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May 26, 2016 / 18 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘million’

Drop in a Bucket: US Giving Gaza $50 Million in Aid Over 5 Years

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The United States on Monday announced a $50 million aid program for the Gaza Strip, AP reported. The money, distributed by the US Agency for International Development in partnership with Catholic Relief Services over five years, will be used for humanitarian assistance and jobs creation. Unemployment in Gaza is estimated at more than 40%.

Donald A. Blome, the US consul general in Jerusalem, said the money will help pay for “the dire needs that are obvious in Gaza.”

No one in the State Dept. on this occasion addressed the green elephant in the tent, namely the fact that Hamas has squandered millions of its assets on war preparations against Israel, while Gaza has become today’s metaphor for poverty and neglect.

According to the World Bank’s fact sheet, economic activity in Gaza remains volatile and almost entirely dependent on aid and remittances, with growth rates determined by (i) the level of aid inflows and (ii) the degree of trade restrictions. Gaza’s final consumption is 1.6 times larger than its GDP, and its investment a mere 5 percent of GDP, predominantly in housing. Estimated exports are very low at less than five percent of GDP. Gaza’s GDP per capita is half of that in the PA, and its poverty rate is roughly twice as high as those in the PA.

According to the PA Ministry of National Economy, Gaza has sustained damages of roughly $3 billion since initiation of the 2014 conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian Food Industries Union estimates that Gaza’s food industry has suffered damages estimated at around $150 million, with many factories in inoperable condition. The largest factories that used to provide up to 70% of local market needs were destroyed and will face a slow rebuilding process, as access to construction materials will likely be limited.

Data collected by the PA’s Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) indicates a significant shortage of water services and a severe public health threat to the population of Gaza.

The energy crisis in Gaza has been identified as a primary constraint to economic development even prior to the current conflict. The capacity of Gaza’s only power plant (GPP) was restricted by limited fuel availability due to the trade restrictions and a poor distribution network. The GPP remains inoperable to date and power outages of up to 18 hours a day continue in most areas across Gaza. This has exacerbated the already challenging electricity sector situation in Gaza. Electricity network damage of an estimated $42.5 million has been sustained.

So the $50 million over 5 years from the US should work miracles.

David Israel

French PM Announces $45 Million Plan to Rehab Muslim Extremists

Monday, May 9th, 2016

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Monday unveiled a program to establish regional centers across the country where locals will be “de-radicalized.” The centers will aim to prevent those identified as vulnerable to radical thinking from falling into the hands of the Muslim extremists.

Valls said the judicial authorities will be sending about half, if not more, of the clients for the new de-radicalization centers, primarily individuals “who cannot be put in prison.”

The Prime Minister said the “phenomenon of radicalization had widely penetrated into society” and that “it has deeply damaged the Republican pact.”

According to The Local, some 1,600 young French are already enrolled in state-run de-radicalization programs, which the new budget will increase 3,600 individuals over the next two years. In early February, Le Figaro published a leaked government report showing there were 8,250 committed Muslim radicals living in France — a number which had doubled since the previous year. Around 70% of the suspected Islamist radicals are male and 80% of the cases are considered “serious.” According to Le Figaro, there has been a significant rise in the number of women and teenagers who became radicalized.

In January, France announced the establishment of “de-radicalization” prison wings, where prisoners who have been convicted of terrorism are kept in isolated cells, unable to communicate with and influence fellow inmates.

The new rehab program has encountered the familiar NIMBY problem, as the opening of the first de-radicalization center, in Beaumont-en-Véron in central France, has provoke angry opposition from local residents who feared they could become the next terror targets.

“Yesterday it was Paris, tomorrow perhaps it could be us. Obviously we are scared,” one local resident told reporters.

The government established a “green number” in 2014, which French citizens can call to alert the authorities about their neighbors who have become radicalized. The green number has been a success and the Prime Minister plans to invest in more Jihadist threat hotlines.

David Israel

German Technology Giant Siemens AG to Pay $44 Million to Settle Israeli Corruption Case

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

German technology giant Siemens AG has agreed to pay Israel $44 Million to settle a charge that it bribed executives at the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to win a bid to supply turbines from 1999 to 2005, Israel’s Justice Ministry announced Monday. The company has also agreed to appoint an external inspector to supervise its business in Israel.

“We are pleased that the Israeli State Authorities chose to have an arrangement that does not include an indictment against Siemens AG recognizing…. that Siemens fully cooperated in the course of the investigation,” Siemens said in an e-mailed statement.

Siemens AG says it plans to continue its business in Israel on a major scale, including purchasing Israeli products and services and investing in Israeli companies.

Six IEC executives are facing charges in Tel Aviv court for bribery and money laundering. They are accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash bribes or, for the discriminating corrupt officials, transfers to their Swiss bank accounts.

Last October a former finance officer for Siemens in Argentina admitted to paying $100 million in bribes to government officials to secure a contract to produce national identity cards.

And prosecutors in Germany are investigating Siemens for allegedly charging $2.2 million for work that was never done at Berlin’s long-delayed new airport.

JNi.Media

A Soldier’s Mother: Six Million Tears

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Near the end of World War II, my grandfather took his family to the movies in America. On distant shores, a war was being fought and the movie began with a newsreel of what was happening. They reported the murder of Jews, of concentration camps and my grandfather began to cry – “they’ve murdered my mother,” my mother remembers him saying.

They murdered my great-grandmother, Raizel. They murdered my two great aunts. They murdered hundreds of my father’s relatives – most with names we’ll never know. They murdered all four of my husband’s grandparents, and his uncle Binyamin Elimelech (for whom Elie is named). They murdered my husband’s uncle Shmuel (for whom Shmulik is named). They murdered Yehoshua, who sacrificed his life to save his younger brother. They murdered Chaim Eliezer (for whom my husband is named). They murdered little Gavriella (for whom my granddaughter is named).

Six million times, they killed them, gassed them, beat them, starved them, humiliated them, denied them life, denied them food, denied them dignity. Six million dead…more than 1.5 million children murdered. We’ve cried rivers of tears in their memory; we’ve lit enough candles to light the blackest night.

We’ve promised never to forgive, never to forget…even if the world denies what was done, we remember.

This is as it has been for 70 years…even more. This time, it seems so different for me. I have a new perspective. I have been where I never thought I would go and the experience remains with me.

Six months ago…I went to Germany – for professional reasons and perhaps, deep down, some personal ones as well.

It was a very difficult visit for me and in one very key area, I felt different. I have anger against many who persecuted the Jews…from the ancient Egyptians who enslaved us to Amalek who ambushed us, from the Romans to the Crusaders, from those who rioted in countless pogroms to those today who attack Jews simply because they feel they can.

What I feel for the Nazis is timeless, endless and without bounds. It is a hatred so deep, it borders on poison. And yet, I am well aware that the poison can run in two directions…and so I try very hard to ensure that I live my life in a positive way; that I raise my children in hope and not despair, in strength and not in weakness.

They must know what the Nazis did, and know that the answer to preventing the next Holocaust was never in the hands of the Germans, or the Europeans, or the Americans. We will trust no one with that task, other than ourselves.

And so my trip to Germany this last November, which coincided with my birthday…and Kristallnacht…the Night of Broken Glass when, in 1938, the Nazis rampaged through Germany burning Jewish books, synagogues and homes, beating Jews and announcing to the world that their leader had a plan,

I spoke with Germans – many of whom silently looked down to the Jewish star around my neck. Like me, they chose, mostly, not to speak of what stood between us – symbolized by that star. Some asked me if I was from Israel and without any hesitation, I assured them that I was.

Not one made a nasty comment; several expressed support for Israel; one responded by saying “shalom aleichem” and another “hava nagilah.” I smiled and was polite and held myself back from asking anything because I found there was nothing to ask.

I left Germany with a greater understanding than I’ve ever had before. This Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Memorial Day in Israel, which comes this Thursday, will be very special for me because for the first time, I admit that the Germans are as trapped as we are, even if they don’t fully know that.

They live in a world without forgiveness – no, I’m not even speaking of mine or anyone who is alive. Every Yom Kippur, Jews all over the world are blessed with an amazing gift from God, the opportunity to ask and be forgiven, to start fresh. We are told that we must approach those that we have wronged and do what we can to repair the damage, apologize, learn from our mistakes and finally to move on.

The Germans are stuck in a world without forgiveness because they murdered the very people from whom they must received redemption and pardon. We can’t give it to them – so whether we are willing to give it or not is irrelevant. They live, quite simply, in a world without Yom Kippur, forever.

I learned that I do not hate them; if anything, I pity them this reality. The Holocaust will always be that silent presence in the room when Jew and German meet. They will forever walk that tightrope, one that brings instant contempt if they dare to cross any lines or forget their role.

Each Yom Kippur, we Jews are “born again” into a new and better world – ours to honor or disgrace, ours to try harder this time and make up for what we failed last time.

As Yom HaShoah approaches, I will light a candle for the six million, I will remember Shaye and Raizel, and Yehoshua and Shmuel and Binyamin Elimelech and Chaim Eliezer and Gavriella and I will think too that the power to stop the next Holocaust is in the hands of their great great grandchildren, their great nieces and nephews, where it belongs.

No matter where you are, please light a candle Wednesday night or some time on Thursday and ask God to bless the memories of those who were murdered…in the sanctification of His name.

May God bless the six million; may God bless those who came from them, those who stand on our borders, watch over our waters, fly our skies and defend our people. Am Yisrael Chai.

Paula Stern

Dead Sea to Yield 7 Million Oil Barrels

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The Hatrurim oil and gas exploration license in the Dead Sea area contains an oil reservoir worth $321 million, according to a resources report published Sunday morning by the companies holding the license, Globe reported. The report states with 100% geological certainty that the reservoir could contain between 7 and 11 million barrels of oil. Some oil has already been produced from the reservoir, according to Globes.

The Hatrurim Formation or Mottled Zone is a 36 sq. mile geologic formation with outcrops all around the Dead Sea Basin, including the Negev Desert, the Judaean Desert, and western Jordan. It includes impure limestone along with coal-bearing chalk and marl. The rocks have been subjected to pyrometamorphism resulting from combustion of contained or underlying coal or hydrocarbon deposits. The formation is named for exposures in the Hatrurim Basin which lies west of the Dead Sea.

In 1995, Delek Group Ltd. carried out an initial drilling in the license, to a depth of two kilometers, and found oil. It was decided at the time not to pursue drilling oil there because prices at the time were too low to justify the endeavor, and Delek and Avner Oil embarked on off-shore digging instead.

25% of the Hatrurim license was awarded last year to Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP and its partners.

David Israel

Obama, Erdogan Agree over the Phone on Syria, Egypt

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

President Obama spoke by phone on Wednesday from California with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, at the Prime Minister’s request, about developments in Syria and Egypt., according to a White House press release.

The President and the Prime Minister discussed the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive Syrian opposition.

They also expressed concern about the situation in Egypt and a shared commitment to supporting a democratic and inclusive way forward. The two leaders agreed to have their teams continue to coordinate closely to promote our shared interests.

The President gave his best wishes to the Prime Minister and the Turkish people on the beginning of their Ramazan holiday.

As it happens, the Syrian rebels—which the U.S. is supporting—suffered a very serious defeat on Wednesday, as 62 rebels were killed in an ambush.

Meanwhile, President Obama has announced that his administration would be providing an additional $195 million in food and other humanitarian aid to Syria. To someone in Syria, anyway.

It is believed that more than 100,000 people have been killed in Syria since the fighting began, some 28 months ago. It is also estimated that close to 2 million people have fled Syria and are seeking refuge in neighboring nations, mostly Turkey and Jordan.

As to Egypt, its new government has no intention of letting Islamists come back to power, and is prepared to use violence against Islamist protesters.

Yori Yanover

Bennett to Spend $140 Million on Haredi Integration

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

The Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor will allocate 500 million shekel ($140 million) to the integration of Haredim in the labor market, Minister Naftali Bennett announced today during a debate at the Knesset State Control Committee, ma’ariv reported.

“Integrating Haredim in the labor market is an acute national mission for the state of Israel,” the chair of the Jewish Home party said.

According to Bennett, “the dominant dynamic here is poverty. People who do not possess the economic ability to study Torah from morning till night would naturally seek a job. This is a blessed thing, and we must start working [to encourage it].”

Bennett added that his ministry is developing several axes along which to test the best way of integrating Haredim. “We want to direct Haredim to seek employment in areas where the market needs workers,” he said. “The current situation is that people are going to study and become proficient in areas the market doesn’t need. There’s a lack of coordination between what is and what’s needed.”

He gave one example: “Everybody is studying Law, instead of programming. There aren’t enough programmers out there, and any reasonably proficient programmer will be hired. The manufacturers are crying out, the hi-tech market is crying out for a workforce. That’s why we work all the time with the field and receive feedback. And the people in the field know well what works and what doesn’t, and we base our investment on their impressions.”

Bennett said the process will necessarily be one of trial and error, but his aim is to see in ten years the majority of Haredim integrated into the market.

Michal Tzuk, a Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Labor official in charge of employment, told the committee about a plan to create a prestigious program to prepare Haredim looking to work in hi-tech, which will include academic education and promoting Haredim as skilled workers.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-to-spend-140-million-on-haredi-integration/2013/08/06/

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