Thanks! Keep up the good work!
Education Minister Shay Piron doesn’t want school kids to learn Arabic. Of course, he doesn’t say this out loud, and if he is asked about it, not only would he not deny it, but he would also pratter on about how important it is to speak Arabic and how learning the language would serve as a cultural bridge and blah, blah, blah, just like the minister knows how to do.
In practice, though, he doesn’t want us to learn Arabic. He wants Arabic studies to last no longer than three years so that he could slash the budgets allocated to teaching the language.
Could this reform be part of the new policy introduced recently by the Education Ministry, which seems to be encouraging kids towards ignorance while teaching them a whole lot of nothing? At the same time, it is worth wondering whether there is anything special about learning Arabic.
It appears that there is. Whoever knows Arabic is likely to listen to Arab news media, surf Palestinian websites, and read Arabic newspapers. Then they are likely to discover the truth: the other side is awash with such a virulent stream of anti-Semitic racism that all talk of peace here is delusional.
The party to which the education minister belongs is entrenched firmly in what is inexplicably referred to as “the peace camp.” Knowing the Arabic language is anathema to this camp. The more Arab-language speakers there are, the less supporters.
Thus spake Abu Mazen
“The woman known as ‘the Maiden of Ludmir,’ Hannah Rachel Verbermacher, who became famous because of her outstanding studiousness and her becoming the only female rebbe in the history of the Hasidic movement, was, of course, a Palestinian.”
(Mahmoud Abbas, a doctor in history, from his book “How the Palestinians Created the World”)
Polls in Israel consistently show that most Mizrahi Jews are on the Right side of the political spectrum, while a large chunk of Ashkenazim lean toward the Left. There are sociologists who have nurtured ridiculous theories in order to explain this state of affairs. The only thing they overlook is the most basic fact: a large chunk of Mizrahim speak Arabic.
Now, perhaps, just perhaps, that this is what lies beneath one of John Kerry’s bluffs, the one that says that a peace deal with the Palestinians would include monetary compensation for Jews kicked out of Muslim countries.
This is a bold-faced lie, and Kerry knows it. The agreement on which he is working, if it is ever signed, will be between Israel and the Palestinians. It won’t be with Iraq. It won’t be with Egypt. it won’t be with Syria or with Yemen. They won’t be party to the agreement, and they won’t pay billions. This conflict isn’t theirs.
Let us assume for a moment that they persuaded Syria to pay compensation. Where would the money come from? From hemorrhaging Yemen? An Iraq in ruins? Will it come from Egypt, where tens of millions of their citizens don’t know from where they’re going to get their next dry slice of bread?
Kerry knows that in the best case scenario, it’s a media fabrication for purposes of spin. In the worst case scenario, it’s a bluff. So why did he say it? Here’s a wild guess, which is certainly not true but in any case is worth mentioning just so that it’s clear what didn’t happen.
One day, one of Kerry’s advisers walked into his room and explained to him how Israeli society was structured and which of our various groupings are on the political right. “Jews love money. Should we try to buy them?” he asked one of his aides.
Again, we should emphasize that it is inconceivable for this to be a motivating factor in creating this compensation bluff.
Abu Mazen strikes again
“Three-thousand years prior to the Israelis, the Palestinians had already given the world the Patrick Kim pulp fiction series of books and they had documented the first-ever prescription for a congealed leg.”
(Abu Mazen, from his book “The Dawn of Humanity”)
Questions that will never be asked
Achinoam Nini, if you refuse to go on stage alongside a person who can’t stand homosexuals, then how is it that you performed in front of the pope?
Yisrael Shiran and Esti Brand, two individuals who were fired from the Education Ministry because of harboring right-wing views, will you agree to have your photo taken for the front-page of Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth?
Dear Sudanese migrant, if Israel is such a racist country, why are you fighting to stay here?
John Kerry, could you ask Mr. Obama what he would think about a proposal that would ban blacks from living in eastern Washington, DC? What about Jews in east Jerusalem?
Dear justice minister, as part of the campaign pushed by your ministry against racism and discrimination, will you also demand that Jews be permitted to pray on Temple Mount?
A reminder from Abu Mazen
“The Palestinian immigrants drained the swamps by planting eucalyptus trees. In short time, clashes erupted between the Palestinian pioneers and the clerks of Hebron.”
(Abu Mazen, from his book, “The Palestinian Pioneers”)
Trouble at home
On the order of the grand rebbe of Satmar, this Hassidic dynasty has begun a campaign against the Whatsapp application. They have a catchy slogan for their campaign: Press 1 for destroying the house.
It’s interesting to note that until now I was certain that Ariel Sharon destroyed more houses.
Just a minute, Abu Mazen is talking
“The Palestinians sat alone in the dark for at least 1800 years before the Poles.”
(Abu Mazen, from his book, “The Palestinians in the Krakow Ghetto”)
On the other hand
A photographer from another newspaper told me that Achinoam Nini asked him one time not to photograph her from the left, but to only get her right side. That’s because her left is the less photogenic side.
By chance, Achinoam Nini showed off her left side this week. She’s right. It really doesn’t look all that great.
Abu Mazen is just getting started
“Even Mordechai the Jew, Rabbi Shalom Shabazi, Hershele Ostropoler, and The Flying Matchmaker were all Palestinians.”
(Dr. Abu Mazen, from his book, “Gideon Levy Reveals”)
What do they want?
Last year, two ultra-Orthodox members of Knesset threatened that if this “wicked government” continued in its ways, they will not agree to accept budgets from the state. This week, the High Court of Justice took them up on their offer. What exactly is wrong with this?
“The Palestinians arrived on the scene 2,000 years before the Palestinians.”
(Abu Mazen, from his book, “Conversations with Ilan Lukach”)
If you’re in marketing today, you likely have mixed emotions. The power of digital technology has unleashed performance-marketing opportunities providing data, analytics and ROI metrics that have many marketers jumping for joy. At the same time, the ever-increasing number of platforms, systems, applications, acronyms and sheer complexity of marketing’s current state has some, if not most, marketers crawling under their desks into the fetal position and sobbing like small children. Welcome to marketing’s new era where technology has ushered in extraordinary new capabilities and mind-numbing complexity.
At Business.com, our engagement with the small-to-medium business market provides us with a unique vantage point on how buyers and sellers engage online and how to better harness today’s marketing technology and turn complexity into better marketing performance. Here are 4 tips for dealing with marketing complexity.
1. Marketing is Always On. If you have a website, your marketing needs to be real-time and always on. Some 15 years after the launch of the commercial Internet this seems obvious, but it is still a challenge for many companies.
- Offer fresh content, well-optimized landing pages and a clear process for serving and engaging customers and prospects.
- Develop a plan for your website that provides practical content that serves your customers information needs and positions your brand, products and services.
- Engage with and listen to your prospects and customers via your blogs and your social media presence so customers can connect with your company, your employees and other customers. Set up a clear process and schedule for monitoring your company social networks, blogs and community forums so you can respond to requests or concerns ASAP.
- Make it easy for customers to buy from you. Give your customers easy, simple ways to learn more, contact a sales rep and better understand the range of products and services you offer.
2. Simplify. When a technology research company starts predicting that “In 5 years CMO’s will be buying more technology than CIO’s,” you can be sure that the hype cycle has set in. Clearly marketing is going through a technological revolution; marketing and technology have become inextricably intertwined. At the same time, we have hit a tipping point in the complexity of advertising and marketing technology. New terminologies like DSP, DMP, RTB, Native Advertising, InStream Advertising, Ad Networks, Retargeting Networks, Marketing Automation, and a staggering number of new platforms, systems and applications have made the technology marketers daily world a land mine of complexity. This increase in complexity can result in increased costs, reduced ROI and can distract marketers from the critical fundamentals of marketing. As a modern marketer, simplify your approach, by myopically focusing on your core customers and prospects, defining and articulating your core value proposition, and engaging your customer throughout their buying journey. Don’t get caught up in the hype! Marketing has had multiple technology revolutions and ultimately marketing will master this one as well. Anyone who tells you that “You have to have the latest ad technology” or “You’re late to the game with real-time bidding” or “programmatic buying” is simply trying to sell you something.
3. Follow the Marketing Funnel. Successful marketing moves along a continuum known as the “Marketing Funnel.” From awareness to engagement to education and purchase, effective marketing engages the buyer along the key juncture points in the purchase process. Business products and service buyers are looking to discover, learn about and ultimately purchase the products and services they need for their businesses. Your marketing efforts need to mirror this journey and help the buyer through the marketing funnel, taking them from a prospect to a customer as they do so. Given that the marketing funnel is a continuum, you also need to engage customers where they are in the process, not simply where you would like them to be. If a prospect wants to go from clicking on your banner ad to speaking with a sales rep at your company, give them that opportunity. If a current customer wants to have more information on a product or service they haven’t yet bought and wants to download a whitepaper to learn more, give it to them. Today, the ability to provide prospects and customers with the exact type of information they need, when they need it, that maps to who they are and where they are in the buying process is easier than it has been in the past.
4. Turn Prospects into Subscribers, Then into Customers. Being ready when a customer wants to engage with your business is key in marketing. The fact is, however, that 70% of business buyers have made up their mind on who they want to buy from before they engage with sellers. In fact, a recent study by Market Probe International shows that 7 out of 10 SMB purchasers follow the company on Twitter before making a purchase. You need to be reaching buyers at the top of the marketing funnel when they are in their discovery phase. Then, engage them when they are in their learning phase. The best way to do this is to provide them a whitepaper or other form of content marketing that assists them in the learning process. This in turn allows you to create a subscriber out of your prospects and nurture them along the buying process by supplying them with more information.
What to do about the wealth gap
As widening disparities of wealth bring the prospect of Arab Spring-like political upheaval in the West, Israel has solutions to offer.
A recent issue of The Economist, in a long analytical article, emphasized the huge and growing place that government transfer payments represent in providing all or most of the income of about half of the American people; as well as pointing out the extreme complexity and openness to fraud of the system, as well as the disparities of such payments among the various states, with Hawaii the most generous and Mississippi the least so. Ironically, the same issue of the magazine highlighted developments in such areas as 3-D printing and advanced robotization, largely responsible for the income picture, due to the relentless surge of the importance of capital in the productive process and the ever-decreasing role of labor.
If these trends continue, and there is every reason to assume that they will, the American polity can expect to suffer the political and social developments that are taking place in the rest of the world. Already groups such as the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street have emerged and the political system has become more and more dysfunctional. After the financial crisis of 2008, the public at large through its taxes, and future generations, through exponentially-increasing debt, bailed out the one percent. This fact is becoming better known with every passing year, and the public cannot be expected to ignore it, but rather to demand, through its elected representatives, that the holders of productive capital be punished by government action to expropriate their earnings to feed the government’s redistribution machinery, with all its very high processing costs. Already, public officials make more than those in the private sector in comparable positions. Populists of whatever political label will have ever-increasing success, as the new helot class votes for those who promise to maintain and increase their governmental handouts.
In future, claimants to privately-generated income will be increasingly limited to two groups, not mutually exclusive: those with high-level technical educations, and the holders of productive capital. In this regard, Israel is in a significantly better position than either the US or Europe. Technical education is excellent and its graduates are remunerated well. Many, if not most, hi-tech companies include among their employee benefits, shares in their companies, thus spreading the ownership of productive capital. The new, strengthened, anti-trust legislation, if vigorously enforced, will also help in this regard. However, much more can and should be done, through such mechanisms as employee stock ownership plans and community investment trusts. Ever-larger portions of the Israeli population of all religions and ethnic background would then have access to the ownership of productive capital.
Israel leads the world in many ways–the eight million showing the way to the billions outside. It can and should do even better.