KIBBUTZ TZE’ELIM, Israel — Eight tons of trash are piled high at the entrance of a small factory in this tree-lined kibbutz — rotting food mixed with plastic bags, dirty paper, castoff bottles and containers, even broken toys. But nothing is headed for a landfill. Instead, what’s next is a process that could revolutionize recycling.
Within hours, the mound will be sorted, ground, chopped, shredded, cleaned and heated into a sort of garbage caramel, then resurrected as tiny pseudo-plastic pellets that can be made into everyday items like trays and packing crates.
“The magic that we’re doing is we’re taking everything — the chicken bones, the banana peels,” says Jack “Tato” Bigio, the chief executive at UBQ Materials. “We take this waste, and we convert it.” Such upcycling is desperately needed by a world seeking solutions to the environmental challenges caused by the 2 billion tons of waste generated annually.
Turning that trash into treasure has long held allure. Yet attempts have fallen short, and cynics abound. UBQ says it has succeeded where others have failed, creating a radical technology that transforms garbage into the raw materials for plastics manufacturers and earns them a profit in the end.
And by diverting household refuse destined for long-term burial, the process will help to reduce landfill production of a powerful greenhouse gas while creating new life for hard-to-recycle plastic. The loop exemplifies a “circular economy,” in which waste is turned into something useful.
One skeptic turned convert calls it a breakthrough that could, in the best way, “create very serious disruption. If we want to advance to a more sustainable future, we don’t only need new technologies, but new business models,” said Antonis Mavropoulos, a Greek chemical engineer who is president of the International Solid Waste Association. He visited UBQ’s plant here in the Negev Desert and came away convinced. “In this case, we have a byproduct worth a very good price in the market.”
Others are still dubious, though they have softened their tone recently. Duane Priddy is the chief executive of the Plastic Expert Group and a former principal scientist at Dow Chemical. Until a call last month with UBQ executives, he and his group had scoffed at their claims. Now they’re keeping a more open mind.
“...(W)e look forward to evaluating UBQ products and continuing to learn more about the UBQ technology to further validate their findings and broad applications,” the group said in a statement. Should the technology prove commercially viable, “it could be a game changer for the global environment.”
The company’s push is part of a broader effort during the past several decades as the colossal scope of the world’s waste problem grew impossible to ignore. One approach has been to excavate existing sites, in part to recover potentially valuable debris. The strategy hasn’t proved profitable, however. UBQ aims to keep trash from ever going into landfills.
An analysis it commissioned by the Swiss environmental consulting firm Quantis found that keeping decomposing organic waste out of landfills and using it to create second-generation plastics could significantly cut methane, the gas that in the short term contributes more to global warming than carbon dioxide. Substituting a ton of UBQ’s pellets for the same amount of polypropylene saves the equivalent of about 15 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, Quantis concluded; adding as little as 10 percent of its material can make the result carbon neutral, depending on the type of plastic being created.
What’s the “magic” behind this? Executives are coy, but biotechnology expert Oded Shoseyov, a Hebrew University professor who has consulted for UBQ, says melting plastics and waste creates a homogeneous substance strengthened by fibers in the organic ingredients. So far, that alchemy only happens at the plant in Kibbutz Tze’elim, population 464.
A Bedouin woman, her face almost completely covered by a black veil, was among several people at work at the first stage of the process... She plucked out a variety of items — larger things like shoes and coffee machines are culled at this point — while household flotsam moved along a short conveyor belt.
Next up were two automated cullings, one involving a magnetized oval track, to eliminate both ferrous and nonferrous metals. Then the waste was shredded and ground into brownish-gray confetti before more sorting, this time targeting glass and rocks.
These stinky prep stages can vary. Bigio says UBQ works to a customer’s specifications for characteristics like tensile strength and flexibility. If its material is going to be used in injection molding, trash is sorted again and again to remove glass and metals that could damage delicate molds. If the material’s final fate is for use in construction — in composite brick, for example — the sorting is less rigorous. Regardless, there’s one final check and cleaning using near-infrared spectroscopy...
For most Palestinians, the occupation began in 1948 when Israel was born, and they won't be satisfied by anything less than the elimination of the State of Israel. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Palestinian TV in October 2013: "All Palestinian land is occupied - Gaza is occupied, the West Bank [Judea & Samaria] is occupied, the 1948 lands [Israel] are occupied and Jerusalem is occupied." A June 2019 survey by the Palestine Center for Public Opinion found that only 30% of West Bank Palestinians would approve a two-state solution.
The majority says, "the conflict should not end, and resistance should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated." One cannot mistake the meaning of the chant heard at all pro-Palestinian rallies: "From the river to the sea, Palestine must be free." The river is the Jordan River and the sea is the Mediterranean Sea. In other words, Palestine is Israel. (VFI News)
"The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways. They have made themselves crooked paths. Whoever takes that way shall not know peace." Isaiah 59:8
Source: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743
Charlotte, NC 28241-7743 USA
Gun Rights Activists in Virginia
Well, first the good news. Despite fears of many, there was no violence. There were, however, implied threats. Many were dressed in military camouflage, and some wore bullet proof vests and were carrying assault rifles and other assorted weapons. This was outside Virginia's capitol building in Richmond, where some gun control legislation was being considered. People would be limited to purchasing no more than one handgun each month, and assault rifles would be outlawed. At least one legislator was in hiding, fearful of the implied threats. But like I said, there was no violence. However, there are other forms of violence:
According to The Washington Post, two-thirds of all gun deaths in Virginia are suicides. Most of those who kill themselves are rural white males over age 45. Very few deaths involve someone protecting themselves or their property. The Post added, "Think about it guys. The biggest thing you have to fear, when it comes to guns, is yourselves." Common sense gun control legislation should never impinge on the Second Amendment right to bear arms. Keep in mind, at the time that the Second Amendment was written, the most common firearm was the ball and musket. The writers of the Constitution never had assault rifles in mind. Automatic and semi-automatic rifles are usually the weapons of choice for those seeking to kill the most people in the shortest period of time.
Christian Becomes a Muslim,
Then Tries to Kill a Jew
Feb 7, 2020 |
An Israeli Arab shot and wounded a police officer in the Old City of Jerusalem on Feb. 6 in what was just one in a string of terrorist incidents. The assailant was later identified as a 40-something man from the northern port city of Haifa.
More interesting was that he had been born a Christian, but recently converted to Islam. Haifa has a large population, many of whom are Christians. That this man almost immediately turned to terrorist violence against Israel shone a light on the fact that Muslim proselytization in the Jewish state can be and often is just as radical as in places like Gaza, Syria and Iraq.
The terrorist was quickly shot and killed by other police officers at Jerusalem’s Lions Gate. The Israeli victim was treated for light injuries. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan later stated that Israel “will not allow the despicable terrorists to erode security in Jerusalem and we will act in any way possible to thwart the plans by the terror groups to escalate tensions in the area.” It is relatively uncommon for Israeli Arabs, both Christians and Muslims, to resort to terrorist violence against their Jewish countrymen, even when they openly identify with the Palestinian nationalist cause.
In fact, recent years have been seeing more and more local Arabs–again, both Muslims and Christians–volunteer to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. Unlike their Jewish countrymen, local Arabs are not required to do military service. But, with so much of the Arab Middle East being swallowed in an orgy of jihadist violence in recent years, a growing number of Arabs here have started to appreciate the security and stability that comes with living in Israel. At the same time, there remain a number of radical Islamic preachers in Israel who are constantly trying to incite jihad against the Jewish state.
February 10, 2020 |
Bibi Netanyahu insists that only he will truly protect Israel, because he’s the only candidate that truly believes the Bible. During a recent campaign stop, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted that he was the only candidate who would extend Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria, because he truly believes in the Bible.
Speaking to children at a religious school in the Jewish settlement of Mitzpe Yericho, the prime minister encouraged them to continue studying the Bible, to continue praying.
“What you are doing here is for the redemption of Israel,” he said. “Everything we do is built on spiritual empowerment.” Netanyahu went on to note that he reads the Bible every week:
“Every Shabbat I read the weekly Torah portion many times over with my son, Avner. And I don’t just say the words. I live it. I breathe it! I believe it!”
Taking what many saw as a solemn vow, the prime minister stated: “I dedicate my life to the simple knowledge that the future of the Land of Israel [ie. Judea and Samaria] is in the State of Israel.”
In the wake of a caustic UN Security Council debate on 11 Feb 2020, during which all member nations except the USA and Israel shunned President Trump’s "Deal of the Century," the White House celebrated the withdrawal of a resolution rejecting the plan. The administration reportedly put heavy pressure on critics to drop the measure, introduced by Indonesia and Tunisia, and diplomats gave up at the risk of not having the necessary nine out of 15 votes to secure its passage. “By not putting forward a polarizing resolution, the UN Security Council demonstrated that the old way of doing things is over,” said a senior Trump official. “For the first time on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the Council was willing to think outside the box, and not fall back on the calcified Palestinian position, which has only allowed the failed status quo to continue."
Ron Prosor, a former Israeli ambassador to the UN said, "The Palestinians’ inability to put forward a vote tonight shows the change that the international community has gone through in recent years. Two years ago, the Palestinians easily recruited many countries willing to vote in favor of a resolution condemning the USA recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The USA vetoed the decision. This time they don’t have nine countries behind them,” Prosor said. “It shows that countries have different priorities now and they put their own interests first. The failure of the Palestinians on Tuesday to ram a resolution against the Trump Plan through the Security Council is just the latest example of a UN that is no longer an arena where the Palestinians can score a slam dunk at will." (VFI News)
"They have dug a pit before me. Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen." Ps. 57:6
Source: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743
Charlotte, NC 28241-7743 USA
Comment by Michael Oren
About Trump's Peace Plan
There are multiple differences from previous peace plans. I can start off by saying that I have been working on these peace plans since the beginning of the Oslo process from the early ‘90s so I have what to compare it to. One of the biggest differences is [that] President Trump lifted the formula of territories for peace on its head. If in the past Israel was expected to give territory first and then get peace, now Israel gets peace first and then gives up the territory. Here’s the difference: The burden of proof of peacefulness falls on the Palestinians. They have to stop educating their children to kill Israeli youth. They have to stop terrorists in jail. They have to accept Israel as a legitimate, permanent state. The burden is there and Palestinian statehood is predicated and conditioned on that.
Michael Oren is a former ambassador to the United States, Knesset member and deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Madrid Mayor, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, announced last week that the municipality has agreed to grant it the use of a building in the city center to create a Jewish museum. Spain was once home to the largest Jewish community in the world. The 1492 expulsion presented them with the choice to leave all and flee, or to convert to Catholicism, putting an end to centuries of flourishing Jewish life. This rich and tragic history will be presented in the Madrid-based Jewish museum, which is set to open in 2022. One of the goals of the museum will be to highlight 3,000 years of Jewish contributions to Spain and the rest of the world, emphasizing the importance of shared Judeo-Christian values and roots. About 45,000 Jews live in the country today, mostly in Madrid (20,000) and Barcelona (15,000), according to the European Jewish Congress. (VFI News)
Source: Vision for Israel, PO Box 7743
Charlotte, NC 28241-7743 USA
How Orthodox Jews
The traditional political home of most Jews in the United States has been the Democratic Party. Even at the time when President Franklin Roosevelt almost always refused to help Jews during the Holocaust, most Jews remained loyal to FDR.
President Richard Nixon was the most pro-Israel president of the United States in the Twentieth Century. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, when Israel was facing imminent destruction from neighboring Arab nations, Nixon rushed millions of tons of aid to the beleaguered Israelis, against the advice and wishes of Congress, the State Department, our military, and our allies. Yet most Jews continued to be loyal to the Democratic Party.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency published an article by Ben Sales and Laura Adkins called, "How Orthodox Jews Became Republicans." The following are quotes from that article:
Orthodox Jewry’s Republican shift reached a tipping point in 2016. That year, 18% of American Jews voted for Donald Trump, according to an American Jewish Committee survey. But the same survey found that Trump won 54% of the Orthodox vote.
A survey by Nishma Research, released... exclusively to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, reported a similar statistic — but concluded that haredi ("Ultra-Orthodox") Jews, who make up about two-thirds of Orthodox Jews in America, drove the shift. Nearly three-quarters of haredi Jews voted Republican, the survey found.
Ami Magazine, a publication that primarily serves haredi readers, published a survey in December of “close to 1,000 Orthodox Jewish respondents from at least 12 different states” and found that while only 40% of respondents were registered as Republicans, 89% “approve of the job Donald Trump is doing as president.”
...Demographic trends suggest that any split in the Orthodox community is unlikely to reverse the rightward trend in its voting. Haredim, who tend to have large families, make up an increasing share of Orthodox Jewry. Ultimately, the Republican Party’s support for Israel, conservative social policy, and religious liberty might lead Orthodox Jews to overlook Trump’s foibles, Rabbi Avi Shafran, Agudath Israel’s director of public affairs, wrote in an email to JTA.
“While there are some Orthodox Jews who embrace President Trump as a hero, many more appreciate things he’s done that express their values and hopes but at the same time disapprove of his ‘style’ and things he has said and tweeted,” Shafran wrote. “They may still support him, but their support stems from his policies, not his persona. They are voting their interests, not donning MAGA hats.”
And unlike their more liberal counterparts, Orthodox Jews aren’t concerned about Trump’s response to rising anti-Semitism. 73% of American Jews overall disapprove of Trump’s handling of anti-Semitism, according to the AJC. But overall, Orthodox Jews see Trump as an ally in the fight against hate. Ami Magazine found that more than 90% of its respondents trusted Trump on anti-Semitism over Democratic leaders...
Kwall says that ultimately, to Orthodox Jews, it is Trump’s policies that matter, not his rhetoric. “Whereas liberal Jews will often say ‘listen to his tropes,’” Kwall said, “the people on the right say ‘look at what he’s done.’”
PHILADELPHIA – Feb 14, 2020 – The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) just unveiled a new work-plan inspired by the Middle East Forum's Israel Victory Project. The five-year "Momentum" plan is designed to increase the IDF's capabilities sevenfold. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett explains that it "puts the principle of victory back at the top of the list of priorities."
The IDF's paradigm-shift is the culmination of over three years' work in Israel. MEF has inspired a non-partisan national movement through intensive contacts with senior policy-makers; the Knesset Israel Victory Caucus; hosting conferences; hundreds of media engagements; public campaigns; and grassroots outreach. This development builds on then-Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who noted that, "Victory is ... the most important value" in choosing Israel's next army chief.
He went on to appoint Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi who, in his first speech as IDF chief-of-staff in February 2019 announced that "Victory and mission focus are our main values." Gen. Kohavi then proceeded to arrange a "Victory Seminar" to ascertain how Israel can "win a clear, decisive, irrefutable victory in the next war it fights."
Messrs. Bennett and Liberman have praised our Israel Victory concept in private meetings, as have other senior officials across Israel's ideological spectrum.
In an exclusive interview with MEF director Gregg Roman on MEF Radio, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus previewed the new IDF plan: "The Chief of Staff ... has been very clear that we have to re-evaluate and rethink how victory is achieved against terrorist organizations, and to be very clear and precise, how to achieve this." The Forum's Israel Victory Project (IVP) started with an original idea that MEF president Daniel Pipes has developed. The idea is simple: Conflicts end only when one side is defeated, when it gives up its war goals, when its will to fight on collapses.
A toddler from an Arabic-speaking Druze family in the Golan Heights has been getting media attention for his uncanny ability to speak fluent English with a British accent, despite never having learned the language from his family.
O’Neal Mahmoud, 3.5 years, who was named after former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal, didn’t speak until the age of 2, his parents, from the Druze town of Majdal Shams in northern Israel, said on a TV show broadcast on Thursday, Channel 10’s “Real Faces.”
Then, after a period in which he made unclear noises, he began speaking fluent English, the parents and professional officials who treated him said. I don’t understand every word, and sometimes I tell him, ‘Yes, okay’ and I don’t understand what he’s saying,” said his grandfather, Yahya Shams.
He knows words such as “rectangle,” “waterfall” and “motorbike,” without knowing the Arabic equivalents and without his parents understanding him. Experts were said to place the kid’s accent as a “Pakistani accent from south London,” with some suggesting soul reincarnation throughout the Hebrew-language TV report. Reincarnation is a central tenet of Druze faith.
His family, none of whom are English speakers, says he has never been abroad and hasn’t watched a lot of English-language TV. O’Neal has a level of Arabic far below other children of similar age in his town, and speaks it in an accent typical for people from English-speaking countries. His family fears that he will face many difficulties in communication in his town.
He has been sent to a Druze kindergarten with an English-speaking teacher, but has had difficulty communicating with the other children. The TV show invited medical experts to meet and view footage of the boy, and they couldn’t find a sufficient explanation.
Irit Holman, a nurse who works in Majdal Shams, said the parents first contacted her because he wasn’t speaking. “Then, they called me again and said he has a problem: He speaks, but he speaks like the king of England.” While as a nurse she couldn’t offer reincarnation as an explanation, she questioned why, if he had phenomenal memory and comprehension skills, he didn’t master Arabic first. (The phenomenon of a person suddenly knowing a language without having learned it is known as xenoglossy...)
Japanese Man Who Saved
6,000 Jews MosaicMagazine.com
In 1939, the Japanese foreign ministry dispatched Chiune Sugihara to Lithuania to direct the consulate there. That same year, Jewish refugees from Nazi- and Soviet-occupied Poland began streaming into Lithuania desperate to escape Europe. Sugihara issued thousands of visas for them to travel to Japan, saving them from Hitler’s advance into the country in 1941. He also arranged for many to be settled temporarily in the Japanese city of Kobe. It’s worth noting that, of all the Jewish communities to fall under German control during World War II, Lithuanian Jewry had the lowest survival rate. Rabbi David Wolpe, who recently participated at a ceremony in honor of Sugihara in Japan, comments:
Research on those who rescued Jews during the Holocaust shows that many exhibited a streak of independence from an early age. Sugihara was unconventional in a society known for prizing conformity. His willfulness was on display when he entered the diplomatic corps and, as vice-minister of the Foreign Affairs Department for Japan in Manchuria in 1934, resigned in protest of the Japanese treatment of the Chinese.
Three times Sugihara cabled his embassy [from the Lithuanian consulate] asking for permission to issue visas to the refugees. The cable from K. Tanaka at the foreign ministry read: “Concerning transit visas requested previously. Advise absolutely not to be issued any traveler not holding firm end visa with guaranteed departure ex Japan. No exceptions. No further inquiries expected.”
Sugihara talked about the refusal with his wife, Yukiko, and his children, and decided that despite the inevitable damage to his career, he would defy his government... Day and night he wrote visas. He issued as many visas in a day as would normally be issued in a month. At night his wife ... massaged his hands, which ached from the constant effort. When Japan finally closed down the embassy in September 1940, he took the stationery with him and continued to write visas that had no legal standing but they worked because of the seal of the government and his name. At least 6,000 visas were issued for people to travel through Japan to other destinations, and in many cases entire families traveled on a single visa. It has been estimated that over 40,000 people are alive today because of this one man.
With the consulate closed, Sugihara had to leave. He gave the consulate stamp to a refugee to forge more visas, and he literally threw visas out of the train window to refugees on the platform... After the war, Sugihara was dismissed from the foreign office. He and his wife lost their seven-year-old child and he worked at menial jobs.
Former USA Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has accused the UN of hitting “a new low” with the publication last week by the world body’s Human Rights Council of a list of some 112 companies that it says are operating in Israeli communities in Judea & Samaria. She called it an “anti-Semitic blacklist.” Haley served as UN ambassador in 2017 and 2018 and during her term made anti-Israel bias at the UN a central theme, declaring that she would fight it. Posting on Twitter last week, Haley strongly hinted that she believed the list was published now to sabotage the efforts of President Donald Trump on the heels of his 28 Jan. 2020 announcement of a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, which acknowledges the Jewish people’s right to their biblical land, including (land in) Judea and Samaria. “The timing of this after the USA released a peace plan is conniving and manipulative at best. Shameful,” Haley tweeted.
The USA left the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018 due to its anti-Israel slant, with then-USA Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley calling it a "cesspool of political bias." The UNHRC has a permanent agenda item against Israel at its annual sessions. The item calls on Israel to "immediately end its occupation of the Occupied Pales-tinian Territory," without any mention of Pales-tinian violence and terrorism against the Jewish state. The UNHRC has never released a similar blacklist for companies in disputed territories in any other conflict, though there are plenty of others. (VFI News) www.visionforisrael.com
Editor's Note: The Arab nations surrounding Israel decided to go to war against Israel in 1967, with President Nasser of Egypt proclaiming the goal of driving the Jews into the sea, and making Israel "red with Jewish blood." However, Israel famously won that war, in what is called the Six-Day War, because it only lasted six days. It resulted in Israel capturing the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza, the Golan Heights, and the so-called "West Bank," that is, Judea and Samaria. Since that time, Israel returned the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1979, and did a complete withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. The latter was a disastrous move, as Hamas took over Gaza and has launched several mini-wars against Israel since then, as well as numerous terror attacks.
The West Bank (Judea and Samaria) would still be in Arab hands if the Arabs had not gone to war against Israel. Judea and Samaria is the Biblical heartland, given to Israel as an eternal inheritance by God Himself in Genesis 15:18, 35:12, and numerous other places mentioned in Scripture. The Arabs wanted war, and got it. And they lost the war. Israel would be foolish to return Judea and Samaria to her enemies. RAC
Police Arrest Rabbi Yehuda Glick
by Ron Cantor, firstname.lastname@example.org
On 19 Feb 2020, Jordanian and Israeli police arrested Rabbi Yehuda Glick for the gruesome crime of "walking too slowing" on the Temple Mount. Former Knesset Member Glick was shot by terrorists several years ago because of his peaceful advocating for Jews to be able to pray on the Temple Mount.
To make matters worse, the Israeli police(!), showed up at his house and searched it while he was detained for questioning. They were concerned that he had stolen documents, while at the police station, connected to the investigation of his walking too slowly!
Israelis are outraged and his former Likud colleagues are calling out the police. While the Temple Mount is in Israel, Israel gives control of it to Jordan, and it is illegal for Jews to pray where the Temple once stood.
I happened to listen the other day to then-Senator John F. Kennedy’s opening remarks in his debate with then-Vice President Richard Nixon during the 1960 presidential election cycle.
Kennedy, the Democratic Party candidate, recalled that Abraham Lincoln, in the 1860 presidential election cycle, said the great question facing the nation was whether it could exist “half-slave and half-free.” In the 1960 election, said Kennedy, the issue was “whether the world will exist half-slave or half-free.”
“Whether it will move in the direction of freedom, in the direction of the road that we are taking … will depend in great measure upon what we do here in the United States,” he said. How things change. The Democrats’ candidate in 1960 headlined freedom as the issue defining his campaign. Now, 60 years later, Democrats are moving down the road to nominating a socialist, pushing freedom as an American ideal out of the picture. It is astounding that many Democrats are ready to cast aside the core value that has defined our nation, for which so many have fought and died.
Editor's Note: This is an excerpt from a larger article. Star Parker is a Black American Conservative, as well as an articulate voice for traditional values. You can see her on youtube.com RAC
 The Druse are an ethnic and religious minority in Israel. They are not Muslims, nor are they Arabs. They serve with distinction in the Israeli military.