Roberto Abraham Scaruffi: April 2012

Monday, 30 April 2012

siliconindia Daily dose
Monday, April 30, 2012

Top News
Afflicted by corruption, India's global clout has waned over the past year but could swing back if the economy regains its growth trajectory.
47 percent adolescent girls in India are underweight with a body mass index of less than the prescribed level of 18.5.
Startup City
The most telling sign a cultural revolution is underway however, is seeing just how focused the business world is on the topic.
Whether they provide tech services or not, startups around the world use technology to the fullest extent to keep their wheels rolling.
Manu Raju was named the winner of the Merriman Smith Award for Excellence in Presidential Coverage under pressure in the print category.
The Sikh Coalition, a US based community group, has launched FlyRights, an innovative mobile application that allows users to report instances of airport profiling in real time.
Google is the greatest company in the world and is single language of universe when it comes to search.
The influence of these young leaders is measured by how many followers, readers or friends one might have, how active he is in blogging, content creation and social networking.
Mallya's seven year of domain comes to an end as the largest selling Indian spirits brand, Bagpiper whisky falls behind Officer's Choice from Allied Blenders & Distillers.
Most of the corporate hubs or the core businesses in country didn't fair well in the quarterly results despite of the slow growth in net profits.
With a focus on reverse innovation, Dinesh Paliwal, CEO, Harman International turned the company's fortunes and position in market. Read to know more..
2009 founded is a leader in Indian e-commerce space, thanks to process oriented and customer centric approach.
Enterprise IT
Social Networking is the "IN" thing today and it is also a proved mantra that if you are on social networking site you get to form a network of yours.
Big data and marketing go hand in hand and companies are learning to turn big data into dollars. But how are they doing it?
Real Estate City
Monaco is one of the most magnificent locations in all of Europe. Besides its beauty, Monaco is one of the most costly cities to buy property.
Hong Kong ranked 1st position on the list for most expensive cities to rent for an office space.
CXO Insights
Making The World A Cleaner, Better And Smarter Place
Jan Money - Senior Vice President, Freescale Semiconductor
There are three major trends that will dramatically impact all of our businesses. First, there is the global movement to green everything.
Wanted - Entrepreneurs In A Large Semiconductor Company
Dinesh Ramanathan - EVP, Data Communications Division, Cypress Semiconductor
Product marketing is where interaction with customers takes place to decide on the next-generation products and their features.
India is a land of festivals. From East to West and from North to South, wherever you go, you can enjoy festivals or fairs all throughout the year.
People look for places that offer soothing climate, serene surroundings and beautiful landscape during summer, to escape from the burning sun and at the same time enjoy the enchanting charm of these places.
Blogs: Editor's Choice
We have people who did not find a job for a decade after graduation. We even have many who crossed sixty years of age and yet repent there was none who recognized their talent and put them on the right desk.
The passing of the Right to Education Act and subsequent constitutional validation by the Supreme court has been welcomed by all as a path breaking legislation which together with Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is..
QA Times
I just realized that it has been little over 5 years since I wrote about five software testing myths and it is unfortunate that I still see, hear and find people arguing about some of those myths after half a decade.
We all know that Google is the best company in maintaining the quality of its products but have you wondered how Google tests software to provide the best quality?Below are some of the Google's best practices as discussed by James A. Whittaker.
Most Read Jokes
We thought our Indian players didnt play was ALL in the name! Teams that went to the Super Six : Australia, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka..
A few days before Christmas, two young brothers were spending the night at their grandparent's house. When it was time to go to bed..
A waiter brings the customer the steak he ordered with his thumb over the meat. "Are you crazy?" yelled the customer, "with your hand on my..
Humor of the Day
Mr. Smythe had been giving his second-grade students a short lesson on science. He had explained about magnets and showed how they..
A tourist was introduced to an Indian in New Mexico who was said to have a perfect memory. Skeptical, the tourist asked, "What did you..
While proudly showing off his new apartment to friends, a college student led the way into the den. "What is the big brass gong and..

Life & Style
Success and failure of office parties depends on the way it is organized.You need to bring in different ideas to make the party more fun and interesting.
Royal weddings always have a different flavor added to it, with its rich and unique style ranging from decorations to food.

Book of the Day
The Ramayana is the oldest poem in Sanskrit.Hence its author is known as the Adi Kavi or pristine Poet.
What makes India a nation? What has held its many disparate societies with their diverse, sometimes conflicting...
Prepared for the
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
View this page at

Daily Alert app on Android
April 30, 2012

In-Depth Issues:

Iranian Admiral: "We Can Move to within Three Miles of New York" (Fars-Iran)
    "Our naval forces are so powerful that we have a presence in all the waters of the world and, if needed, we can move to within three miles of New York," Islamic Revolution Guards Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said Tuesday.
    The admiral was speaking on the anniversary of a failed April 24, 1980, U.S. military operation to rescue American hostages at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

Obama Signs Waiver Removing Curbs on PA Funding (AFP)
    President Barack Obama has signed a waiver to remove curbs on funding to the Palestinian Authority, declaring the aid to be "important to the security interests of the United States."
    A $192 million aid package was frozen by Congress after the Palestinians moved to gain statehood at the UN last September.

Lebanon Halts Libyan Arms Ship Believed Destined for Syrian Rebels (Reuters)
    Lebanese authorities seized a large consignment of Libyan weapons including rocket-propelled grenades and heavy caliber ammunition from a ship headed for the northern Lebanese port of Tripoli, the army said on Saturday.
    The mainly Sunni Muslim city has seen regular protests in support of the uprising against Assad in Syria, and any arms shipped there could have been smuggled across the border to anti-Assad rebels.

Major UK Supermarket Boycotts Israeli Exports from West Bank - Tracy McVeigh and Harriet Sherwood (Observer-UK)
    The UK's fifth biggest food retailer, the Co-operative Group, has decided to end trade with companies that export produce from Israeli settlements.
    The decision will immediately affect four suppliers, Agrexco - Israel's largest agricultural export company, Arava Export Growers, Adafresh and Mehadrin.
    See also UK Food Retailer's Boycott Could Harm Palestinians - Jonny Paul and Jeremy Sharon (Jerusalem Post)
    Agrexco also exports Palestinian produce from Gaza marketed under the company's Coral brand. The boycott seems likely to affect Palestinian farmers who use Agrexco to export their produce to Europe.

Israel's Arik Zeevi Wins Gold at European Judo Championship - Miki Sagui (Israel Hayom)
    Israel won four medals at the European Judo championship last week in Chelyabinsk, Russia. Yarden Gerbi won a silver medal, Alice Schlesinger and Soso Palelashvili each won a bronze medal.
    Israeli sports legend Arik Zeevi won a gold medal. Zeevi, 35, had won a bronze medal at the 2004 Greek Olympic games.

Daily Alert Blog 
Key Links 
Media Contacts 
Back Issues 
Fair Use/Privacy 

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S. Signals Major Shift on Iran Nuclear Program - Paul Richter
    In what would be a significant concession, U.S. officials said they might agree to let Iran continue enriching uranium up to 5% purity if it agrees to the unrestricted inspections, strict oversight and numerous safeguards that the UN has long demanded. A shift in the U.S. position that Iran must halt all enrichment activities is likely to prompt strong objections from Israeli leaders, the probable Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, and many members of Congress.
        U.S. officials say Iran is unlikely to agree to a complete halt in enrichment and that demanding it do so could make it impossible to reach a negotiated deal to stop the country's nuclear program. However, a senior administration official emphasized that such a deal remained only a small possibility because Iran has shown so little willingness to meet international demands.
        "There have been many signals lately that the red line has shifted and they're no longer pushing for full suspension," said Michael Singh, who served as President George W. Bush's top Iran advisor and who strongly opposes allowing Iran to enrich any uranium. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu argues that letting any centrifuges spin in Iran will allow scientists there to sharpen their mastery of nuclear science and edge toward bomb-making capability. (Los Angeles Times)
  • U.S. Deploys Stealth Combat Aircraft within Striking Distance of Iran - Walter Pincus
    The U.S. has deployed a number of F-22 Raptor stealth jets, its most modern fighter bomber, to Al Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Aviation Week reported. Despite a more conciliatory tone, the Obama administration has sought to keep up the pressure on Tehran, warning that the economic pain will worsen unless Iranian leaders agree to broad changes to ensure that Iran's nuclear facilities cannot be used to make nuclear weapons. (Washington Post)
  • Moderate Presidential Candidate Gets Egypt Poll Boost - Heba Saleh
    The electoral chances of Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a moderate Islamist doctor running for president in Egypt, received a boost this weekend after a powerful hardline Islamist organization announced it would back his candidacy. The Salafi Call, an ultraconservative clerical grouping, decided to favor Aboul Fotouh in the May 23 poll over Mohamed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, whose conservative credentials would have made him the more logical choice.
        Aboul Fotouh, a Brotherhood dissident, has attracted backing in liberal and leftist circles because of his promises to protect personal freedoms and his insistence on referencing the spirit of religion rather than the firm application of all its strictures. The Salafis fear that Brotherhood control of both parliament and the presidency would marginalize them. (Financial Times-UK)
        See also Meet the Islamist Political Fixer - Muslim Brotherhood Presidential Candidate Mohamed Morsi - Eric Trager (New Republic)
        See also Egypt Islamists Fail to Agree on Presidential Candidate
    According to polls, ex-Arab League head Amr Moussa is most likely to win the election as he will be supported by those who fear the Islamization of the country. (Voice of Russia)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Benzion Netanyahu, Father of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dies at 102 - Yair Altman
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's father, Benzion Netanyahu, died Monday at 102. Netanyahu senior was a renowned historian, specializing in the golden age of Jewish history in Spain, and a professor emeritus at Cornell University. He was secretary to Revisionist Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky, and also served as science editor for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica. Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1910. His family immigrated to then-Palestine in 1920. (Ynet News)
  • Jordan: Syria Violating Agreement on Yarmouk River Water-Sharing - Hana Namrouqa
    Jordanian water minister Mousa Jamani on Thursday said political action is needed to resolve persistent Syrian violations of a water-sharing agreement concerning exploitation of the Yarmouk River, which forms a boundary between the two countries for nearly 40 km. "Cultivation on the Syrian side of the river is consuming more than the allocated amount because pumps and pipelines are extended to irrigate farms that are not along the riverbank," Jamani noted.
        Jordan and Syria signed an agreement in 1987 to regulate water sharing between them. Jamani noted that since the agreement was signed, the number of Syrian dams increased from 26 to 48, while 3,500 wells were drilled to pump water from the river basin. "The underground water in the basin is the source of the springs that feed the Yarmouk River. The more wells are drilled, the less water flows," he said. Until the 1960s, the Yarmouk River's flow used to reach 16 cubic meters per second, but has since dropped to one cubic meter per second. (Jordan Times)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis (Best of U.S., UK, and Israel):
  • Cease-Fire in Syria Exposes Heavy Price of Just Buying Time - Neil MacFarquhar
    A UN-backed cease-fire has neither stopped the fighting in Syria nor forced the government to pull its troops from civilian neighborhoods. It has been called a failure by activists still dodging bullets on the streets of Syria and by senior Obama administration officials questioned in Congress last week. Despite months of fighting, Western and Arab sanctions that have sapped the national treasury, and defections that have eroded the military, the Syrian government is not on the verge of falling nor abandoning its use of lethal force.
        The rest of the world, fearing the chaos that further militarizing the conflict might bring, remains reluctant to arm the opposition. In public and privately, senior administration officials made clear that they had no expectation that Syria would implement the Annan plan. (New York Times)
  • Hopes for a New Egypt Marred by Pervasive Corruption - Yasmine Saleh
    Many Egyptians dread applying for official documents, knowing they may have to spend hours, days or even weeks waiting in grubby offices to complete the paperwork. A finely-tuned system is at work, one that lines the pockets of state employees. Weary citizens list an entire vocabulary of gestures, glances and phrases to show a palm must be greased. "I wish you a trouble-free day" and "Help me buy something nice for the kids" are often accompanied by a knowing smile.
        A policeman boasted of his technique. He waits outside state buildings where car licenses and other documents are disbursed and offers to speed up routine paperwork in exchange for 50 Egyptian pounds ($8.27) per client. Government officials go along with his scam and in return he gives them easy access to police services. The kickbacks, he said, often total more than his entire salary of 650 Egyptian pounds ($110) per month.
        A court secretary said he can make up to 1,000 pounds in a day from bribes he takes in exchange for providing access to court documents. His monthly salary is 800 pounds. (Reuters)
  • Our Man in Baghdad - James Traub
    Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, has a remarkable ability to make enemies. This gift was vividly displayed in March, when the annual meeting of the Arab League was held in Baghdad. Although the event was meant to signal Iraq's re-emergence as a respectable country after decades of tyranny and bloodshed, leaders of 10 of the 22 states, including virtually the entire Gulf, refused to attend out of pique at Maliki's perceived hostility to Sunnis both at home and abroad, turning the summit into a vapid ritual. The only friend Iraq has left in the neighborhood is Shiite Iran, which seems intent on reducing its neighbor to a state of subservience.
        Back in January, when Turkey's prime minister Erdogan suggested that Maliki should not be waging war against the Sunni opposition at home, Maliki accused Turkey of "unjustified interferences in Iraqi internal affairs," adding for good measure that Erdogan was seeking to restore Turkey's Ottoman hegemony over the region. Maliki knows that he owes his job to Iran; consequently, when he has a problem, he runs to Tehran. Iran's rivals in the Gulf thus inevitably, even if unfairly, view him as an Iranian puppet. (Foreign Policy)
Observations: Confronting Damascus: U.S. Policy toward Syria - Andrew J. Tabler (Washington Institute for Near East Policy)
  • The best way the U.S. has of ensuring that President Assad steps aside and expediting a more democratic government in Syria is to implement "Plan B" - a coordinated effort to pressure the regime from the ground up.
  • The U.S. should work to forge and lead a coalition of countries to more directly support the opposition within Syria. Gulf countries have already indicated a willingness to help arm the opposition. Turkey, which had to deal recently with live fire from Assad's forces in the Oncupinar Syrian refugee camp, is now considering methods to funnel support to the opposition and has reportedly developed a contingency plan to create border safe havens for refugees within Syrian territory.
  • In the short term, the U.S. should share limited intelligence with the opposition inside Syria concerning the deployment and movement of regime forces, especially as they approach population centers for an assault.
  • Second, the U.S. should assess ways to support popular self-defense alongside civil resistance as two sides of the opposition coin.
  • Third, Washington should immediately expand contingency planning about possible direct U.S. military support as part of actions to head off massacres or a humanitarian disaster. This includes supporting the creation, with allies such as Turkey, of safe havens inside Syria.
  • Greater U.S. involvement would increase the chances that the new Syria is much more democratic and closer to American interests than Bashar al-Assad's regime.

    The writer, a fellow in The Washington Institute's Program on Arab Politics, testified before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee on April 25, 2012.

        See also Words of the Prophets - Thomas L. Friedman
    If the Annan plan fails, then the West, the UN and the Arab League need to move swiftly to set up a no-fly zone or humanitarian corridor - on the Turkish-Syrian border - that can provide a safe haven for civilians being pummeled by the regime and send a message to the exhausted Syrian Army and residual supporters of Assad that it is time for them to decapitate this regime and save themselves and the Syrian state. The quicker Assad falls, the less sectarian blood that is shed and the more of the Syrian state that survives, the less difficult a difficult rebuilding will be. (New York Times
Advertise | Subscribe to this report
HomeVideoMP3 RadioNewsNews BriefsIsrael PicsOpinionJudaism
Monday, Apr 30 '12, Iyar 8, 5772  
Today`s Email Stories:
Obama Ready to Concede to Iran on Enrichment
Netanyahu’s Father Passes Away at Age 102
Terrorists to Lose 50% of NI Benefits
London Olympics: Jerusalem Capital of 'Palestine'
Poll: Netanyahu Maintains Power
Mofaz: It's Me or Netanyahu
US Lawmakers Want Rights to Iron Dome Technology
  More Website News:
Former Mossad Head Dagan supports Diskin
PA Turns Hunger Strike into Humanitarian Disaster
Attempt to Abduct Israeli Girl at Disney World
Erdan: Diskin, Dagan Harm the Efforts on Iran
Injured Soldier Receives Certificate in Hospital
  MP3 Radio Website News Briefs:
Talk: Media Terrorists
Using a Strong Arm
Quiet Selection

1. 60 Day Extension on Beit El Demolition
by Maayana Miskin 60 Day Extension on Beit El Demolition

The Supreme Court ruled Sunday that demolition of two unpopulated buildings in Beit El, north of Jerusalem, may be postponed by 60 days. State attorneys requested the deferral in hopes that the extra time will allow them to find a solution other than demolition.

The court ordered the buildings destroyed by May of this year after the left-wing group Yesh Din filed suit claiming they have been built on land owned by a Palestinian Authority Arab man.

However, the question of who owns the land has not yet been resolved in court. Beit El residents were not heard in the initial case, and have appealed to a lower court, arguing that the land is in fact legally theirs.

State Prosecution attorney Osnat Mendel told the court that the state is re-examining the status of buildings in Beit El as a whole, and needs time to complete its work. In addition, she said, the state is not prepared for a demolition at this time.

Justices Asher Grunis, Edna Arbel, and Yoram Danziger partially granted  the request, giving 60 days instead of the 90 that Mendel asked for.

Yesh Din attorney Michael Sfard expressed annoyance at the verdict. 

Comment on this story

Israel Pics

View It!
Political Cartoon
Sunday, April 29, 2012
View It!

2. Obama Ready to Concede to Iran on Uranium Enrichment
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Obama Ready to Concede to Iran on Enrichment

President Barack Obama is prepared to make a major concession to Iran on uranium enrichment while The New York Times says analysts downgrade the chance of war. The newspaper cited dissension in Israel over a military strike, tighter sanctions and hints of Iranian flexibility as reasons for optimism.

The readiness by President Obama to support Iran’s continuing enrichment of uranium to concentrations of 5 percent is in direct opposition to the position of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who told CNN earlier this month, “They have to stop all enrichment," including even 3 percent grade uranium.

The Obama administration now is willing to allow 5 percent enrichment if Iran were to take other major steps to curb its ability to develop a nuclear bomb,” The Los Angeles Times reported Monday. The “other steps” apparently refer to inspection by United Nations officials and undefined safeguards.

Iran already is producing 20 percent enrich uranium, less than the 90 percent needed for fuel for a nuclear bomb but enough to cut by more than half the time needed to enrich to levels above 90 percent.

The proposed concession by President Obama might suit him well politically against de facto presidential candidate Mitt Romney. He probably will oppose the concession as another sign of weakness while the president may be able count on support from an American public more concerned with the domestic economy than with foreign affairs.

The New York Times, which generally takes a conciliatory line on Iran and Hamas, quoted former Obama administration diplomat Dennis Ross as saying, “While there isn’t an agreement between the U.S. and Israel on how much time, there is an agreement that there is some time to give diplomacy a chance,”

He added, “It doesn’t mean the threat of using force goes away, but it lies behind the diplomacy.”

The newspaper stated that the Obama administration thinks that talks two weeks ago in Turkey between Iran and Western leaders left the United States with a more optimistic outlook that Iran will be more flexible to solve the crisis over its unsupervised nuclear development.

President Obama intends to introduce tighter economic sanctions on Iran by July 1. American officials believe the looming threat of tighter economic sanctions convinced the Iranians to take the negotiations more seriously, and that in turn has reduced the threat of war.

“We are in a period now where the combination of diplomacy and pressure is giving us a window,” one administration official was quoted as saying.

The hawkish camp points out that Iran has a history of not keeping its word while conducting a policy of dragging out talks and negotiations in order to buy time for proceeding with development towards nuclear capability.

A policy of skepticism towards Iran is being undermined by dissension in Israel, stoked by openly harsh comments by former Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) chief Yuval Diskin. He flatly charged that Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Netanyahu cannot be trusted to determine policies on Iran, and opined that a military attack on Iran could actually spur it to accelerate its nuclear program.

In addition, IDF Chief of Benny Gantz told an Israeli newspaper last week that he agrees with officials in the Obama administration that Iran has not yet decided to build a nuclear bomb.

Comment on this story

3. Netanyahu’s Father Passes Away at Age 102
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Netanyahu’s Father Passes Away at Age 102

Prof. Benzion Netanyahu, father of the Prime Minister, passed away in his Jerusalem home early Monday morning, He was 102. His funeral will begin at 5 p.m. at the Har Menuchot Cemetery in the Givat Shaul neighborhood in Jerusalem.

The senior Netanyahu was the aide to Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the “father of Revisionist Zionism,” and was a professor of Jewish history and was known as a strong nationalist.

Benzion Netanyahu was born in Warsaw and moved with his family to Israel in 1920. One of his sons, Yonatan, was killed in the raid on Entebbe, and he is survived by two other sons, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Dr. Iddo Netanyahu, a radiologist and writer.

After arriving in Israel, the Netanyahu family lived in Tel Aviv and Tzfat before settling in Jerusalem.

Benzion Netanyahu frequently traveled to New York to promote Zionism and remained there in the 1940s to act as executive director of the New Zionist Organization of America.

He was against the United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine and returned to the newly-reestablished State of Israel in 1949. Benzion Netanyahu was editor of the mammoth Encyclopaedia Hebraica (Hebrew Encyclopedia.)

Five decades later, he opposed Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement to compromise on sovereignty over Hevron and was strongly against the “Disengagement” plan, under which the Sharon government, with Binyamin Netanyahu’s initial support, expelled 9,000 Jews from Gush Katif and northern Gaza, destroyed their homes and ordered a total withdrawal of the IDF from the region.

Comment on this story

4. Terrorists to Lose 50% of National Insurance Benefits
by Gil Ronen Terrorists to Lose 50% of NI Benefits

The Knesset's Labor and Welfare Committee approved on Monday a bill sponsored by MKs David Rotem and Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu) that cuts by half the National Insurance benefits to terrorists who are citizens of Israel.

Terrorists who served at least ten years in jail will lose half of the benefits for unemployment, disability, old age, work accidents and more.

"While everyone in Israel talks about elections, in Yisrael Beitenu we are working as usual and fulfilling the promises we gave the citizens of Israel – citizenship means loyalty, and the absurd situation in which the state of Israel takes money from everyone's pockets to pay those who hurt and murdered Israeli citizens will cease," MK Rotem said.

"To my regret, because of a veto by the Justice Ministry, we will not be taking away all of the payments to terrorists, as we demanded in the original bill."

MK Afu Agbaria (Hadash) attacked MK Rotem in the course of the debate and said: "You are a terrorist yourself; you undermine the laws of the state."

Comment on this story

5. London Olympics: Jerusalem Capital of 'Palestine,' not Israel
by Gil Ronen London Olympics: Jerusalem Capital of 'Palestine'

Until Monday morning, the official website of the 2012 London Olympics portrayed Israel as a country without a capital, while Jerusalem was listed as the capital of "Palestine."

The website appears to have been fixed to show Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well.

The fix may have been the result of a request by online advocacy group My Israel to its members, to demand that Jerusalem be listed as Israel's capital.

Last week, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) rejected a request from the families of the Israeli athletes who were murdered by Arab terrorists at the 1972 Munich Games to organize an official commemoration on their behalf.

Ankie Spitzer, whose husband, Andre, was one of the 11 Israelis killed, said the IOC did not want to enrage Arab countries by mentioning the tragedy at high profile events.

“They tell us that the Arab delegations will get up and leave, to which I said: ‘It’s okay; if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave,’” Spitzer said.

Screenshots of the website before the change (above)... and after it:


Comment on this story

6. Poll: Netanyahu Maintains Power, Even in Early Elections
by Elad Benari Poll: Netanyahu Maintains Power

Amid speculation that elections for the Knesset are imminent, a poll released Sunday found that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will retain his leadership after the next elections and will even receive more seats than he currently has.

The New Wave poll, which was carried out for the Yisrael Hayom newspaper, is in line with other polls recently released, all of which have shown that the Likud will maintain its power in the next elections.

The poll was conducted among 500 adult Israelis, including Arab Israelis, and found that that if elections were held today, Netanyahu’s Likud party would win 31 seats, four more than it currently has. Labor under Shelly Yechimovich would go up four seats and win 17 seats, while Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party would lose one seat, ending up with 14 Knesset seats.

The party which would drop the most, according to the poll, is Kadima headed by Shaul Mofaz. Kadima is currently the Knesset’s largest party with 28 seats, but the poll found that if elections were held today, it would drop to 13 seats. Former journalist Yair Lapid’s newly formed party would receive 12 seats.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence party is absent from the poll indicating, as previous polls have predicted, that he will not pass the electoral threshold.

Respondents to the poll were also asked who they believe is most appropriate to be the next prime minister. Here too, Netanyahu is the winner with 29.1 percent of support. Trailing behind him are Lieberman and Yechimovich with 9.2 percent each and Lapid with seven percent. Only 4.6 percent of respondents said they believe Mofaz is most appropriate to be prime minister.

Mofaz said on Sunday that the real battle in the next election will be between him and Netanyahu.

Speaking at a Kadima conference in Petah Tikva, Mofaz said, “All the other parties, even Yisrael Beytenu and Labor, do not have candidates for prime minister.”

He added added, “We will rally all the forces in Kadima. The Israeli public will have to decide between an alternative government under my leadership and the option that Netanyahu will be prime minister for another four years without providing an answer to Israel's urgent problems.”

Comment on this story

7. Mofaz: It's Me or Netanyahu
by Elad Benari Mofaz: It's Me or Netanyahu

Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said on Sunday that the real battle in the next election will be between him and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Channel 2 News reported.

Speaking at a Kadima conference in Petah Tikva, Mofaz said, “All the other parties, even Yisrael Beytenu and Labor, do not have candidates for prime minister.”

Mofaz, who said he believed that the earliest possible date for elections is October 16, added, “We will rally all the forces in Kadima. The Israeli public will have to decide between an alternative government under my leadership and the option that Netanyahu will be prime minister for another four years without providing an answer to Israel's urgent problems.”

Mofaz’s comments come as speculation continues that Netanyahu will call an election soon. One of the speculations is that the coalition may fall because of disagreements on the Tal Law that regulated the exemption from service for hareidi yeshiva students.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that he will present a universal national service law to the Knesset to replace the Tal Law.

Lieberman threatened that his party would leave the coalition over the matter of the Tal Law. "We are a responsible party," he said. "We did everything to preserve the coalition. The best date for elections is the original date, but we are not hostages."

In what may have been a response to Lieberman’s threat, Netanyahu later said that he will not hesitate to hold elections if the coalition partners try to blackmail him.

On Friday it was reported that Labor chairwoman Shelly Yechimovich plans, in a few weeks, to submit a bill calling to dissolve the current government.

Yechimovich, who recently indicated she intends to run for the position of prime minister, said that “after three years of Netanyahu's government, Israel has reached unprecedented gaps between poverty and wealth.”

Yechimovich added that the current government has brought about “galloping erosion in the situation of the middle class” and “an international record for employment of contract workers.”

Political officials had said that Yechimovich’s proposal was coordinated in advance with none other than Netanyahu himself, but she has denied any coordination with Netanyahu on the issue.

Comment on this story

8. US Lawmakers Want Rights to Iron Dome Technology
by Rachel Hirshfeld US Lawmakers Want Rights to Iron Dome Technology

Lawmakers in the US House of Representatives have agreed to invest millions of dollars in the Iron Dome anti-missile weapon for Israel, as long as the United States can acquire the development rights to the weapon system, The Hill reported.

Members of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee reportedly elected to set aside $680 million to assist Israel in buying the Iron Dome weapon in its version of the fiscal 2013 defense spending bill, according to the report.

In 2011, Congress approved approximately $200 million for Iron Dome buys, which US and Israeli officials claim has been vital in defending Israeli territory from short-range rocket and mortar attacks fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

In March alone, the three Iron Dome systems deployed in southern Israel successfully intercepted 80 percent of the 300 rockets and mortars fired into the country from Gaza, Defense Department spokesman George Little said on March 27.

Subcommittee members stated that the system "proven very effective" in protecting Israel's southern borders in their portion of the House defense bill.

The funding would work to "ensure long-term cooperation" between the United States and Israel on Iron Dome development, according to members.

However, before the United States allocates the funds, House members want Missile Defense Agency chief Lt. Gen. Patrick O'Reilly to "ensure the United States has appropriate rights to this technology," The Hill reported.

According to the subcommittee’s legislation, while the United States has invested nearly $900 million into Iron Dome work, to date it “has no right to the technology involved."

The House proposal would share rights to the weapon's proprietary technology "as is consistent with prior U.S.-Israeli missile defense cooperation," according to the subcommittee.

In addition the Department of Defense and O'Reilly "should explore any opportunity to enter into co-production of the Iron Dome system with Israel, in light of the significant U.S. investment in this system," stated the panel's draft bill.

Comment on this story