Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Bright Future for Israel

Gas -

Israel's recent discovery of mega gas fields titled Tamar and Leviathan are located off the Israeli coast from Haifa. These massive discoveries will soon transform Israel as they will adequately look after Israel's domestic needs forever and thereafter to supply foreign markets.

A number of countries are pursuing involvement in these finds. Among them
are Russia, China, Europe and South Korea. Putin was in Israel two months ago pursuing a contractual relationship with Israel on its gas development projects. Nothing has been signed yet.

Tamar is due to come online sometime in 2013 and Leviathan to follow in early 2014.

Additional target areas are being explored all the way down the Mediterranean coast of Israel.

The likelihood is that a pipeline from the gas discovery area will be built to Cyprus and on to Greece. This will help Greece with some of its financial troubles. It is expected there will be a plant built to liquify the gas at the Greek end of the underwater pipeline.


Geologists have recently completed a large mapping of most of southern Israel and preliminary findings indicate there are vast amounts of oil trapped in rock layers under about 15% of the State of Israel. This shale oil is technically difficult to extract but Israel and the companies involved are becoming very familiar with the methodology to extract this oil called 'fracking'. Retired Canadian experts in this system are now resident in Israel working on this huge project.

The World Energy Council and Israel Energy Initiatives have completed a
detailed study and presented it to the government on their estimates of Israel's shale oil potential.

They estimate that Israel's shale reserves could contain as much as 250 billion barrels of potentially recoverable oil.

This would be putting Israel on a par with Saudi Arabia in terms of its oil reserves!

Israeli planners believe that if the gas and oil finds reach the levels that the potential indicates, Israel's current group of allies, trading partners and opponents could drastically change. Israel's geo-political standing in the world will also change. 

It's amazing what friends can be made when you have oil and gas to export!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

"Bye-Bye London"

I live here in Israel and yet receive reports daily from all walks of life in the UK about the changing attitudes towards Israel and Jews in that country.

Having discussed this issue with the UK Ambassador and his staff at various meetings, the usual canards are spouted that ”we are exaggerating”, the incidents are carried out by fringe elements” and “basically everything is OK in the UK”. In fact the Ambassador fails to understand why more Israelis are not prepared to study in UK universities since “there really are no problems”!!

Just who is he trying to kid??

The blog below is yet another instance of how the herd mentality is inexorably gaining momentum not just amongst the rabble rousers but also amongst the “chattering classes” and the “upper crust” of UK society.



Bye-bye London

Caroline Glick January 21, 2013, 11:27 AM

In an interview with Haaretz in November 2010, British novelist Martin Amis said the following about discussions of Israel in his motherland:

I live in a mildly anti-Semitic country, and Europe is mildly anti-Semitic, and they hold Israel to a higher moral standard than its neighbors. If you bring up Israel in a public meeting in England, the whole atmosphere changes. The standard left-wing person never feels more comfortable than when attacking Israel. Because they are the only foreigners you can attack. Everyone else is protected by having dark skin, or colonial history, or something. But you can attack Israel. And the atmosphere becomes very unpleasant. It is traditional, snobbish, British anti-Semitism combined with present-day circumstances.

After participating last week in a debate in London about Israeli communities beyond the 1949 armistice lines organized by the self-consciously pretentious Intelligence Squared debating society, I can now say from personal experience that Amis is correct. The public atmosphere in England regarding Israel is ugly and violent. 

The resolution we debated read: "Israel is destroying itself with its settlement policy. If settlement expansion continues Israel will have no future."

My debating partner was Danny Dayan, the outgoing head of the Yesha Council. 

We debated Daniel Levy, one of the founders of J-Street and the drafter of the Geneva Initiative, and the son of Lord Michael Levy, one of Tony Blair's biggest fundraisers; and William Sieghart, a British philanthropist who runs a non-profit that among other things, champions Hamas. Levy has publicly stated that Israel's creation was immoral. And Sieghart has a past record of saying that Israel's delegitimization would be a salutary proces and calling for a complete cultural boycott of Israel while laudingHamas. 

We lost overwhelmingly. I think the final vote tally was something like 500 for the resolution and 100 against it.

A couple of impressions I took away from the experience: First, I can say without hesitation that I hope never to return to Britain. I actually don't see any point. Jews are targeted by massive anti-Semitism of both the social and physical varieties. Why would anyone Jewish want to live there?

As to visiting as an Israeli, again, I just don't see the point. The discourse is owned by anti-Israel voices. They don't make arguments to spur thought, but to end it, by appealing to people's passions. 

For instance, in one particularly ugly segment, Levy made the scurrilous accusation that Israel systematically steals land from the Palestinians. Both Dayan and I demanded that he provide just one example of his charge. And the audience raged against us for our temerity at insisting that he provide substantiation for his baseless allegation. In the event, he failed to substantiate his allegation.
At another point, I was asked how I defend the Nazi state of Israel. When I responded by among other things giving the Nazi pedigree of the Palestinian nationalist movement founded by Nazi agent Haj Amin el Husseini and currently led by Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, the crowd angrily shouted me down. 

I want to note that the audience was made up of upper crust, wealthy British people, not unwashed rabble rousers. And yet they behaved in many respects like a mob when presented with pro-Israel positions. 

I honestly don't know whether there are policy implications that arise from my experience in London last week. I have for a long time been of the opinion that Israel shouldn't bother to try to win over Europe because the Europeans have multiple reasons for always being anti-Israel and none of them have anything to do with anything that Israel does. As I discuss in my book, these reasons include anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism, addiction to Arab oil, and growing Muslim populations in Europe. 

I was prepared to conduct a civilized debate based on facts and reasoned argumentation. I expected it to be a difficult experience. I was not expecting to be greeted by a well-dressed mob. My pessimism about Europeans' capacity to avail themselves to reasoned, fact-based argumentation about Israel has only deepened from the experience. 

One positive note, I had a breakfast discussion last Wednesday morning with activists from the Zionist Federation of Britain. The people I met are committed, warm, hardworking Zionists. I wish them all the best, and mainly that means, that I hope that these wonderful people and their families make aliyah. 

While their work is worthwhile, there is no future for Jews in England.

Monday, January 21, 2013

"What I Saw In Gaza"

There are so many misconceptions about the real life in Israel. The influence of the media, the emotional outcries from the liberal lefties, the acceptance of statements that are not based on fact, the deligitimisation of Israel, etc.

It is therefore not surprising that when one who is exposed to this day by day comes to Israel to see for themselves the reality of life, they are amazed to find a different picture.

The story below is from one such lady in Arizona who not only came to Israel but actually joined the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Her experience written below makes for interesting reading.

What I Saw During Operation Pillar of Defense

Four years ago, watching the coverage of Operation Cast Lead from the comfort of my dorm, I was a conflicted college student. As supportive as I was of Israel, I still found it painful any time I heard about civilian casualties in Gaza. What I saw portrayed in the media didn't add up: on the one hand I knew that the IDF was engaged in careful efforts to prevent civilian casualties, despite Hamas's strategy of fighting from amongst its own civilian population. Yet the media made it seem like the IDF was actively targeting civilians.

Back then, I understood Israel's efforts at protecting civilians as a something akin to a talking point -- I had no personal involvement in the conflict. Yet I had no idea how true it is until I myself participated in last week's Operation "Pillar of Defense" as an officer in the IDF.

When I moved to Israel and enlisted, I joined a unit called the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), which is devoted to civilian and humanitarian issues. 

As an International Liaison Officer in the Gaza office, my job primarily entails coordinating transfers of goods, aid, and delegations into Gaza. I work closely with representatives of the international community, and although our perspectives may differ, we maintain relationships of mutual respect born of a common goal; I am here to help them succeed in their work improving the quality of life in Gaza.

While the day-to-day work is challenging in Gaza, I learned over the past ten days that the true test comes with crisis. At exactly the point where most militaries would use the heat of war to throw out the rulebook, we worked harder than ever to provide assistance wherever and whenever possible. 

The eight days of Operation "Pillar of Defense" have been some of the hardest I have ever known physically and emotionally. The college student from Arizona would never have thought it possible to work 20 hours a day, fueled only by adrenaline and longing for just an hour of sleep on a shelter floor -- wearing the same filthy uniform because changing, much less showering, wouldn't allow me to get to a shelter in time when the next rocket barrage hit. And no, wearing the green uniform does not mean that you aren't afraid when the sirens sound.

Had you told me four years ago that there were IDF officers who stayed up all night under a hail of rockets, brainstorming ways to import medical supplies and food to the people of Gaza, I am not sure I would have believed you. But I can tell you it is true because I did it every night. 

What amazed me the most was the singular sense of purpose that drove everyone from the base commander to the lowest ranking soldier. We were all focused completely on our mission: to help our forces accomplish their goals without causing unnecessary harm to civilian lives or infrastructure. 

It is harder to explain the emotional roller-coaster -- how proud and relieved I felt every time a truck I coordinated entered Gaza, and how enraging it was when we had to shut down the crossing into Gaza after Hamas repeatedly targeted it. Or how invigorating it was help evacuate two injured Palestinians from the border area, only to be informed minutes later that a terrorist had detonated a bomb on a bus near my apartment in Tel Aviv.

So after all that I see and do, nothing frustrates me more than the numbers game that is played in the media. The world talks about "disproportionate" numbers of casualties as the measure of what is right and wrong -- as if not enough Israelis were killed by Hamas for the IDF to have the right to protect its own civilians from endless rocket attacks.
In my position, I see the surgical airstrikes, and spend many hours with the UN, ICRC, and NGO officers reviewing maps to help identify, and avoid, striking civilian sites. One of our pilots who saw a rocket aimed at Israel aborted his mission when he saw children nearby -- putting his own civilians at risk to save Gazans.

At the end of the day, what these "disproportionate numbers" show is how we in Israel protect our children with elaborate shelters and missile defense systems, whereas the terror groups in Gaza hide behind theirs, using them as human shields in order to win a cynical media war.

What's really behind the headlines and that picture on the front page? Every day, I coordinate goods with a young Gazan woman who works for an international aid organization. Last month we forged a bond when we had to run for cover together when Hamas targeted Kerem Shalom Crossing -- attacking the very aid provided to its own people. 

During the eight days of Operation "Pillar of Defense", not one passed without a phone call, just to check in. "Are you ok?" I would ask. "I heard they fired at your base. Please stay safe", she would reply. And every night I made her promise to call me if she needed anything. These are the things that the media fails to show the world, just as they underplay how Hamas deliberately endangers civilians on both sides of the border -- by firing indiscriminately at Israel from Gaza neighborhoods.

Maybe stories such as these make for less exciting headlines, but if they received more attention there would perhaps be more moral clarity, and thus more peace in the Middle East.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Muslim Hypocrisy

OK so we all know about hypocrisy when it comes to the Muslims,

But what kind of a mind sees a market niche in shirts with a mass murder image printed on it ?

And what kind of a mind pays money to wear a shirt with a picture of people being burnt alive?

Westerners think this doesn’t affect them because they don’t see the shirt in their own countries,

This is THE CULTURE of millions and millions and millions of people in Muslim countries – you bet the western counties will be affected by people wanting to buy and wear this shirt. Non Muslims have to realize that they are dealing with people who wear death as a fashion statement. Western people screaming as they are being burnt to death is the message they wear on their everyday clothing as something to show off.

That's OK, just don't burn or deface the Koran!!

Every day Shirts like this are mass produced, marketed and sold by street vendors throughout the Middle East and it's simply OK.

The mass-murder of 9-11 is a celebrated event by millions of people.

Funny how racism and offending other races only applies to whites !!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Israel Army Rescues Palestinians

With the extreme conditions this week culminating in heavy snow on the high ground, the IDF , the Civil Administration and the Palestinian security forces have coordinated rescue activities in several operations throughout the Judea and Samaria region: Seven people were rescued near Jenin, five in Hirbat Jabara and five near Nua a-Shams.

IDF forces also rescued an Arab-Israeli school bus carrying 30 children near Jenin, as well as two cars and an a Palestinian ambulance – all stuck due to rising water.

Fifteen people had to escape to the roof of their building in Baqa-jatt, near Haifa, after the area was flooded. The Air Force has been able to rescue them and they were taken to Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera in mild condition.,7340,L-4330127,00.html

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

GPS for Brain Surgeons

A line of products trusted by neurosurgeons and neuroscience researchers on six continents was developed by a Christian-Arab couple in Nazareth, Israel.

Abigail Klein Leichman – Israel 21C

Two Arab Nazarenes meet at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, fall in love, get married and move back home to start a high-tech business financed only by the sale of their car.

Doesn’t sound like a recipe for success? Well, it worked out fine for Imad and Reem Younis, whose company Alpha Omega is a world leader in producing pioneering products for neurosurgery and neuroscience research.

Last June, Alpha Omega named the 2012 American Israeli Company of the Year by the American Israeli Chamber of Commerce in Atlanta, Georgia. One of its international sales and support offices in based in Alpharetta, near Atlanta.

Reem Younis, a civil engineer (her husband’s degree is in electrical engineering), explains: “Alpha Omega’s knowhow is ‘driving’ safely inside the brain with an electrode, recording neural activity, stimulating neural tissue, processing and analyzing the data.

“In simple terms, you can look at it as a GPS inside the brain that guides the neurosurgeon to the required location, where a permanent electrode is implanted. This treatment is supposed to eliminate disease symptoms, and the patient can go back to his or her normal life.”

The company’s recording and stimulation tools, which have both FDA (US) and CE (Europe) approvals, are helpful in two realms. Neuroscientists use them in the lab to understand more about the human brain, and neurosurgeons use them for treating patients with a variety of neural disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and dystonia, a nervous system disorder that causes involuntary muscles contractions and spasms.

“In Europe this method is used also for treating people with [clinical] depression,” says Younis.

Meeting future needs

Alpha Omega was established in 1993 in Nazareth, a Christian Arab city that recently hosted its first Startup Weekend event. The company’s sophisticated machinery is manufactured locally and sold through offices in the United States, Israel and Germany, as well as by sales representatives in China, Japan and South America.

The mainly Christian and Muslim Arab staff of 35 in Alpha Omega’s Nazareth headquarters are graduates of the Technion or Tel Aviv University.

During Global Entrepreneurship Week in November, Reem and Imad Younis went from one northern Arab municipality to another, explaining their company’s technology and entrepreneurship model to high school students with the goal of encouraging other innovators like themselves.

“We are 20 percent of the [Israeli] population and also need to be 20% of the Israeli high-tech scene, but we are not,” says Younis. “It’s closer to 1%. Alpha Omega is about bringing high-tech to Nazareth and giving employment to very highly qualified engineers.”

She says the company’s equipment is well known around the world for accuracy and stability. “We are in more than 100 hospitals and more than 500 labs on six continents. Our main market is, of course, the USA.”

Younis says one reason for the company’s success is its close relationship with the research community, particularly at the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem and other top researchers in Israel and beyond.

“Because Alpha Omega is involved in both the medical and research fields, we hear about new needs and trends,” says Younis. “We know where the market is leading in five or 10 years, so that our excellent teams will develop the appropriate systems for serving humanity and fulfilling the company’s mission.”

Monday, January 7, 2013

Aquaculture as a Component of Food Security

The world’s supply of fish from natural habitats is being depleted, and the quality of marine ecological systems throughout the world is declining, except in a few places where environmental awareness is more evident and strict enforcement is applied. In order to supply the constantly growing demand, the branch of aquaculture in Israel has been developing at a rapid rate over the past few years.

There are a number of natural causes that can bring about the deterioration of water quality, for instance the growth of algae, invasion of non-endemic species, or changing quantities of sediment. But man-made factors, including unsuccessful developmental strategies, have caused, and still cause, some of the gravest damage to marine ecological systems, hastening their deterioration to the extent that all life in the water is threatened, as it is on land.

The world’s lakes and seas are closely connected to the daily life of the communities that surround them. Many lakes were and still are the only source of livelihood and of communities which depend mainly on fishing. Non-sustainable use of soil, nonexistent development, and the desire for quick profits are some of the reasons for the widespread deterioration. In many cases unplanned development has critically affected the communities living in the area of the water, severely damaging their quality of life, nutrition and food security.

The communities of fishermen, fish breeders and farmers or settlers with access to water sources, and those who want to breed fish, are the main target populations for MASHAV’s, the overseas development arm of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, development assistance activities in the field of mariculture.


MASHAV has been working for many years in the field of agricultural assistance to the developing world, based on the accumulated experience of 70 years of fish breeding in Israel. Israel’s know-how and experience are uniquely valuable and meaningful for developing countries, some of which face a lack of natural resources or arid or semi-arid conditions.

In the field of aquaculture, Israel has achieved impressive results that have made it a leader in several areas that are at the heart of development cooperation:

Fish breeding – diversified technologies for production of different fish species, under changing intensification conditions (ponds, cages and recirculating systems).

Planning and management of a farm – structural principles of fishponds, kinds of facilities and equipment for fish breeding; data collection and registration.

Water quality – water as a medium for life, limnology of fishponds. Importance of water quality for fish breeding; health aspects of fish, dependent on water quality; adaptation of fish breeds to different water qualities (salinity,
temperature, etc.).

Fish and marine animals – morphology and anatomy; fish breeds in aquaculture, biological aspects of different breeds; types of interface according to fish species.

Fish health – causes of disease, diagnosis and treatment, prevention interface.

Feeding and nutrition – principles of fish nutrition; feed production for different fish species (use of raw materials).

Fish propagation – production of fingerlings, naturally or induced, with hormonal control; production of mono-sex population; planning and maintenance of breeding schools.

Feasibility analysis and economical consideration – cost and production aspects for establishment and continuous maintenance.