Hillary Clinton on Jon Stewart Talking About Gaza

Jon Stewart tries to lead Hillary Clinton down the usual path of blaming Israel for the situation in Gaza.

To my great surprise, Hillary tells it like it is. Wow! Listen to this clip. The usual wise-cracking Stewart was mostly silent as he realized he wasn’t getting a bone tossed to continue on his usual Israel-bashing rant coated in pseudo “I’m kinda Jewish too” humor.

She explains how she brokered the cease-fire in 2010, and how Hamas, and Palestinians in Gaza were given funds (billions of dollars frim USA and EU…ed.) and they squandered it on violence and inner Palestinian games. From this talk we learn that, 1. She actually gets it, 2. She’s not afraid to speak her mind – even when it bucks the conventional sugar-coated liberal agenda.

The discussion needs to be shifted from blaming Israel, to figuring out to dismantle Hamas and actually bring a solution to the Palestinian people.

The Price for Jews in Israel for Peace with Arabs

Peace Discussions Encourage Palestinian Arab Terrorism

The Western world is fixated on solving the Mideast Peace problem.  The “Mideast ” that the world is solely concerned about is the Palestinians and that tiny country called Israel standing in their way for their very own sovereign nation.   As the narative explains, all other problems,  would go away if these stubborn Jews would just let it.  (Or in the eyes of the American senior press corespondent, if those Jews would just go back to Poland).

The pressure on Israel’s leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to deal land and additional consolations has reached the pinnacle.  When the bar is raised, politicians make foolish decisions, usually for short term gains, or to make their own personal mark in history.  Here’s a small but very real example of just how dangerous this pressure can manifest itself into our lives.

Sukkot is the Jewish holiday of Tabernacles. In ancient Israel, on Sukkot, Jews brought sacrifices to the Temple in honor of the 70 nations of the world.  The priests would pray for the well-being of our neighbors and that G_d should protect them and shine His light onto all the nations.

In modern Israel, Sukkot also means vacation from school, and a great opportunity for families to go hiking, to visit relatives, and to go to Jerusalem to see our national history and to remember the days of ancient glory.

Mount of Olives – So close, yet so far

For a neighbor of mine, Sukkot this year was almost a period of mourning for his family, and his being around to tell me his eyewitness account of the following events is only by grace of the Almighty.  Mount of Olives cemetery just outside the Old City walls of Jerusalem.  While Mount of Olives is a famous and ancient cemetery where many sages and holy Jews have been buried for many centuries, it is also about 1KM (half mile) on the other side of some Arab buildings in Silwan (City of David – probably where King David would stand and look out to his kingdom).  In modern times, great rabbis and fallen soldiers are buried on Mount of Olives.

Yehuda drove on erev Sukkot with his wife and two nephews to a funeral there.  Not that this should matter in the least, Yehuda is not a “Settler”, nor was he traveling to any “provocative” areas.  Jerusalem’s Dung Gate,  next to the Western Wall, is clearly within plain view from the parking area of the Mount of Olives.

After the ceremony, they returned to their car to drive back home to Bet Shemesh.  They reached the first junction along with other cars driving back.  Suddenly, a mob of knife and club-wielding Arabs jumped out and engulfed them.  Cars were smashed to bits.  Frantically, people called from inside their cars to the Police to extricate them from this ensuing tragedy.  Minutes passed, no Police, no border control.  The Arab mob gained in strength and numbers, buoyed by the lack of Israeli force.

Yehuda’s wife was targeted by one of the angry Arab terrorists.  Yehuda quickly swung into action – although he is not a Settler and does not have a gun – he attempted to shield his wife.  The terrorists shifted their focus on him and stabbed him four times, including twice in his head, broke his arm, and left him battered and bruised all over his body.

45 Minutes passed, no police, no border patrol.  The police who are standing at Dung Gate could have walked uphill to the terrorist attack in 10 minutes.

Yehuda is now bleeding from his head and his chest.  He is battered, but there is noone there to help.  With his remaining ounces of strength, he drove to the nearest hospital, where he was treated and listed in serious condition (??? ?????? ?? ???).

When the police came to the hospital to investigate he asked why there was no response from their emergency calls.  The police told him that they were instructed from “above” not to go to this junction.  Clearly, political decisions stood in the way of the police coming to protect its citizens.

The East Jerusalem junction where the terrorist attack took place is not under Palestinian control.   Although at some point is may be given to the new Palestinian State, it is currently solely Israel’s responsibility to protect and ensure that rule of law is enforced there.

Someone in the police, or perhaps even the government, made a decision that the cost of a few Jewish lives was well worth the potential of public outcry of Israeli police going to a contested area to remove its citizens from imminent danger or even death.  Worse is knowing that the Palestinian terrorist leaders knew this and calculated the outcome, and orchestrated the entire event, knowing exactly how it would play out.  They also knew how far they could go – wound, mame, perhaps kill a few, then run back to your homes – so as not to get negative feedback from the world press.

Yehuda tells me that he identified the young terrorist who stabbed him, and with his description, the police were subsequently able to apprehend him.  However, 7 days later, the magistrate let this 17 year old killer wannabe free since the courts can’t try minors.

I have no words to properly wrap up this account of what happened and all the injustices that Jews suffer in Israel.  Maybe someone reading this can make better sense of it all.

Jerusalem Is Ours

Nadav Shragai does a good analysis in today’s Haaretz of how Jerusalem is the key to the entire Mid East peace process.

When it comes to Jerusalem, there is no need to mention either natural growth or natural development; what is at stake is nature itself, the nature of our connection to this city and the realization of the right that is rooted in our religion, our history, and 2,000 years of memory and longing, during which the Jewish presence in Jerusalem never ceased to exist.

I wonder how many of our political leaders adhere to this sentiment?

Palestinians angered by Netanyahu peace terms

I still can’t believe that headline!
— Satire begin
Those crazy Palestinians. Look how far this has gone. Now when you offer them a state of their own, not only don’t they take it, but they get angry at you for offering it! It reminds me of the typical Jewish mother. Guilt, guilt, guilt. “What, we’re not good enough to live with you? You want to send us to our own place? After all we’ve done for you. After all we’ve been through together? tsk…
Satire over –

Extremist Poster of Obama as an Arab in Jerusalem
Extremist Poster of Obama as an Arab in Jerusalem

You would think that on the day Bibi Netanyahu actually utters the words “We’ll accept a Palestinian State” that finally the world would show some positive emotion. The EU has already said that it’s not enough. The US and Obama gave a tepid response. The Arab League, buoyed by the lukewarm response of the western world, snapped at Israel and demanded that not one iota of land ‘settled’ could be built on, including the 40,000 citizen ‘settlement’ of Ariel (which was the actual example given by the Egyptian Minister).

In effect, however, the underlying argument the world is trying to shove down our proverbial throats is “Jews can’t live in Judea & Samaria, period.”

French Anti-Zionist Party

File this in the “Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse” category:

French Anti-Zionist Political Party
French Anti-Zionist Political Party

France’s comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala has created a political party to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.  The French high court threw out a petition to ban this party from running in the elections as a racist party.

Their platform essentially states the usually rhetoric that Israel, the USA, and the French (by implication) led by the ‘powerful Zionist lobby’ are an axis of evil bent on overturning the world.

Notice how they found the token bearded Jew for this campaign poster to assure voters that they are not ‘anti-semitic’.

People, wake up!  European ambivalence to Jews has already been shaken by change in demographics.  The not-so subtle shift of European anti-Israeli populist movements jumping to the forefround is a harbinger of things to come.

How much longer before America’s populist agenda, especially with the maverick Obamian policies, turns ambivalent, or even worse, against Israel?

Mr Pink Floyd, We Don’t Need No Education!

Tear Down the wall says Roger Waters, former band member of Pink Floyd.  Mr Waters visited Israel in 2006 and played a single concert to a sold out makeshift open air stadium of 50,000 (paying) Israeli Jews.  He also found time on his whirlwind visit to hop over the fence (or over the big bad wall, as he would put it) and spray paint some graffiti on the Palestinian side.

Roger Waters of Pink Floyd at the Israel Security Fence
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd at the Israel Security Fence

Three years later, at 65, Roger Waters is ambivalent about his having visited Israel (and taking in millions of dollars spent by adoring Israeli fans).  Mr Waters thinks that the wall is actually a colonialist action by Israel.  Never mind that this wall was put up to help prevent terror attacks and bus bombings of innocent civilians.  Never mind that the wall has essentially stopped terrorism from the areas in where it was erected.  Never mind that the US has a longer and bigger wall with it’s Mexican border in several high-trafficked areas (and Mexico is not at war with the USA!).

What would I say to him if I had the chance to sit him down and explain the whole thing.  Would I tell him how the wall has given Jewish families in Neve Yaakov and Gush Etziyon, to name a few, the chance to leave for work in the morning without wondering if their kids would be burying them that night?  How much Jewish blood can be spilled for Mr. Waters to acquiesce to Israel attempting to prevent further savage acts.  How many children living in the southern Jerusalem neighbourhood of Gilo should be forsaken?

These questions may remain unsolved to many, but to me it’s pretty clear.  As Israel’s government spokesman, Mark Regev put it ever so bluntly, “We don’t need no education about suicide bombers coming into Israel and murdering innocent people, and how the security barrier has prevented that by more than 95 percent”.

UN Sends Jewish Goldstone to Investigate Israel Warcrimes

“A United Nations team headed by a veteran war crimes prosecutor has begun its probe into possible war crimes by Israel and Hamas militants during Operation Cast Lead. ”

Israel has not accepted this probe and questions the validity of a UN-led team, with its known anti-Israel bias.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Yigal Palmor said “This committee has been instructed to find Israel guilty no matter what and there is no point in cooperating with such a masquerade.”

Goldstone in Gaza to Probe Possible Israel Warcrimes - Source: Haaretz
Goldstone in Gaza to Probe Possible Israel Warcrimes - Source: Haaretz

The commission is headed by a Jew, Richard Goldstone, a South African judge. The irony is not lost on this author that even in this day and age a Jew and non-Israeli would be willing to lead a commission that investigates Israel in a world forum.

Israel said last week that it will not cooperate with the UN team.

Three State Solution – Israel, Gaza, West Bank

It’s always gratifying and refreshing to hear Arab pundits and experts admit the cracks in their political foundation.

The whole world it seems would be a much better place if Israel and the Palestinians could just get along.  The western world, led by US President Obama, believes that the two-state solution would be the best way to solve this century-long conflict.  Israeli PM Netanyau will be cajoled, then pressured, then threatened to accept a solution that gives the Palestinians a USA embassy.

Now comes the rub…  Where will be the capital of this new Arab state?  Hamas and their terrorist allies will insist on Gaza City to be the seat of government.  Whereas, Abbas and his Fatah terrorists (don’t be deluded to think they are moderates) will stake claim to Ramallah as the new capital.

Political scientist Mkjaimar Abusada, a professor at Al-Azhar University in Gaza said, “It is hard enough to see how peace talks will succeed anyway.  Maybe we’re headed for a three-state-solution:  Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.”

This is getting harder to score than a credit rating for AIG. Do the Palestinians really want a state right now, or do they want to continue arguing with us. Let’s say we can come to an agreement… To whom do we give the keys?

Palestinians vs. Israel – We’re in the Third Phase

I read an interesting interview yesterday with a Rabbi from a program that specializes in keeping religious soldiers on the path of learning Torah _after_ they leave the army. I can’t remember the Rabbi’s name, but this was the gist of his argument on why Hamas and Palestinians seem to be gaining so much of the world opinion against us. Here’s his point in a nutshell:
The Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, have locked horns with Israel since 1948 using three distinct methods. The first phase was conventional war – army to army. That tactic failed them miserably. The second phase was terror. It’s nascent steps of hijackings and international staged terror events began in the late 60’s and continued through two intifadas in the 80s and 90s. This phase failed as well, since despite all the terrible pain inflicted on us, we are a stiff-necked nation (?? ??? ????).
We’ve been in the third phase in the past couple years as Arab nations build mock trials and judicial hearings and use the soft tongue of Arab diplomacy to assure the world that everything would be better if there just wasn’t Israel. Putting it bluntly, they couldn’t beat us by force, so they are trying to gain in the world forums by persuading world leaders, including newly elected Obama, and European Nations (with their own Islamic population problems) to join together against Israel.
–End of the Rabbi’s hypothesis–and on to my analysis:
The early indications show that Phase three is potentially the deadliest.
When Ahmadinejad in Iran threatens, we listen, and we respond. When President Obama tells us to lighten up and accept the Fatah as our partners, we say “well at least we’re better off than with Hamas. Remember the so-called ‘moderate’ Fatah. In 1995 we gave Fatah assault weapons (as part of the Nobel Prize winning Rabin and Peres’ Oslo Accords). In 1996, they turned their weapons on the Israeli checkposts.
It was the Fatah who butchered the two Israeli reservists who ended up unfortunately in Ramalah and were dragged to a Fatah controlled Police Station to meet their untimely demise. By the way, this was during our ‘period of peace’. It was the Fatah who danced on their rooftops for joy when the twin-towers fell to Osama Bin-Laden’s deadly attack.
Today’s headline: ?????: ???? ???? ???? ???????? ???? The Russian Foreign Minister met with Khaled Mashal (Hamas Terrorist #1) in Syria, and then told the world that Hamas is “ready to share it’s responsibility in Gaza” and that we (e.g. the western world) should be speaking with Hamas and not shunning them.
As much as we’d like to think that world opinion couldn’t possibly make a difference, it does. Have a look a this article from the well-respected political affairs magazine Commentary – Israel Today, Tomorrow the West. Very depressing stuff…
I suppose the question we need to ask ourselves is, are we ready to fight the third phase?

In Sderot the Kids Know What to do

My cousin was visiting in Sderot last week. He is a Rabbi and sofer (Biblical scribe), and often travels to places in Israel to check religious articles to see if they need to be repaired.

He shared with me this absurd and truly ‘unreal’, but very real story:

Last week, he visited a few houses in Sderot to check their mezuzot (Jewish families are required to place mezuzot on the doorways of their home). During one of his inspections, a nine year old girl from the home was following him and watching his work. Suddenly, the sirens went off. He froze. What to do? Where to go?

The 9 year girl very calmly said, “quick, follow me to the corner of the sealed room and bend down like this.” Fifteen seconds later he heard a big BOOM outside the house. The girl then said, “wait a little longer, there’s usually another boom or two.” Again, seconds later, BOOM, BOOM.

Shaken and disturbed, my cousin completed his tasks in Sderot and hurried home to Jerusalem. He then realized that the other family members were busy doing other tasks around the house and had deliberately sent their girl to watch over him in case of an attack.

This is Israel, a modern first (or second) world country, with a strong economy, lauded hi-tech sector, and yet our border towns have been afflicted with this absurd ritual for as long as Gaza has been in the hands of the terrorist Iran-backed Hamas.

Imagine that you are visiting your friends in Florida. Miami Beach is nice this time of year. During your visit, sirens start whaling and your friend’s 9 year old child (that’s a 3rd grader) tells you that you now have 15 seconds to run to the corner of the sealed room, where the missiles are less ‘likely’ to penetrate.

What if this scenario was played out in France? Would Sarcozy listen to the world opinion that the French government should show restraint and not fire back against the aggressors? Yes, Israel has the capabilities to fight back, and usually only after many blows does Israel finally takes steps to end the aggression against it.

The world media has always run roughshod over the tiny State of Israel. AP and Reuters have Arab journalists managing and writing stories on Israel. They often make feign attempts to show both sides of the story, but usually the venomous words are directed at the Jewish State. Other media organizations, such as the BBC and The Guardian make no attempts to hide their disdain for Israel. Such tendentious reporting helps to skew the already tainted view of Israel.

When you read Yahoo News about Israel (the world’s number 1 website destination), you are often reading AP’s Ibrahim Barzak, a Palestinian Arab, giving you so-called unbiased accounts of Israel’s fight for freedom against daily terrorist attacks.

The next time you read a story about Israel’s aggression and attacks on Gaza, remember the fifteen seconds you will have to follow your nine year old guide to safety.

15 Seconds to Sderot

15 seconds is all that it takes for a rocket fired from the Hamas-controlled Gaza to land in the nearby Israeli town of Sderot. It will probably take you longer than that to read this blog post.

Imagine that you are in your living reading a book, watching TV or having a bite to eat, your kids are in the next room playing, and then you hear the sirens sounding that another mortar or rocket is heading your way. You now have 15 seconds, FIFTEEN SECONDS, to run as fast as you can to your shelter and hope that the rocket goes somewhere else.

Gaza Under Fire (AP)
Gaza Under Fire (AP)

This is the life that has been determined for the residents of Israeli towns near by Gaza the Iran-backed Hamas terrorist organization. Israel has suffered much damage, including loss of civilian lives, damage to buildings, destruction of local economies, and emotional scars to the local residents for eight years.

Israel’s decision to finally (hopefully) put an end to this suffering of its innocent civilians, and to rid the Palestinians of their Iran-backed terror state, was met with mixed responses by the world community. We didn’t expect praise from the Arabist U.N., nor from our ‘so-called’ friends in Europe, but let’s see how any country, democratic or otherwise, would respond to these similar circumstances.

The State of Israel is fighting the same war it has always fought, since it’s inception in 1948. This is a war of “kiyum”, being able to remain a sovereign nation. This is a war we must win.

Financial Crisis to bring recession to israel

We’ve all been watching the recent developments of Wall Street with a keen eye.  How, if at all, will it affect us individually?  Will Israel be dragged into a recession as well as the rest of Europe?

An inevitable part of the US’s historic $750 billion bailout package is the huge amount of paper that the government has to print.  The money has to come from somewhere, and usually that means selling more treasury notes and bills, or bartering paper with foreign governments.

With all that new money hitting the markets, you’d expect the dollar to drop in value.  However, the world economy follows the USA like a herd to a shepherd.  All the talk about Euros, shmooros…  When you want a safe currency in times of crisis, you don’t look to Europe with one of its EU members (Iceland) on the brink of bankruptcy, nor do you look to China or Japan, as they are having their own crises.  You buy dollars.  And that’s exactly what’s been going on since the US bailout plan was passed.

As a result, major and 2nd tier currencies alike have lost approx 5% in value against the US Dollar in the past week.  In Israel, the drop was sudden and major.  Two week ago, the Shekel (NIS) was trading against the USD in a range from 3.48 to 3.50.  Almost overnight, the Shekel devalued against the dollar to 3.70.  That’s a 5 percent change.

That’s very good for Israeli exporters, tourism, and for Israelis who’s salary is linked to the dollar, and for technology companies who raised funds in dollars.

That’s very bad, however, for importers, most Israelis who do not have linkage on their salary, and just about every consumer.  Prices will start to rise at the supermarket, which will in turn reduce consumption, and bring on inflation, and then recession.

Much of the strength of the Israeli economy over the past few years has been related to the strength and new found autonomy of the Israeli currency.  Breaking with the norm of the past 60 years, for example, Real estate was being quoted in Shekels.  Israelis had a new sense of pride in our national currency.

Now with this recent crisis, and the fall of the Euro as the other viable currency alternative to the almighty dollar, it appears Israel’s economy will be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Watch Israel TV on the Internet

The internet makes it easy for you to watch live tv from anywhere in the world.

There are several Israeli TV Channels who stream their stations live, or offer daily rebroadcasts of news and other shows. When you click on the link, your Windows Media Player will open and begin playing the selected channel.

1. Channel 10 This is a very popular Israeli channel that is available on cable. The internet broadcast is usually live during the mornings and evenings Israel time.
2. Channel 1 IBA News (English) Daily rebroadcast of the half hour long evening English news program.
3. Channel 1 Mabat News Daily rebroadcast of Israel’s most popular evening news (in Hebrew).
4. Knesset Live See what’s going on at Israel’s parliament. They also offer news programs and interviews on political issues.
5. Machon Meir – Religious Classes Online. Catch a live shiur!
6. Shopping Channel TV Shop till you drop (in Hebrew).

The Top 5 Modern Must See Israeli Movies

Israel has worked hard to shed its old image of producing cheesy ethnic insider, one or no-joke movies.

Today’s Israeli movie scene has produced some very creative, critically acclaimed on an international level. There are many dozens of quality films that have been produced in Israel in the past decade.

Highlighted here are five of the top modern movies filmed here in Israel in recent years. All of these films are must-sees.

1. The Band’s Visit – 2007 ????? ???????
IMDB Listing
This movie won Best Picture in 2007 in Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Awards. Starring popular and acclaimed Israeli actor Sasson Gabai, (The Impossible Spy, Rambo III, Made in Israel).
Synopsis: An Egyptian Police Force band come to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, yet end up lost in the wrong town with a similar sounding name.

Film critic Roger Ebert gave this film four stars and sums it up well:

They are in the middle of the Israeli desert, having taken the wrong bus to the wrong destination. Another bus will not come until tomorrow. “The Band’s Visit” begins with this premise, which could supply the makings of a comedy, and turns into a quiet, sympathetic film about the loneliness that surrounds us. Oh, and there is some comedy, after all.

2. Beaufort (2007) – This Oscar nominated film for Best Foreign Picture is the story of a group of Israeli soldiers stationed at an outpost prior to the withdrawal of forces from Lebanon in 2000. This movie cuts into the pathos of Israelis and their understanding about war, life in the Middle East, and obligation to country.
New York Times review aptly remarks that this is not so much a war movie as a study on human nature and inner feelings.

The men spend most of their time inside its heavily fortified walls, trundling down coffin-shaped corridors in spacesuitlike combat gear and bracing for the next round of attacks from an invisible enemy. Their lives are governed by tedium, claustrophobia and anxiety, and yet they clearly feel something like affection for the bleak, isolated place that has become their home.

Beaufort Movie Trailer

3. Ushpizin (2004)IMDB Listing Starring Shuli Rand and Michal Bat Sheva Rand (who are married in real life).

New York Times:

“Ushpizin” is groundbreaking on more than one count. It is a rare collaboration between secular and ultra-Orthodox Israelis and one of the first movies filmed in the insular Jerusalem neighborhood Mea Shearim with ultra-Orthodox actors.

Shuli Rand won the Israeli Academy Award for Best Actor in this film. This film also has an excellent musical score, including the popular “Atah Kadosh” from Israeli Religious Rocker Adi Ran.

Adi Ran – V’ata Kadosh:

Click here to see more video clips from this movie

4. The Syrian Bride (2004) – Clara Khoury stars in this semi-political, semi-humanitarian, semi-comedic film of a young Druze woman (Arab, but not muslim) who lives in a Druze village in the outermost portion of the Golan Heights, on the Syrian border, who travels to Syria to marry a Soap Opera star there. This tragic comedy touches on the heart strings as she says goodbye for good to her family, since she will be leaving Israel for Syria, to live with her new husband, in a country that Israel is at war with. Syrian Bride was nominated for 7 Israeli Academy Awards.

5. Medurat Hashevet (Campfire) (2004) – Set in 1981 in the early days of Israeli settling (occupation) of Judea and Samaria (The West Bank). Directed by Joseph Cedar (Beaufort), drew fire from the right-wing settler movement as the film portrays them as opportunists looking for good real estate deals rather than being motivated by political and religious beliefs. The Israeli secular crowd loved this film.

From the NY Times review:

Its broader political implications within Israel notwithstanding, “Campfire” offers an outsider an intimate portrait of family members living in uncomfortably close proximity and straining against one another during a difficult period of transition. Rachel, a tough, attractive woman whose husband died of cancer a year earlier, is tugged this way and that by conflicting desires. She longs for the security and companionship of the community. But because her first marriage was unhappy, she is unwilling to settle for another husband who won’t deliver the romantic fireworks the first one didn’t provide.

Winner of 7 Israeli Academy Awards, and nominated for another 8.

Honorable Mention: Etz Limon (Lemon Tree) (2008) – Directed by Eran Riklis (Syrian Bride). This year’s most popular film. Based on a true story, a Palestinian widow cultivates a lemon tree grove next to her house. Her new next door neighbor, Israel’s Defense Minister, Israel Navon, threatens to have the tree grove uprooted because of security concerns. This is another tragic-comedy-tear jerker-veilied left-of-center-political film. The acting is very emotional, but the message is a bit over-the-top left wing borderline propaganda siding with the Palestinians.
This film was nominated for 7 awards at Israel’s Academy Awards, and won at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.

Also See: Top 5 Israeli Movies of All Time

Israel has made recycling a top priority

Imagine if all the power needed to run Israel’s cars was harnassed from the rooftop sun collectors and sent to the Israel Electric Company for a net gain in GDP with no additional outlays

Israel is a country with little natural resources coupled with expensive sea-based transportation of imported goods. What can be done to keep the cost of energy and products down? In short – recycling and use of renewable energy.

Cleaning Solar Panels
Cleaning Solar Panels

With the hot and sunny climate, Israel is the ideal location for widespread use of solar energy. Nearly all homes today are installed with solar panels for heating household water. Soon, the Israel Electric Company will begin a pilot program to allow individuals to collect energy from solar panels and send them to the Israel power grid, and get paid!

Israel established in the late 90s a government ministry (????? ??????) to deal with environmental issues. This ministry – Eychut Hasviva, has worked diligently over the last 5 years to establish many new recycling programs. All plastic and glass bottles under 1 liter in size are purchased with a deposit fee, with convenient recycling ‘vending machines’ at the supermarkets for return and cash payback.

Most major cities in Israel now have collection points for larger plastic bottles (over 1 liter), and a new pilot program has been initiated for paper materials collection in designated bins.

Plastic Recylcing Bin
Plastic Recylcing Bin

According to the Israel Export Office hybrid car sales have risen 300% since 2007.  Brace yourself, Israel has committed to creating a green / electric car network by 2011.   Imagine if all the power needed to run Israel’s cars was harnassed from the rooftop sun collectors and sent to the Israel Electric Company for a net gain in GDP with no additional outlays.  What a way to reduce foreign energy dependence and to reshift the power balance in the Middle East.