Wednesday, October 3, 2012

12-10-04 Dispatch from Haifa - the sleeping beauty

Haifa, October 4 - it is the 'in between days' of Tabernacles, which are known to be auspicious for hiking and touring in Israel, superseded only by the 'in between days' of Passover in the spring. The rainy season has just begun, and the temperatures, which combined with the humidity can get oppressive in Haifa in the summer, have dropped substantially. At the whim of the moment, I decided to go to Haifa. Even in Tel Aviv, on the way, the weather was pleasant.
The central bus station in Tel Aviv (bus fair NIS 20) is a well-known disgrace. Thousands of people pass there every day, and the holiday traffic was probably quite busier than usual. I got there around 9:00pm, and the whole building looked like an overflowing garbage can. Obviously, decision was made by administrators that such was the adequate level of maintenance on the holiday for the common person.
But other parts of the spectacle are obviously permanent - the electronic, digital displays are erratic. They can't even get the clocks right. They simultaneously show hours from 1-24. Schedule information regarding boarding docks, as displayed in the central board, at times conflicts with the sme information, displayed above the docks themselves.
This is from the hi-tech, "startup nation"...
Again, it is obvious that at some level of administration, decision was made that such services are not essential. I still remember in my childhood train terminals mechanical displays, with flipping boards for letters and digits. They worked fine half a century and a century ago in Europe, and were considered quintessential in any good-size terminal...

Ottoman train stations in Palestine:  Haifa West, Haifa East, Jaffa, Jerusalem. Haifa was the only city with TWO stations!

In general, the contribution of the Ottomans to the public transit system was probably the most remarkable. The Jaffa-Jerusalem train line was inaugurated in 1892. A second line was inaugurated in 1905, connecting through the Valleys of Jezreel and Bet-Shean (Scythopolis) to Damascus, and to the line going down south to Saudi Arabia and Medinah. 
The travel from Jerusalem through Tel Aviv to Haifa, both then and now, is a travel through three different worlds.

The Bahai temple and terranced gardens, as seen from the direction of the Mediteranean, Ahmadi mosque, Stella Maris Carmelite convent, Muhraka Carmelite Monatery 

Haifa is a shiny jewel in comparison to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Life is slower, allowing people sufficient time to appreciate the beauty of the city and relax. Haifa is known as the Israeli center of Barcelona-style "Convivencia". It holds today a Jewish majority, including a substantial segment of Israelis of Russian decent, has a good-size mainstream, Arab-Muslim community. In addition, there is an Ahmadi-Muslim community, and a Druze Community. Although the local Bahai community is minute (to a degree through government visa restrictions), Haifa is probably best-known as home of the Bahai temple and Bahai Gardens. It is the world-center of the Bahai faith.  In the pubs on Mount Carmel you hear Herbrew, Arabic, and Russian, side by side.

Suillus granulatus
Pine Tree Mushroom - (Suillus granulatusאורנייה מצויה

Mount Carmel is also a National Park (on a micro-scale, compared to the national parks of the United States) and it has its own micro-ecosystem. It is well-worth visiting, especially after the first rains, like now, for the plentiful harvest of edible brown mushrooms, which grow on the roots of the pine trees (recommended with omelette). The best place for that is a segment of the park called "Little Switzerland", just minutes by car from Haifa, Mount Carmel on the way to the Druze villages of Daliat alKarmil and U'sfiyah.
With my Parents, as a child I, I had the opportunity a couple of times to go mushroom picking with Dr Zvi (Hirsch) Zilberstein, who with Ze'ev (Wolff) Bernligner co-authored probably the first scientific survey of the flora of Mount Carmel. Dr Silberstein and his wife Margo, were part of the large Jewish-German community in Haifa and Jerusalem, to which my Father is a young member, coming to Palestine as a child. His mother was non-observant, to say the least, but on a personal basis with Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. The German Jewish community in Palestine left a decisive, positive mark on culture and political structures.
My Mother, born in the old city of Jerusalem, eventually inherited Dr Silberstein's position as coordinator of biology for the high school. While Dr Silberstein was a botanist at heart, my Mother is a microbiologist, and her heart was with the fast-advancing field of genetics. Some of company were focused on the harvest, Dr Silbestein was always with an eye open to find a new species or variant, exclusive for the Carmel Mountain, and at the same time getting my mother more familiar with the local botany. Ideally, you had to find a specimen with a fruit, a flower or bud and leaves for definitive classification. They were both enthusiastic early members of the young Society for Preservation of Nature.
Conversations were simultaneously conducted in a Hebrew and German unmixed, each grammatically correct, part of a Tyrolean-Middle-Eastern Jewish experience.

The Mediteranean beach south of Haifa - bliss!

The beach south of Mount Carmel is fabulous, especially when you go a bit south, to the "undeveloped" part. I am partial, since I grew up on a hill, walking distance from the beach. The scenery is a bit reminiscent of La Jolla, California.
More to come…

12-10-03 Misc news of the abuse...

Periodic reality check... jz

Iraq: Ten Years, a Million Lives and Trillions of Dollars LaterBy Dennis Kucinich

We must learn from this dark period in American history to ensure that we do not repeat the same mistakes. And we must hold accountable those who misled the American public.

Report decries suicides, isolation cells in California prisons

An Amnesty International report says conditions in the state's security housing 'breach international standards.' State officials rebut the findings. Many of the suicides occurred in isolation units.

USA: California authorities urged to end shocking conditions in prison isolation units

More than 3,000 prisoners in California endure inhuman conditions in solitary confinement.
More than 3,000 prisoners in California endure inhuman conditions in solitary confinement.
© Rina Palta/KALW
“The conditions and length of imprisonment in California’s isolation units are simply shocking”
Angela Wright, US Researcher at Amnesty International who visited a number of prisons in the state
Thu, 27/09/2012

The US state of California must make substantial changes to their prison isolation units and halt the inhuman suffering of thousands of prisoners, Amnesty International said in a new report out today.

Police Officer Brutally Attacks Man In Wheelchair


Hunger in America: 2012 United States Hunger and Poverty Facts
World Hunger Education Service
Hunger in the United States
Three years after the onset of the financial and economic crisis, hunger remains high in the United States. The financial and economic crisis that erupted in 2008 caused a dramatic increase in hunger in the United States. This high level of hunger continues in 2010, according to the latest government report (with the most recent statistics) released in September 2011 (Coleman-Jensen 2011 ).
  • In 2010, 17.2 million households, 14.5 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States 1(Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. v.) 
  • In 2010, about one-third of food-insecure households (6.7 million households, or 5.4 percent of all U.S. households) had very low food security (compared with 4.7 million households (4.1 percent) in 2007. In households with very low food security, the food intake of some household members was reduced, and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because of the household’s food insecurity (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. v., Nord  2009 , p. iii.) . 
  • In 2010, children were food insecure at times during the year in 9.8 percent of households with children (3.9 million households.) In one percent of households with children,one or more of the children experienced the most severe food-insecure condition measured by USDA, very low food security, in which meals were irregular and food intake was below levels considered adequate by caregivers (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. vi).
  • The median [a type of average] food-secure household spent 27 percent more on food than the median food-insecure household of the same size and household composition (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. vi)..
  • Background: The United States changed the name of its definitions in 2006 that eliminated references to hunger, keeping various categories of food insecurity.  This did not represent a change in what was measured.  Very low food insecurity (described as food insecurity with hunger prior to 2006) means that, at times during the year, the food intake of household members was reduced and their normal eating patterns were disrupted because the household lacked money and other resources for food. This means that people were hungry ( in the sense of "the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food" [Oxford English Dictionary 1971] for days each year (Nord 2009 p. iii-iv.).
Poverty in the United States
The official poverty measure is published by the United States Census Bureau  and shows that:
  • In 2010, 46.9 million people were in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007 -- the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty .  This is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty rates have been published (DeNavas-Walt 2011 , p. 14).
  • The 2010 poverty rate was 15.1 percent, up from 12.5 percent in 1997.  This is the highest poverty rate since 1993, but 7.3 percentage points lower than the poverty rate in 1959, the first year for poverty estimates.  (DeNavas-Walt 2011 , p. 14).
  • The 2010 poverty rate for Hispanics was 26.6 percent, for Blacks 27.4 percent. 
  • In 2010, the poverty rate increased for children under age 18 from 20.7 percent to 22.0 percent. (DeNavas-Walt 2010  p. 14).
  • 20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four (DeNavas-Walt 2011 , p. 19).
  • 49.9 million people or 16.3 percent of the American people, do not have medical insurance (DeNavas-Walt 2011 , p. 23).

12-10-03 Press Release: 12-10-03 Israeli banking regulators fail to initiate complaint procedure against Bank HaPoalim, BM, for alleged criminality

The complaint provides evidence of criminality by senior officers of Bank HaPoalim, BM, the largest consumer bank in the State of Israel, when widespread criminality of financial institutions and failing banking regulation are the cause of a worldwide financial crisis. 

Stanley Fisher, Governor of the Bank of Israel, and Zion Kenan, CEO of Bank HaPoalim

Jerusalem, October 3 – Joseph Zernik, PhD, of Human Rights Alert (NGO), has filed a repeat request with Israeli banking regulators and with Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fisher for initiating due process in complaint against Bank HaPoalim, BM. [1]
The request notes that Bank of Israel, State of Israel banking regulator, has failed so far to designate a Complaint Number on a complaint, which was duly filed and received over a month ago.
The repeat request expresses firm belief that investigation of the complaint will uncover criminality by senior officers of Bank HaPoalim, BM, the largest consumer bank in the State of Israel.  Additionally, the repeat request notes that failure, or refusal to issue a Complaint Number for the complaint raises concerns regarding integrity of banking regulation in the State of Israel.
Both issues should be of concern today, when widespread criminality of financial institutions and failing banking regulation are the cause of a worldwide financial crisis.
The complaint and related correspondence with Bank HaPoalim, BM, document conduct that is alleged as Fraud and Extortion under the guise of legal/banking actions.  Such conduct is typical today of legal/banking white-collar crime organizations. [2]
Conduct of Bank HaPoalim, BM, which is documented in the complaint, also raises concerns regarding sovereignty of the State of Israel, since Bank HaPoalim, BM, purports to establish its own laws in the State of Israel, as an agent of the US government.
Dr Zernik previously documented remarkably similar conduct of Bank of America and Countrywide Financial Corporation and their senior officers, Bryan Moynihan and Sandor Samuels, in collusion with Bet Tzedek (the Los Angeles, California, "House of Justice"), a prominent Jewish charity.  [3]
Notice was given to the Basel Accord Committee and various national central banks.
[1] 12-10-01 Repeat Request for Designation of a Complaint Number by Bank of Israel, Banking Regulation, for a complaint against Bank HaPoalim, BM
[2] 12-08-25 PRESS RELEASE: Complaint filed with Israeli banking regulation against Bank HaPoalim for attempting to extort compliance with US IRS regulations in Jerusalem
12-08-27 Notice to Cease and Desist Extortion given to Ms Shari Arison, Mr Tzion Keynan, Mr Yair Sarusi - Bank HaPoalim, BM
[3] 10-05-05 Countrywide, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), and its President Brian Moynihan - Compilation of Records - Evidence of Racketeering
12-06-29 BET TZEDEK Gala Production! SANDOR SAMUELS as the Scarlet Letter of the Los Angeles Jewish Community
Joseph Zernik, PhD
Human Rights Alert (NGO)   
* United States - the 2010 submission of Human Rights Alert to the Human Rights Council (HRC) of the United Nations was reviewed and incorporated in the official HRC Professional Staff Report with a note referring to “corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California.”  
[1] 10-10-01 United Nations Human Rights Council Records for 2010 Review (UPR) of Human Rights in the United States, where Human Rights Alert (NGO) submission was incorporated with a note referring to "corruption of the courts and the legal profession and discrimination by law enforcement in California."
* State of Israel - the 2012 submission of Human Rights Alert to the HRC, titled, "Integrity, or lack thereof, of the electronic record systems of the courts of the State of Israel', is scheduled for review in January 2013.
[1] 12-06-04 Human Right Alert's Submission;  2013 UPR of the State of Israel: Integrity, or lack thereof, of the electronic record systems of the courts of the State of Israel
[2] 12-05-10 Appendix I to Human Right Alert's Submission; 15th UPR - State of Israel: Integrity, or lack thereof, of the electronic record systems of the courts of the State of Israe
[3] 12-07-18 Human Right Alert's Appendix II to Submission; 2013 UPR of the State of Israel: Integrity, or lack thereof, in the electronic record systems in the courts of the State of Israel  -  Additional Responses by National Authorities/Experts, Re: ComSign, LTD - sole certifier and hacker of the digital signatures of the State of Israel