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Jerusalem News-721
13 Shebet 5768, 20 January 2008
1. Olmert: Israeli Economy in Good shape
2. US Congressmen seek answers about Islamic law expert's firing,
3. PresPres. Bush Recognizes Jewish Refugees from Arab


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1. Olmert: Israeli Economy in Good shape
Subject: PM Olmert: economy great,

Israel Government Press Office Thursday, 17 January, 2008

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today (Thursday), 17.1.08, addressed the annual General Assembly of the Manufacturer's Association.

At the outset, the Prime Minister referred to the security situation in the
southern part of the country, and complimented the operations of the IDF and the security forces, saying: "Two days ago, the IDF and the security forces carried out a bold operation in Gaza, as a result of which the terrorist organizations are firing barrages of Qassam missiles indiscriminately and without regard for women and children.  I know that the hearts of the people of the State of Israel are with the residents of Sderot and I say to you - we have no desire to harm the residents of the Gaza Strip, but we will not accept this reality; we will continue to fight the Jihad and the Hamas, and all those who join them, without compromise and without pity."

After congratulating the president of the Manufacturer's Association, Mr. Shraga Brosh, who was today re-elected to the position for a second term, the Prime Minister said: "The Israeli economy is currently in the best condition it has ever been...."

The Prime Minister reviewed the positive data for 2007 in the Israeli economy: "In 2007, the growth rate was 5.3%, the fourth consecutive year in which it was above 5%.  In the 60 years of this country's existence, the population of Israel has increased ten-fold and the product per capita by six.  In other words, GDP has increased by 60.  This is a combination unique to the State of Israel.  There is no other country in the world which absorbed such massive waves of immigration, and still succeeded in maintaining high growth rates.

We are seeing an ongoing surplus in the balance of payments, a surplus which indicates that we are going in the right direction for economic strength.
The labor market is flourishing; in the third quarter of 2007, unemployment decreased to 7.3%, and according to the data, it made an additional decrease to a rate of 6.9% in October.  The unemployment rate in 2007 is expected to be the lowest in the past decade.  The decrease in unemployment was combined with an increase in the rate of participation in the labor force - in other words, the employment rate significantly increased.  Of course, the considerable decrease with regard to the national debt continues, from 102% in 2003 to 81.5% in 2007:

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

2. US Congressmen seek answers about Islamic law expert's firing,, Fred Lucas

3. Pres. Bush Recognizes Jewish Refugees from Arab
From: "Stanley A. Urman (JJAC)" <>

Palestinians not the only Middle East Refugees

Contact: Shelomo Alfassa 917-606-8262

January 17, 2008 - (New York, NY) Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC) is pleased that President George Bush raised the issue of Jews from Arab countries while on his official visit to Israel in early January. In an article headlined, "Bush aware of Jewish Refugee' Plight," The Jerusalem Post said the U.S. President was "very conscious" that Jewish refugees fled to Israel from Arab lands after the 1947-49 war, and that one of the points that came up in Bush's discussion was the number of Jewish refugees that were created in the period after 1948.

This report of President Bush's interest in the plight of Jews from Arab countries, comes after the December visit to the White House by Maurice Shohet, a long time member of JJAC's International Steering Committee. Joining Mr. Shohet at the White House were Professor Judea Pearl and Ruth Pearl, parents of slain Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl, all of whom spoke to President Bush on the plight of Jewish refugees from Arab counties. This followed the recent Annapolis Peace Conference, where JJAC issued a declaration which stated, inter alia: "The exclusion and denial of rights and redress to Jewish refugees from Arab and Muslim countries will prejudice authentic negotiations between the parties and undermine the justice and legitimacy of any agreement." In preparation for Annapolis, JJAC sent a letter to President Bush asking that the issue of Jews from Arab countries be discussed in the context of Middle East refugees.

Stanley A. Urman, Executive Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries welcomed the news of Bush's remarks, "We are grateful that the President is cognizant of this important narrative - the violations of rights, and the displacement, of up to one million Jews from Arab countries. President's Bush's words come at the opening of the 2008 Congressional session, at which consideration will be given to two bi-partisanship resolutions which call attention to the fact that Jews living in Arab countries suffered human rights violations, were uprooted from their homes, and were made refugees."

The Resolutions, Senate Res. 85 and House Res. 185, would signify that "it would be inappropriate and unjust for the United States to recognize rights for Palestinian refugees without recognizing equal rights for former Jewish, Christian, and other refugees from Arab countries." Far-reaching and comprehensive, these Resolutions instruct the President to ensure that in all international forums, when the issue of 'Middle East refugees'is discussed, representatives of the United States must ensure that any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees is matched by a similar explicit reference to Jewish and other refugees, as a matter of law and equity.


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