Monday, February 20, 2017
|Food is a fast growth sector in Israel, here government and business differ in opinion: imports are important|
Saturday, April 30, 2016
|A 250 shekel fine imposed on bicycle riding on Tel Aviv sidewalks - Ibn Gvirol at Arlozorov, April 2016|
Friday, April 8, 2016
|Flowers, trees, public bicycles and cleaner streets are a big part of local government spending today|
Friday, November 20, 2015
|Stencil like mural depicts some graffiti seen on Tel Aviv streets|
Thursday, November 19, 2015
|This mural with a funky whimsical theme reflects a realistic cartoonist style, great colors make for a beautiful picture|
Monday, November 9, 2015
|Beautifully tended goldfish pool in north Tel Aviv, definitely raised the question of how public money is spent /|
Saturday, October 24, 2015
|Subtle style yet incredible moving, street artists can be as skillful and meaningful as political as any mainstream artists.|
Thursday, October 15, 2015
|Futuristic, robotic funky graffiti mural in the Tel Aviv #Israel central bus station | Copyright © 2015 DAVider|
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
|Beautiful mural size "legal graffiti"; Tel Aviv central bus station; 7th floor |
Copyright © 2015 DAVider
Friday, July 10, 2015
|Tel Aviv WiFi Landing Page - English Version, WiFi is live but not everywhere|
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
|Detail of Tiberius church painting|
Monday, July 15, 2013
Sunday, July 7, 2013
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Sunday, January 15, 2012
http://youtu.be/qJDX-YtYeMc << link to You Tube video if you can't see the one above <<
Knesset Member Anastasia Michaeli threw a glass of water at Knesset Member Ghaleb Majadele four days ago. It made for a great news clip and gave us all a peek at the hidden world of Knesset committee discussions. There is one Knesset channel on TV, but as most houses of representative and senate video feeds go, you can imagine how interesting most speeches members give -- ENOUGH TO IMAGINE THE PAINT DRYING. All of Israel's political, social, financial and every other category of friction ends up on the Knesset floor (and committee hearings.) I would venture to expand this craziness to even international friction between the west and middle-east, free world and the Arab non-democracy and maybe even free markets and structured Arab ones. When it comes to the edge between two civilizations, Israel is IT! Here, in this little state, we are truly the seam between the west and middle-east. We have the friction between Jews and Muslims, men and women, secular and religious, probably all three drove Anastasia Michaeli to lash out that day.Read More...
Thursday, February 24, 2011
What would you tell all the citizens of a country who just elected a democratic government? What would be the best and simplest pieces of advice? I have been thinking about this while Arab protesters (or is it revolutionaries) have been trying to remove despot rulers. Once you have a democratically elected government, how do you live like an effective citizen? What will make democracy in daily life better than a dictator run government? Probably every free state leader is searching for this answer right now. How can you teach a billion people to "just do it" democracy? (taking a phrase from a Nike commercial) Once the Arab states adopt democracy, this will be the largest change in the world's social structure in probably 200 years, maybe ever. So while the eastern European states may think that their shift from communism to democracy was a big event, the one going on now may overshadow that wave of change.
You Know Better Than Your Government: ? !
The one thing that you hear in Israel is criticism AND improvement on government policy. In a democracy everyone has to give his point of view. But that does not mean protesting with signs on the street, or screaming at a house of representative in session, or complaining by mail to government clerks. Just annoying people is not useful and actually makes democracy less effective. I am talking about a useful suggestion if it is keeping the streets clean from dog poop (shit). As the problem was in Tel Aviv a few years ago. All the way to how medical service is organized and funded. Government by the people means exactly that. Each person has to improve and contribute to their government's operation. If you lived under a dictator for a long time, in the Arab countries case forever, than this idea is the hardest to grasp. Some requests by citizens are not going to be popular. The government is going to set rules (i.e. you have to clean up after your dog). Then the government is going to start sending out people to enforce the new regulation. Then the government is going to start punishing and fining people (i.e. it will cost you $20 for every poop we find). Then the people are going to fight back and abuse, curse and even hit regulators that come to punish dog poop violators. You get the point. Sometimes democratic government is not good for everyone, it is suppose to be good for the majority. But the operative word here is "suppose". That does not happen every time. But most of the time it does.Read More...
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
|The late Prime Minister Rabin may have been the last Israeli leader taking the lead from an American president (Clinton) / © 2009|
The balance of power in the world Jewish community is shifting. To some slowly, but here in Israel it seems like a volcanic eruption. From the 1880s Jewish immigration: community, religious, political, financial and spiritual leadership was not in Israel, it came from Europe. After the Holocaust it shifted from Europe to the United States. Israelis built a state, but still listened to outsiders for advice and guidance. As Israel grew and prospered it started developing it's own vision and leadership style. But until recently, Israel was still looking for outsider leadership advice. As Israel has gone through wars and peace periods, differences in policy with foreign Jewish community leaders started Israel in a more independent stance. Taking advice from the outside faded over the years. Today, events like negotiating with the Palestinians and immigration of Jews from the US caused a bigger and faster shift in leadership power. In Israel, this is new. As leaders, Israelis are still not sure of how to lead the world Jewish community. In education and Jewish culture, programs like Taglit-Birthright (a program started in the US) shows how Israelis can contribute and lead Jews in the diaspora. Today, Birthright is as important to Israeli leaders as it was to American leaders in the past. Experiencing Israel first hand is something that Israelis finally undersatnd. Israeli NGOS and government departments are now thinking of doing a birthright program with Israeli resources. Specially for Jews not in North American communities. Some say: that's about time.Read More...
Monday, August 17, 2009
The number of unemployed in Israel is flat or slightly down at 7.6% (1st quarter 2009) [228,000 out of 3.005 million workers, Israel Bureau of Statistics, 27/5/09]. Unemployed workers now outnumber the number of foreign workers. This puts pressure on the state to reduce the number of foreign workers. But some of the foreign worker are doing work Israeli natives are not willing to do. Still, out of approximately 200,000 registered foreign workers there must be some who can be replaced by Israelis. There are estimated 200,000 more unregistered illegal workers (some with expired permits some smuggled through Egypt and Jordan). The thinking now, while the economy is not creating enough jobs, first turns to these workers. The reduction of foreign workers in Israel started in mid-2008. The Olmert administration did not pay much attention to the details: what work needs to be done and by whom. They just cared about reducing the number of foreign workers, and as quickly as possible. A policy was formulated to reduce the foreign workers by half in one year (mid 2009) with focus on restaurant and services (i.e. cleaning), and agriculture (i.e. pickers and packers). The idea was to give Israelis a chance to take the jobs which will open up once foreign workers left. It has not worked very well, in some sectors it has not worked at all. The jobs in home care of old people, now done by young women from the Philippines and Thailand is attracting so few Israelis, training programs are no longer running. In agriculture the problem is even worst, farmers are already warning that some crops will simply disappear from store shelves. Some cash crops will not be exported any more. Even if Israeli workers start processing fruits and vegetables the cost of manufacturing will go up. In today's economic climate farmers will not be profitable or will lose their competitive pricing. This is the price we pay in hard economic times, some products simply are not viable. This means some workers are not needed.Read More...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Politicians attract media like moths to light especially in Israel. But here the bureaucrats really run things. Bickering between the two fills newspaper pages. This is what Israelis really want to know and in all its gory details. Political aids moving to administrative positions make good stories. Bureaucrats holding back a big project like the new rail line to Jerusalem or the electric coal plant two years late in construction are even better. School budgets and the shameful state of affairs with the teachers are always good stories. Water issues and the 10 years of bickering over a desalination plant, which nobody really wants in their back yard (remember the American NIMBY movement?) [see existing plant] Israel's politicians are no different than most democratically elected officials, they boast and promise great things before elections. What happens once politicians are elected and they face the bureaucrats running the government? Well, we call it bureaucracy. Politicians complain, say that things could be better, that decisions and actions have to be made more quickly, that process (American investment lawyers call it 'due diligence') always hold back good plans. The bureaucrats are not phased by politician's promises without meaning, budgets and trade-offs. Following laws and regulations, assuring proper process, making sure the public's interest is taken care of that makes them happy.Read More...
Monday, August 10, 2009
Last week the Israeli Knesset voted to approve a land reform act. The law changes an old practice which the state owned the land in Israel. Most of the land in Israel was bought by the Jewish National Fund or appropriated by the state. Very little was transferred to individuals or organizations, today all state land is leased out to individuals and organizations. The law enables the state of Israel to sell 5% of the land to individuals, companies and organizations. For the first time in many parts of the country individuals will be able to own the land their homes or apartments sit on. The driving force here is the difficulty of having any building improvement approved by the Israel Land Trust (Minhal Mekarke'ei Israel), a government agency managing the land and leases. It will also ease new construction specially commercial and industrial construction in none urban locations. Strictly speaking any major changes to building on Israel state land needs the government's approval. The joke goes that to have a balcony closed you need to wait two years and even then you will not have your plan approved as you wanted. New construction approval is so difficult it has become a political game. Only large companies have been able to build regularly and in any significant scale.[see Ha'aretz]