Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

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Are Palestinians Against Receiving Aid? They’re Shooting Themselves in the Foot

April 10, 2008

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Yesterday’s terrorist attack was different than most. Not just because “only” two people were killed (talk to their families – see if they care that it was “only” two). In case you don’t know, 4 Palestinians snuck into Israel yesterday and murdered two Israelis who were working at a fuel terminal close to the border. It is believed that they were looking to kidnap Israelis.

The Palestinian gunmen took advantage of Israel’s eases on roadblocks. As part of an agreement made when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was in Israel, Israel eased many restrictions on the Palestinians, including opening up a checkpoint and removing 50 roadblocks.

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Israel is the Silicon Valley of the Mediterranean

March 16, 2008

In other words: Israel’s Technology Creates an Investment Goliath

Yes, ladies and gents, as many of us here in Israel know (and few of us outside of it know), Israel is a powerhouse when it comes to technology and medicine. It is third only to the US and Canada in terms of number of companies listed on Nasdaq (75!!!), well ahead of England, China, and Germany.

For those of you who don’t know (again, probably most of you), Israelis have invented much of the technology used today such as instant messaging (ICQ), firewall security software, Intel wireless computer chips, numerous medicines, and miniature video camera capsules to examine internal organs. Other Israeli inventions: the cell phone (invented by Motorola, with it’s largest R&D center being in Israel), most of the Windows NT operating system, voice mail technology, and VOIP technology.

More Israeli patents are registered in the US than from Russia, India, and China combined, despite the enormous population disadvantage (about 7 million in Israel vs. 2.5 billion combined in the other 3).

Click here to read about Israel’s robust economy in this great Fox Business article.

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Israelis and Palestinians establish business council

May 20, 2007

As corny as it sounds, as long as people on both sides are making an effort to work together, anything can still happen. I don’t think that all Palestinians are bad and not all are against peace with us, I just think that they made a poor choice in electing the government that represents them.

Joint council to be headed by Cellcom CEO Amos Shapira and Palestinian businessman Walid Najjab of PalTel communications company

Sixty leading businessmen from Israel  and the Palestinian Authority have announced the establishment of a joint business council.

The council will be headed by Cellcom CEO Amos Shapira and Palestinian businessman Walid Najjab of the PalTel communications company.

The announcement was made over the weekend in a joint press conference held at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East at Jordan’s Dead Sea resort.

“The idea was born due to the difficult political situation, but we have no plans or pretensions to deal with diplomatic processes,” Shapira told Yedioth Ahronoth on Sunday.

The Palestinian chairman of the council, Walid Najib, said, “We will do what we know how to do best: Take advantage of possibilities on the business and economic level.”

Source: Ynet.

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Since I’ve been gone

May 15, 2007

I’ve been offline for quite a few months, so I will only give an update from the past few weeks:

  • In a survey published recent an Switzerland, Israel was first in terms of investment in research and development out of the 55 most developed countries. It was also second in raising capital and second in development of IT.
  • New York Magazine named Tel Aviv as one of the four recommended cities for spending a brief holiday. They even suggested Betty Ford, the restaurant where my co-workers and I do lunch often (it’s not a rehab!)
  • Some science stuff:
    • Israeli astronomer Prof. Zvi Mazeh and his team have discovered a new planet that they named HAT-P-2b. This is especially great since Pluto isn’t a planet anymore. 🙂
    • The robotics class at Ostrovsky High School in Ra’anana won the 14th annual World Robotics Championships for the second year in a row.
  • Some sports stuff:
    • The Israeli youth team for pairs bowling won the Gold in the European Bowling Youth Championships, gold in the boys’ masters final, bronze in the boys’ team even, and silver in the all events competition.
    • The girls won a silver medal in the girls’ trio and one of the participants, Roni Aharonowitz, was the first female ever to bowl a perfect 300 game in the history of the competition.
    • Israel’s delegation to the World Swimming Championships for Disabled Youth brought home six gold medals and four silver medals.
    • Arik Ze’evi the Judoka won a bronze medal from the European Judo Championships. So did Gal Yekutial (different weight categories).
  • Some medical stuff:
    • Newsweek called Dr. Eyal Gur, head of microsurgery at Ichilov Hospital as one of the best microsurgeons in the world.
    • They also named Prof. Lior Gepstein from the Technion for developing heart tissue and pacemakers from stem cells.
    • And Dr. Shulamit Levenberg, also from the Technion, for creating muscle tissue that they body doesn’t reject.
    • AND Dr. Hossan Haick, also from the Technion, for inventing an electronic “nose” that can diagnose cancer.
  • And some good news to finish off with: The Jewish National Fund is working with the Palestinian Authoriy, Egypt, and Jordan to plawn 5 million olive trees along the common borders.

I’d like to mention that some of these items were taken from the Israel Good News Digest.

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Exaggerated Conspiracy Theories

November 2, 2006

I’m sick and tired of people complaining all the time.

I’m sick and tired of people making excuses.

I’m sick and tired of people blaming others for their mistakes.

I’m sick and tired of people not owning up to their actions and consequently resigning their posts.

But more than anything, I’m sick of conspiracy theories, more specifically the Jewish ones.

I’m sick and tired of people blaming the Jews for everything. If something is wrong, blame it on Israel. It’s like in my old job, when I worked in television. I dealt with everything that had to do with the tapes, and there was a producer who didn’t like me very much.

Every time that something would go wrong, she would blame me, even if it wasn’t my fault. The highlight was when the soundman accidentally pressed a button that made a fart sound go off on live TV. When we were off air, the producer yelled at me.

So I yelled back. Do I look like a sound man?! WTF?!

The point of my rant is this: today I saw that the Daily Star in Lebanon said today that Israel’s attack on Lebanese factories was due to us losing bids to them in the international market.

In what world would a country lose hundreds of lives for milk?! Are you insane?! Okay, so maybe the folks got pissed, but get real! No one would call the army to bomb a city because of a lost bid to sell dairy products to UN forces in Lebanon?

As opposted to some countries we know, Israel values the life of its citizens, and would never consiously put them at risk.

Especially not for cottage cheese.

Get real.

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Israel Among World’s Most Competitive Economies

October 24, 2006

Israel moved up eight notches to rank 15th worldwide in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index for 2006-2007, establishing it as one of the world’s most competitive economies.

The economy’s most significant achievements, according to the survey released Tuesday, were concentrated in the areas of technological readiness (up 20 places to No. 3), macroeconomic management, market efficiency and various areas of infrastructure.

Improvement also came from significant policy reforms coupled with fiscal discipline, which the report said had introduced a greater degree of competition. “The area that saw the most impressive developments was the financial market, highly developed by regional and international standards,” said Augusto Lopez Claros, chief economist and head of the Global Competitive Network at the forum.

“More importantly, Israel has benefited from the development of a culture of innovation, supported by first-class institutions of higher education and scientific research.

Israel has become a world technology powerhouse, and this is beginning to have a favorable demonstration effect on the rest of the economy, an excellent omen for the future,” he said.

Israel‘s move came even as US economic competitiveness fell significantly as high budget and trade deficits combined with low health and education standards to worsen America’s business environment.

To read the full article, click here.