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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Negev’

Update: Rocket Alert – Southern Negev

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

The automated Red Alert rocket alert went off at 8:03 AM on Tuesday for the Southern Negev region.

It is unclear at this point if anything was actually launched at Israel.

8:33 AM Update: A projectile was launched from the Sinai and landed in the Sinai. Israel’s border was not penetrated.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Defense Sec. Carter in Israel Welcoming F-35 Amidst Trump’s Cost Complaints, Experts’ Hype Accusations

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is in Israel Monday, waiting to usher in the first much touted stealth F-35 fighters expected to – as Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman put it – “present another component in maintaining air superiority in our region.”

With its estimated cost at close to $400 billion, the new next-gen plane is by far the US’ most expensive weapons system, and Israel is included in a very small group of countries to receive it. and expressed gratitude to Carter, who was welcomed with a military honor guard at a Tel Aviv army base.

One man who is decidedly unhappy with these costs is President-Elect Donald Trump, who told Fox News on Sunday, “Look at the F-35 program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars.” Trump continued, “It’s out of control. And the people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go to work for these companies. You know, they make a deal like that and two or three years later, you see them working for these companies that made the deal.”

File that one with Trump’s complaints about the excessive costs of Air Force One, complaints that have already hit its maker, Boeing, in the stock markets.

Perhaps more disturbing that its costs – which, presumably, the next president will renegotiate – are the rumors that the F-35 is not meeting its high praise and great expectations. Michael Gilmore, DoD’s chief tester, has been arguing that Pentagon officials have been misleading the public with their assessment of the progress of the F-35, Bloomberg reported.

“If not changed, the existing responses would at best be considered misleading and at worst, prevarications,” Gilmore, director of operational test and evaluation, wrote Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Az).

Gilmore has been challenging several key statements from DoD regarding the F-35. For instance, he does not believe the F-35’s development phase will be completed in early 2018, which Defense is claiming. He says Defense is spreading false information when it says all weapons systems’ testing will start in mid-2018 and be completed in 2019. Gilmore thinks the testing won’t be finished before well into 2020.

Gilmore says it is “highly unlikely” the F-35s delivered in fiscal 2018 will have full combat capability, due to delays in testing the plane’s software and correcting “276 pending deficiencies.”

There’s an Israeli angle to these predictions of delayed delivery: during last month’s test flights, symbols on the Elbit helmet display used by pilots in aim air-to-ground attacks were “unusable and unsafe to complete the planned testing.”

These issues of cost and delays didn’t seem to bother Col. Asaf, the deputy commander of Israel’s Nevatim Air Force base in the Negev, who told ABC News, “We are going to be very strong for a long time, having these airplanes. And Israel has to be strong in this region for its existence. It’s a message for everybody that Israel will keep on holding the high-end technology in this area.”

“This specific airplane is going to be a very good one for the next decades,” Col. Asaf said added.


Trans-Israel Highway Extension Reaches Northern Negev

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

The long-awaited extension of the Highway 6 Cross-Israel Highway has reached the northern Negev at last.

A new section of Highway 6 opened last week between the Shoket Interchange and the Shoket West Interchange in the Negev, broadening access to Highway 60 south of Be’er Sheva, and communities such as Omer and Meitar.

The extension also feeds out on to Highway 31, which has been upgraded from a narrow two-lane country road into a straightened-out, four-lane highway.

(If only someone would stop stealing the copper wire and LED bulbs from the street lights long that super-long stretch of dark night along the isolated segments of the highway, where Bedouin villages are nestled back among the hills ….)

Eventually, the plans for Highway 6 are set to include an extension to reach Nevatim, the recently completed IDF Training Base city. The 13-kilometer stretch between the Shoket and Nevatim Interchanges are next on the list.

Some of the road is a toll road, and some of it is free. The toll road begins from the Sorek Interchange, and continuing north.

The speed limit has just been raised to 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).

At present, the entire length of the highway spans 175 kilometers, north to south, including 18 interchanges to Shoket West, totalling a journey of 90 minutes.

Hana Levi Julian

Lockheed Martin Picks Negev Base for F-35 Training

Monday, November 14th, 2016

The high cost of flying Lockheed Martin’s F-35 determines that at least 50% of the training on the stealth fighter be done in simulators, and Elbit Systems Ltd. has just won the tender to operate the F-35 new training center, to be built in the Nevatim airbase in the Nege desert, Globes reported Sunday. Construction of the new center will be completed in the coming year, in time for the arrival of the 33 F-35 Adir aircraft purchased by Israel.

Lockheed Martin said in a statement that over the past three decades, Elbit “has acquired a great deal of experience in trainers and simulators, and is a world leader in high-tech display. Its advanced systems are in operational use by leading armies around the world.”

A group of Israeli pilots are undergoing special training for the F-35 at a US Air Force base in Arizona. According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, F-35 related cooperation between Lockheed Martin and Israeli defense companies has reached $993 million. Elbit produces advanced pilot helmets for F-35 pilots; Israel Aerospace Industries produce the aircraft’s wings.

The F-35 Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), a joint venture between Elbit Systems and Rockwell Collins, provides critical flight information to the pilot throughout the entire mission.


A ‘Passage to Israel’ is a Visual Journey Through Israel’s Beauty

Monday, November 14th, 2016

For those who love Israel, the ability to describe the look and feel of the place feels imperative. How can anyone who hasn’t been to Israel recognize the vast beauty of the tiny space?

Karen Lehrman Bloch felt that imperative and, with a career of looking at, cataloguing and curating beauty, undertook a quest to mine and then share the beauty of the Holy Land. Bloch’s quest was in itself an act of beauty: the process of culling Anemones in the Negevexceptionally gorgeous pictures of Israel developed into ever-deeper understandings of Israel’s essence, and an embrace of the many different ways in which Israel is beautiful.

Jaffa Beach

The result of Bloch’s journey is an incredible, ethereal, upliftingly soulful work of art, Passage to Israel, (Skyhorse Publishing). The book is being launched at an exhibition starting Thursday, Nov. 17, at the Anderson Contemporary Gallery, in the South Street Seaport at 180 Maiden Lane in New York City. Bloch’s many years as a curator of beauty honed the skills essential to conveying the beauty of Israel in a dramatic and stunning book.

Passage to Israel is divided into four chapters: Land, Light, Life and Soul. These divisions are a welcome refusal to cleave the land into parochial categories, either geographically or religiously. Bloch also


rejected banal beauty, the postcards from the Holy Land kitsch. The fading sunlight playing through the clouds and fog over a wave-breaker in Tel Aviv, or a bicycle race along the Dead Sea – each picture in Passage to Israel is a delight and a surprise.

tzachiyaffeagamonhulachaosElah Valley

In more than 200 photographs taken by 35 photographers, not one gives fuel to the misguided but widespread belief that Israel is a militaristic nation defined entirely by the conflict. Perversely, it was the 2014 Gaza War which drew Bloch’s focus to Jerusalem children

Ethiopian worshippersIsrael. A neophyte on social media, the hatred and ugliness expressed there towards Israel eventually inspired Bloch to find a form of healing through what she knows best: beauty.

“I wanted to put something beautiful and positive out there about Israel,” she told the JewishPress.com. Bloch’s previous books, The Inspired Home: Interiors of Deep Beauty and The Lipstick Proviso: Women, Sex & Power in the Real World, both dealt with aspects of beauty. She felt up to the task.

Five of the photographers whose work is featured in the book will be at the launch scheduled for this Thursday.  And Mattisyahu, the Grammy-nominated Israeli singer, will be performing. Bloch explained that Mattisyahu was, “in many ways integral to the book. He uses his poetic, often soulful lyrics to touch people both emotionally and spiritually. That’s what I want these images to do.”

When Bloch saw that the gallery where the launch is being held, she knew she wanted him to perform on opening night.

The “Passage to Israel” exhibition runs at the Anderson Gallery from Nov. 17 through Jan. 6, 2017. Bloch plans to take the exhibit to cities such as Los Angeles, Palm Beach, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Toronto, London and Berlin. The exhibit will have its final showing in Jerusalem, sometime next year.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israeli Physician Advocates Legalizing Cannabis Completely

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

An Israeli physician who sees patients in the northern Negev city of Arad advocates the legalization of cannabis altogether — not just for medicinal purposes — saying that more than 100 years of bans on various drugs have not stopped substance abuse. In fact, Dr. Yuval Rabinovich says it’s time to legalize everything.

“As physicians, we are not very good in refusing patients’ requests, but the society expects this from us,” Rabinovich said originally in a response to a post on a colleague’s Facebook page. “The primary problem is regulation. Politicians think that banning something that is bad for you is a good idea.”

Speaking to JewishPress.com in an interview on November 1, Rabinovich said that after more than a century of fighting heroin use, “we didn’t succeed in preventing people from getting it — and the price didn’t even drop.”

“Medicinal” cannabis has the “alleged attributes of classic panacea,” Rabinovich said, “a remedy for all diseases with the proof for none: fibromyalgia, epilepsy, cancer pain, Parkinson’s disease. The list is endless.”

He also noted that so-called “medicinal” cannabis has “no standardization of use: dosing, route of administration, post marketing follow-up, or anything else,” and went on to say that the “worst thing about cannabis is that it is described as harmless, a thing that it is definitely not.

“We are now 99 years since Prohibition. Alcohol was banned unless you could get a prescription, and indeed it was prescribed,” Rabinovich said. There were prescriptions for alcohol to relieve anemia, tuberculosis, pneumonia, high blood pressure, “and whatever you would expect from an early 20th century panacea.”

It is time, he said, “to put away with regulating substances and legalize everything.”

He pointed to alcohol as “a good example,” saying that one is not allowed to drive under its influence, nor is anyone allowed to sell it to children.

“Apart from that, as doctors we advise you not to consume it in large quantities, but you do not break any law if you do. This way we have good regulation. We tax it, the manufacturing conditions are adequate, and we do not pretend it to be a medicine.”

The Israeli Ministry of Health includes a Medical Cannabis Unit, which is the authorized unit that “examines applications and issues permits to hold, use and research dangerous drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

“The Medical Cannabis Unit examines medical recommendations to use cannabis for medical purposes, in accordance with the established procedures,” including as an adjunct treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Hana Levi Julian

President Rivlin Visits Bereaved Family of Israeli Teen Killed on Israel-Egyptian Border

Friday, October 28th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin paid a condolence visit on Thursday to the family of Nimer Abu Amar, the 15-year-old Bedouin teen who was killed by shots fired on the Israeli-Egyptian border.

“We are all citizens of the same country, we have come to share in your profound grief,” Rivlin said.

“We are all equal in this country and there is no difference between a child from Lakiya or from Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, or Haifa. The Ministry of Defense treats a child from Lakiya in exactly the same way as it would any other child, and we will check and follow closely after this tragic incident.”

Bassam Abu Amar, the bereaved father, told Rivlin that he was confident the ministry would “pursue justice and investigate the issue.” He added, however, “We are in great pain; we are mourning our firstborn.”

Nimer’s uncle, Fares Abu Amar said, “We have been working with the security establishment for generations, and we will continue to serve the country and work along the borders.” He expressed confidence that the Defense Ministry would investigate and “draw the necessary conclusions.

“Our child is yours as well as ours – there is no question about that.”

The President embraced the family upon leaving and promised that the relevant officials at the President’s Office will follow the investigation into the incident.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/president-rivlin-visits-bereaved-family-of-israeli-teen-killed-on-israel-egyptian-border/2016/10/28/

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