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Thursday, October 19, 2006

"Google Shmoogle"

OK, it's in quotes, but nobody actually said it. But, Google is definitely making its presence felt in Israel, along with numerous other companies investing in Israel; not just with money but with jobs. Let the Articles Roundup Bonanza begin!!:
-Out of respect for the title of this post, we will start with what's been going on in Israel in the world of business. Buckle your seat-belt, because A LOT has been happening, just over the past week.
We're going to start with Morgan Stanley's evaluation of the shekel, Israeli currency. According to Morgan Stanley's report, the shekel is 9.5% under-valued. Even-though the dollar has been weakening against the shekel for the past several months, Morgan Stanley says that it still has a ways to go. According to them, because of Israel's "strong economic fundamentals and internalized price stability", the shekel should rank at $3.90 against the dollar.

Something that's not widely known is that Israeli start-up companies are bought at the speed of light. They are that good and that valued. One of the latest "casualties" is Onigma. McAfee has bought the start-up company for $20 million. McAfee, which primarily deals in security soft-ware, has bought Onigma for its "solutions in preventing leaks from enterprises". Onigma's Israel center will stay within the country and will have its employee number increased to at least 40. McAfee has been looking to invest or link up in "strategic cooperation" in Israel for some time.

William Davidson, President and CEO of Guardian Industries and long-time investor in Israel, has decided to invest $50 million in Phoenicia.
Davidson will invest in the establishment of a new plant for the manufacture of advanced glass using innovative technology. The plant will be built in the Tzippori industrial park in the Galilee, where Phoenicia America-Israel has two plants. This will be the first foreign direct investment in Israeli industry since the end of the second Lebanon war, and will be made in northern Israel.

The company, VeriFone is in talks to move it R & D and manufacturing to Israel. The move would create at least 1,000 jobs.

Google has just opened its second R & D center in Israel, in Tel-Aviv. The other one is located in Haifa. A Professor from Tel Aviv University will head the new center.

Motorola Inc. is considering opening up a R & D center in the Jordan Valley. The center would employ up to 400 people within the next few years. It would concentrate in hiring students and engineers from throughout the northern area of Israel. The Jordan Valley is considered a prime investment region, and (this may spark more investments and residential developments in the Jordan Valley- ed.). READ THE REST...

While stem cell research is a controversial topic, it is no doubt that the research is important and will be the "hot science" for years and decades to come. With this, Israel ranks #2 in the world in its human embryonic stem cell research. It is way ahead of the UK, Canada, and Australia.
[...] The ranking was determined by German and American researchers and published in an article in the October issue of the journal Stem Cells.

In addition, four of the best hESC papers ever published in peer-reviewed journals - according to a ranking by the journal - were written by Israelis: Prof. Benjamin Reubinoff of the Hadassah University Medical Center (two papers, No. 2 and No. 7); Prof. Joseph Itskovitz-Eldor of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Rambam Medical Center (No. 8) and Dr. Shulamit Levenberg of the Technion (No. 11).
US research has been restricted because the conservative Bush administration has set limits on federal funding for such studies, allowing only existing lines to be experimented on and not permitting new embryos aborted or left over from in-vitro fertilization use to be studied (and killed).

Anti-abortion activists who support the Republican Party have defeated efforts to allow unlimited research on hESC.

But as Halacha does not regard day-old human embryos as living things and encourages medical research aimed at saving lives, no restrictions have been placed in Israel on researchers in this field except a ban on their use for human cloning.

Speaking of bioresearch and technology, Hebrew University ranks 12th in the world in university biotech transfers. I, personally, don't understand what that means, but apparently it's very good.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has been ranked twelth in the world in a global rating of university biotech transfer and in first place among universities outside the US and the UK.

In a study published by the Milken Institute of Los Angeles called "Mind to Market: A Global Analysis of University Biotechnology Transfer and Commercialization," there are rankings of the world's top universities based on the quality of their biotech research (publication ranking), the number and quality of their patents (patent ranking) and their ability to transfer this into commercial uses (technology transfer and commercialization index).
With its high place, HU also outranked some of the leading universities in the US and Britain, including Yale University (18), Oxford University (24), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (28).

-Now, it's on to different topics, not so warm and fuzzy ones.
With the developments and statements within the Lebanese government and military since the cease-fire was signed with Israel, the Lebanese are making the Israeli's job easier regarding clarifying who they'll be fighting when the next round of blood shed begins. It is glaringly clear that Israel's only problem with Lebanon is Hezbollah. They have never had any reason or provocation to fight Lebanon, itself. But, keep talking the way they are, and Lebanon will give Israel a reason to fight the country and not just some terrorist group operating as a state within a state. The only reason that Israel would ever fight in Lebanon would be to confront Hezbollah. In one of the more recent statements of stupidity and obtuseness, the Lebanese Chief of Staff said that they will confront Israel if necessary. He stated that the Lebanese Army has been given "clear commands to confront any Israeli aggression in the south". Now, why would Israel be "agressing" anything in southern Lebanon? Lebanon would do well not to try and look more macho than they really are by replacing their ineptitude and weakness at confronting and disarming Hezbollah from their strangle-hold on their country with talks of standing up to the "big bad Israeli Empire". All they are doing is making Israel's job of identifying the enemy a lot easier the next time around. One of the biggest problems Israel has had with their struggle against Hezbollah has been making sure to differentiate between Hezbollah and Lebanese targets and making sure to identify the proper enemy. They haven't been fighting Lebanon, the country, but a rogue element within it. If the Lebanese Army were to try to "confront" Israel while it defends itself against Hezbollah, Lebanon will be in a bigger mess than they bargained with. They will have Israel legitimately attacking the entire country and government. All that trouble just because they want to deflect the world's attention from the fact that they are absolutely powerless from destroying a terrorist group that has taken control of half of their country and are rearming and rebuilding with abandon. Do they honestly think that if they can't successfully confront Hezbollah that they'll be able to win in a face to face battle with Israel? Dellusions of grandeur are seemlingly running rampant in Cedar Country.

-Billionaire leftist extraodinare, George Soros, founder and backer of MoveOne.org and other left-wing silliness, is going to try to get into the Jewish lobby business. Or more so, the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel lobbying business. In an attempt to counter the AIPAC pro-Israel lobby, Soros aides say that he is fund a more "soft" and "peace promoting" oriented Jewish lobby.
An American billionaire leftist is trying to counter the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) pro-Israel lobby. Morton Halperin, an aide to billionaire George Soros, confirmed that a private meeting was held to launch a new group aimed at Americans who do not identify with AIPAC's generally pro-nationalist policies toward Israel.

Soros previously has suggested that Israel is partly to blame for anti-Semitism in Europe because of its reaction to Arab terrorism. He has been a major contributor to liberal and leftist oriented organizations.

-In further attempts to bring dhimmitude to the West and force their beliefs on the rest of us, Muslim taxi drivers in Minnesota are refusing passengers carrying alcohol. This refusal began quietly around a decade ago but has begun to pick up a lot of speed and popularity recently. Orthodox Islam forbids alcohol, and these taxi drivers are interpretating that to mean that it's also forbidden to be associated or make money off any-one else even carrying to banned substance.
[...] The number of Muslim drivers has by now increased, to the point that they reportedly make up three-quarters of the airport's 900 cabdrivers. By September 2006, on average, Muslims turned down three fares a day on booze-related grounds. According to airport spokesman Patrick Hogan, this issue has "slowly grown over the years to the point that it's become a significant customer service issue."

"Travelers often feel surprised and insulted," Hogan added.

WITH THIS in mind, MAC proposed a pragmatic solution: drivers unwilling to carry alcohol could get a special color light on their car roofs, signaling their views to taxi starters and customers alike. From the airport's point of view, this scheme offers a sensible and efficient mechanism to resolve a minor irritant, leaving no passenger insulted and no driver losing business. "Airport authorities are not in the business of interpreting sacred texts or dictating anyone's religious choices," Hogan points out. "Our goal is simply to ensure travelers at (the airport) are well served." Awaiting approval only from the airport's taxi advisory committee, the two-light proposal will likely be in operation by the end of 2006.

But on a societal level, the proposed solution has massive and worrisome implications. Among them: The two-light plan intrudes Shari'a law, with state sanction, into a mundane commercial transaction in Minnesota. A government authority sanctions a signal as to who does or does not follow Islamic law.
Why stop with alcohol? Muslim taxi drivers in several countries already balk at allowing seeing-eye dogs in their cars. Future demands could include not transporting women with exposed arms or hair, homosexuals, and unmarried couples. For that matter, they could ban men wearing kippas, as well as Hindus, atheists, bartenders, croupiers, astrologers, bankers, and quarterbacks.

-When you have an extreme, you're often tempted to go to the opposite extreme in order to counter it. If one extreme is so severe, you're often tempted to go only a few degrees in the other direction, thinking that compared to the extreme, a few degrees don't seem so bad. Of course, those few degrees might still be pretty bad, but in comparison to the extreme, those few degrees look like the polar opposite. That is exactly what is happening in Gaza, as it relates to how the West is dealing with Hamas being in power. Hamas is such a bad extreme, the West is completely willing to ignore the fact that Abu Mazen's Fatah party has become more extreme and violent against Israel since they were ousted from power. They have been trying to carry out more terrorist attacks in an attempt to "regain" the peoples' favor and former popularity. But, hearing the way the Western world is speaking about Abbas and his Fatah party, you would think they're talking about Jesus and his apostles. Of course, with the Pope's recent "comments", Abbas is looking more like roses. The man that funded and help plan the 1972 Olympic masscres and is fully knowledgeable about what his group is doing, is being discussed as if he's the most peace loving man that ever walked the face of the eart. It has gotten so bad, and the West wants Hamas out of power so badly so they go back to pouring billions into funding the PA and their terror attacks and legitimaze a corrupt government, that even Secretary of State Condi Rice has directly asked PM Olmert to release the founder of Fatah's terrorist group, Marwoun Barghouti, in order to gain Fatah more favor to get them back into power. I think rose colored glasses are the new black in the world of diplomacy.

-Speaking of Gaza, with the IDF back at the Philadelphi Crossing, the discovery of dozens of weapons smuggling tunnels, and evidence that Hamas has been arming themselves with anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, it is clear that military picture is changing in Gaza. It is also clear that Hamas is trying to take Hezbollah's strategy to heart and learn from their actions.

-With the West's, and Rice's desperation and grasping at straws in order to regain their footing in the PA, Israel needs to realize that it's obvious that the West does not have Israel's best interests at heart with the current situation. (Not that they ever did.) Israel has to develop the guts to say no to Rice, and the rest of the West, for that matter.

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