Outgoing US Ambassador To Israel Requests To Remain Until The End Of The School Year

December 26th, 2016

1Outgoing US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro is being replaced by Mr. David Friedman, who accepted the appointment from President-elect Donald Trump. However, Shapiro has asked to remain in Israel until the end of the school year to permit his daughter, an 11th grader, complete the school year.

Shapiro was among the ambassadors summoned and censured this week after the United States decided not to use its veto power in the Security Council, permitting passage of Resolution 2334.

Shapiro asks to remain as a private individual until the end of the school year, a request that requires US State Department approval. He would be required to vacate the official residence in Herzliya Pituach to permit the incoming ambassador to move in. This will only occur after the appointment receives Senate approval.

Once approved, Friedman will most likely arrive in Israel in February or March 2017.

When asked to comment on the report, US officials explained they are not in the habit of responding regarding private matters.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

As Gov. Haley Joins Trump, A Trump Supporter Succeeds Haley

December 26th, 2016

1If South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is confirmed as President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for United Nations ambassador, her successor will be an entrenched veteran of the state’s GOP who as attorney general decided not to prosecute then-Gov. Mark Sanford for his spending after his disappearance to rendezvous with his mistress.

Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster, a 69-year-old known for his ability to disagree affably, would get the job he’s long wanted in the governorship. His leadership offers a sharp contrast in style if not in substance from Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants and the nation’s youngest governor at 44, who hasn’t hesitated to publicly bash legislators who differed with her.

McMaster also was the nation’s first statewide officeholder to back Trump for president, in an endorsement before the state’s first-in-the-South presidential primary. The move stunned political observers, but McMaster’s support never wavered, despite Democrats’ calls to withdraw it.

He told The Associated Press last month he never regretted the endorsement.

“No ma’am, the more it went on, the more confident I was he was the man for the job,” he said in his characteristic, genteel drawl. He’s revealed little about what he would do as governor, and his office said he wasn’t available for an interview.

But as a savvy political insider, McMaster has forged strong relationships statewide.

He’s “a commonsense conservative — very reasonable, never abrasive,” said House Judiciary Chairman Greg Delleney, R-Chester. “He’s a realist, and he’s a gentleman, and I think he’s going to work with the General Assembly to get things done.”

Legislators hope McMaster’s entry could finally lead to passage of a comprehensive road-funding bill. Haley’s threats to veto anything with a gas tax increase stymied efforts for years.

Questioned by reporters after a meeting earlier this month, McMaster said, “We will make progress, great progress,” but gave no specifics.

In the 2010 GOP primary, Haley trounced McMaster and two other better-known men partly by running against the “good ol’ boy” network. Yet days after taking a 32-percentage-point beating, McMaster endorsed Haley with an exuberant “I’m all in!” and has been a close ally since. Beyond campaigning with her statewide, he arranged a series of private meetings between Haley and skeptical business leaders a week after she publicly chided the state Chamber of Commerce as a fan of bailouts and corporate welfare.

Bakari Sellers, a Democrat who lost to McMaster in the 2014 lieutenant governor’s race, contends McMaster “exemplifies the good ol’ boy network in South Carolina.”

“Henry’s been around a very long time. He’s the status quo,” said Sellers, a former state House member. “Courageous and visionary are not adjectives you use to describe Henry McMaster.”

Other longtime political adversaries applaud McMaster’s impending move.

“Henry is somebody who wants to do the right thing and move the state forward,” said former state Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian, who’s not one to pull punches. “If a good ol’ boy means somebody who remembers his friends and has a genial approach to governing, then I would take that as a compliment. He’s not going to rant and rave and pick fights. He’s not going to denigrate people publicly.”

McMaster began his political career in 1973 as an aide to then-U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond. He led the state Republican Party for 10 years, while the GOP took control of the Legislature.

He frequently boasts of being President Ronald Reagan’s first appointment for U.S. attorney in 1981 and launched “Operation Jackpot,” an investigation into international drug smuggling that resulted in more than 100 convictions.

As state attorney general, he created a task force of officers posing as children to catch online sex predators and built an attorney network to prosecute criminal domestic violence. In 2010, he helped lead a multi-state challenge of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul that allowed states to opt out of its intended Medicaid expansion — as South Carolina has steadfastly done.

In 2009, McMaster asked the state Ethics Commission to investigate Sanford after his disappearance to rendezvous with his mistress in Argentina brought scrutiny to his travels.

After Sanford paid $74,000 to resolve 37 civil charges, McMaster opted not to pursue criminal charges, saying Sanford’s use of first-class tickets, travel on state aircraft and questionable campaign reimbursements didn’t rise to a criminal level — and it was time for the state to move on.

A month after that announcement, McMaster lost to Haley.

Legislators say his decades-long relationship with many of them is an asset. GOP Senate Education Chairman John Courson, who met McMaster while at the University of South Carolina in the 1960s, said it helps that McMaster “understands the personalities in the Senate.”

“Across the board, among Democrats and Republicans, everybody is excited about him coming in — with the belief that he will have a desire to get things done and the ability to do so,” said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia.

Rep. James Smith, D-Columbia, said as a college student in the 1980s, he put out yard signs for McMaster.

“I think people who say he’s a good ol’ boy are missing what Henry’s all about,” he said. “Really, he’s about building strong relationships and treating people with respect and working for the future of our state.”

(AP)

David Levy To Finance Minister Kahlon: Tell Bibi To Cool It

December 26th, 2016

ISRAEL-POLITICS-NETANYAHUFormer senior Likud official David Levy, who retired from politics in the 16th Knesset after having served as Foreign Minister and other cabinet posts, is calling on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to ‘cool it’ regarding his response to the Security Council nations that voted against Israel and passed the resolution.

Levy spoke to Finance Minister (Kulanu) Moshe Kahlon during an event in the Jerusalem-based Begin Heritage Center on Sunday night the eve of the second day of Chanukah. He called on Kahlon to speak to the Prime Minister to bring an end to the “sanctions” he plans to impose on nations for passing UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

He explained just two weeks ago, he sang praises for how he was received in Africa and now we turn towards sanctions. Levy explained that there are other interests in play which Israel is aware of and these interests require statement, and not causing the collapse of all the accomplishments. He adds if you wish to lash out then do so at the giants too; China, France, Britain and the US, suggesting the Prime Minister slow down the rhetoric. Levy, who is 79, adds “I am sorry if I am out of place but I enjoyed much success with restoring relations with those nations that had refused in the past. I feel that at my age I am entitled to give a bit of advice”.

The Prime Minister this week instructed the Foreign Ministry to summon the ambassadors of all the Security Council nations that voted in favor of the resolution to censure them. They were summoned despite the Xmas vacation and that is why some of the ambassadors preferred to send subordinates.

Another step taken is Mr. Netanyahu instructed cabinet ministers not to meet with British PM Theresa May at the Davos Economic Summit which is to take place next month. He also instructed cabinet ministers not to meet with the nations that voted against Israel in the council and to limit flights to those countries in the immediate future too. This includes Britain, Spain, Russia, Japan and the Ukraine. He also canceled the planned visit in three weeks of the Senegal Foreign Minister to Israel and to cancel all aid programs to that country.

The Prime Minister’s Office denies ministers have been instructed to cancel meeting with PM May next month.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

AP New Year’s Poll: Americans Hopeful For A Better 2017

December 26th, 2016

1Emotionally wrenching politics, foreign conflicts and shootings at home took a toll on Americans in 2016, but they are entering 2017 on an optimistic note, according to a new poll that found that a majority believes things are going to get better for the country next year.

A look at the key findings of the Associated Press-Times Square Alliance poll:

———

SO HOW WAS 2016?

Americans weren’t thrilled with the year. Only 18 percent said things for the country got better, 33 percent said things got worse, and 47 percent said it was unchanged from 2015.

On a personal level, they were optimistic about 2017.

Fifty-five percent said they believe things will be better for them in the coming year than in the year that just concluded. That’s a 12-point improvement from last year’s poll.

Americans interviewed about the poll’s results expressed some of that optimism.

“Next year will be better than this year, because people will have more jobs and they’ll have more money to spend,” said Bourema Tamboura, a Harlem resident behind the wheel of a New York car service.

“I’m hoping 2017 will be better,” added Elizabeth Flynn, 62, an elementary schoolteacher from Peabody, Massachusetts. “You’ve got to be optimistic, and I’m going to try.”

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say 2016 was worse for the country than 2015. And Republicans are especially likely to feel that 2017 will be even better for them personally.

University of Miami professor Benjamin Alsup said he needed only three words to explain why 2016 felt worse for him: “Trump, Trump, Trump!”

Robert Greenstone, a New York commercial real estate broker, said the political discourse leading up to Republican Donald Trump’s election as president played havoc with people’s emotions.

“The amount of disinformation made people suspect of everything and everyone, even their neighbors,” he said.

————

U.S. ELECTION LEADS TOP NEWS EVENTS

The U.S. elections top Americans’ list of 10 top news events in 2016. Three-quarters called the presidential election and Trump’s victory very or extremely important.

Sixty-three percent ranked mass shootings and bombings in Orlando, Florida, and in Belgium, Turkey, Pakistan and France as personally important news stories of the year.

Fifty-one percent said they found news stories about the deaths of people at the hands of police officers, or news about ambush attacks on police in three states, to be among the year’s most important news events.

Fourth on the list are 43 percent who described the spread of the Zika virus as important.

The three events described by the largest percentages of Americans as not too important included the death of Muhammad Ali (50 percent), approval of recreational marijuana use in four states (43 percent), and the death of Fidel Castro (40 percent).

————

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR

About half of Americans plan to celebrate the New Year at home. About 2 in 10 plan to go out to a friend or family member’s home, and 1 in 10 to a bar or restaurant. About a quarter don’t plan to celebrate at all.

About 6 in 10 plan to watch the Times Square ball drop, nearly all of whom will watch on TV.

———

The AP-Times Square Alliance Poll of 1,007 adults was conducted online Dec. 9-11, using a sample drawn from GfK’s probability-based KnowledgePanel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

The poll is a cooperative effort between AP and the organizers of the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration, the Times Square Alliance and Countdown Entertainment. The Alliance is a nonprofit group that seeks to promote Times Square, and Countdown Entertainment represents the owners of One Times Square and the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop.

(AP)

High Court To Hear Petition On Sifrei Torah In The Ezras Noshim Of The Kosel

December 26th, 2016

kotelThe High Court of Justice on Wednesday, 28 Kislev, is scheduled to hear a petition filed by the Center for Women’s Justice pertaining to permitting Sifrei Torah into the ezras noshim of the Kosel. The organization represents women who broke away from the Women of the Wall for they do not accept the egalitarian prayer area but insist on continuing davening at the Kosel. The petition is filed against the Rav of the Kosel and Holy Sites Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz Shlita, the Kosel Heritage Foundation, the Ministry of Religious Service and the Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office Eli Groner.

The state wanted to push off the hearing but the court would not accept the request. The case will be heard by Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Yoram Danziger and Uzi Fogelman.

These women explain that they are religious and therefore, they wish to continue davening at the Kosel and not some other area nearby allocated by the government and they also wish to be able to bring a Sefer Torah to the ezras noshim. Rav Rabinowitz has maintained permitting them to do so would be viewed as insensitive and offensive to the hundreds of thousands of frum women who are opposed to such an arrangement.

They have also asked to be heard as a respondent in another case regarding the Kosel and the future of the egalitarian prayer area.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Ukraine Summons Israeli Ambassador After UN Controversy

December 26th, 2016

Ôîòî Íèêîëàÿ Òèì÷åíêî 3.11.14 Ïîñîë Èçðàèëÿ Åëèàâ ÁåëîöåðêîâñêèIsrael says its ambassador to Ukraine has been summoned by the foreign ministry in Kiev following Israel’s decision to cancel a planned visit by the Ukrainian prime minister.

Israel over the weekend called off the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman after Ukraine voted in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement construction in occupied lands.

It was one of a number of steps Israel has taken in response to the measure, which passed 14-0 with an American abstention. On Sunday, Israel summoned ambassadors from council members, including the U.S., to protest.

In a statement, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said Eli Belotsercovsky, the ambassador to Ukraine, was summoned Monday in Kiev “following Israel’s decision regarding the visit of Ukraine’s prime minister.”

(AP)

Israel Curbs Working Ties With 12 Nations Who Voted For UN Resolution

December 26th, 2016

bibThe following is via CNN:

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered his nation’s foreign ministry to temporarily limit all working ties with the embassies of the 12 UN Security Council members who voted in favor of Friday’s resolution on West Bank settlements and who have diplomatic relations with Israel, two senior Israeli officials tell CNN.

The officials said that business with the embassies of those countries — Britain, France, Russia, China, Japan, Ukraine, Angola, Egypt, Uruguay, Spain, Senegal and New Zealand — will be suspended, the officials said.

Netanyahu will not meet with the foreign ministers of those countries and their ambassadors will not be received at Israel’s foreign ministry, the officials added.

In addition, travel by Israeli ministers to those countries will also be limited, the officials said, noting that Israeli ambassadors in the countries will still be able to continue working with the governments of their host nations.

The move came after ten ambassadors were summoned, under orders by Netanyahu, to the foreign ministry for a personal rebuke over the vote. Israel was furious at the passage of Security Council resolution 2334, which says its settlements in the West Bank “had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security.” The United States, a Security Council member, abstained on the resolution.

More than anything else, the diplomatic move to suspend embassy ties is a statement meant to express Netanyahu’s anger at the countries that voted for the resolution. It is unlikely to have any practical effect on either Israel or the other countries, as it does not affect trade, security coordination, or other aspects of the relations.

But as a statement, it is significant, and it is a continuation of Netanyahu’s diplomatic actions against countries that voted for the resolution.

Notably, it does not affect diplomatic relations with the United States, which has been the focus of much of Netanyahu’s anger. Netanyahu summoned the US ambassador and launched a scathing attack Sunday on the Obama administration.

Late Monday afternoon Israel’s ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, explained his country’s diplomatic moves to CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead.”

“Israel’s not going to be kicked in the teeth and not just respond to this,” Dermer said. “We can’t just meet with visiting dignitaries as if nothing has happened. This is a serious effort against Israel.”

Dermer said Friday’s UN Security Council vote harmed long-term prospects for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

“The one negotiating chip that we have at the peace table is that territory. If the UN Security Council says that territory actually belongs to the Palestinians — which it does not and which we reject — that’s going to make achieving peace actually much harder.”

(Source: CNN)

Kerry Still Trying To Set The Groundwork For Resumed Talks between Israel And The PA

December 26th, 2016

1As the Obama administration is preparing to leave office, many things are becoming clear including the president’s decision not to veto the vote on UN Security Council Resolution 2334.

What is also quite clear is that outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry cannot be counted among the true allies of Israel, nor will he be included among the Secretary of States who championed the challenges and complexities of the region by trying to advance dialogue between Israel and its neighbors. In fact, most would agree that Kerry has shown a profound lack of understanding of the region, its workings and possibly most importantly from a US perspective, which countries are truly US allies and which are hostile towards America.

As Kerry prepares to step down the PA (Palestinian Authority) Al-Quds newspaper reports he is formulating a draft document that he envisions will serve as the basis of future resumed talks between Israel and the PA. Kerry plans to submit this document at the Paris peace summit, which was canceled by France after Israel made it clear it was not going to attend. However, there are now renewed fears that Paris, with encouragement from Kerry and the White House, will announce the conference will be held as the outgoing US administration may take additional steps against Israel.

The basics contained in the Kerry document is the establishment of the State of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders, land exchanges with the PA towards permitting 80-85% of settlements to remain under Israeli rule. The PA would recognize Israel as a Jewish nation and Israel would recognize the PA and the eastern area of Jerusalem as its capital.

Clearly Mr. Kerry prepares to depart from office as clueless to Mideast realities as the day he entered.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

My Marriage Journey From Los Angeles To Eretz Yisrael And Back

December 26th, 2016

geometric_of_roads[COMMUNICATED CONTENT]

This is an e-mail we recently received from Shira M. from Los Angeles.

“My journey began “wrote Shira “with a trip to Eretz Yisrael when I was 27. I know I shouldn’t have, but I felt old at 27. I was single and almost all of my friends were married. After a particularly trying time in my life, I decided to go to Eretz Yisrael to visit some family members; a spiritual recharge.

A cousin of mine, Sara volunteered at Yad L’Achim; she was a “big sister”, a mentor to several women and children who were rescued from Arab Villages. I went along with her one day to the Yad L’Achim offices and I was blown away by the work they do and the plight these women and children faced before being rescued by Yad L’Achim. The care and love they receive from Yad L’Achim left a strong impression on me.

Although I planned on staying for only a week more, I decided to spend some time every day volunteering as well. I got to know some special women and maintain my relationship with them to this day. These women are inspirational as many have turned their lives around and live happy, healthy lives.

As I was leaving, a Yad L’Achim staffer asked me for my Hebrew name. They said they were arranging a tefillah in Amuka that day and wanted to daven for me as well. I gave them my name, figuring I had nothing to lose, and thanked them for the thought.

When I came back to Los Angeles, my mother told me that a shidduch had been suggested to me to a nice boy from New York. Ten dates later, and I was engaged!

I truly believe that the tefillos of Yad L’Achim helped. My husband and I decided to dedicate the maaser of our wedding gift money to Yad L’Achim to help rescue more Jewish women & children trapped in Arab Villages. May Hashem grant you continued success in your special work”

IN HONOR OF CHANUKAH AND IN THE GREAT RESPONSE TO THE LAST INITIATIVE, ANYONE AND EVERYONE CAN SUBMIT THEIR NAMES FOR THE SPECIAL TEFILLAH IN AMUKA & BERDITCHEV ON ZOS CHANUKAH ON (SUNDAY) FOR FREE  - For shidduchim and all yeshuos! (DETAILS ON WEBSITE BY CLICKING HERE)

THE CHANUKAH SHIDDUCH & TEFILLA INITIATIVE

Option for monthly tefillah, EVERY EREV ROSH CHODESH until the Shidduch comes!

THERE IS NO MINIMUM DONATION REQUIRED TO JOIN THE TEFILLAH – SUBMIT YOUR NAMES FOR SHIDDUCHIM & ALL YESHUOS BY CLICKING HERE OR by VISITING WWW.YADLACHIM.ORG

Mass Graves, Booby Traps As Russians, Syrians Sweep Aleppo

December 26th, 2016

1Russia’s Defense Ministry said on Monday that its troops had found mass graves in Syria’s Aleppo with bodies showing signs of torture and mutilation.

Dozens of bodies have been uncovered, according to Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov. He said some bore gunshot wounds.

While the Syrian war is now largely fought with mortars, tanks, and air power, death has come at close quarters as well. Human rights observers and the media have recorded numerous examples of massacres and organized torture, perpetrated by the government, opposition, and the Islamic State group.

The Russian Air Force has helped Syrian President Bashar Assad and its allies to capture Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, after weeks of a siege. Russia has since dispatched military police to the city.

Konashenkov also accused rebels, who controlled eastern Aleppo before they were pushed out earlier this month, of laying multiple booby traps and mines across town, endangering the civilian population.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which gathers information on the conflict through local contacts, said on Sunday that at least 63 Syrian soldiers and militiamen had been killed by such booby traps in east Aleppo since the government took control of it from rebels last Thursday. The Observatory said the victims were a mix of demining personnel and soldiers or militiamen looting the districts.

As Russian and Syrian forces secured and consolidated eastern Aleppo, Syrian president Bashar Assad was showing signs of increasing confidence in his position.

On Sunday, Assad visited a Christian orphanage near the capital Damascus to mark Christmas.

Photographs posted on the Syrian presidency’s Facebook page showed Assad along with his wife, Asma, standing with nuns and orphans in the Damascus suburb of Sednaya.

In the northern city of Aleppo, Christians celebrated Christmas for the first time in four years with the country’s largest city now under full control of government forces.

The rebel withdrawal from east Aleppo last week marked Assad’s biggest victory since Syria’s crisis began in 2011.

Christians, one of the largest religious minorities at about 10 percent of Syria’s pre-war 23 million-strong population, have tried to stay on the sidelines of the conflict. However, the opposition’s increasingly outspoken Islamism has kept many leaning toward Assad’s government.

(AP)

Litzman Calls On PM Netanyahu To Review Shabbos Protocol For Cabinet Ministers

December 26th, 2016

.Minister Yaakov Litzman has turned to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu asking they he review Shabbos protocol with cabinet ministers, apparently prompted by ministers responding to the UN Security Council passing Resolution 2334 on Shabbos.

Litzman sent a letter to PM Netanyahu expressing surprise over learning cabinet ministers released messages to the media on Shabbos when the messages could have easily waited until motzei Shabbos.

Litzman has asked Mr. Netanyahu to review the Shabbos protocol for ministers and the matter of breaking from this protocol only in cases of pikuach nefesh.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Us Cities Increase Security After Incidents Abroad

December 26th, 2016

nypdThe following is via ABC News:

Cities across the U.S. are heightening security after a series of deadly incidents abroad, including an attack in Berlin, where a truck plowed into a crowd at a busy Christmas market.

Additional police officers are being deployed in New York and Chicago, with emphasis on crowded public areas and holiday gatherings. Both cities cautioned that the increased presence of law enforcement was a preventive measure and that no specific threats were received.

“The NYPD is monitoring the events in Germany and around the world today,” the New York Police Department said in a statement Monday. “The department has moved highly trained teams, including the critical response command, to high-profile locations around New York City.”

In a statement, the Chicago Police Department said it is “adding police resources to Daley Plaza, including additional foot and bike patrols and specialized units.” Daley Plaza in the Loop, a busy commercial neighborhood in the city, hosts a holiday marketplace as well.

In Berlin on Monday evening, 11 people were killed after a truck plowed through Breitscheidplatz, a public square hosting a Christmas market. A 12th victim was discovered dead in the cabin of the truck, and at least 48 others were injured. German Chancellor Angela Merkel later said, “We must assume that it was a terrorist attack.”

The incident capped a deadly day, as earlier on Monday, the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated at a museum in the Turkish capital, Ankara, by a man who appeared to be protesting Russia’s involvement in the Syrian civil war. Also on Monday, three people were wounded after a gunman opened fire at an Islamic center in Zurich, Switzerland.

In a memo distributed last month, U.S. intelligence officials noted the possibility of holiday celebrations being targeted by terrorist organizations.

A joint intelligence bulletin distributed by the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security on Nov. 18 read, “Law enforcement, military and security personnel” are reminded “to remain vigilant and aware of upcoming public and private events this holiday season and during the presidential inauguration.”

“We continue to monitor threats with an unspecified attack date emanating from foreign terrorist organizations … in the event that these groups advance their plotting efforts in the near term to coincide with the holidays,” read the bulletin. “Based on historical precedence during past holiday seasons and presidential transition periods, we expect to see an increase in threat reporting between now and the end of January 2017.”

In addition to the NYPD, police departments in Chicago, Boston and Washington, D.C., indicated that they would continue to monitor events in Berlin and elsewhere around the world as they continue to prepare for possible residual effects in those cities.

The NYPD said it “will look to learn more about what occurred to inform operations, deployments and training of officers.”

(ABC News)

Construction Of Jerusalem Estates At Schneller Goes Into High Gear As Foundation Is Completed – Exceeding All Projected Goals

December 26th, 2016

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[COMMUNICATED CONTENT]

Yerushalayim…It is labeled “The Private Historic Estate at Schneller” and is already being recognized as the most luxurious housing complex ever built in the eternal city of Yerushalayim. Construction of the near 400 deluxe apartments has reached a new phase as the foundation for the beautiful buildings has been completed, well ahead of schedule. The excitement over the new magnificent development has already generated 50 contracts from future owners from around the world. The timeliness of the completion of the foundation stage is further proof of the unprecedented precision of the planning and design.

The first group of 50 owners, includes many well-known respected families from the US and Europe who covet living in such a historic estate in the midst of some of the city’s most celebrated neighborhoods. They appreciate the high standards of construction and overall professionalism of the developers which makes it the most desired housing complex ever built in Yerushalayim. Although the apartments are in a secluded private area surrounded by luscious gardens, it is also minutes away from the hub of Torah and Chassidic centers as well as the world-renowned commercial center of Malchei Yisrael.

The architecture that envelops the apartments with the most modern amenities is closely aligned with the classic Yerushalayim design and its signature stones. The design is the genius of Yehuda Feigin, a highly-respected world class architect, whose works include the prestigious highly-acclaimed Waldorf- Astoria Hotel. Mr. Feigin and the rest of the development, planning and construction team introduced a level of planning and professionalism never before experienced in the religious community.

Jerusalem Estates will be a completely walled-in private complex without any access to vehicles. Residents and guests will be able to use an underground tunnel that will lead directly into the complex. Once inside, residents will enjoy living in an area festooned with luscious green gardens in an interior park setting.

In addition to the 50 home buyers who have already gone to contract, the Jerusalem Estates Sales Office on King David Street is fielding hundreds of inquiries with many prospective buyers looming. A spokesman for the developers noted that “Jerusalem Estates has become a symbol of the city’s new high-end luxurious development.” He said that the project is also defined by the fact that “we are working with the foremost professionals in the real estate industry, the most prominent attorneys, Bank Hapoalim which is very much a part of this project, world-class architects, and leading construction consultants and experts.” He concluded: “Our claim of being the most prestigious project ever built in the city is certainly supported by the esteemed quality team that developed this project.”

The Jerusalem Estates developers emphasize that meeting major milestones such as the recent completion of the foundations is the key to the success of any real estate project, especially such an elite development. “As we make the transition from the foundation phase to actual construction, scheduled to be completed within 30 months, we recognize that we are that much closer to the day when an exclusive group of new residents will experience the highest standards of luxury while fully enjoying the splendor of ancient Yerushalayim.”

For more information contact:

SALES OFFICE
16 KING DAVID ST.
JERUSALEM 94101

TEL. 972-2- 502-5502 | USA 718-564- 6656 . FAX. 972-2- 532-3532 or visit: www.jerusalemestates.com

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Pedestrian Pinned Under Jerusalem Light Rail

December 26th, 2016

2A pedestrian was pinned under the Jerusalem light rail at the Davidka Station near Machane Yehuda on Sunday evening. B’chasdei Hashem the victim did not sustain serious injuries.

The victim was extricated and transported to a local hospital.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem/Photo: Yehuda Boltshauser via Media Resource Group)

China’s 1st Aircraft Carrier Heads For Western Pacific

December 26th, 2016

caccChina’s first aircraft carrier has set off for the Western Pacific for an open-sea training exercise, the Defense Ministry said.

State media said Sunday that it is the first time that the Liaoning, which was commissioned by the Chinese navy in 2012, has headed to “distant sea waters.” The Western Pacific region stretches from China to New Zealand and encompasses countries in the Pacific, Oceania and parts of Asia.

The statement said a navy formation including the Liaoning set off Saturday for training in the Western Pacific, without elaborating on the location, as part of an annual training plan.

The exercise takes place at a time of tension between China and the United States, the Pacific Ocean’s dominant power, over the sensitive issue of Taiwan, a self-governing island that Beijing claims as its territory.

President-elect Donald Trump took a congratulatory Dec. 2 phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, marking the first time an American president or president-elect has publicly spoken to Taiwan’s leader since Washington broke of its formal diplomatic relationship with Taiwan in 1979. To outrage in Beijing, Trump later suggested he could reevaluate U.S. policy on Taiwan.

China seized a U.S. Navy underwater glider in the South China Sea on Dec. 16 in what was seen by Chinese analysts as a warning to Trump.

China said last month that its aircraft carrier, purchased as an incomplete hull from Ukraine more than a decade ago, was ready to engage in combat. The Liaoning recently completed its first live-fire exercise along with fighters in the Bohai Sea in eastern China and, on Friday, the military announced it had carried out a series of fighter launch, recovery and air combat exercises slightly farther afield in the Yellow Sea.

On Saturday morning, the Liaoning carried out training in the East China Sea, according to footage shown on state broadcaster China Central Television. A separate statement from the Defense Ministry said that several carrier-based fighter jets and helicopters took off one after another and returned after completing an air tactical confrontation and air refueling exercise.

The Japanese Defense Ministry said it spotted the Liaoning as part of a fleet of eight Chinese warships that included destroyers and frigates, in the central part of the East China Sea for the first time. It said there was no incursion into Japanese waters.

China hasn’t described specifically how it intends to use the Liaoning, but it is seen as helping reinforce China’s increasingly assertive claims over almost all of the South China Sea, which is home to key shipping lanes, rich fishing grounds and a potential wealth of mineral resources.

Five other governments claim the maritime space either in part or in whole, and the Philippines and Vietnam in particular have sought assistance from the U.S. and others in beefing up their ability to resist China, including its construction of seven islands by piling sand atop coral reefs.

(AP)

Goldin Family: The Prime Minister Has Given Up Regarding The Return Of Bodies

December 26th, 2016

1The family of Lt. Hadar Goldin HY”D, whose body is held by Hamas, feels Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has raised the white flag and given up on getting the body back for kvura in Israel. They add that repeated statements by Mr. Netanyahu that everything possible is being done towards having the body handed over are meaningless and empty words.

Dr. Simcha Goldin told Ynet that the Prime Minister and his cabinet exhibit weakness while Hamas holds Hadar’s body along with that of Sgt. Shaul Oren HY”D. “Israel has not even demanded information on the two and statements from Mr. Netanyahu that everything is being done are empty and meaningless. He has raised the white flag and nothing is being done”.

The two soldiers were killed in Gaza fighting during the Gaza operating in the summer of 2014. Their bodies were grabbed by Hamas and it is believed the terrorist organization is still holding them.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)