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22,470 Yordim Return to Israel

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Galei Tzahal reports that 22,470 Yordim (Israeli emigrants) returned to Israel in the past two and a half years because of of new initiatives taken by the Ministry of Immigration to help bring them back. The initiatives included special perks (unnamed) and a relaxed interpretation of what perks the Yordim were actually entitled to, in favor of the returning Israelis.

CNN Poll: Debate Watchers Give Ryan Slight Edge in VP Debate

Friday, October 12th, 2012

CNN reported that a CNN/ORC International nationwide poll found 48% of voters who watched the vice presidential debate Thursday thought Congressman Paul Ryan won, awhile 44% gave the win to Vice President Joe Biden.

Half of the debate watchers in the survey said the encounter didn’t make them more likely to vote for either of the tickets, 28% said it made them favor Romney, 21% said it made them choose Obama.

As to viewer expectations: 55% said Biden did better than expected, and 51% said Ryan did better than expected.

A CBS News poll of uncommitted voters who watched the debate favored Biden over Ryan by a 50%-31% margin. Roughly 10% of the debate audience were uncommitted.

Nasrallah to Discuss Drone Over Israel on TV on Thursday

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Hizbullah Chief Hassan Nasrallah will discuss rumors of a Lebanese drone over Israel in a televised appearance on Thursday, according to Lebanese daily Naharnet.

Nasrallah have a televised appearance on Thursday to discussed current issues on the Lebanese and regional scenes, including rumors of a Lebanese drone crossing into Israeli airspace.

A drone was shot down over Israeli airspace on Shabbat.  Military officials originally indicated that the aircraft may have been sent by Hizbullah.

Hizbullah radicals have been joining up with soldiers loyal to Syrian president Bashar Assad in a hot civil war which has claimed the lives of an estimated 32,000 people in the last year and a half.

Bayit Yehudi Membership Drive Results Surprises

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

Following a short but intense membership drive, the Bayit Yehudi party announced that over 53,000 members have signed up. This number is expected to drop to around 48,000 once duplicates and disqualified applications are filtered out. More than half signed up via the Internet.

While this number still falls short of the 70,000 that the Bayit Yehudi candidates claimed to have brought in all together, it is above the 40,000 count that was unofficially released almost 2 weeks ago. More importantly, the number is reminiscent of the membership numbers the Mafdal party (as it was formerly called, as well as NRP – National Religious Party) used to have in it’s heyday, perhaps indicating that this National-Religious Party is making a comeback from irrelevancy.

In the last election, Bayit Yehudi had only 3 Knesset seats, while at it’s peak it had 12 seats.

One factor that will help Bayit Yehudi in the upcoming elections is if it decides to run together with the religious, right-wing National Union party (Ichud Haleumi). Polls have indicated the 2 parties will do better if they run together on a joint list, rather than if they run separately.

Israeli Companies Just Can’t Make It in the Japanese Market

Monday, September 10th, 2012

Israel and Japan are celebrating sixty years of diplomatic relations, and so, a week ago, the Israel-Japan Chamber of Commerce marked the occasion with a festive event. But the current commercial ties between the two countries gives less cause for celebration. Israeli businesses find it difficult to understand the Japanese market and Japanese companies are not in a hurry to reach Israel, The Marker reported.

“I have been exporting diamonds to Japan since the sixties,” said Shmuel Schnitzer, Vice Chairman of the Israel-Japan Chamber of Commerce. “Japan is a nation with whom it is a pleasure to do business. When you play according to their rules, the Japanese client will be more loyal to you than any other client in the world. He will remain loyal to you even when a competitor offers merchandise at a lower price, and he won’t switch suppliers.”

Another exporter, selling water infrastructure, has been experiencing difficulties breaking into the Japanese market. “We joined up with a trading company, which, by and large, is how you do business in Japan,” he said. “We approached our targeted clients – beverage and bottling companies. We also tried to connect with engineering companies in the water business. Procedures in Japan are very lengthy, costly and difficult. The culture gaps are enormous. I’ve been to Japan twenty times. I’ve learned that not only do I not understand the Japanese, but I have no chance of ever understanding them.”

Israeli exports to Japan are still modest, and according to that exporter, the main obstacle is the Japanese perception of technology and marketing. “We haven’t succeeded in explaining to the Japanese concepts that are practiced in other parts of the world. One of the central issues there is the concept of time. Procedures are conducted from the bottom up, and nothing happens without consensus. Reaching a consensus depends on every single employee understanding the product or proposal. There is only a technological approval after this entire process is completed.”

The same exporter added that there are definitely language comprehension difficulties. “In one of the rounds of talks, they said ‘yes,’ but meant ‘no.’ Plus, they prefer locally-produced good. If there is a comparable Japanese product or technology, they will prefer it.”

Another obstacle preventing penetration into the Japanese market, according to the exporter, are the high prices. From his experience working in another company, he said, but “the potential is tremendous and the minute you penetrate the market, it’s a real success.”

Trade between Israel and Japan is volatile and varies between $2.5 – $3 billion annually. About 25% of this is Israeli export and the rest import. Cars (mainly Toyota and Subaru) make up a significant part of the imports. Last year, this included machinery and equipment. According to informed sources, the increase in car imports is a result of car imports by Intel as part of their investment in their Kiryat Gat, Israel, plant.

There was a marked decrease of 13% in trade with Japan (down to $1.4 billion) in the first half of 2012 in comparison with the first half of 2011. Exports dropped 8% to $341 million; imports dropped 15% to $1.1 billion. A 38% drop in automobile imports is predicted.

“We haven’t managed to crack Japan,” said Shauli Katzenelson, chief economist for the Export Institute. “Our rate of penetration into Japan stands out negatively compared to the rest of the world. Our share there is a mere 0.11% of their import, compared with our overall percentage of the world imports, which stands at 0.27%. Even when allowing for Japan’s huge oil imports, our situation there is not good.”

Roni Burstein, chairman of the Israel-Japan chamber of commerce and a Kikoman importer for more than 20 years, said “the problem at the moment is not with the Japanese but with us. If Israeli companies give Japan a high priority, which means investing in entering the market, in the end it will pay off, even if it takes a long time. It’s a market of 130 million homogeneous consumers. Once we get in, we won’t be easily kicked out.”

Facebook Stock Drop: Divine Blessing for Marc Zuckerberg

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

If a man is given a financial windfall at the end of his life, what reason does he have to change? How much enjoyment will he get out of it anyway? For an 85 year old, how great is the finest of steaks to you when your body can’t even digest it? If you just received a billion dollars, it could mean that for every good you did in this world, G-d just paid you back in full. When your time comes and the Heavenly Court measures your good deeds against the wrong you did, you will have no merit to your name. All of it was accounted for before your passing.

The Book of Deuteronomy warns of G-d rewarding a man to his end. This is what that refers to.

But what if a man is young? What if he makes a terrible mistake? What if this is a mistake he doesn’t even consider a bad choice? Does this person deserve to be taught a lesson in how to fix himself?

Hashem has just told His children, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Take a look at the most famous member of the People of the Book for 2012: Mark Zuckerberg.

On May 18 his company, Facebook, became a stock on the Nasdaq Exchange. Minutes after trading began the price of FB sailed to $45 a share, valuing Zuckerberg’s 603 million shares at a little more than $27 billion. He became wealthier than George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. Not bad for a twenty something from White Plains, New York.

On May 19 he did something the very same Book of Deuteronomy says a Jew can never do. He married a non-Jewish woman. Why is a Jew not allowed to marry out? Simple. G-d says so. It has nothing do with racism, superiority, exclusiveness, or anything else. One of the 613 Commandments the Creator of Heaven and Earth directs every Jew on Earth to marry another Jew.

Every instance of a Jewish man having relations with a non-Jewish woman is a sin so bad, nobody in Heaven can defend us. When our spouse dies, they go to a different part of the Next World. We don’t even have the consolation that in the afterlife we will see them — ever.

G-d could have allowed Mr. Zuckerberg to roll in his billions. He could have rewarded Mark to his end by not doing anything to help.

Instead, He sent him a tribulation of unprecedented magnitude.

From the moment Mark married a non-Jew, his finances tumbled. Facebook went from an IPO high of $45 a share to $18.03. Mark’s worth went from $27 billion, all his because he was single, to $10.9 billion – half claimable by his wife. His guaranteed assets of $5.45 bil are a whopping $21.5 billion less than what he started with.

It could get worse.

Analysts project Facebook to earn $.63 a share for 2013. The average price to earnings ratio for the Nasdaq 100 is 11.9. Multiply $.63 by 11.9 and you have a 2013 price target of $7.50, bringing Zuckerberg’s fortune down to $4.5 bil – half of which belongs to his wife.

I’ve heard of costly weddings before . . . .

This wasn’t a private lesson given to someone outside the public eye. This is the most well-known Jew on earth. His life is an open book for all of us to study. This act of love to wake up Mr. Zuckerberg also serves as an act of love for all of us. Even with “merely” $2 billion in the bank, he will not go hungry. He will not be wanting.

G-d acted to wake him up without putting him to sleep.

We spend all of our lives pursuing wealth, only to see it all go up in smoke. George Soros will die and his money will be parted from him. Mark Zuckerberg, a young man with a bright future, can easily fix his mistakes and rise to even greater heights. Wasn’t there a time in the 1990s when the once mighty Apple traded for $3 a share? Look at where it came from, how far it fell. See what it has become today.

How Much Is Netanyahu Worth?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Following the minor storm that erupted on Monday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to rearrange his portfolio which is in a blind trust—a request he eventually rescinded—Forbes Israel decided to dig into that portfolio, to find out how rich is Bibi.

The most up-to-date estimate is that the Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu’s combined worth is about 41 million shekels, or $10,197,725. This is roughly 3 million shekel more than last year, suggesting the PM’s blind trustee is on the conservative side – the portfolio is just keeping up with the local inflation.

Neither Bibi nor Sara come from money. Netanyahu accumulated most of his wealth over his short hiatus from politics, between 1999 and 2001.

According to Forbes Israel, during those years Bibi toured the world giving $60 thousand lectures, served as senior consultant to the hi tech company BATM, and pushed business ventures for Epsilor Electric-fuel (today known as Aerotech), orchestrating its merger with Wal-Mart.

Close to half of the Netanyahus wealth is invested in their penthouse in the affluent neighborhood of Rechavia in downtown Jerusalem, and a villa in Caesaria.

For comparison: according to Wealth Wire, President Obama’s assets range between $2.6 million and $9.9 million, while he holds a mortgage of $500,000 to $1 million on his Chicago home. On top of that net worth, the president receives his annual salary of $400,000.

It’s good to be the king…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/how-much-is-netanyahu-worth/2012/08/28/

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