It was just last week that I received a slick brochure in the mail from Better Place with their latest deal to purchase one of their electric vehicles (EV). For a down payment of $7,000 I could get a Better Place EV with full road service and a home charging station. The monthly payment is $700 for 72 months. Total price tag comes to about $57,400 at the end of the six year period. The new campaign was just kicked off in conjunction with one of Israel’s largest department stores. Apparently the marketing department didn’t get the memo that Better Place is planning of filing for bankruptcy this week.
As the Syrian civil war enters its 3rd year the action has been getting uncomfortably close to Israel. This week, the Israeli Air Force was reported to have carried out air strikes on the outskirts of Damascus causing enormous explosions that could be felt throughout the city. While the Israeli defense establishment is keeping quiet on these strikes for now, according to sources quoted by the New York Times, the indented target was advanced weaponry of Iranian origin headed for Hezbollah gorillas in southern Lebanon.
The global energy sector is abuzz about developments with the natural gas industry in Israel. The deepwater Tamar field, located in the Mediterranean, has been developed by Texas bases Noble energy and the Israeli Company, Delek Group. This huge gas find is Israel’s ticket to energy independence, but this doesn’t mean all is well for Israel’s export based economy.
It seems that the issue of drones used by military has finally broken into the main stream media following a few high profile events in the US. The first was the release of a white paper defending the practice of executing suspected terrorists by the US abroad, including US citizens. High profile confirmation hearings in the US Senate on President Obama’s nominee for CIA Director, Josh Brennan featured many questions from lawmakers on the legality and ethical issues surrounding this technology.
When it comes to using drones for military and civilian purposes Israel is one of the most advanced countries in the UAV industry. Not only does the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) use drones to carry out strikes, they also have many companies which export this technology abroad for a variety of purposes.
Yair Lapid was certainly the dark horse of the 2013 Israeli general elections. With all the polls predicting his new party Yesh Atid would get at most 12 seats, Lapid came in second place with 19 mandates for the 19th Knesset. While all the pundits in Israel and abroad were busy predicting an Israeli election that focused on Benjamin Netanyahu and his new partnership with Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu the new coalition government will surely include Lapid with a requirement to implement his vision for economic and social reforms.
As far as navigation apps go, nothing is more popular with smartphone users than Waze. At the end of 2012 the social mapping service counted 34 million users. While most people simply launch their Waze app without much thought in order to get from point A to point B, many don’t know that it is an Israeli company.
Of all the places in the world associated with medical marijuana, Israel doesn’t make most people’s top ten list. While marijuana has been decriminalized in the Netherlands for decades, and cannabis is approved for medial use in 18 US states, Israel has quietly become a world leader in treating illness and managing pain with marijuana.
The government deficit in 2012 totaled NIS 39 billion, 4.2% of GDP, more than double the figure planned, the Ministry of Finance announced today. The original deficit target was NIS 18.3 billion, or 2% of GDP.
The Ministry of Finance today admitted the unprecedented deviation from the original budget was due to an NIS 18.5 million shortfall in projected tax revenues. The ministry added that, even after the revised tax revenues projection made in early 2012, the revenues shortfall was NIS 2.21 billion.