Good News, Israel

Compliments of Anglo Saxon Ra’anana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    “Money can´t buy happiness but it can make you happier”

* The country’s people count now stands at 7,695,000, according to figures released last week by the CBS, to herald the start of the new civil year. The Jewish segment of the population numbers some 5,802,000 or 75.4 percent of the total. The remaining 1,893,000 people are comprised of Muslims, Christians, Druse and Circasians. As in past years the numbers show a steady growth rate of 1.9%, or a net increase of 143,000 people, over the previous year – a rise that has been consistent since 2003. With a population of just over 7.5 million living in a country about the size of New Jersey and with due modesty it’s amazing that we achieve what we do. Now read on for the successes of the past week or two.

* Diamonds are a girl’s best friend they say. Well, we don’t know about that but we do know that these precious and inordinately beautiful stones are doing some very friendly things with Israel’s export accounts and here are some of the details: Israeli exports of the polished gems jumped 48.1% from 2009 to $5.8 billion in 2010 and the unpolished stones accounted for $3.1 billion on the right side of the balance sheet and that was a 62% leap over 2009. Israel is one of the big three in the world’s diamond market with Belgium and India being the other two. A girl’s best friend, perhaps, but GN for Israel, definitely.

* Staying with the big money, analysts are saying that the Leviathan natural gas reserve, which may also include oil, is worth as much as $4.8 billion per year to Israel’s economy. How do they work that one out? This is how it’s done. Leviathan now appears to be worth the equivalent of 2.97 billion barrels of oil [not actual oil just its equivalent], or 74.25 million barrels per year for 40 years, or 203,000 barrels per day. Using an oil-equivalent price of $65 per barrel, these mavens reach a valuation of $4.8 billion p.a. for the gas. We’ll take their word for it and we’ve still got a way to go before we can prove them wrong or right but one thing is certain, countries like Japan, China, Germany and France, all of them with mega-economies are showing more than a passing interest in this new source of clean energy.

* It wasn’t that long ago, between one and two thousand years in fact, that lions [the Asian ones not the Africans], bears [the Syrian type not the European variety] and a host of other wild fauna roamed free in Israel. But they’ve disappeared, probably forever. The GN however is that a years-long project involving the return to nature of rare species of animals that once dwelt in Israel, and then became extinct, including large wild mammals such as the ox, deer and the Oryx, is ongoing. Most of the efforts at getting these types of animals back into their habitat have been successful. For instance the Onager (a wild Asian ass) was brought home to the Negev, and they are doing what they do best and that is multiplying prolifically. Apart from being a delight to the eye and giving city folk an authentic encounter with the wild these animals are useful spreaders of seeds of various types of plants and play an important role in the ecological chain. But we’re not only re-introducing species, we’re preserving those that are dwindling in numbers and these include that noblest of birds the eagle where some 100 of them, raised in captivity, have been released in nature and there is no more exhilarating sight than to see them, as we have done, on the wing, riding the eddies and currents as they go about their business. [see final item]

* If you want a good indicator of economic growth or recession, and perhaps even more important, a reflection of consumer confidence then credit card spending is it and in September-November of 2010 it increased by 6.6% over the parallel period in ‘09 and that represents a whole lot of money and what’s more it comes on top of a rise of 7.6% in June-August and that’s not all, Israel’s public assets, and we won’t bore you with the figures, have risen dramatically indicating that Israeli’s are not only spending more, they’re saving and investing more too. Altogether a more than satisfactory picture.

* GN for our Christian readers; after 42 years as a closed military zone, the site where John baptized Jesus along the shores of the Jordan River will permanently open to the public with a special ceremony on January 18. The Israeli government will invest millions of shekel in making the site accessible for those wanting to be healed by the same waters in which Jesus was blessed. By tradition this point on the river is also the place where the Children of Israel crossed into the Promised Land

* A $260 million Brazilian Army follow-on order for the supply of UT30 BR 30 mm unmanned turrets, as part of the army’s Guarani Project has just been placed with Elbit Systems. What are unmanned turrets we hear you ask? Well they are exactly what the name indicates, turrets carrying a cannon and mounted on an armored personnel carrier, armed with antitank missiles and operated from inside the body of the vehicle. Elbit won the contract in an open international tender and will install the turrets on several hundred Brazilian Army Iveco 6×6 APC’s. It was only last week that the Company acquired two Brazilian defense electronic companies as part of an aggressive campaign for opening new markets in South America

* Green Dot, a US Corporation, is a provider of general purpose prepaid cards, with more than 3.3 million active units in circulation and they have opted for NICE Systems Ltd. financial crime prevention system Card Fraud, AML to keep a watchful eye on the bad guys out there who are determined to use the Company’s cards to commit fraud [credit card fraud is a rapidly growing industry] and to launder money which is a dirty business. The system will also manage related investigations and regulatory reporting requirements [which makes a nice alliteration]. No value was given for the deal but it is said to be in the millions of dollars.

* An interesting item to close. All is not plain sailing with Israel’s efforts on behalf of wild animals [see the item above]; news reached us only yesterday that the Saudis ‘detained’ a vulture ringed by Tel Aviv University, on suspicion of being a Mossad agent. No kidding?! No kidding. Hard to believe but true. Al Jazeera covered it and the Arab press was inundated with letters condemning this latest fiendish Zionist plot. So why are we not surprised? We’ll tell you. It was only a few weeks ago that Egypt blamed the Israeli Intelligence Service for a fatal shark attack off the Sinai coast. The Mossad had trained the sharks to kill they said. Imagine a Great White with a skull cap and fringed garment and you’ll begin to get the picture. Oh well, we suppose the fact that there are folk out there who actually believe that even the animal kingdom is on our side could be considered GN!

January 8, 2011 | Comments »

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