Archive for the 'Environment' Category

Jewish community provides humanitarian aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

By Fern Sidman

Reaching out to the beleaguered victims of Hurricane Sandy with direct and immediate aid, “Israel Flying Aid” (IFA), the Israeli global humanitarian organization which was first to arrive in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, has been distributing large supplies of gas to hospitals, as well as food, batteries and generators to those in the tri-state area who were adversely impacted by the “storm of the century”.

According to a report by the Israel News Agency, Israel Flying Aid North American Operations Manager Moti Kahana said, “We have many years of disaster relief experience. Israel Flying Aid, in having Israelis on the ground here in New York and New Jersey, [has] made Israel the only foreign nation to provide humanitarian assistance to the U.S. during this disaster. We are working in coordination with FEMA, local police, the American Red Cross and Jewish communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.” He added that most of the resources had been donated by Israelis living in the U.S. and this enabled gas to be distributed to hospitals in New York and New Jersey.

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Will Congress Rise to the Occasion?*

Friday, August 31st, 2012

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought”
Straight from the Jerusalem Boardroom #168, August 31, 2012

While Israel’s economy is facing the consequences of the global economic meltdown (e.g., unemployment is rising at 7%, gasoline price is surging):

1. According to the August 24, 2012 “Commentator” article by Peter Glover and Michael Economides, “as the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia… . 20 million metric tons of liquid natural gas (LNG) exported each year from the eastern Mediterranean into Europe [a reference to the supposed potential of Israel's and Cyprus' offshore natural gas reserves] would amount to about one third of current Russian exports… . Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony… . Russia supplies a quarter of all Europe’s (rising) natural gas demand… . But there is now a new kid on the block that could pose a very clear and present threat to Russia’s vital European market: Israel, along with Cyprus, and their upcoming potential status as gas exporting energy superpowers… . During Putin’s recent visit to Israel, he and Netanyahu agreed to form a junior company to [Russia's] Gazprom that would help develop Israel’s Leviathan gas field in the eastern Mediterranean… . Iran is suing Russia in the Court of Arbitration in Geneva for cancelling a contract to sell five divisions of the S-300 long-range anti-aircraft missile system… . the Kremlin appears to have higher economic and political priorities. Chief among them: ensuring its vast energy resources help it to remain a global superpower… ”

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Kastelorizo – Mediterranean Flashpoint?

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

by Daniel Pipes*

It is the far-flung, easternmost island of Greece, 80 miles from Rhodes, 170 miles west of Cyprus, but just 1 mile off the coast of Turkey. Kastelorizo (in Greek, Καστελόριζο; or officially Megisti, Μεγίστη) is tiny, comprising just 5 square miles, plus some yet smaller, uninhabited islands. Its 430 inhabitants are way down from 10,000 in the late nineteenth century. The Lonely Planet travel guide has picked it as one of the four best Greek islands (out of thousands) for diving and snorkeling. There’s no public transportation from nearby Anatolia, only from distant Rhodes by airplane or ferry.

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Demography Is Destiny in Syria

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi and Oskar Svadkovsky*

Among the second wave of Arab Spring uprisings that followed Tunisia, Syria was the most spectacular “out of the blue” that suddenly arose in the face of the media and analytic community. Just days before Deraa exploded with protests last March, some analysts were still scrutinizing Syria’s circumstances and declaring the country to be immune from the Arab Spring. Nor did reporters who visited the country spot signs of a brewing storm.

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Storm Clouds Over Eastern Mediterranean

Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

By Jonathan Spyer

Early this week, the US-based Noble Energy Company began exploratory drilling for offshore gas deposits off the coast of Cyprus. They did so with the agreement of the Nicosia authorities, in an area indisputably located within Cypriot territorial waters. Despite this, there was real concern that the drilling could face interference from Turkish navy ships on maneuvers in the area.

The explorations proceeded undisturbed. The Turkish ships observed procedures from a discreet distance. But Cyprus’s defiance of recent Turkish warnings against beginning the search for natural gas in this area is unlikely to be the last word on the matter.

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Security threat from Yemen?

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi*

Does the recent successful killing of American-born al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki vindicate US policy towards Yemen, or is a change in approach needed? The question is particularly relevant as Awlaki has been an online figure of inspiration for many jihadists and their sympathizers (e.g. the failed “Christmas Day” bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who may have received training in Yemen as well).

Contrary to all expectations, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has recovered from severe injuries suffered during a rocket or bomb attack back in June and has returned from Saudi Arabia to the country’s capital of Sanaa. What are the implications for the outside world? Currently, the main concern of US officials is the presence of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which they fear will use Yemen as a base to launch attacks against Western targets. Are these concerns valid?

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Arizona Fires: Too Hot for Feds to Handle?

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

By Jerry Kammer, CIS.org

For at least two years now, Arizona journalist Leo W. Banks has been writing and speaking about the strange silence of the federal government on the connection between forest fires in southern Arizona and the smugglers of drugs and human beings.

Banks has contrasted the widespread public belief that the fires are caused by the smugglers — either accidentally or in an effort to distract the Border Patrol — with the refusal of federal officials to address the issue.

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The Emptying of Yemen

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

by Daniel Pipes*

For the first time in its exceedingly long history, Yemen now threatens the outside world. It does so in two principal ways.

First, even before the current political upheaval began there on January 15, violence emanating out of Yemen impinged on Westerners. As President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s weak government controlled only a small part of the country, violence had emerged both near to Yemen (such as attacks on American and French ships) and distant from it (Anwar al-Awlaki’s incitement to terrorism in Texas, Michigan, and New York). With Mr. Saleh’s apparent abdication on June 4, when he traveled to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, the central government’s writ will further diminish, Yemen is set to become an even greater exporter of violence.

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Census: Population Up 27 Million in Just 10 Years [Immigration]

Tuesday, December 21st, 2010

By Steven A. Camarota, CIS.org

WASHINGTON (December 21, 2010) — Most of the media coverage of the 2010 Census will likely focus on the country’s changing racial composition and the redistribution of seats in Congress. But neither of these is the most important finding. Rather, it is the dramatic increase in the size of the U.S. population itself that has profound implications for our nation’s quality of life and environment. Most of the increase has been, and will continue to be, a result of one federal policy: immigration. Projections into the future from the Census Bureau show we are on track to add 130 million more people to the U.S. population in the just the next 40 years, primarily due to future immigration.

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Population, Immigration, and the Drying of the American Southwest

Monday, November 15th, 2010

By Kathleene Parker, CIS.org

This Backgrounder offers an historical overview of the critical issue of water in the American Southwest, where the water situation is becoming increasingly dire during a prolonged — but not uncharacteristic — drought in the arid region. We also examine the demographic trends that drive high rates of U.S. and, as a result, Southwest population growth. We present evidence that indicates there is insufficient water for the region’s current population, much less the larger future populations that will result if immigration continues at its present high rate.

Key findings include:

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A Gift to the Drug Cartels: Will New Mexico Become the New Arizona?

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

By Janice Kephart, CIS.org

The border area between New Mexico and Mexico is sparsely populated and has limited natural or man made barriers to illegal crossing. This, coupled with an extensive road network that traverses the state in all directions, makes New Mexico a haven for the transshipment of illegal drugs from Mexico to destination points throughout the United States.

Current enhanced enforcement operations by the Department of Homeland Security in Arizona will most likely force drug traffickers and alien smugglers to shift their smuggling efforts from Arizona to New Mexico. This, in turn, will have a serious impact on enforcement operations and judicial proceedings in New Mexico. While additional enhancements for Border Patrol agents in southern New Mexico has somewhat mitigated the increased use of southern New Mexico as a viable route for alien smuggling, there has been a marked increase in the number of drug seizures and apprehensions of illegal aliens.

- DEA New Mexico Report (2008)

Obviously, the impact of the [Wilderness] policy is severe on our operations. When you can’t drive in those areas, it makes it impossible to patrol and enforce the law, and it transforms it into a sanctuary for illegal aliens.”

- T.J. Bonner, President, National Border Patrol Council, the union representing more than 12,000 Border Patrol agents (July 2010)

To date, discussion of the porous Southwest border has largely left out New Mexico. That is about to change if Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) are able to pass an otherwise innocuous bill that changes which laws apply to a stretch of federal land on the New Mexico border. The bottom line is, if S. 1689, the “Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks Wilderness Act,” becomes law, New Mexico will likely become the next staging ground for drug cartel and illegal alien smuggling activity, tracking what happened in Arizona. Why? The bill would change the designation of Department of Interior lands, managed by the Bureau of Land Management, from “public lands” to “wilderness,” severely curtailing the Border Patrol’s ability to conduct preventative, ongoing, and necessary operations due to the stringent nature of wilderness laws that are now four decades old. New Mexico would suffer the same results as those documented by the Center in the “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border” three-part series showing the waste, destruction, and unsafe circumstances that borderlands suffer when wilderness laws (and poor federal government policy) create a vacuum of law enforcement presence.

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The world WILL end in 2012 if YOU want it to…

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Sir Isaac Newton — no slouch, inventor of calculus, discoverer of the basic principles of planetary orbital motion, a father of optics, who elucidated gravity — predicted the world will end in 2060. Correspondingly, consider the list of “10 Failed Doomsday Predictions.” Now consider that evidence has surfaced showing that the much-over-hyped Mayan “prediction” of the end of the world in 2012 may be off-target:

… A new critique, published as a chapter in the new textbook “Calendars and Years II: Astronomy and Time in the Ancient and Medieval World” (Oxbow Books, 2010), argues that the accepted conversions of dates from Mayan to the modern calendar may be off by as much as 50 or 100 years. That would throw the supposed and overhyped 2012 apocalypse off by decades and cast into doubt the dates of historical Mayan events. (The doomsday worries are based on the fact that the Mayan calendar ends in 2012, much as our year ends on Dec. 31.) …

Hmmm… I’m still not convinced that the Maya “predicted” anything for 2012. Rather, their civilization collapsed, their astronomers lost their jobs, and probably stopped calculating calendric events (maybe just simple dates) when they reached 2012.

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New Video: Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2010) — “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns, and 850 Illegal Aliens” is the Center for Immigration Studies’ second web-based film on the impact of illegal alien activity in Arizona. The Center’s first video on the subject, “Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails,” has received over 52,000 views to date. This new 10-minute mini-documentary raises the bar, featuring footage of both illegal-alien entry as well as gun- and drug-smuggling. At minimum, the inescapable conclusion is that hidden cameras reveal a reality that illegal-alien activity is escalating.

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Israeli and New Mexico Clean Water and Clean Technology Business Seminar

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Dafna Aviv of the Israeli Economic Mission at 713.599.0290 or Dafna.Aviv@israeltrade.gov.il

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – Representatives from the Israeli and New Mexico water and clean technology industries will gather for a business seminar in Albuquerque on February 24th for an exchange of technologies and information, to encourage joint economic development, to expand trade, and to solidify social and economic ties between the two regions. Both Israel and New Mexico have arid to semi-arid climates, and face similar challenges in water and other resource conservation. Both regions are leading centers for innovating new technologies: for water conservation, cleaning and reclamation; alternative energy technologies; and general, leading-edge research into new sciences.

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On Bears With Taste

Monday, June 29th, 2009

By Andrew L. Jaffee

And now, for some comic relief: A bear — you know, the big, hairy animal type — broke into a California home and went straight for the premium stuff:

… Alsky says the animal appeared to have pushed aside vegetables in the couple’s fridge and gone straight for the two-pound box of [chocolate] sweets.

He says the bear also tried to open a bottle of champagne but was not successful.

Now that’s taste: chocolate and champagne…

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