AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/21/2002 11:19:00 PM
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BODY: The game of Israeli politics

Somewhat of a good description of Israel’s political mess in face of the oncoming elections. Wait for it to load and press the yellow button at the bottom of the pic.



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/21/2002 05:48:00 PM
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BODY: Amazon – Update

The story drew the attention of several bloggers, one of them Lesley of Plum Crazy, has found out in Amazon.com that only items from the Marketplace (the non-Amazon-owned shops) cannot be shipped to several international regions, Israel among them.

From Amazon's site regarding international shipping restrictions: “Amazon.com is currently able to ship books, CDs, DVDs, VHS videos, music cassettes, vinyl records, and select software to international addresses. Items from Amazon Marketplace can be shipped to several international regions, but cannot be shipped to Africa, Island Nations, Israel, Latin America, or the Middle East.

According to this Israel isn’t being singled out but part of quite vast regions that cannot receive items from Amazon Marketplace.

I have no idea what did Lavy ordered that he got that reply. Yediot Ahronot doesn’t have an online edition and it’s weekend time so there’s no printed edition. If the newspaper will have a follow up item on this on Sunday I’ll update. There is a good chance this all just a matter of technical restrictions/limitations and nothing more, if so Yediot will probably won’t bother to update it’s readers.



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/20/2002 08:10:00 PM
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BODY: Amazon boycotting Israel?

In today’s Yediot Ahronot there’s a story about an Israeli who ordered something from Amazon.com and got a reply that they are prohibited from sending goods to Israel.

Here is Amazon's reply (by e-mail) to Lavy from Hadera:

”Dear Lavy

Thanks for writing to Amazon.com.

We’re sorry, but current federal regulations do not permit us to ship merchandise to Israel. If you would like to specify an alternate address outside this country, we would be happy to accept and ship your order.

Thanks for your interest in Amazon.com.”


Yediot also notes that several other Israelis, who are regular customers of the online shop, got the same e-mail from Amazon in recent days. Lavy who got this rude reply from Amazon said to the paper: “It makes me very angry, because in my view this is either Anti-Semitism or a boycott on Israel”.

Amazon’s reply wasn’t available before the newspaper’s print deadline.

What’s going on here? I’ve never heard of any "American federal regulations that do not permit to ship merchandise to Israel". This smells bad.



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/19/2002 11:27:00 PM
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BODY: A game of seats

As you know in 39 days Israelis will go to elect a new Knesset. Approximately every hour we get to hear a different politician blabbering, shouting, making promises, making a fool out of himself and usually all of the above combined.

In the last few days the trend for parties leaders is to say with whom they will like to create a coalition together and with whom they wouldn’t. Here it goes (I’ve written the number of predicted seats in the Knesset according to a recent poll):

Amram Mitzna (Avodah - 23) – Will not join a national unity government headed by Sharon, He does agree to head a national unity government with the Likud (35 seats) if he will be the PM. Another option for him is to create a coalition with Shinui, Meretz (8 seats) and the Arab Parties (9 seats) (except for Azmi Bshara’s Balad party (2 seats)).

Tommy Lapid (Shinui - 13) – Will not join a – Meretz coalition. Will join a Likud – Avodah coalition.

Eli Yishai (Shas - 10)– Will not Join a Avodah coalition.

Natan Sharanski (Israel Be’Aliyah – 3) – Will not join a national unity government headed by Avodah. Will join a national unity government headed by Likud.

Effi Eitam (Mafdal - 4) – Is willing to be with Shinui in a Likud Coalition.

Anyway these statements are worth nothing and we all know it. The real seats game begins after the elections.


Legend:
A reader asked me what exactly does the term “national unity government” means: Well every government that consists of Avodah (Labor) and Likud together fall under the definition of a “national unity government”. A Likud government without Avodah will be called a right government. An Avodah government without Likud will be called a left government. The term narrow will join right or left governments when the coalition is consisted of about 65 seats (the minimum required is 61).



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/19/2002 10:44:00 PM
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BODY: TIME person of the year poll

Yasser Arafat is leading in TIME Magazine online poll as 2002 person of the year, Ariel Sharon is trailing back. I don’t give a damn about this poll but clearly some people here in Israel are very agitated by it, so if you want to cast your vote click here.



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/19/2002 10:32:00 PM
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BODY: Hebron Outpost removed

Early this morning the IDF evacuated the month or so old illegal outpost in Hebron near the place where 12 Israeli security forces personal have died. You’ve probably already read my views about illegal outposts so I won’t tire you with my rants about it.

But look what Renatinha has to say about it: “You all know I am a rightist and I am always gonna be one. But I learnt that in Israel you must think. Reality is not black and white, as we think when we are out of here…

…The point is that there are some places, like this outpost in Hebron, that are simply pathetic! Israel does not need that! And does not want that! …

…I'll describe what is an outpost like this. They built a little garden called "Kikar Hagvura" (The Bravery Square), with 4 or 5 tents, where people live in horrible conditions, no proper light of water. That's all. I ask: why? Just to say: "I am a jew and I live in Hebron?". TO HELL! They live in Hebron, in awfull conditions, and put in danger the lifes of dozens of young israeli soldiers who are put there just in order to protect 5 or 6 blind people who don't want to see reality? Again I say, TO HELL! If I hadn't SEEN the place with my own eyes, I would never say it. If I was in Brasil, I would blindly defend the jewish presence in Hebron. Here, my thoughts are changing all the time. Definitely I learnt that reality is not black and white, it has many tones.


I've told you before that things look different when you look on them from within.



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AUTHOR:G.
DATE:12/17/2002 11:21:00 PM
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BODY: First place in Europe

Usually I’m not so loyal to Tel Aviv University , but It’s nice to know that the Eitan Berglas School of Economics (where I study) is the finest in Europe, though they can always improve their attitude towards B.A students such as my self.

Ha’aretz: “The Eitan Berglas School of Economics at the Tel Aviv University made first place in a list of 200 economics departments at European universities, according to the European Economic Review. The ratings were determined by a team of European researchers, based on publications in dozens of professional journals from 1990 to 1999. The London School of Economics made second place, followed by Oxford. The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's economics department was no slouch in fourth place, the Technion University's made 27th position and the Haifa University's economics department was ranked 39th. Ben-Gurion University's department reached 45th place.



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