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January 31, 2015 / 11 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

State Dept. Says Taxpayers’ Money not Used in V-15 Campaign

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. said Thursday the American government used to fund the left-wing OneVoice group that is campaigning against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu but that no grants were given after last November.

Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters, “The U.S. Government grant to OneVoice Israel was for $233,500. The duration of this grant, as I mentioned yesterday but just to reconfirm, was from September 23rd, 2013 through November 30th, 2014.

” No payment was made to OneVoice after November 2014.”

The grant was for a project “to support a two-state solution,” she said.

Concerning allegations that the State Dept. is funding a campaign to dump Netanyahu, she said, “No. It’s an absolutely false report. The reports were stemming from inaccurate reporting – and a lack of reporting, perhaps I should say, on this grant that I’ve given you many details on.”

The question remains why the U.S.  government has to grant organizations money to promote the “two-state solution.”

Apparently, it wants to share the failure with others.

 

 

Israel’s Wix Web Platform Company Unveils Super Bowl Ad [video]

Friday, January 30th, 2015

The Israeli–based web platform company Wix has unveiled its commercial to be aired during the Super Bowl football game this Sunday.

Wix’s message is that it offers a web solution for every business or even individuals who want to create a website.

The 30-second spot will cost Wix approximately $4.5, and a longer version of the commercial can be seen below.

It features  former Green Bay Packer Brett Favre, four other retired football stars and actor Rex Lee

In the commercial, Favre opens “Favre and Carve,” a charcuterie shop, and ex–Cowboys guard Larry Allen opens Larry’s All-Pro Tow.

The video also shows Steelers fullback Franco Harris, who is nicknamed “The Immaculate Reception” because of a fabulous catch in a game, bursting from a cake in a promo for his company called, of course,  Immaculate Receptions.

Super Bowl commercials also Weill show the first ad created by an Israel advertising agency, Yehoshua TBWA will be the first Israeli advertising agency to screen an Israeli ad during the Super Bowl – the US National Football League (NFL) championship game.

The commercial invites viewers to relax after the big game on Sunday take a vacation at the Israeli Fattal chain’s luxury Herods hotels.

Sen. Cruz Asks if Obama Behind V-15 ‘Political Campaign against Netanyahu’

Friday, January 30th, 2015

“Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and New York Rep. Lee Zeldin, also a Republican, asked Sec. of State John Kerry in a letter Thursday.

They asked “for information regarding media reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund efforts to influence upcoming elections in Israel.”

The Jewish Press reported here this week that non-profit and tax-exempt leftist groups  are campaigning to dump Netanyahu.

Sen. Cruz asked:

This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.

Zeldin added, “It is completely unacceptable to use U.S. tax dollars to influence the elections in Israel. State Department grants should never be given to entities working to overthrow strong allies like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. We have great allies around the world, but Israel is our strongest, and a beacon of freedom in a region filled with radical Islamic extremists and state sponsored terrorism. Today, I join with Sen. Ted Cruz in calling for a U.S. Department of State investigation into this important matter.”

Sen. Cruz and Rep. Zeldin request asked Kerry to answer eight questions:

— How much funding has the U.S. Government provided to OneVoice, PeaceWorks Network Foundation, and any connected initiatives, projects or subsidiaries?

— Who approved providing such funds?

—What is the oversight and accounting process for how these funds are being spent?

— How often and on what dates has such funding been provided?

— What were the specific reasons and terms for providing funds, and how are these funds specifically being spent?

— Can the Department of State guarantee that none of these funds have been or will be used in the endeavor detailed above, namely the partnership with V15, or any similar effort to exert undue influence over the Israeli political process?

— Was there any knowledge from the State Department or other U.S. government officials of the partnership with V15 prior to providing funds to OneVoice?

— Does OneVoice’s work with V15 violate its 501(c)(3) status (or the status of the PeaceWorks Network Foundation) as a tax-exempt organization and should such status be revoked?

In the letter, Cruz and Zeldin wrote, “Of course private American citizens are free to engage in political activities according to their inclinations, but given the overtly partisan nature of this particular case, we are deeply concerned by the relationship that also exists between OneVoice and the U.S.”

 

Election Registration is Over

Friday, January 30th, 2015

That’s it. If you didn’t register your party by now, you’re not running for the upcoming Knesset elections.

26 parties registered to run. It’s estimated that 9 or 10 will get in.

New Poll Shows All Parties Going Full Blast in Neutral

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The oddest result of a month of polls is that there has been almost absolutely no change in the numbers.

The weekly Rafi Smith poll published Thursday night reveals that all parties are more or less stagnant and that national religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

The new party has been on the edge of winning the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset, but the Smith poll leaves Yachad under the radar. If polls in the next two weeks do not clearly show that the party has enough backing to win Knesset representation, voters are likely to abandon the sinking ship in favor of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

Labor-Livni, running under the banner of the “Zionist Camp” party, would win 25 seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, according  to the Smith survey. The number is unchanged from last week’s survey.

Similarly, the Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would win 24 seats, followed by Bayit Yehudi with 16, one more than last week.

Next in line are Yesh Atid, whose chairman is Yair Lapid, with nine seats, and Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri with eight Knesset Members. Both parties’ support is unchanged from last week.

Kulanu (All of Us) headed by Moshe Kahlon won enough backing for eight seats, one less than last week.

Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism), the Ashkenazi Haredi party, gained one seat and now has eight projected MKs. Both Meretz and Yisrael Beiteinu lost one seat and are down to five,

The joint Arab list of parties won 12 seats, one more than in the previous poll.

The changes of one seat up or down are relatively insignificant given the margin of error in surveys.

Pollsters insist there is a large bloc of undecided voters, but if that is the case, they appear to be decidedly undecided.

No matter how you spin the  numbers, the results still show that Labor-Livni, or the Zionist Camp if you prefer the official name, have no chance of forming a government.

One Jewish Press report last week suggested that the Arab parties are “natural partners” for a left-wing coalition and that even if they don’t join the coalition, they would give their support for it in critical votes. Arab parties never have agreed to be part of an Israeli government, and given the fact that several of the Arab MKs are blatantly pro-Palestinian Authority and openly against a Jewish State of Israel, they are not about to change the tradition.

However, it also is unlikely that Kulanu and Yesh Atid would accept demands of the Arab parties if push came to shove and Herzog and Livni were to propose a coalition needing support of Arab MKs.

No party has any momentum. The only likely changes in the strength of the left-wing or right-wing camp will come from lukewarm supporters of Kulanu and Yesh Lapid.

That leaves the undecided voters to make up their minds, and they have a little more than six weeks to do so.

Lieberman so Frantic for Votes He Calls for ‘Disproportionate Response’

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman ridiculed Israeli “restraint” and said the IDF needs to deliver a harsh blow to Hezbollah in retaliation for yesterday’s attack that killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven others.

The army retaliated with artillery fire to the source of the attack, and one UNIFIL soldier was killed,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was fierce with words but extremely cautious in the military response. As The Jewish Press wrote here this morning, Israel does not want all-out with Hezbollah, if for no other reason than because it would not end in victory because of Israel’s inability to buck the usual international community’s demand that Israel not try to destroy an enemy.

Lieberman used to be one of Israel’s loudest hawks until he decided to be dovish for the election campaign to try to dig up votes from the middle-of-the road sector.

Crippled by a lack of trust, compounded by a police investigation of several of his Yisrael Beiteinu cronies for bribery, Lieberman on Thursday jumped on Netanyahu for being the dove.

He wrote on his Facebook page Israel needs to deliver a disproportionate response that defeats terrorism” and that Hezbollah “wants a proportionate response because it would lead to a war of attrition and perpetuate the conflict.”

It’s time to take the glove off when dealing with terrorism,” Lieberman said, but as Foreign Minister, he knows very well that there is not enough widespread support among Israelis to attack deliver Hezbollah a death blow, if it can.

He also did not say he would take responsibility for the certain death and destruction in Israel from Hezbollah missiles if Israel were to deliver a “disproportionate response.”

Lieberman desperately needs votes, but he may have lost even more by reverting back to his old position of mowing down the enemy at all costs.

A “disproportionate response” certainly is the correct strategy but only in a better world, which might come if people like Lieberman did not go off the deep end to seek votes.

Osem Sues Heinz for Allegedly Selling Watered-Down Ketchup

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Israel’s giant Osem food manufacturer is suing Heinz for allegedly selling ketchup with only one-third of the 20% tomato concentrate it says is required by local laws, Kosher Today reported.

Osem took its war against the American intruder to the supermarkets as well as the courts and sent out warning letters to the stores and to the Heinz distributor in Israel.

A class-action suit was filed in court on behalf of consumers and seeks $18.5 million in damages. The American ketchup maker said the suit is baseless.

Heinz is only one of a variety — not yet 57 — of American foods that worry local manufacturers.

Israeli food makers for years have been confident that Israeli taste buds are blue and white and not red, white and blue.

Falafel still is more popular than hamburgers, and certainly more than non-kosher cheeseburgers, but how long can Israel hold out in the wake of the mentality that says, “If it is from America, it must be good”?

Kosher Today noted that Israel coffee drinkers bucked Starbucks coffee, and any American tourist ordering a cup of coffee in Israel should be careful to specifically ask for instant coffee or risk being served a cup of that black Turkish coffee, for which the apt Israeli expression translated into English is “mud.”

After more than 30 years in Israel, I still cannot stomach even the smell of “mud,” and I think my Sabra children purposely leave the residue of the stuff in the cup in the sink so I will have to make a face while washing it.

Then there is Israel grape juice, which I used to take to the United States for Shabbat because I couldn’t stand the super-sweet stuff Made in America.

But the truth is that Israel grape juice does not have a very “grapey” taste, and Kedem is making is becoming more popular in Israel at the expense of the blue and white

Proud Israelis scoffed when McDonald’s first opened up in Israel in 1993 and said the Big Mac fast food business would flop. The chain now has 160 stores in Israel, of which 50 are kosher, for better or for worse.

As much as I am loyal to Israel products, I cannot pass up a scoop of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, even though the company refuses to open up a store in Judea and Samaria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/osem-sues-heinz-for-allegedly-selling-watered-down-ketchup/2015/01/29/

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