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Israel is the country that stands most to gain from the world's decreased dependence on oil. We always looked upon the Israelis as the potential natural leaders in developing alternate fuels. Israel has the manpower, scientific institutions, and the private enterprise needed for such an endeavor. In effect, going back to the 1950's, it had people aware of the problems that come from being dependent on oil when living in an unfriendly neighborhood. Israelis worked on oil shales first, then on solar, biomass, and geothermal technologies; the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) has even created a "Commission for Future Generations" when it became obvious that for environmental reasons, as well as for sustainable development reasons, the world will have to switch to non-fossil fuels. Nevertheless, Israel itself did not implement these technologies, it also did not give away for free the technologies it did develop, perhaps because of political reasons resulting from the government's close relation to the US. In effect the Environment Ministry became a repository for politicians with other aspirations. In its own interest, as journalist Thomas Friedman said - "petrolism" is the main reason for lack of peace in the Middle East - the Israeli government should have taken a more agresive position on this subject, one seriously wonders why this did not happen.

We launched this Israel section on SustainabiliTank.info because we realized that above may change, if not through the leadership of the government, then at least through the push of NGOs and perhaps with the help of aggregates of local government.


 
Israel:

 

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 13th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From Fareed’s website of Thursday April 13, 2017:

The Deep Danger of AI

The growing embrace of artificial intelligence and “deep learning” raises an important – and potentially troubling – issue, writes Will Knight in MIT Technology Review. What if we can no longer understand the decisions machines make?

“There’s already an argument that being able to interrogate an AI system about how it reached its conclusions is a fundamental legal right. Starting in the summer of 2018, the European Union may require that companies be able to give users an explanation for decisions that automated systems reach,” Knight says.

“This might be impossible, even for systems that seem relatively simple on the surface, such as the apps and websites that use deep learning to serve ads or recommend songs. The computers that run those services have programmed themselves, and they have done it in ways we cannot understand. Even the engineers who build these apps cannot fully explain their behavior.”

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

From the pen of Prof.Robert Reich:

I Urge You to Boycott United Airlines

By Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Facebook Page
11 April 17

The night before last, United overbooked its plane traveling from Chicago to Louisville. It offered $400 and a hotel for passengers to voluntarily give up their seats. When it had no takers it upped the offer to $800, but still no one volunteered. So United randomly selected four passengers to be removed. Three obliged, but the fourth said he was a doctor and had to be at a hospital in morning and refused to deplane. As a result, the company forcibly dragged the man off the flight (see video, below it says – but we do not post videos).

Yesterday, United issued a statement via Twitter apologizing “for having to reaccommodate” its customers. Reaccommodate? This doesn’t look like any reaccommodation I’ve ever seen.

There are now only 4 major carriers left, including United. Nonetheless, if you have any choice at all, I urge you to boycott this disreputable and irresponsible airline.

What do you think?

———————————————-

We post this because we sympathize with that passenger. As it turned out those seats were needed for airline personnel and we remember how years ago we were inconvenienced on an EL AL flight by that airline believing, as State owned, their personnel have over-riding priority.
We avoid EL AL since then.

we believe these are symptoms of a police state; An atmosphere of might makes right.

==============================================

ALSO YESTERDAY:

Sean Spicer apologized Tuesday after saying Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II.

The White House press secretary had made the comment earlier Tuesday in an effort to shame Russia’s alliance with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his use of chemical weapons.

“I was obviously trying to make a point about the heinous acts that Assad had made against his own people last week, using chemical weapons and gas. Frankly, I mistakenly made an inappropriate and insensitive reference to the Holocaust, for which there is no comparison,” Spicer said. “And for that I apologize. It was a mistake to do that.”

Spicer, who said he was “aware” that gas chambers were used during the Holocaust, later said he should have “stayed focused” on Assad and asked people to forgive him.

================================================

With people getting in more information and having time to contemplate the Washington disasters -here some further notes:

DELTA AIRLINES broadcast – We beat the competition – not the customers.

The CHINESE MEDIA noted the bleeding doctor that was beaten up and dragged on the floor screaming was Asian – so you our people see how we are treated by Americans in their land.
Oh well we outside China may think that China is doing things even worse to protesters – but
who is to tell them so, if that is what they saw is democracy?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 8th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Jacom Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research

The 6th International Conference on Deserts, Drylands & Desertification

November 6-9, 2017 — Sede Boqer Campus, Israel

Dear colleagues and friends,

Following the success of the previous five international biennial conferences (2006-2014) on Drylands, Deserts, and Desertification, the organization of the 2017 DDD conference is now in full gear and the conference is scheduled to take place at the Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Sede Boqer Campus, between November 6-9, 2017.

The central theme of the 2017 conference is “Combating desertification and dryland management-theory and practice” with particular emphasis on the natural sciences, but without neglecting planning and policy issues.

In particular, sessions with the following themes are already confirmed to be held during the conference*:

• Afforestation in Drylands • Ecology of Drylands • Carbon Footprint
• Deserts and Drylands in Archeology • Dryland Agriculture
• Irrigation • Mathematical Aspects, Modeling and Analysis for Dryland Research
• Ecohydrology of Dryland Landscapes
• Geological Aspects of Deserts and Desertification • GIS Applications for Dryland
Studies • Hydrology in Drylands • NGO Perspectives on Dryland Development
• Nutritional and Food Security • On-site Waste Collection and Treatment • Remote
Sensing Applications for Drylands
• Soil and Land Restoration • Green Roofs and Urban Forestry
• Women and Economic Change in Rural-Arid Lands

* Additional specialized themes will be announced in the near future. Some themes may be merged with others, or canceled, depending on the number of presentations

Topics for additional sessions and/or specialized workshops should be submitted before April 1st, 2017. Abstracts for oral presentations should be submitted by May 15th, 2017.
Visit our website www.desertification.bgu.ac.il for updates

We look forward to seeing you in Israel in November 2017! Early Bird Registration will open in May 2017.

Prof. Pedro Berliner and Prof. Arnon Karnieli, Chairs of the Organizing Committee Ms. Dorit Korine, Conference Coordinator and the Conference Team

For more information and registration:
www.desertification.mgu.ac.il
??desertification@mgu.ac.il

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Michael Melchior is an internationally renowned Jewish leader, thinker and activist. He is a former Minister of Social and Diaspora Affairs, a former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and a former member of Knesset for Meimad.

Born: January 31, 1954 in Copenhagen and was ordained as an Orthodox Rabbi at Yeshivat Hakotel of Jerusalem in 1980. His father was Rabbi Brent Melchior, Chief Rabbi of Denmark.

what that omits is: He is the Rabbi of a vibrant community in Talpiyot, Jerusalem (Beit Boyer). In 1986, he immigrated to Israel and settled down with his family in Jerusalem, while still holding the title of Chief Rabbi of Norway.

He descends from a line of seven generations of rabbis in Denmark, Melchior was born in Copenhagen, Denmark

In Israel, Michael Melchior entered politics with the religious Meimad party in 1995. When rabbi Yehuda Amital was appointed minister without portfolio after the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin in November, 1995, Melchior served as Amital’s assistant. Melchior was selected chairman of the managing committee of the Meimad party in early 1996.

In the 1999 elections, Meimad ran as part of the One Israel alliance with the Labor Party and Gesher. Melchior won a seat, and was appointed Minister of Social and Diaspora Affairs on 5 August 1999, a post he held until Ariel Sharon became Prime Minister in 2001. Melchior was re-elected to the Knesset as a member of the joint list in 2003 and 2006 as Meimad continued its alliance with the Labor Party.

In 2008 Meimad broke away from the alliance and ran in partnership with the Green Movement in the 2009 elections, but failed to win a seat. On December 14 2012, on his Facebook page he said that he will quit Knesset elections.

It is this last paragraph from his biography that caused our interest in Rabbi Michael Melchior. The full story is that Peer Visner, a deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv, was running the Green Party. Visner strongly opposed a 2006 resolution by the United States Green Party calling for divestment from Israel. Visner wrote, “We are very disappointed that our sister party in the US did not consult with the Israel Green Party before passing this resolution.
We hope that this breach in trust between our entities will be remedied with an apology and appropriate action by the US Greens. Visner was no scientist, nor an ethicist – he was just a businessman that saw the advantage of Green business. That showed to be his weakness in
eyes of attackers that thought of dreams of ethics – both on the science end and surprisingly
for the Israeli tough – hands on – politics. Michael Melchior brought from overseas a few million dollars with which he helped a few scientists from the University in Beer Sheba and they formed a second Green Party – this is the one his biography alludes to.

To make things even worse – a third green party came into existence – the Green Leaf Party Marijuana – that basically was a Marijuana advocacy and people were snowed by all this green.

In short – it was the Melchior money, and the start of a personal court case, that sank Visner and the broken Greens. In fairness, I must confess that I spoke at the time with the professors to ask them to close te gap with Visner so they have a joint list. To no avail.
So they lost he 3-4 mandates they were entitled to when you add up the split votes.
That was the margin that would have kept Netanyahu out in the cold.

Melchior did not really give up from his ethics campaign. We find other pearls on his cape:

Some of these: “in September 2012, Melchior claimed that extremist Islamic leaders including the leaders of Hamas are ready for peaceful co-existence with Israel, and he added that he has “yet to meet with somebody who is not willing to make peace” with the Jewish state of Israel, placing the onus for lack of peace with extremist Islamic movements on Israel.

A Center for Conflict Resolution by Agreement which Rabbi Melchior serves as its Chairman. The center serves as a professional address for establishing understandings and agreements between individuals, organizations, groups and communities. The center believes in every person’s abilities to resolve conflicts and to operate in cooperation with the aid of tools from the realm of mediation. Mosaica supports the activities of 33 mediation and dialogue centers across the country with the aim of making the activities accessible to an array of communities in Israel. Thus individuals, groups and communities can contribute to a cohesive and respectful Israeli society.

Another initiative of Rabbi Melchior is Kulanu that seeks to strengthen the Jewish character of the State of Israel, enhance democracy and foster unity through its diverse projects. Kulanu is best known for its Chagim BaKehilla (literally: holidays in the community) program, which provides religious services for secular Jews for many of the Jewish holidays. Kulanu worked with Teva Ivri to launch the Shmita Yisraelit program. Programs: • Chagim BaKehilla • Shmita Yisraeli (in coordination with Teva Ivri) • Meitarim: Inclusive Jewish Educational Network • Yom Kippur Shel Kulanu • B’Yachad: For a Shared Jewish Democratic Society

In 2010, Melchior involved himself in economic issues. he co-founded the Israel Civic Action Forum which promotes higher taxation on income from the extraction of natural resources, and the use of the tax income for higher government spending to increase government spending on welfare, education and health.

Surely – none of those are bad ideas. We could have honored Rabbi Melchior more had he shown up in his hometown when the whole Green World was there in 2009 at the COPENHAGEN Conference of the Parties dealing with CLIMATE CHANGE. To us this was a sign that all that attack on the Greens of Israel was just a paid for destruction move – or call it what you want. is success was then beyond his hopes. If he wanted attention – he surely got it.

Today, April 7, 2017 – with the Middle East upheaval, and Israel alking elections, Rabbi Melchior was listed to speak on – “Did we really Came Out From Egypt?” I am sure he has
prepared again cutting words. But for what purpose? I could not find out because at the
Brodt Jewish Culture Center at 22 Zeitlin Street, Tel Aviv, Ms. Aygneska Kapuchinska refused to honor my Journalism ID and asked me to provide my credit card in order buy a ticket
for 50 Shekel. I preferred to write this up without the benefit of his pearls.
He may think I am an agnostic – to which I will answer – yes butareal Green one.

Having been in Israel for 5 weeks – I do indeed predict rain and also that shortly many creatures will show up after these 10 years of leadership drought.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Times of Israel – – Israel & the Region


Former chief rabbi: What’s happening in Syria is a holocaust. A Holocaust survivor himself, Yisrael Meir Lau calls for emergency Knesset session; Yad Vashem expresses ‘deep concern’ over ‘carnage’
BY JACOB MAGID April 6, 2017, 3:41 pm 17

[Rabbi Lau s now hief Rabbi of Tel Aviv and on the Board of Yad Vaschem – the Jerusalem Institution that memorializes the European Holocaust against the Jews – but then it also looks at other insults to humanity.]

Iran conservatives hold primary in hunt for candidate. Yad Vashem head calls for end to Syrian war and its ‘atrocities’. French presidential candidate Fillon doused in flour at campaign eventSoccer hooligans don niqabs to sidestep ban on masksPressure builds on Syria’s Assad after chemical attack.

Syrian activists: Islamic State slits throats of 33 young men For Trump, the weight of world’s problems sinks in Russian police arrest 3 suspected of links to subway bombingTurkey: Syria autopsies show chemical weapons used in attack

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, a former Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel and the current chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, told Army Radio Thursday that “what is happening in Syria is [also] a holocaust.”


“Not [just] from today, for six years a holocaust has fallen on them,” said Lau, who himself survived the Nazi slaughter of Europe’s Jews as a child and was liberated from Buchenwald death camp.


Lau said Israel and the rest of the world should put aside political considerations that may be keeping them from intervening in the civil war, joining others in Israel who have called for action in the wake of the deadly attack.


The comments came after 86 people were killed, among them at least 20 children, in a Tuesday chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun widely believed to have been carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces.

Victims of the attack showed signs of nerve gas exposure, the World Health Organization and Doctors Without Borders said, including suffocation, foaming at the mouth, convulsions, constricted pupils and involuntary defecation. Paramedics were using fire hoses to wash the chemicals from the bodies of victims.

Medical teams also reported smelling bleach on survivors of the attack, suggesting chlorine gas was also used, Doctors Without Borders said.

The magnitude of the attack was reflected in the images of the dead — children piled in heaps for burial, a father carrying his lifeless young twins.

Syrian children receive treatment following a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, April 4, 2017. (AFP/Mohamed al-Bakour)
Syrian children receive treatment following a suspected toxic gas attack in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, April 4, 2017. (AFP/Mohamed al-Bakour)

The attack refocused world attention on Syria after over six years of war that has left some 500,000 people dead by some estimates, and drew widespread condemnation and accusations of war crimes by the Syrian regime.

In Israel, leaders, politicians and others expressed outrage and called for action, with President Reuven Rivlin indirectly invoking the Holocaust in his Tuesday statement.

“We, as a people who survived the greatest of atrocities and rose from the ashes to be a strong and secure nation, we will do all we can to continue to aid the survivors of the horrors in Syria,” the president said in a statement. “We know all too well how dangerous silence can be, and we cannot remain mute.”

Avner Shalev, head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and Museum, expressed “deep concern over the appalling evidence of renewed carnage in Syria.”

“Following World War II, the global community enacted universal principles and instituted international organizations with the express purpose of averting future crimes against humanity,” he said.

Shalev called upon “world leaders and the global community to act now in order to place to put a stop to the atrocities and avert further suffering,” repeating comments made late last year.

Pressed on whether the international community’s responses to genocide have changed since the one he endured as a child, Lau replied that “the only thing we’ve learned from history is that we haven’t learned anything from it.”

Lau proposed that the Knesset convene an emergency session “at the height of the Passover recess…to give voice to the cries of the Syrian children…and all of the other innocent civilians.”

“If we don’t [do this], who will?” he asked.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 4th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Israel never developed its natural energy sources and chose to be dependent on imports of fossil fuels – a business area that is known to breed corruption. Not to mince words – Israeli politicians – a great majority of them – have unseemly court cases hanging around their necks anyway. To add to this – being a country under the magnifying glass of Western humanitarian liberalism adds much pressing weight in economic terms.

Franco’s Spain, and The Apartheid South Africa, were rich in indigenous resources and with the
help of imported technologies could demonstrate that they can survive any sanctions imposed.
But this was not the case of Israel in spite of rich technologies developed by Israelis, those technologies were not used at home, but exported with daughter companies abroad, even doing
business in Arab States. We can be thankful that Israel chose to reject Nuclear Power, but we will never understand the reasoning not to go big for available solar and wind technologies.
Even now, having suddenly become an “oil” State – thanks to the gas found on its door steps,
the business interests will not allow disengagement from coal imports.

With this introduction – let us look what we learned at the Herzliya meeting which we followed
up later by reading from a November 2016 Conference in Eilat.

THE SMART MOBILITY SOLUTIONS meeting at IDC/Herzliya included the Remarks
“FUELING INNOVATION FOR SMARTER MOBILITY” by Dr. Anat Lea Bonshtien now Acting Chairman of
FUEL CHOICES INITIATIVES in the PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE – AND Director of Administration of that Initiative.

To be more exact – Dr. Bohnstien who is a graduate in biochemistry from Tel-Aviv University (TAU). She handles in the PM’S office ALTERNATIVE FUELS and SMART MOBILITY.
To be even more exact: Together with the Ministry of National Energy, she is coordinating the inter-ministerial team that accompanies companies through their demonstration process of alternative fuels and alternative mobility technologies. She is also heading the academic relations under the Initiative.

At the IDC meeting I attended – she was all High-Tech Mobility, but in conversation with her
she told me she handles also Renewable Energy. As we are interested in both aspects – I will obviously delve in both directions.

This present posting is in effect a sequel to:
“Israel is the First Post-Industrial Society, that is why they sell $13.8 Billion technology in a deal. We start to look into what this means.” We posted this on March 30, 2017, and the sequel was somewhat delayed as I was hoping to interview Dr. Bohnshtien, but this did not come to be.

First let us touch upon the remarks Dr. Bonshtein made at the IDC meeting:

She told us about that Intel-Mobil-Eye 13.6 billion deal and the fact that serious players – Bosch, GM, Daimler-Mercedes-Benz, BMW,Volkswagen, Samsung, Harmon, nVidia, and more, established labs or at least offices in Israel – this because Israel is in front and has become a “Must” on topics like Automated Driving, Electric Mobility, Autonomous Mobility,
Smart Mobility – then there is an-eye-for-the-car – intelligent communication.

She said Israel got into this because of the economy’s loses of 15 billion Shekel/year in accidents and 4.5 billion Shekel/year in air pollution.

The family car is the second largest expense a family has in Israel – surpassed only by the cost of housingOn January 22, 2017 250 million Shekel were given to a program to innovate
and deploy in Smart Mobility Technologies. Those include resolution mapping.

She coordinates 10 Ministries involved in the Program and works with China and Singapore
that have large programs from which Israel can learn as well.

She talks of an ACCELERATOR for these programs – to be reviewed on May 18, 2017 and then followed by a large conference October 3, 2017

At IDC she was seconded by Roy Melzer a Patent Attorney at the private firm of Ehrlich & Fenster who pointed out that the Mobility Patents are owned mainly by US, Japan, Germany and Korea – in that order – and some others with Israel not high on the list. This is clear because those for countries are the main motor-vehicle producers. They discover technology
talents and buy them. But he says – WE WANT MORE THEN INCREMENTAL INNOVATION – WE AIM AT DESTRUCTIVE INNOVATION – when you see real change to new entities. The traditional players will still hold a lot of power but there will be new players that come in with the
destructive details.

Now we talk of sensors for the car – to understand what is in front, inventive software +
general computer. Some of these are hard to patent. But better visibility and transfer of information can still be patented.

————————–

On the second arm of Dr. Bonshtien’s charge – the one not dealing with Mobility
but rather with Fuels and sources of energy – preferably of the Renewable Energy kind
– with known technologies and novel technologies – we tried to get an appointment with
her but it did not happen.

So, without her help – we went to the internet to look at the:

EILAT-EILOT RENEWABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY
7th International Conference & Exhibition
November 27-29, 2016 Dan Eilat, Israel


Conference topics include:

Eilat Eilot as a Smart Solar Region
Solar Energy & Off-Grid as Catalyst for Energy Security
Science Fiction or Reality Demands – The Secret behind Micro Grids
PV in Israel – Stepping into a Massive Era
Energy Efficiency – Innovation and Implementation
Integration of Renewable Energy into the Grid
Smart Transportation as part of Smart City
Energy Storage – Will li-ion Batteries be the New PV?
The Efficiency of Pump Storage
Off-Grid as a Solution for Infrastructure in the Developing World
Sun Industry – Marine Agriculture and Algae

PROGRAM

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2016
08:00-20:00
Professional Tour in Renewable Energy Facilities
Pick-up from Arlozorov central bus station in Tel Aviv

The trip from Tel Aviv to Eilat and viewing on the way of:

The Ashalim Thermo-Solar Power Station: Megalim and Negev Energy
Brenmiller Energy Demo Site – Autonomous Storage-based Generation System + Light Lunch
Eilat-Eilot Off-Grid Demonstration Village
Robotic Cleaning of Solar Panels

Cocktail reception at the Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Research Center

Transfers to Dan Eilat Hotel

————

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2016
08:30
Refreshments and Registration
Projects Presentation, SUSTAINERGY 4, International Youth Competition for Renewable Energy
Lobby, Dan Eilat Hotel

10:00-11:30
Opening Session
Chair: Dorit Banet & Noam Ilan
Greetings
Presenting Awards to the Winners of the Sustainergy International Youth Competition
Big Blue Hall

Dorit Banet
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative

Noam Ilan
Eilat-Eilot Renewable Energy Initiative

Dr. Yuval Steinitz
Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources

MK Yael Cohen Paran
Knesset Israel

Danny Atar
KKL-JNF

Yiftah Ron-Tal
Israel Electric Corporation

Meir Yitzhak Halevi
Mayor of Eilat

Hanan Ginat
Mayor of Eilot Regional Council

Peretz Vazan
Ministry of Science, Technology and Space

Yisrael Dancziger
Ministry of Environmental Protection
11:30-11:50
The New Energy Era in Israel

Shaul Meridor
The Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources
11:50-12:50
Energy Independence in Cities – from Fiction to Science
Chair: Elad Topel
Big Blue Hall

Elad Topel
Environmental Unit Eilat-Eilot, Eilat City

Eli Lankri
Deputy Mayor of Eilat

Eliad Peretz
Cornell University; NASA; NSF

Hadas Rozen
SolarEdge

Noam Segal
The Israeli Energy Forum

Avi Brenmiller
Brenmiller Energy

Yaron Liv
IEC – Israel Electric Corporation

13:00-14:00
Lunch & Visit the Exhibition
Hotel Restaurant & Foyer

14:00-15:15
The Vision of 100% Renewable Energy
Chair: Yuval Zohar
Big Blue Hall

Dr. Griffin M. Thompson
U.S. Department of State

Emily Rochon
Greenpeace International

Tobias Kempermann
EWE

Nurit Gal
Public Utility Authority (PUA)
Panel – The Next Big Thing for Cleantech Innovation
Chair: Avi Feldman
Big Blue Hall

Avi Feldman
Capital Nature

Ross Bruton
Frost & Sullivan

Mike Freeman
Israel – Colorado Innovation Fund; Innosphere

Dr. Bracha Halaf
The Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources

Mickey Steiner
innogy Israel

Gil Golan
General Motors
15:15-16:30
Renewable Energy CEO’s Forum – an Open Discussion: Barriers, Growth and Forecasts
Chair: Eitan Parnass
Big Blue Hall

Eitan Parnass
Green Energy Association of Israel (GEA-IL); Global Solar Council

Nurit Gal
Public Utility Authority (PUA)

Gilad Yavetz
EnLight Renewable Energy

Yaron Szilas
Shikun & Binui Renewable Energy

Shai Porat
Inbar Solar Energy

Amnon Epstein
Epstein Rosenblum Maoz (ERM)

Nadav Barkan
EDF EN Israel

Shahar Ben Moyal
Arava Meshakim & Partners
Panel – Sustainable Mobility & Energy Efficiency
Chair: Zviya Baron & Limor Nakar Vincent
Tarshish Hall

Zviya Baron
PetroQuantum B.V.

Limor Nakar-Vincent
BIRD Foundation

Assaf Tamir
BEDEK Aviation Group

Ariella Grinberg-Felder
General Motors Israel

Dr. Alexis Abramson
Case Western Reserve University

Dr. Saul Reichman
Renault Innovation Lab Israel

Lana Elner
Busnet & Trucknet Drive

16:30-17:30
Global RE Opportunities for Israeli Business
Chair: Adv. Orit Marom
Big Blue Hall

Adv. Orit Marom
Shibolet & Co.

Adv. Jack Jacobs
Cleantech Law Partners

Stefan Acsinte
European Investment Bank

Yosef Abramowitz
CEO, Energiya Global; Co-founder, Arava Power

Karl Fickenscher
Power Africa

Hon. Dr. Dhieu Mathok Ding
Minister of Energy and Dams, Republic of South Sudan

Mr. Ilan Goldstein
Gigawatt Global Wind
The Scaling Up Challenge
Chair: Gil Shaki
Big Blue Hall

Gil Shaki
Office of the Chief Scientist, Ministry of Economy

Casper Van der Tak
CVDT Consulting

Zvika Klier
TIGI

Jonathan Shrier
U.S. Embassy

Dr. Harold Wiener
Terra Venture Partners

Eran Levy
Enel Innovation Hub

15:45-17:00 – Entrepreneurs, Economic and Environmental Aspects in Algae Rearing and Mariculture
Chair: Noam Mozes & Dr. Adi Levi
Coral Hall

Noam Mozes
Israel Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Dr. Adi Levi
Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

Maya Yakobs
Zalul

Hagai Stadler
Algatech

Shaul Zaban
Zenovar

Lior Kaufman
BIOALGAE

The above list, besides having given a podium to many Ministers – it also focused on


Off-Grid as a Solution for Infrastructure in the Developing World via
Sun Industries – Marine Agriculture and Algae.

But these are technologies Israelis from private enterprise presented many years ago,
and effected in foreign countries but really did not have much of an an impact in Israel proper. Will the new effort effect also Israel or it will be mainly a tool for export?

Among the participating delegations I focused on the Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, UAE, based
IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will be attending this year’s Eilat-Eilot Renewable and Clean Energy Conference. The delegation will participate in the event as part of the Agency’s mission to create a strategic plan for the Israeli government to help facilitate the deployment and proliferation of renewable energy in Israel. IRENA, based in Abu Dhabi, is the largest intergovernmental organization to promote the widespread adoption of renewable energy. The arrival of the globally recognized green powerhouse to the conference is a major boost for the Israeli clean energy sector.

Delegation
Dolf Gielen
Director IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre
Germany

Susan Pond

LONDON: Business can and must be at the forefront of technical and policy innovation to tackle climate change, says Dolf Gielen, Head of Innovation, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in an exclusive Climate TV interview during IRENA’s Innovation Week in Bonn earlier this month.

Innovative technology already exists today to help companies meet their 100% renewable electricity goals, according to the Head of Innovation. “There are companies that are more in the service sector, like supermarkets, where it’s clear that rooftop solar photovoltaic can have a very important role,” he underlines, “especially if combined with energy efficiency and perhaps even some forms of energy storage – for example also cold storage, because there’s a lot of refrigeration demand.”

“A different story is the energy-intensive companies, like cement production, iron, steel, petrochemical. These are sectors where renewable electricity can play a role, but you also need to find a solution for the thermal energy demand, and we think that bioenergy there and bio-refinery concept can play a more important role.”

Following the plan drawn up in the historic Paris Agreement, business must act now to reach net zero emissions over the next half century. The role of technical innovation in this scenario is crucial, says Dolf Gielen, since the energy markets are going through a significant period of change – which can create huge business opportunities.

“The most prominent example is the electricity market”, he says. “You see that electricity prices have changed dramatically. There are now more and more periods of excess of renewable electricity available, where electricity is available for free, or people are even paid to use that electricity. That’s of course a great business opportunity.

“But the challenge is to find that specific application where you get most value out of that surplus of electricity. And on the other hand, there is now periods of electricity scarcity, when prices go up. So, if you have some kind of storage solution, or some type of demand-response capacity to deal with that scarcity, that’s a great business opportunity.”

GOING 100% RENEWABLE

Forward-thinking businesses are already reaping the benefits of the transition toward a low carbon economy. RE100, convened by The Climate Group in partnership with CDP, is an ambitious global initiative to engage, support and showcase influential companies committed to using 100% renewable power.

“The cliché is that industry can’t do anything because they need cheap energy and you should just leave it to the market,” says Dolf Gielen. “But industry is also the largest consumer of energy, and therefore it has a great opportunity to influence how that sector develops. And in that sense RE100 is really key.

“It’s the companies that everybody knows, the big companies, showing that it is possible to move to 100% renewables, and that has of course a great function as an example for all the others. If these companies can do it, then why not everyone?”

Business and government must collaborate to unlock the trillions of dollars of investment needed for the transition to a net zero emissions economy. Policy support for this shift is key, and innovative solutions can accelerate progress.

The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance has played a vital role in shaping the Paris Agreement, showcasing the importance of sub-national governments in driving bold climate action that makes sense for both businesses and citizens.

ROLE OF INNOVATION

“What is clear from the discussion so far is that we see very rapid technological innovation, but we can almost take that for granted,” says Dolf Gielen, commenting the first day of IRENA’s Innovation Week. “While on the side of the market design, policy design, and business models – that’s probably where a stronger push would be warranted and that’s also where the great progress can be achieved and where the business opportunities are.

“The second outcome is that it’s clear that the power sector is the one where we will see more change in the coming years, and it’s going to be very interesting how that will evolve in different markets – probably we are going to see a diversity of solutions and pathways , and that will create fantastic new business opportunities.”

Leading businesses, investors and policymakers will convene at the end of the month in London for the Business & Climate Summit – the first big event post-Paris to implement what was agreed last December – and work together to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.

This year must be the turning point to implement the strategies that will help keep global temperature rise under the 2 degrees Celsius threshold – a pathway that is good for business, good for growth and good for the environment.

The Business & Climate Summit, on June 28-29, 2016 in London, will be critical to build the partnerships needed to scale up and accelerate this inevitable transition toward a more prosperous world.

Dennis Volk,Programme Officer
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

and Susan Pond

Dennis Volk advises IRENA member states and their governance decision makers in the design and implementation of enabling environments for the development and integration of renewable resources into power systems. His main focus areas are institutional design choices and techno-economic governance frameworks which ensure the reliable, affordable and sustainable development and operations of power systems at the interface between existing infrastructures, technology innovation and deployment. His advisory work, strategically summarised under the umbrella of the IRENA Regulatory Empowerment Project, responds to needs expressed by IRENA member states and cuts across several regional programmes in Africa, America and South-East Asia. Dennis’ advisory work builds upon his 10 years of experience in national and international power system governance, including for market liberalisation and renewables development and integration. As a former electricity analyst with the German federal energy regulator (‘Bundesnetzagentur’) he understands the various practical challenges of framework design and implementation in all relevant detail, a set of experience which he combines with global knowledge on energy markets and power systems through his work for the International Energy Agency (IEA). He is contributor to various decision making processes and author of various targeted papers.

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Also – as the conference was held at Eilat and a special emphasis was in place for marine technologies – the following has to be specially noted – this because we are familiar with the algae work we helped some 25 years ago to open a second plant in Brazil based on the Eilat plant that was built with Japanese investment according to studies performed at Bat Galim near Haifa:

Meeting of Investors and Entrepreneur in Marine Biotechnolgy Mariculture
15:30- 15:45 Registration

Introduction session:

Entrepreneurs, economic and environmental aspects in algae rearing and mariculture

Chairmans: Noam Mozes, Ami Ben Amotz

15:45-15:55 Establishing Algae production in the Desert, with a future perspective

Hagai Stadler, Alga-technologies

15:55-16:05 Recirculating Aquaculture Systems – the future of fish farming in large commercial operations

Yoav Dagan, Aqua-Maof

16:05-16:15 Remarks on conservation vs. development in the Gulf of Eilat

Maya Yakobs, Zalol

16:15-16:25 Environmental aspects in development of environmental friendly mariculture park in Southern Arava

Noam Mozes, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development

16:25-16:45 Innovation on alae companies:

Univerve – Raanan Hertzog

Bioalgae – Lior Kaupman

Nori-Blue – Belya Potash

TransAlgae – Doron Izenshtat

16:45-17:00 Economic aspects of producing fuel from micro and macro algae

Ruslana Rachel Palatnik, University of Haifa

Entrepreneur Investors’ Meeting

Chairmans: Yaron Himhi

17:00 – Opening greetings

17:00-17:10 Meir Yitzhak Halevi – Mayor of Eilat
17:10-17:20 Hannan Ginat – Mayor of Eilot Council
17:20-17:30 Eli Lankri – Deputy Mayor of Eilat
17:30-18:00 Coffee break

18:00-18:15 The development of a biotechnology and mariculture park in Southern Eilat-EilotNoam Mozes,

Shaul Zaban, Dror Nachmias, Uri Harel

18:15-18:30 MBE foundation

Yaron Kimhi

18:30-18:45 Optional R&D infrastructure and facilities

Rafi Fridman

18:45-19:00 Mariculture – present and future challenges

Hanna Rosenfeld, National Center for Mariculture, IOLR

19:00-20:00

Expert panel answering questions from the audience on the requirements, possibilities and limitations of entrepreneurs in the development phase of the mariculture park Eilat-Eilot

Moderator: Yaron Gunda

Panel experts:

Ely Lankri, Noam Mozes. Hanna Rosenfeld, Amos Tandler, Sheldon Pink – Director of Industry area in Aqaba.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 4th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

EUobserver NEWS – ENERGY

EU-Israeli gas pipeline to compete with Russia.

By ANDREW RETTMAN

BRUSSELS, April 4, 2017 – 09:14

The EU and three member states have backed a plan for Israel to reduce Europe’s gas dependence on Russia – The European Commission and ministers from Cyprus, Greece, and Italy signed up to build a new gas pipeline from Israel to Europe at a meeting in Tel Aviv on Monday (3 April).


Israeli gas considered safer than Russia’s, which has been used for political blackmail


The 2,200-km East-Med pipeline would connect Israeli and Cypriot offshore gas fields to Greece and Italy.

It is designed to come online in 2025 with a capacity of up to 16 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year.

It would be the longest and deepest ever built, but an EU co-financed feasibility study by Italian firm IGI Poseidon said the project should go ahead.

Speaking in Tel Aviv on Monday, EU energy commissioner Miguel Arias Canete took a swipe at a competing Russian project, Nord Stream 2.


“North Stream is a pipeline [that] adds nothing to the [EU’s] security of supply,” he said.

He said the commission’s strategy was “to diversify sources, routes, and suppliers” and hinted that Israel was a safer partner than Russia, which has used gas to blackmail neighbouring countries.


“Cyprus and Israel are very reliable suppliers,” he said.

With Nord Stream 2 disliked by Baltic, central European, and Nordic states, Canete added that the Israeli project “is a pipe that unites and will have the full support of all the members of the European Union”.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s energy minister, said US investment banks, such as Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, got excited about the €6 billion project when they learned that the commission was on board.

“When they heard that the European energy commissioner was behind it [and] ready to give some assistance, that was very helpful,” he said.

He said the amount of gas discovered for export so far, up to 500 bcm, was “just the tip of the iceberg”.

Carlo Calenda, Italy’s economic development minister, said Rome would seek the backing of the G7 club of wealthy nations, which includes Canada, Japan, and the US, for the pipeline at a summit in Sicily in May.

The Cypriot energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said the project would “showcase” the region’s potential as an alternative EU supplier.

The much bigger Nord Stream 2 pipeline is designed to pump 55 bcm of gas a year to Germany from 2020, concentrating EU supplies in Russia and Germany’s hands.

It faces open questions on whether EU laws would apply to its offshore section, as well as complaints from the Polish energy regulator, but Russia has already started buying pipe segments.


Political risk


The East-Med pipeline is to run through Cypriot waters to avoid disputed maritime zones with Turkey and Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

But EU-Israeli cooperation carries other political risks.

According to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, the EU’s envoy to Israel delivered a stinging rebuke on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians last week.

He said Israeli evictions in the West Bank constituted “forced transfers” in violation of Israel’s “obligations” under the Geneva Convention as an “occupying power”.

The ambassador, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, read out the EU note, which had been approved by all 28 member states in the bloc’s Political and Security Committee, at a meeting with Israel’s top foreign ministry official.

The EU foreign service had planned to hold a summit with Israel in February to upgrade relations, but plans were put on hold after a surge in Israeli settlement expansion.

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That means the major political risk as seen by the EU is thus the treatment by Israel of the Palestinians – but here at SustainabiliTank we are now confident that Trump is working on this so possible realignments are on the political horizon as well.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 2nd, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Jerusalem Post Israel News

DEFEAT FOR CHIEF RABBI YOSEF IN HIGH COURT RULING ON ‘AGUNAH FROM SAFED’

BYJEREMY SHARON MARCH 30, 2017 13:59

In 2014, the Safed Rabbinical Court issued an innovative ruling in Jewish law issuing a bill of divorce to a woman whose husband was in a permanent vegetative state, on behalf of the husband.


In a defeat for Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, the High Court of Justice gave its final decision on the “Aguna from Safed” case.

Thursday’s ruling, that the Supreme Rabbinical Court may not hear a third party appeal to a lower court divorce ruling, is a blow to Yosef, who fiercely opposed the precedent set in the case. The decision is a victory for the woman herself and the “Mavoi Satum” organization, which represented her and which claimed that severe damage would be done to the finality of all rabbinical court rulings if third party appeals were heard by the Supreme Rabbinical Court.

The Aguna from Safed is the case of a 34-year-old woman whose husband sustained severe injuries in a motorcycle accident nine years ago, after which he fell into a coma and has never recovered.

Jewish law stipulates that a man must freely give his wife a bill of divorce, a get, for the marriage to be formally terminated.

But since an unconscious person is unable to do so this situation leaves his wife “chained” to the marriage.


In the summer of 2014, three rabbinical judges of the Safed Rabbinical Court, in consultation with the man’s doctors, ruled there was no serious likelihood that he would ever wake from his coma.

They then used an innovative interpretation of Jewish law concluding that they could issue a “get zikui” – a bill of divorce that is granted on the husband’s behalf – which he would agree and desire to give if he could.

According to the interpretation used by the rabbinical judges, it is a positive Torah commandment to end a marriage if the husband is no longer able to fulfill his marital obligations, and he would therefore want to issue the divorce if this was the case, allowing the rabbinical judges to enact this wish.

The Safed ruling was issued by court president Rabbi Uriel Lavi, Rabbi Yosef Yagoda and Rabbi Haim Bazak, who noted in the ruling that they had based their decision on the halachic opinions and writings of two of the most authoritative rabbis of the last century: Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, known as the Hazon Ish, and Rabbi Tzvi Pesach Frank.

But the ruling caused outrage among senior haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis, including Yosef, who publicly denounced it, and an uninvolved third party subsequently appealed the decision to the Supreme Rabbinical Court.

Such an appeal was itself unprecedented and Mavoi Satum appealed to the High Court claiming the Supreme Rabbinical Court had no authority to hear such an appeal.

On Thursday, the High Court upheld that claim and ruled in favor of the woman, and the panel of three judges, including deputy president of the court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, ordered the Supreme Rabbinical Court to refrain from holding such a hearing, as it had planned.

Rubinstein wrote that the woman had suffered greatly, first after her husband was injured in the accident that totally incapacitated him, then the long struggle of approximately seven years to get a divorce, and then the uncertainty of the divorce by having it challenged by Yosef, the Supreme Rabbinical Court president.

“The time has come to end this saga. The petitioner will go in peace and rebuild her life,” wrote Rubinstein.

The judges also wrote that hearing the appeal would violate the rabbinical court’s own regulations, and that reversing the decision and returning the woman to her aguna status would do injury to the Basic Law for human dignity and freedom.

In addition, they agreed with Mavoi Satum that allowing a third party appeal would injure the finality of rabbinical court decisions, and, in particular, would cast a shadow of doubt over all divorces ever issued, since ostensibly anyone even without standing could appeal it.

Rubinstein acknowledged the differences of opinion in Jewish law over the issue, but said allowing a third party appeal was not the way to address such issues.

“It being the eve of the Festival of Freedom [Passover] it is fitting that we ensure that the dignity and freedom of the petitioner be respected, and through this absolute order, the journey of her tribulations will end,” wrote Justice Hanan Meltzer at the end of the ruling.

Mavoi Satum director Batya Kehana Dror warmly welcomed the ruling, saying it would not only resolve the situation of the woman in question but also encourage other rabbinical courts and judges to take responsibility for the lives of those coming before them for judgment.

“We need to find new solutions to this problem within Judaism and Jewish law,” Kehana Dror said. “That is what these rabbinical judges did, and we need to let them forge new paths and not stymie this process.”

She added that Safed court president Lavi himself stated in the original ruling that if a judge finds a new solution he should not desist in applying it.

“The decision of the High Court in recognizing that the status of aguna as an injury to the dignity and freedom of chained women, even if it is ostensibly in the name of Jewish law, is a precedent that is likely to encourage important solutions within Jewish law for the sake of repairing the world and for the rights of Jewish women,” Kehana Dror added.

She acknowledged however that the strong stance taken by Yosef and the rabbinic establishment against the get zikui would have a chilling effect on other rabbinical judges who might consider issuing a groundbreaking ruling of their own.

AND YOSEF”S REVENGE:

The fact that Lavi was prevented by Yosef from even being nominated to the Supreme Rabbinical Court in the most recent round of appointments would further discourage such rulings.

Neither Yosef or the Rabbinical Courts Administration issued a response by press time.

But we want to bring attention to this case. We think Israel will not be able to lead again
humanity if it does not rid itself of the ultra-religious who insist in meddling in other peoples business – as if they have the direct line to God.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 30th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Getting close to the end of our 5 weeks visit to Israel we slowly are reaching the conclusion that the technology phenomenon of present days Israel has turned the country into a Post Industrial Community – the first of this kind – and well ahead of the New USA that in itself, in strange ways, it came about thanks to forces unleashed by the Israel phenomenon.

We intend to spread our impressions over a series of articles. The first of which will deal with the IDC – or the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya – founded by a 1992-1994 vision to Have a High Level, English Speaking, University in Israel. This by the Dean of the Law Faculty at Tel Aviv University – Prof. Uriel Reichman – who is still the President of what is now a sizable University.

It has 1850 students from 86 countries with a students/teacher ratio of 8:1 and 20,000 Alumni worldwide.

Israel has now 39 Institutions of High Learning and IDC is #1

Having described this let me describe the structure. It is built on what was an air-force base
and still on a strip of land between the school and the sea, there is a commercial air-field for small planes.

The University has a central lane with buildings for the 20 schools in basically two parallel lines. A large number of dormitory units are being built on a third line – outside the school gates. The school is expected to grow now by leaps.

What made me go to Herzliya – just two train stops from Center Tel Aviv – or one stop from the Tel Aviv University (TAU) – were two Conferences:

(1) DIGIT2017 or Digital Journalism on Monday, March 27, 2017 and

(2) SMART MOBILITY SOLUTIONS (OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES) on Wednesday March 29, 2017.

Also, this week they had going on a 30 business-managers round-table.

You can say this is a Business School with associated Law School, Psychology School, Management School etc. … twenty of them.

Now, one is remembered by the daily papers that Israelis have just sold “smart-cars-eyes” for a neat some of $13.8 Billion, while less noticed is tat once a week there is a $400 million deal.

Some of these sales are actually investments with Israeli High Tech men and women continuing to operate further the technical center in Israel. In effect as I learned in the Mobility Conference I attended – practically all important automotive businesses globally – have operations in Israel. What is being mined here are the minds of the young Israelis and IDC
is now the link between these minds and the young oversea folks.

Why did I promise that I see here the first post-Industrial society? Simply – Israel does
not make its own tooth-paste anymore. They have to import it or pay royalties and let someone use Colgate”s name. But when it comes to export smart drones or missile-parts – you can count on Israel. The Digital-topic Conference went into depth of Internet Communication; the Mobility Conference dealt in depth with future mobility motoric Communication – a tic tat for many in the room has already been cleared by the technology masters that originated from here.

And why did I mention the Israel – US relationship? This because of the impact of Israel’s difficulties with its geography neighborhood. While President Obama, an intellectual himself, understood well the Israeli potential in energy sources substitution and acting on climate change or topics of Sustainability, it was his disagreement with the way the Israel Government refuses to do the obvious things he thought were due. So, Israel hoped that being helpful in switching the American Administration from left to right will back the Israelis that want to hang on to the status quo. But as we will present in future columns – this was a very faulty proposition and President Trump is really not campaigner Trump. It seems that Trump wants rather a Nobel Prize for being more pointed in cutting the ME (Middle East) Gordian knot.

But on this later.

Here I only would like to bring out some more about the IDC and its Schools.

When you come in through the main gate – address given Kanfei Nesharim 2, Herzliya 4610101,
you see a big building – Dr. Miriam & Sheldon G. Adelson School of Entrepreneurship that has as its main ingredient the Sam Zell Entrepreneurship Program.

In front, at the side and on grass – stands a stylized Elephant figure by Zigi Ben Haiim,
called Vintage Breeze 1990, of stainless steel, concrete, and copper – Donated in the honor
of the Adelsons by Tsipi and Yori Ben Haiim.

To those that do not know, Sheldon Adelson is a Las Vegas and Macao tycoon Republican to his core, owner of the Israeli Press (some 4 papers) and backer of Prime Minister Netanyahu and
co-creator of the Trump phenomenon.

Then, walking the campus you encounter other known contributors, many from the top US money crust.

The Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy, and Strategy,

The Arison (shipping and Banking) School of Business,

The Baruch Ivcher (from Peru) School of Psychology, with the Sagol Center for Brain & Mind,

The Tiokin School of Economics,

The Radzimer Law School

Some of the Latter being part of the Raphael Recanati Scool of Business.

The Sammy Ofer School of Communication,

The Efi Arazi School of Computer Science

And the School of Sustainability that was established not by an individual but by a Corporation – Israel Corp., ICL & ORL. the only such listing.

I noted these facts not because I do suggest any taint in the material studied – definitely not – but only to show that I expect the business approach to be one of good business.

If Mr. Adelson might not care much much for Sustainability, the IDC will nevertheless make sure that Sustainability as good business will be a table-topic. So no worry – this side of Trump will not win.


And I found indeed: “We strive to develop and use our natural resources, but in a careful and responsible manner. It is our moral duty to future generation to leave the planet habitable.”

Prof. Yoav Yair, Dean of the School of Sustainability.”

The Founding Dean of Sustainability at IDC was Prof. Mordechai Schecter – Prof. Emer., Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Univ. of Haifa;
Dean, School of Environmental & Natural Resource Economics.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 25th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Jerusalem Post Opinion

PEACE WHEN JEWS AND ARABS EDUCATE THEIR CHILDREN TOGETHER

BYREBECCA BARDACH MARCH 22, 2017 22:02

“We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

Golda Meir was one of my heroes growing up – a smart Jewish woman who worked tirelessly, selflessly, on behalf of the Jewish People to secure the establishment and security of the State of Israel. So I was taken by surprise when my children’s school principal, Nadia Kinani, came in to school one day deeply upset after visiting another local school, which had these oft-quoted words of Golda Meir embedded in a huge mural at the school’s entrance: “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

Nadia is an Arab mother. She has spent the past 20 years of her life helping found and develop a Jewish-Arab integrated bilingual school in Jerusalem. At the time, this was almost unprecedented in Israel. She and other teachers had to innovate pedagogical approaches so students could learn each other’s languages, traditions, cultures and histories, while helping them commit to a shared future. Even now there are only nine such Jewish-Arab schools in all of Israel.

Seeing Golda Meir’s quote through Nadia’s experience made me understand the messages we absorb implicitly from it. Such messages lay the groundwork for a belief system that Jews and Arabs will never be able to live in peace. Such messages are not unique to this quote, nor only to Israeli Jewish schooling. They are part of the conflicted history Jews and Arabs in Israel inherit, and the ongoing conflict that embitters people’s lives and remains unresolved. Nonetheless, we can choose which lessons to draw from this history and what kind of future to build toward.

Jewish and Arab children attend different schools because Israel’s schools are tracked along communal lines: Jewish secular, religious and ultra-Orthodox, and Arab. While this reflects and respects the differences, and preferences, of the major populations in Israel, it means that the vast majority of children grow up with little or no contact outside of their community. Separate schooling, residential areas, media and the general lack of daily contact reinforce ignorance and mistrust of each other. This also prevents the development of pathways to understanding and cooperation.


Going to school together exposes you to each other’s perspectives, not only in the explicit ways they are taught, but precisely in exchanges like mine with Nadia about Golda Meir’s statement. It makes you understand each other more deeply, and examine your own assumptions.

Being together does not eliminate disagreements, but it equips you to find ways to discuss and work with them. This forges a different psychological and societal premise on which to build a society, creating a citizenry equipped to appreciate diversity and work constructively with the inherent challenges of difference. Only in this way can we stop fighting and fearing each other, and find a way to live together peacefully.

President Reuven Rivlin has been an outspoken advocate regarding the existential necessity facing Israel to build a genuine partnership between the four major community groups. Israeli society is fragmenting along these communal seam lines, facing civil tensions that can too easily turn to civil unrest. Bringing Jews and Arabs together in a shared educational partnership is not about political correctness or providing some shallow multicultural facade. It is a pragmatic, political, economic and security necessity.

The state education system plays a central role in this.

A recent report from the State Comptroller offers a sobering assessment of the failure of Israel’s education system to teach students toward coexistence, instead imparting conflicting views of Israeli society and core values. The report also offers a very clear path of action for policy makers, educators and students. It begins with bringing students together in formal and informal educational frameworks to help them appreciate the richness of their different traditions, cultures and histories, and also contend with the inevitable challenges that come with this.

The school Nadia leads, the Max Rayne Hand in Hand Bilingual School, has grown into a K-12 school, part of the mainstream school system, academically excellent and socially pioneering. It serves as a flagship for the other integrated schools in Israel, the only schools where Jews and Arabs are brought together in a shared educational partnership.

Last year Nadia was recognized by Shimon Peres as one of eight women leading profound change in Israeli society. This week the school was awarded the prestigious Education Prize by the Jerusalem Municipality.

Hundreds are on waiting lists at all six of Hand in Hand’s schools, and parents in a dozen other cities have turned to Hand in Hand to start an integrated school. These parents see this as the best way to educate their children, and the best way to build a shared future.

Not every parent in Israel has to choose to send their children to an integrated school. But every Jewish and Arab parent should be able to choose an integrated school. Those who attend will be uniquely equipped to build a society based on partnership. Those who don’t will be impacted by the consciousness that this is a normal, viable choice not just for a school but for society, and integrated programming between homogenous schools should bring groups together regularly to create contact and familiarity.

Golda Meir was right that it is the parents who shape their children’s views of enemies and allies, and this has a direct impact on the kind of future we will have as a society. The existential crises of 2017 are not those of 1948. Today’s Israeli reality requires building partnerships between Jews and Arabs. Integrated schools and coexistence programs must be scaled up to become a norm rather than the exception. Our future depends on it.

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The author is director of resource development and strategy for Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 25th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Ein Gedi is a kibbutz founded in 1953 on the edge of the Green Line separating Israel from the Jordanian-held West Bank, the kibbutz was completely isolated in the desert above the Dead Sea, the nearest Israeli village being several hours away via a dirt road.

Now the Kibbutz is home of several Israeli schools and other institutions and runs a highly valued hotel – an International Spa. With this hotel as base – I went with the Paul Winter group to Masada to listen to a panel that put bare the most important climate change issue
that is displayed here on the birds-high-flight between Europe and South Africa in an area
contested between Israel and the Arab/Islamic World. Then the following day Wednesday the 22nd, we went to a Nature Preserve to observe how children from unfriendly four States were brought together by the Convener David BenShabat, Musician Paul Winter, and Professor Yossi Leshem of the Israeli Society for the Protection of Nature.

At Masada Winter performed on his saxophone parts of his new composition – “Flyways” –
and airways photographer Matya Shick showed us photos she takes from a small AirCam plane that was built for National Geographic and Amir Ben Dov showed us pictures of unique local birds -the most interesting among them was the Lilit Hamidbar small owl.

We heard from Dov Litvinoff – the Mayor of the local Regional Council – Tamar, and Spanish Wildlife Artist Juan Varela Simo, who helps spread love of nature and got caught by the concept of painting of nature to bring together the children of the opposing factions of the Middle East.

On the following day, Wednesday the 22nd, 160 children showed up for an activity that will
help them understand issues of nature and climate and allow them to see that the “other”
side do not have to be regarded as enemies if you learn you can paint nature in tandem.

Oh well! this might be a log term investment – but could parents learn from their children?

I noted 4 States. Israel and Jordan are obvious two. Then comes the Palestinian State-in-the-making, but I mentioned to myself a fourth State of those settlers on Palestinian land that came in as colonists and are the element that stands in the way of full Palestinian-Israeli cooperation. They were here as well as their children were also invited to this joint enterprise. S far as I know – this was a first.

Later I learned that Thursday April 6, 2017 there will be another concert at Masada –
this one will be sponsored by UNESCO – a UN organization that had in the pat feuded
with Israel by taking Arabs’ position that denies rights to Israel. Can they be co-opted to become a co-convener for friendly events?

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 25th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Professor Berglas played a crucial leadership role in developing the economic department at Tel Aviv University. He began this role in 1967, which was a critical year for achieving accreditation for the department’s B.A. program by the Higher Education Committee.

Professor Berglas served the University as Chair of the Economics Department (1968-70 and part of 1978), as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (1972-4) and as Vice Rector (1978-9). As one of Israel’s leading economists, he participated in many public activities and served as a Director of the Budget in the Ministry of Finance. Later he was appointed as a Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bank Hapoalim.

In late 1992, the Tel Aviv University Senate decided to expand the Department into a School of Economics, to be named in memory of Professor Eitan Berglas, who had passed away in the same year.

Today, when you search googles for Professor Berglas, it is very difficult to find anything about the man because of the sae of material about the school that bears his name. I would like to point out that this is te highest compliment of achievement a man can get- the legacy he leaves behind.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017 I went to the Eitan Berglas School of Economics, on the Campus of the Tel Aviv University (TAU) for the yearly memorial study session named after Professor Eitan Berglas. The topic was: “THE RISING OF CRONY CAPITALISM IN AMERICA” and the lecturer – Professor Luigi Zingales of the Chicago Booth School of Business.

in short – Prof. Zingales tried to address “WHITHER AMERICA?” We found this term used by Prof. Zingales also in the “Corporate Defense Law for Dispersed Ownership” – a Scholarly volume published by Hofstra University, near New York City, where coincidentally was held the first
Obama-Romney Presidential debate.

Professor Zingales, an Italo-American, schooled in Italy, started by saying that the US starts to look like Italy – day-by-day. This surely was not meant as a compliment, though some of my friends in the US might actually prefer the Italy of today, conceding that there might be similarities with the Italy that gave the world Benito Mussolini – a proto-model for Donald Trump.

Zingales published a volume in 2012 – before the elections that year, but he complains – nobody paid attention then. He actually was depicting that changes to be introduced by an Obama Administration might lead to a Mussolini alike follow up Presidency.

Zingales remarked that FOREIGNERS can see the problems of a country better then its citizens.

The two leads for his economic evaluation that could lead to the vision of te future are POPULATION AND PRODUCTIVITY. He is an economist of numbers – not of emotions. His numbers showed a US in decline. The main problem is the LABOR PARTICIPATION DECLINE. Even taken at their prime time – there was developing a sharp decline of the value added of the labor.
Social Mobility has declined – all of tis despite the growth in GDP and even GDP/Capita
and 80%of the income goes to top 1% This is one clear cause of the Trump success.

In total there are three reasons: Decline in productivity growth; decline in employment opportunities; decline in income and average wages.

Also – Small firms decrease more then the Large Firms.

Government ought to look into these problems and help remedy them. This is done with
positive regulation which is a market place regulation. Talking about all regulation is bad
is what causes those declines. Te only country that is above regulation is Somalia – that because they have no government. what

Surely, the two hours plus of the meeting did not mention Trump – but you guess what that evening did actually present. Also, as it happened in Israel, you guess what Israel must also learn from this – and figure out how iterferred with was Obama, and how that interference did not allow him to prevent that Italy of the twenties and thirties alike development.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 19th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

This past Thursday I went to the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem, for their look at “Borders and Sovereignty” studies that this past week were dealing with “CLIMATE CROSSES BORDERS” that also results in REFUGEES CROSS BORDERS.

After the introduction of Prof. Shai Lavi, the director of the Van Leer Institute, a professor in the Faculty of Law at Tel Aviv, a technical panel took over.

It included: Mr. Nir Staiv, the director of te Israeli Meteorological ervice (IMS);
Prof. Uriel Safriel, Climate, Deserts, Desertification in the Mediterranean Basin, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and lawyer Tami Ganot of the Man, Nature, and Law” NGO.
They made clear the point how integrated the climate issues are and the fact that what happens is understandable even though sometimes not predictable. CLIMATE KNOWS NO BORDERS.

From there I went to the Paul Winter event and it was about the fact that migrating birds do not fly along man-prescribed routes – neither do they recognize man designed Nations or any borders.

But then the following day I went to an event organized by “IIESH GVUL” that means “there is a limit” – it dealt with the fact that there are rules of war and te Israeli military has to behave according to lines of self restraint. Issues of submitting ourselves to imperatives of humanity. So the limits or borders are those we submit ourselves to.

Above approach also appeared in the weekly column of Uri Avnery which I had the opportunity to bring up before him at dinner time.

Let us thus remember, and remind also our politicians, that limits do indeed exist and frontiers are put on maps by humans and are justified only if drawn with a human rights in mind.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 19th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

BIRDS KNOW NO BORDERS, THE RESULTS OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES THAT IMPACT CLIMATE _ KNOW NO BORDERS.


The Jerusalem International YMCA event of March 16th 2017

An Opening with the “Treasures of the Dead Sea movie filmed and edited by Yuval Dax.

Greetings by:

Member of the Israeli Parliament (The Knesset) Tzachi Hanegbi – newly appointe Minister of Regional Cooperation who had now the first chance to share the podium with General (Ret.)
Mansour Abu Rashid) of Jordan, Chairman of the Amman Center for Peace and Development (ACPD)
and Major Gen. (Res.) Doron Almog, Israel – Chairman of the Hoopoe Foundation.

Also, Dov Litvinoff – Mayor of the Tamar Regional Council, Iris Hahn, CEO, Society for the Protection of Nature, Israel, and Ysbrand Browers, Director, Artists for Nature Foundation.

The Concert led by Paul Winter – seven time Grammy Rewards Recipient, Plays the soprano Saxophone.

The Paul Winter consort included:
David Haughey (USA – chello); Paul McCandless (USA – oboe); Eren Basburg (Turkey – keyboards);
and Zohar Fresco (Israel – percussion);

Followed by words by Professor Yossi Leshem.


The upcoming event – March 21, 2017 at 19:30 – at the Dead Sea Research Institute auditorium
at the feet of the Masada fortress above the Dead Sea.

The Convener is David BenShabat – Dead Sea Research Institute.

The Opening Movie – “THINK TOGETHER.”

Greetings: by the Mayor of the Tamar Region; Photographer of the Dead Sea Matya Shick; and Juan Varela – Artists for Nature Foundation and the Dead Sea.

The Concert by Paul Witer with exerpts from his new composition “FLYWAYS” celebrating bird migration and the countries along the GreatRift Valley.

The Lectures by Professor Yossi Leshem on the international highway for migrating birds and
Amir Ben Dov on the Tamar Region birds.

in between above two events of March 16th and March 21st and then continuing till March 26th,
the Paul Winter team and further 30 visual arts professionals, will have cooperative events in locations around the Dead Sea the Negev and South to Eilat, – in Israel, Jordan, and Palestine. These will be joint painting or music making events intended to popularize the reasons for the plight of this sea.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 12th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The Forward, NewsBreaking News

Left-Wing Author A.B. Yehoshua Now Sees One-State Solution
Ben SalesDecember 20, 2016Leonardo Cendamo

Read more: forward.com/news/breaking-news/35…

(JTA) — For years, left-wing Israeli author A.B. Yehoshua has been fighting for a Palestinian state. For years, right-wing Israeli politician Naftali Bennett has been fighting against one.

But now they agree.


Speaking to Israel’s Army Radio on Monday, Yehoshua made a shocking shift after nearly 50 years of peace activism: “It doesn’t make sense to talk about two states.”


“This solution is made more and more difficult, more and more problematic, and after 50 years it has become even harder because of what’s happening on the ground,” Yehoshua said in an interview marking his 80th birthday. “The solution was made impossible first because of the huge settlements that now require evacuating 450,000 people, which is completely delusional.”

Instead, Yehoshua took a page from the playbook of the Jewish Home (HABAIT HAYEHUDI) party, the most hawkish in the Knesset. Bennett, the party’s chairman, vehemently opposes a two-state solution. He has pushed Israel to annex the portion of the West Bank that includes all Israeli settlements and some 100,000 Palestinians. Called Area C, the region makes up about 60 percent of West Bank land. Bennett’s plan would offer Israeli citizenship to Area C Palestinians.

Unlike Bennett, Yehoshua did not call for annexing the area. But he did suggest giving full or partial citizenship to the 100,000 Palestinians who live there.

Given that Jews who live in Area C already are full Israeli citizens, Yehoshua’s proposal ends up sounding a lot like Bennett’s.

“They conflict day and night with the settlers, and they suffer the issue of occupation in the hardest way,” Yehoshua said of Area C Palestinians. “I say to give them residency, like the [Arab] residents of Jerusalem … or even citizenship. That way, you upgrade their position. From the perspective of Israel’s demographics, there’s no problem.”

Yehoshua said his about-face “is not despair. It’s a specific solution to a substantial problem.” He said granting increased rights to Area C Palestinians means giving them benefits like unemployment insurance, Social Security and Israeli wages. Yehoshua sees it as an immediate improvement for some Palestinians, as long as a Palestinian state remains a distant aspiration.

Bennett responded on Twitter, claiming that “A.B. Yehoshua has adopted, in practice, the sovereignty plan I proposed in 2010.”

Read more: forward.com/news/breaking-news/35…

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c.100), born Joseph ben Matityahu was a first-century Romano-Jewish scholar, historian and hagiographer, who was born in Jerusalem—then part of Roman Judea—to a father of priestly descent and a mother who claimed royal ancestry.

He initially fought against the Romans during the First Jewish–Roman War as head of Jewish forces in Galilee, until surrendering in 67 CE to Roman forces led by Vespasian after the six-week siege of Jotapata. Josephus claimed the Jewish Messianic prophecies that initiated the First Roman-Jewish War made reference to Vespasian becoming Emperor of Rome. In response Vespasian decided to keep Josephus as a slave and interpreter. After Vespasian became Emperor in 69 CE, he granted Josephus his freedom, at which time Josephus assumed the emperor’s family name of Flavius.

Flavius Josephus fully defected to the Roman side and was granted Roman citizenship. He became an advisor and friend of Vespasian’s son Titus, serving as his translator when Titus led the Siege of Jerusalem. Since the siege proved ineffective at stopping the Jewish revolt, the city’s destruction and the looting and destruction of Herod’s Temple (Second Temple) soon followed.

Josephus recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the first century CE and the First Jewish–Roman War, including the Siege of Masada. His most important works were The Jewish War (c. 75) and Antiquities of the Jews (c. 94) The Jewish War recounts the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation (66–70). Antiquities of the Jews recounts the history of the world from a Jewish perspective for an ostensibly Roman audience. These works provide valuable insight into first century Judaism and the background of Early Christianity.

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MARCH 10, 2017, THE ALGEMEINER

During Moscow Visit, Netanyahu Receives Special Gift From Putin — a Nearly 500-Year-Old Copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War.

by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Russian President Vladmir Putin presents Israeli Prime Minister with a nearly 500-year-old copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War in Moscow on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.
Russian President Vladimir Putin presents Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu with a nearly 500-year-old copy of Josephus’ The Jewish War in Moscow on Thursday. Photo: Screenshot.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received a special gift from Russian President Vladimir Putin during his visit to Moscow on Thursday — a nearly 500-year-old copy of Roman-Jewish historian Josephus’ book The Jewish War.

The copy given to Netanyahu at the Kremlin on Thursday was printed in Italy in 1526.

The Israeli prime minister said he was “moved” by Putin’s gesture.

MARCH 10, 2017 5:03 PM0
Report: Member of British Royal Family to Make First State Visit to Israel
 JNS.org – A member of the United Kingdom’s royal family is reportedly expected to visit Israel this year, in what would be…

The Jewish War is an account of the Great Revolt — the uprising of the Jews of the Judea Province against the Roman Empire in the first century CE.

“This is without a doubt an important book in the historical heritage of our people,” Netanyahu said. “This book greatly influenced my beloved father, Professor Benzion Netanyahu z”l, and I read it for the first time when I was 16.”

Netanyahu further stated that Putin’s gift would be handed over to the National Library of Israel.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 11th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)


Exxon eyes Israel after Cyprus win

 www.globes.co.il/en/article-exxon…

9 Mar, 2017 14:09
Nati Yefet

After winning a Cypriot government tender, Exxon Mobile has expressed interest in bidding for Israeli natural gas tenders.

Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Yuval Steinitz met last week with senior executives from Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell during his visit to the US. The minister’s associates say that while Royal Dutch Shell will probably not take part in the new tender for oil and gas exploration licenses in Israeli waters, the Exxon Mobil executives came equipped with a great deal of relevant information, and expressed interest in the tender.

The reason is allegedly the announcement two days ago that Exxon had won a tender for oil and gas exploration in Block 10 in Cyprus as part of a consortium with Qatar Petroleum. A group composed of Italian company ENI and Total, and ENI by itself, won the concession for two other blocks in the tender.

In a fourth block already held by Total, the company asked the Cypriot government for permission to add ENI as a 50% partner in the license, because the block is located only six kilometers away from the Egyptian Zohr gas reservoir discovered by ENI. Total expects ENI’s extensive knowledge of the geology in the area to be of use in finding gas in Cyprus.

Steinitz’s associates say that since Exxon is starting to prepare for activity in a nearby area, the company believes that it is likely to prove worthwhile to develop parallel activity in Israel, and to use the same transportation infrastructure to export gas discovered in both countries to Europe.

Steinetz went to Europe early this week, and flew from there to New York and Houston for a week of meetings with energy concerns. In Rome, he met with his Italian counterpart, and held meetings in New York with the Barclays, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and JP Morgan investments banks, as well as with a group of private investors organized by the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC). In Houston, he took part in the CERAweek energy conference, and held meetings with energy companies.

Steinitz told “Globes,” I was surprised to see energy ministers and representatives of energy companies from all over the world congratulate us on the beginning of development in Leviathan, after years of delay. Almost everyone had assumed that Leviathan was a lost cause… especially given the global crisis in investments in oil and gas fields and the fact that some of the deep water projects of the Leviathan type have been canceled or postponed in various places around the world.


“In meetings with some of the world’s largest investment banks, they noted the change in Israel’s image in the energy market, from a place to be avoided into a responsible country attractive for energy investments in general, and private gas in particular. The plans we displayed for building an undersea pipeline to Turkey, and from Israel and Cyprus to Greece and Italy, aroused a surprising degree of interest.”

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Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News – www.globes-online.com – on March 9, 2017
and appears in many Israeli publications, i.e. The Jerusalem Post, March 10, 2017

SustainabiliTank, sorry for the Trump Administration’s definitive efforts to undo the Obama Administration’s great successes in decreasing the place of oil in the global energy markets,
sees now a decreasing importance of the EPA, Energy Policy, Environment Policy and Global Climate Change avoidance. But also a planed subservience of The State Department to the US oil Interests – the revival of the American Petroleum Institute (API) in the Governing of the USA.
Geting the present Israel Government interested in the cooperation in developing sea resources could perhaps take off some of the pressure in the political arena, though clearly inctreasing
pressure against the potential of an Iranian sea base on Syrian soil. All of this within Israel and US State Department attention.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 9th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

This week I got an e-mail from the Sierra Club titled – CAN HIKING HEAL? This was in my mind when visiting with the SPNI headquarters in Tel Aviv.

We all now about the APPALACHIAN TRAIL that was completed in 1937 as a sponsored work during the Great Depression years – it took more than a decade of work,

The Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail or simply the A.T., is a marked hiking trail in the Eastern United States extending between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. The A.T. is about 2,200 miles long, though the exact length changes over time as parts are modified or rerouted. More than 2 million people are said to do at least one day-hike on the trail each year.

SPNI is the “Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel” – the counterpart of the American Sierra Club and they helped create THE ISRAEL TRAIL. Can this become a healing tool in the local political conflict? Will Arabs and Jews use this trail in harmony?

Given a map of this I.T. I decided to list its course.

Actually it was inaugurated in 1995, named Israel National Trail (INT) and stretches 620 mile. It starts at the Ussishkin House in the Upper Galilee – Named for Menachem Ussishkin, a Zionist leader from Russia, the house is an SPNI museum and starting point for hikes.

From there the trail goes south close to Kefar Giladi, Kiriath Schmone, Baram, Miron,towards the the Kineret Sea. Passes Tveria and bends westwards avoiding the West Bank and aiming rather towards Nazareth and Shfaram with their Israeli Arab citizenry. From there through Yagur and Druze Ussefia towards the Nediterranean Sea Shore at Ein Hod, Zichron Yaakov, Binjamina, Caesarea, Hadera, Netania, towards North of Tel Aviv where it turns inland towards Petach Tikva. from there South-East inside the 1967 borders Schoresh and Beit Zait without reaching Jerusalem. Rounding back South West outside the Southern part of the West Bank.
The trail reaches Beit Gobrin and rounding towards Arad. From here it changes direction southwards through the Negev and ends at a border crossing to Egypt south of Eilat.
Hopefully some day it will link with an extension into the Sinai Peninsula and its mountainous areas – a complete culture and nature trail.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 7th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

The week of Purim – Is Netanyahu now a link to Putin, is Trump just trying to help a friend in trouble or was it a warning call?

Netanyahu is being interrogated at his office in Jerusalem the fourth time on several counts of suspected corruption. These interrogations go on for 5 hours each time.

This Monday the phone rang during the questioning and it was a call from Trump. It was said to the public that Trump informs him that Iran or North Korea launched a new missile and Trump wants Israel’s help. Will be the Israeli Attorney General impressed?

In parallel, it was already known since Sunday that this Friday, Netanyahu will have lunch with Putin in Moscow. The topic of discussion will be the presence of Iranian units
on Syrian soil. Will Netanyahu and his wife stay in Moscow over the Sabbath? Then they could have the chance to read the Esther Megilla at the local Temple, as Ivanka Trump and her husband will probably be doing in Florida. May be even Trump.

But the New York Times has a different idea about what Trump had to say to Netanyahu.
Supposedly he wanted just to say cool it with that construction project on those hills.

Israel Cabinet Minister of Defense, who went to Washington sensing a hurt Netanyahu,
told Lebanon not to join the Iranian side and told the Cabinet that it would be a big mistake to take over another 2 million more Arabs as part of Israel’s citizenry, this just because it would cost billions to give them full rights. That neatly lines up with Trump.

We think rather – Trump might have given to Netanyahu some advice from Tillerson on gas pipelines and the gas market – something of interest to all involved

Have a nice flight and a good weekend!

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Throughout the centuries, Purim – which celebrates the miraculous salvation of the Jews and the thwarting of Haman’s genocidal plot – has traditionally symbolized the victory of the Jewish people over antisemitic tyranny. As such, Purim is a happy, carnival-like holiday.


The Fast of Esther

The day before Purim is a fast day known as the Fast of Esther, commemorating (inter alia) the fact that Queen Esther – the heroine of the Book of Esther – and the entire Persian Jewish community fasted (4:16) in advance of Queen Esther’s appeal for King Ahasuerus not to implement Haman’s genocidal plot. The fast will extend from before sunrise in the morning until sunset. Special prayers and scriptural readings are inserted into the synagogue service.

The Megilla
The pergament on which all of this was recorded.

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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 6th, 2017
by Pincas Jawetz (PJ@SustainabiliTank.com)

Ten ways Donald Trump has already made America – and the world – great again.

He’s invigorated the left, revitalized journalism and sparked a great wave of local patriotism all across the world.

An Analysis by Chemi Shalev, an HAARETZ Correspondent.
The Haaretz, Israel, English edition – Monday, March 6, 2017

People complain that Donald Trump overstates his accomplishments. I beg to differ. Not everything is doom and gloom. In less than two months, Trump’s presidency has already sparked a profound and mostly positive revolution all across America, as well as the world. Here are the top 10 ways he’s done so.

1. He’s made people aware just how fragile and vulnerable America’s constitutional freedoms can be. Hitherto taken for granted, many Americans are increasingly appreciative of the Bill of Rights, Constitutional checks and balances, freedom of speech, protection of minorities etc. The more Trump seems blasé about such historical protections, the more people are galvanized to fight for their continued survival.

2. Trump has injected new life into the American left, recreating the kind of energy that helped propel Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. He’s resuscitated a resolve to resist and protest rarely seen since the days of the battle against the war in Vietnam.
Inspired by their disgust with Trump, millions of Americans have taken to the streets to voice their protests, thousands are flocking to town halls to spar with Republicans, and scores are choosing to volunteer, organize communities or contemplate a career in politics. After many years in which the right seemed to enjoy a monopoly on motivation and vitality, the tables seem to be turning.

3. Trump has shaken the Jewish community to its core, sparking an evolution that is too early to decipher. Feeling under threat, Jewish communities are coming together, while the Jewish establishment, with few exceptions, is under harsh scrutiny for what is perceived as its tepid response to what is also perceived as Trump’s complicity in the rising tide of anti-Semitism.
At the same time, Israel’s decision to align itself with Trump at a time when he is deeply unpopular with most Jews cannot but influence the future ties between the Jewish state and the largest Jewish diaspora. The jury is still out on where things will go, but the shake-up of the status quo was long overdue.

4. Trump is a catalyzer for solidarity and brotherhood. He has given many leftists, including this one, renewed respect and admiration for right-wing pundits and politicians who have bravely stayed true to their consciences and have continued to resist Trump, despite pressures to conform.
By the same token, Trump has brought together, at least momentarily, hitherto estranged Jewish groups from the right and the left, such as in their united response to the White House’s refusal to mention Jews in its Holocaust Day statement. And he’s definitely removed fences between Jewish and Muslim communities that share their fears and apprehensions and offer mutual support, as each becomes the target of attacks by haters. 

5. For the free press and for the journalistic profession, Trump has proven to be nothing less than a miracle worker. He’s given new glamor to investigative reporting just as it seemed to be losing its allure, as well as its funding. Trump has reawakened scores of hitherto lifeless and uninspired reporters who are now hungry for scoops and exposes and lusting for the one defining story that will bring Trump down and gain them immortality.
He’s recreated the great newspaper rivalries of yore, especially the New York Times and the Washington Post. And he’s certainly generated a great infusion of desperately needed financial relief to beleaguered news networks, whose ratings and advertising revenues have soared, as well as print and especially digital news organizations, which are collecting new subscriptions and benevolent monetary contributions like never before.

6. Trump has revitalized the careers of late night shows, hosts and comedians, including Saturday Night Live, Samantha Bee and The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, providing them with endless streams of solid material to bite into. 
Most satisfactorily, for this writer at least, Trump has saved Stephen Colbert from slowly suffocating in the previously unbearable nothingness of late night puff interviews. Millions of fans that have been mourning the demise of The Colbert Report have now been rewarded with a Lazarus-like comeback of Colbert’s biting humor and scathing sarcasm. Trump has restored their faith in humanity.

7. Trump has done wonders to generate new support for the much-maligned Affordable Care Act and renewed respect for its creator, Barack Obama. He’s definitely worked miracles in rehabilitating the image of past presidents, especially George W Bush. The 43rd president is now perceived, even by some of his strongest detractors, as a model of fairness, humility and judiciousness (compared to the present occupant of the White House, at least).
And while Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu hasn’t done himself any favors by slobbering over the new U.S. president, Trump’s magic touch is so powerful that even though they essentially promote the same policies and values, Netanyahu still seems far more polished and restrained today than he did only a few months ago.

8. Trump has exposed the American right wing’s most significant feature: rank hypocrisy. Moralistic Evangelicals suddenly cheer a pussy-grapping Chief Executive; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell thinks holding up Supreme Court picks is abominable; Republican lawmakers see positive points in ObamaCare that should be preserved; Fox News, it turns out, is far less enthusiastic about dealing with questionable military operations like the one carried out in Yemen in late January than it was in obsessively dissecting Benghazi, even when everything had been said about it four times over.
And the granddaddy of them all, of course, is Vladimir Putin, the once reviled dictator heading the Evil Empire who is now revered in some conservative circles as an improved role model that combines the best of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and Andrew Jackson put together.

9. Trump has cured many people around the world of any inferiority complexes they may have had toward America by proving that the U.S. can be just as stupid, reactionary and retrograde as anyone else. In the future this could pave the way to healthier relations for the U.S., as people stop being jealous of American superiority and resentful of American exceptionalism.
Dictators and other supporters of repression will no longer be rankled by America’s presumptuous preaching on human rights and the rule of law. Under Trump, America no longer cares what other people do, as long as they don’t do it in or against America.

10. Finally, as a direct consequence, Trump has sparked a new wave of patriotism all across the globe as people come to appreciate what they have at home more than ever before. He’s enhanced the stature of politicians who were once considered average and increased respect for the hitherto undervalued boring and mediocre.
Trump has also done wonders to renew esteem for international institutions such as the United Nations and the European Union, as well as concern for their future. In fact, for many people, Trump is now like a moral beacon, only in reverse. The new global rule of thumb, which Trump has succeeded in instilling in an amazingly short time, is simple: If Trump’s against something, you know it’s good, and if he’s for something, you know it must be bad

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ALSO:

AMERICA’S POLITICAL REVIVAL

by Timothy Egan,
THE NEW YORK TIMES, Monday March 6, 2017, The Opinion Page

My friend Sam laughed when I told him I was going to spend my Saturday at a “Search for Meaning” festival at a Jesuit college in the heart of seriously secular Seattle. He assumed, as I did, that a bare handful of the usual search-for-meaning suspects would be straining minutiae while still clinging to the meaninglessness of it all.

But nooooo — all the keynote events at Seattle University were completely sold out. In the winter of the American soul, people thronged to hear advice on how to “live a life of significance and impact” and to “find meaning in times of change, challenge and chaos.”

I credit President Trump. Not because he seems any more evolved than the first earthworms now appearing in the cold soil of my garden. But because the threats to truth, civility, rational thought and brotherly love coming from the White House have prompted a huge counterreaction.

It’s early, but we may be experiencing a great awakening for the humane values that are under siege by a dark-side presidency. People are going inward, to find something bigger than Trump, and outward, to limit the damage he inflicts on the country.


Trump has been good — indirectly — for a free press, an independent judiciary, high school civics, grass-roots political activity, cautionary tales in literature and theater, and spirituality. You don’t know what you’ve got, as the song says, till it’s gone — or nearly so.

Face it: We have become a lazy, aging, fairly ignorant democracy. Even in the most turbulent election in modern history, about 90 million eligible voters didn’t bother to cast a ballot — the basic task of citizenship. Trump took his 46 percent of those who did vote, many of whom believe fake-moon-landing-level lies, and has tried to act like the earth moved, as he said on Tuesday. It did, but not in the ways that he meant it.

It would be immodest, even overtly Trumpian, to boast about the huge circulation gains at the not-failing New York Times, or the robust support for our competitors, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. But let’s just say having a man who told an average of four false or misleading statements a day for the first month of his presidency has been good for those the president calls enemies of the people.

It’s the same story at NPR, where the number of listeners reached new heights during and after Trump’s election. “These increases confirm that there is a real appetite for factual reporting,” said Jarl Mohn, NPR’s president and C.E.O., in a release last fall. No kidding, Sherlock.

A collateral benefit has gone to comedy. Laughter is one of the best weapons in dangerous times. Trump told his lap dog, Fox News, that “Saturday Night Live” was “a failing show, it’s not funny, Alec Baldwin’s a disaster.” In fact, “S.N.L.” has had some of its best ratings in nearly a quarter century. More Trump than Trump, Baldwin is anything but a disaster. And Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show” has also taken off, since he took off the gloves.

The hottest book of the Trump era, George Orwell’s “1984,” is headed for Broadway. “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears,” Orwell wrote, with chilling prescience. Also sailing out of bookstores: Sinclair Lewis’s “It Can’t Happen Here,” Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451” and my personal favorite, Philip Roth’s “The Plot Against America.”

Trump fright has produced a deep dive into history. Millions now know that “enemy of the people” was a Soviet-era threat used by Stalinist thugs. And “America First,” Trump’s governing theme, was a slogan of Nazi sympathizers in the United States just before World War II.

Which brings us to civics. One of the great failures of late has been the diminishment of this vital owner’s manual for citizenship. Only 23 percent of eighth graders scored at or above proficiency in civics in a survey last year. Almost two-thirds of adults cannot name all three branches of government.

But now students are clamoring to talk about government and politics. The kids are demanding that their teachers do something to prevent another generation of politically illiterate citizens from coming of age. They are also marching in the street, along with their parents, who have already pulled off one of the largest political demonstrations in American history.

As for the spiritual revival, the evidence is somewhat anecdotal. We know that Trump-induced stress has spiked. As a response, many people are looking for larger meaning in their lives — or at least a psychological shelter from the storm. In a way, this echoes the first of two earlier Great Awakenings.

In stepping on American values, Trump has prompted people to find out more about those values, and ultimately to defend them. The high to his low is an unexpected renaissance.

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