No room for evangelicals

By Colette Avital  
Tags: Israel, Jewish Agency
Since its inception in 1929, the Jewish Agency has played a crucial role, first, in the creation, and later, in the development, of the State of Israel. After statehood was declared in 1948, the Agency spearheaded the ingathering of Jewish immigrants, and it has played a crucial role in the physical building-up of the country and the galvanizing of its identity. The contribution of the Jewish Agency to the strengthening of Israel, to Jewish education and to our ties with Diaspora Jews has been immeasurable.
In recent years, the Agency has continued to demonstrate to both the Israeli public and to Jews the world over that it still has a vital role to play. Its performance in times of crisis made it the object of admiration. For the Jewish Agency is, by definition, a global partnership between the Jews of the world and those living in Israel: between the World Zionist Organization, the United Israel Appeal (UIA), the United Jewish Communities (UJC) and Keren Hayesod. The various bodies and individuals comprising the Agency's leadership are meant to ensure a wide representation of Jews the world over. These, in turn, coordinate their actions with …

Construction halted at site near J'lem despite pledge to Shas

 By Nadav Shragai,Israel says it is suspending the construction of a neighborhood in the Givat Ze'ev settlement north of Jerusalem, contrary to the prime minister's promise to Shas leader Eli Yishai that there would be no construction freeze in the greater Jerusalem area. The state advised the Jerusalem District Court a few days ago that it would not approve the continued building of the Givat Ze'ev neighborhood. It cited instructions from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to halt construction in West Bank settlements.  
wo weeks ago, Olmert refused to authorize the completion of a new neighborhood in Ma'aleh Adumim. The Housing Ministry and Israel Lands Administration (ILA) started marketing lots for the 600 housing units in Givat Ze'ev's Agan Ayalot neighborhood in 1999, but stopped near the end of 2000 after the eruption of the second intifada. The contractors who had won tenders and paid tens of millions of shekels in development costs and payment guarantees sued the state for breach of contract, demanding to void the deal. But the state has refused to do so in court debates in recent years. A few weeks ago a state representative told the Jerusalem District Court that “the …

Student disciplined for pen with gun company logo

Caught after borrowing offending writing instrument from father
By Bob Unruh
A student has been threatened with a 3-day suspension from school for bringing to campus, and using, a pen with the corporate logo of the Glock company, a large stylized “G” with the letters “lock” inside.
Cooler heads eventually prevailed, and the father reports that he was successful in convincing the school officials to not only withdraw the threat, but also the formal reprimand that already had been placed in his son's educational file.
However, WND previously has reported on a student who was punished for advocating for gun rights, as well as yet another student who was punished for a sketch of a gun. And the newest incident raised concerns among bloggers and participants in web forums.
“Didn't (sic) Ford and GM build guns during WWII… Those products should not be around children, for there (sic) own safety. All teachers with a ford or GM car should have their illegal property crushed today…,” wrote “jhud” on one forum. “Also the word springfield, and the numbers .22, .223, .32, .38, .40, .45, 5.56, 7.62, .50, .44 45-70, .450 etc and any math problem with the numbers involved. Also, we …

U.S. not ready for WMD attack

 Commission on National Guard cites troop, equipment, training shortages
WASHINGTON – The U.S. military isn't ready for a catastrophic attack on
the country, and National Guard forces don't have the equipment or
training they need for the job, a commission charged by Congress
reported Thursday.
Even fewer Army National Guard units are combat-ready today than were
nearly a year ago when the Commission on the National Guard and
Reserves determined that 88 percent of the units were not prepared for
the fight, the panel said in its report.
The independent commission is charged by Congress to recommend changes
in law and policy concerning the Guard and Reserves.
The commission's 400-page report concludes that the nation “does not
have sufficient trained, ready forces available” to respond to a
chemical, biological or nuclear weapons incident,” an appalling gap
that places the nation and its citizens at greater risk.”
“Right now we don't have the forces we need, we don't have them
trained, we don't have the equipment,” commission Chairman Arnold
Punaro said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Even though
there is a lot going on in this area, we need to do a lot more. …
There's a lot of …

Microsoft Makes $44.6 Billion Bid for Yahoo

February 1, 2008, 6:43 am Link to This E-mail this Topics Mergers &
Acquisitions, Microsoft's Yahoo BidIndustries TechnologyMicrosoft said
Friday that it would offer $44.6 billion for Yahoo, the ailing search
giant. The surprise offer of $31 a share represents a 62 percent
premium to Thursday’s closing share price. Yahoo shareholders could
elect to receive either cash or stock.
The proposed acquisition, the largest ever by Microsoft, would give
some relief to Yahoo’s long-suffering shareholders, who have seen the
company’s stock slide nearly 32 percent this year. It would also create
the most formidable competitor yet for Google, the search engine giant.
“This proposal represents a compelling value realization event for your
shareholders,” Steven A. Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, said in
a letter to Yahoo’s board sent Thursday.
Rumors had long persisted that Microsoft might make a bid for the
company. In its letter, Microsoft said that the two had held talks
early last year, exploring a range of collaborative efforts up to and
including a merger. But Yahoo had rebuffed a takeover proposal.
Microsoft’s announcement was unsolicited and its premium unusually
high, marking it as an aggressive bid that could turn hostile. Shares
in Yahoo jumped nearly 59 percent …

Mexican farmers protest NAFTA

Farmers want the government to renegotiate the 1994 free trade agreement
Farmers: Mexican products are undermined by subsidized U.S., Canadian
grains
Pleas have fallen on deaf ears in the Mexican government, farmers say
Mexican officials: Grain prices have been stable in January
From Harris Whitbeck
CNN
MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) — Hundreds of thousands of farmers clogged
central Mexico City Thursday with their slow-moving tractors,
protesting the entry of cheap imported corn from the United States and
Canada.
On January 1 Mexico repealed all tariffs on corn imported from north of
the border as part of a 14-year phaseout under the North American Free
Trade Agreement, or NAFTA.
The farmers want the government to renegotiate the 1994 free trade
agreement, which removed most trade barriers among Mexico, Canada, and
the United States, saying livelihoods are at stake.
“NAFTA is very bad, very bad for Mexican consumers and for Mexican
producers,” said Victor Quintana, head of Democratic Farmers Front,
which organized the protest.
The farmers complain that U.S. and Canadian grains are heavily
subsidized and therefore undermine Mexican products.
“The NAFTA agreement is in place and that's that,” said farmer Armando
del Valle. “But all producers should be under equal conditions, …