Monday, January 26, 2009

Guma Aguiar Gift Bolsters Nefesh B'Nefesh

Nefesh B'Nefesh, the Aliyah organization announced today in a press release that they have received a very large gift.

According to the release: " Nefesh B'Nefesh today announced the receipt of a major gift to support the organization's work in bringing Jews from the West to live in Israel. The donor Guma Aguiar, a philanthropist and founder of Leor Energy, gave $8 million to Nefesh B’Nefesh during the period ending December 31, 2008. The organization appointed Aguiar, a board member, to the position of Chairman of Finance.

"This substantial donation demonstrates how the remarkable commitment of Jews who choose to make Israel their home even in these challenging times, is echoed and fortified by the support of generous individuals like Guma," said Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh, "these vital funds strengthen Israel's human resources and ensure its future. The gift has already played a major role in helping Nefesh B'Nefesh bring a record number of newcomers to Israel in 2008."

It's good to know that in trying economic times generous philanthropists can step up donate money to such worthy causes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Does the Media Have a Double Standard?

Got an email from reader DM, speaking to the media bias:

Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:
"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"
"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft"

Headlines Today:
"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"
"Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"
Nothing like fair & unbiased coverage of the news !!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Netanyahu Against the World: Cut Taxes

This is a guest post from

For the first time in months we have a real proposal that will help extricate Israel from the economic crisis. Instead of another proposal calling for spending billions of taxpayer dollars to build bridges that aren’t needed, PM wannabe Benjamin Netanyahu, has called for a comprehensive overhaul in the tax code calling for steep cuts in both personal and more importantly corporate income taxes.
Finally we have someone who understands that if citizens can keep more of there money, they can then invest, spend and save it according to their needs. The problem with all these other proposals is that with big time increases in government spending you end up taking money from individuals and they have less to create new wealth.
According to Globes: “Netanyahu said, “Over the course of four years, we will lower the top personal tax rate from today’s 46% to a level of 35%, and we will lower the top corporate tax rate from 27% to only 18%.”
Netanyahu added, “The tax cut will be spread over the entire term, and lead to everyone paying about 20% less than what they pay today”.
He also called for more privatization of government held monopolies like the electric, and water companies as well the ports.
With the world on fast track to socialism, it’s so refreshing to hear a leader speak with common sense, and a firm knowledge of what will actually save the economy.
I know that certain newly sworn in presidents believe that we all need to suffer in order to fix the economic issues that we all face, and that ‘greed’ was what caused all these problems, but ‘greed’ is what powers the economy forward. It’s not a bad thing but a good thing. the greed that Netanyahu talks about is about letting you and I keep more of what we earn, incentivize us to make more so that w can better our lives. Is that Greed? The fact is that as personal incomes rise, so do donations to charities. It appears that there is a correlation between making more and giving more. That doesn’t sound much like greed to me, and that’s the kind of personal sacrifice that should be encouraged.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tzipi Livni and the Release of Gilad Schalit

It's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of PM wannabe Tzipi Livni, and her speech today helped cement my view. According to the Jpost: "I sent Gilad Schalit [to the front], not personally - but he is an IDF soldier," the foreign minister said during a speech at the Administrative College in Rishon Lezion. "We sent him to defend the country and we have an obligation to bring him back. Livni added: "If Hamas thinks it wants to get something beyond humanitarian assistance, which we will give regardless, we have someone who is very important to us, and, for me; one thing is contingent upon the other."

Huh? Isn't she the foreign minister? Where has she been for the last 2.5 years? Where was she during this war with Hamas? Why did she support a unilateral cease-fire, without gaining the release of Schalit? Why didn't she set the release of Schalit as a goal of the war, to begin with?
And what is the humanitarian assistance to Hamas that she is referring to?

Tzipi, enough already. Admit to your failures and leave us alone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Expulsion From Gush Katif: Timely Read

I am not in the business of promoting books, or reading them for that matter, but with the Israeli war with Hamas I think it's important to turn back the clock a few years and remember the days of the expulsion from Gush Katif. Thousands of Israeli civilians, of Gush Katif, as well as of three communities in northern Samaria, were forced out of their homes and given nothing in return.

I came across a book called, "The Expulsion from Gush Katif," which is a compilation of articles from some well-know Jewish writers about the whole lead up to and actual evacuation of the Jewish residents of the Gush Katif settlements.

The Expulsion from Gush Katif is a detailed, moving record of these events. It describes the run-up to the disengagement plan, the actual expulsion, and the events that followed.

The link to the website is

It's worth the read.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Caution: Baby on Board

Just wanted to let you all know that with thanks and praise to Hashem , I am happy to announce that my wife gave birth to a spanking baby boy this morning. She did a great job, and was a real trooper.

Mother and baby are doing well.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Give Hamas the Knock-Out Punch

IDF Military Intelligence Head Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin briefed the cabinet today and said that Hamas has taken a very big hit and are basically on the ropes. The reports, "According to Yadlin, Hamas had realized its error in not anticipating an Israeli response to the ongoing rocket fire, and expecting neither a ground operation nor the cold shoulder the world has shown the group.
He spoke of the cracks in Hamas resilience, its disconnected leadership in Syria, and its waning public support following the extensive Israeli attacks on the organization, but predicted that while Hamas realized that it had no choice but reach a compromise with Israel, it was not about to succumb, and was still capable of striking Israel and the IDF."

Why would our leaders want to accept a cease fire now, when we could knock them out once and for all?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Obama Will Negotiate With Hamas

It's going to be a tough 4 years for Israel, with the Obama White House. With everyone waiting to see what the Prez. elect will do about the mid-east situation, we have all been greeted with his ' one president at time' answer. Not that having a serving president has stopped Obama about speaking about the economy, and a host of other issues. Obama's silence speaks loudly. To me it signals a departure of the policy of President Bush, to view the world in black and white. You are with us or against us. The beauty of the Bush mantra is that it provides moral clarity. There is right vs. wrong.

Obama doesn't believe in this. he believes that he can speak with dictators and wow them into changing their firmly held views, to come over to his side. Like that's gonna happen.

There is an article in the Guardian that hints about what Israel is going to be up against. "The incoming Obama administration is prepared to abandon George Bush's ­doctrine of isolating Hamas by establishing a channel to the Islamist organisation, sources close to the transition team say.
The move to open contacts with Hamas, which could be initiated through the US intelligence services, would represent a definitive break with the Bush ­presidency's ostracising of the group. The state department has designated Hamas a terrorist organisation, and in 2006 ­Congress passed a law banning US financial aid to the group."

It's not going to be easy for Israel.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

There is No Global Warming

Hey Al Gore? What happened to the polar Ice caps melting by the end of ‘08? Hate to inform you but not only didn’t they melt, they are back to the same level as in 1979! What do you have to say about that?
In an article in Daily Tech, “Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.
Ice levels had been tracking lower throughout much of 2008, but rapidly recovered in the last quarter. In fact, the rate of increase from September onward is the fastest rate of change on record, either upwards or downwards.”
Basically, this whole global warming hysteria is a big money grad and way to redistribute the wealth. I saw a funny comment by mjcutri, which sums up how crazy this whole issue is. Because the US added polar bears to the protected species list due to the supposed melting of the ice, mjcutri says, ” Well, now that the sea ice is increasing, the polar bears are going to have better access to seals now. We must put seals on the protected species list to prevent their slaughter by the polar bears…”
He hit it on the head.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hamas: Some Sick Puppies

I haven't posted about the war with Hamas, because I have nothing much to add, but I must say that Hamas, I guess representing militant/fundamentalist Islam, are some sick puppies. Shooting missiles from schools, using human shields so that they will be fired upon and then using their bodies for PR, and using mosques to store weapons and build underground tunnels is just plain sick. Why doesn't the world wake up and see what fundamentalist Islam is all about?

Where are all the human rights organizations begging the terrorists to stop using human shields?

For a 'religious' organization,their respect for human life is a bit lacking, don't you say?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Shabbat in Netzer Hazani caravilla site in Ein Tzurim

This was sent to me by a friend, updating us as to the situation for the Gush Katif evacuees.

The last hours have been hearing the planes and their explosions over Gaza ---it is amazing but it is so far away still the caravilla shakes slightly. Shabbat we had many rockets falling in this general area but since we have no place to safe areas --there is no need to get hysterical to run to safe place ---and also the siren is from Kibbutz Ein Tzurim and more often than not we can't hear them here in the caravilla site. In a way as crazy as it sounds, it makes you less stressed out than when you hear the siren and feel pressure to run with your kids to safe area. I hope the people in Tel Aviv now realize they are only 20 km. from the Shomron and they have lots of rockets that were smuggled in there --so they better forget about disengaging the Shomron. I know this may really sound crazy, but since I don't have any safe area anyway --my first reaction to hearing the shriek of the rocket and the noise of fall and explosion was -this feels like home- all I need is the sea sand and celery. Tonight it isn't too much fun for those mothers we have here in our Gush Katif communities with a son in there fighting right now near Gush Katif from where they were thrown out and at the same time the mother is in a caravilla site with no safe area to protect her young children when rockets explode nearby. Wish I could explain to those "leftists" who are supposedly for peace demonstrating in Tel Aviv that if we would have not allowed the tunnels and the smuggling of weapons ,rockets etc and parts we wouldn't have to bomb them now.

People who truly want peace must not allow weapons to reach those that lack the morality to use them properly --so that we would have no need to bomb to protect our civilians and people would not have to be. I wish that our government felt that they are sending our dear men into this war not only to protect us but to give us back this dear part of our Eretz Yisrael. I know that there are very many of the soldiers fighting there are motivated also by the hope that their efforts will not only assure safety for half the country but that their mesirut nefesh will give Am Yisrael back this part of our land --for only then can get closer to Shalom..

Shavua tov u'besorot tovot. PS-anyone who knows someone willing to help fund the buses to take the kids out for the day to keep them sane and other special expenses we have in these challenging times --please be in touch

Friday, January 2, 2009

I Made The Wall Street Journal...For Poetry!

Go figure. After all, I am a big shot financial advisor (well, not really but don't tell!) and I got a request to be interviewed for the Wall Street Journal. So I am thinking that this is going to be great for business. Guess what? They interviewed me for my poetry! It was on the front page! See here.

I am no Edger Allan Poe, but I am known to have made a rhyme or two. And since I write about financial poetry from time to time, the Journal happened to be doing a piece on the topic, and voila, they found me. Special thanks to Mary Pilon for taking the the time to talk with me.

Click here for the full poem.