Newsletter : 18fx0816.txt
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Officials: 'No One will be Fully Pleased' with Trump Peace Plan
By the Jerusalem Post
Senior Trump administration officials working on a proposal for Israeli-Palestinian
peace issued a joint statement on their work on Wednesday, cautioning a world eagerly
awaiting their plan that "no one will be fully pleased" with its contents. The statement
was issued amid intensive discussions within the administration over when to release the
plan to the public.
"No one will be fully pleased with our proposal, but that's the way it must be if real
peace is to be achieved. Peace can only succeed if it is based on realities," said the
team, comprised of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser;
Jason Greenblatt, his special representative for international negotiations; David
Friedman, his ambassador to Israel; and Nikki Haley, his envoy to the United Nations.
Greenblatt, who is primarily responsible for daily work on the plan, disseminated the
statement on Twitter in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
Administration officials have said that the plan is essentially complete and could drop at
any time once the team feels the timing is right. Some officials have suggested that the
moment might arrive months from now, but others have hinted the plan could be revealed by
the end of the summer. Team members have also said for months that aspects of the plan
will appeal to Palestinians and that others will please the Israelis but that
neither will be entirely satisfied with the plan as a whole.
Finance ?Minister Reveals ?Israel is Worth 17.6 Trillion Shekels
By Israel Hayom
If the State of Israel were a public company traded on the stock market it would be
worth some 17.6 ?trillion shekels ($4.8 trillion), Finance Minister ?Moshe Kahlon
announced at a special event hosted by ?the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.? The TASE ?called on
Israelis to participate in the evaluation ?of the economy's "biggest public company"
the ?state itself. ?
Using a model developed by the World Bank, the TASE ?calculated Israel's estimated wealth
as ?NIS 16 trillion ($4.3 trillion), but when the public's assessment was factored into
the equation, the figure rose to ?NIS 17.6 trillion ($4.78 trillion).?
The World Bank's methodology was outlined in a study issued in January, titled "Changing
Wealth of ?Nations." The study tracked the wealth of 141 ??countries between 1995 and
2014, but Israel was ?excluded from it, leading the? TASE to conduct ?its own poll based
on the same parameters. ?
The polling found that 77.9% of Israelis believe ?Israel's economic future lies with the
technology ?sector. Some 62.8% of Israelis said national ?security is the most important
parameter by which ?economic prosperity can be predicted, and 47.2% ?believe the standard
of living will continue to improve. The survey further found that 39.2% of Israelis
?believe in their country's health care system, and 35.3% of the ?public believes the
educational system will continue ?improving. ?
Tel Aviv Stock Exchange CEO Ittai Ben-Zeev explained ??that the poll's questionnaire was
designed to ??examine the public's confidence in various ??institutions and its degree of
optimism about the ??future of life in Israel. ??Tens of thousands of Israelis
participated in the ?survey, he said. ?Kahlon noted that ?Israel's record of uninterrupted
economic growth and ?its falling level of debt-to-gross domestic product ?ratio were
encouraging, but warned that no economy's ?future is 100% secure. ??"Economy is, by
nature, cyclical and there is no ?insurance policy for anyone.
"We've seen what happened in Turkey: One move by ?[U.S. President Donald] Trump ?created a
roller coaster. At the moment, our ?situation is good, but economic crises have happened
and ?will happen. My responsibility as the finance ?minister is to prepare the country for
a crisis. A country that doesn't grow is a country that ?declines, growth is security,
growth is money to ?make the country stronger, for all the things you ?want. We aspire to
reach 5% [growth] per year, and at present, ?we're at 3.3%, so we need to make more
effort," ?he said.?
Malaysian Prime Minister Defends His Right to be Anti-Semitic
Anti-Semitism is an artificial construct created to silence critics of the Jews,
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said. "There is one race that cannot be
criticized. If you are anti-Semitic, it seems almost as if you are a criminal," Mohamad
said in an interview with the Associated Press on Monday, denying that he disliked Jews,
as such. "Anti-Semitic is a term that is invented to prevent people from criticizing the
Jews for doing wrong things.
"When somebody does wrong, I don't care how big they are. They may be powerful countries
but if they do something wrong, I exercise my right of free speech. They criticize me, why
can't I criticize them?"
Mohamad, an avowed anti-Semite, was sworn in as prime minister in May, nearly two decades
after he last held office. He is well known for his anti-Semitic rhetoric, writing on his
personal blog in 2012 that "Jews rule this world by proxy."
In 2003, speaking at the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit in Kuala Lumpur, he
said that "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews. There must be a
way. And we can only find a way if we stop to think, to assess our weaknesses and our
strength, to plan, to strategize and then to counterattack. We are actually very strong.
1.3 billion people cannot be simply wiped out. The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of
He has also said, "I am glad to be labeled anti-Semitic [
] How can I be otherwise,
when the Jews who so often talk of the horrors they suffered during the Holocaust show the
same Nazi cruelty and hard-heartedness towards not just their enemies but even towards
their allies should any try to stop the senseless killing of their Palestinian enemies."
He wrote in his 1970 book "The Makay Dilemma" that "The Jews are not merely hook-nosed,
but understand money instinctively." In 2007, Mohamad was not in office when he announced
the creation of a war crimes tribunal that would focus on victims of abuse in Iraq,
Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. At 92, he is the world's oldest elected leader.
He previously served as prime minister from 1981 until 1999.
Despite the controversy surrounding his remarks, he told AP that he didn't particularly
care about his legacy or how he would be remembered. "Frankly I don't care. I won't be
around," he said. "When I am dead, it doesn't matter anymore."
Survey Hints Rumors That Amazon is Opening an Israeli Warehouse May be Correct
A new online survey conducted by Amazon.com hints lends credence to reports that the
internet retail giant is looking to establish a greater presence in Israel. The survey,
which significantly is being conducted in Hebrew, seeks the views of Israelis regarding
their desire to sell their wares on the platform and various aspects of doing business in
Israel, Globes reported. The survey follows only months after a similar poll targeting
The polls highlight Amazon's interest in expanding its retail footprint in Israel and seem
to confirm earlier reports that the company is looking to open a local shipping center. In
November, the Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist reported that Amazon was negotiating
for warehouse space in the central Israeli city of Modiin and that if the negotiations
were successful, it would then launch a Hebrew language version of its website.
Israelis have been turning increasingly to the internet as an alternative to shopping in
stores. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Israel's
cost of living is among the highest in the developed world.
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