Good News Israel

Compliments of Anglo Saxon Ra’anana Real Estate

Quote for the Week

    “It´s not how much or how little you have that makes you great or small, but how much or how little you are with what you have.”

    Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch (The eminent Rabbi, writing in the 19th Century, might well have had the modern State of Israel in mind. Slightly larger than New Jersey we are in the forefront of virtually every human endeavor. [Read on])

You don’t usually associate a downward spiral with GN but unemployment is one of the truly notable exceptions and it gives us great pleasure to report that the number of people out of work has been decreasing since the beginning of the year when it registered 6.1% of the work force, falling to an all time low of 5.7% in May this year compared to 6.7% in the same month last year. One of those clever chaps who sit all day juggling statistics at Excellence Nessuah Investment House had this to say, amongst a lot of other nice things we might add, “Employers feel comfortable and sufficiently confident to continue hiring”

What if you threw a party and nobody came? Not exactly GN and the opposite of what happened at the employment fair held in Jerusalem, targeting the Haredi [ultra-orthodox] community. The organizers expected just over a thousand people and more than four thousand arrived, half of them religious ladies, who incidentally are acquiring more and more technical qualifications in the hi-tech engineering field. It’s been proven that the folk in this sector of the population make excellent employees, they are dedicated and highly focused and employers are becoming increasingly aware of this. It augurs well for them and for our society at large.

The discovery of the huge natural gas fields in the past couple of years must surely take the prize for the best of the GN and the remarkable thing about it is that the Good News just keeps on coming. The latest? The discovery of a new gas laden stratum in the Tamar field estimated to contain one trillion cubic feet – one trillion! But wait, the folks who know say that this is not sensational, relatively speaking. Let’s get it into perspective, only 500 billion cubic feet of the stuff covers about 75% of Israel’s natural gas consumption. It would seem the potential in all the fields now comes close to thirty trillion cubic feet. Talk about talking in telephone numbers. Another item of GN is that drilling will probably begin in earnest in January 2012 as the rigs become available.

The US army has deployed Israeli reconnaissance equipment in Afghanistan. The Skystar – 180 consists of a small balloon with a day-time camera and night-time sensor which supplies real time info of what is going on, on the ground within a radius of four kilometers from the airborne apparatus. It can be moved by a light vehicle, launched and operational within fifteen minutes and controlled by a crew of two. The consensus is that it is highly effective for protecting and ultimately saving the lives of soldiers in the field. Three are already in service and another three are on order.

It’s played indoors, it’s played in silence, it requires absolute concentration, it’s breathtakingly exciting – now, we at GN have a little difficulty with that one but the aficionados assure us that it’s true – it’s Bridge and Israel excels. So much so that they won gold at the 23rd European Youth Bridge Team Championships held in Albena, Bulgaria last week and that’s not all, the under 20 side brought home silver medals so both teams will be competing in the World Championships in Cuba later this year. A bridge superpower? Let’s wait and see.

In a deal that could be worth in excess of half a billion $US, Israel Aerospace Industries joined forces with legendary airplane manufacturer, Dassault to supply the French Defense Ministry with the Heron TP unmanned aerial vehicle, probably the largest one in service, with a wingspan the size of a Boeing 737’s and capable of staying airborne for 45 hours. It looks as if the order could lead to more requests for the UAV from Germany and other countries looking to update their capabilities.

The past week or two has brought an embarrassment of riches in the performing arts and here are a few samples:

    Paul Simon performed to a packed Ramat Gan Stadium last week. It took 14 minutes and a “Shalom friends” from this formidable artist to have the multigenerational audience eating out of his hand. A memorable evening.

    And just down the road the Israel Opera performed Mozart’s ‘Magic Flute’ in the Park for an audience of 20,000 people who were the IO’s ‘guests’ for the evening at a free performance sponsored by the City of Tel Aviv. The show featured some outstanding young Israeli singers.

    Bob Marley was a great and innovative artist and his son Ziggy is not far behind. He performed last week to an ecstatic crowd at Sacher Park in Jerusalem singing both new and established hits from his vast Reggae repertoire. His concert was part of the City’s Season of Culture which featured some of Israel’s top vocalists and musicians.

    The International Master Course for Violinists is in full swing at Kibbutz Eilon as we write. With hand picked students from all over the world and a team of some of the best teachers of the instrument, the Course is in its 21st year. All classes and concerts are open to the public.

    Musical legend Gilberto Gil arguably Brazil’s top singer/composer was here weaving his magic to a packed stadium in Raanana at the beginning of the week.

    Outstanding young singers from all over the world are here as part of the International Opera Summer program and in addition to master classes by world renowned voice coaches they will be starring in six operas including Boheme and Don Giovanni.

    And of course all our theater companies, dance troupes, orchestras and individual artists are doing their thing as they always do. See the Quote for the Week above.

Last week was a good week for Aliya with nearly a thousand new immigrants from communities in France, Italy, the UK, the FSU, the US and more, arriving to join us as citizens of the only country we can call our own. We’re expecting a total of 20,000 for the year and while we could bid them welcome in their mother tongue the Hebrew Baruch Ha’ Bah, literally Blessed is he who Arrives, will do very nicely.

Here are some sports highlights to finish with:

    Teddy Kaplan is 76 years young but you wouldn’t say so to look at him and with a sponsorship from Telfed our Ted hied himself off to the 2011 European Masters Weightlifting Championships in Germany where he decorated his chest with Gold but that’s not all, he broke two out of three European records, the ‘Clean and Jerk’ and the ‘Total Record’. You can’t keep a good man down whatever his age. Kol Ha’Kavod [This item courtesy of Telfed]

    As we write the JCC Maccabi Games is under way at the Kiryat Shmona Stadium. Some 1500 teenagers from all over the United States are there strutting their stuff on the sports field in competition for gold, silver and bronze.

    Israel’s duo in the European Beach Volleyball Championships which started last [Wednesday] night right here in Israel, have already beaten Poland and France, a pretty good kick off.

    Asaf Gofer won a silver medal last week at an international handicapped table tennis competition in China. Gofer beat his Chinese opponent, ranked sixth in the world, 3-2 to advance to the final. The 160-player tournament is a run-up to the European Championship, which takes place in three months in Croatia.

July 30, 2011 | 2 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

2 Comments / 2 Comments

  1. Pluristem building plant in Haifa
    Pluristem is yet to receive sales approval from American or European regulators for the placenta-based stem cell therapies it is developing; plant would be preparation for when approval comes through.
    By Dror Reich

    Pluristem intends to build a new plant in the Haifa area that could potentially generate a billion dollars in sales a year, the company announced yesterday morning.

    Pluristem, which is developing placenta-based stem cell therapies, is yet to receive sales approval from either American or European regulators. The plant would be preparation for when approval comes through.

    The company’s flagship product, its PLX cells drug delivery platform, is in the final stages of the approval process by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration.

    PLX cells are grown using the company’s proprietary technology and are an off-the-shelf product that requires no tissue matching or immune-suppression treatment prior to administration, according to the company’s website.

    The new plant is to be arise near the Matam Industrial Park. Its lease begins in January 2012 and is for five years, with a five-year option.

    “The new plant will help the company’s strategy of treating a large number of patients battling potentially fatal diseases, and will enable it to expand cooperation with major drug companies around the world,” said CEO and chairman Zami Aberman.

  2. Israelis no. 2 foreign buyers of US real estate
    A study commisioned by “Globes” found that Israelis invested $1.15 billion in US income-producing properties in the past 12 months.
    21 July 11 15:02, Gil Shlomo
    A skyscraper here, a shopping center there, one acre after another: the Israelis are again buying US real estate. A survey by Bregman Baraz Real Estate commissioned by “Globes” found that Israelis were the second largest foreign buyers of US income-producing real estate in the period from July 2010-June 2011, after Canadians.

    Foreign investment accounted for 7.5% of total investment in US income-producing real estate in this period, with Israelis accounting for one tenth of the foreign investment, or 0.75% of total investment in the sector. Israelis invested $1.15 billion to buy 36 income-producing properties in the US over the past 12 months, after the $4.22 billion invested by Canadians, and ahead of the $1.14 billion invested by the Swiss. Total foreign investment was $12.15 billion.

    Israel, with a GDP of 1.5% of the GDP of the US, accounts for just a sliver of foreign direct investment in the US, outside real estate. To put it another way, Israel is a small country with a large shadow – proportionally a very large shadow – in the US income-producing real estate market.