UPDATE 10 am Israel time Tuesday:
A Palestinian terrorist missile struck the Chof Ashkelon region of southern Israel last night inflicting no physical injuries but wreaking untold emotional trauma on residents of the area.
Today’s update notwithstanding, there’s so much good news today that your humble servant hardly knows where to start.
1. In the face of the global economic slowdown, the Israeli economy continues to grow at a rate of 3.2%. This rate is especially strong given the economic crisis in Europe, one of Israel’s major trade partners. Israel’s S & P Credit Rating remains at A+.
2. By contrast, the Iranian economy is in free fall. The value of the Iranian rial fell 18% to 35,000 to the dollar on Monday–an 18% drop in 24 hours. The rial has now lost 80% of its value since the beginning of this year. As the cost of living and unemployment dramatically soar, one wonders how much longer Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs can keep plowing all of Iran’s money into its nuclear weapons program.
3. In the face of attempted boycotts of Israeli products, Israel exported $7.7 billion worth of goods in July and August, an increase of 6%.
The surge was fueled by an increase in pharmaceutical exports (23%), agricultural items (19%), aircraft (17%), polished diamonds (14%), machinery and equipment (13%), electronic components and computers (4.5%). The basic story is that while a very few small boycotts and divestments aimed at Israel have had limited local success, the vast majority of them have failed–thanks to dedicated Israeli supporters like you!
4. In the wake of an all-time record number of tourists to Israel last month, 6000 Evangelical Christian friends of Israel from more than 100 countries arrived in Israel two days ago to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot. Some of those countries most represented are Brazil, Australia, Bolivia, Canada, Chile, Austria, India, Italy, Norway, Nigeria, Finland, and the United States. They will celebrate in the world’s largest Sukka in Jerusalem and participate in the Jerusalem March on Thursday. Your humble servant and his family will be there to join them.
5. Ben Gurion University’s Department of Politics and Government has just been shut down by the Israel’s Council of Higher Education as of the 2013-14 academic year. It is the fitting end to a department–led by its vehemently anti-Zionist chair Neve Gordon–that has been at the forefront of attempts to institute academic and economic boycotts against Israel.
6. It has been reported this morning that Ali Hussein Nassif, one of Hezbollah’s leading terrorist commanders and the leader of all Hezbollah ground forces in Syria attempting to prop up Bashir Assad, has been killed. In your humble servant’s opinion, the only good Hezbollah terrorist is a dead Hezbollah terrorist.
7. Speaking of Syria, all of the world had a good laugh yesterday when Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem assumed the United Nations General Assembly podium and blathered that what is going on in Syria is part of a plot to distract people from the “real issues” of “the Palestinians and the Golan Heights.” By the way more massacres perpetrated by Assad’s troops were reported today in the suburbs around Damascus. Your humble servant simply cannot understand why self-proclaimed “human rights” activists around the world are not marching in the streets against the brutal Syrian regime.
8. Friends of the Earth-Middle East, an environmental group consisting of Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians announced that a 100 billion shekel initiative to clean up the southern part of the Jordan River.
Over-damming and Palestinian dumping of raw sewage has resulted in extensive pollution. The hope is that the flora and fauna along this section of the river will be restored.
9. A poll conducted by the Foreign Policy Initiative in the United States shows that 70% of all Americans view Israel in a favorable light with 80.9% of conservatives, 68.5% of moderates, and 62.9% of liberals feeling so. Israel was named as “America’s best ally in the world today” by 15.9% of the people interviewed–a number that was second only to those viewing the United Kingdom as America’s best ally.
10. The price of gasoline in Israel dropped by 31 agorot to 7.94 shekels per liter at midnight last night. Now that is really good news!
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