, Globes reported on Monday.

September’s deficit was only $250 million.

The deficit for the past 12 months represents 3.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), slightly more than the desired ceiling of 3 percent. The continuing decline in the government deficit will probably bring down number to below 3 percent by the end of the year.

Tax revenues grow by nearly 10 percent in the nine-month period, not including  September payments that were not recorded until October because of the recent  holidays.

Spending grew by 5.1 percent but less than the budgeted 8.8 percent  increase.

Israel Strikes More Oil in Area Discovered on Basis of Torah Verse

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Proven developed reserves of the Meged 5 oil discovery are double previous estimates, with the updated report showing it has 890,700 barrels of oil, Globes reported.

The proven, probable and possible reserves in two sections of Meged 5 are 3.35 millions of barrel, compared with a previous estimate of 2.15 million barrels.

Givat Olam, founder Meged 5, said it has sold $40 million worth of oil from one section of the Meged 5 well. It is located near Rosh HaAyin, five miles east of metropolitan Tel Aviv, and is adjacent to the security fence that runs along Judea and Samaria. The Palestinian Authority, of course,  claims most of the oil well is theirs.

Givat Olam founder Tovia Luskin was attracted to the site by a verse in Devarim (Deuteronomy), the last book of the Torah.

Chapter 33, verse 15 speaks of “the choicest things of ‘Givat Olam’” [lasting hills].

Luskin proceeded to carry out exploration there after receiving a blessing from the Lubavitcher Rebbe. Two years ago, the company began using Shabbat clocks to avoid using labor for the faucets in the production system on the Sabbath.

Buffett Buys Up Israeli Military-Aerospace Supplier

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

Warren Buffett has lived up to his love for Israel’s companies and his Berkshire Hathaway company has announced the acquisition of Lod-based Ray-Q Interconnect for an undisclosed sum of money.

Ray-Q provides electrical interconnect solutions to military, aerospace and other industries. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

Buffett made a splash in the United States and Israel 2008 with the $4 billion purchase of most of the  Isracar a precision tool-making company and said at the time he likes Israeli companies. It completed the purchase this year with another $2 billion payment.

Berkshire Hathaway’s ITT subsidiary announced on Friday it is buying Ray-Q, a subsidiary of Raychem. It provides high quality electrical interconnect solutions to military, aerospace and other high-reliability product industries, especially those in Israel, Turkey, Eastern Europe and India.

Yigal Funt, Ray-Q Chief Executive Officer since 1976, will continue to direct the company, which employs approximately 70 people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/buffett-buys-up-israeli-military-aerospace-supplier/2013/10/06/

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