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September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Israel’s Latest Invention: Camera Helping the Blind ‘See’ Objects

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A new invention from Israel that falls in line with the Jewish state’s reputation as a “start-up nation,” potentially revolutionizing life for the blind and the visually impaired, will go on sale in the United States in September.

The device, called OrCam, works via a 5-megapixel camera that attaches to glasses and can recognize text. With the help of the user, the camera can be taught to recognize objects and faces, said computer sciences professor and the co-founder of OrCam Technologies Amnon Shashua, who is also the co-founder of the more well-known Israeli start-up MobileEye, Haaretz and Reuters reported.

The camera uses audio feedback to relay visual information, and has a memory library in which it can store previously recognized objects. While the device still has difficulty handling light and non-flat surfaces, it will sell for $2,500 in the U.S. beginning in September.

 

PA Entrepreneurs Shun Politics in Cisco Systems Training

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Palestinian Authority entrepreneurs are not interested in politics and concentrate on business in a Cisco-Israel training program, Forbes business magazine reported. Israeli Jewish high-tech experts coach PA CEOs and middle-level managers in the sessions.

Cisco CEO John Chambers began thinking about the program after meeting with  chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2008.

“I personally went to Cisco and said, ‘Forget about donating; allocate part of the money and help us create jobs,” according to  Tariq Maayah, a top Palestinian entrepreneur and business leader who spoke with Forbes.

Jews are carrying out the training because Cisco could not find any qualified PA Arabs.

“We didn’t find any Palestinian experts with the kind of credentials or backgrounds we needed,  and to bring them from the [United] States would be too expensive, so we have to use the Israeli Jews. Because we have plenty of those in Israel,” explained Gai Hetzroni, a top Cisco R&D executive. “

Israel’s Arms Exports Soar to record $7.5 Billion

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Israel’s increasing arms exports has made it one of the most important in the world, with a record $7.5 billion worth of arms exported in 2012, according to a Minister of Defense’s Export and Cooperation report on Tuesday.

The new record is even more impressive when taking into account budget cuts in Western countries.

“The figure of $7.47 billion in defense exports at the end of last year surprised us,” said the export corporation’s director Shmaya Avieli. “Israel is one of the top ten defense exporters in the world, and one of the top five exporters according to some criteria. We are in the premier league in this area, and we aspire to more because defense exports contribute to Israel’s economy and security.”

Countries in Asia and in the Pacific region were the main markets, where sales totaled $4 billion last year.

The most popular export items were radar, missiles, defense systems that include anti-aircraft weapons, observation and communications systems, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Israel is the world’s largest exporter of UAVs after the United States.

 

PA Arabs May Have to Go Hungry and Naked to Boycott Israel

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

Israel’s Fox clothing store chain plans to open a branch in Ramallah, the heart of the Palestinian Authority, may put a feather in the cap of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s economic hopes for the PA but also may unwittingly kill Kerry’s “peace process” efforts.

It also might bring Arabs and Jews closer to peace.

As reported on Monday, Palestinian Authority activists are outraged over the idea of Fox moving into Ramallah because it has committed the ultimate sin of operating stores in Jewish areas in Judea and Samaria.

Fox spokesperson Merav Stav said that the Ramallah store will be run by a PA franchise owner, but that does not calm those who want a boycott of any Israeli firm that deals with Jews in Judea and Samaria.

“The public rejects the opening of the Zionist clothing chain in Ramallah,” wrote one activist on an Internet site.

The news of Fox’s expansion into Ramallah has reached around the world, from Europe to China as well as the United States.

Fox runs 135 stores in Israel and another 245 outside the country, and CEO Harel Wizel plans another 60 branches in two years.

Large billboards already are posted in Ramallah to advertise the new store to be opened later this year.

Fox’s plans are an untended slap in the face of the European Union, which last week declared a boycott of any firm that has operations in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and areas of Jerusalem that were occupied by Jordan before 1967.

Now we will see if the EU is prepared to put an “x” on Fox’s stores in Europe.

The world already has learned that boycotting all of Israel does not work, unless the idealists want to give up their computers with made-in-Israel Intel chips, generic drugs and the Copaxone drug against Muscular Sclerosis made by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Waze, and all sorts of high-tech gadgets.

But there is a bigger problem for Arabs in the Palestinian Authority who promote the boycott of “anyone who deals with “settlers,” except, perhaps, terrorists who do their best to end the need for a boycott by trying to put an end to Jews living there.

There are businesses besides Fox that serve Arabs in the Palestinian Authority, even if not in Arab-dominated cities.

Rami Levi’s supermarkets chains employ hundreds of Arabs and serves thousands of them in his stores in Judea and Samaria as well as in areas of Jerusalem claimed by chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

And Israel’s Burger Ranch franchise owner Eli Orgad already has announced he will open a branch in Ariel, in central Samaria, next year, where nearby Arabs undoubtedly will be shopping.

The mall is being developed by none other than Rami Levy.

Jobs and comfortable shipping are not worth the misery of having to enjoy a decent life that also helps the profits of Israelis “supporting the occupation.” In the blind eyes of hard-core activists.

It “inconceivable that while the Europeans have decided to boycott settler products, Palestinians are helping an Israeli company do business in Ramallah,” Palestinian Authority activist Zeid al-Shuaibi told the Jerusalem Post this week.

Without the Jews, either by war or through Kerry’s peace process, the PA would be left without the economic engine that has kept the Palestinian Authority alive.

If the boycotters want to be honest, they should be avoiding Osem cookies, Elite chocolates and coffee, Tnuva milk products and Strauss ice cream, because all of those products are sold in stores operated by those pesky “settlers.”

With Fox’s entry into Ramallah, PA activists, the International Solidarity Movement’s paid protesters living in Judea and Samaria, and European Union officials are welcome to stand fast and back the boycott, do without Fox clothes and stick to a diet of Arab-made pita.

Fox, Rami Levi and Orgad are making mincemeat out of the idea of the PA ideology of an Arab apartheid state.

When Kerry eventually realizes that the Arab leaders are not interested in any peace process, the Palestinian Authority likely will return to where it was before the days of the Intifada in the late 1980s, when Jews shopped freely in Gaza and hired Arabs, when Jews toured and shopped in Arab villages in Judea and Samaria, and when peace never was closer.

How the EU Will Reverse Itself, in Three Easy Steps

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Yesterday’s announcement by the European Union, to block funding to any organization that has direct or indirect ties over the Green Line (Jerusalem, Golan, Judea and Samaria), unless they are a leftwing organization, has shocked Israel.

The overt anti-Semitism, the transparent politicization, and the blatant chutzpa took Israel by surprise. Worse, at first it felt as if Israel were trapped in a corner with no options to respond.

But reality is different.

The EU is in bad shape. It has economic problems, social problems, and credibility problems.

With its most recent action, the EU overplayed its hand, not considering the backlash the decision could cause.

Some responses Israel may choose would hurt the EU quite a bit.

THE PEACE PROCESS

In March 2012, following a UN attack on Israel that went too far, Israel announced a boycott of the UN Human Rights Council, declaring it a “superfluous and extravagant body” that Israel would have no connection to anymore.

This caused an earthquake in the UN, and it still threatens to destroy the credibility and legitimacy of the council.

Most importantly, Israel’s declaration has forced the HRC to take clear steps to correct itself.

The first action Israel must take here as well is the most obvious one: the EU craves legitimacy on the international stage. With wildcat strikes hitting Greece, Spain, and Portugal, to name but three ailing EU members, the organization must prove it is relevant and credible.

Israel should expel the EU from the Peace Process.

Israel should declare—something Prime Minister Netanyahu was hinting at in his Tuesday night statement—that the EU and all its member states will no longer be considered honest brokers, and no Israeli official will meet with them on any issue related to the Peace Process. It only takes a simple statement, and it will be enough to cause them to capitulate.

Any member state wishing to be included in the peace process must sign a statement that the territories of east Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights are in dispute and their fate will be determined through direct negotiations. It must also commit to disregarding the EU directive regarding those same territories.

Be firm and consistent – they will fold.

Israel is an important trade partner with Europe, and its third largest trade partner in the region following the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Israel buys from Europe more than it sells. A retaliatory trade war and boycott in response to their expulsion from the Peace Process would hurt the already flailing European economy, it’s the last thing they want, and not a step they would take in response.

DIVIDE AND CONQUOR

Next Israel must immediately pass the Foreign Agents Act, with an additional stipulation.

As the EU’s declaration makes it clear that they will now only be financially supporting NGOs on the far left, Israel must make it clear that any NGOs receiving EU funding are de facto foreign agents. These NGOs fund raising will be curtailed, their access to Israeli government officials would be restricted, and their entry into the Knesset will be forbidden.

Watch the left wing NGOs quietly pressuring the EU to back off their directive.

All it takes is a firm conviction on our part.

REPLACEMENT THERAPY

The third step is financial.

The EU invested close to 1 billion dollars in research grants and investments, some of which could now be lost.

Israel should approach private, patriotic wealthy Jews — Sheldon Adelson, who put his money where his mouth was this past U.S. election, comes to mind — to pick up the slack. In return, those who invest in Israeli research will reap the benefits in royalties, shared patent ownership and so on. They could stand to make a lot of money.

Stand your ground, don’t blink, they’ll blink first.

IKEA May Open Branch in Palestinian Authority’s Ramallah

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

IKEA is considering extending its operations in Israel and opening up a branch in Ramallah, in the Palestinian Authority, and in Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem, the  Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot reported.

Matthew Bronfman, who holds the IKEA franchise for Israel, reported said that “we’ll be happy to help establish the store” in Ramallah.

The planned stores for Be’er Sheva and Jerusalem would be consistent with the format of IKEA’s new format of opening “IKEA point” branches, which are one-tenth as large as the chain’s regular outlets.

Bottle of Cologne Stands in Way of Frenkel as Bank Governor

Monday, July 15th, 2013

An alleged shoplifting incident in Hong Kong in 2006 has become a major issue over whether Yaakov Frenkel will return to his former post as Governor of the Bank of Israel, replacing Stanley Fischer who is quitting in mid-term to return to the United States.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s nomination of Frenkel two weeks ago seemed a sure thing until someone remembered the Hong Kong affair over a bottle of cologne. Frenkel not only denies any wrongdoing but also claims that Hong Kong authorities were grateful that he did not sue over the “misunderstanding.”

His nomination has to be cleared by the Turkel Committee, which examine nominees for most government posts. The panel initially gave the go-ahead, but that was before it knew about the bottle of cologne.

Frenkel’s problem is that even if he is absolutely innocent, the suspicion may be enough keep him out of any other important job, such as a post that was being prepared for him at JP Morgan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bottle-of-cologne-stands-in-way-of-frenkel-as-bank-governor/2013/07/15/

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