Newsletter : 7fax0427.txt
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Dollar Falls, Shekel Soars
The dollar hit a seven-year low on Thursday afternoon, with the dollar-shekel rate
plummeting to 4.004. The rate later rose slightly, ending at 4.015, still the lowest rate
in over six and a half years. The dollar was weak against the Euro as well, with exchange
rates at 1.361 on Thursday.
The dollar continues to fall despite Bank of Israel's decision to lower interest rates
on Sunday. The weak dollar hurts exporters, and has an effect on the housing market, where
prices are usually set in dollars. Bank of Israel President Stanley Fischer has ignored
complaints about the changing price of housing, urging the public to use shekels
Iran Threatens Israel, U.S.
By Israel Faxx News Services
Iran's Deputy Interior Minister, Muhammad Bakr Zolkadr, said that Iran "will attack
Israel and American interests worldwide if it [Iran] is attacked because of its nuclear
program. No place will be safe for America," he vowed, "because Iran has long range
"We can shoot tens of thousands of missiles every day," he added. "We can also threaten
Israel, as the US's ally, with long range missiles."
"Nowhere would be safe for America with our long-range missiles," the official Iranian
news agency IRNA quoted Zolkadr as saying. "We can fire tens of thousands of missiles
Iran's Shehab missiles are capable of reaching Israel as well as U.S. facilities and
allies in the Persian Gulf. Western experts also believe Iran could order its Lebanese
proxy militia Hizbullah to launch terrorist attacks abroad as part of a reprisal
Land Swap Between PA and Israel?
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert might have shelved his realignment plan, but one of the
plan's initiators has different ideas.
Kadima Knesset member Otinel Schneller's realignment plan advocates a land swap between
Israel and the Palestinian Authority whereby the three Arab Israeli villages in the
triangle area would be transferred to Palestinian control in return for the annexation of
the three largest settlement blocks of Ariel, Gush Etzion and Modi'in.
Under the new plan the Arab citizens of the three villages would be able to keep their
Israeli nationality but would become part of a future Palestinian state. These citizens
would require special permits to work in Israel and would not be able to relocate to other
parts of the country.
The plan, which has been named Hong Kong as it was inspired by Britain's gradual
transferal of Hong Kong to China, would take up 30 years to implement.
Schneller said he was opposed to revoking the citizenship of the Arab Israeli citizens
whose towns will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. Under his plan they will be
carry on benefiting from the health and national insurance services. In addition, the
government would funnel funds to boost the local economy.
Schneller said the aim of his plan is to maintain the existence of a strong Jewish
majority within Israel's final borders. "I want a true demographic line. If for 20 years
we give the triangle area economic incentives, the Arabs will have the motivation to
become economic and national leaders of the Palestinian people," he told Ynet.
"Many Palestinian organizations have said that the Arab Israelis prefer not to be
citizens of the Jewish State. I am not suggesting we do this process speedily but in slow
and organized manner," he added. "As a result, Arab Israelis in these areas will have the
motivation to develop. Such a process will lead to a severance of relations out of will
and not out of a struggle or anger.
"Every newborn will get a special ID and then will have a Palestinian ID. It has to be
clear: We will not ask them to move. We will only move the border," the Kadima MK
Schneller said he co-opted his plan from Britain, which allowed Hong Kong residents to
keep their British nationality during the transferal of the territory to China but forbade
them to move to or work in England.
"We need to tell the Palestinian Israelis that they are Palestinians, and the triangle
and Wadi Ara will become prosperous, as Hong Kong became the economic center of China
because it received economic incentives," he said, adding that Israel should make sure
that the plan was not imposed on the Arab populace otherwise it will fail.
Some Arab leaders have welcomed the plan in private talks, Schneller said, adding that
he has not discussed the plan with Olmert.
Temporary Tattoos Designed to Prevent Medical Errors
Mistaken-organ medical operations occur, on the average, once every 30,000 times - one
time too many for the patient who has undergone that particular statistical improbability.
To avoid this, Dr. Arik Kahane of Assuta Hospital in Tel Aviv has developed a tattoo patch
that will make perfectly clear which organ is to be operated on.
Kahane, the hospital's deputy director, also heads the hospital's risk-management unit.
The tattoo is about to be introduced into the 11 Assuta Medical Centers around the
When a leg, hand, lung, kidney or other paired organ is to be operated on, confusion
often develops as to which side of the body requires the treatment. The tattoo is provided
to patients several days before their operations, and with the help of medical personnel,
they are to paste it onto the correct organ or side of the body.
The round sticker, made in Israel, is colored blue and reads, "Operate Here." After
approximately a week, the tattoo rubs off on its own.
Is Olmert Preparing to Abandon the Golan Heights During a Short war?
By Emanuel A. Winston (Commentary)
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is warning about an attack against Israel by Syria this
summer. Is he speaking about his discussions through the good offices of the State
Department and its former Secretary of State James Baker to arrange a brief War where
Syria's President Bashar Assad will be encouraged and allowed to overrun the Golan Heights
and - just in time, the U.S. and U.N. will call for a ceasefire in place?
Do you recall the efforts of former Prime Minister Ehud Barak (some call him the
"poison dwarf") to abandon the Golan Heights, claiming that Syria was so powerful that
their Army would kill all the Israeli soldiers and civilians on the Golan? That didn't
work. Remember, it was Barak who abandoned the Security Zone in Lebanon to Hizbullah,
which then became the launching site for 4000 Katyusha missiles. Now Olmert desperately
needs a small war to stay in office - even if it means a few hundred or more dead soldiers
and civilians as he demonstrated in Lebanon.
Would Olmert betray the nation to keep his chair and power as Prime Minister? Must I
really give you the answer since you already know?
The Knesset could bring early elections but, of course, that would mean risking the
loss of their seats, money and perks. But, remember that, thanks to failing in 2006,
Olmert has allowed Hizbullah to re-arm with at least 20,000 missiles.
Yes indeed, look for a choreographed war this summer so Olmert at the behest of Baker,
Rice and Bush can abandon the Golan as if there was no other choice. Conventional wisdom
dictates that there can be no elections during a war and Olmert keeps his seat to continue
his incompetent rule of the nation. Must we follow conventional wisdom?
The plans of stupid men are usually short-sighted. Hamas will unleash their missiles as
did Hizbullah from Lebanon. Hizbullah will once again unleash even longer range missiles
hitting targets deeper into Israel. Olmert and Peretz will be hiding in a deep hole,
saying: "I didn't think this would happen! We had an `arrangement' with Bashar and the
State Department. Why I even had General Ashkenazi pullback our troops from the Golan!"
Is Ehud Olmert in collusion with Syria's Bashar Al Assad and, with urging by the State
Department and old James Baker, planning a "restrained" war so Syria can win back the
Golan Heights they occupied from 1948 to 1967? Syria regularly fired upon farmers in the
valleys below the Heights during those 19 years.
Trusting Olmert is like sleeping with a cobra. He and Amir Peretz screwed up the 2006
Summer war with Hizbullah by forcing the IDF to fight "with restraint" and got a lot of
Israeli soldiers and civilians killed. The forests in Northern Israel are still burnt
black as far from Israel's northern border as Safed by Hizbullah Katyusha missiles. I
guess he plans a repeat performance on the Golan. Besides a "little" war will extend his
days in office and power.
Should all this happen, it would be time for a Nuremberg Tribunal, able to declare that
this treason was a hanging offense for treachery and betrayal of the Jewish State and her
Is Israel a Bikini Brand or the Holy Land?
By Yishai Fleisher (Commentary) wwww.kumah.org
What does it mean to be independent? Certainly freedom from foreign rule. But in the
case of Israel, independence should also mean the freedom to develop an independent
self-image not based on borrowed culture.
Not everyone sees it that way. In fact, Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, is
about to embark on a massive PR campaign painting Israel as a sexy modern country with
beautiful beaches and a successful high-tech industry to boot. Livni believes that by
embarking on this "nation branding" campaign, she can move Israel's perception away from
war-torn and fanatical, to an image of the great Israeli dream -- normalcy.
No doubt Israel does have something to offer those looking for beaches, night life and
technology. But as the focus of a public relations campaign, this direction is doomed for
I heard a story, attributed to the Lubavicher Rebbe, which illustrates this point:
After the Six-Day War, France, unhappy with Israel's grand victory over the Arabs, stopped
their sales of the Mirage fighter jets to Israel. Israel, in need of fighter jets, turned
to the United States with a request to buy American jets.
The US sent a delegation to Israel. The Israelis wanted to impress the American group
and promptly took them to what the Israeli's thought the American's would be most
interested in. They took them to Tel Aviv, the playhouses, the bars, to all the modernity
that Israel could muster up at the time.
However, the delegation was nonplused. They returned to America, gave a lukewarm report
to Congress, and the sale did not go through. A few months went by and again the Israelis
requested the sale of fighter jets. Again a delegation was formed and was flown to Israel.
This time, however, the Israelis took the delegation to the Western Wall and to the great
yeshivas of Mea Shearim where the Americans saw the old study benches that were brought
over from Europe.
When the Americans returned home and testified in front of Congress, they said: "We saw
the Holy Land." The sale, of course, went through.
The point is so obvious, yet Israel's image makers cannot seem to grasp it.
Israel's image strength is not in its limping normalcy. Nor can Israel ever compare to the
US's flesh-pots, Amsterdam's night life, or the beaches of South America.
Israel's real image strength is in its unparalleled link to the Bible. Have you ever
seen the ecstasy of someone who sees the Kotel for the first time? Is it a coincidence
that both Jews and Gentiles cry when they arrive in Israel? Israel has emotional impact,
not because of the beaches or the hi-tech, but rather because this place is the spiritual
capital of the world.
How can you beat the branding effect of the most widely read book in the world? The
Bible is the globe's all-time bestseller and Israel should capitalize on it. But Israel's
image makers distance Israel from this kind of image. Their world view is dissonant with
Jewish history and religion, and therefore they do not see, nor want to see, the public
relations benefit of Israel's Biblical/spiritual PR image.
Yet it is precisely by embracing and not blunting our image as the real-life successors
of the biblical past that we will create a winning PR campaign.
Examples: Imagine marketing the festival of Sukkot as the mega-season for spiritual
tourism. Or presenting Hebron, the great burial place of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs, as
a must-see for anyone seeking to connect with the roots of monotheism. The Old City of
Jerusalem is a natural-habitat, authentic biblical experience, and we should market it as
The biblical perspective also has hasbara advantages. In our continuing struggle with
the war on terror, Israel would do well to paint its story in a biblical context. Today's
Israel and yesteryear's Israel are the same -- the same nation, the same land, and the
same problems. By providing such historical perspective, we can help people reframe the
conflict in the Middle East.
Suddenly, Ahmadinejad's Iran is akin to Haman's Persia, and superpowers meddling in our
affairs is a familiar phenomenon. Girded with biblical perspective the world will root for
Israel, just as they do when they read the Bible.
Another important aspect of a biblical Hasbara perspective is Tikvah, hope. The Bible is
full of hope for the Jewish people and for Israel. In today's dreary climate we need to
broadcast that message of positively loud and clear.
Yes, we can create a successful image of Israel abroad, but we need to start by
creating the right self-image within. Israel must learn to see itself as a light unto the
world, and not just as a bastion of normalcy. Israel's 'light' includes a unique blend of
medicine and technology, law and spirituality. Where else in the world can you find a
country that is a world leader in microchip development, in-vitro fertilization, farming
innovation, Talmudic law and Kabbalah?
For the last 3000 years the Holy Land has been the pre-eminent destination for all
mankind -- travelers and conquerors all sought this piece of real-estate. Today, maybe
more than ever before, Israel can quench the world's thirst for authenticity,
spirituality, and purpose -- but it has to rise to the occasion. Let's be truly
independent and not cheapen and degrade the image of Israel by bikini-branding it. Let us
market it for what it is: the most special place on the Earth -- the Holy Land.
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