Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Buffet of Good Israel News with a Bitter Dessert ...

Yesterday provided a nice break from the standard news day here in Israel in that it featured several positive news stories.

The first was the surprisingly pleasant announcement that Israel's economy grew 4.5% in 2010.
Israel's GDP rose 4.5% in 2010, in fixed prices, according to preliminary estimates by the Central Bureau of Statistics. Israel's GDP growth was almost double the expected OECD average of 2.7% for the year.

Israel's GDP rose by 0.8% in 2009, and rose by 4.2% in 2008. The 2010 growth figure is unexpectedly strong; economic organizations had predicted 4% growth.
The strong economy was probably boosted by the record number of tourists Israel recieved, nearly 3.5 million.
Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov announced Monday that preliminary estimates show Israel received 3.45 million visitors this year.

That's 14 percent higher than the previous record of about 3 million tourists in 2008. Tourism slid last year during the global economic crisis.
There was also great news yesterday that will surely impact the future of the Israeli economy as Noble Energy confirmed that the Leviathan gas field contains enough natural gas to turn Israel into a gas exporter.
An offshore natural gas reserve contains some 16 trillion cubic feet of gas worth an estimated $45 billion, an energy corporation which owns a share of the project said on Wednesday.

Noble Energy Inc., which owns 39.66% of the prospect, said the massive store of natural gas in the “Leviathan” reserve – the largest of its kind discovered in the world in the last decade – “has the potential to position Israel as a natural gas- exporting nation.”
There was also this nice little article that mentioned an Israeli medical device, the ReWalk, which was featured on a recent episode of the extremely popular Glee television show. The device is a robotic exoskeleton designed to allow paralyzed individuals to regain some of their mobility. Here is a clip from the show that was posted to YouTube.

Wow, what an amazing news day it was. Maybe things are actually getting better here. I guess it's just good news from here on out, right?

So, what do we have for today?
Former President Moshe Katsav guilty of rape and sexual assault
Oh frak.

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