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June 26, 2016 / 20 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

Steinitz: Israeli Offshore Gas ‘Worth 4 Leviathans’

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz told the 16th Herzliya Conference on Thursday that Israel discovered offshore natural gas worth four times the Leviathan field.

Steinitz said that “developing the gas fields, bringing natural gas to factories and transport and developing export pipelines, all these things are a huge engine of growth. What might save us from recession and bring us back to a reasonable level of growth is natural gas.”

Regarding the possibility of recession, Steinitz said, “It’s no secret that Israel has had a major downturn in growth, in investments and in exports and that’s very worrying.”

Steinitz told the conference that his office is debating laying a gas pipeline to Cyprus and to Greece, noting that “the project is technologically possible and the costs are not as high as we thought in the past.” He added that “if this can be realized it would position Israel well from the geopolitical and geostrategic point of view. Israel can become a significant player.”

David Israel

An Israeli Rabbi’s Response to Obama’s Speech on Radical Islam

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

If you don’t know who you are fighting, you can’t win the war.

Video of the Day

Israeli Provisions Causing Rift among Syrian Rebels

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

Shipments of food supplies from Israel, bearing the names of well known Israeli brands, have been the source of much strife in Arab media and Arab social networks, most likely because this is the month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast during the day and think about food more often than usual. The provisions, including packaged rice and wheat, reach the Al-Quneitra district, which is dominated by the Syrian opposition. But while some rebel groups welcome the Israeli support, other groups, some of which are affiliated with President Assad’s regime, have attacked the initiative, saying that “it’s an insult to receive food from the Zionist entity which is oppressing the Golan.”

The Golan Heights, a hilly stretch overlooking lake Kinneret and Israel’s civilian communities, used to be the spots from which Syrian soldiers would target Israelis down below like fish in a barrel for 19 years, until Israel put an end to the madness by capturing the hills and denying the Syrians their target practice.

Pictures of the Israeli food products have reached the London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi, which cited a source on the ground in southern Syria that claimed Israel has been supporting the rebel groups there since 2013, after Jordan had closed off its Syrian border. Obviously, the groups who don’t get to share in the Israeli made rice, wheat, tea and Canola oil describe the haves as traitors and Zionist collaborators.

Israeli food products in Syria

Israeli food products in Syria

Revolutionary Military Council in Quneitra and the Golan last week issued a strong condemnation that went: “We condemn the insult our people have sustained in the liberated Al-Quneitra district in the form of food supplies awarded by the Zionist entity which is repressing the Golan which was sold out by the regime.” The RMCQ was particularly upset because the revelation of the Zionist food supplies came close to the part of the year when the anniversaries of the 1948 and the 1967 wars take place, in May and June respectively.

Al-Quds Al-Arabi cited a local activist who said the food is being hauled into Syria by members of the Free Syrian Army, after they deliver their wounded to hospitals south of the border, in Israel. It appears there are many Syrians who are delighted and grateful that Israel has been so supportive. Fahd Al-Mousa, head of the liberated Quneitra district council told the newspaper that only Israel has been a reliable ally for his people.

“Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution we haven’t found a way to bring the injured and hurt into any Arab country,” Al-Mousa stated, adding that only Israel has opened its gates to them. “And there are packages of medicine, milk for babies and additional foodstuffs that enter the district from Israel,” he said. Compared with Israel’s consistent support, he said, help from the gulf emirates had been sporadic.

Motti Kahane, president of the humanitarian organization Amalia, told Ynet that in southern Syria there may be more than 50 different rebel groups, each of which runs its own fundraising and receives its own supplies from five different countries. Amalia would like to serve as a go between for all the donated goods and food that come in, and to dispense them fairly and equally through the Quneitra crossing between Israel and Syria, which is normally closed.

JNi.Media

Danny Danon-A New Israeli First

Wednesday, June 15th, 2016

After months of diplomatic efforts, Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, was elected chair of the Legal Committee on Monday. It is the first time since the Jewish state joined the UN in 1949 that an Israeli representative will head a permanent committee.

The UN’s Legal Committee (the Sixth Committee) deals with all of the organization’s activities regarding international law including the status of the additional protocols of the Geneva Conventions and coordinating its fight against terrorism. One of Danon’s first tasks in his new position will be to further the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism.

“I am proud to be the first Israeli elected to this position,” said Danon.  “Israel is a world leader in international law and in fighting terrorism. We are pleased to have the opportunity to share our knowledge with the countries of the world.”

The victory followed a lengthy and difficult diplomatic battle led by the Israeli Mission to the UN in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem and Israeli embassies around the world. Countries from the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which include many member-states hostile to Israel, ran a coordinated campaign attempting to block Danon’s appointment. Iran, the current chair of the NAM group, circulated a draft of a letter to UN member-states filled with anti-Israel fabrications and calling to reject the Israeli candidacy. The Iranian letter was not published and their attempt failed.

Danon’s Candidacy Gets Widespread Backing

“We will not allow dictatorships and anti-Israel countries to harm our standing in the international community. Those who tried to block our appointment would be well advised to take note of the jurisdiction of this committee, as they have much to learn about international law,” added Danon.  “We are a full member of the UN, and any attempt to deny us of our legal rights in this organization will be met with uncompromising rejection.”

Danon’s candidacy received widespread backing from many member states, led by the United States and the Europeans.

Prior to this appointment, Danon was first elected as the Western European and Others (WEOG) regional group’s candidate for the position. Then, following the objection by the Arab Group to approve the nomination, the General Assembly proceeded to elect Danon by a secret ballot. All 193 UN member states were eligible to take part in the election, after which Danon was congratulated by colleagues from around the world.

{Source: Permanent Mission of Israel to the UN}

Guest Author

Annals of Obesity: Israeli Kids Drink More Soda than Americans, Arabs More than Jews [video]

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

At least 50% of the world population suffer from overweight and obesity, compared with the situation in the 1980s, when only 10% of the population was obese, according to worldwide management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. If the rate of weight gain remains as it is today, close to half the people on planet Earth will be obese by the year 2030. Israel’s figures are relatively good compared with the rest of the OECD countries, but still, according to the Israeli Health Ministry, 1.7 million Israelis, or 25% of adults and 14% of children, are obese, and out of those 700 thousand are considered pre-diabetic, and 500 thousand already suffer from type 2 diabetes. Also, adding those who are overweight (BMI of 25 and up) to the 25% who are obese, shows that almost half the population in Israel is overweight.

To illustrate, according to The Marker, in one of the meetings of the commission to promote a healthy diet, Health Ministry director-general Moshe Bar Siman Tov said ironically, “We fail to understand how come 50% of the population are not overweight, considering the current consumer culture.”

The Health Ministry has recently launched a campaign against the consumption of soda drinks, which are a kind of statewide plague. A survey conducted in local schools has shown that Israeli children are at the top of the world average in their daily consumption of sweetened drinks. The world average for consuming sweet drinks is 25% of girls and 32% of boys. The average in the US is 30% among girls and 37% among boys.

In Israel the average is 41% for girls, 45% for boys — while for Israeli Arab children it is even higher, as 51% of Arab children ages 11 to 15 consume a sweet drink at least once a day.

© JNi.media

© JNi.media

It is well-known today that an overweight child will likely suffer from obesity in adulthood. In Israel every fifth first grader (20%) is overweight, and by the seventh grade 30% — one in three children — are overweight.

Among Arab children the situation is even worse, with close to 40% of Arab seventh graders suffering from overweight.

In Israel, some 70% of the food being consumed is processed, which is why Israeli children and teens consume 12 grams of sodium daily, easily double the recommended amount.

Diabetes in Israel harms the weaker population strata, most notably the Arabs. The rate of diabetes among the poor is three times higher compared with middle and upper class Israelis. An estimated 25.5% of Israeli poor are diabetic, compared with 7.1% Israeli middle and upper class. The rate of the rise of diabetes among the poor in Israel is swift and alarming, jumping in 12 years from 7.8% in 2002 to 25.5% in 2014.

According to the Health Ministry, the cost of obesity is estimated at $1.55 billion annually, with a third of the cost coming from direct care for obese patients and two-thirds from indirect losses, such as reduced earning ability, sick days and nursing care. Israel’s largest HMO, Maccabi Health Services, has submitted to the Health Ministry data suggesting it spends on diabetic patients 53% more than it does on the average insured member.


Israeli Health Ministry’s anti-soda drinking campaign

JNi.Media

Pres. Rivlin Warns Israeli Arabs, Druze at Iftar Meal, ‘Beware Efforts to Destroy Coexistence’

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin warned participants at an Iftar meal (Ramadan fast breaking feast) Monday in the northern Israeli city of Sakhnin to beware those trying to undermine ‘the remnants of trust… between two peoples.’

The event was attended by municipal and faith community leaders from Muslim and Druze communities.

“Yesterday we were all shocked by the massacre in Orlando, and I want to send my condolences to the families, and to the American nation, following this cowardly and criminal act of terrorism,” the president said.

“We too are still in the shadow of the terror attack against us just last week, terrorism which is unrelenting toward us.”

Rivlin stressed the need to stand united against terrorists. “It is hard not to see that the terrorists are acting in every way possible to undermine the remnants of trust and the fragmented remaining bridges between the two peoples,” he said.

“We must stand together, Jews, Christians and Muslims, against evil which sometimes claims to speak in God’s name. And we must insist on fighting for the message of religion as one of ‘choosing life.’”

Rivlin said Israelis must insist that murder and violence are the result of intellectual distortion which has nothing to do with a healthy religion.

“We cannot be silent,” he said. “We cannot let those violating religion by committing atrocities in its name, to cast a stain on those of faith, or to destroy the fabric of our lives here together.

“As believers, we must not let our children, Jews and Arabs, grow up with a distorted understanding that religion equals terror and death, that religion means extremism.”

The president concluded by thanking his hosts, and expressed his hope for coexistence between the different communities of Israel.

“Our lives and your lives here in this country are intertwined,” he reminded his hosts.

Mayor of Sakhnin Mazen Ghanaim thanked the president, saying, “You are a sensitive and caring person. We all condemn in the strongest terms all acts of violence. The distance from Ramallah to Jerusalem is just 15 minutes.” He made clear, “We are working to promote employment, equal education, and peace.”

The mayor took the opportunity to note, “Today in the Knesset it was announced by the Finance Minister that the five-year economic plan for the Arab community has been held up.

“We ask of you Mr. President to continue to work to see the program come into being.”

Rivlin assured Ghanaim that he would speak with Kahlon about the matter.

Hana Levi Julian

New Legislation Would Free Up $1.5 Billion in Credit for Israeli Housing Starts

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Construction companies are no longer allowed to charge their customers fees for their own legal services, according to a key item in a new amendment to the Sales Law being promoted by the Ministry of Housing and Construction, Calcalist reported Thursday. Another significant change in the law would remove the requirement that contractors post a bank guarantee for the VAT portion of the cost of the apartment, and instead the state would set up a special fund to cover the buyers’ outlay. This would save contractors millions of dollars, releasing more than $1.5 billion in bank credit to the real estate market. The construction firm would still have to insure the rest of the buyer’s investment, in case said firm goes out of business.

The Housing Ministry, which began the move to amend the law nine months ago, is hoping the changes would pass by the end of the Knesset summer session in August. The move was spurred by the common understanding that the construction section of the current Sales Law is outdated, and has led real estate companies to develop their own ways of bypassing it, at the expense of their customers. The amendments were forged by an inter-office team that included Deputy Attorney General Erez Kamenetz, the Consumer Protection Authority, the Finance Ministry, and the Tax Authority.

“It is our responsibility to help the Israeli public get accessible housing, while legally protecting the buyers and maintaining fairness in all processes,” Minister of Housing Yoav Galant told Calcalist. One of the problems in the way housing business is done in Israel has to do with the buyer paying the contractor’s attorney for processing the new apartment at the Land Registry Office (the local word for the office is Tabu — no relation to taboos, the word is simply the Arabic mispronunciation of the Turkish word Tapu, or title-deed). A recent legislation limited the fees paid to said attorney to about $1,300, but even so, the clients may believe that by paying his fees the attorney is now working for them, which he certainly isn’t — he remains in the service of the contractor.

The Housing Ministry believes that registering the apartment and providing a legal deed is part of the overall product the contractor is expected to provide, and so they now want to go one step further and eliminate altogether the requirement for buyers to pay for this service.

There are other amendments which are not as crucial economically, but certainly add transparency to the process of buying an apartment in Israel. Companies would have to inform buyers of every change they intend to make in the original construction plan, for instance, if they want to add apartments. They also must inform buyers of changes in nearby lots, so that, if, for instance, their magical view of the Mediterranean would now be blocked by a 48-story tower, buyers would have the opportunity to get out of the deal and look elsewhere.

Contractors may no longer be permitted to sell apartments on land that is yet to be re-zoned for construction. If a plan for a new housing construction exists but the permit for building has yet to be issued, firms may sell units to buyers, but only with the proviso that the project is not yet legally authorized, providing the date for the expected authorization, and that buyers can get their money back in its entirety should the permit not be issued.

Also, any significant change in a purchased apartment’s layout, including in common areas such as storage spaces and lobbies, would be considered legally as failure to fulfill the contractor’s commitment and buyers may recoup their investment.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-legislation-would-free-up-1-5-billion-in-credit-for-israeli-housing-starts/2016/06/09/

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