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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Ted Cruz is Running for President as the anti-Obama [video]

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

In a midnight twitter announcement, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) made it official: he is running to become the next president of the United States of America.

Cruz is, like all things iconically Texan, larger than life.

The son of a Cuban activist who was imprisoned and tortured, Ted Cruz is an ardent Evangelical Christian, and a huge supporter of Israel.

A captivating orator, Cruz has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and was the Solicitor General of Texas. He worked in the U.S. Justice Department and at the Federal Trade Commission.

Cruz’s father was an immigrant who washed dishes for 50 cents an hour and spoke no English upon his arrival in the U.S. His mother was the first in her family to attend college.

Cruz graduated with honors from Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Alan Dershowitz, the former Harvard Law School professor, said of his former student, that Cruz was “off-the-charts brilliant,” and one of the smartest students ever from Harvard Law School.

On the other hand, the State Department briefings often sound like an elitist jock club chortling at the mention of an initiative or query issued by Sen. Cruz – with both the reporters and the State Dept. spokesperson acting as if Cruz is the team doofus. This isn’t surprising, given Cruz’s unabashed conservativism, his religiosity and his ardent support for Israel, all traits belittled by those progressive elites.

Cruz made his candidacy announcement in a midnight tweet, followed the next day by a formal speech at Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia.

His speech Monday morning, March 23, in Virginia hammered out his core message: with Cruz you’ll have the antidote to all that has gone wrong under the Obama administration. The Texas senator intended to repeal “every word” of the Obamacare legislation and to dismantle the Internal Revenue Service, as well as rescind illegal immigration amnesty.

Cruz also lambasted the educational curriculum standard “Common Core,” which is not only strongly supported by the Obama administration, it is supported by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who is considered the front runner in the field of Republican presidential hopefuls.

Cruz elicited the longest and loudest applause from the Liberty University audience when he urged them to “imagine a President who stands unapologetically with the nation of Israel” according to CNN.

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Cruz is the first of several who are expected to seek the Republican nomination. The others, who will be announcing their own candidacies soon, include Bush, Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Florida’s Marco Rubio, as well as Congressmen Scott Walker of Wisconsin and New Jersey’s Chris Christie.

The Democratic field is expected to be dominated by former New York Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Vice President Joe Biden.

Of all the current front-runners, Cruz is also the standard-bearer for positions on Israel and Middle East policies that run counter to this administration’s. He has repeatedly criticized the administration for its own criticisms of Israel and for pandering to the behemoth terrorists in the Islamic Republic of Iran and ISIS, as well as the more moderate in execution – though no less so in hatred – terrorists of Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Authority.

 

Facebook and Alibaba Invest in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Facebook and the Chinese giant Internet Alibaba companies have expressed confidence in Israel with hiring and investment announcements.

Facebook, which already operates a development center in Tel Aviv, is hiring another 40 people, including 10 in the area of marketing and 30 engineers, product managers and designers,

Facebook has acquired at least three Israeli start-ups in the past four years.

Facebook Israel general manager Adi Soffer-Teeni announced Monday that the Israel branch is carrying out a special operation for training companies how to use Facebook’s platforms, and added, “I believe that other countries around the world will adopt the unique idea devised by our team here.”

Development center manager Roy Tiger said that an Israeli team is involved in a project called Safety Check, “an application that enables people to announce their situation quickly in a disaster, such as an earthquake.” He added that the application “was successfully used in the recent Hurricane Pam in the Asian Pacific region.

Alibaba announced it is investing tens of millions of dollars in the Israel venture capital firm JVP.

Nearly two dozen Alibaba officials are visiting Israel, including JVP’s offices in Jerusalem and its cyber incubator in Be’er Sheva.

Moody’s Finance: Netanyahu Coalition to Be Stable and Good for Economy

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The expected right-wing government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “would likely be inherently more stable than a coalition led by the centre-left Zionist Union, which would struggle to put together a majority,” Moody’s Investors Service analyst Kristin Lindow wrote Monday.

The world-wide credit rating service said the victory by the right-ring in the elections last week is good for Israel’s credit rating because of expected  “economic policy cohesion.”

“We expect the government’s fiscal rules to contain spending growth and keep credit metrics for Israel on their well-established improving trend, a credit positive,” Lindow and co-author Pamela Reyes Herrera  wrote.

He added that the coalition that Netanyahu is putting together will last longer than the previous and ill-conceived government.

The new administration “would likely be inherently more stable than a coalition led by the centre-left Zionist Union, which would struggle to put together a majority,” Lindow said.

The Moody’s report added, “The economy’s recovery from last year’s Gaza conflict should lead to rapid consensus over the budget allocations.”

A government source told “the Globes business newspaper that the announcement by Moody’s “is a positive announcement. It can almost be called a ‘God speed’ for Netanyahu.”

This is bad news for the “anyone but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu” campaigners, whose spokesmen, such as The New York Times and the Obama administration, have drowned out the right-wing victory with twisted analyses to soothe their wounds while babbling that Israel now will be worse off than ever.

The irony of Israel’s Labor party, which now calls itself the “Zionist Union” following the merger with Tzipi Livni’s faction, is that unlike its counterparts in the rest of the world, Labor is anything but socialist.

Israel’s Labor party always has been run by the old-guard elitists, except for a short interval when Amir Peretz, long-time leader of the Histadrut national labor party, carried the ball and fumbled it forever.

Israel’s tycoons, which control most of the manufacturing capacity in the country, always have been behind Labor and against reforms to create a free market.

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

US Absence at UN Human Rights Council Debate – Planned With Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Reuters news agency reported the absence of the United States at a scheduled United Nations Human Rights Council debate came as part of President Barack Obama’s “reassessment” of Israel at the international forum. The report, which flashed around the world on the news agency’s international wire network, made headlines in Middle Eastern and other nations whose time zones are six or more hours ahead of the U.S.

However, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the report is patently false.

In fact, the absence of the United States from the forum was indeed a deliberate act indeed, but one coordinated in advance with Israel to protest Agenda Item 7. Israel had asked its friends in the Council not to appear during debate of the Agenda Item, in order to boycott the issue.

A U.S. spokesperson in Geneva confirmed the reason for the delegate’s absence to Israeli officials, who reassured inquiring media.

Both the U.S. and Israel were boycotting the debate, which focusedon ‘Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.’

The UNHRC has passed a mandate to use Agenda Item 7 at every session to debate this specific topic.

For hours, Middle Eastern Arab and African nations ranted on the Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Algeria even accused Israel of genocide.

Although the members of the European Union attended the session, the EU delegates did take the floor to defend Israel during the Agenda Item 7 debate, insisting it should be treated as other nations, and its violations discussed under Agenda Item 4.

Not one other country is deliberately singled out for mandated censure at each and every session of the UN Human Rights Council – including Saudi Arabia, which still allows slavery and beheads criminals, nor Iran, which indulges in public whippings and hangings, nor Sudan, where torture is commonplace, and the list goes on.

In a speech to the Council in Geneva at the start of this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused the UNHRC of obsessions with claims of Israeli violations.

“We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just at the UN Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs,” Kerry vowed.

“It must be said that the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization. It has the potential to limit the good that we have to do,” he added.

Kerry’s well-intended promise may have been forgotten, at least in the White House, however: President Barack Obama is doing everything possible to yank the rug out from under Jerusalem, using rhetoric by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his election campaign as the excuse to claim a lack of commitment to peace by Israel.

“We take him at his word when he said [creation of a Palestinian state] wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” Obama told The Huffington Post last Friday.

Gone were the assurances Obama himself made in a speech to AIPAC during his own political campaign for president in 2008. That was when he vowed to commit, as president of the United States, to “help committed (peace) partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence.” Any agreement with the Palestinian people, he said, “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” he promised.

EMG Protesting Tamar ‘Reverse Flow’ To Egypt Story, Says Quoted Costs Unrealistic

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

The attorneys for East Mediterranean Gas SA (EMG) have sent a stern letter of protest to the Tamar natural gas reservoir owners—Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd., Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Dor Gas Exploration Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership—and to the press, protesting the publication of the Tamar reservoir partners agreements with Dolphinus Holdings Limited on the supply of gas to Egypt through EMG’s pipeline.

The attorney, Niv Sever, states that EMG was “surprised, once again, to read in the press about an agreement assuming the use of its pipeline for ‘reverse flow’ of gas between the Israeli Tamar Reservoir partners and Dolphinus Holdings Limited.”

In no uncertain words and in fluent Lawyerese, the Tamar partners, as well as the press, are warned that “EMG strongly protests the repeated unauthorized use of its name, targeted, so it seems, to capitalize on its assets.”

Apparently, EMG, despite its being the owner and operator of the gas pieline whose flow is to be reversed under the new deal, “is not a party to the reported deal and was not included in such negotiations. To avoid any doubt, there are no discussions held between EMG and Dolphinus on such a transaction and there have been no negotiations held in the past.”

Sever adds that, even if his client, EMG, were to permit this unauthorized use of their pipeline, “the reported up-front costs of such an operation are unrealistic for a pipeline that has been out of operation for several years.”

Apparently, when a pipeline is dipped in seawater for several years unattended, you can’t just turn it on and expect it to start reverse flowing stuff.

Or, as Sever puts it: “future operation to transport the reported interruptible quantities of gas for the reported duration would not be economical as far as EMG is concerned.”

“As you must be aware, Egypt has often been reported to impose three determinants for any reverse flow deal,” Sever continues, “approval of the Egyptian government, creation of added value for Egypt, and resolution of the pending international arbitration cases between EMG and its shareholders and Egypt.”

Alas, EMG’s attorney explains, “the positions taken by Egypt in those cases to date, as well as existing Egyptian law restrictions, preclude, at present, any agreement by EMG to contract use of its pipeline for reverse flow on any terms.”

Kachlon Offered Prime Minister Rotation Deal – By Buji Herzog

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog is starting to look like a one-trick pony.

Senior members of the Zionist Union claim that party leader Yitzchak Herzog offered Kulanu chief Moshe Kachlon, who holds the key to forming any coalition a deal, a deal he can’t refuse, according to a Maariv report.

They claim that besides offering Kachlon a senior ministerial positions in the government, like Netanyahu did, Herzog upped the ante and also offered to share the Prime Minister’s seat with Kachlon, in a rotation agreement.

The party members didn’t say if they would be ruling on alternate days, or would it be one week on and one week off, and how exactly it would all that fit into Tzipi Livni’s rotation schedule with Herzog (depending on the hour, if that rotation deal is on or off), and would this just turn into some sort of convoluted 3-way relationship.

Herzog is making offers to all the parties that might sit in Netanyahu’s coalition that he thinks could be bought off, in hope of becoming a partial prime minister.

One does wonder how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that chair at the same time.

His rotation schedule could look like this:
Sunday: Herzog (Labor)
Monday: Kachlon (Kulanu)
Tuesday: Gal-on (Meretz)
Wednesday: Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
Thursday: Odeh (Arab List)
Friday: Livni (HaTnua)
Saturday: Lapid (Yesh Atid)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kachlon-offered-prime-minister-rotation-deal-by-buji-herzog/2015/03/22/

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