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This country was on the brink of water catastrophe, reduced to running relentless ad campaigns urging Israelis to conserve water even as it raised prices and cut supplies to agriculture. Now, remarkably, the crisis is over
By DAVID HOROVITZ, TOI
Until a couple of years ago, Israeli radio and TV regularly featured commercials warning that the country was “drying out.”
In one of the most powerful TV ad campaigns, celebrities including singer Ninet Tayeb, model Bar Refaeli and actor Moshe Ivgyhighlighted the “years of drought” and the “falling level of the Kinneret.” As they spoke plaintively to camera, their features started to crack and peel — like the country — for lack of moisture.
Ninet Tayeb in the no-longer-broadcast ‘Israel is drying out’ commercial (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
So compelling was this ad, so resonant its impact, I hadn’t actually realized it was no longer on the air. Alexander Kushnir put me straight. “We decided it simply wasn’t justified to alarm Israelis in this way any longer,” said Kushnir, who heads Israel’s Water Authority. (Read more…)
After several weeks in which it seemed that the gaps between the sides in the coalition negotiations on burden equality could not be bridged, we’re now being told, according to Maariv, that a solution is near. Senior Likud negotiators said Tuesday night that they are close to an agreement with the Jewish Home over an outline for equal burden legislation. According to those sources, the Jewish Home team told them they are authorized to negotiate on behalf of Yesh Atid as well.
At this point, sources in both teams are saying they are close to an agreement, at least over the recruitment age for Haredim: 21. This figure is a kind of compromise between age proposed by the Likud-Beitenu: 24, and the Yesh Atid position: 18. (Read more…)
The speakers were never meant to live and tell their stories. Their torturers expected them to either submit or die. But somehow these men and women managed to escape from their dungeons and concentration camps to gather at the seat of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
They came to bear witness to the crimes committed by some of the very members of this esteemed UN body. Naturally, at the Palace of the Nations, where over 80 international officials, including Foreign Secretary William Hague, will over the coming days address the Council, there will be no space for these brave freedom fighters.
This is why UN Watch, together with over 20 other NGOs, organized the Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy last week. Now in its fifth year, the annual summit does the sort of work the UN shies away from. It gives the victims, not the perpetrators, of state terror a podium. (Read more…)
… Just as Arab-Spring fever came to Egypt following Tunisia — and in both countries, saw the empowerment of Islamist parties, namely the Ennahda and Muslim Brotherhood — so too have Islamic fatwas to assassinate those opposing the Islamist agenda come to Egypt following Tunisia. …
Assassination has long been a tool of Islamic supremacism, to the point of giving the English language the word “assassinate.” Accordingly, inasmuch as Islam grows in power and influence, so too will those who resist it be prey to the Islamic dagger, both at home and abroad.
There must be something in the water at the State Department that leads successive secretaries of state to decide, seemingly on their first day there, that now is the time for a big new push at a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.
Here we go again. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz: “U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry intends to place the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the center of his diplomatic activities and to strive to achieve a breakthrough agreement between the two sides during President Obama’s second term in office, according to the assessment of well-placed sources in Washington and New York.” (Read more…)
For those involved in pro-Israel advocacy, now is the winter of our discontent. We’re on the defensive in virtually every part of the world. The BDS movement continues to spread across university campuses with even Jewish-populated Brooklyn College recently joining the fray. When I was in South Africa last week I treated to the usual orgy of anti-Israel comment in the media and even in the State of the Nation address of President Jacob Zuma. South Africa, a country I love has, sadly for now, become the new world ground zero of anti-Israel criticism.
In the UK Bradford East MP David Ward offered this jewel on Holocaust Remembrance Day:
Having visited Auschwitz twice… I am saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza.
Over the past few days the West Bank has witnessed growing unrest and violence related to the hunger strike staged by four terrorist prisoners held in Israel. Two of the prisoners were previously released in the deal to free Gilad Shalit on condition of never returning to terrorist activities, a condition they had breached and therefore landed in prison again.
The unrest over the prisoners strike has been emboldened by the economic plight of the bankrupt Palestinian Authority (PA). The Arab states have lost interest in the PA. The Persian Gulf States and Saudi Arabia have not shown any signs of care for the Palestinians, while Qatar is actively supporting rival Hamas in Gaza. Egypt has been taken over by the Muslim Brotherhood and is embroiled in its own internal crisis that has overshadowed any rivalry between Hamas and Fatah. (Read more…)
All of the fuss in Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman’s trial for fraud and breach of public trust has been about ex-deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, who was once Liberman’s lieutenant and has been touted as a star witness in the case.
It is understandable that those who are not legal experts have this misconception.
For one, it makes for fantastic and scintillating drama.
One moment Ayalon was defending Liberman and his record to the hilt, as the two of them jointly ran Israel’s foreign policy and were in the top echelon of the same political party. The next moment, Ayalon – essentially tossed unceremoniously out of public service after a distinguished career when he was dropped, still without any real explanation, from the party’s list – was the star witness against Liberman, in an incredible poetic irony. (Read more…)