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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yori Yanover’

Thumbing its Nose at SWIFT Ban, Iran Relies on Alternative Methods to Continue its International Banking

Friday, March 16th, 2012

On Sunday, May 27, 2012, Iran announced that they have successfully bypassed the SWIFT ban, and have an alternative financial network setup.

On March 16, 2012, JewishPress.com described the system that Iran had set up in anticipation of the SWIFT ban in the article below.

 

Five years ago, the SWIFT clearing system ban on Iranian banks, which goes into effect Saturday, would have yielded satisfactory results. But nowadays Iran is relying on rogue financial systems created by South-American countries, and on its trade with India, China, Russia, Brazil and Turkey, to maintain the flow of money, goods and services for which it continues to pay with oil.

The Belgium-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, a clearing system used by the world’s major banks, announced Thursday that as of Saturday it will obey the European Union’s ban on blacklisted Iranian financial firms, including some 40 Iranian banks.

The SWIFT ban is an inconvenience

But an article by Otto Reich and Ezequiel Vazquez Ger in the Miami Herald suggests the SWIFT ban will present nothing more than an inconvenience for Iran, because the latter has prepared for just this occasion, utilizing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to set up reliable alternative connections for money transfers by Iranian financial institutions.

Essentially, Iran will continue to trade internationally, with the support of ALBA (Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América – Bolivarian Alternative of the Americas) countries: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua.

The ALBA countries have created SUCRE (Sistema Único de Compensación Regional – Unique System of Regional Compensation), which is a virtual currency unit which makes it possible for ALBA members to bypass foreign banks’ supervision.

Ahmadinejad has been preparing for this scenario for years

This system has been used effectively by the belligerent Iran, practically since its inception. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has been a frequent traveler to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba, and Ecuador, making more than half a dozen trips to the region since his election in 2005.

Reich and Vazquez Ger cite confidential bank reports dating back to November 2008, which suggest that the Central Bank of Ecuador authorized the establishment of “a mechanism for deposits and payments to facilitate foreign trade” with Iran. The two authors say that the Central Bank of Ecuador approved in closed sessions a system that would allow the confirmation and payment of letters of credit for foreign trade transactions between it, the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and the International Development Bank in Caracas, Venezuela (BID).

Both the EBDI and the BID are on the U.S. Treasury’s blacklist of companies doing business with Iran’s military, but the Central Bank of Ecuador chose to ignore this fact when jumping into bed with Iran and Venezuela. Immediately after signing the agreement, the Iranian bank opened up for BID a lavish credit line of $40 million for “importation of Iranian goods and services to Ecuador.”

Reich and Vazquez Ger point out that the fact that Ecuador uses the US dollar as its currency means that once Iranian money gets into the country it is automatically injected into the economy.

But some believe that in the end the ban may work

But a high-placed Israeli financial officer told the Jewish Press Friday that any country that chooses to cooperate with Iran would be blocked sooner or later, as the need for trade with the West inevitably arises. This means that the rate of flow of Iranian money out of Iran will remain limited, despite Iran’s publicized South American rogue connection. “Any country that wants to avoid a direct confrontation with the US would opt out of a cooperation deal with Iran, including even Venezuela. Should the US at some point threaten Venezuela, it, too, would drop Iran like a hot potato.”

India-Iran avoid the dollar for rupees

Another venue for uninterrupted Iranian trade has been cultivated over the past few years with the government of India. Earlier in March the semi-official Mehr news agency reported that Tehran and New Delhi have announced that they are planning to hit $25 billion in annual bilateral trade over the next four years, with payments for Iranian oil made in rupees.

J.E. Dyer, a retired US Naval Intelligence officer who served around the world, afloat and ashore, from 1983 to 2004, told the Jewish Press in an email:

“I have been watching this for a while. India and Iran have arranged to increase trade, including Iranian oil, outside of SWIFT. They are dealing in rupees, but the point for Iran is that she can buy things she needs with her rupees. Long-term value isn’t the issue right now. China and Russia dropped the US dollar as their trading currency a while back, and China in particular has been essentially importing Iranian oil on a barter basis, for goods. No need for SWIFT.

“The Latin American countries have been helping Iran evade US/EU sanctions for a while, and so has Turkey.

The SWIFT ban may backfire by causing economic realignments

“I predicted weeks ago that excluding Iran from SWIFT wouldn’t bring Iran to her knees. Instead, it will give a world in flux new reasons to coalesce differently for power and influence. I don’t think North America and the EU have the economic power now to make Iran holler Uncle! What we can do is force a realignment that has a strong probability of rebounding to our disadvantage.

Groggers’ Yidvid Nose Job Doc in Trouble with ASPS

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, decided on an original, innovative, funny and relatively cheap way to reach the potentially bottomless market of nose job enthusiasts – young Jews ages 15-30 – and have fun doing it. So he hired the Groggers, an up and coming Orthodox rock band from Queens, and traded a nose job for their young Depardieu -lookalike leader Doug Staiman in return for the hilarious Jewish video entermercial “Jewcan Sam.” Now the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) wants to lower the boom on the guy.

“Since when are doctors trading services for a music video?” asked Dr. Salzhauer’s publicist Kay Kelly in an email to the Jewish Press, and explained: “This is the new medical landscape where doctors are differentiating themselves to raise awareness of their services. It is positioned to go viral and be a hit with high school students.”

You need another proof the Groggers are HOT?

You need another proof the Groggers are HOT?

“I told him, ‘It’s funny you’re commissioning us to do this, because most of our band members have these massive, deformed noses,’” Staiman told ABC News. “And he generously offered nose jobs to the entire band. But I was the only one who went through with it.”

The Yidvid is a satirical sketch and song depicting the eternal theme of Jew wants blonde – Jews reduces shnoz – Jew gets blonde. It’s absolutely funny, and it helped promote not just the good nose doctor’s business, but also the career of the Groggers, who are just off the charts these days (watch for an exclusive interview with the Jewish Press this coming weekend!).

But it didn’t seem funny, not funny at all, to Dr. Malcolm Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who was shocked, just shocked, telling reporters “This is just disturbing that a doctor would play into the frailties of the human condition.”

OMG, talk about giving hypocrisy a bad name…

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, of which Salzhauer is a member, said the video is “offensive and inappropriate.”

The ASPS says it “has initiated an investigation under its Code of Ethics which clearly requires ASPS members to uphold the dignity and honor of the medical profession.”

Please refer to our earlier OMG, why waste good screen space? Just think kettles and frying pans…

Dr. Roth said he could not comment specifically on the investigation (he only initiated it, after all, and paid for the tar and feathers) but, “generally speaking,” if a member of ASPS is found guilt of breaching its Code of Ethics, he or she could be placed on probation, lose their membership, and even lose their board certification.

There’s no end to what you can do if you were born without a sense of humor.

 

Check out the lyrics to The Groggers’ Jewcan Sam

I want her, but she don’t want what I am.
She says you got a beak like Jewcan Sam.
She says I only go with guys,
With perfect upturned noses, so cut yours down to size

And I’ll be everything you wanted
I’ll be everything you need
Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes
When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous
With the stars all in our eyes
And I would love you till forever
If you got your nose circumcised

I want her unconditionally
But she’s got one big condition to be with me
Sometimes I sit and say if only, I looked more like Tom Cruise
And less like Adrien Brody
I’d be less lonely

She said a guy like you and a girl like me
Only happens in the movies
No matter what you do, or how hard you fight
Pinocchio never got Snow White

And I’ll be everything you wanted
I’ll be everything you need
Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes
When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous
We would be forever young
And I would love you till forever
If you just got your nose done

This Sunday we hope to present the Jewish Press’ exclusive interview with Grogger band leader Doug Staiman, who’s just celebrated a Marquis-topping show at the Gramercy theater and a spot on New York’s 102.7 KissFM. Until then, watch the videos, be kind to others, and as to that nose job, for heaven’s sake, ask for a second opinion…

As ‘Occasional’ Grads Continue to Fall on Israeli Cities, Ashdod Deputy Mayor Says Israel’s Response Must Be ‘Unambiguous”

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Standing Wednesday near the spot at a central commercial area where a Grad missile had landed two days earlier crashing all the nearby store windows and ricocheting into an apartment building across the street, Ashdod’s Deputy Mayor Boris Giterman, in his capacity as acting Mayor, told reporters a total of 36 Grad rockets had been shot at Ashdod over the four days of violence at the beginning of this week.

“Out of the 36, a total of 34 were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.” Giterman noted. “One rocket fell outside the city, and the 35th rocket, one before last, exploded here at 2:45 Monday morning, in the center of town, as you can see.”

Speaking to a foreign correspondents tour of southern communities organized by the Government Press Office of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, the Deputy Mayor pointed at the shattered glass doors behind him and at the torn up window shutters across the street, where the rocket ricocheted. “With a slightly different angle, the rocket would have smashed directly into one of these buildings,” he said. “And quite a few people were shocked by the explosion.”

A building across the street from the blast also sustained some damage. A slightly different angle would have been fatal.
A building across the street from the blast also sustained some damage. A slightly different angle would have been fatal.

“It was a clear miracle,” Giterman said heatedly. “We could have had many dead and injured. And if all 36 rockets were to fall on this city, then can imagine what would have happened.”

“When Prime Minister Netanyahu came to Ashdod City Hall, Mayor Yehiel Lasri said clearly that the residents are prepared to continue to absorb the hardship because we recognize how vital it is that we do. But it can’t go on much longer,” he continued.

“Our mayor, like all the mayors of the southern towns said poignantly that it cannot be that one million residents, including those of Ashdod, which is the fifth largest city in Israel, continue to be terrorized regularly. We asked him to put and end to this story.

“We are demanding an unambiguous solution,” Giterman said, and, growing agitated, repeated, “an unambiguous solution. And if the other side doesn’t respond to our kinder approach, then let it be an unkind approach instead.”

Ilan Peretz in front of a row of brand new store front glass windows, installed Wednesday, after Monday's rocket blast. Peretz owns this commercial center.
Ilan Peretz in front of a row of brand new store front glass windows, installed Wednesday, after Monday’s rocket blast. Peretz owns this commercial center.

“I’ve fought in two wars and was injured in two of them, I spent 40 years in reserve dury, and this is still going on – and will continue for another million years,” said with an obvious note of fatalism Ilan Peretz, owner of the commercial complex whose entire glass front lay shattered.

“And you’re prepared to take it?” the Jewish Press asked.

“I’m not taking it,” he answered. “But if the entire world is not ready to take care of these termites, then the terror will spread to the US and Canada and everywhere else. Look at what they’ve done here… And the life of half the country is suspended…”

His friend David, who said he used to live in Kansas City, Missouri, said he was just tired of sleeping in bomb shelters with his children and grandchildren.

Ashkelon Mayor: This Time IDF Less Effective against Terrorists than Before

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Speaking to the Jewish Press on a foreign correspondents tour of southern communities organized by the Government Press Office of the Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs, Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin said, “the army was more effective the previous time, and we saw it in the results.”

Mayor Vaknin said he attended the meeting last weekend with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with the heads of all the municipalities under terrorist fire. And while they appreciated the PM’s effort to encourage the residents of the south, local officials were clearly demanding more long-term solutions.

“We told him that it’s already the fourth round in a year,” Vaknin told the Jewish Press. “And while we are projecting strength, and our residents are prepared to remain resilient, I said to him, ‘no other country in the world would have been willing that a million of its citizens be under attacks every two weeks, and 200 thousand children be staying at home instead of going to school.’ That’s what we said.”

Benny Vaknin was first elected mayor of Ashkelon in 1991 on a list named Ashkelon B’Tnufah (Ashkelon Momentum). He is well known for his unabashed criticism of the previous government, which he suggested neglected his residents. Back in December 2008 he said to Israel Radio: “Is there a government in Israel? I think not, I’m looking for one,” stressing the danger to which Ashkelon’s populace is exposed, and calling on the government to react to Gaza fire.

A reporter asked the mayor on Wednesday, “How do you translate into action what you just said about not being able to continue like this?”

“I’m not a military expert,” Vaknin answered. “I only know that the army and the security forces are supposed to come up with the answers. I believe the military responses, at least partially, exist, they just have to execute them. And they are capable of executing them.”

Do you feel that the army’s hands are tied?

“It must be that the problems are more ‘global,’” the mayor offered. “The Islamic Jihad receives its marching orders from Iran, so it has no interest in maintaining peace in the territories. The fact is they were the ones shooting while Hamas kept quiet. But the Jihad gets direct instructions from Iran.”

The Jewish Press inquired: “Did you ask Bibi for anything specific?”

“We asked for one simple thing: put a stop to the violence,” said Mayor Vaknin.

Riding High on the ‘Iron Dome,’ Rafael to Raise Half a Billion Shekels

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

In keeping with the adage that no bad thing goes without some positive results for someone, there appears to have been an almost instantaneous torrent of good “reviews” following the unprecedented success under fire for the “Iron Dome” system.

Advanced defense systems developer Rafael, maker of the “Dome,” took less than half a day since the last siren warning of incoming missiles was heard, to announce it is issuing 500 million shekel ($133 million) in privately traded stocks strictly for financial institutions, through expanding an existing series of stocks which are currently valued at 68 million shekel ($18 million). Rafael bonds are not inspected and are not traded on the Tel-Aviv stock exchange, but are traded only by institutional funds. by institutional investors.

The Iron Dome anti-rocket system is designed to counter short-range rockets and 155 mm artillery shells with a range of up to 70 kilometers (43.5 miles). The system has three central components: a detection and tracking radar built by Israel’s Areospace Industries ELTA; a battle management and weapon control (BMC) built by Israeli software company mPrest Systems; and a missile firing unit that launches the Tamir interceptor missile, equipped with electro-optic sensors and steering fins for high maneuverability, built by Rafael.

The system’s radar detects a rocket launch and tracks its trajectory. Then, the BMC calculates the expected hit point according to the reported data, and uses this information to determine whether the target constitutes a threat to a designated area; only in this case an interceptor missile is fired to detonate the rocket before it reaches the expected impact area. The system is designed to only intercept rockets identified as heading for designated targets.

And since the system functioned at an amazing accuracy, better than any comparable anti-missile missile system known today. While the US manufactured Patriot surface to air missiles’ success rate is still lower than 50%, the Iron Dome’s performance this past weekend reached upwards of 85%, according to IDF sources.

Rafael was established in the 1950s by Israel’s Defense Ministry and was incorporated in 2002. It claims that 9% of its sales are re-invested in R&D. For obvious reasons, the company has a special relationship with the IDF, developing products according to specific requirements its engineers are intimately familiar with. Obviously, it has the edge in sales at home, and the recent undeniable success of its product should enhance its sales abroad.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Israel relies on three other systems to protect against a range of rockets: the Arrow II system, developed by Boeing Co. with Israel to counter Iran’s Shahab-3 missile, which has a range of 800 miles; and Raytheon Co. and Israel are also developing the David’s Sling system to intercept missiles with ranges of up to 180 miles. Israel also has Patriot missiles for the intermediate range.

Two Holocaust Survivers Reunited 70 Years Later

Monday, March 12th, 2012

“They had all but given up the search for relatives who had survived the Nazi extermination effort, to find each other was almost overwhelming,” reports the Florida Sun Sentinel. And I have nothing funny or ironic or cynical to say about this one, I’m simply touched.

Lemel Leo Adler, left, and Leon Schagrin are cousins, the sons of two sisters. After the invasion of Poland, they were transported to the Tarnow ghetto, and then to several labor camps, and finally to Buna, “a chemical plant taht also known as Auschwitz III.” In there they met only briefly, between shifts.

In January 1945 they were separated and didn’t see each other again. “A far as they know, everyone else in their families were killed.”

They both immigrated to the US, where Adler was restaurant manager and Schagrin was in the plastics trade. They continued the search for relatives, but found no one.

Last week Adler received a copy of “The Horse Adjutant,” Schagrin’s 2001 book about being forced to care for horses owned by Nazi officers. A friend told him there were names in the book of places Adler had been to during the war.

“I don’t usually read such books, because I lived through the Holocaust,” Adler told the Sentinel’s James D. Davis. “But then I started scanning it and found family names – like my mother’s maiden name.”

He researched the records of the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center in South Florida and learned about Schagrin – who represents the center about the Holocaust to South Florida students.

He called Schagrin on the phone to say, “I know you!” Then he cited family members the two had known.

Schagrin’s reaction was: “You know how it is when nerves are tickling all over your body? I couldn’t believe it after 70 years.”

According to Miriam Fridman, president of the survivors’ club (Schagrin is vice president), these reunions are becoming more and more rare,. For one thing, many survivors have passed away. The club had 1,400 members in the 1990s, but only around 300 today.

Feisty Jewish Former Congressman Alan Grayson Runs Red Light, Injures Two

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Jewish Congressman who became the darling of the left wing of the Democratic party but not so much with his district (he served only one term), who, in 2009, defined the Republican’s idea of health care plan as, “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly,” may require some serious health care himself.

According to WESH-TV2, last Saturday in Orlando, Fla., the former Florida Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson ran a red light with his car, a Mercedes (now, is that a car a nice Jewish boy should be driving?) and smashed into a public transit bus. Two people were injured.

Grayson, who lost his bid for a second term in the House of Representatives to Republican Daniel Webster, is trying his luck again this year, and, in fact, was on his way to a $1,000-per-plate lunch with guest Robert F. Kennedy Jr. when that bus got in his way.

Back in 2010, Grayson called his opponent Webster a “draft-dodger” for receiving student deferments and a draft classification as medically unfit for service, and “Taliban Dan” because the Republican was, supposedly part of a trend of “Religious fanatics” who “try to take away our freedom, in Afghanistan, in Iran and right here in Central Florida.” At the time, Columnist George Will called Grayson “America’s worst politician.”

But one thing must be said in Alan Grayson’s favor, regardless of his dubious driving skills: he has always been a friend of Israel and a 100% supporter of AIPAC – to the point where Max Blumenthal derided him in an article titled “Gutsy progressive congressman Alan Grayson leads a double life.” Blumenthal wanted to know how the Congressman who was so adamant against the Iraq war was still supportive of Israel.

Because Grayson is from Florida, maybe?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/feisty-jewish-former-congressman-alan-grayson-runs-red-light-injures-two/2012/03/12/

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