Good News, Israel

Compliments of Anglo Saxon Raannana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    “I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom.” Bob Dylan American poet and songwriter. (Our young women translate this nostrum into action. [See Below])

* We’ll start with the GN story of the day, the week, the month and probably the year. Israel is a high tech super power and there’s no denying that; it has been a chicken schnitzel champ for years and now for the first time it is in the enviable position of being a natural gas power to be reckoned with, with the confirmation yesterday of the presence of a huge deposit of natural gas sitting below its shore in the Leviathan gas field. Estimates show that the find contains 16 trillion cubic feet of gas whose monetary value ranges from $US45bn to $US90bn depending on which report you read. Fact is that Leviathan officially became the biggest deep-water gas discovery in the whole world for the last 10 years and has fulfilled the most optimistic hopes pinned on it. “Leviathan is the latest major discovery for Noble Energy and is easily the largest exploration discovery in our history.” said Noble Energy CEO Charles Davidson. Mr David Stover President and COO of the company continued, saying, ‘Leviathan has the potential to position Israel as a natural- gas-exporting nation.’ But we feel it only right and proper to leave the last word[s] to our Prime Minister, Mr Netanyahu: “A day in which we learn about the Leviathan gas field, a day in which we pass a two-year budget [as distinct from its one year predecessors], and a day in which we are told that the Israeli economy grew faster than most of the economies of the west [see below for details] and created 100,000 jobs – this is a day on which to be very optimistic indeed,” And there’s no need to add to that.

* A large group of young men and women are graduating as pilots at the Hatserim IAF base, as we write [Thursday pm]. This is course Number 161 and these young airmen will be joining an illustrious band that has served and are serving the country with distinction. What makes this contingent different from its predecessors? Three ladies, a transport pilot, a combat navigator and a fighter pilot will be amongst the successful candidates to-day, a record high since the fairer sex was first accepted to the course 25 years ago, when Alice Miller an immigrant from the RSA persuaded the High Court to instruct the training school to accept women. A senior IAF officer said the air force has made an effort over the last few years to encourage more women to complete the course and we see the result of their endeavors today. While the IAF jealously guards the identity and privacy of its pilots, a personal story or two would be fitting we feel: Lieut. C., who is completing the pilot academy’s combat course, is the daughter, the granddaughter, and also the grand niece of men who have flown in the IAF so there’s something to be said for having the right genes, but Lieut N, the navigator, on the other hand was born in the Amazon Basin and adopted as a baby by an Israeli couple, so obviously talent and determination count as well. We wish all the graduates a successful and safe career guarding the Land and its People.

* A $50 million road repair contract was signed between Shikun u’Binui Holdings Ltd. and the Tanzania government, for the repair of a 120-kilometer section of highway in the country. This is the Company’s first project in Tanzania, and is part of a policy to expand its business in Africa.

* And while we’re on the subject of roads, the Israel National Roads Company Ltd. has paved Israel’s first eco-friendly road. Sort of conjures up a picture of a highway bound on both sides by lush vegetation and bustling wild life, well that may come in time but the eco-friendly part here refers to an experimental blend of asphalt and rubber pellets from ground-up worn tires used to pave the surface and increase its lifespan by one-third at no extra cost. The eco-friendly part? It will put the millions of tires discarded every year to good use instead of having them litter the countryside as they do now.

* Take some grapefruit juice and mint, mix it with Sambuco and Jasmine liquor add a little passion fruit, shake or stir and if you’re an Israeli bartender named Amit Gilad, you will have created the cocktail that will triumph over 42 contenders at the international Marie Brizard Cocktail Competition that took place recently in Bordeaux. And this is exactly what Amit did, to take home a first prize of €3,000, to win international acclaim and to earn the respect of bartenders the world over.

* At the same time as our new pilots are flying high another arm of the service is doing exactly the opposite. The men who plumb the depths of the ocean in submarines were getting the equivalent of their wings at a graduation ceremony on Sunday this week in Haifa. Are they as special as our airmen? We believe they are and what makes this group even more so is that between exhausting training exercises and complicated qualification courses, ten of them devoted long hours to documenting the stories of Holocaust survivors. So among the hundreds of guests who filled the naval base to watch the proceedings were 10 excited and proud people, fifty and more years older than the graduates, with whom they had shared their stories of endurance and heroism and all of them it seems were enriched by the experience. We salute them all; submariners, airmen and survivors alike for the heroes that they are and for what they contribute to making this amazing country what it is. [See quote for the Week above]

* This year marked Israel’s entry into the OECD, the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation that boasts thirty four of the world’s leading economies as members, including such illustrious names as Australia, France, Germany, Switzerland, the UK and the US of A and some of whom have been members for fifty years. The Treasury and the BOI celebrated, the analysts came up with dire predictions; you’re losing your developing market status, they said, and that’s bad. They couldn’t have been more wrong. The CBS told us today that with an increase of 4.5% for the year, our GDP was double the average for the OECD; our per capita GDP was higher; our unemployment was lower and our investment in fixed assets rose a massive 10% as against 2.2% for the rest. We can’t resist this: in November the CBS predicted, more generously than most, that the GDP for 2010 would be 4.1%, we at GN were saying 4.7%, Israel ended up with 4.5%. We were close.

* 50,000 people give or take a few visited the Carmel range, the site of the fire, during the weekend, not to see the desolation wrought but to see the regeneration that has already started. The Nature and Parks Authority has done a remarkable job of cleaning up the area and remarking the routes and roads and the visitors responded by being on their best behavior. It seems that Israelis have developed a ‘get back to normal as soon as possible’ philosophy, which works. In the meantime, forester Yaakov Arak of the Jewish National Fund has promised that: “Our response to the Carmel fire is that this year’s Tu B’Shvat – the New Year of the Trees – celebrations will be the biggest since the establishment of the State, with plans to plant a million trees.

December 31, 2010 | 2 Comments »

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  1. The gas of the Leviathan is the biggest story. A high tech power with little natural resources finds gas off their shores which could fuel their economy for another 100 years! I’m definitely watching how it will develop, this will be an interesting and exciting story. I always thought that all that stuff about Israel being the chosen nation is real…Congrats.

  2. That’s all good news. Of all of it, though, the best news is of the Leviathan gas field. Shouldn’t God be given the glory for that? Or at least, honorable mention? Praise the God of Israel, who hasn’t forgotten His promises to those who trust in Him!