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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gilad Erdan’

Erdan: 90% of Israel’s Waste Water Recycled, 4 Times Higher than Anywhere Else

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Minister of Strategic Affairs & Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan paid tribute to Israel’s world-renowned sustainable innovation at this week’s first-ever Israeli CSR Experience Conference hosted by Maala, the country’s CSR standards organization.

“Today, nearly 90 percent of our waste water is recycled,” Minister Erdan stated. “That’s around four times higher than any other country in the world. It is a remarkable achievement and this benefits not only Israel. Israeli companies are helping save water around the world, from Africa to California to India.”

The conference saw leaders from Israel’s business community and key international opinion makers in the sustainability and CSR community gather to address Israel’s social and environmental innovation and the strides it continues to make in the field of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). A plethora of speakers and experts from the likes of Teva, Intel, 3M and Strauss Group headed an all-day summit in Tel Aviv Wednesday; also featured were on-site visits around the country to witness Israel’s cutting-edge sustainability in action.

From the world’s most environmentally friendly recycled paper to water shortage solutions, sustainable healthcare, energy conservation and the green construction and infrastructure of the future, Israel continues to lead the way in sustainable innovation, living up to its status as the world’s top innovator in the field of clean technologies according to the Global Cleantech 100 Index.

“Israel is innovative, creative and dynamic and has more high-tech startups per capita than anywhere else in the world,” Erdan continued. “And these startups in large part are not only focused on creating high profits, but also on finding ways to solve the world’s most pressing problems.”

Companies leading the way in sustainability and innovation within their respective fields featured at the event included Hadera Paper, the world’s most recycled & environment-friendly paper; Netafim – pioneers of drip and micro-irrigation; and Mekorot, the country’s top agency for water management. These companies were recognized at the conference for their extraordinary vision and innovation in addressing some of the country’s most pressing issues.

“This is our first ever international conference and we feel CSR work in Israel has reached a mature enough stage to reflect on our environment with the international CSR community,” said Maala CEO Momo Mahadav. “There is, however, lots of work still to be done and we’ve planned this day to allow as much engagement as possible. Israeli CSR has always focused on domestic needs first, which is a big difference from the international CSR community that focuses on global issues, such as climate change.”

Ninety-eight companies now voluntarily participate in the annual Maala CSR Index, an assessment tool Benchmarking Israeli Companies on their corporate social responsibility Performance, including Teva, Unilever Israel, Strauss Group, Siemens Israel, Microsoft Israel, Intel Israel, El Al and Live Person. These 75 large and 23 small to mid-size companies together employ 310,000, with annual sales of $94 billion, representing approximately one-third of Israel’s GDP.

David Israel

Friendly Nations Send Firefighter Aircraft to Help Israel Battle the Flames

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

As an estimated 220 fires raged across central and northern Israel, foreign nations sent firefighting aircraft flying to the aid of the Jewish State.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed out at a briefing Wednesday that some countries were sending aerial firefighters, but said it was clear that more were going to be needed.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant and Minister of Interior Affairs Aryeh Deri brief media in the port city of Haifa, where flames forced 80,000 to evacuate from the city and surrounds.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh, Minister of Construction Yoav Galant and Minister of Interior Affairs Aryeh Deri brief media in the port city of Haifa. Flames forced 80,000 to evacuate from the city and surrounds.

“Firefighting planes from Israel and around the world are the critical component… That’s why we built the fire air squadron and it’s doing an excellent job. Countries are joining hands… Russia, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Croatia and Turkey have already answered the call.”

By Thursday morning, Israel’s Foreign Ministry had announced via Twitter and other social media venues: “The Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations has sent two Beriev Be-200 amphibious aircraft to fight the fires in Israel.”

The ministry didn’t forget to offer the nation’s thanks to everyone who sent help in Israel’s hour of need. “Thank you #Cyprus, #Croatia, #Greece, #Italy, #Russia, #Turkey, #Romania & Bulgaria for sending help to fight the fires in Israel. True friends!” tweeted the ministry on the Twitter social networking site.

Smoke billows over the Northern Israeli city of Haifa, where a major fire raged across the city on November 24, 2016.

Smoke billows over an apartment house in Haifa.

Four firefighting aircraft arrived from Cyprus and Greece alone. Included were 49 crew members, one Air Tractor from Cyprus and two Bombardiers and one Hercules from Greece, all ready for immediate battle and highly valued for their carrying capacity. Additional aircraft arrived from Russia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Italy and Croatia.

The entire State of Israel had only 2,500 fire personnel at last count in 2013, including 1,800 firefighters. According to Israel Fire and Rescue Authority, only some seven percent of Israel’s total area is comprised of forest land, about 400,560 acres (1,621,000 dunams.) Each year, an average of 1,000 fires blaze in Jewish National Fund (JNF) forests in the country, affecting some 37,000 dunams (about 9,000 acres) of land.

Fire and Rescue Commissioner Shahar Ayalon, appointed under the Ministry of Public Security, is working together with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and other top security officials to bring the current crisis to an end.

“Every fire caused by arson, or incitement to commit arson, is terrorism for all intents and purposes,” Netanyahu underlined at the briefing, “and we will bring them to justice.”

Update for our readers in Azerbaijan, on Friday (Nov. 25) Azerbaijan sent a fire-fighting plane.

Hana Levi Julian

Fires Still Spreading Countrywide, Police Investigate Pyroterrorism

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

On Wednesday night, Police Commissioner Ronnie Alshich and Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) met with security officials to evaluate suspicions that some of the fires that have been raging throughout Israel this week were the caused by arson. The debate resulted in a decision to increase police presence significantly in open areas near towns and villages, utilizing Border Guard forces. According to police, spreading law enforcement officers outside civilian enclaves will deter arson and enable quick detection of newly set fires.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) twitted on Wednesday: “Only someone this country doesn’t belong to is capable of burning it.” Earlier, MK Anat Berko (Likud) noted in her Facebook page that the anti-terrorism law imposes enhanced sentencing for nationalistic arson.

One of the suspicious fires this week has been the worst of them, in the town of Zichron Yaakov on Mt. Carmel, were some 200 firefighters, including ten planes, finally managed to bring the multiple fires under control “completely and officially” Wednesday night. Twelve homes sustained severe damage, in a fire that lasted four days and was fanned by unusually strong winds.

In Nataf, a communal village in the Judean Mountains, twelve miles west of Jerusalem and just west of the “green line,” four construction workers were arrested Wednesday for suspicion of negligence that caused a major fire. The four, who’ve been paving a road near Nataf, allegedly started a campfire at night, which spread to the community nearby.

The current count is of 220 separate fires, 189 of them in open areas. Officials estimate that new fires will start on Thursday as well, due to the unusual weather. Israel has approached foreign countries for help in sending firefighting planes and so far received a positive response from Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Romania.

In Haifa, a fire has been spreading toward cars and buildings on Thursday. The fire in Nataf is getting stronger and has reached nearby Neve Ilan. On Thursday morning a new forest fire erupted near the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm, and local residents are preparing to evacuate. Route 443 from the Tel Aviv area to Jerusalem has been blocked at Modi’in, in the wake of a fire and was reopened a short time later. Sixty families who have been evacuated from the community of Talmon in Binyamin were allowed to return to their homes after the fire there had been brought under control. In Gilon, a communal settlement in west of Karmiel in northern Israel that has been evacuated, firefighters reached partial control over the fire. And the fire at an evacuated IDF outpost outside Naveh Yair was brought under control. A soldier is suspected of causing that fire by throwing a burning cigarette on the ground.

David Israel

Meteorologist Charges Minister With Skimping on Weather Technology

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

by Andrew Friedman Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Tuesday the government would not take budgetary considerations into account when making decisions about the wave of brush fires sweeping the country.

But one Jerusalem meteorologist said the ministry has skimped on weather technology that could streamline firefighting efforts during emergencies.

Dr. Barry Lynn, a lecturer in meteorology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the founder/CEO of Weather-it-is-Israel, claimed his company’s advanced weather/wildfire forecast models can provide fire crews with accurate, real time information about weather conditions and their impact on the speed, direction and intensity of a spreading fire.

Lynn said the Public Security Ministry invested in his wildfire forecasting service following the Carmel brush fire in 2010, but he added that the government has been unwilling to fund system improvements.

“After the Carmel Fire, the government commissioned our wildfire forecast model, in order to protect property and save lives,” said Lynn, a native of New York and current resident of Efrat. “That was a responsible, excellent investment and exactly what they should have done, and the system has been used a number of times in big fires since then.

“But now, the system needs a serious upgrade, and the government won’t pay for it. It’s really a crying shame – with the right data and the right technology we could make even better and more timely predictions about where the fire will move, and what the atmospheric variables are that will likely determine the fire’s action and movement,” Lynn said.

Lynn also accused other branches of government of preventing up-to-date technologies from reaching fire officials on the ground. He said that while the Public Security Ministry has, indeed, shown interest in the technology he’s developed, other branches of the government have sidelined outside data suppliers in favor of giving the Israel Meteorological Service de facto authority to provide weather information.

“In theory, the weather data belongs to everybody. It’s public, you can always ask for the info you need. But the Meteorological Service makes it very difficult to actually obtain both forecast information and observations,” said Lynn.

“This means that private industry can’t ‘value-add’ their products — like in the United States — so the public loses out.”

In response, the Public Security Ministry has said that Lynn’s technology would not be useful in some of the current instances because the fires are too close to homes. In response to a series of questions submitted by text message, the Ministry said Lynn’s program served the Ministry well for five years, but added that the system upgrade does not meet their current and future needs.

“The [original] system was built only for open areas, not fires in built-up areas, or bordering on built-up areas. For instance, the system would not be useful to deal with the fire currently raging in the Zichron Yaakov area.

“Barry Lynn offered to upgrade the system a year and a half ago. But the upgrade he proposed did not meet the needs or the budgetary requirements of the Ministry.

“The Ministry intends on developing and upgrading the system over the next year. At the moment, we are at an information-gathering stage, collecting information from fire and emergency services, under the direction of the Ministry’s tenders committee,” the Ministry said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

­­Israel On Fire: Netanyahu, Erdan to Ask Neighboring Countries For Help

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

By Andrew Friedman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said Wednesday that they would ask Greece, Croatia, Cyprus and possibly Turkey to send firefighting aircraft overnight to help Israeli crews subdue brush fires that continue to rage around the country.

Weather forecasts for Thursday indicate continued high winds and low humidity, leading fire and police officials to fear that additional fires could break out. Israel Police aircraft conducted dozens of firefighting sorties Wednesday, but officials fear a spike in fire activity tomorrow could overwhelm Israeli capabilities.

As of this writing, fire crews successfully pushed the fire raging near the Jerusalem-area community of Nataf away from the community, and rescue crews had allowed residents to return to their homes. Fire teams worked to ensure the fire didn’t reignite near the town.

Also Wednesday, fires broke out in Karkom, near Tiberias.

By 5 p.m. police aircraft had assisted ground crews with some 70 sorties, totaling dozens of flying hours. Airborne crews dropped approximately 30 cubic meters of fire retardant and 200 tons of liquid on the fires.

In addition, Israel Parks and Nature Authority director Shaul Goldstein said Authority inspectors have been assisting fire crews battle the Zichron Yaakov and Nataf fires since Tuesday. Thus far the fires have destroyed thousands of dunams of wild brush.

“These are terrible scenes to look at,” Goldstein said while touring the site at one flash point. “A whole world has been burnt. Animals and a rich plant world that we couldn’t manage to protect. More than the stiff punishments that should be meted out to the people responsible, we must give deep explanations to the public. These fires are not predestined.

“Over the past two years the Parks and Nature Authority has constructed more than 1,000 dunams of buffer lines at a cost of NIS 600,000 ($154,600)… I call on the government to fund [additional] buffer lines and to maintain them in open areas,” Goldstein added.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

42 Teams, 4 Planes Fighting Zichron Yaakov Fire through the Night

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

The fire that raged throughout the town of Zichron Yaakov on the Carmel Mountain Tuesday erupted again around 4 AM, fanned by unusually strong gales, and four firefighting planes, 30 civilian and 12 IDF firefighting teams went in to push it back once more, Israeli media reported. Meanwhile, new spots burst in flames around the town and residents who had been permitted to return to their homes had to be evacuated again. Altogether, some 3,000 people had to stay out of their homes overnight.

On Wednesday morning police blocked access to several affluent neighborhoods where estimates are that the blazing fires are likely to return. Police sources have estimated that no one would be allowed back into the homes in Zamarin, Vilot Ba’horesh, and Givat Eden. Schoolchildren have been assigned to new schools in town, while public transportation in the risky areas has been stopped.

A series of fires erupted in several parts of Israel, on both sides of the “green line,” leading to the evacuation of dozens of families from their homes. According to police, in Zichron Yaakov, which was the focal point of several large scale blazes, 23 people were hurt, three remaining in hospital overnight; and 30 homes were damaged.

In the community of Dolev, Mateh Binyamin Regional Council, 17 miles north-west of Jerusalem, the fires continued to rage overnight, the result of several gas tanks catching fire. Some 20 homes were evacuated as 21 firefighting teams dealt with fires that reached a hight of 60 feet.

The fires have been put out in the Lachish forest, near Kiryat Gat, and in Revadim, a kibbutz east of Ashdod. Some 40 families were evacuated from Revadim due to heavy smoke pollution.

Up north, firefighters managed to control the fires that erupted in Naharia, a coastal city just south of the Lebanese border, and in Kfar Vradim in western Galilee.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan referred on Tuesday night to the 2010 “Mt. Carmel Disaster,” which claimed 44 lives and led to the evacuation of some 17,000 people. Erdan suggested the lessons that have been learned from that traumatic experience are reflected in “the communication between all the entities involved, the quick decision-making regarding the evacuation of residents and closing down major traffic arteries, and the risk evaluations being issued every few hours.”

According to weather reports, eastern winds are expected to reach 55 MPH speeds in the north and be in the 40 MPH range in central Israel. Such strong winds are not unusual this time of the year, but they rarely continue for a week and more as they have done this year.

David Israel

Public Security Minister: Israel Discriminates Against Jews on Temple Mount

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The first Seekers of Zion conference, aimed at tightening the connection between the Jewish people and the Temple Mount, was held in the Knesset on Monday under the banner of “Jerusalem of Peace,” on the second anniversary of the assassination attempt on MK and Temple activist Yehuda Glick.

Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs, and Information Gilad Erdan (Likud) told the conference that “our right to the Temple Mount is indisputable, and no international entity can rewrite our history. The Temple Mount is the most sacred site to the Jewish nation and that cannot be changed.”

Having said that, Erdan admitted that “today’s status quo on the Temple Mount discriminates against the Jewish people. That is the truth. When I took office [the Waqf] limited the access of Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount based on racial and religious profiling, they came up close to them in an intimidating manner, let no one have any illusions about this — everything there was arranged, timed and paid for.”

“Together with the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the cabinet, I led decisions to ban the Almoravid and Morabitat (separate male and female fanatical Islamic groups), and to ban the northern branch of the Islamic Movement,” Erdan continued. “My job is to secure the visitors ascending the Temple Mount, Jews, Christians and Muslims. The status quo discriminates against Jews. I’m glad there’s been a significant rise in the number of visitors on the Temple Mount.”

Turning to Glick, Minister Erdan said, “I think your victory, Yehuda, against those decrepit terrorists, is first of all the fact that more Jews are ascending the Temple Mount.” He added, “We believe that religion can be a source of reconciliation for people.”

Former MK Moshe Feiglin told the audience that “when we retreated in our hold on the Temple Mount, we retreated in our hold over the entire land.” He cited poet Uri Zvi Greenberg who wrote, “Whomever governs the mountain governs the land.”

Feiglin noted that when the nation lost its hold over the Temple mount, “we got the wave of knifings, we got a weakening of our hold on the rest of the neighborhood of Jerusalem, terrorist attacks in remote villages, rockets in Sderot, Beer Sheva and Tel Aviv, and our hold over the land continues to weaken.”

“Why the heck are we complaining against UNESCO who says we have no connection to the Mountain,” Feiglin asked, “when every Israeli government, especially this most recent one and especially this most recent prime minister are voting with their feet that we, indeed, have no ties to the mountain.”

Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) called for the speedy arrangement of of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, and the sooner the better.

Conference speakers included Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein; Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Ze’ev Elkin; Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel; Deputy Foreign Minister, Tzipi Hotovely; and Sheikh Ahmad Riyadh.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/public-security-minister-israel-discriminates-against-jews-on-temple-mount/2016/11/08/

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