NY State Dept. of Health Warns of Measles Exposure in Rockland County, NY

MEASLES IN NEW YORK STATE – SHOULD THOSE VACCINATED BE RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE WHO AREN’T?

A measles outbreak has it New York State putting both religious and non-religious at risk. It has been linked to International travelers, traveling between Israel and the United States. Israel has a strict policy regarding vaccinating children. With socialized medicine largely the norm, there is a requirement before attending school that children be vaccinated and their regimen is stricter than that of the United States. They include vaccinations that we do not have on our protocols. But within the ultra-Orthodox communities, both in Israel and the United States, the requirements for entering schools (religious Yeshivas) is different. Likely – the policy of vaccinations is not enforced.

But if you take this to its logical conclusion, what’s next? A Polio Outbreak? Or… Whooping cough… or any number of other possible diseases that are preventable.

LostMessiah is well aware that there is a movement of people who do not believe in vaccinating their children either because of the dangers of Autism, or other disorders allegedly associated with vaccines. While we may not agree, we are not having that debate.

But, a vaccine only works if a statistical percentage of people within a community are vaccinated. Therefore, for each one person that does not vaccinate, a statistical number of people must be willing to “sacrifice” their kids for the better good. Otherwise, no one is safe. In other words, people who choose to not vaccinate are relying on those who choose to vaccinate to keep their own children safe. That is the problem, whether by conscientious objector or ignorance we find not vaccinating children to be reprehensible. A parent choosing not to vaccinate his or her child is forcing that obligation on others to keep everyone safe. We have a problem with that.

Within the ultra-Orthodox community, failure to vaccinate appears to be borne of ignorance not some fundamental ideological belief against vaccinations and the policy of enforcing vaccinations by State guidelines is largely ingored in the yeshiva system. Moreover, when the problem needs to be resolved, those uneducated must rely on those educated and outside of their community to control the damage. If you are not going to educate yourselves and your children and teach the importance of vaccinations, we almost think you should shut your gates, quarantine your residents and figure out how to fix the problem yourselves, without State financial assistance and without state intervention.

 

New York State Department of Health Warns More Potential New Measles Exposures in Rockland County

New Cases Linked to International Travelers

State Working with County and Community to Identify Potential Exposures, Provide Vaccine, Prevent Further Spread

ALBANY, N.Y. (October 16, 2018) – The New York State Department of Health today announced that additional measles cases linked to international travelers returning from Israel have been confirmed in Rockland County.

Like many European countries and parts of the world, Israel is currently experiencing a high number of measles cases. In the most recent data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), 339 cases have been reported in Israel from March through August of 2018.

To help prevent secondary cases of measles, the state Department of Health is working with the Rockland County Department of Health and Refuah Health Center to identify those potentially exposed and provide information on the importance of vaccination.

A measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine clinic for those who are not immune to measles will be held on Thursday, October 18, from 4:30 p.m. 6:30 at the Community Outreach Center located 21 Remsen Avenue in Monsey.

In addition to supporting the county by providing MMR vaccine, the state Department of Health is testing samples at its Wadsworth Laboratory in Albany, and assisting with community outreach and contact investigations. This includes working with the Rockland County Department of Health to identify unvaccinated students at any impacted schools, and taking the appropriate actions to minimize the risk to other students.

For those who believe they may have been exposed and have further questions, a toll-free hotline has been established: 1-888-364-4837. The hotline is available Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if they were born before 1957, have received two doses of MMR vaccine, have had measles, or have a laboratory test result confirming immunity. Individuals who are not immune to measles and were exposed are at risk for developing measles. Preventive treatment for measles is recommended for those without evidence of immunity as follows: MMR vaccine can be given to eligible exposed individuals within 72 hours of exposure OR immune globulin can be administered within 6 days of exposure.

All individuals who think they may have been exposed to measles, particularly those without immunity or who are not sure if they have been vaccinated, should contact their health care provider if they develop measles symptoms. Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose. Symptoms usually appear 10-12 days after exposure but may appear as early as 7 days and as late as 21 days after exposure.

To prevent the spread of illness, the Department is advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care. This will help to prevent others at these facilities from being exposed to the illness.

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

The single best way to prevent measles is to be vaccinated. Individuals should receive two doses of MMR vaccine to be fully protected. If a person is unsure if they are immune they should contact their healthcare provider. Typically, the first dose of MMR vaccine should be given at 12-15 months of age and the second dose should be given at four to six years of age (age of school entry), although individuals may also be vaccinated later in life. In New York State, measles immunization is required of children enrolled in schools, daycare, and pre-kindergarten. Since August 1990, college students have also been required to demonstrate immunity against measles.

More information about measles can be found at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2170.pdf.

Advertisements

To Have Free Speech in the United States or to be Denied Free Speech in the Unites States? – Kestenbaum and Fortis v. Globus Update

download

FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN THE UNITED STATES IS NOT GUARANTEED. ANYONE WHO TELLS YOU OTHERWISE IS MISTAKEN.

Records were submitted provisionally under seal and as of today, absent an adjudication of any case between Plaintiffs and Defendant, are remaining under seal.

In fact, the Court decided to push any discussion on the merits of the matter until December 5, 2018.

 

CASE UPDATE:

At 10:00am today, August 17, 2018, there was a hearing which was, ostensibly to argue, amongst other things, Plaintiff’s motion to seal the record. Please keep in mind, the documents were submitted provisionally under seal and the Court must decide of a permanent seal is consistent with the First Amendment. 

At 9:45 Defendant arrived at the court and was told that the Plaintiffs had requested an adjournment to the case, which procedurally in the Kings County Court, they are entitled to request and to receive.

The documents are under currently sealed even though there has never been an adjudication as between Plaintiff and Defendant, in direct violation of Defendant’s rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Press.

 

Kestenbaum v. Globus – GoFundMe Account – Fight the Attack on Free Speech, Free Press, Privacy and the Right To be Anonymous

gf.me/u/mvgfpb

We are working on our Twitter Account.

 

To the readers of this blog:

I would like to thank you for your encouragement, your support and for getting in touch with words of  praise. Someone mentioned to me that with over 1200 articles covering world events, we have been asked (politely) to remove or fix an article or opinion, which may have better odds than many major news organizations. I hadn’t considered that as I pondered the future of the site.

Over the next week, we will be focusing on a number of stories:

  1. Property issues in the New York area
  2. Nobel-Delek and the Leviathan well deal
  3. Sentosa Care and the Current Lawsuit pending in Kings County
  4. 199 Lee Avenue and a number of other related topics.

Anyone with any information should kindly send to findinglostmessiah@gmail.com

Anyone with a topic of interest that you would like to see covered, please send along.

This is and continues to be a collaborative effort. We really cannot thank you enough.

 

 

8

Free Speech, LostMessiah and JG

Lost Messiah and Kestenbaum, et.al. v. Globus – Using the Judicial System to Chill Free Speech

Louis Kestenbaum, Joel Kestenbaum and Fortis Property Group v. Julie Globus – Using the Courts to Chill Free Speech

Hello. I am the person behind LostMessiah. My name is Julie Globus.

I am an attorney, a triathlete, a mom, a writer, a journalist, a blogger, a fraud investigator, a wife, a friend, an activist and someone for whom integrity is, full stop – a line in the sand that I will not cross. I am also the Defendant in a lawsuit intended to chill free speech.

On Saturday, August 25, 2018 I was served with a lawsuit claiming alleged defamation against Louis Kestenbaum, Joel Kestenbaum and Fortis Property Group, LLC. The Plaintiffs are represented by Anthony Genovesi, Esq. of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Farrara, Wolf & Carone LLP.   The Index Number of the Case is 516803/2018, received on August 17, 2018.

As a human being I am far from perfect. I am flawed. Like many others, I am human and fallible. But I am through, accurate, honest and passionate and believe in the difference between right and wrong, ethical and unethical, moral and immoral and I hold myself to standards that sometimes I cannot attain. I am my own worst critic. But I have taken stock in knowing that anytime I have been contacted, through the gmail address (findinglostmessiah@gmail.com) by someone demonstrating that I had offended either their sensibilities or erred in an article, I either corrected or removed. My integrity depends upon it and sometimes the battle is not worth fighting.

On August 7, 2018, the first time I knew that my identity had been breached, and the first time I heard anything from the Plaintiff’s, Plaintiff’s attorney Mr. Genovesi contacted me at my office demanding that I remove an allegedly offending article. Without debating the article or its contents, I took it down – in good faith. Why? At the time my anonymity was important, and I expected that would be the end of the story. 

When I asked Mr. Genovesi how he found me, he told me quite simply “Google.” He was disingenuous, to say the least. I had not intended to start posting. I assumed that he had “Googled” my name. 

If you “Google” my name in full, you will find accusations that I am a murderer, accusations placed online in the early days of this blog when there were many people trying to uncover the identity of the blogger and sully my name, both because I was writing publicly on Rockland County based websites and because of this site. Someone took the time to painstakingly go through everything I have ever written to make an affirmative identification. I give him or her credit, not only for the analysis but for being a driving force behind various changes I made to my writing style in the time since. I am not a murderer, though the genesis of those comments do elicit some interesting discussions when I meet new clients who do thorough research. It would be nice if those comments were removed from the internet; but I have no intention of bullying someone or suing them into compelling removal.

I take great pride in LostMessiah. It cannot be pride of ownership or authorship because, as I have said on many pages contained on this site, this has been a great collaboration. I take pride in the nearly 1.6 Million views the site has achieved in two and one/half years and in the nearly 800K unique visitors to the site, a number that is constantly growing. I value the worldwide audience, our readership. I am glad we are reaching you. I am amazed by the site’s ability to join people together toward a common good, making the world a better place for all who live in it.  I am humbled, to no end, by the contributions, the comments, and the perseverance of those who have kept in touch. I am a far better person for it and for you.

I am a Jew, something that runs through my veins, both culturally and to some extent religiously. I was raised in a secular home, lighting candles on Shabbat not because it was a religious expectation but a cultural one. I grew up listening to conversations in Yiddish, and speaking to some small degree, because it was the common language of all of my grandparents. I attended the Yiddish Culture Congress meetings as a child and I heard the great Elie Wiesel (z”l) speak in Yiddish. I was introduced as the grand-daughter, the great-niece and niece of Yiddish professors and writers. I was introduced as family of some of the early founders of the Jewish Forward and Jewish Standard, though I am not exactly sure what the correct names were at the time. Writing and the ability to express oneself has been an integral part of my upbringing and I believe that I am obligated as a Jew and as a person, to use it in my professional and personal life to leave the world better having me walk it. 

Religiously I identify most closely with the Conservative community, though I do travel on Shabbat, I don’t keep a Kosher home and I will eat in non-Kosher restaurants. I spent several months identifying with the ultra-Orthodox community during that period when, as young adults we are finding ourselves. I discovered within that community a great beauty. People were inviting and kind. They showed love and compassion. I was welcomed into families as one of their own. I spent holidays within the different communities. That was a lifetime ago.

My decision to leave the community was borne of the darkness that I saw at the time. I was called a non-Jew by someone who had invited me for Shabbat because I grew up not observant. I was told that I was dirty because I wore skirts just below the knee and showed my ankles. I was called a whore because I wore open-toed sandals and stones were thrown at me in a Mea Shearim neighborhood because I was not wearing a high necked shirt on a sweltering day. I have seen far greater darkness since, much of it the impetus for this site.  

My defense is being led by New York First Amendment and media attorney, Henry R. Kaufman. Mr. Kaufman has been active in this field for more than 40 years. He served as Vice President and General Counsel of the Association of American Publishers. Later he was one of the co-founders, and served for 16 years as General Counsel, of the Libel Defense Resource Center (now known as the Media Law Resource Center), a national coalition of almost every major US media company, journalism organizations and journalists and of attorneys in all 50 states specializing in defamation and media defense issues. Since 2000, Mr. Kaufman has been the head of his own boutique firm, again specializing in defamation, First Amendment and other media and intellectual property issues and litigation.

Mr. Kaufman has agreed, in light of my lack of liquid resources, to reduce his normal commercial litigation rates by one third, from $750/hour to $500/hour. If you would like to assist, both in paying for the litigation, any necessary security for my safety, and, if there is money remaining to build LostMessiah into something bigger, more insightful and staffed, please send checks to Henry R. Kaufman, attorney escrow account, for friends of LostMessiah or in Defendant’s name “Julie Globus.” They can be sent to 60 East 42nd Street 47th Floor, New York, NY 10165. GoFundMe information will follow.

Shavuah Tov.

 

Suppression of Free Speech and Press – By Murder or Lawsuit?

Free Speech Should Not Be Allowed to Die, Neither by Murder nor by Lawsuit, A Segue into the Death of Seven Journalists

A funny thing happened in August. After months of not blogging, we got back in the saddle and started posting articles again. Why? Because journalistic integrity came into question. We were threatened and that has to mean something. 
Despite being asked to remove an article and doing so, one of two that had been published in 2016, LostMessiah’s name, along with that of an online blogger, was unceremoniously dragged into a lawsuit. The subject of the lawsuit? Hard to tell. It appears to be the remaining article.
The blogger had facilitated the takedown in good faith at the request of the attorneys representing the subjects of that blog. Why? Because, well… there seemed to be more important fish to fry and a single article’s removal at the behest of an allegedly prominent family did not seem like it was worth a fight. If we took it down, however disheartening that would be, the situation would be resolved. Who really has the time? Or the money?  
It didn’t go away. It might have been worth the fight on that day in August.
To resurrect what would otherwise be a problem with the Statute of Limitations, (one year from date of publication in New York) the Complaint in the lawsuit appears to allege that the subject article was taken down by WordPress and that the alleged blogger republished. It was neither taken down by WordPress, nor was it then republished by LostMessiah. The complaint also alleges, both unequivocally and incorrectly we must add, that the blogger is LostMessiah AND another website, WebActivism.
Anonymity in this space, blogging about oligarchs and diamond dealers, Congo miners and allegedly corrupt police officers can be a dangerous thing. We valued and continue to value our anonymity for that reason. Our absence worried our readers. To our readers, it was borne of time constraints not of safety, fear or reprisals nor payment. We will be asking for financial assistance from our readers. For that we apologize in advance.

Continue reading

The Leviathan of a Natural Gas Deal and the Potential for Ignoble Use

A LEVIATHAN OF A DEAL, NOT-SO-NOBLE, AS WE SEE IT WITH POTENTIAL FOR FINANCIAL, POLITICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ABUSE…

Rebublished from http://www.bridgesforpeace.com

Note to reader: This article is being directly republished from the above-referenced site. We have kept a PDF which you can obtain on the same site or contact us. We do not presume any endorsement by the site nor are we publishing “with permission” so if asked to remove,  we will oblige.

While we see a “bridge for peace” with this pipeline we also see a huge opportunity for Israel’s citizens to be financially harmed by deals that involve large conglomerates of businesses and investors (Noble-Delek). We see the potential for a natural gas monopoly, the direct road to corruption (not uncommon in Israel’s already precariously balanced political regime) and the potential for all citizens to whom natural gas is supplied by this deal (whether Israeli, Egyptian or otherwise) to be held hostage to the financial whims of the interested investors.

And, we are particularly focused on trying to figure out exactly who are the interested investors. Despite claims of transparency, the dots are not easy to follow, and they should be.

F150902FFF03

Israel’s Delek, Partners Buy Stake in Egyptian Gas Pipeline for $518 Million

 

Thursday, 4 October 2018 | Delek, the Israeli energy giant, and its partners have announced that they will buy the EMG Egypt-Israel gas pipeline for [US] $518 million, Globes reported.

Delek and the American company Noble Energy will each pay $158 million for the pipeline. The balance will be paid by the Egyptian company East. The deal will allow Delek and Noble to lease and operate the pipeline, which extends from Ashkelon in Israel to El Arish in the Sinai.

The pipeline will allow Delek and Noble to provide the 64 billion cubic meters [17 trillion gallons] of natural gas to Egypt, which the companies sold to Egypt’s Dolphinus Holding Ltd. for $15 billion in a deal concluded in February of this year.

Delek and Noble are slated to provide Egypt with natural gas from the Leviathan natural gas field starting next year. In the meantime, they will sell gas from the Tamar field.

“The Leviathan field is becoming the central energy anchor in the Mediterranean basin with customers in Israel, Egypt and Jordan,” Delek drilling CEO Yossi Abu said.

“Today’s announcements mark significant steps forward in supplying natural gas from the world-class Tamar and Leviathan fields to regional customers through existing infrastructure. They also represent another major milestone toward Egypt’s goal to become a regional energy hub, providing access to both growing domestic markets and existing LNG [liquid natural gas] export facilities,” Keith Elliott, a senior vice-president with Noble Energy said. “With these agreements, we are securing the capacity to deliver on our firm gas sales agreement with Dolphinus for Leviathan while also allowing for interruptible sales from Tamar into Egypt. This further solidifies the strong cash flow growth anticipated from our Eastern Mediterranean assets.”

The discovery of natural gas fields in the Mediterranean has positioned Israel as an energy exporter and boosted its diplomatic standing in the region.

The discovery of the Tamar and Leviathan fields has also led to closer diplomatic cooperation between Israel and both Greece and Cyprus. Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met four times with Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras in the past three years. Cooperation in exporting natural gas has been one of the major topics of their discussions.

Late last year, the three countries reached an agreement to supply natural gas to the European Union.

Posted on October 4, 2018

Source: (This article was originally published by The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower on September 28, 2018. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See the original article at this link.)

 

 

 

Delek, Noble, Tamar, Leviathan, Dolphinus – Who’s Gas is this Anyway?

Delek, Noble sign accords for $15b in sales of Israeli natural gas to Egypt

Partners in the offshore Tamar and Leviathan fields ink deals with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd. for the sale of some 64 billion cubic meters over coming decade

 

Illustrative photo of a natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

 

The partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields, including a unit of US Noble Energy Inc and Delek Drilling LP, have signed $15 billion in deals to export natural gas to Egypt over 10 years.

In a filing to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Monday, Delek Drilling LP, a partner in the Tamar and Leviathan fields offshore Israel, said Noble Energy Mediterranean and its partners in the fields have signed accords with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd. for the sale of some 64 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the two fields.

One accord calls for the sale of 3.5 BCM of natural gas annually from the Leviathan field, for a total of 32 BCM, the filing said, with the partners estimating the total revenues from the sale from the Leviathan field to reach $7.5 billion.

In addition, the partners said they signed an additional accord for the sale of natural gas from the Tamar field, for a total of 32 BCM and some $7.5 billion.

Delek said the partners were considering various options for the supply of the gas to Egypt, including via a Jordanian-Israeli pipeline that is currently being built or the use of the existing East Mediterranean Gas pipeline. Delek Drilling and Noble plan to start negotiations with EMG for the use of the pipeline to Egypt, the companies said in a separate, emailed statement.

Another option is to transport the gas to Egypt by connecting the Israeli transmission system to its Egyptian counterpart, the statement said.

Supply from Tamar will start as soon as the infrastructure for its transport is in place, the companies said, while that from Leviathan will start as soon as production starts from the well. Supply will continue until the amounts agreed upon are supplied or until December 2030, whichever comes first, the companies said.

…..

“We are at an important milestone on the road to realizing our collective vision and dream of making Israel a significant exporter of gas to countries in the region,” said Yitzhak Tshuva, the controlling shareholder of Delek Group, which controls Delek Drilling. “The agreement will strengthen the relationships between Israel and its neighbors and increase economic cooperation between them.”

Dolphinus is a natural gas trade company which is planning to supply gas to large industrial and commercial consumers in Egypt.

Noble Energy holds 39.66 percent of Leviathan and a 32.5% stake in Tamar. Delek Drilling holds 45.34% stake in Leviathan and 22% stake in Tamar. Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) Ltd. Partnership holds a 15% stake in Leviathan. Isramco Negev 2 LP holds a 28.75% stake in Tamar.

To continue reading click here.

 

Delek-Noble Energy – Israel, A Leviathan of a Profiteering Venture…

F150902FFF03

Delek-Noble Energy announces $500m deal to allow Israeli gas exports to Egypt

US-Israeli consortium and Egyptian gas company buy 39% of disused underwater gas pipeline connecting Ashkelon to northern Sinai

 

A US-Israeli consortium leading the development of Israel’s offshore gas reserves announced Thursday a deal that would enable the export of natural gas to Egypt.

Noble Energy and its Israeli partner Delek, along with Egyptian East Gas Company, bought 39 percent of a disused pipeline connecting the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon with the north Sinai.

The consortium paid $518 million for the interest in the East Mediterranean Gas Company pipeline.

The mainly undersea pipeline will be used to transport natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs to Egypt from as early as 2019, allowing a 10-year $15 billion deal signed in February with Egypt’s Dolphinus to move forward, Delek said in a statement.

It will be the first time Egypt, which in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, imports gas from its neighbor.

Israel had bought gas from Egypt but land sections of the pipeline were repeatedly targeted by Sinai jihadists in 2011 and 2012, and soaring demand meant Egypt could use the gas domestically.

Israel had bought gas from Egypt but land sections of the pipeline were repeatedly targeted by Sinai jihadists in 2011 and 2012, and soaring demand meant Egypt could use the gas domestically.

Delek CEO Yossi Abu called the pipeline purchase “the most significant milestone for the Israeli gas market since the discoveries” of the reservoirs.

“The Leviathan reservoir is becoming the Mediterranean basin’s primary energy anchor, with customers in Israel, Egypt and Jordan,” he said.

In September 2016, Jordan struck a deal to buy 300 million cubic feet (8.5 million cubic meters) of Israeli gas per day over 15 years, an agreement estimated to be worth $10 billion.

Israel has limited natural resources but in the past few years it has discovered major gas fields off its coast and is building the infrastructure needed to tap them.

Tamar, which began production in 2013, has estimated reserves of up to 238 billion cubic meters (8.4 trillion cubic feet).

Leviathan, discovered in 2010 and set to begin production in 2019, is estimated to hold 535 billion cubic meters (18.9 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, along with 34.1 million barrels of condensate.

Israel hopes its gas reserves will give the country energy independence and the prospect of becoming a supplier for Europe as well as forging strategic ties within the region.

To continue reading click, here.

 

Finally Yeshivas Are Cooperating, Measles and the Vishnitz Girls School

FIGHTING THE OUTBREAK: Vishnitz Girls School in Monsey Not Allowing Unnvaccinated Children After Students Diagnosed With Measles

An Orthodox Jewish School has taken a hard stance against the anti-vaxxers who refuse to vaccinate their children.

YWN has confirmed that the Visnitz Monsey Girls School made the bold announcement on Thursday afternoon. The decision was made after 2 childen were confirmed to have Measles. One child is in preschool and one in elementary school.

Any child who is not immunized, can’t return to school for 21 days. No “religious exemption” is accepted. A religious exemption does not work when there is a measles outbreak.

If the school identifies another measles case, the 21 days will start over.

On Wednesday, YWN published a story about a measles outbreak in New York, with 6 residents of Williamsburg and seven residents of Rockland County confirmed to have the disease. An additional eight suspected cases in Rockland County were being investigated involving a mix of adults and children. Many are linked to recent travel to Israel which has been dealing with the disease for months.

Two weeks ago, YWN reported about the Menahel of Breslov Mosdos in Tzefas having been infected with the measles. He was listed in critical condition at the time of the news story.

There have been dozens of stories published by YWN in the past few months of measles alerts issued by authorities involving Frum people who have not been vaccinated.

Health officials have said anyone at the following locations in Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties may have been exposed to the measles:

  • Congregation Bais Elazer in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 4
  • Mia’s Reflexology in New City, N.Y. on Oct. 4
  • Lifetime Gym in Montvale, N.J. on Oct. 5
  • Wesley Kosher in Monsey N.Y. on Oct. 5
  • Congregation Borov in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6
  • Costco in Nanuet, N.Y. on Oct. 7
  • Care 365 in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 8
  • Westchester Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Valhalla, N.Y. on Oct. 11

Lack of immunizations have been blamed for outbreaks within other Orthodox Jewish communities. In 2013, the largest measles outbreak in the United States in 17 years spread through Orthodox families in two Brooklyn neighborhoods.

For those who believe they may have been exposed and have further questions, a toll-free hotline has been established: 1-888-364-4837. The hotline is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease.

People who are unvaccinated risk getting infected with measles and spreading it to others, and they may spread measles to people who cannot get vaccinated because they are too young or have specific health conditions.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if:

• they were born before 1957

• have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine

• have had measles confirmed by a health care provider

• or have a lab test confirming immunity

Symptoms include a fever, rash, cough, conjunctivitis or runny nose, and they could appear 10 to 12 days after exposure.

The virus can remain in the air or on surfaces for up to two hours.

To prevent the spread of illness, health officials are advising individuals who may have been exposed and who have symptoms consistent with measles to contact their health care provider, a local clinic, or a local emergency department before going for care.

(Charles Gross – YWN)

 

 

Please Show Your Support for LM and Your Global Blogger: https://www.gofundme.com/free-speech-lostmessiah-and-jg

download (2)

Chilling Free Speech Legal Defense

https://www.gofundme.com/free-speech-lostmessiah-and-jg

LostMessiah readers – your blogger could use your help – not in huge amounts – 

and anonymity would be protected.

LostMessiah has over 1200 visits each day. If each visitor donated $18.00, we would be in really good shape moving forward.

In 2015 Failed Messiah succumbed to the difficulties of pressure from the communities he investigated. You say he sold out. We say, the pressure was likely too much. 

LostMessiah will not be bought, will not be frightened and has been re-energized. But yesterday’s Court appearance (October 17, 2018) proved that Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Press, Freedom of Expression and the Right to Due Process are luxuries we should not ignore or take for granted.

We are asking our audience, readership and those who might be responsible for publicizing this issue to assist.

By allowing the record to remain sealed without appropriate arguments, in fact by refusing to hear arguments at all, the presiding Judge, censored free speech at least until December 5, 2018.

The presiding Judge, in 2014, campaigned with and now sits on the Court with the sister of the attorney handling the case on behalf of the Plaintiff. 

Please be clear on the ramifications.

Yeshivas and Secular Education -Preventing an Economic Divide that’s Ever Growing

Note: We have reposted this without the permission of the author, Emily Newman. Should she ask that we remove it, we will do so. The link to the original article is here:
https://thehumanist.com/features/articles/yes-yeshivas-must-include-secular-education?fbclid=IwAR0ckuuKAa8B0v8u-xSDjFclfKaMRMJggE4tVSCnk1JxuJd1VayzMhBHOkA

Yes, Yeshivas Must Include Secular Education

I’ve spoken often about a Tale of Two Cities [sic]. That inequality—that feeling of a few doing very well, while so many slip further behind—that is the defining challenge of our time. Because inequality in New York is not something that only threatens those who are struggling. The stakes are so high for every New Yorker. And making sure no son or daughter of New York falls behind defines the very promise of our city.

This excerpt from New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s victory speech on November 6, 2013, describes the city’s economic divide but could easily apply to its educational divide. While New York City boasts some of the best public schools in the nation, it also contains some of the worst schools. More specifically, the city must take responsibility for failing to acknowledge how poorly its yeshivas have been educating students for decades.

Yeshivas are Orthodox Jewish schools ranging from elementary to college that separate classes by gender and teach several subjects in Hebrew. They primarily focus on the study of traditional religious texts—such as the Talmud and the Torah—but this religious focus doesn’t mean they’re allowed to skip secular education, especially given that these educational institutions are heavily funded by the government. The New York State Department of Education requires the instruction provided at nonpublic schools to be substantially equivalent to that of the local public school. This includes classes in “arithmetic, reading, spelling, writing, the English language, geography, United States history, civics, hygiene, physical training, the history of New York state, and science.”

Upon realizing the gaps in his and his peer’s yeshiva education, a former student named Naftuli Moster founded Young Advocates for Fair Education (YAFFED) in 2012. Since then, YAFFED has collected stories from other former students, teachers, and parents describing the quality and content of the education. In an interview with me in August 2018, Moster explained that initial attempts to inform city officials of the issue in 2013 and 2014 were ignored because they were too general and didn’t name institutions. In a July 2015 letter to the chancellor of the New York City Department of Education YAFFED identified thirty-nine schools with poor records. After reviewing the letter, the chancellor notified the New York State commissioner of education that at these yeshivas:

English and mathematics are taught from around age seven to age thirteen, for an average combined time of only ninety minutes and on only four days a week. Other secular subjects are not taught at all, let alone in English. At these yeshivas, English instruction for boys stops at age thirteen. Girls generally receive a better secular education than boys but, we are still concerned that it is not sufficient to prepare them for their futures.

From 2015-2017 the New York City DOE met with superintendents of the listed schools, interviewed the complainants, and interviewed yeshiva leaders. The department consistently missed self-imposed deadlines to release reports on the investigations. YAFFED gathered testimonials and released its own report in 2017. The report found that the average yeshiva graduate

speaks little or no English, has few or no marketable skills, earns a household income well below the average Brooklynite’s, marries young and has many children, and is forced to rely upon public assistance to support his large family.

The two main reasons yeshivas receive millions of dollars in government funding is to address household poverty levels and low class performance, creating a dangerous cycle for Hasidic Jewish families.

The yeshiva issue grew to a statewide concern on April 12, 2018, when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo accepted a budget that included a last-minute amendment to the nonpublic school curriculum law. The Felder Amendment—proposed by New York State Senator Simcha Felder and ultra-Orthodox Jewish community leaders—provides special treatment to ultra-Orthodox yeshivas and cuts down on instructional requirements. This violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the US Constitution by allowing government to favor one religion over another. YAFFED filed a lawsuit in July 2018 against state officials alleging a lack of oversight of yeshivas and arguing the amendment needs to be removed from law.

In an August 2018 letter, New York City Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza informed New York State Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia that all of the interviewed complainants reported that English was delayed until first grade (sometimes even later), that there was no instruction through a science curriculum (only a few experiments at some schools), that math was restricted to basic arithmetic (sometimes fractions), and that little to no history was taught. Of the thirty-nine listed schools in YAFFED’s letter, nine were removed from the investigation because they weren’t in the NYC DOE jurisdiction—outside of the city or not K-12—or supposedly no longer existed. Carranza has reported optimistically on the fifteen yeshivas that let officials in and agreed to improve, but he admits that it’s too early to tell if the changes are significant enough as the school has only provided outlines and samples of secular curriculum. He has asked for guidance on how to handle the remaining fifteen schools that haven’t allowed DOE officials inside.

One school removed from the list was United Talmudical Academy, which is located on a top floor of a building with a butcher shop on its ground level. City investigators must not have noticed the school’s mailbox or asked around to determine if classes are in fact held at the address associated with the school. Moster noted in our interview that the DOE didn’t consult with YAFFED before deciding to remove schools from the investigation list. Nor have investigators followed up on vetting how United Talmudical Academy received nearly $10 million in federal funding if it doesn’t exist.

“The idea that they will conduct one [scheduled] visit and somehow glean a lot from that is somewhat laughable,” said Moster, who is concerned the investigations have been more yeshiva-led than city-led. He noted that Carranza’s letter doesn’t include names of investigators, visiting officials, education experts, psychology professors, or anyone else in curriculum meetings. The report also doesn’t mention YAFFED as the organization that brought forward the complainants, it but does name Parents for Educational and Religious Liberty in Schools (PEARLS)—formed in 2016—as one organization working on new English and math curriculum for yeshivas that “align with the Common Core Learning Standards and use materials that are culturally sensitive to the values of the yeshivas.”

Tension has been rising in New York City as the New York Times published two opposing op-eds: one from its own editorial board blasting politicians for failing to challenge Orthodox leadership and one from PEARLS lawyer Avi Schick criticizing anyone who questions the yeshivas’ progress. Hopefully the curriculum developed by PEARLS will be substantially equivalent to that taught in well-performing public schools. Ideally, New York’s newfound awareness will ensure a fair education for yeshiva students.

Unlike most of the Establishment Clause issues the American Humanist Association takes on, this isn’t about keeping public schools religiously neutral. It’s about ensuring that all schools provide the essentials to help young people succeed in life. No matter where children live or what religion they follow, they deserve a well-rounded education. Make sure your legislators know that they’re responsible here, because an uneducated populace is everyone’s problem.

 

 

Maybe the Rabbis Should be Telling the Community to Vaccinate their Children, Despite not Knowing the Science Behind it…

NOTE TO THE RELIGIOUS OFFICIALS IN NEW SQUARE!!! 

MEASLES EXPOSURE AND ITS CONSEQUENCES ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. 

THE ILLNESS AND POTENTIAL DEATH OF YOUR CHILDREN AND THOSE WITH LOW IMMUNE RESISTANCE RESTS SQUARELY ON YOUR SHOULDERS:

Since you have been indoctrinating your community to pay attention to you, you may want to hang up signs about vaccinating children before more children get sick and die unnecessarily.

Despite your conviction that education in math and science is unnecessary, perhaps you can see that without the help of EDUCATED medical practitioners, and sites like LostMessiah that informs the public (whether about things you like or don’t like), your children will die from diseases that ARE PREVENTABLE.

Officials Issue Measles Alert For NYC, Northern Suburbs

 

NEW SQUARE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The New York City Health Department was on high alert Wednesday after at least 17 people tested positive for measles in the Tri-State area.

On Wednesday, Rockland County health officials said there were 11 confirmed and three suspected cases being investigated involving a mix of adults and children.

aec82393a9c84d3aa608ea22d394ede2 Officials Issue Measles Alert For NYC, Northern Suburbs

Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert said children who have had their first MMR vaccine against measles, mumps, and rubella before 15 months don’t need to wait until age 4 for their second MMR as is typical. Children can get it as soon as 28 days after first shot, and parents should to talk to pediatricians.

A synagogue, a yeshiva and a health center in the Hasidic village of New Square are all listed as places visited by someone sick with measles, putting others at risk. The virus lives for about two hours after an infected person contaminates the air or a surface by coughing or sneezing.

MORETraveler May Have Exposed N.Y. And N.J. Residents To Measles

Health officials have said anyone at the following locations in Rockland, Westchester and Bergen counties may have been exposed to the measles:

  • Congregation Bais Elazer in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 4
  • Mia’s Reflexology in New City, N.Y. on Oct. 4
  • Lifetime Gym in Montvale, N.J. on Oct. 5
  • Wesley Kosher in Monsey N.Y. on Oct. 5
  • Congregation Borov in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 5 and Oct. 6
  • Costco in Nanuet, N.Y. on Oct. 7
  • Care 365 in Monsey, N.Y. on Oct. 8
  • Westchester Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Valhalla, N.Y. on Oct. 11

“People are very scared about it. They are trying to the best what they can,” one man said. “If there’s any problem they’re taking now precautions. They are taking in the community strong precautions and I think it’s at a good level.”

Similarly, the New York City Department of Health warned the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn after six children contracted the disease this month.

City officials say those diagnosed are between 11-months and four-years-old. Two of them were hospitalized with complications from pneumonia and an ear infection.

Officials say one of the children visited Israel. Gary Schlesinger of Parcare Community Health Network says he’s now getting calls from worried parents.

“They’re basically calling to check on records to make sure they’re compliant with all the vaccinations recommended by government,” he said.

The so-called “MMR” vaccine is very effective — and the vast majority of Americans are immunized as children. Rockland County is urging those who’ve not received the vaccine to do so.

“Even adults can be vaccinated. They have to take two doses of MMR vaccine, which is about 28 days apart,” said Dr. Rebecca Varghese, medical director at Lifeline Urgent Care.

The city says six of the children infected had not been vaccinated. The sixth had one dose, but was not yet immune.

City health officials will be handing out informational fliers in the neighborhood, and will be meeting with rabbis and elected officials to help spread awareness. In Rockland County, officials will offer a measles vaccine clinic on Thursday in Monsey and on Friday in Nanuet.

The classic symptoms of the measles include an unpleasant red rash, fever, runny nose, red eyes, sensitivity to light and coughing. The virus can live up to two hours on a surface.

New York Exposed to Measles – Why? Failure to Vaccinate

There are seven confirmed cases of the measles in Rockland from three different groups of international travelers, according to the Rockland County Commissioner of Health Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.

Of those cases, two originated from exposure occurring in Rockland, Schnabel Ruppert said.

“As we see more cases there is the potential for further exposure,” Schnabel Ruppert said in a statement. “The Rockland County Department of Health continues to investigate these cases and will keep residents informed of any updates. I recommend that residents make sure they and their families are up-to-date on their measles vaccinations.”

VACCINATIONS: What can schools say about unvaccinated kids?

MEASLES: Measles warning: What you need to know, including vaccinations

PREVIOUS STORY: Weekend visitor to Rockland County may have exposed others to measles

The first case was confirmed in September and originated from a international traveler from Israel.

“Since measles is still common in many countries and there are ongoing measles outbreaks overseas, travelers will continue to bring this disease into the United States,” the Rockland Health Department said. “Measles is highly contagious, so anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting the disease.”

Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a virus that is spread by direct contact with nasal or throat secretions of infected people, according to the New York State Department of Health. People first develop a fever, then may have a cough, runny nose and watery eyes, followed by appearance of a rash. People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

Individuals are considered protected or immune to measles if:

  • they were born before 1957,
  • have received two doses of measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine,
  • have had measles confirmed by a health care provider
  • or have a lab test confirming immunity.

 

See the Original article on Lohud.com or click here.

Noble-Delek and EMG – What if they Voted to Not Supply the Gas as Promised?

THE NOBLE DELEK GAS DEAL –

A NOBLE DEAL BETWEEN DELEK GROUP, NOBLE ENERGY, EGYPTIAN EAST GAS, EMG AND THE COMBINED COMPANY EMED? 

Several  months ago in a set of comments to an article entitled: “The Egypt-Israel Gas Deal: What’s the Chance it will go up in smoke?” someone made the following comment:

By investing into EMG, Delek and Noble would hold the largest voting bloc in the company, allowing them to pass a motion to NOT use the pipeline in the original direction from Egypt to Israel. I.E to block the possibility of exporting gas from Egypt to Israel

We have not named the Commenter but his comments can be found at the bottom of the article republished in part below. We have found that some of the most important points of any article can be found in the comments and we believe that this is no exception.

Moreover, whether inadvertently or otherwise, the commenter used the spelling “voting bloc” which is generally the parlance of a reference to the ultra-Orthodox Jews who tend to vote as a unit, upon the determination of a rabbi, prominent businessman, etc. That too may be no coincidence and in all honesty is speculation.

Also noteworthy, the deal allegedly solves other problems, including ongoing litigation regarding the wells, Leviathan, Tamar and Dolphinus. We note that in Hebrew a Leviatan is a whale (or a navigation system).

Over the course of the next few weeks, we will dissect the deal piece by piece along with the owners of each of the companies and we will try to provide a timeline. We believe, an opinion based upon an analysis of several years worth of articles and numbers, that the deal may not be completely kosher.

For one, it creates a natural gas monopoly, a power keg for price manipulation, supply manipulation and depending upon the flow of gas, power brokering. For another, if the parties decided to build another pipeline, through “Kerem Shalom and the Sinai” they could create a different sort of monopoly, particularly if the second pipeline were owned by the same consortium of owners. Finally, the pipeline has a long and sordid history, one which could repeat itself, particularly if the countries involved, namely Israel and Egypt were to fall into the hands of fundamentalists – whether Jewish, Muslim, or others who could play the religious control card at whim. We leave you to your own conclusions.

For now we start with the following:

  1. EMED is the joint company created for the purpose of the purchase into EMG
  2. EMED = Delek Drilling LP, Noble Energy Inc., and Egyptian East Gas Co.
  3. EMG owns the subsea pipeline (between Ashkelon in Israel and El-Arish in Egypt) that will carry the Gas between Egypt and Israel and is owned in large part by Thai Energy Company PTT (PTT.BK), state owned Egyptian company EGPC and Investment group MGPC, and Egyptian East Gas.
  4. EMG is also held by businessmen Sam Zell and Yosef Maiman
  5. In addition to its stake in EMG and now EMED, Egyptian East Gas also owns pipeline that runs from El-Arish and Aquaba in Jordan (Note, claims are that the Jordanian pipeline would be available free of charge for later supply.)
  6. Yitzchak Tschuva is the “owner of Delek Group”  and Delek Drilling LP, which now owns a stake in EMED.
  7.  East Gas is a little difficult in terms of ownership as their website is not accessible (http://www.eastgas.com.eg/index.html)
  8. Noble Energy Inc.is a Texas based company, with interests to be published in a separate article.
  9. Leviathan and Tamar are the Israeli reservoirs, subject to the gas deal.

Research:

Gas imports from Israel, reducing fines, Egypt’s gas hub plans coming through offshore companies

“EMG is held by, among others, businessmen Sam Zell and Yosef Maiman, people familiar with the matter tell Bloomberg. Delek and Noble are in the process of setting up a Cyprus-based joint venture, which would then partner with a Netherlands-based company set up by East Gas. This new partnership, also based in Holland, would buy the 37% stake in EMG.”

Israel, Egypt Gas Partners Buy Control of Key Export Pipeline

Bloomberg LP

Consummation of the deal with EMG will allow the company to pursue more contracts, Abu said. Among the options is a bigger deal with Royal Dutch Shell Plc, which is considering buying gas from Israeli and Cypriot fields partly owned by Delek and Noble.

 

Delek Drilling Partnership : Leviathan partners near $200m EMG pipeline deal

EMG, owned by Israeli businessman Josef Maiman, Egyptian, US, and Thai investors held sole rights to import Egyptian gas to Israel. The deal was signed in 2005 and gas began to flow in 2009 to supply Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) at a price 40% higher than originally agreed. But the gas supply was halted in 2012 after it was repeatedly attacked in the Sinai. The gas deal was terminated and EMG and IEC were awarded $1.8 billion compensation by arbitration proceedings in Switzerland.

___

(c)2018 the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel)

Visit the Globes (Tel Aviv, Israel) at http://www.globes.co.il/serveen/globes/nodeview.asp?fid=942

Delek Drilling, Noble Energy acquire 40% of Egypt-Israel gas pipeline

UYYitUYYhttps://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5360651,00.html

Companions to the Israeli gas deal: Noble and Delek in talks to acquire East Mediterranean Gas pipeline

“The source, who spoke to Mada Masr on condition of anonymity, says that a decision has been made to begin technical alterations to the pipeline to reverse its flow and allow operators to import gas into Egypt instead of having the country export gas to Israel, which was the previous arrangement according to a deal signed in 2008. ”

“The pipeline was the target of successive militant attacks after 2011. In 2012, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) terminated its contract with Israel. The state-owned company attributed the decision to a breach of contract by EMG for delayed gas payments”

 

“The source close to the deal corroborates information Mada Masr published last year regarding the aims of negotiations to import gas from Israel. By striking a deal to import gas from Israel, Egypt aimed to find a way around the international arbitration fines of $1.7 billion, owed to the Israeli Electricity Company (IEC) and over $200 million, owed to EMG. Egypt also sought to terminate commercial arbitration with the relevant partners of EMG through the deal, thereby avoiding a potential arbitration fine of $8 billion, which would have been owed to Unión Fenosa.”

““Israel hasn’t given up on the debt and the matter did not come up for discussion during talks on the Leviathan export deal to Egypt that was signed [last] week,” Israel’s Energy Ministry told the paper.

A senior Israeli government source, however, told the Israeli business newspaper TheMarker that, while he doesn’t expect Egypt to pay the arbitration settlement, such a move by Egypt will not affect electricity rates in Israel because the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) has already written off the debt as unrecoverable and incorporated the losses into rates over the last six years.

Near the end of 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce in Geneva ruled that EGAS and EGPC were obligated to pay the aforementioned sums in compensation to EMG and the IEC. The decision served as a penalty for Egypt’s April 2012 decision to halt gas exports to Israel after the pipeline was targeted by several attacks and Egypt came to import natural gas itself as the needs of its national market increased.”

 

 

The Egypt-Israel gas deal: What’s the chance it will go up in smoke?

#MideastGasRush

The rush is on to complete a $15bn deal to export Israeli gas to Egypt. But with nearly enough gas to supply itself, does Egypt even need it?

The deal is but the latest chapter in an East Mediterranean saga that has seen Israeli and Egyptian gas fortunes rise and fall (MEE)

TEL AVIV, Israel – There is selling ice to the eskimos. And sand to the Arabs. Now there’s gas to Egypt.

The rush is on to finalise a deal which would see $15bn worth of Israeli gas supplied to a private Egyptian company during the next decade.

‘At least on paper, there is no necessity for Israeli gas any more’

 Elai Rettig, Institute for National Security Studies and University of Haifa 

The agreement between Israeli company Delek Drilling and Texas-based Noble Energy, who are partners in Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan fields, and the private Egyptian company Dolphinus Holdings was first publicised in February.

As yachts passed by in Israel’s Herzilya marina earlier this month, the deal continued to sail through as Delek shareholders voted to invest in a company controlling the only pipeline between Israel and Egypt.

One of the Delek shareholders who attended the meeting said a company representative told those gathered that, with control of the pipeline, gas could flow as quickly as the end of the year to Egypt – and so would their returns.

“We will see the money in a very short amount of time,” he said they were told.

The same parties announced a similar deal back in March 2015, at a time when Egyptian households and factories had been suffering regular blackouts as a result of energy shortages.

That deal never came to fruition. Three years later, the market in the gas-rich East Mediterranean – and globally – has transformed, leaving one pesky detail for Israeli gas dealers: Egypt is now nearly gas self-sufficient.

As Elai Rettig, a research fellow at the Tel Aviv-based Institute for National Security Studies and lecturer at the University of Haifa, puts it: “At least on paper, there is no necessity for Israeli gas any more.”

But there is every necessity for Israel to sell gas: the longer the gas sits unsold, the more gas will be discovered in the Mediterranean, and the more likely that Israel’s dream of cost-efficient regional sales is postponed indefinitely.

But that is not what is said publicly. Israeli government reports have concentrated instead on arguments based on Israeli national security.

What’s in it for Egypt?

Critically, the gas deal announced in February would allow Delek and Noble, and smaller partners in the field, to continue investing in Israel’s biggest gas field, the aptly named Leviathan, which has yet to produce any gas since it was discovered in 2010.

The companies have already invested $3.75bn in the first phase of Leviathan’s development, which they called the largest energy project in Israel’s history. Industry observers expect the field to start producing next year.

The logic for Cairo is much less clear: once Egypt can satisfy its domestic needs – which could happen as early as 2019 – then Israeli gas, say analysts, will likely cost more than Egyptian gas simply because of the added costs of importing it.

The gas could still potentially be re-exported from two largely idle liquefaction plants in the Egyptian towns of Idku and Damietta, the only such facilities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

That’s the vision Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has for the country. When the deal was announced, he said Egypt had “scored a goal”.

“I’ve been dreaming of it for four years – that we become a regional hub for energy,” Sisi said. “All the gas coming from around the region will come to us.”

If this were to happen, then Egypt would profit from tolls and transit fees.

But there is also a widespread belief among industry observers that it won’t be long before Egypt discovers even more gas, and will want to use the limited capacity of the LNG plants to export its own.

Given that the commercial basis of the current deal is unknown, it is unclear from which Egypt would profit more: exporting its own gas or re-exporting Israeli gas.

None of these details, however, has stopped the deal from moving forward. If anything, the clock is ticking as the companies selling Israeli gas attempt to push into one of the last viable local markets.

‘The deal does not serve Egypt, nor its national security in any way. Does Egypt need natural gas? No, it doesn’t’

– Khaled Foad, Egyptian Institute for Studies

Meanwhile some Egyptians, such as political analyst and former geophysicist Khaled Foad, have been left shaking their heads.

“The deal does not serve Egypt, nor its national security in any way,” said Foad, who is currently based at the Egyptian Institute for Studies in Istanbul. “Does Egypt need natural gas? No, it doesn’t.”

The deal may be a private one, Foad said, but politicians continue to refer to the deal as one struck between the Egyptian and Israeli governments.

He underlined how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the money from the deal will be invested to improve health and education for Israelis.

“We need the same for Egypt,” said Foad. “We have lots of sectors that need development, but we are giving Israel a gift in exchange for minor gains.”

The murky history of Israeli-Egyptian gas deal

The deal is but the latest chapter in an East Mediterranean saga that has seen Israeli and Egyptian gas fortunes rise and fall, their fates murky and seemingly intertwined. It is also a saga which has, at various points, left both Israelis and Egyptians in the dark.

A decade ago, Egypt was a net exporter of gas, providing 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas at some of the lowest prices in the world.

The sweetheart deal was made between two state-run Egyptian companies and the Egyptian-based company East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which formed in 2000 to build a pipeline between Egypt and Israel, and whose partners include former Israeli intelligence agent and energy tycoon Yossi Maiman. It drew criticism from Egyptians and fed into the uprisings which overthrew then-president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

The EMG pipeline after an attack in July 2012 in the northern Egyptian town of El-Arish (AFP)

In 2012, two Egyptians considered to be the original deal’s architects – former oil minister Sameh Fahmy and businessman Hussein Salem – were convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison, but were later acquitted.

By 2013, Egypt had suffered years of political instability and energy sector mismanagement, including other questionable deals which MEE has investigated, as well as repeated attacks in the Sinai on the gas pipeline.

Egypt was unable to meet its domestic demand and honour its export contracts. Instead it began importing expensive liquid natural gas (LNG) for a rising population which was suffering from regular blackouts.

Israeli gas: Who will buy it?

Egypt fell into an energy-dependent slump – but the future for Israel, which had long imported its gas, was looking bright.

In 2009, Noble and Delek discovered the Tamar field, quickly followed in 2010 by Leviathan, one of the largest global discoveries this century.

Then minister of infrastructure, Uzi Landau, said the discovery was “the most important energy news since the founding of the state” and there was talk of Israel becoming the regional gas hub.

But in the years that have passed, companies have struggled to untangle a Gordian knot of political and economic problems relating to one issue: how to sell it.

In 2015, after energy companies had invested billions to discover the fields and waited years to produce gas, the Israeli government approved regulations to make the sector more competitive, a move that many believe frightened off foreign investors unsure what the government might do next.

Almost a decade after it was found, only Tamar has produced gas for commercial consumption. It currently supplies nearly all of Israel’s gas, but its only non-domestic customers are Jordan’s state-owned Arab Potash Company and its affiliate Jordan Bromine.

Thousands gathered in Amman in 2016 to protest against the gas deal (Reuters)

The Tamar deal, and a much larger agreement signed in 2016 which would see gas from Leviathan supplied to Jordan’s state-owned National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), have been met with street protests and criticism from Jordanian parliamentarians.

As time has passed, the list of potential customers has shortened. Cyprus has discovered offshore gas. Lebanon has serious prospects of finding its own. The political tensions between Israel and Turkey, which would have made an ideal market for Israeli gas, have so far precluded sales there.

There has also been a dream of selling gas through the EastMed, a proposed 1,900km $7bn underwater pipeline running from Israel through Cyprus to Greece and Italy.

But cost and major logistic challenges have crushed that idea, leaving Israel with only one possible customer for a quick sale: Egypt.

Does Egypt need Israeli gas?

Egypt’s need for Israeli gas, however, is questionable. In July 2015, Italian energy company Eni discovered the Zohr “superfield” – the largest gas field ever found in the Mediterranean – then began producing gas last December. Egypt is now expected to have a gas surplus as early as next year.

So when the Delek/Noble-Dolphinus deal was announced this February, many were left shaking their heads. Why did Egypt need this gas? Even if it is going to be re-exported, did it make economic sense?

…….

Shareholders wait for money pipeline

But earlier this month, as Delek shareholders voted overwhelmingly to invest $200m into EMG, the company which carried the cheap Egyptian gas to Israel a decade ago and still controls the pipeline running between Israel and Egypt, the deal continued to move forward.

By investing into EMG, Delek and Noble would hold the largest voting bloc in the company, allowing them to pass a motion to reverse the pipeline’s direction.

However, hurdles remain. There are still billions of dollars in settlements hanging over the deal after the state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) terminated its contracts with EMG to export gas to Israel in 2012.

In 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce in Geneva ordered EGAS and Egypt’s General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to pay a $1.76bn fine to the Israeli Electric Company and $288m to EMG for halting the gas supplies.

Egyptian Energy Minister Tarek el-Molla reportedly said earlier this year that the deal hinges on the settlements. Egyptian news site Mada Masr has also reported that the Israeli government had agreed in principle to reduce the amount of the fines owed if the Egyptian government would allow its private sector to import Israeli gas.