You Sanctified the Sabbath dayHere's Lipa Schmeltzer with Ata Kidashta (You Sanctified the Sabbath day), a brand new song from the Sabbath prayers.
Let's go to the videotape.
Shabbat Shalom everyone.
The warning comes in connection to Hezbollah's threats of retaliation for an air-strike on a Hezbollah missile convoy near the border with Syria, which was attributed to the IAF by foreign media sources. The strike would have been a first on Lebanese soil as recent attacks attributed to Israel have taken place on the Syrian side of the border.
A Lebanese security source was quoted saying that the Janta region where the alleged airstrike took place is known to be a hotbed of Hezbollah recruitment and training. It is also considered a key stop on the route through which arms are smuggled between Lebanon and Syria.
At first, Hezbollah denied the airstrike on its television network al-Manar. However, on Wednesday, the network quoted Hezbollah Chief Hassan Nasrallah who vowed to respond "at the time and place of our [Hezbollah's] choosing."
"It is self-evident that we see Lebanon as responsible for any attack on Israel from the territory of Lebanon," Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Friday.
"It is the duty of the Lebanese government to prevent any terrorist attack - whether a terrorist or missile attack, or any other kind - on the State of Israel," he told Israel Radio.
Meanwhile, Lebanon filed a complaint the the UN Security Council against Israel over the Israeli strikes, according to a report in Lebanon's Daily Star.Let them try it...
His final request to say goodbye to his mother before being killed was denied by the hangmen, who ignored the mother's heartfelt pleas from the audience to say a last goodbye to her son.
In response to the cruelty, the man kicked out at one of the hangmen, knocking him from the gallows box and overturning the bench he was to stand on for the hanging.
A desperate struggle ensued as the outnumbered condemned man fought against hangmen with his hands tied. It was a struggle fated for a tragic outcome, as the guards overpowered the man and carried out the execution right before the man's mother and the public.If this regime has a nuclear weapons capability, God forbid, does anyone doubt they will use it?
If you want a long Pesach trip you can go from 04/01-04/29 from Chicago for $537 or from Dallas or Miami for $641Unfortunately, this does not work in the other direction....
This can work from NYC as well. Just book a one-way ticket nonstop flight to Chicago on American for 7,500 British Airways Avios.
For example a flight from Chicago to Tel Aviv for a long Pesach from 04/01-04/29 is $537 on Orbitz.
That flight goes from Chicago to Tel Aviv via Philadelphia. You can’t miss the Chicago to Philly outbound segment but you can fly Tel Aviva-Philadelphia nonstop and miss the Philadelphia to Chicago return segment. All bags must be claimed in Philly.
Or you can book a multi-city trip, just search for leg 1 from NYC to Chicago on 04/01, leg 2 from Chicago to Tel Aviv on 04/01 and leg 3 from Tel Aviv to Chicago on 04/29. The total will be $633.
Same story to go to Tel Aviv for Lag B’omer from 05/07 to 05/22. Search for leg 1 from NYC to Chicago on 05/07, leg 2 from Chicago to Tel Aviv on 05/07 and leg 3 from Tel Aviv to Chicago on 05/22. The price will show $749 but drop to $633 after selecting flights. Or just use 7,500 Avios to get to Chicago and book the $537 flight from Chicago (price drops only after selecting flights)
Nationalist activist Baruch Marzel succeeded in entering a Tel Aviv University conference on "influences of the occupation" on Israeli society this Thursday. As Professor Daniel Bar-Tal waxed on about "war crimes" of moving populations from "occupied territory," Marzel spoke out about the "real occupation."
"You're on an Arab mosque, here is the occupation. You're in the occupation, you profit off of the occupation," leveled Marzel at the professors, pointing to the hypocrisy of the university which was founded on what was previously the Arab village of Sheikh Mounis.
"You live the occupation, there's a mosque under this building that they destroyed, and expelled the people to Hevron where I live," continued Marzel.
After members of the conference tried to silence Marzel by accusing him of not being used to academic guidelines of debate, Marzel fired back "I'm used to the truth."I'd be happy to trade Sheikh Munis for the rest of the country. Let the 'Palestinians' have Sheikh Munis and we'll keep Jerusalem, Hebron, Bethlehem, etc.
Rabbi Shlomo Aviner told Kol B’Rama radio that he would be there, saying, “Just like the nation needs an army – that’s obvious – the nation needs Torah… We can’t hurt one without hurting the other.”But not everyone in the national religious community agrees.
A group of students wrote a letter urging the rabbis not to attend, and even warning that they could come to harm due to strong anti-Zionist sentiment among those present.
The letter, a copy of which reached Arutz Sheva, quoted several articles from hareidi news sources in which religious-Zionist rabbis were accused of spreading anti-Torah teachings, of “ruining everything,” and of being “wicked.”
“Even if the purpose of the prayer rally Sunday were a good one – please don’t go, because of the danger posed by the herd which is incited by its leaders,” they wrote.Similar comments were made by former IDF Chief Rabbi Avichai Ronsky.
“I really find it difficult to understand how there are rabbis, great Torah scholars, some of them my teachers, who are calling to participate [in the rally] and even plan to attend,” he said.
“Our moral understanding, our understanding of halakhah [Jewish law], is that men must enlist in the army. Even Torah scholars – maybe for a limited period of time, like in the hesder program… That’s our Jewish and moral understanding,” he declared.
It is clear that the planned hareidi rally will be a protest against enlisting in the IDF, and not merely a protest against the planned criminal sanctions, he said. “They call not to enlist in the army, even for those who aren’t learning [Torah]."
“It’s no secret that many don’t enlist even if they aren’t learning… The rabbis simply do not want them to enlist, because they want to keep their community separate from society,” he accused.
He noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has promised that no yeshiva students will be sent to jail.
“I call on our entire community not to take part in the protest, which will call on the hareidi community not to enlist in the army,” he concluded.I don't expect to see a lot of knitted kippot (skullcaps) of the national religious community at Sunday's rally. But you never know. When I went to political rallies against Oslo, I always wore my black hat....
A total of 1,705 African migrants agreed to leave Israel voluntarily in February, Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar said Thursday.
The number is the largest single monthly total yet, coming after 765 who left in January, 325 in December and 63 in November.
Sa'ar credits the figures to the new anti-infiltration amendment, the opening of the Holot detention facility for African migrants, greater of enforcement against Israelis hiring illegal migrants, the one-time grant that was increased from $1,500 to $3,500 and a general climate that he says is not rewarding for those migrating to Israel illegally.
He also took issue with the assumption many hold that the number is mainly made up of people who were detained in Holot and agreed to leave so as not to remain in prison. According to Sa'ar, of the 1,705, only 64, or 3.7% were in Holot or in Saharonim prison, the rest were living in Israeli cities.Hmmm. I wonder how many 'Palestinians' would leave for $3,500 each. Just sayin'.... (By the way, that is not entirely an idle observation. Rabbi Meir Kahane suggested paying 'Palestinians' to leave 30 years ago).
“Suspend transfers to Israel of munitions, weapons, and related equipment including crowd control weapons and devices, training and techniques,” Amnesty said in a 74-page report titled “Trigger- Happy: Israel’s use of excessive force in the West Bank” that it issued on Thursday.Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor shot back.
Arms transfers by the United States, the European Union and other countries should only be resumed once Israel can ensure that they will not be used to violate international humanitarian law and international human rights law, Amnesty said.
“Without pressure from the international community, the situation is unlikely to change any time soon,” said Philip Luther, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.
“Too much civilian blood has been spilled. This long-standing pattern of abuse must be broken. If the Israeli authorities wish to prove to the world they are committed to democratic principles and international human rights standards, unlawful killings and unnecessary use of force must stop now,” Luther said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said the report “smacks of bias, discrimination and racism.”NGO Monitor also blasted the report.
He accused Amnesty of wanting to deprive Israel of the right to self-defense.
“Amnesty takes to making up its own laws. In their frenzied public relations stunt to grab a quick headline, they innovate in the legal realm: no right of self-defense under fire [for Israelis],” he said.
“Amnesty lies by omission, and otherwise.”
The IDF said that Amnesty was ignoring the substantial increase in Palestinian violence against Israel in the last year. In 2013, Palestinians injured 132 Israelis, almost double the number of those harmed in 2012, the IDF said.
It noted that this was “no surprise, considering that over 5,000 incidents of rock-hurling took place, half of which were toward main roads.”
It added that “there were 66 further terror attacks, which included shootings, the planting of [improvised explosive devices], blunt weapon attacks and the abduction and murder of a soldier.”
The report, it said, also showed “a complete lack of understanding as to operational challenges the IDF is posed with in the West Bank.
“Where feasible, the IDF contains this life-threatening violence using riot dispersal means, including loud sirens, water cannons, sound grenades and teargas.
Only once these tools have been exhausted, and human life and safety remains under threat, is the use of precision munition authorized,” it said.
“Amnesty International accusations are reckless, blatantly biased, and reflect the lack of a credible research fact-finding methodology,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Amnesty lacks the expertise and credibility to analyze or assign blame for deaths in the context of violent confrontations in the West Bank. As in the past, the allegations in this report repeat unverifiable Palestinian ‘testimony.’”
Indeed, in a February 10 interview with Al Jazeera, Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty acknowledged that “we are not an expert (sic) on military matters. So we don’t want to, kind of, pontificate on issues we don’t really understand.”
In its report, Amnesty makes numerous non-specific claims without any supporting evidence, such as “Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers did not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life” and the use of “arbitrary” force. In contrast, other monitoring groups such as B’Tselem acknowledge that the majority of Palestinian casualties occurred during combat or violent clashes and confrontations with Israeli security personnel. Amnesty’s removal of this essential context and abuse of the term “civilian” further highlights the lack of credibility.
Similarly, in 2009, Amnesty played a central role in the discredited Goldstone report on the Gaza conflict, as well as in a number of other allegations targeting Israel.
Likewise, NGO Monitor has shown that Amnesty’s “research” team on Israel comprises two individuals with backgrounds in anti-Israel political activism, not military and legal expertise.Yes, but unfortunately, I'll bet a lot more people read Amnesty's report than the criticism, and that more headlines will reflect Amnesty's views than the critics' views.
West Bromwich Albion forward Nicolas Anelka has been banned for five matches and fined 80,000 pounds ($133,400) for making an alleged anti-Semitic gesture in a match in December, the Football Association said on Thursday.
The Frenchman, who made a "quenelle" salute after scoring in a 3-3 draw against West Ham United on Dec. 28, has also been ordered to complete a compulsory education course.Here's hoping he falls flat on his face the next time he plays.
What Osen found particularly galling was that much of the money that flowed to these families and groups passed through New York, where the Arab Bank’s dollar-denominated transactions were cleared. It appeared Arab Bank was facilitating massive amounts of terror financing from Madison Avenue, right under the noses of federal regulators and the US government.
Shortly after the bombing of bus no. 6 a representative from “The Organization of Martyr Families” telephoned Bassam Takruri’s parents. He told Takruri’s mother to open an account at the Arab Bank so the family could receive its reward. Soon after the account was open, the first $200 arrived by direct transfer, a process repeated every month for a year. When, a few weeks after the attack, Israeli bulldozers razed the family’s home to the ground, they moved into an apartment paid for by the group, a portrait of their martyr son hanging over the sofa.
It never occurred to Takruri’s father not to accept the funds or turn down the offer of a place to live.
“We needed the money,” he told Der Spiegel. “We suddenly no longer had a house.”
Now that Osen understood how the money flowed, he needed a theory of liability that would enable him to bring suit against the bank. It didn’t take him long to settle on the US Anti-terrorism Act, which Congress passed into law shortly after the events of September 11, 2001. It made it possible for the families or heirs of an American injured by an act of terrorism to sue in any appropriate district court of the United States and recover “threefold the damages he or she sustains and the cost of the suit, including attorney’s fees.” One key aspect of the Act deals with terror financing. Osen believed that the bank violated the law by soliciting, collecting, transmitting, disbursing, and providing the financial resources that allowed Hamas and its affiliated organizations to flourish and engage in a campaign of terror.
In the past, American courts awarded billions of dollars in damages against Iran for sponsoring terrorist groups, but victims have had difficulty collecting because the US State and Justice departments resisted seizing foreign government assets. Because of a lack of diplomatic relations, Iran had few assets in America, and what it had were embassies and the like — nothing that could be seized. Osen was sure a judgment against a foreign bank, especially one with assets in the United States, would reap different results. You couldn’t alter the nation of Iran’s behavior by suing it, but you could deter commercial entities from aiding terrorism by holding them accountable and hitting them on their bottom lines.Read the whole thing.
Police, too, expect a very large turnout, and have therefore decided to block all traffic toward Jerusalem on Highway 1, from Latrun eastward, starting at 1:00 p.m. Sunday.
The Jerusalem Light Rail will stop running along its regular route at 12:00 noon, and will continue to operate only between Pisgat Ze'ev and the Damascus Gate, or Shaar Shechem.
Last week, a historic gathering was held at Bnei Berak in central Israel, with the participation of the Torah Sages Councils of all hareidi streams, against the compulsory enlistment law being prepared in the Knesset.
The Torah councils published a joint statement, in which they implored students at regular yeshivas and kollel-type yeshivas, not to cooperate with the military's plan for establishing a special recruitment center for hareidim. They called on the authorities “not to slow down the world of Torah but to assist in the flourishing of Torah institutions."
The IDF's hareidi combat battalion recently won a coveted IDF prize for excellence: the IDF Department of Technology and Logistics' Award. Rabbis of the Nahal Haredi Foundation said in reaction: “This is the best proof that when the haredi soldier is taken into account, suitable conditions are provided for him in the IDF, and things are done with dialogue and understanding, he will be better than any other soldier.”In the fall, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef zt"l passed away, and on five hours' notice, some 800,000 people showed up for his funeral. How many will show up this time? I can tell you that every Haredi boys' high school (Yeshiva Ktana) in Jerusalem is showing up, and the last I heard they were debating bringing even younger boys.
According to German daily Bild, the Polish politician disembarked from a plane at the airport, visibly drunk, and then caught the attention of customs officials when he stole a man's baggage cart and sprinted toward the exit.
When the officials asked Protasiewicz for identification, he began to hurl insults at them, calling them names such as "Hitler" and "Nazi," asking them, "Were you ever in Auschwitz?" Bild reported.
The German daily quoted an eyewitness as saying "the man appeared to be very drunk when he shouted in English that he was from the EU."
Police were then called to the scene, forcibly removing Protasiewicz in handcuffs when he refused to accompany them peacefully.
The German daily noted that Protasiewicz enjoys immunity as a member of the European Parliament and is therefore unlikely to face prosecution.
Polish news portal RMF 24 quoted Protasiewicz as denying being drunk and explaining that he was responding to the rude behavior of a Frankfurt Airport official.
Protasiewicz said that he showed the official his documentation upon request. "When he saw my diplomatic passport, he was displeased that he could not demonstrate his power over me, a passenger from Eastern Europe. Giving me the passport he used the word "raus" [out]. This word worked on me a bit like a red rag to a bull. I'm still from the generation that remembers the atmosphere of post-war [Europe] and "raus" in Poland is associated with German arrogance, not with a polite civil servant.
According to Protasiewicz, he explained to the customs official that "raus" in Poland has associations like "Heil Hitler." He continued: "This upset the officer. He started to push me, so I said to him that before using force, let him consider Auschwitz. Auschwitz, because it is the best lesson in humility."
When asked about reports that he was drunkenly staggering and stammering, Protasiewicz claimed that he has only had one glass of wine on the plane.Must have been an awfully big glass....
So I'm speaking on a US campus, and during the question time that followed my remarks, a student asks how it can be that Judaism is older than Islam if the State of Israel wasn't established until 1948.Yes, this is what passes for being college-ready in the United States in 2014. Unbelievable.... No, not anti-Semitism. Just plain, old fashioned stupidity.
Sadly, the expected improvement in her condition did not come to pass. Now, staff at Loewenstein Hospital Rehabilitation Center in Ra’anana say there is nothing more they can do for the badly handicapped young girl – and have told her parents to take her home, Yediot Aharonot reports.
Adelle’s parents say they do not have the equipment to take care of their young daughter.
Relatives who spoke to Yediot said the Health Ministry had failed to follow through on promises of help.
“We didn’t choose for [Adelle] to be in this situation. It’s hard enough for us already. We expect the government to help us,” a relative said.
“The family’s home in Yakir is not set up for Adelle yet, not in terms of access, and more importantly, not in terms of the necessary medical equipment,” they warned.
The family turned to MK Shuli Muallem (Jewish Home), who has helped them get support from the Health Ministry.
Muallem sent a letter to the Health Ministry warning that Adelle faces immediate release from the hospital “despite agreements,” and that the family does not have what it needs to help her.
Health Ministry officials issued a statement saying that ministry staff will work to help the Biton family prepare to care for Adelle, “and to promote understanding between the hospital and the family regarding the date of release.”
Parents Rafi and Adva Biton declined to be interviewed for the report.Levenstein kept former Prime Minister Arik Sharon in his vegetative state for seven years. Why can't they keep one 3-year old terror victim until she recovers enough that her family can care for her? Haven't they suffered enough?
In a Facebook posting Thursday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett questioned the wisdom of relying on technology to ensure Israel's defense, as supporters of an Israeli withdrawal from the Jordan Valley are suggesting. With cameras, electronic alarms, and other gadgets “protecting” Israelis, asked Bennett cynically, “who needs the IDF”?
If those defenses will work in the Jordan Valley, how about in the rest of the country, Bennett asked facetiously. “They want us to trade in the IDF for 'smart' defense systems in the Jordan Valley.
“Here is another idea: Let's first install these systems on the Gaza border, and see how effective these systems are in halting the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks on southern Israel that we have experienced since we gave up Gaza to the Palestinians. It would be like a pilot program for the Jordan Valley surrender,” Bennett said.And if it works in Gaza, would Bennett suggest that we withdraw from the Jordan Valley, which is topographically different?
“Now is a very timely opportunity for him to get involved,” a senior official said of Mr. Obama, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of the delicacy of the issue. If the two sides agree to the framework, which would set out general terms on issues like Israel’s security and the borders of a future Palestinian state, the negotiations could be extended, with a new target of completing a treaty by the end of 2014.That's because those are areas where only Israel can make concessions. Left unresolved would be keeping 'Palestinian refugees' out of Israel and 'Palestinian' recognition of Israel as the Jewish state. If the 'framework' only resolves these points, what incentive do the 'Palestinians' have to make any concessions?
The challenge for the White House has been to redeploy the president only when it is believed he can make a critical difference. With Mr. Kerry’s self-imposed deadline nearing, and with little indication that Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas have resolved key differences, that moment is now, the officials said. “The president wouldn’t want to run any risk that it was the lack of his involvement that would make the difference between success and failure,” a senior official said.They don't really think anyone in Israel trusts Obama, do they?
It is far from clear, however, that Mr. Obama can pull off what has so far eluded his secretary of state — not to mention several of his Oval Office predecessors. While Mr. Kerry and his special envoy, Martin S. Indyk, have held intensive meetings with Israelis and Palestinians in recent days, the two sides have not met face to face for weeks. That suggests, analysts say, that there has been scant progress in closing some of the core differences, like the status of Jerusalem or the contours of a new Palestinian state. It is difficult to know the exact status of the talks because the participants have largely kept a promise not to air the details publicly.
Israel Radio reported this morning that the US is pressuring Netanyahu not to state his reservations, and that Netanyahu might just say he has reservations about the entire framework. That would accomplish nothing for either the framework or for Israel. Even Hanan Ashrawi agrees.Skeptics say Mr. Kerry’s decision to opt for a framework is itself a sort of concession — or at best, a way to buy time. Some worry that if Mr. Obama puts his prestige on the line to coax approval for an interim step, he will have less leverage to push through a final deal.
Administration officials said the framework will cover all the major final-status issues, though Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Abbas will be able to express reservations about individual provisions, so long, an official said, “as they don’t vitiate the framework.”
A framework that allowed each side to voice reservations, she said, would be “self-negating,” adding, “It will be a nondocument.” Any document not based firmly on international law, she said, “will become a box of chocolates: You can pick and choose what you want.”
All of the above. The fear here is that once Kerry's useless effort officially fails, Israel will pay the price in violence and murder from the 'Palestinians.'Ms. Ashrawi did not say the Palestinian Authority would actually reject the framework, if it came to that. But she asked: “Why have it? Is it just to maintain a semblance of progress? Is it meant to buy more time? Or is it not to admit we have failed?”
Extreme leftist group Peace Now was forced to delete its Facebook page campaigning against rights group Honenu Wednesday, after it falsely accused a man of being a "terrorist."
Honenu is a legal rights group which campaigns for the legal rights of Jews from Judea and Samaria, including the right to see a lawyer and the right not to face punishment without trial under “administrative orders.” On several occasions, the NGO has represented young men accused of so-called “price tag” vandalism in court.
Peace Now founder Yariv Oppenheimer accused the group of defending "murderers and 'Price Tag' criminals" Tuesday. An attached advertisement accused Honenu of assisting “terrorists.”
The list of “terrorists” Honenu was alleged to have helped included Yossi Ben-Baruch.
According to the ad, Ben-Baruch was part of the Bat Ayin Underground group; in fact, he was found innocent of any involvement with the group over a decade ago.
Channel 2 journalist Amnon Abramovich also slammed the rights group on the weekly program "Friday News" on Friday evening, prompting the organization to submit a complaint.
"In the 'Friday News' program which aired last Friday night, Mr. Abramovich used the title 'Breaking the Law and Receiving Benefits' in his broadcast and on the internet about our organization," Attorney Doron Nir Zvi, legal representative for Honenu, noted in the letter to both Abramovich and the Channel 2 news corporation. "This header is not only false, but as indicated from the final words of Abramovich in the article, portray our group as participating in illegal activities."
"This organization has proper administrative approval and has never acted without the full accordance of the law," the letter stressed. The attorney then asked in the name of Honenu to issue an official apology and change the false headline.For the record, the picture at the top of this post is not Peace Now director general Yariv Oppenheimer, but rather LATMA's Yariv Googleheimer, a caricature of Oppenheimer.
The IDF Information Security Department issued tough guidelines Wednesday night prohibiting soldiers from using popular messaging application Whatsapp on their smartphones to convey IDF-related information, according to Army Radio. WhatsApp is a cross-platform mobile app which allows users to exchange messages without having to pay telecom charges.
According to the broadcast, the IDF has agonized over whether or not to allow smartphones on base, over concerns about the potential for serious security leaks.
The branch notes that seemingly innocuous chatter over a WhatsApp group can easily reveal enough intelligence information to prove dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. The Office of the Chief of Staff finalized the new guidelines, which prohibit using the app in any operational context.
"Out of concern that information revealed in a WhatsApp group could reveal critical information about the IDF and its operations, assessments were carried out to determine the security risks of the situation by the Information Security Department, and new guidelines were issued," the IDF stated. "In accordance with Information Security Department policy, there is a ban on using WhatsApp for operational needs."I won't tell you what I think of WhatsApp except to say that I don't use it.
Knesset Land of Israel caucus chair-people Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) and Orit Struck (Bayit Yehudi) expressed regret on Wednesday that a recording of the parliamentary group's closed meeting with US Ambassador Dan Shapiro was leaked to the press.
The meeting, which took place on Tuesday, was closed to the press and was described by attendees as "charged," after MKs used harsh language in discussions of Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard's treatment and accused the US of bias against Israel in talks with Palestinians.
Shapiro spoke to Levin and Struck, saying that he was upset that the meeting was recorded.
Levin and Struck apologized and said that the participant did not realize the meeting was closed before recording it.
However, sources in the meeting were made aware that it was meant to be closed to press by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, but still agreed to divulge extensive information about it.
Struck and Levin thanked Shapiro for taking part in the meeting.
Shapiro accepted their apology and said that, in his opinion, it was a successful and beneficial discussion.But it's not likely to happen again anytime soon. Only in Israel....
The Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems announced a successful completion of a trial program to test a missile defense system for commercial airlines.Let's see if any non-Israeli airlines are willing to pay the price to install it.
The C-Music system is designed to protect passenger aircraft from the threat of shoulder-launched missiles.
After detecting incoming missiles with an infrared censor, it fires a laser that disrupts the missile's navigation system and throws it off course, away from its intended target.
C-Music was chosen by the Transportation Ministry to protect Israeli airliners.
The Defense Ministry's Administration for the Development of Weapons and Technological Infrastructure, the Israel Airports Authority, and Elbit Systems jointly developed the system.
"The experiments, carried out in southern Israel, were some of the most complex and sophisticated ever carried out in Israel," the Defense Ministry said. "They simulated a range of threats that the C-Music system will have to deal with," it added.
"C-Music is considered the most advanced system of its kind in the world, and will provide ultimate defense to planes," the ministry continued. "It combined advanced detection and disruption technologies, and meets the stringent requirements of commercial flight."
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Ophir Shoham, head of the Administration, said hundreds of engineers took part in the development stage, and that the product is at the "end limit of detection and disruption technology."
Labels: Israeli apartheid week
"The electric company hasn't threatened to cut off the PA from electric supply," said the senior official to Arabic news source Ma'an.
According to the official, the IEC offered the PA was to sign a new agreement by which it would be given the status of a country, with an accompanying reduced rate.
IEC Director Yiftah Ron-Tal on Tuesday spoke in the Knesset’s Finance Committee, where he said that if IEC were privately owned, it would have cut off the PA long ago.
"Despite the immense financial debt that we have accumulated, we are obligated to continue to provide electricity to the PA. The State of Israel owns our company and it has to make a decision on the matter. We must collect this debt,” Ron-Tal added, noting that the PA has ignored repeated requests to pay its debts.
The PA acquires 95% of its electricity in Judea and Samaria and 75% of its electricity in Gaza from Israel.
In response to Ron-Tal's appeals, Finance Committee head MK Nissan Slomiansky (Jewish Home) said, "if the state does not assist the IEC in collecting the debt from the PA, the Finance Committee will consider an appeal to the High Court, so that [the court] obligates the state to address the problem."I don't know whether to laugh or to cry. Why would anyone think that the 'Supreme Court' - which is made up of Leftists - would issue such an order? Who would obey it? And even with the best of intentions, what makes anyone think that the government of Israel could collect a debt from the 'Palestinian Authority'?
Making the idea that the PA will come clean on its debts less likely is the fact that it is in the midst of a financial crisis; as of last July the entity owed $4.2 billion in internal and external debts.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas signed a $1 billion energy deal in Russia during January. Russian state news agency ITAR-TASS reported that Russia's natural gas giant Gazprom intends to produce 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas off the Gaza coast, in addition to talk of an oil development project near Ramallah.The only way to collect this debt is (a) to cut off the electricity until it is paid (unlikely because the 'international community' would go ballistic) and (b) to withhold the transfer payments that the government of Israel makes to the 'Palestinian Authority' (unlikely because the 'international community' would go ballistic).
Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday announced that he was planning on lowering import taxes on a basket of dairy products including butter and yogurt by 80%.
"We are continuing to open up the economy and bring down prices," Bennett said. Currently, customs on some dairy imports stands at over 100%, he said. The reduced customs rates will have quotas, which Bennett says will help the small companies increase their grip in the import market and increase competition.
"I expect the reduction in customs will be passed on to consumers," he said.
The full list of reduced quotas, which will apply to retail-packaged butter, concentrated and non-concentrated milk and cream, buttermilk and yogurt, will be published in the coming days.
The dairy market in Israel is a complex trap of protectionism and regulation. The government regulates the price of dairy and outlines quotas for small dairy farms, who typically sell their product to one of three large manufacturers: Tnuva, Strauss, and Tara.
Tnuva on its own controls some 70% of the dairy market, and is considered a legal monopoly by the Israel anti-trust authority, which also has regulatory power to try and prevent it from price gouging.
Is this any way to run an economy? In the long run, Tnuva should be broken up - should have been broken up 20 years ago (they also dominate fruit and vegetable marketing and are on the verge of being bought by a Chinese state company). But don't hold your breath waiting for that to happen.Although Israeli agricultural technology has made its cows the most efficient dairy producers in the world, the combination of high tariffs, quotas, price regulation and Israel's geographical isolation from other dairy producers has led to a situation in which its dairy prices are higher than most OECD countries.
Labels: Israeli economy
"Hezbollah missiles went up in smoke and (Hezbollah leader Hassan) Nasrallah is silent."Meanwhile, Beirut's Daily Star reported that four Hezbullah terrorists were killed in the attack, which targeted two trucks carrying missiles and a missile launcher to Hezbollah warehouses from Syria.
Katz added "may those engaging in the work (of stopping Hezbollah) be blessed."
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources told The Daily Star that the airstrike, which took place late Monday evening, was aimed at two trucks, one transferring missiles and the other carrying a missile launcher. The sources said the trucks were heading to Hezbollah’s missile warehouses in Lebanon.
They said the Israeli attack killed four Hezbollah members, but gave no further information.
My husband has a long record of money problems. He runs up huge credit card bills, and at the end of the month, if I try to pay them off, he shouts at me, saying I am stealing his money. He says pay the minimum…let our kids worry about the rest, but we can hardly keep up with the interest.
Also, he has been so arrogant and abusive toward our neighbors that most of them no longer speak to us. The few that do are an odd bunch to whom he has been giving a lot of expensive gifts, running up our bills even more. He has also gotten religious.
One week he hangs out with Catholics, the next with people who say the Pope is the Anti-Christ, and the next he’s with Muslims.
Finally, he’s demanding that before anyone can be in the same room with him, they must sign a loyalty oath. It’s just so horribly creepy! Can you help?
Signed, Lost . . . .
Suck it up, and stop whining, Michelle! You’re getting to live in the White House for free, travel the world, and have others pay for everything. You can divorce the jerk anytime.
The rest of us are stuck with him for 3 more years!
Water shortages in the Palestinian Authority are the result of Palestinian policies that deliberately waste water and destroy the regional water ecology. The Palestinians refuse to develop their own significant underground water resources, build a seawater desalination plant, fix massive leakage from their municipal water pipes,build sewage treatment plants, irrigate land with treated sewage effluents or modern water-saving devices,or bill their own citizens for consumer water usage, leading to enormous waste. At the same time, they drill illegally into Israel's water resources, and send their sewage flowing into the valleys and streams of central Israel. In short, the Palestinian Authority is using water as a weapon against the State of Israel. It is not interested in practical solutions to solve the Palestinian people's water shortages,but rather perpetuation of the shortages and the besmirching of Israel.There's much more. Read the whole thing.
The new conscription bill being drafted in the government Shaked committee is slated to be a historic move on the issue of drafting the ultra-Orthodox. But the controversy surrounding the bill has already caused history to be made: on Monday, the leading rabbis of the three ultra-Orthodox factions -- Shas, the hassidic Agudat Yisrael and the Lithuanian Degel Hatorah -- gathered for the first time to discuss how to defeat the new law.
Senior rabbis attended the historic event, including Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, leader of the Lithuanian sect; Shas Council of Torah Sages member Rabbi Shalom Cohen; and senior hassidic leaders. Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, the extremist leader of the Lithuanian-Jerusalem stream, who is in a dispute with rivals from centrist factions, also took part in the meeting. The rabbis said they planned to hold a mass prayer rally the Sunday after next and decided to "immediately cancel the [government] committee's decision to force military service."
Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend the demonstration.
"This is a bad law, never before seen," said MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism.)
Let's go to the videotape.Meanwhile, the Knesset committee for equating the military burden was slated to vote on Tuesday that the new draft law applied only to yeshiva students who studied in ultra-Orthodox institutions, meaning that more ultra-Orthodox students will need to enlist to meet the law's draft targets.
Asked during a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel whether IAF jets were behind the strike, Netanyahu stated, "Our policy is clear - we will not speak about reports of what we did or didn't do - but we do all that is necessary in order to defend our citizens."
Hezbollah denied the airstrike on their television network al-Manar. They said there had been "no raid on Lebanese territory," reporting only the "strong presence of enemy planes over the area north of Bekaa" in eastern Lebanon.
Thus far, the Israeli army has refused to comment on the reports.
Netanyahu has said repeatedly that Israel would not allow the Syrian regime to transfer chemical weapons or "game-changing" weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon.Gee, ya think the IAF hit another weapons facility? Maybe the Obama administration will tell us.
Exclusive sources revealed the deal to Arutz Sheva Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the move allowed the criminal sanctions - a clause Yesh Atid insists must be included in the Equal Burden of Service Law - to pass in the Shaked Committee, and for Hanegbi, who is a member of Netanyahu's own party, to be placed in a government position strategically important for the Prime Minister.
MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) was also due to serve as head of the key committee, but only toward the end of the current Knesset term. A rotation agreement was worked out after Netanyahu refused to immediately promote Shelah to the position, when it was vacated by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu spontaneously ordered the vote over sanctions to be frozen after conflict erupted between the hareidi parties and the rest of the Committee board.
That conflict, over hesder yeshiva service, was in direct response to the criminal sanctions bid. As a United Torah Judaism MK explained to Arutz Sheva, the hareidi community views the clause as a threat. "You push us, we push back," he declared.
Opponents to the move to enact criminal sanctions warn that the proposal has already alienated the hareidi community, noting that the Shas party quit the Shaked Committee over the move.There's something else implied here: That Yesh Atid and the Likud combined to sell out hesder (whose soldiers saw their active service increased from 16 months to 24). I'm sure Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett is pleased with his brilliance.... Sara Netanyahu is probably pleased too.
By delaying foreign bank compliance with the stringent capital and borrowing requirements of section 165 of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) imposed on American banks, the Fed was engaging in the moral hazard of allowing Europe to borrow at virtually zero interest from the Fed to fund its bloated social welfare states. Chair Yellen’s actions mean the Fed is cutting off Europe and providing greater support for U.S. borrowing.
People around the world often complain about the “exorbitant privilege” America enjoys from sponsoring the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Of the $1.25 trillion in circulation, about $700 billion is held outside the United States. Foreign holdings of the dollar essentially act as a perpetual, interest-free loan to the U.S. government and force foreign businesses to lose money exchanging their foreign currency into dollars. The privilege also reduces the interest costs the American government pays on the $5.8 trillion of U.S. Treasury debt held by foreigners by one half percent. This privilege adds more than $120 billion to U.S. consumption each year.
However, with the privilege of sponsoring the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, America also bears “extraordinary risk” in times of financial crisis. The Fed is morally expected to provide liquidity at virtually zero interest rates to foreign banks as the lender of last resort.
According to Fed data, at the peak of the financial meltdown on Oct. 29, 2008, almost half of the $111 billion in central bank emergency “discount window” loans went to the U.S. subsidiaries of France/Belgium-based Dexia Bank and German-based Depfa Bank. Although the parent banks of both of these institutions were grossly insolvent, money borrowed from America’s Fed was quickly wired off-shore to prevent imminent bankruptcy filings of the institutions’ European parent banks.
The 2008-2009 financial meltdown was caused by what economists refer to as “moral hazard,” a situation in which one party takes undue risks if it knows the potential costs of the risk will be born by others. U.S. and European banks knew the moral hazard of using risky valuation models to profit from mortgage securitization was inappropriate, but they expected that America’s Fed would bail them out of potential losses.
From Nov. 2008 through Jan. 2014 the Fed flooded the world with liquidity by engaging in three rounds of “quantitative easing” to buy $2.8 trillion in bank debt, mortgage-backed securities, and Treasury notes. During the same period, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England also engaged in another $1.4 trillion of quantitative easing.
Almost none of this liquidity was loaned to U.S. operating businesses, as private non-residential investment in America fell by 80% as a percentage of the total GDP of the U.S. between 2007 and 2009. Although capital spending has somewhat recovered, American business investment is still at its lowest level as a share of GDP since 1947.
Most of the Fed’s cash appears to have gone to European Union (EU) banks to cover loan losses and buy sovereign debt of EU countries. Bank balance sheets in the EU are still leveraged at 25 to 35 times equity. Despite the GDP of the EU nations since 2008 falling by .4%, their debt outstanding rose by 34%, from $10.3 trillion to $14.5 trillion.
Congress and financial regulators sought to avoid future moral hazard by passing Dodd-Frank’s Section 165 “Stress Testing” requirements in 2012 to impose strict leverage limits on U.S financial institutions with “consolidated assets of more than $10 billion.” Large banks, brokers, and insurance companies were forced to raise $450 billion in capital and their leverage was cut from 18 times to less than nine times, a 50% reduction.
Just 16 day after her confirmation, Chairman Yellen seems determined to root out the expectation that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue the moral hazard of allowing excess risk taking in the expectation the Fed will provide bail-outs as the sponsor of the dollar. President Teddy Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far.” New Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen on February 18th picked up her big stick and softly announced the Fed is about to cut off its massive cash lifeline keeping Europe afloat and will now concentrate on supporting the credit needs of Americans.The question remains: Where will the Europeans borrow money to avoid their own meltdown? I would like to suggest that they borrow money from Israel. After all, our economy has been the strongest in the world for the last 6-7 years. And we also have a bloated welfare state, although it's not quite as pricey as Europe's.