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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yoram Ettinger’

Yoram Ettinger: Israel’s Economic Culture Praised Despite Global Financial Gloom

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

While the global economy deteriorates and its ripple effects erode Israel’s economic indicators (e.g., unemployment increased to 7%), there is cause for optimism in the Holy Land:

–Frans Van Houten, the CEO of the Dutch giant, Philips Global recently told Globes Business Daily (Aug. 2, 2012): “Israel’s economic and organizational culture is consistent with Philips’ requirements…. Philips owes part of its enhanced performance [2nd quarter’s earnings – 17% above projections] to Israel’s excellent engineers in the imaging, data processing and data storage areas.  Philips has expanded its Israeli presence and acquisitions since 1999, when it acquired part of Israel’s Elscint, then Israel’s CDP and CDC…. Philips will expand its current 600 employee research & development center.”

–Marcos Battisti, head of Intel Capital in Europe and Israel, hired additional investment directors in Israel, expanding Intel’s pursuit of Israeli start ups.  Since 1991, Intel Capital invested in 60 Israeli companies, collaborating with Intel’s four research & development centers and two manufacturing plants in Israel (Globes, July 26).

–Israel’s Kayak raised $91MN in a Wall Street IPO led by Morgan Stanley (Globes, July 23).  Abingworth Ventures, 7 MedHealth Ventures, Arch Ventures, MPM Capital and F3 invested $38MN in a round of private placement by Israel’s Chiasma (Globes, July 24).  Battery Ventures and Bessemer Ventures led a $12MN round of private placement by Israel’s Vayyar Imaging (Globes, Aug. 3).

–Is Israel a future energy superpower?  Walter Russell Mead, Editor at-large of the Washington, DC-based bimonthly magazine The American Interest, which specializes in global economy and international affairs, July 2, 2012: “Canada and Russia are moving to step up energy relations with Israel….Israel and Canada have just signed an agreement to cooperate on the exploration and development of what could be vast shale oil reserves beneath the Jewish State…. The Russian Gazprom and Israel have announced plans to cooperate on gas extraction…. Drillers working in Israeli waters have already identified what seems to be 5 billion barrels of recoverable oil, in addition to over a trillion cubic feet of gas. Israel’s undersea gas reserves are currently estimated at about 16 trillion cubic feet and new fields continue to be rapidly found…. Another sensible target for Israeli energy diplomacy would be India… eager to diversify its energy sources…. According to the World Energy Council, a leading global energy forum, Israel may have the 3rd largest shale oil reserves in the world: something like 250 billion barrels (US – well over 1 trillion barrels; Canada – 2 trillion barrels)…. OPEC’s power to dictate world prices is likely to decline as Canadian, US, Israeli and Chinese resources come on line… An energy-rich Israel… is also going to be a more valuable ally…. The impact of Israel’s energy wealth is dramatic.  On President Putin’s visit to Jerusalem he donned a Kippah (skullcap) and went to pray at the Western Wall.  Turning to the Wall, he said: ‘here we see how the Jewish past is etched into the stones of Jerusalem….’  In the meantime, we wonder if there was an 11th Commandment at Sinai: ‘Thou shalt drill, baby, thou shalt drill.’”

Originally published at http://www.theettingerreport.com/Overseas-Investments/Israel%E2%80%99s-Economic-Culture-Praised-by-Philips-Globa.aspx 

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Saudis Prefer US Military Preemption

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

A nuclear Iran would be a clear and present threat to pro-US regimes in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, would lead to a violent, regional and global slippery slope, thus severely undermining the US economy and national security.

A top official from Bahrain told me, at the office of a senior member of the US House of Representatives Armed Services Committee, that “Saudi Arabia and Bahrain expect the US to alter its policy, and resort to steps which are required to remove the Iranian nuclear threat.” A national security advisor to a senior member of the US Senate Armed Services Committee shared with me that “Pro-US Persian Gulf leaders are panicky about the rising Iranian nuclear threat.”

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf regimes – which are considered apostates by Teheran’s Ayatollahs – are aware that, unlike nuclear Pakistan and North Korea, the Ayatollahs of Iran have imperialistic-megalomaniacal aspirations to dominate the Persian Gulf, the Middle East and (at least) the entire Moslem World.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States realize that “effective sanctions” is a contradiction-in-terms, since Russia and China, as well as India and Japan, and probably parts of Europe, do not cooperate with the US. Forty years of diplomacy and sanctions have paved the road to a nuclear North Korea and are paving the road to a nuclear Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States presume that the current multi-lateral policy towards Iran leads to a lethal slippery slope, featuring a belligerent nuclear Iran; a meltdown of pro-US Gulf regimes; a breakdown of the oil supply system; a collapse of global economies; an escalation of nuclear proliferation in the Middle Eat and beyond; a radicalization of Islamic terrorism against traditional Muslim regimes and Western democracies; an eruption of local, regional and possibly global wars; or, a submission by pro-US Gulf regimes and Western democracies to Iranian demands.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are convinced that a unilateral US policy is required to prevent the slippery slope. They vie for a massive military preemption – with no boots on the ground – to devastate Iran’s nuclear, air defense and missiles infrastructures, minimize Iran’s retaliatory capabilities, and preclude the calamitous ripple effects of a nuclear Iran.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are concerned that avoiding military preemption would further erode the US posture of deterrence and military power projection, which constitute the backbone of their national security. It would fuel fanaticism on the Arab Street, and would doom pro-US Saudi and Gulf regimes.

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States assume that a decisive military preemption – with no ground troops – is a prerequisite to a regime change, which failed in 2009 due to Western vacillation. One cannot expect the domestic opposition to defy the Ayatollahs, while the US and/or Israel refrain from defiance. In 1978 and 2011, the US deserted the Shah of Iran and President Mubarak, thus facilitating anti-US regime change. In 2012, a military preemption would expose the vulnerability of the Ayatollahs, providing a significant tailwind to a pro-US regime change.

During the 1960s, the US failed in its attempt to appease Nasser and snatch him from the Soviet Bloc. It was the 1967 Six Day War – and not US diplomacy – which devastated Nasser and aborted his efforts to topple the pro-US regimes in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.

In 2012, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States expect the US to recoup its posture of deterrence and avoid past critical errors, which have jeopardized their survival and have advanced the nuclearization of North Korean and Iran.

Will the US fulfill such expectations by altering its policy? Or, will the US sustain the failed policy of sanctions and diplomacy, which will force Israel to preempt, in order to avert a clear and present danger to global sanity?

Originally published at http://bit.ly/MI3Mpq

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Cisco and Facebook Expand Israel Operations

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

John Chambers, CEO of Cisco,  in Jerusalem for the recent President’s Conference told Israeli business daily Globes: “We’ll expand here soon…. There are a lot of opportunities here. It’s the second country, after the US, in terms of start-ups and entrepreneurship. There are companies here that do not grow enough, and what we do is to bring these companies into the Cisco family and grow their activity. I don’t think that there is a better time to invest here, in partnerships, venture capital, and help our partners expand.

In March, Cisco acquired NDS, a London-based company with its development center in Israel, for $5 billion.

“Having the NDS base in Israel, we can enter fields such as security…. Although NDS’ headquarters are in Britain, its heart and soul are in Israel,” Chambers continued. “This is a country whose leaders and entrepreneurs I believe in. I believe that it’s possible to find a successful formula for both sides…. Cisco and the Israeli government have set up a joint team to examine ways of expanding their collaboration” (Globes Business Daily, June 21, 2012).

Cisco Systems Israel is Cisco’s second-largest design center outside the United States with over 750 employees, including 500 research and development engineers. Among Cisco’s numerous Israeli acquisitions are:  ClassData, $50 million (May, 1998); InfoGear, $300 million (March, 2000); HyNEX, $127 million (June 2000); Actona, $100 million (June, 2004); P-Cube, $200 million (August, 2004); and as mentioned – NDS, $5 billion, March 2012.

For its part, Facebook acquired Israel’s Face.Com for between $50 million-$100 million, its second Israeli acquisition, following the March 2011 acquisition of Snaptu for $70 million.

Lars Christensen, founder and CEO of Denmark’s Saxo Bank – the second largest foreign exchange broker in the world – which has recently entered the Israeli market: “We’ve identified a long-term potential in the Israeli market, especially due to Israel’s competitive edge in the area of technology.” In July, 2011 Saxo Bank acquired 25% of Israel’s Leverate and 100% of the activities of Israel’s Lembex Trading and Investment.

Originally published at http://www.theettingerreport.com/Home.aspx

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Enhanced Israeli Realism

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

Recent findings by a June 12, 2012 Maagar Mochot poll, published by Israel Hayom on Tuesday, reflect a shift in the Israeli state of mind, from the euphoric days of the 1993 Oslo Accords up until the recent eruption of the tectonic “Arab Spring.”

Palestinian terrorism has skyrocketed since Oslo: 250 Israelis were murdered in the 19 years prior to Oslo, while over 2,000 Israelis were murdered in the 19 years since Oslo.

Palestinian hate-education and incitement was prohibited under Israeli control; Palestinian hate-education and incitement — which is the most authentic reflection of one’s ideology — surged under the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority’s track record in the 19 years since Oslo has been heavy on hate-education, incitement, terrorism, non-compliance, corruption, repression of fellow Palestinians, support of arch-terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein, support of anti-U.S. terrorists in Afghanistan and Iraq, and friendships with Russia, China, North Korea, Iran and other enemies and rivals of the U.S. and Western democracies.

The seismic “Arab Spring” has exposed the endemic vulnerabilities of “peace treaties” in the Middle East, highlighting the Arab Middle East as the role model of intra-Arab violence, treachery, unpredictably, instability, fragmentation, non-compliance and violation of human liberties.

Israelis are becoming increasingly realistic and realizing that Arabs cannot be expected to share a genuine peace with the “infidel” Jewish State, as they have failed to live in peace with one another for at least 1,400 years.

The Maagar Mochot poll found that:

1. 73% (compared with 64% last year) assume that the two-state solution will not resolve the conflict with the Palestinians.

2. 64% of Israelis, residing in pre-1967 Israel, support expansion of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. Only 15% (compared with 20% last year) wish to halt settlement construction.

3. Only 45% support partial or full Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

4. Merely 5% support a unilateral Israeli withdrawal.

5. 46% (compared with 38% last year) oppose the uprooting of settlements in return for a peace treaty.

Realism has been the secret behind Jewish survival over the last 4,000 years. Enhanced realism is a prerequisite for the survival of the Jewish state in the conflict-ridden Middle East.

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=2049

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: The Westernization of Muslim Demographics

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

The dramatic Westernization of Muslim demographics contradicts conventional “wisdom.” It requires the re-thinking of economic, social and national security assumptions and the re-evaluation of related policy.

For example, the fertility rates of young Arabs in Judea and Samaria has converged – at three births per woman – with the respective fertility rates of young Israeli Arabs and Jews, while (mostly secular) Jewish fertility rate trends upwards and Arab fertility rates trend downwards.

The Arab fertility rate in Judea and Samaria is declining faster as a derivative of modernity: urbanization (70% rural in 1967 vs. 75% urban in 2012), expanded education especially among women (most of whom complete high school and increasingly attend community colleges), enhanced career mentality and growing integration into the workforce among women (reproductive process starts later and ends earlier), all time-high median wedding age and divorce rate, minimal teen pregnancy (common in 1967 but rare in 2012), family planning and secularization.

According to How Civilizations Die by David Goldman:

“As Muslim fertility shrinks at a rate demographers have never seen before, it is converging on Europe’s low fertility… Iranian women in their 20s, who grew up with five or six siblings, will bear only one or two children during their lifetimes…. By the middle of this century, the belt of Muslim countries from Morocco to Iran will become as gray as depopulating Europe (p. x)…

Demographers have identified several different factors associated with population decline: urbanization, education and literacy…. Children in traditional societies had an economic value, as agricultural labor and as providers for elderly parents; urbanization and pension systems turned children into a cost rather than a source of income…. Dozens of new studies document the link between religious belief and fertility (p. xv)….

[An] Iranian twenty-five year old’s mother married in her teens and had several children by her mid-twenties. Her daughter has postponed family formation, or foregone it altogether, and spent her most fertile years on education and work…. World fertility has fallen by about two children per woman in the past half century – from about 4.5 children per woman to about 2.5. Fertility in the Muslim world has fallen two or three times faster than the world average (pp. 2-3)….

Across the entire Muslim world, university-educated Muslim women bear children at the same rate as their in-fecund European counterparts (p.5-6)….

The only Muslim countries where women still give birth to seven or eight children are the poorest and least literate: Mali, Niger, Somalia and Afghanistan…. Iran’s secular government under the late Shah put enormous efforts into education during the 1970s and 1980s…. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution slowed but could not stop the literacy movement (p. 11)….”

Hania Zlotnik, Director, UN Population Division, stated that “In most of the Islamic world it’s amazing, the decline in fertility that has happened.” Eight of the 15 countries that experienced the biggest drop in population growth since 1980 are in the Middle East.

Goldman writes that “the only advanced country [other than the USA] to sustain high fertility rates is Israel (p. 199)….”

He criticizes Israeli leaders who based their policy on erroneous demographic assumptions:

“Israeli concessions in the first decade of the 21th century [Rabin’s Oslo, Sharon’s uprooting of Jewish communities in Gaza and Olmert’s unprecedented proposed concessions] were motivated by fear that Arab fecundity would swamp Israel’s Jewish population. In actuality, quite the opposite was occurring” (p. 200).

In fact, Israel’s 2012 Jewish fertility rate – three births per woman – is higher than all Arab countries, other than Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Jordan, which trend downward. The average Israeli-born Jewish mother exceeds three births. Moreover, Israel’s robust demography yields uniquely promising economic, social, technological and national security ramifications.

According to Goldman,

“Israel will have more young people than Italy or Spain, and as many as Germany, by the end of the century, if fertility remains unchanged. A century and a half after the holocaust, the Jewish State will have more military-age men, and will be able to field a larger land army, than Germany” (pp. 201-t2).

Israel’s rising (especially secular) Jewish fertility rate is in direct correlation to its relatively high-level optimism, collective responsibility, generational continuity (roots and future), patriotism, tradition, faith and value-driven education. Israel’s demographic tailwind is even more powerful, when considering the potential of 500,000 Olim during the next ten years.

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Jerusalem – American people vs. White House

Monday, May 28th, 2012

Jerusalem has been one of the most dramatic issues of discord between the will of the American people and Congress on the one hand, and State Department-driven presidential policy on the other hand.

In contrast to most Americans and their state and federal representatives, who cherish Jerusalem as the indivisible capital of the Jewish state, all U.S. presidents have embraced Foggy Bottom’s denial of Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital, or even as part of Israel. Moreover, the U.S. foreign policy bureaucracy has disavowed the 1947 non-binding U.N. General Assembly Partition Plan, but for one segment — Jerusalem, which the U.N. designated as an international city.

Israel is the only country in the world whose (3,000 year old) capital is not recognized by the State Department and by the presidents of the U.S. However, the American people consider Israel to be the second most trusted and dependable ally of the U.S. (after Britain), and 71% support (and 9% oppose) Jerusalem as Israel’s indivisible capital.

President Barack Obama has gone further than any U.S. president in implementing the Jerusalem policy of denial. He is pressing for an unprecedented construction freeze in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines, and is trying to eliminate any reference to “Jerusalem, Israel” in present and past official documents and communications.

On the other hand, Jerusalem has earned the affection of the American people since the arrival of the pilgrims in the 17th century, who viewed the U.S. as “the modern day Promised Land,” establishing many towns with biblical names, including Jerusalem. There are now at least 18 U.S. towns called Jerusalem and 32 called Salem, the initial, biblical name of Jerusalem (Shalem), meaning wholesomeness, divine, and peace.

While the American affinity with Jerusalem has cemented the unique covenant between the U.S. and the Jewish state, the State Department never viewed Jerusalem as part of the Jewish state. In 1949, President Harry S. Truman followed Secretary of State George Marshall’s policy, pressuring Israel to refrain from annexing any part of Jerusalem and to accept the internationalization of the ancient capital of the Jewish people. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, inspired by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, opposed the relocation of Israel’s Foreign Ministry from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and prohibited official meetings in Jerusalem. In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson adopted the Jerusalem policy of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, who opposed Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. Johnson highlighted the international status of Jerusalem, and warned Israel against the unification of, and construction in eastern, Jerusalem. In 1970, President Richard Nixon collaborated with Secretary of State William P. Rogers in attempting to repartition Jerusalem and to stop Israel’s plans to construct additional neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem.

However, the presidential pressure was short-lived and ineffective due to the defiant Israeli response, which benefited from overwhelming congressional and public support of Jerusalem as the eternal, indivisible capital of the Jewish people.

In 1995, Congress decided to implement the will of the people, passing overwhelmingly (93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House) the Jerusalem Embassy Act. It stipulated the recognition of unified Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and the relocation of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. However, a presidential national security waiver, which was introduced into the bill by Senator Bob Dole with the support of Prime Minister Itzhak Rabin, has enabled Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama to avoid implementation.

In 1999, 84 senators realized that the national security waiver was misused by the White House, and that kow-towing to Arab pressure radicalized Arab expectations and belligerence. They attempted to leverage the co-determining and co-equal power of the legislature and to eliminate the waiver provision. But, they were blocked by Clinton and by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

In 2012, the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties should heed the historical will of Americans, synchronizing the White House and the State Department with the reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s indivisible capital. Still, the success of such an initiative requires Israeli leaders to resurrect the steadfastness and defiance which characterized Israeli prime ministers from David Ben-Gurion (1948) through Itzhak Shamir (1992).

Originally published at http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=1946

Yoram Ettinger

Yoram Ettinger: Shavuot Guide for the Perplexed

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Shavuot is the holiday of the Torah, which impacted the US Constitution in particular and the state of Western morality, liberty, and democracy in general. Shavuot is celebrated by decorating homes and houses of worship with Land of Israel-related fruit, vegetables, herb and flowers, demonstrating the indigenous connection between the Torah of Israel, the People of Israel, and the Land of Israel.

Shavuot – a spiritual holiday – follows Passover – a national liberation holiday: from physical liberation (the Exodus) to spiritual liberation/enhancement.

The two portions of the Torah, which are recited/studied around Shavuot, are נשא and בהעלותך, which mean – in Hebrew – spiritual enhancement and elevation. נשא is the longest portion of the Torah (176 verses), highlighting the inauguration of the ancient tabernacle and altar. בהעלותך highlights the Menorah (Candelabrum) of the ancient tabernacle, which had seven branches, similar to the seven day week and the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot.

Shavuot is celebrated 50 days following Passover. The Jubilee – the cornerstone of liberty and the source of the inscription on the Liberty Bell (Leviticus 25:10) – is celebrated every 50 years. Judaism highlights the constant challenge facing human beings: the choice between the 50 gates of wisdom and the corresponding 50 gates of impurity. Egypt represented the gates of impurity and the receipt of the Torah represented the gates of wisdom. The 50th gate of wisdom is the gate of deliverance. The USA is composed of 50 states.

Shavuot highlights the eternity of the Jewish People. Thus, the first and the last Hebrew letters of Shavuot (שבועות) constitute the Hebrew name of the third son of Adam & Eve, Seth (שת), the righteous ancestor of Noah, hence of all mankind. The Hebrew meaning of Seth – שת – is “to institute” and “to bestow upon”, מתן in Hebrew – the Hebrew word for the bestowing of the Torah at Mt. Sinai (מתן תורה).

Shavuot (שבועות) is a derivative of the Hebrew word “Shvoua’” (שבועה) – vow, referring to the exchange of vows between God and the Jewish People. The origin of Shavuot occured 26 generations following Adam and Eve. The Hebrew word for Jehovah equals 26 in Gimatriya (assignment of numerical values to Hebrew letters). There are 26 Hebrew letters in the names of the Jewish Patriarchs and Matriarchs: Abraham (אברהם), Yitzhak (יצחק), Yaakov (יעקב) Sarah (שרה), Rivka (רבקה), Rachel (רחל) and Leah (לאה).

The Hebrew root of Shavuot is the word Seven – “Sheva” (שבע). Shavuot is celebrated 7 weeks following Passover; God employed 7 earthly attributes to create the universe (in addition to the 3 divine attributes); There are 7 basic human traits, which individuals are supposed to resurrect/adopt in preparation for Shavuot; 7 key Jewish/universal leaders – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aharon, Joseph and David – represent the seven qualities of the Torah and the wholesomeness of Judaism and the Land of Israel; 7 days of Creation and a 7 days in a week; The Sabbath is the 7th day; The first Hebrew verse in Genesis consists of 7 words; There are 7 species of the Land of Israel (barley, wheat, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive and date/honey); 7 represents multiplication – שבעתיים – “Sivatayim”; There are 7 directions (north, south, west, east, up, down, one’s own position); 7 gates to The Temple in Jerusalem; 7 Noahide Commandments; Moses’ birth/death was on the 7th day of Adar; Jethro had 7 names and 7 daughters; Passover and Sukkot (Tabernacles) last for 7 days each; each Plague lasted for 7 days; the Menorah has 7 branches; Jubilee follows seven 7-year cycles; according to Judaism, slaves are liberated, and the soil is not-cultivated, in the 7th year; there are 7 continents in the globe and 7 notes in a musical scale; there are 7 days of mourning over the deceased, 7 blessings in a Jewish wedding, 7 congregants read the Torah on each Sabbath and 7 Jewish Prophetesses (Sarah, Miriam, Devorah, Chana, Abigail, Choulda and Esther). Pentecost is celebrated, by Christians, on the 7th Sunday after Easter.

Shavuot is the second of the 3 Jewish Pilgrimages (Sukkot-Tabernacles, Passover and Shavuot), celebrated on the 6th day of the 3rd Jewish month, Sivan. It highlights Jewish Unity, compared by King Solomon to “a three folds cord, which is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). The Torah – the first of the 3 parts of the Jewish Bible – was granted to the Jewish People (which consists of 3 components: Priests, Levites and Israel), by Moses (the youngest of 3 children, brother of Aharon and Miriam), a successor to the 3 Patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob) and to Seth, the 3rd son of Adam and Eve. The Torah was forged in 3 manners: Fire (commitment to principles), Water (lucidity and purity) and Desert (humility and principle-driven tenacity). The Torah is one of the 3 global pillars, along with labor and gratitude/charity. The Torah is one of the 3 pillars of Judaism, along with the Jewish People and the Land of Israel.

Yoram Ettinger

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/holidays/yoram-ettinger-shavuot-guide-for-the-perplexed/2012/05/24/

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