Wednesday, January 25, 2006

An oustretched hand at the Herzliya confrence

The Herzliya conference of 2004 was famously the first time Ariel Sharon announced the Disengagement from Gaza which was a major backflip on his stated election policy to hold on to the settlements. If what a leader says at Herzliya, is the opposite of what he will actually do, than the people of YESHA need not worry, and taxes are going up.

At the cofrnece, Ehud Olmert, the leader of Kadima said
The choice between allowing Jews to live in all parts of the land of Israel and living in a state with a Jewish majority mandates giving up parts of the Land of Israel," he said. "We cannot continue to control parts of the territories where most of the Palestinians live.

Israel will keep security zones, main settlement blocs, and places important to the Jewish people, first of all, Jerusalem, united under Israeli control. There can be no Jewish state without Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty

Israel supports the establishment of a democratic and "modern Palestinian state" but Olmert also emphasized the Palestinians would receive independence only if they bring a complete halt to attacks on Israel.

The brand new moustache wearing Mark Latham of isreali politics said this
Every citizen who wants to leave his home in Judea and Samaria will be fairly compensated in a way that will allow him and his family to open a new chapter in their lives. Those who want to build a new home will find an outstretched and supportive hand

Peretz also vowed to increase the minimum wage without imposing any new taxes.

If you believe that it's possible to exist on NIS 3,300 a month, vote for [Acting Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert," Peretz said. "Whoever thinks otherwise, vote for Labor."

I’m still waiting for anyone to explain to me the difference between these two parties, apart from spin. They have the same message and will surely end up forming a coalition.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Sharon carries an Organ Donor card

An interesting point about the Sharon illness that has been overlooked by much of the blogging community is Sharon’s recent registration as an organ donor.
Haaretz reports:
“Prime Minister Ariel Sharon carries an organ donor card supplied by the Israel Transplant Center and the Adi Association, and volunteered to have his organs donated after his death.

Sharon signed the organ donor card last May, during a project in the Knesset intended to encourage MKs to donate their organs. The plan was to have politicians serve as role models in the hope that their lead would sway the Israeli public, only a small percentage of whom carry donor cards. Out of the 120 MKs, 90 agreed to donate their organs.”

Whether or not you agree with his politics, I think Sharon and these other 90 members of the Israeli parliament, should serve as an example to us in reminding us of the value of pikuach nefesh.

Rabbi Shraga Simmons of writes that “Organ donation is permitted in the case when an organ is needed for a specific, immediate transplant. In such a case, it is a great mitzvah for a Jew to donate organs to save another person's life.”

The article continues to discuss Sharon’s motives for being registered
"Sharon did the whole thing with a smile, not with a lot of ideology," recalled one MK. "He said, `I don't know if they'll still want my organs at my age.'"

Indeed, Sharon had a point: There is a slim chance that any of the 78-year-old's organs will be in a good enough state to transplant. Sharon's heart and corneas will certainly not be taken. The only possibility is that doctors will consider harvesting Sharon's kidneys.

Does this inspire you to become an organ donor?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

What makes a first world country?

I have often wondered what the difference is between first world countries and third world countries. Should the countries be measured against each other by their health care systems, social welfare programs, education budgets or infrastructure spending? In a more comical news story, Israel has provided us the answer. If you can afford to have time for competitions such as this you truly are a first world country.

Winner Gets Dog Food For Year
TEL AVIV, Israel -- While other competitions may judge the beauty of humans or animals, one contest held in Israel this week judged which owners most closely resembled their dogs.
Judges at the dog owner look-alike competition held at a Tel Aviv mall examined the style and appearance of 10 entries, from wrinkled bulldogs with wrinkled owners to long-faced dogs and long-faced owners.
Most of the pairs walked along the catwalk with similar outfits and hair.
They posed for the judges and crowd, and demonstrated how well they get along with their canine pals.
The winning pair received dog food for a year.
Several studies have suggested that humans tend to want a creature that resembles them as a pet, NBC News reported.