News Highlights December 2011
The First 100 years
The year 2010 was the hundredth
anniversary of the establishment of Kibbutz Degania, which was the first
kibbutz to be established in
The official ceremony was attended by The President of Israel, Members of Parliament, senior officers of the Defense Force and leading figures from the business community.
Kibbutz enterprises are leading the way by narrowing the gap between salaries for men and women. A recent survey showed that women working in kibbutz enterprises receive more than 90% of the pay received by their male counterparts for similar work. The percentage for the country was found to be less than 80%.
The Ministry of Health recently approved the use of the very sweet powder from the Stevia plant as a recognized sweetener in addition to sugar and other sweeteners. This new development could often the way for growing the Stevia plants as an agricultural alternative.
After three years of punching and counter punching
the residents of Megiddo,Afula,Hazorea,Yokneam and surrounding areas won the day and persuaded the government not
to build the new international airport in the fields of Kibbutzim in the area.
The new airport will be build in the
Life on the kibbutzim is changing. The majority of today's kibbutzim are more in line with any small town in the country, where each family cares for its own needs and where the local council provides the minimal municipal needs required by the community.
It is now possible for an apartment to be transferred into the name of a member by paying a tax equivalent of less than 4% of the value of the land. However if a kibbutz member wishes to sell the apartment then a further land tax equivalent to one third of the land value will have to be paid at the time of sale.
The kibbutzim formed the backbone of the country
The kibbutzim formed a large part of
Christmas Trees from KKL-JNF Forests
KKL-JNF once again
distributed Christmas trees to local churches, monasteries, convents,
embassies, foreign journalists and the general public. Private individuals, too bought trees
for the token sum of 70
Haifa Technion wins New York Bid
Haifa Technion- Israel Institute of
Technology won a
The NYCTech Campus is intended to bolster job creation in the city and may generate 600 spinoff companies and $23 billion in economic activity over the next three decades, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference.
Haifa-based Technion was invited to enter the contest by the New
York City Council together with some of
The new campus will generate more than $23 billion in overall economic activity and $1.4 billion in tax revenue over the next 30 years, according to the statement. The project will create 20,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs. The estimated 600 spinoff companies will create another 30,000 jobs.
The project will cost about $1.5 billion to build and the partnership will rely on tuition and philanthropy, technology license fees and corporate partnerships.
The Technion was founded a hundred years ago when the
cornerstone of the first building was laid. In 1923,
Professor Albert Einstein visited the Technion. During his
visit, he planted a now-famous first palm tree, as an initiative of Nobel
tradition. The first palm tree still stands today in front of the old Technion
Upon seeking requests for proposals in July,
the mayor of
KKL-JNF presented their activities in developing water sources at the Water Technologies Exhibition, which was held in Tel Aviv.
The convention offered field experts and professionals, diplomats, and members
of the public interested in ecology, renewable energy, and water technology, an
opportunity to meet. The convention also presented an opportunity to
exchange information, keep up to date with the latest developments, and to make
local and international contacts. Dozens of organizations hosted booths
at the exhibition where they presented technological developments, products,
and services concerning water The booth belonging to KKL-JNF aroused a great
deal of interest among visitors from all around the world, who came to learn
about the extensive and innovative projects of KKL-JNF in the water
technology field, such as building water reservoirs, rehabilitating rivers,
purifying wastewater, managing wetlands, and developing parks. All
these projects have been accomplished with the help of friends of KKL-JNF from
all over the world.
important area that KKL_JNF is working on is the rehabilitation of polluted
rivers. This involves eliminating pollutants, rehabilitating the landscape and
The winners of the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Know
The Know Israel project holds a nation-wide contest in the participating
countries to test the applicants’ knowledge about
The Palestinian Authority is trying to promote waste management, renewable energy projects and environmentally responsible industrial practices by offering its local businesses friendly "green loans."
Ramallah's Green Palestine Investment Company, which was formed in 2009, is the first firm to implement environmental activities that support sustainable economic and social development and has partnered with the Bank of Palestine in an effort to offer green loans for various environmental projects in the fields of waste and wastewater management and renewable energy. Another project is to recycle solid waste in the Palestinian Authority.
Green Palestine Investment has three divisions: Solid Waste, Waste Water and Renewable Energy, which offer affordable alternative energy solutions for the Palestinian market.
It is a donut or better known as a sufgania and it is filled with humous.
A bakery in the old city donated the donuts and another vendor donated the humous.
The thought of eating a sweet donut with a salty humous was quite a challenge for some but the excellent quality of both the donuts and the humous won the day.
A group of Korean tourists started the ball rolling and in a short space of time hundreds of humous filled donuts were gone.
Segregation of the Sexes in Israel
Certain ultra religious groups in Israel are pushing for the exclusion of women from holding public positions and for the complete segregation of women in society. There are already separate buses in certain areas and even separate walking areas. In other areas women are expected to sit at the back of buses.
"The fight against women's exclusion is a fight for Israel's future and it must grow stronger and louder," opposition leader Tsipi Livni said. "The situation is deteriorating rapidly and it's up to us to stop it."
"We've crossed a line when it comes to women's exclusion… this is a fight for the nature of Israeli democracy," Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said. "We are the warriors here and we will lead this fight. We won't allow for women to be pushed to the back – not on busses, not in the workplace and not in society. We are equals."
Culture Minister Limor Livnat equated the shunning of women to violence, adding it was a dangerous phenomenon that must be nipped in the bud. "All of us, together, will not allow this to continue. I believe that exclusion is violence against women," she said and urged men across Israel to join the fight.
Adina Bar Shalom, daughter of spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef also participated in the gathering: "The Torah never referenced this issue as it is referenced today," she said."The Torah elevates women. It holds women in the highest esteem. This isn’t about which door we board the bus from. It's about women's honor. Women are powerful, if is wasn’t for us, men couldn’t afford to study the Torah."
Women Fighter Pilots
The Israel Defense Force is relying more and more on women for combat positions in armored divisions and in the air force.
Israel's small population means the country has never had the security of a large standing army despite the immense security and terrorist risks it faces. The Israel standing army of about 150,000 faces the combined standing armies of surrounding countries numbering several million soldiers. Israel is also able to call up several hundred thousand trained reserves within 48 hours.
The Israel Defense force has to rely on advanced technology to offset the huge disadvantage it has on the ground. Part of this technology is the air force which is one of the most powerful in the world. This together with Israel's advanced long range missile systems and nuclear capability make the Israel Defense Force a major force by world standards. In recent years the defense force has opened the doors to women in all positions including front line combat positions.
Women have excelled themselves and many are training officers of men for combat roles. Women have also proved themselves as fighter pilots and proportionally more women than men have succeeded in the grueling fighter pilot training.
Only fourteen pilots managed to complete the most recent course, out of hundreds who began it two years ago. Five of those were women. The graduates have signed a nine-year contract with the Air Force.
IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz addressed the topic as well, telling the young female soldiers that they are an indicator of "women's considerable contribution" to society.
According to data released by the IDF, 31% of the graduating pilots have grown up in cities, 21% come from moshavim, and 5% come from the kibbutz. Moreover, 58% come from the center of the country, 36% come from the north and only 6% come from the south.
The vast majority of the new pilots – 72% – are secular, while 17% are traditionalist and 10% are religious. The oldest graduate is 26 years of age, and most of the rest are 21.
The Negev Desert has vast amounts of oil, gas and even uranium and it is believed that Israel's oil reserves rival those of Saudi Arabia. Environmental groups, however, are fighting the future possible production of oil in the Negev Desert. Nevertheless it seems that a license will be granted for the mining of uranium.
The ministry's natural resources and mine supervision administration recently informed an Israeli company that the ministry would grant the uranium prospecting license once it pays the government fee. The company plans to hire foreign experts and to import special equipment for the explorations.
The Maya field in the Negev has exhibited signs of a highly radioactive metal at a shallow depth. The company plans to expand the drilling pit and test soil to indentify the type and quantity of the radioactive metal.
Regarding the oil exploration, negotiations with environmental groups will continue so as to find common ground and eventual agreement that could make Israel a force in the world oil market.