1. The Next 100 Years.
2. The Israelis.
3. Holocaust Commemoration.
4. Israeli Wildlife.
5. Research Excellence Program.
6. Jewish and Arab Volunteers.
7. Navy bio-treatment Facility.
8. Agricultural Exhibition.
9. The Deficit.
10. The Sea of Galilee.
11. Tallit(Tallis) Arrests.
12. Jerusalem Marathon.
The Second 100 years
The total kibbutz population of about 143,000 is the highest in its 102-year history. More people are now joining kibbutzim than leaving and the addition of working-age adults and young children is helping to redress the balance of an ageing population.
Most kibbutzim have implemented reforms so as to become commercially viable. Privatization with differential incomes and home ownership has increased the attractiveness to newcomers reluctant to commit to pure communal principles.
Increasing numbers of families are attracted to kibbutz living by the quality of education, environment, space and security. The kibbutz enterprises also provide thousands of job opportunities.
In the political arena for the first time in Israel's history there will be no kibbutz members in the Knesset (Parliament). From1948 to 2012, 85 kibbutz members served as members of parliament. It is hoped that the new government will lean towards the center and not rely only on right wing parties as has happened in recent years.
Back in 1952 Ben Gurion asked a dairy worker to get permission from his kibbutz to take up the position of Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Defense. The dairy worker was just 29 years old but Ben Gurion believed that he was important for the country. The worker approached his kibbutz and a vote was held at a general meeting whether or not to allow a kibbutz member to work outside the kibbutz. That was the way the kibbutzim operated in those days. The members of Alumot voted in favor and the dairy worker, Shimon Peres, was granted leave to serve the country as Deputy Director General of Defense. Shimon Peres was instrumental in building Israel's Defense industry including its nuclear capacity. He also served in numerous ministerial posts including that of Prime Minister. He is of course Israel's current President.
The kibbutzim formed the backbone of the country before Israel gained independence in 1948 and during the first few years after independence. There was an established infrastructure in place because of the kibbutzim and many notable persons from kibbutzim took part in the political and defense organizations as the new state came into being. The kibbutzim were also the bread basket of Israel providing a large percentage of the country's food needs. Kibbutz enterprises diversified over the years and now cover almost every type of business and account for about 8% of Israel's economy.
The Israelis – General Mufid Ganam
In the words of Brig. Gen. Mufid Ganam, the Chief Logistics Officer of the Israel Defense Force: "The Druze are treated equally and are deployed in all IDF units according to their abilities and qualifications. We are citizens of the State of Israel and share its rights and duties. We are part of Israeli society, and as such Druze soldiers serve in the IDF like any other soldier".
The Israel Defense Force relies heavily on the Druze population. Arabic can be heard in all units of the IDF. 83% of the Druze population serve in the IDF as compared with only 47% of the Jewish population.
The Druze are found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan, The Druze religion has its beginnings in 11th century and is an offshoot of the Shiat Muslim religion.50% of the Druze of the world live in Syria,40% in Lebanon and 6% in Israel.
General Ganam has served as Chief Logistics Officer of the IDF for the last four years. He began his military career as a combat soldier in an Infantry Corps battalion. After completing the IDF Officers School, he joined the Logistics system and advanced in core positions: At the beginning as a Company Commander, then as Brigade Logistics Officer in the Gaza division during the Intifada. Afterwards he was the Logistics Officer of Spatial Brigade 406 and the Givati Brigade. During his years of service in the IDF, he also served as Logistics Officer of the Ground Forces Training Center, Head of the Ground Forces Logistics Department, Logistics Officer of the Central Command and Deputy Chief Logistics Officer.
Brig. Gen. Ganam, 54, lives with his wife and their five children in the village Madjer, where he was born and his family has been living for numerous generations. He says that he grew up in a relatively strongly military house, especially thanks to his father: "My father fought in the War of Independence and worked in security services for 25 years. It all came from him. It was very important to him that his children would have a meaningful service in the IDF." Mufid is not the only officer in his family: One of his brothers reached the rank of Colonel and served as a brigade commander, and another brother served as a doctor in the IDF.
A Holocaust Remembrance day has officially been recognized by the United Nations although several Muslim countries and some other countries have declared that the Holocaust never took place and that is another story invented by Israel. This group of countries is led by Iran who openly announced that Israel does not have the right to exist.
Notwithstanding Iran's and its allies efforts to
deny the Holocaust ,some 100 imams will commemorate the Holocaust at a memorial
monument near Paris.
Israel is one of the few countries in the world that allow the practice of Sharia Law and Israeli Sharia courts often decide on complicated situations involving Islam.
Israeli Immams are officially employed and paid by the Interior Ministry. As Israel is a democracy with complete freedom of speech Immams and others in the population are allowed to express their opinions and speak against the government and its policies.
Israeli Wildlife – Leopards
It is estimated that less than 20 leopards still exist in
Israel .The conservation status of leopards in Israel is that of critically
Their are also serious questions about if it is possible to save the leopards in Israel at all.
The problem with Israel wildlife as the human population continues to grow and human development continues to expand there is less and less room for them to live. Israel is the most urbanized country in the world. Nearly 90% of the population live in cities.
Research Excellence Program
The Council for Higher Education
is expanding its research excellence program this year to include 11 more
Jewish and Arab Volunteers
World leaders in Davos were pleasantly surprised to discover that Jewish and Arab volunteers work together.
The World Economic Forum’s annual
meeting in Davos, Switzerland is a place where people come to listen. It
consists of interested and involved men and women who participate in order to contribute
to the communities of the world and make a difference.
Leaders were very surprised to
learn that Wizo in Israel hosted 28 Muslim volunteers from Palestine at a
gathering in Haifa to learn from each others volunteering experience. A group
of Israeli volunteers were in return invited to Palestine.
Navy bio-treatment facility
Navy has a bio-treatment facility which separates contamination from wastewater coming out of its ships.
The greasy wastewater that collect
in the underbellies of the nation’s coastal guardians are now able to return to
their Mediterranean origins due to the implementation of a new purification
Over 3,000 visitors from Israel and from abroad, including farmers from the Palestinian Authority and neighboring Arab countries, spent the day at the Open Day Agricultural Exhibition that took place at the Western Negev Research and Development Station. The annual exhibition provides an opportunity to showcase the station's research projects, which focus on discovering new species and growing methods that suit the soil, water and climate of the western Negev. With the help of its friends throughout the world, KKL-JNF funds 50% of the budget of Israel's research and development stations, which are located in Israel's peripheral regions in the north and south. There is a KKL-JNF representative at every R&D, who is involved in decision making and the R&D's daily activities.
Myron Sofer, director of the R&D, described some of the new technologies developed at the R&D over the past year: "In the Negev, more efficient water usage is absolutely critical. In order to regulate irrigation, we work with tensiometers, which measure water tension twenty centimeters deep in the soil. They have been in use for 110 years, but we were the first to use them in greenhouses. After three years of experimentation, we have been able to reduce water usage by 15-35%, without harming the crops. I am a Negev farmer myself, and I know what saving that amount of water means. Our goal is to make using the tensiometer so simple that even a twelve-year old child could operate them.
"In the Negev, manpower is very important. Israeli agriculture is very dependent on foreign labor, which is expensive and also limited by the government. We are trying to find ways to lessen dependence on manual labor. For example, the western Negev grows 50-60% of all of Israel's tomatoes, a crop which is very labor intensive. Together with the Vulcani Institute and Ben Gurion University, we are developing new methods of growing tomatoes, which we hope will cut back manpower costs within a year.
"Until now, agriculture in our region has largely been based on two crops – tomatoes and peppers. We need to help our farmers develop new crops. For example, squash are traditionally grown in open fields, but now we are growing them in greenhouses. It makes a huge difference. In the open field, you get between two to four tons of squash per dunam, but in greenhouses, the yield can be as high as twelve tons per dunam.
In 2012, the government spent NIS 39 billion more than it took in, mostly because the slowing economy meant fewer tax revenues. This was double the expected deficit. Now the general election is over, and the new government must produce a budget for 2013 that benefits the people but balances the books. This is a tall order; can it be done?
This constitutes an opportunity
for Israel, but it may only be a one-time opportunity. An opportunity in that,
with the practice of foreign nominations possibly becoming established, and the
international status that Fischer has lent to the position, President Shimon
Peres and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may have a realistic shot at
attracting a number of true international economic luminaries to submit their
The Sea of Galilee
The country’s water basins have
crept to promising levels already this rainy winter – the Kinneret(The Sea of
Galilee) now lacking less than
Police in Jerusalem have begun a spate of arrests of women for wearing a tallit(tallis), the traditional male scarf with frills that is worn in synagogues.
Women are allowed to wear the so called colorful religious tallitot like a shawl around the shoulders. The wearing of the male black and white or white and blue tallis by women is apparently against Israeli Law.
The law determines what religious women may or may not wear whether or not they are orthodox, conservative or reform. Similar laws exists in Iran and Saudi Arabia where women have to adhere to specific dress codes.
The arrests may seem trivial but at the moment in Israel there is a power struggle between various groups, religious or non religious. The black kippah(yamalka) group control the religious laws in the country.
After the elections in January the country is trying to put together a workable coalition government that will be able to govern for the next four years. After three weeks of bargaining no government has emerged. There is a power struggle between the knitted Kippah (yamalka) group on the one side who believe that all members should serve in the army including their women and the black kippah(yamalka) group on the other side who believe that neither their men nor women should serve in the army. The black kippah members believe that their population should only study the Torah.
In the last elections the knitted kippah group won 12 seats and the black kippah 19 seats in parliament. However the knitted kippah group has made an alliance with the "We have a future" party which won 19 seats.
Coalition negotiations will continue for another three weeks or until a government is formed if before the expiry date. If no decision can be reached regarding the coalition the constitution provides for the President (President Peres) to take a decision about who should govern the country.
Seventeen thousand runners will
descend on Jerusalem for the third
annual Jerusalem Marathon, an event that is expected to pump NIS 10 million
into the local economy.