Compliments of Anglo Saxon Ra’anana Real Estate
Quote for the Week
“That´s the real good news – more people doing more work and getting more pay for getting more done.”
Pinchas Landau – Economist, summing up 2010 in an article in the Jerusalem Post. (As the man says; that´s the real GN [see item below])
A brief look back before we finally say goodbye to 2010
* Exports were up.
* Unemployment was down – see the quote above-
* Tourism was up
* Border incidents were down – way down
* Productivity was up – see quote
* Consumer spending was up
* Individual saving and long term investment by Israelis were up
* All the ups and downs were in the right places
* And now courtesy of Mr Landau [see Quote for the Week above]. Israel will post another very large surplus on its current account – a regular feature since 2003 but unheard of (except for one freak year) before then. We have more income than outgoings and what it means is that we are among the well-to-do, in a world in which countries already bankrupt or well on the way to going on bended knee to their creditors, are proliferating rapidly. We became net creditors to the world (it owes us more than we owe it) back in 2002; now our total foreign assets, including shares and not just bonds, exceed our liabilities. In brief; we’re rich. Long may the GN last!
* Israel’s Cameri Theatre will be in Washington DC shortly to stage 16 performances of “Return to Haifa,” a play that deals with an Arab who returns to Haifa, a city that he fled in 1948. This is the Cameri’s second trip to the American capital, after presenting its internationally acclaimed production of “Hamlet” at the city’s Shakespeare festival in 2007. The Cameri will present this latest production in Hebrew with English subtitles.
* Conventional knowledge, or is it superstition, has it that the third of January is not a good day for share markets. Well that may be, but it doesn’t apply to the TASE. Down on Ahad Ha’am St our very own Stock Exchange is barreling along at a more than healthy clip with the TA 25 breaking three new records in 2011 – and the year is only two weeks old! Analysts are saying, amongst a lot of other good things, that 2011 will be the year of the dividend big-time with large liquid companies and investors looking to bestow and receive the largesse that comes with buying and selling shares.
* Israel is certainly among the world’s leaders in robotics and now they’re introducing it as a subject in the first three years of school. In fact things are well under way and it seems that it will develop confidence and a sense of capability among the kids who are already designing and executing sophisticated projects. Nobody doubts the importance and need for professional manpower in the area of engineers and technicians in this highly complicated field but starting them off at seven years old? At that age we at GN were getting our kicks from stealing rides on a horse-drawn milk wagon. One young student, Or Gavish by name said he would be submitting a plan for a robot that would do his homework for him. Now there’s a young man who is destined for great things.
* Israelis are still out there with their shopping baskets and a group of investors led by Elbit Imaging Ltd. is in the process of buying seven US malls for $75 million from Australia’s Charter Hall Retail. The malls covering a total of 650,000 square feet [64 000 sq meters approx], are situated in Georgia, with two in Oregon and one in Florida, and they have an annual operating income of around $7 million with an occupancy rate of 91% and anchor tenants from some of the largest retailers in the US.
* Well there must be something about Israel after all because the Jewish Agency and the Absorption Ministry have announced that, according to their data, 2010 witnessed a 16% rise in Olim compared with last year’s figures. In terms of people that makes for 19,130 new Israelis, 2655 more than reached our shores in 2009. Bearing in mind that we are now looking at people who are making Aliyah out of choice and not as refugees this is encouraging. What can we say but welcome to all of them and the more the merrier. And really GN for new Olim will be the ‘one-stop Aliyah Shop at the airport where they will be issued with an identity card, open a bank account, register with a health fund, purchase a mobile phone and more while standing, straight after landing.
* The Korean government has awarded a contract to Elisra Electronic Systems Ltd. to supply it with airborne electronic warfare (EW) suites and missile warning systems (MWS) for its ROKAF CN-235 transport aircraft. The deal is said to be worth about $29 million. The advanced and integrative EW suites include protection systems against various threats. This is one of a number of orders placed by the Republic of [South] Korea and seems to indicate that the country is looking more and more to Israel for its essential defensive weaponry and that attests to the high level of customer satisfaction and confidence in this company’s products and capabilities.
* Wednesday this week marked a year since the catastrophic Haiti earthquake that caused untold death and misery on that hapless Island. It also commemorates the outstanding and highly professional response by the Israeli aid teams that were the first to respond in their hour of need. Most of the volunteers including medical, paramedical, educational and social work personnel have returned home leaving essential equipment with Haitians trained to use it. The police contingent, the second one to do service there, returned recently having helped to restore law and order and a lot else. But the professional and amateur members of IsraAID are still there having provided and continuing to provide medical assistance to thousands in a clinic in Leoganne and tons of relief supplies. They run three community centers providing social programming and microfinancing to enable people to return to normal. We at GN have seen their work on TV and the words that come to mind are ‘infinite generosity and selflessness’.
* Just when you might have thought that our education was slipping comes the news that Hebrew University is ranked 21st in computer sciences, out of more than 2000 institutes of higher learning and that puts them ahead of such prestigious schools as Yale and Cambridge. Who sez? The Academic Ranking of World Universities issued by Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University and which is highly regarded worldwide, that’s who.
* We really liked this item: Amani Abu el-Hija from the Lower Galilee did what ladies who have been expecting for nine months do, she went into labor. So husband, Saliman packed them into the car and drove to the Rambam Medical Center. After being stuck in a traffic jam for an hour they arrived at the hospital where she delivered two beautiful twin boys [that’s 1+1]. The first arrived at 11 o’clock and the other one arrived at 11.11 and their date of birth, you’ve guessed it 1.11.11 [or if you’re not from the US 11.1.11]. What are the chances of it’s happening again? We’d guess about 1 in 1111111.