The Women’s Performance Community of Jerusalem and OU Israel are creating harmony among the women of Greater Jerusalem through the creation of a musical production. Women of diverse backgrounds are uniting to perform in COUNT THE STARS. On stage on Nov. 28 & 30, Dec. 4 & 6 at the Gerard Behar Theatre. Tickets: https://www.tixwise.co.il/he/countthestars
Each year, the World Economic Forum releases its Global Competitiveness Report, examining data on the soundness, resilience, sophistication and innovation of businesses in each country to compile evaluations of the economy of 138 countries, providing insight into the drivers of their productivity and prosperity.
The 2016-2017 edition highlights that declining openness is threatening growth and prosperity. It also highlights that monetary stimulus measures such as quantitative easing are not enough to sustain growth and must be accompanied by competitiveness reforms. Final key finding points to the fact that updated business practices and investment in innovation are now as important as infrastructure, skills and efficient markets.
“Declining openness in the global economy is harming competitiveness and making it harder for leaders to drive sustainable, inclusive growth,” said Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum.
On the Global Competitiveness Index for 2016–2017, Israel is ranked in 24th place, behind Switzerland, Singapore, the US, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, the UK, Hong Kong and Japan, and directly behind Ireland in 23rd place. In last year’s report, Israel was ranked 27th. UAE in 16th place and Qatar in 18th are the other two Middle Eastern countries in the top 25, but for Qatar the ranking represents a 4-point drop from last year’s report.
Among other areas, the World Economic Forum looks at innovation, taking into account the quality of scientific research, company spending on Research and Development, ties between academia and industry, the number of patents, and the number of engineers and scientists in each country. In the index for innovation and sophistication factors, Israel is ranked in 2nd place (the US is 4th), with Switzerland in first place.
In innovation capacity, Israel is 9th, Switzerland 1st, the US 6th.
In business dynamism, Israel is ranked 19th, right behind Canada (the US is in first place, Germany 10th).
The most problematic factors for doing business in Israel, according to the report (in descending order): inefficient government bureaucracy, high tax rates, policy instability, an inadequately educated workforce, problems in access to financing, excessive tax regulations, and restrictive labor regulations.
Israel’s least problematic issues: little corruption (who would have thunk, right?), capacity to innovate (there’s plenty), work ethic in national labor force (Israelis work like horses), crime and theft (very low), inflation (non-existent), and public health (Israel has one of the best public health programs in the West).
According to the International Monetary Fund, Israel’s GDP is $296.1 billion, GDP per capita $35,343.3
The Middle East and North Africa region continues to experience significant instability in geopolitical and economic terms as spillover effects from the conflicts in Libya, Syria, and Yemen are undermining economic progress in the entire region.
Instability is also being created by the uncertain future of energy prices after recent falls, which affect the region’s countries in different ways. Oil-exporting countries—which include Algeria (87th), Bahrain (48th), the Islamic Republic of Iran (76th), Kuwait (38th), Oman (66th), Qatar (18th), Saudi Arabia (29th), the United Arab Emirates (16th), and Yemen (138th)—are experiencing lower growth, higher fiscal deficits, and rising concerns about unemployment. Growth in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) economies averaged 5.2 percent between 2000 and 2012, but fell to 2.5 percent in 2015. The forecast for 2016 is also 2.5 percent, and rising oil supplies are expected to keep prices low and limit growth expectations for the coming years.
Five Boulder Prep High School students in Colorado were expelled over their Facebook hate group, where they were calling for the executions of Jews and Blacks, The Daily Camera reported last week. Local media report that Boulder police discovered the Neo-Nazi cell after one of the member had committed suicide “to show allegiance to the Nazi party.” Police is investigating reports of threats and harassment of a student at the high school by the group members.
The chat group was reported by a parent of one of the students. The group’s “second-in-command” told police, “the whole thing was ‘funny,'” assuring them he had no intention to actually do any of those things.
“It was a shock to the community,” Scott Levin of the regional Anti-Defamation League told CS in response to the revelations. “It isn’t as if there is any identifiable group [in Boulder] that is advocating this. There’s a lot of hateful rhetoric going on in this country right now, and that has just empowered some teenagers.”
An estimated 15 students participated in the “4th Reich’s Official Group Chat” on Facebook, according to a Boulder police report, which said members discussed “killing all Jews and N***s,” posted images of guns, and discussed “the final solution” and “white power,” and ways to “recruit more members” to complete their mission. The chat group’s “4th Reich” title is a reference to a successor to Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich. In fact, the chat group’s leader identified himself as “The Fuhrer,” and members adopted Nazi military titles.
One entry went: “You can hang Jews on trees, shoot them right in the knees. Gas as many as you please,” according to the police report.
Lili Adeli, headmaster at Boulder Prep, told Daily Camera the school had addressed the suicide and the Facebook chat’s horrifying language. “We did a lot of work with the students to help ensure their safety and mental health and healing,” she said. “It can bring up their own thoughts of suicide and previous trauma.” This includes checking on students via the phone, including text messages outside of school hours. “We’ve continued to keep the lines of communication open,” she said.
Adeli also stressed that school staff have made it their top priority to educate students on inclusiveness and the importance of speaking out against “derogatory language.”
Finally, a building in Jerusalem where every visitor can see and feel the history and archaeology of the Land of Israel is taking shape right in front of our very eyes. The archaeology campus currently under construction will allow the general public access to Israel’s archaeological heritage by revealing the enormous variety of national treasures that were discovered in archaeological excavations, as well as the methods of exposing these national treasures in laboratories.
Israel Hasson, Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority, on Sunday unveiled the Jay and Jeanie Schottenstein National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel, currently under construction on Museum Hill in Givʽat Ram, between the Israel Museum and the Bible Lands Museum.
The campus will serve as an open, active house endeavoring to make the cultural heritage that belongs to all of us accessible to the general public: millions of archaeological treasures of the societies and religions that lived in Israel which were excavated and that will be excavated in the future. The campus will be home to visitors from Israel and abroad, and an educational center for students who will be able to see firsthand the exciting finds that were left for them by those who lived here hundreds and thousands of years ago.
The ceremony inaugurating the public wing of the campus will be attended by the Prime Minister and donors during the Sukkot holiday, and the building will be open to the public in about a year.
According to Hasson, “Just a small hop, skip and a jump over to the archaeology campus will allow every one of us to make a gigantic leap back in time, to the history of mankind and the country. The IAA is this generation’s guardian of the cultural assets of the past. The heritage belongs to all of the public, and it is our obligation to share with everyone the treasures that were safeguarded until now in the storerooms. On this campus, visitors will be able to take part for the very first time in the fascinating process of archaeological conservation that up till now was carried out behind-the-scenes, and experience firsthand the rich past of the country, as it takes shape before their eyes. The campus will be an attraction for tourists from Israel and abroad, and a home for anyone who wants to know where he comes from and where he is going.”
The total construction cost of of construction, about $105 million, comes from twenty-six donors as well as the State of Israel.
Display cabinet dedicated to new discoveries presents the story of the shipwreck in Caesarea harbor that was laden with a cargo of magnificent bronze statue fragments intended for recycling. Photographer: Ardon Bar-Hama
The campus, which covers an approximate area of 360 acres, is a unique gem designed by architect Moshe Safdie, symbolizing the archaeological excavation process – a tensile “transparent” roof that is the first of its kind in the country and simulates the tent-like canopies used to shade archaeological excavations, directing rainwater to a pool situated in a courtyard below, and creating a flowing cascade of water. Three levels descending like the strata in an archaeological excavation, contain courtyards, impressive display galleries, dedicated, climate controlled housing centers, and paths that overlook the laboratories and hundreds of thousands of artifacts housed in the campus, as well as the National Library for the Archaeology of Israel.
The inaugural exhibition in the campus will focus on and illuminate the diversity of the work of the professionals engaged in the worlds of archaeology and conservation.
Fascinating mosaics, many of which have never been displayed before, will be revealed for the first time within the framework of the archaeology campus. Photographer: Ardon Bar-Hama
The first exhibition in the display cabinet dedicated to new discoveries will present the story of the shipwreck in the Caesarea harbor, which was laden with a cargo of magnificent bronze statue fragments intended for recycling. From this exhibit one can learn a great deal about the world of marine archaeology, among other things, how the archaeologists excavated the artifacts underwater.
The exhibitions are spread throughout the building and deal with a variety of subjects.
In the huge housing center for the National Treasures visitors will walk on a suspended bridge while watching an audiovisual exhibit that will be projected on hundreds of thousands of artifacts.
The eastern rooftop of the campus is dedicated to mosaics, many of which have not been seen before and will be revealed to the public for the first time. The impressive el-Hammam mosaic from Bet Sheʽan was removed from the site in 1934, and only now, 82 years later, will visitors have an opportunity to see it. A magnificent mosaic depicting the biblical story of Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his back after the Philistines tried to kill him (Judges 16:3) was exposed by Jody Magness at Huqoq and will also be presented on the rooftop. A large nave of a Byzantine church with a colorful mosaic in it that was excavated by Shlomo Kol-Yaʽakov east of Ramla was restored in its entirety in one of the open courtyards of the campus.
At the National Campus for Archaeology visitors will get a behind-the-scenes view of how the experts conserve antiquities in laboratories that will be visible to the public. Credit: Shai Halevi, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Hundreds of 7,000-year-old artifacts are exhibited in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery, revealing the Chalcolithic culture, which is surprising in its complex social system, the development of new production technologies and its extensive trade relations. Prominent among the artifacts: a painstakingly restored wall painting from Ghassul that was probably situated in a cultic chamber, statuettes, sculpted stands, clubs and scepters as well as the rare wooden bow and sandal from the Cave of the Warrior.
A special gallery in the campus focuses on ancient glass, and lumps of raw glass and hundreds of vessels are on exhibition (from the furnace to the masterpieces), describing the glass industry in the country and the ancient world, and the extensive distribution of these vessels in tombs some two thousand years ago. The precious glass vessels were buried as funerary offerings together with the deceased, in the belief that they would accompany the deceased to the next world.
The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel is home to the World Center for the Dead Sea Scrolls, including the conservation center where the scrolls undergo conservation, a climate-controlled housing center for more than 15,000 scroll fragments, a library dedicated to the subject, and a gallery for the exhibition of the complex methods used by the five IAA Dead Sea Scrolls conservators – the only people in the entire world that are officially authorized to touch these 2,000 year old scrolls.
At the National Campus for Archaeology visitors will get a behind-the-scenes view of how the experts conserve the Dead Sea Scrolls. Credit: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority.
Other parts of the campus include the National Library for the Archaeology of Israel, which will be one of the largest in the Middle East, an auditorium where conferences, lectures, and movies in the field of archaeology can be held and shown, the administration offices of the IAA, a café and archaeological exhibits integrated on landscaped rooftops designed by landscape architect Barbara Aronson, which will enhance the area’s scenery.
The National Campus for the Archaeology of Israel will be inaugurated on October 19 in a ceremony attended by the Prime Minister. It will be streamed live on the IAA Facebook page. The historic inauguration event will mark the importance of preserving Israel’s archaeological, spiritual and cultural heritage and will express gratitude to the donors who through their generosity made possible the construction of the campus.
The Palestinian Authority on Sunday afternoon issued a call to shut down shops in the Old City of Jerusalem and a general strike, in honor of the the martyrdom of Jerusalem terrorist Mesbah Abu Sabih, a PA Tweet revealed.
The PA Tweet
A post by the Shehab news agency reads: “The Martyr Mesbah Abu Sbih carried out the shooting in occupied Jerusalem which killed a cop and an Israeli settler and wounded 6 others. He was killed in a surprise ambush.”
A poem has been posted in his memory on Facebook, reading: “The lamp (mesbah in Arabic) illuminated the darkness spread over Jerusalem / And his rifle reaped a harvest of the bastards / His extinguished fire protects the homes of Jerusalem.
In 2 Minutes, this video will change the way you view the Israeli-Arab conflict. An Arab and a Jew went asking for hugs on the streets of Tel Aviv and eastern Jerusalem – and the results could surprise you. A group calling itself the HolyLanders was behind this experiment, which revived our faith in humanity, at least until 10:12 AM this morning.