7 pm Israel time, Wednesday, December 31 2014
75 Days Until The Election
UPDATES and TODAY’S BLOG:
By anyone’s description, 2014 has been a tough year for Israel on many fronts, but Israel has survived and Israelis have proved as resilient as ever. Instead of belaboring some of the negative events of the last year, let’s focus on some bright numbers–all of which bode well for the future.
This is the number of new immigrants who arrived in Israel in 2014–the most in any year of the last decade. The two leading countries supplying new Israeli residents were France (6,600) and the Ukraine (5,840).
Perhaps the most exciting fact is that 5,300 of the immigrants are under the age of 17, and another 8,200 are between the ages of 18 and 34. The oldest immigrant was 104 years old from France while the youngest was 2 months from Ethiopia.
2500 of the immigrants are adults working in the fields of engineering and technology.
This is the number of new members who joined the Bait Yehudi (Jewish Home Party) in the last two weeks. The membership drive which took place entirely online produced unprecedented results not only in terms of people–particularly young people–but also in terms of money: each of the 20,000 paid 39 shekels for membership for a total of about 800,000 shekels into party coffers. Let’s hope this all translates into strong electoral results for the Israeli “right” in March.
By the way, your humble servant is one of the 20,000.
***$100,000,000 or 2%.
This is the amount of money (and %) that has actually arrived in Gaza to support Hamas terrorists out of the $5.4 billion dollars that was promised at the Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo back in October. Of course any amount of money is too much, but your humble servant has to smile at how donor countries are not fulfilling their pledges.
***5 and 2.
These are the numbers of countries that abstained in the vote yesterday in the Security Council of the United Nations and voted no (abstained: United Kingdom, Nigeria, South Korea, Rwanda, Lithuania; voted no Australia and the United States), and thereby prevented the measure from getting the necessary nine votes to pass.
Whom do we have to thank for this surprising turn of events? The United States that engaged in some serious arm-twisting, and Israeli FM Avigdor Lieberman whose outreach to Africa in the last two years paid off with the abstentions of Nigeria and Rwanda.
By the way, it is fascinating to think back to 1947 and the U.N. vote to partition Palestine. A little remembered fact about that vote was the importance that the 10 abstentions played. Up until the very last moment, it appeared that some of those 10 countries would vote against partition but were convinced in the final days and even hours by those supporting the creation of the state of Israel.
One last note: the United States and Australia–who voted with Israel yesterday–also voted with Israel in 1947. On the other hand, the United Kingdom is the only country that abstained yesterday that also abstained in 1947.
This was the number of Jewish babies born in Israel this year. This ever-increasing number compares with 40,000 Arab babies (35,000 Muslim, 2800 Christian, 2300 Druze).
The really good news is that even though Arab mothers continue to outpace Jewish mothers in terms of babies per mother (3.4 to 3.1), the gap between the number of Jews and Arabs in the country is beginning to signicantly widen because more than 3 times as many Jewish children are being born.
On that happy note, your humble servant will wish you all a very happy New Year’s Eve. The parties have already begun throughout Israel!