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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Yoram Ettinger’

Reports Show 1 Million Gap Between Estimates on Number of ‘Palestinians’

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Affairs and Security in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday took a stab at figuring out just how many Arabs live in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, where in the latter two no one has taken a scientific census in ages, and the numbers appear to be skewed according to the political leanings of the different sources.

Lies, Damned Lies, and PA Census Data

The CIA World Factbook, updated July 2015, estimates there are 2,785,366 “Palestinians” living in those three areas, a.k.a. the “West Bank.” The Knesset subcommittee’s discussion suggested this figure is more than a little inflated.

Subcommittee Chairman MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) opened the debate saying “this is our second discussion of this issue, and we’d like to focus on data regarding Area C which is our responsibility. When I served as Ephraim Brigade Commander, over a period of one year, we executed an accurate count of all the residents in the sector, including Tulkarm and Qalqilya. The State of Israel possesses the needed means to find out, and the State of Israel must find out what is the number of residents for whom it is responsible, and about whom it would have to reach future decisions.”

Head of the Operations Directorate of the Civil Administration Lt. Col. Eyal Zeevi began his part by stressing that the civil administration does not engage in demographic studies, and that the responsibility for that in all of Judea and Samaria belongs to the Palestinian Authority, according to the 1995 interim agreement between Israel and the PA. In that context Zeevi explained that the PA demographic data does not offer specific Area C-related figures. However, Avi Gur-Ari, Population Administration officer in the Civil Administration clarified that he does maintain reliable testing of the data received from the PA.

This came as a surprise to the chairman, who requested that the entire PA census, including the data for Area C, be given to his subcommittee, noting that since the data includes the names of individual communities it should be feasible to discern those communities that are included in Area C.

Zeevi said it wasn’t as simple as that, because some of the Arab villages are split between Area C and neighboring, PA-governed Areas A and B. Other villages border the Jerusalem municipality. “With all due respect for the chairman, I don’t think it can be done in the suggested schedule. To do this professionally would require time and resources, which the political echelon has not yet decided to allocate.”

Once in the Roll, Always on the Roll

Zeevi shared some of the most common problems with the Palestinian Authority census: for one thing, a resident who leaves the PA remains listed as a resident; and these residents are able to visit, register their children and return abroad. Zeevi estimates that as many as 15,000 residents are added to the PA census this way annually.

“The immigration data presented today is partial and pertains only to the Allenby bridge border crossing into Jordan,” Zeevi added, estimating that “over the past 15 years more than 175 thousand have left through the crossing and never returned.”

According to Zeevi, the registered Arab population who carry Palestinian ID cards in Judea and Samaria, not including eastern Jerusalem, is 2.63 million. He believes that with the current growth rate coefficient in 2020 there will be 3.28 million and by 2030 there will be more than 4 million Arabs in all of Judea and Samaria.

According to Avi Lekach from the Population and Immigration Authority, in eastern Jerusalem there are at least 300 thousand Arab residents. David Koren, a consultant to the Jerusalem Mayor, noted that while there are 316 thousand registered Arab residents in Jerusalem, there may be as many as 60 thousand Arabs from the PA who are seeking residency in Jerusalem as part of family reunions.

Italian-born Israeli demographer and statistician Prof. Sergio Della Pergola told the subcommittee that he believes there are some 2.4 Arab residents in Judea and Samaria today, and that the Jewish majority in all of Eretz Israel is only about 52% — which includes people who identify as Jewish but halakhically are not. In his opinion, the halakhically Jewish majority is long gone.

But former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger cited his own research which found that the birthrate balance has switched and that today’s Jewish birthrate is higher than the Arab. Ettinger also said that his research showed that by the end of 2015 there were only 1.75 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

Analyzing PA Eligible Voter Data Implies Even Lower Numbers

Back in 2013, Middle East analyst Dr. Guy Bechor cited the number of eligible PA voters in the 2012 local elections — 515 thousand — setting it as the number of adults 18 and older. If we add to it an identical number of people ages 0-18, we’ll get a little more than one million. Add the maximum figure of eastern Jerusalem Arabs and you’ll get a generous estimate of only 1.4 million Arabs. The number of Jews, incidentally, is comprised of 385 thousand in Judea and Samaria and 300 thousand in eastern Jerusalem, or close to 700 thousand in total.

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp-Labor) said it was shameful that Israel does not know how many Arabs actually live in Area C. “We know how many Syrian tanks there are, but not how many civilians are living under our care,” he said, suggesting that whether Area C becomes part of Israel or is handed over to the PA, “we should know how many potential Arab citizens we’ll have in the state.”

JNi.Media

Israel is a Demographic Boom State; Stop the FearMongering

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

The Demographic Doom Bomb (DDB) threat is dropping once again. The DDB was first dropped on David Ben-Gurion, back before the rebirth of the Jewish state. Ben-Gurion was told then that Jews will become a minority in their own land in the not-too-distant future.

Today, everyone who will listen – and too many are listening – is told that soon Jews will be a minority in their own land, and that is true with a vengeance if the disputed territories are annexed.

But the people lobbing the DDB are relying on population numbers from the Palestinian Arab census bureau. That center makes several (intentional or otherwise) errors: it undercounts Arab deaths, it over counts Arab births, it double-counts Arabs, it fails to count altogether Arab emigration and it counts  Palestinian Arabs living abroad.

At the same time, that census bureau undercounts the rocketing Jewish birthrate and the ever-continuing and increasing rate of Aliyah. And upon what do the Israeli Jewish demographers rely for their predictions? Why, the Palestinian Arab numbers, of course.

In 1944, an Italian demographer, Roberto Bacchi, informed Ben-Gurion that the Jewish state would be a non-starter. Bacchi warned Ben-Gurion against the undertaking because the 600,000 Jews ready to pioneer was not a sufficient critical mass.

By the 1960’s, according to Bacchi, the Jews will be a minority in the state. In his best case scenario – about which Bacchi was not sanguine – by 2001 there would only be 2.3 million Jews in Israel.

Well, Bacchi was wrong then and so are his demographic theory heirs, Sergio DellaPergola of Hebrew University and Arnon Sofer, of Haifa University. Those two continue the doom and gloom prognostications, even though it’s consistently been proven wrong by reality. But the predictions have taken root and multiplied, more rapidly than have the non-Israeli  and Israeli Arabs in their predictions.

The reason this is relevant today, in 2015, is that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics just released a new report. It contains projections based on 2014 data. These data, like Bacchi’s information, are wielded as kryptonite to subdue any thoughts about Jewish sovereignty in parts of the Middle East. Back in the ’40’s it was used to deter any thoughts of a Jewish state in the region at all. Now it is being used to forestall talk of annexing territory beyond the Apartheid Green Line, beyond which all foes and even some friends demand no Jew should live.

After reading one article in particular which continued the tradition of treating the truth as false and the flawed as truth, The Jewish Press sought some answers.

In a wide-ranging interview, former Ambassador and ardent iconoclast Yoram Ettinger of the American-Israel Demographic Research Group once again patiently shared why the “official” Israeli numbers are so skewed, and what that means for everyone’s understanding of the DDB. Ettinger was skewered in some articles by Bacchi’s disciples. But that’s okay with Ettinger, so long as he’s allowed to respond.

Bacchi’s disciples, according to Ettinger, get their numbers wrong primarily for the same reasons he did: they failed to comprehend the enduring lure of Aliyah, and they failed to understand fertility reality both for Jews who make Israel their home and the same for Israeli Arabs.

They all vastly underestimate the will of Jews to make Aliyah to a hostile, largely inhospitable region. But Ben-Gurion and his peers built it, and boy did Jews come. And they are still coming. They are coming in numbers Bacchi could never imagine, and they keep coming despite DellaPergola and Sofer’s refusal to acknowledge that reality.

The other reason their numbers are off the mark is that, despite their insistence to the contrary, the birthrate for Israelis is not consistent (as in downward spiraling) with the rest of the West, while the birthrate for Arab Israelis and those living more western-style lives is.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Demographics Are On Israel’s Side

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

In the Knesset recently, I explained to Israel’s absorption minister that one million Jews would be making aliyah in the next decade.

How do I know? Because the history of Zionism is built on waves of aliyah. And in the emerging geopolitical reality, all the harbingers of the next wave exist: anti-Semitism, economic conditions – and, on the positive side, Jewish identity.

The blessed waves of aliyah come on the heels of a dramatic change in Israel’s birthrate patterns. The only community in the world where the birthrate is rising instead of declining is the Jewish community in Israel. The average Jewish woman in Tel Aviv (not ultra-Orthodox and not a settler) gives birth to no fewer children than does her Arab counterpart from Ramallah. Even without the expected aliyah, demographics in Israel today are in favor of the Jewish people.

And now for some statistics from former ambassador and demographics expert Yoram Ettinger:

Ettinger writes: “An eight percent Jewish minority in the Land of Israel did not deter Herzl in 1897. A 55 percent Jewish majority within the Partition Plan boundary of the Jewish State did not deter Ben-Gurion in 1948. From a minority of nine percent and 39 percent in 1897 and 1948, respectively, in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and “pre-1967 Israel,” Jews have surged to a 66 percent majority in 2013, benefiting from a robust tailwind of fertility and immigration.”

The demographic pessimists have failed.

In March 1898 Theodor Herzl’s adversary, the leading Jewish historian-demographer Shimon Dubnow, predicted that in the year 2000 there would be no more than 500,000 Jews west of the Jordan River. But in that year, there were five million Jews west of the Jordan.

In the 1940s Professor Roberto Beki, founder of Israel’s Office of Statistics, warned Ben-Gurion that in the best-case scenario, in 2001 there would be only 2.3 million Jews west of the Jordan River – a minority of 34 percent. But in 2001 the five million Jews in that area made up a majority of 60 percent.

In 1967 then-Prime Minister Levi Eshkol was warned by leading demographers that in 1987 there would be an Arab majority west of the Jordan River. But by that year, there was a 60 percent Jewish majority.

Leading demographers in Israel did not believe that there would be a massive aliyah after the War of Independence. But one million Jews arrived. In the 70s, they did not predict an aliyah wave because, in their view, the western Jews can but do not want to make aliyah, while the Jews in the Communist bloc want to make aliyah but can’t. But 300,000 Jews came. In the 80s, they rejected the notion that a wave of aliyah would come from the Soviet Union, even if the gates of Moscow were to open. But a million immigrants came.

Moshe Feiglin

Israel’s Credit Rating Reaffirmed

Friday, October 5th, 2012

1.  Israel’s credit rating has been reaffirmed at A+ by “Standard and Poor,” at a time when S&P lowers the credit rating of an increasing number of Western countries.  According to S&P:

the Israeli economy continues to generate solid economic growth and enjoy a net external asset position, even though the current account has temporarily turned negative. The stable outlook reflects our view that there is sufficient political will to prevent a sizable increase in the government’s debt burden, and that major security risks will be contained. 

S&P noted that “there has been fiscal slippage on account of lower government revenues,” but added, “recent austerity measures and current growth levels should ensure that debt ratios modestly improve in the medium term.

Referring to the most important economic development in Israel in recent times, the discovery of large offshore gas reserves, S&P said, “We forecast that by the middle of the decade domestic natural gas production should contribute to improved external and fiscal balances” (Globes Business Daily, September 30, 2012).

2.  Israel’s GDP grew by 3.4% during the 2nd quarter of 2012, compared with 3.1% and 3.2% during the 1st quarter of 2012 and the 4th quarter of 2011 (Globes, Sept. 20) . While unemployment trends upward towards 7% – which is significantly lower than OECD countries – housing demand peaked in August, to a 13 year record (Globes, Sept. 28).

Israel’s export is impacted by the global meltdown in general and Europe’s intensified economic crisis in particular.  However, while export to Europe declined by 21% during July-August, 2012, compared with July-August, 2011, export to the U.S. surged by 16% during the same period and by 31% compared with May-June, 2012.  Total export ($7.7BN) decreased by 3.5% during July-August, 2012 (Israel Hayom, Oct. 3).

3.  According to the 2012 OECD report, Education at Glance, Israel is ranked 2nd in the number of adults (25-64 year old) with academic degrees, trailing Canada, but ahead of all other OECD countries (Israel Hayom, Sept. 12).

4.  eBay CEO John Donahoe at Israel’s Advanced Technology Conference in Jerusalem (Bloomberg, Sept. 11):  the Israel R&D centers of eBay and its subsidiary PayPal will continue to help drive the company’s innovation in commerce and payment in the foreseeable future. Those centers are based largely on Israeli start-ups acquired by eBay, including Shopping.Com, The Gifts Project and Fraud Sciences. Those centers, employing 340 people, work on everything from EBay’s global social activities to cataloging and data to search mechanisms as well as security and risk management.  Donahoe is looking forward to partnering with more Israeli entrepreneurs to help further spur the future of retail and commerce.

5.  Cisco Systems, the Silicon Valley-based Greylock Partners and the Englewood, CO-based Liberty Global participated in the $24MN 5th round of private placement by Israel’s Celeno (Globes, Sept. 28).

Kazakhstan’s Kenges Rakishev invested $20MN in Israel’s Mobli.  Additional investors in Mobli are Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey McGuire and Serena Williams.

In August, Rakishev invested $5MN in Israel’s TriPlay (Globes, September 20). The Radnor, PA-based New Spring Capital, the Menlo Park, CA-based Menlo Ventures and the Palo Alto, CA-based Trident Capital participated in a $12MN 3rd round by Israel’s eXelate (Globes, Sept. 25). Switzerland’s ABB will invest $10MN in an Israeli solar project (Globes, Sept. 3). Motorola Solutions led a $4MN round by Israel’s AgentVi (Globes, Sept. 12).

Visit the Ettinger Report

Yoram Ettinger

Sukkot: Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

1. The U.S. covenant with the Jewish State dates back to Columbus Day, which is celebrated around Sukkot (October 8).  According to “Columbus Then and Now” (Miles Davidson, 1997, p. 268), Columbus arrived in America on Friday afternoon, October 12, 1492, the 21st day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, the Jewish year 5235, the 7th day of Sukkot, Hoshaa’na’ Rabbah, which is a day of universal deliverance and miracles.    Hosha (הושע) is the Hebrew word for “deliverance” and Na’ (נא) is the Hebrew word for “please.”  The numerical value of Na’ is 51, which corresponds to the celebration of Hoshaa’na’ Rabbah on the 51st day following Moses’ ascension to Mt. Sinai.

2.  Sukkot is the 3rd Jewish holiday – following Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur – in the month of Tishrey, the most significant Jewish month. According to Judaism, the number 3 represents divine wisdom, stability, permanence, integration and peace. 3 is the total sum of the basic odd (1) and even (2) numbers. The 3rd day of the Creation was blessed twice; God appeared on Mt. Sinai on the 3rd day; there are 3 parts to the Bible, 3 Patriarchs, 3 pilgrimages to Jerusalem, etc.

3.  The Book of Ecclesiastes, written by King Solomon – one of the greatest philosophical documents – is read during Sukkot.  It amplifies Solomon’s philosophy on the centrality of God and the importance of morality, humility, family, friendship, historical memory and perspective, patience, long-term thinking, proper-timing, realism and knowledge.  Ecclesiastes 4:12: “A three-ply cord is not easily severed.” The Hebrew name of Ecclesiastes is Kohelet (קהלת), which is similar to the commandment to celebrate Sukkot – Hakhel (הקהל), to assemble.

4.  Sukkot starts on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, commemorating the Exodus and the beginning of the construction of the Holy Tabernacle in Sinai. Sukkah (סכה) and Sukkot (סכות) are named after the first stop of the Exodus – Sukkota  (סכותה).  The Hebrew root of Sukkah (סכה) is “wholesomeness” and “totality” (סך), “shelter” (סכך), “to anoint” (סוך), “divine curtain/shelter” (מסך) and “attentiveness” (סכת).

5.  The Sukkah symbolizes the Chuppah – the Jewish wedding canopy – of the renewed vows between God and the Jewish People. While Yom Kippur represents God’s forgiveness of the Golden Calf Sin, Sukkot represents the reinstatement of Divine Providence over the Jewish People.  Sukkot is called Zman Simchatenou – time of our joy – and mandates Jews to rejoice (“והיית אך שמח”).  It is the first of the three Pilgrimages to Jerusalem: Passover – the holiday of Liberty, Shavuot (Pentecost) – the holiday of the Torah and Sukkot – the holiday of Joy.

6.  “The House of David” is defined as a Sukkah (Amos 9:11), representing the permanent vision of the ingathering of Jews to the Land of Israel, Zion.  Sukkot is the holiday of harvesting – Assif (אסיף) – which also means “ingathering” (אסוף) in Hebrew. The four sides of the Sukkah represent the global Jewish community, which ingathers under the same roof.  The construction of the Sukkah and Zion are two of the 248 Jewish Do’s (next to the 365 Don’ts). Sukkot – just like Passover – commemorates Jewish sovereignty and liberty.  Sukkot highlights the collective responsibility of the Jewish people, complementing Yom Kippur’s and Rosh Hashanah’s individual responsibility.  Humility – as a national and personal prerequisite – is accentuated by the humble Sukkah. Sukkot provides the last opportunity for repentance. 

7.  Sukkot honors the Torah, as the foundation of Judaism and the Jewish people. Sukkot reflects the three inter-related and mutually-inclusive pillars of Judaism: The Torah of Israel, the People of Israel and the Land of Israel. The day following Sukkot (Simchat Torah – Torah-joy in Hebrew) is dedicated to the conclusion of the annual Torah reading and to the beginning of next year’s Torah reading.  On Simchat Torah, the People of the Book are dancing with the Book.

8.  The seven days of Sukkot are dedicated to the seven Ushpizindistinguished guests (origin of the words Hospes and hospitality): Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron and David. They defied immense odds in their determined pursuit of ground- breaking initiatives. The Ushpizin constitute role models to contemporary leadership.

9. The seven day duration of Sukkot – celebrated during the 7th Jewish month, Tishrey –highlights the appreciation to God for blessing the Promised Land with the 7 species (Deuteronomy 8:8): wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olive oil, and dates’ honey – 3 fruit of the tree, 2 kinds of bread, 1 product of olives, 1 product of dates = 4 categories.  The duration of Sukkot corresponds, also, to the 7 day week (the Creation), the 7 divine clouds which sheltered the Jewish People in the desert, the 7 blessings which are read during a Jewish wedding, the 7 rounds of dancing with the Torah during Simchat Torah,  the 7 readings of the Torah on Sabbath, etc.

Yoram Ettinger

Yom Kippur Guide for the Perplexed 2012

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

1.  Yom Kippur is observed on the tenth day of the Jewish month of Tishrey, whose astrological sign is Libra (♎). Libra symbolizes key themes of Yom Kippur: scales, justice, balance, truth, symmetry, sensitivity and optimism. Libra is ruled by the planet Venus (Noga, נגה, in Hebrew), which reflects divine light and love of the other person.  The numerical value of Venus, נגה, is 58 just like the numerical value of אזן, which is the Hebrew root of “balance” and “scale.”

2.  Three holidays – Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot (Tabernacles) – are celebrated during the month of Tishrey. The number 3 is identified with balance, stability and The Essence.  The triangle is a symbol of stability.

3.  On the first day of Tishrey, the first human being, Adam, was created. Each year on the tenth day of Tishrey, Yom Kippur, human beings are accorded an opportunity to recreate themselves spiritually. Tishrey and Libra are dominated by the Hebrew letter ל, which is the tallest Hebrew letter, consisting of 3 parts, aiming upward, reflecting the need to elevate-oneself morally, self-enhancement. Yom Kippur is not driven by punishment, but by behavioral-enhancement.

4.  Yom Kippur’s central theme is the plea for forgiveness – directly and not merely via prayers – from fellow human beings.  It highlights humility (admitting fallibility), faith, soul-searching, thoughtfulness, being considerate, compassion, accepting responsibility, magnanimity.  Speaking ill of other people (“evil tongue” in Hebrew) may not be forgiven.

5.  The Jubilee – sanctifying each 50th year by proclaiming liberty, as also inscribed on the Liberty Bell – is announced by blowing the Shofar (a ritual ram’s horn) on Yom Kippur. The Jubilee liberates people physically and spiritually. The word “jubilee” (יובל) is a Hebrew synonym for “Shofar.” Yom Kippur and Jubilee highlight liberty and the subordination to God.

6.  Yom Kippur culminates the ten days of genuine, heart-driven atonement/repentance, which begin on Rosh Hashanah, the first day of the Jewish month of Tishrey – an Acadian word for forgiveness and Genesis. It is observed on the tenth day of TishreyTen has special significance in Judaism: God’s abbreviation is the tenth Hebrew letter (Yod – י); Ten attributes of God – Divine perfection – were highlighted during the Creation; the Ten Commandments; the Ten Plagues;  Ten reasons for blowing the Shofar; 10% gift to God (tithe); The Ten Martyrs (Rabbis who were tortured/murdered by the Roman Empire); Ten generations between Adam and Noah and ten generations between Noah and Abraham; a ten worshipper quorum (Minyan) is required for a collective Jewish prayer;  etc.

7.  Yom Kippur is a Happy Jewish Holiday, replacing vindictiveness and rage with peace-of-mind and peaceful co-existence between God and human beings and, primarily, among human beings.  Yom Kippur emphasizes God’s Covenant with the Jewish People, ending God’s rage over the sin of the Golden Calf.

8.  The Hebrew word Kippur כיפור (atonement/repentance) is a derivative of the Biblical words Kaporet כפורת – which covered the Holy Ark at the Sanctuary – and Kopher כופר, which covered Noah’s Ark and the Holy Altar at the Temple.  Yom Kippur resembles a spiritual cover (dome), which separates between the holy (days) and the mundane (rest of the year), between spiritualism and materialism. The Kippa כיפה (skullcap, Yarmulke), which covers one’s head during prayers, reflects a spiritual dome. 

9. Yom Kippur calls for repentance – Teshuvah, תשובה, in Hebrew.  The root of Teshuvah is similar to root of the Hebrew word for Return שובה – returning to positive values – and Shvitah שביתה – cessation (strike) of mundane thoughts and actions and eating.  It is also similar to the root of Shabbat שבת. Yom Kippur is also called Shabbat Shabbaton – the supreme Sabbath.  The last Sabbath before Yom Kippur is called Shabbat Teshuvah (based on Hosea’s prophesy, chapter 4).  While the Sabbath is the soul of the week, Yom Kippur is the soul of the year.

10.  The Hebrew spelling of “fast” (צם/צום) – abstinence from food – reflects the substance of Yom Kippur.  The Hebrew word for “fast” is the root of the Hebrew word for “reduction” and “shrinking” (צמצום) of one’s wrong-doing.  It is also the root of the Hebrew words for“slave” (צמית) and “eternity” (צמיתות) – enslavement to God, but not to human-beings. “Fast” is also the root of עצמי (being oneself), עצום (awesome),  עצמה (power), עצמאות(independence), which are gained through the process of fasting, soul-searching, spiritual enhancement and trust in God.

11.  The prayer of Veedooi-וידוי (confession/reaffirmation in Hebrew) is recited ten timesduring Yom Kippur, re-entrenching genuine repentance and the plea for forgiveness. The prerequisites for forgiveness are the expression and exercise (talking and walking) of repentance; assuming full-responsibility for one’s (mis)behavior, and significantly altering one’s behavior.  King Saul sinned only once – ignoring the commandment to annihilate the Amalekites – but was banished from the crown and killed, because he shirked responsibility, while responding to Samuel’s accusation.  King David sinned twice (The “Bat-Sheba Gate” and the “Census Gate”), but was forgiven, because he accepted full-responsibility and the death sentence (as proclaimed by Nathan the Prophet), which was promptly rescinded.

Yoram Ettinger

Will Congress Rise to the Occasion?

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

While Israel’s economy is facing the consequences of the global economic meltdown (e.g., unemployment is rising at 7%, gasoline price is surging):

1. According to the August 24, 2012 “Commentator” article by Peter Glover and Michael Economides,

as the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia…. 20 million metric tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) exported each year from the eastern Mediterranean into Europe [a reference to the supposed potential of Israel’s and Cyprus’ offshore natural gas reserves] would amount to about one third of current Russian exports…. Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony…. Russia supplies a quarter of all Europe’s (rising) natural gas demand…. But there is now a new kid on the block that could pose a very clear and present threat to Russia’s vital European market: Israel, along with Cyprus, and their upcoming potential status as gas exporting energy superpowers…. During Putin’s recent visit to Israel, he and Netanyahu agreed to form a junior company to [Russia’s] Gazprom that would help develop Israel’s Leviathan gas field in the eastern Mediterranean…. Iran is suing Russia in the Court of Arbitration in Geneva for cancelling a contract to sell five divisions of the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system…. the Kremlin appears to have higher economic and political priorities. Chief among them: ensuring its vast energy resources help it to remain a global superpower…

2. The Menlo Park-based Sequoia Capital, which is a leading global high tech venture capital fund, is dedicating $200MN for its 5th Israeli-dedicated fund. The 1st fund was established in 1998 ($30MN), followed by $150MN, $200MN and $200MN funds (Globes Business Daily, August 24, 2012). The Palo Alto-based Accel Partners, another leading global high tech venture capital fund and a frequent investor in Israeli high tech companies, invested $3MN in Israel’s Mobile Spaces (Globes, Aug. 27).

*3. Will Congress rise to the occasion, legislating the US-Israel Water Cooperation Act in the areas of water technologies, water industries, water conservation, water supply and consumption, water quality, irrigation, sewage recycling, desalination, water security, etc.?

The current drought afflicting the United States, which has spread to more than half of the continental United States, is the most widespread drought in more than half a century…. The US government has declared nearly 1,300 counties across 29 states a federal disaster area…. Head of the Desalination Department in Israel’s Water Authority claims Israel can help: “Educating people to use less water… The average consumption of water in the US per person is 3 or 4 times of Israel’s…. [More] efficient irrigation systems: 90-95% of agriculture in Israel uses drip irrigation as opposed to only 5% in America…. Proper maintenance of water pipes – there is a 20% average leakage rate on water pipes in the US, not quite as bad as London’s 40% average leakage, nonetheless twice the amount of Israel’s leakage…. Regarding sewage water – about 80% is reused in Israel for irrigation, as opposed to America’s 1%…” (Arutz 7, Gideon Israel, July 25).

From Yoram Ettinger’s newsletter, Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom, which can be found at the Ettinger Report

Yoram Ettinger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/will-congress-rise-to-the-occasion/2012/09/02/

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