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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘US.’

Russia Buying Out US Influence with $2 Billion Arms Deal for Egypt

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Egyptian army chief and probable next president, Field Marshal Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, landed in Moscow Wednesday and is expected to sign up with Russia for a $2 million arms deal in another move that could diminish American influence over Cairo as well as the entire Middle East.

After the Obama administration openly warned the Egyptian regime last year,it could face cuts in military aid from Washington because of its undemocratic policies, Saudi Arabia stepped into the break to offer help to Egypt.

The United States pooh-poohed the idea that it was losing its clout in Cairo, but Russia now is set to take advantage of Saudi financial aid to Egypt and boost its defense sales and to further erode the Obama administration’s position.

Al-Sisi’s is on his first foreign visit since he replaced ousted president Mohammed Morsi. Russia’s foreign and defense ministers visit Cairo last November.

Russia has become a major thorn in the side of President Barack Obama over Syria and Iran. At the same time, the Arab world is increasingly fed up with the president’s foreign policy. Obama’s “engagement” with Iran has disappointed Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The former American administrations’ military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have left behind anarchy, violence and rabid anti-Americanism.

It is no wonder that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is willing to go for broke for a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That would restore America’s shine to some extent, but if a deal is made, which is unlikely, and if it falls apart in the future, which is more than probably, the United States will be in a weaker position in the Middle East.

United Nations Disinvites Iran from Syria Peace Talks

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

The United Nations has bowed to pressure from  the United States and Saudi Arabia and has rescinded its unexpected invitation to Iran to attend  the Geneva II  conference for peace in Syria Wednesday.

U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon reconsidered the invitation after Iran stated refused to back up a previous promise that it would publicly support the creation of a transitional government for Syria.

“Iran, despite assurances made to the secretary-general, has made a disappointing statement,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said earlier in the day before the decision to rescind.

“The Islamic Republic doesn’t consider the Geneva II conference legitimate if it hinges on accepting the terms of Geneva I,” said Ali Akbar Velayati, senior foreign-policy adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. “We don’t accept Geneva I under any circumstances.”

The sudden changes in preparations for the conference could scuttle the lakes, which are given zero chance of succeeding anyway.

Iran now has made it is clear how much it can be trusted, but that does not mean that President Barack Obama and other members of the P5+1 will understand that Tiran will not live up to its commitments under the agreement for supervising its nuclear development.

US Rebukes Ya’alon for ‘Offensive’ Remark that Kerry is Messianic

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The United States  rebuked Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon Tuesday for having reportedly said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is “messianic,” that the U.S. proposal for security arrangements under a Palestinian Authority state are worthless and that all of us would be better off if Kerry would just pick up his Nobel Prize and leave us alone.

Ya’alon has not denied or commented on the report of his comments, made in private, exposed without a source by Yediot Acharonot. Presumably, Ya’alon has a political enemy who snitched on him.

The United States was understandably insulted. “The remarks of the defense minister, if accurate, are offensive and inappropriate, especially given all that the United States is doing to support Israel’s security needs,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a brief statement.

The beauty of the diplomatic faux pas is that the Israeli government – if it is not comatose – will realize that it is possible to say what it thinks about John Kerry without the world coming apart.

The United States was insulted. So what?

Ya’alon finally has done what no other Israeli leader has done -  call a spade a spade and call a Secretary of State a messianic jerk.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat. He is not the greatest politician, and that is to his credit because he is more intellectually honest than others. It was Ya’alon, as Chief of Staff in 2005, who refused to turn Israeli soldiers into an Iranian goon squad to expel Jews from their homes in Gaza.

At the same time, his three-year term as Chief of Staff was due to end. The usual practice is for the Prime Minister to extend it by another year, but faced with the possibility of a loose spoke in the wheels of destruction, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dumped Ya’alon and replaced him with Dan Halutz.

Let’s not forget that it was Halutz, one year later when he was supposed to be totally focused on two Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hezbollah, who was on the phone with his bank to sell shares on the stock market. When he hung up, he got back to work to lead Israel into the debacle of the Second Lebanon War.

Ya’alon is not a diplomat, but he should know that whatever he says, anywhere, can be quoted. He would not dare stand on a podium and call Kerry “messianic.”

Here is what Ya’alon was quoted as saying:

“Kerry has come to act out of an incomprehensible obsession and a messianic feeling {and} cannot teach me a single thing about the conflict with the Palestinians. The only thing that can save us is if Kerry wins the Nobel prize and leaves us alone.”

He  added that Kerry’s security arrangements “are not worth the paper they are written on.”

Ya’alon issued a written statement after the report that the United States is an important ally. “When there are disagreements, we work through them inside the room – including with Secretary of State Kerry, with whom I hold many conversations about Israel’s future,” he said.

The State Dept. reprimanded him. “To question his motives and distort his proposals is not something we would expect from the defense minister of a close ally,” said Psaki.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stepped on the damage control pedal in a speech in  the Knesset, which marked on Tuesday its 65th birthday.

“We are working to advance regional security and defend our interests,” he said. “True peace is founded on recognition of the nation state of the Jewish people and on security arrangements guaranteeing that territories in Palestinian hands do not turn into launching pads for terrorists. But all that [must be achieved] while respecting our important ties to the United States. We continue to defend our national interests, one of which is the continued fostering of our relations with our ally, the United States.”

US Says Freeing Prisoners a Security Risk – in Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

The United States, which muscled Israel into freeing dozens of terrorists who murdered Jews, thinks that releasing prisoners is a security risk if they are in an Afghan jail.

“The Afghan Review Board has exceeded its mandate and ordered the release of a number of dangerous individuals who are legitimate threats and for whom there is strong evidence supporting prosecution or further investigation,” said Colonel Dave Lapan, a spokesman for American forces in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan plans to release 88 prisoners from the Bagram jail, whose control recently was transferred from the United States to Afghan officials.

American officials said that 35 of the prisoners were directly responsible for killing or wounding Afghan civilians and soldiers, and that at least 25 of them were involved in attacks on American and coalition troops.

In Israel, hundreds of prisoners, freed before their terms for murder expired and many of them sentenced to multiple life terms in prison, have returned to terror after their being released and have killed more than 120 Israeli soldiers and civilians.

The American government does not consider freeing them to be a security risk because keeping them in jail would mean that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry cannot keep busy muscling Israel and the Palestinian Authority into agreeing to sign a piece of paper for President Barack Obama, without which there would be a severe security risk for the power of the U.S. State Dept.

Sinking Shekel-Dollar Rate Good News for Israelis Visiting the US

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

How low can you get? The shekel-dollar rate sank to a 28-month low Tuesday, and a dollar now is worth only a tad more than 3.46 shekels, compared with 3.50 shekels  a week ago and 3.75 a year ago. A shekel now is worth 29 cents, compared with 25 cents a year ago.

That means that American in Israel wanting to visit family in the United States can buy $100 with only 346 shekels. It also is bad news for American visiting Israel or earning dollars in Israel from abroad, who receive fewer shekels for a dollar.

Tuesday’s trading sent the rate to its lowest level since the spring in 2011, and a foreign exchange specialist told Globes business newspaper, “There is no doubt that the negative pressure on the two currencies remains large and there is a risk of breaking significantly lower. The dollar is at high risk worldwide due to the positive sentiment in capital markets in recent weeks and record levels of share indices.

“If there is indeed a continued weakness of the dollar at the start of 2014, the Bank of Israel must take aggressive action to prevent a collapse. From a technical point of view the shekel-dollar exchange rate is exposed to falling to very dangerous levels such as NIS 3.42/$ and NIS 3.38/$.

The shekel dollar rate has not been this low since August 2011, when it reach 3.4 shekels to the dollar. The only other time it was lower was in 2008, when the rate fell  to 3.26.

Aliyah from the US Down13 Percent in 2013

Monday, December 30th, 2013

Only 2,680 Jews moved to Israel from the United States this past year, an 11 percent decrease from the 3.070 who “made aliyah” in 2012, according to information provided by the Jewish Agency and Ministry for Absorption and immigration.

The number of new olim from Canada was virtually unchanged, with 321 moving to Israeli in 2013, two more than in 2012.

The decline of American olim continues the reversal of an upwards trend in Aliyah that peaked in 2008 and raises questions about the future of American Zionism, if it is defined as packing up and leaving “home” to go home. In 2008, 3,300 Jews moved from the United States and Canada to Israel. The number declined slightly to 3,260 in 2009 and then dropped sharply the following two years to 2,801 and 2,575.

No figures were supplied concerning the breakdown of affiliation, but Jews who identify with Orthodoxy have consistently been the largest group, usually between half and two-thirds of new olim.

Aliyah from other countries this past year generally increased, with the most dramatic rise in France, with the arrival of 3,120 immigrants this year, compared to 1,916 in 2012.

The biggest decrease was registered in Ethiopia, which was expected because of the conclusion of Operation Dove’s Wings

“Every immigrant who arrives in order to make his or her home in Israel fills me with joy and I hope Aliyah continues to increase, “said Immigration Minister Sofa Minister Landver.

Chairman Sharansky: “That 19,200 Jews have chosen to establish their lives in Israel is a concrete expression of Israel’s

According to an analysis of the data, Israel experience programs for French Jewish youth and Aliyah encouragement efforts

Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky stated, “Israel is the beating heart of the Jewish people. That 19,200 Jews have chosen to establish their lives in Israel is a concrete expression of Israel’s centrality to Jewish life and to Jews around the world. This is an era of Aliyah by choice, rather than Aliyah of rescue.”

Given the assimilation rate of approximately 70 percent in the United States, that statement could easily be argued.

‘Nation’ Blog Fabricates Facts to Attack Israeli ‘Racism’

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

A blog posting on The Nation website on Monday incorrectly quoted an 18-month-old poll to call Israel “racist” over the issue of how to deal with illegal African infiltrators.

“Here’s a shocking fact from a poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute…: fully one-third of Israelis say that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them,” wrote Bob Dreyfuss.

After correctly stating that the poll showed that a large majority of Likud and Shas party voters view the presence of the infiltrators as a “cancer,” he added that the report states there is a “national consensus” of an overwhelming majority of 83% of the Jews expressing support for demonstrations against the flood of illegal Africans seeking a higher standard of living. Most of them are not refugees.

Dreyfuss did not quote any source that Israelis “say that unlawful, vigilante violence against non-Jewish African immigrants is fine with them.” He apparently equated “demonstrations” with violence.”

The Jewish Press checked the poll. It was dated May 2012, and the reference to violence concerned violent protests in south Tel Aviv at a time when many illegal African infiltrators were involved in rapes, murders and daily thefts.

“Very surprisingly, considering that most people do not tend to openly report sympathy for acts that are broadly condemned by society, 33.5% of the Jews said they could identify with the use of violence (62% could not),” the Israel Democracy Report’s “Peace Index” poll stated.

It continued, “A segmentation by Knesset voting for the Jewish sample indicated that the only party for which a majority of voters identified with the violent acts was Shas. A segmentation by religiosity revealed that only a minority in all groups identified with the violence.”

The blogger had to dig out an 18-month-old poll, which was taken when tensions were high because of rape, murder and daily theft by many illegal infiltrators, in order to bring out the “shocking fact,” which is fiction, that most Israelis think “violence is fine.”

Dreyfuss’ case was so weak that he had to quote Haaretz’s Gideon Levy, one of the most anti-religious and anti-Zionist journalists in Israel.

The blogger quoted Levy as having written – apparently more than year ago since Levy refers to a Knesset Member who no longer is in the legislature – that “it’s Israel that made the African migrants a problem” because of “incitement” by those against keeping the infiltrators in the country.

Levy was quoted by Dreyfuss as suggesting that “the state should allow those already here to work, to rebuild their lives, and offer them the prospect of becoming citizens through a gradual, careful process. That’s how it’s done in normal countries. Israel is too small, too weak to do this? Nonsense, merely too racist.”

Would Levy say the same thing about the United States?

Results this week from a new Rasmussen poll  stated that 60 percent of Americans said the federal government is not aggressive enough in deporting immigrants living illegally in the United States. Only 29 percent of the respondents said the United States should stop deporting immigrants until Congress comes up with a new immigration reform policy.

Only 19 percent said that illegal immigrants should be granted immediate legal status.

Is the United States “too small, too weak to offer them the prospect of becoming citizens through a gradual, careful process. to do this?” Or is this “nonsense, [and] merely too racist.”?

Israel’s Frutarom buys US Flavors Company Hagelin for $52 Million

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Israel’s Frutarom flavor technology company’s appetite continues to grow with the announcement Thursday of the purchase of the American flavor company Hagelin and its affiliate NRC Operating Company for $52 million.

It is Frutarom’s third buy-out of a foreign company in a month and counters the trend of American companies purchasing Israel high-rech startups.

Frutarom recently bought Russia’s Protein Technologies, a savory and seasoning compounds company,  and Guatemala’s Aroma.

The Israeli firm said that the purchase of Hagelin will help expand its product line and introduce advanced technology to its operations.

Hagelin’s markets extend form the United States to Britain Central and South American, and Africa.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israels-frutarom-buys-us-flavors-company-hagelin-for-52-million/2013/12/12/

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