News Highlights July 2013


     1. The Second 100 years

 2. The Israelis.

 3.  Israeli Cities.

 4.   Israeli Kibbutzim.

 5. PA Officials visit the Knesset.

 6.  Less money available for food.

 7.   YALA peace movement.

 8.   Israel, Greece, Cyprus sign new energy MOU.

 9.   Cut red tape to stop brain drain.

10.   Music – Eilat Jazz Festival.

11. Barcelona FC promotes peace.



 The Second 100 years
After many years of declining numbers Israel's kibbutz movement is staging a revival, with many potential members wanting to join the unique form of collective living.

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.

The District Planning and Building Committee in the Haifa and northern area approved a plan to rebuild Kibbutz Beit Oren. The plan includes 371 new housing units to replace those burned during the Carmel fires. According to the Carmel Coast Regional Council, housing units will be used by kibbutz residents whose homes were burned. 

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 – Ahmed Tibi

Ahmed Tibi, is an Arab-Israeli politician and leader of the Arab Movement for Renewal. He currently serves as Deputy Speaker of theIsraeli Parliament the Knesset. Tibi is also a trained physician and graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.He began an internshipas a physician at Hadassah Hospital in 1984, and met PLO leaderYasser Arafat in Tunis that same year.

Tibi served as a political advisor to Palestinian Authority PresidentYasser Arafat for several years Tibi described his relationship with Arafat as "close" and "extremely interesting and important to him." Tibi later visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and urged him to hold firm in refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

In the 18th Israeli Parliament session Tibi initiated a law, passed in 2012, regularizing compensation given by airlines to their customers for delayed or cancelled flights.

Israeli Cities - Caesarea

Caesarea is a town located mid-way between Tel Aviv and Haifa (45 km). Modern

In 90 BCE, Alexander Jannaeus captured Straton's Tower as part of his policy of developing the shipbuilding industry and enlarging the Hasmonean kingdom. Straton's Tower remained a Jewish city for two generations, until the area became dominated by the Romans in 63 BCE, when the Romans declared it an autonomous city. The pagan city underwent vast changes under Herod the Great, who renamed it Caesarea in honor of the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus.

In 22 BCE, Herod began construction of a deep sea harbor and built storerooms, markets, wide roads, baths, temples to Rome and Augustus, and imposing public buildings. Every five years the city hosted major sports competitions, gladiator games, and theatrical productions in its theatre overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Today, the Chairman of the Caesarea Foundation and the CDC is Baron Benjamin de Rothschild, the great grandson of the Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Caesarea remains today the only locality in Israel managed by a private organization rather than a municipal government. As well as carrying out municipal services, the Caesarea Development Corporation markets plots for real-estate development, manages the nearby industrial park, and runs the Caesarea's golf course and country club, Israel's only 18-hole golf course.


Israel, Greece, Cyprus sign new energy MOU 

Minister Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom signed in Nicosia a tripartite energy memorandum of understanding with Cypriot Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Nicos Kouyialis and Greek Minister for the Environment, Energy and Climate Change George Lakkotrypis.

Shalom's aides called the memorandum "historic", and that it had far-reaching importance for the Israeli energy market, providing the three countries with energy security in the coming years. The memorandum includes a joint declaration of intent to implement within three years a Euro-Asiatic to lay an electric cable to link Israel and Cyprus's grids. The conduit will continue on to Crete, which will make it possible to supply electricity to European countries.

Shalom's aides said that this would help solve southern Italy's severe electricity shortage. "The tripartite agreement was reached after many discussions, and demonstrates the strong and tightening relations between the countries," said Shalom in Nicosia. "The electric conduit can easily become a cable which will supply and export electricity to the European energy market, and provide us with energy security."

The memorandum also states that the countries will cooperate to protect regionally important infrastructures in the Mediterranean where natural gas fields are located.

The memorandum also covers water issues. Kouyialis said Cyprus and Israel have established a successful cooperation in desalination “as in three of our four permanent desalination plants, Israeli companies were involved." He added, “A new era of cooperation starts today in the field of sewage treatment and waste water reuse that will help Cyprus improve its water balance, as substantial and constant quantities of recycled water will be utilized in the best possible way”.

On this point, Shalom said, "Israel would like to give any help needed. We are very happy that an Israeli company is involved here." On water security, he said, “We believe that it is necessary these days, even though Cyprus is not facing the same threats that Israel is facing from terrorists."

Cut red tape to fight brain drain 

Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett promised a group of 20 Russian-speaking entrepreneurs to cut red tape in order to stem emigration of talented Israelis.

“We have a serious problem of quality brain drain from Israel. A significant portion return to their former countries to build businesses there instead of developing them in Israel, and that is very sad,” Bennett said on Wednesday night. “We have to act against brain drain from Israel and emigration to the former Soviet states.”

Turning to the entrepreneurs, Bennett asked what they saw as the biggest problem. One after another pointed to bureaucracy.

“Sometimes the problems are the small things, the regulation and the bureaucratic process that cause people to give up,” said Latya Goldstein, CEO of Evolita. “We don’t need much because we came to work and we’re not afraid to, but it’s important for us to have support and understanding of exactly what the entrepreneurial sector needs.”

Levi Raiz, founder of the Jerusalem Startup Hub, said that new immigrants, in particular, had trouble navigating all the institutions, which disrupts “amazing initiatives.”

Bennett agreed that there was “great importance in aiding businesses and entrepreneurs that are forced to deal with the government bureaucracy,” and said the ministry was already pushing through reforms in the Knesset.

Israel ranks 38th in the World Bank’s 2013 Doing Business list, which ranks the ease of starting up a company and the difficulties imposed by regulatory burden. In 2012, Israel ranked 36th.


The 39-year-old New Orleansborn trumpeter and keyboard player Nicholas Payton will perform at this year’s Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat on August 18 and 20, is one of several exponents of what most people call “jazz,” but who object to the four-letter word as being of a denigrating nature. In a blog which he posted in December 2011, Payton wrote: ”’Jazz’ is an oppressive, colonialist slave term and I want no part of it.”

By the way, drummer Max Roach, one of the founders of modern jazz and a musician who pioneered a whole new approach to his instrument, also objected strongly to the use of the term and felt it conveyed a racially discriminatory sense.

While there are many who would contest that semantic posit, Payton has certainly paid his artistic dues during his almosttwo- decade-long career to date, and if he prefers to call the genre Black American Music, that is his well-earned prerogative. The name by which Payton prefers to call jazz is also neatly referenced in the title of his latest album, which goes by the acronymic title of BAM.

Payton has, thus far, put out 11 albums as leader and has played with a wide range of musicians, including quite a few from a generation or two before his own.

He got an early start to his musical education, playing alongside his bass- and sousaphone-playing father Walter Payton, and with the Roots of Jazz Brass Band fronted by the banjo-, ukulele- and guitarplaying Danny Baker who began his own career in the 1920s. In 1997 Payton and trumpeter Doc Cheatham, a contemporary of Baker, won a Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo.

Payton evidently is deeply grounded in the annals the music he purveys on such a high level.

“We talk about music being passed down from master to student. Tutelage and mentorship are a very important aspect of learning how to play this music as communal expression,” he says, stressing that the latter attribute lies at the very core of the art form. “It is not only entertainment.”

New Orleans, has been termed “the cradle of jazz” and “the birthplace of jazz” – Payton’s opposition to the terminology notwithstanding – and hailing from the Louisiana city meant that the trumpeter-keyboardist hit the musical ground running.
“I feel a powerful connection to what resides here, geographically and spiritually,” he states, adding that having musical parents also gave him a significant head start.

“I was very blessed to be in a musical environment, in my home and in general in New Orleans.”

Then again, it’s not enough just to have the right genes or address.

“There continues to be a lot of hard work involved. I wasn’t born playing the way I do today. I sought out the experience of being and working with people like [now-92-year-old trumpeter] Clark Terry and [drummer Elvin Jones, who died in 2004 at the age of 76].”

Mixing it with veterans of the scene, says Payton, helped him further his craft and career.

“Through my association with certain people, other networks opened up for me, but I don’t think anything was necessarily given to me. It requires a lot of hard work.”

The latter, as far as Payton concerns, means not cutting any corners and not being overly achievementoriented.

He says he has always been willing to follow the long and winding road to artistic accomplishment at his own pace, and eschewed the bright lights early on.

“I had a desire to associate with a lot of masters, at a time when most of my peers were signing record deals and embarking on careers as leaders. I put that to the side for quite a number of years, to study and learn, and to be a sideman in other people’s bands before I struck out as a leader.”

Truth be told, Payton had probably put in more hours and years into honing his instrumental skills and all-around musicianship than most people his age. “I started playing the trumpet when I was four, but I started playing music as soon as I was big enough to pick up a drumstick or climb up to the piano and hit some notes. I have been around music since I was born.”

Payton has also never been one to stick to the instrumental straight and narrow. While primarily known as a trumpeter, he also plays piano and keyboards, and has mastered the bass, drums, tuba, trombone, clarinet and saxophone.

That, he feels, gives him advantages when he gets down to the business of writing music, as well as performing on stage.

“I would say that the more information you have, the more you understand about your craft, the more versatile you can be, expressively. That gives you more creative options.

Barcelona FC promotes peace

Spanish champions Barcelona, including Leo Messi and new signing Neymar, arrived in Israel for what it has branded as the Peace Tour in the Middle East.

Barcelona will not play any matches in the region, but it will visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem and the Basilica of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
The squad will also meet Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, where the team will be staying, as well as the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas.

Tata Martino’s team will lead two soccer clinics with Israeli and Palestinian children in Dura Stadium near Hebron and in Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

Barca arrived in Israel a day after defeating Brazilian team Santos 8:0  to win the Joan Gamper Trophy.

The club called the visit a “historic” trip with the aim of 

At the Municipal Stadium in Dura a clinic will be held that will consist of workshops and a diverse array of mini-games in which dozens of Palestinian children will participate.


A clinic will also be held in Tel Aviv.

The team will visit the Western Wall before taking part in an official reception with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Peres in the president’s residence.

As a part of clinic, the Minister of Education, Rabbi Shai Piron, will launch “The Other is Me” initiative which is aimed at increasing tolerance and peace in the country’s educational system.