Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are We Still Friends?

Regardless of the current President, who has done some pro-Israel things, but is not pro-Israel, the ties between the United States and Israel are strong...and important.

It is simple to understand why Israel needs the United States. Being a small, democratically inclined country in the middle of the Middle East, Israel could use all the bigger brothers and sisters it could get. They get thrown a few dollars to keep up a relationship and to keep strong and Israel is tied to America. It just makes sense.

Recently, however, I have been wondering why the United States needs Israel. For those of you who say that "the United States doesn't need anyone," you are just plain wrong. The United States needs allies. It needs places in foreign countries, especially in a pragmatic and often dangerous areas like the Middle East. Without fail, almost the entire Middle East wants Israel wiped off of the map (the little Satan) and more 9/11-type attacks on the United States (The Big Satan).


Not to pick on lil ol' Iran, but it is the largest threat to the way of life as we know it. With its unlimited funds from oil that we buy from them, they repeatedly fund terror in Israel and all over the world. Their nuclear capabilities are rapidly advancing and their eagerness to flex their muscles should make the entire world cringe.

Those are physical though and as frightening as that is, the reality is, buildings can be rebuilt. In the United States, in 2011, the average price for a gallon of regular, unleaded gas is roughly $3.51. The average price per barrel of oil is roughly $82. These prices, which are arbitrarily set by OPEC, reflect the type of anti-Western society and anti-America sentiment within a majority of the members of OPEC. This reality is much harder to fix than a physical attack and it may even take longer. Being as dependent as we are on gas and oil, and without the ability to drill in our own lands (Thank you EPA and the ridiculous "Green" movements) we are at the whim of economic terrorists who continue to become filthy rich due to our consumption.

Saudi Arabia

Even though we have some ties in the Middle East, like in Saudi Arabia, they are really nothing but smoke and mirrors. When push comes to shove, a Middle Eastern, Muslim country will err on the side of other Middle Eastern, Muslim countries than with the falsely perceived "Great Satan." It is just common sense. Even if it is just "radicals" who are terrorizing these countries, I have rarely, if ever, seen the governments in these countries, or organizations tied with them, speak out against terrorism, the incitement from the Imams and Mullahs, the anti-US and Israel protests and other hate filled shows. Fair-weathered friends should not be shown preference.

Yet, in Israel, the Palestinian people, even those considered to be Palestinian-Israelis, have the right to protest Israel, and do so on a regular basis. Israel allows its detractors to work within the confines of their legally existing country. Israel will often times make comments stating their undying support for their ties with America when protests include America.

If America stopped throwing money into Venezuela and Brazil to set up exploratory oil drill sites and put it into Israel, which is believed to sit on huge deposits of Oil and Natural Gas, this false dependency on Iran, Saudi Arabia and the like, might not be completely broken, but at least diminished enough that they could no longer wreak havoc with our economy.

This isn't an article on oil and our consumption. I believe if we need it, use it. This is an article on the the ways to bolster the friendship and the ties between two friends. Friendly countries should be lauded and funded. Even if the benefits aren't immediately seen, the long-term benefits are an extremely worthy investment in the future. With the United States' ever increasing debt, as of September 27, 2011 it sits at almost $15 trillion dollars, we should be looking at ways of tightening our belts. If we could drill in ANWAR, in the Gulf of Mexico and other places, it would do it even more, but until then, investments into foreign oil interests in countries like Israel are the right thing to do.

Oil and Gas are just one way we can strengthen the ties between Israel and the United States. Economically, the countries can benefit each other greatly. Militarily, these two countries could help each other our greatly as well.

Now...lets get someone else in office who can recognize this important connection. Not Ron Paul please. We do not need Isolationists in these extremely unnerving times.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Container Shipments

I would like to thank my new friend, Tikva Sasson of Aliyah Lift Shipping for lending a hand at SupportingOurIsrael.com. When the new site launches, look out for Aliyah Lift Shipping's own section.

What Size Do I Need?   Shipping containers come in three sizes: 20' (1000 cubic feet), 40' (2000 cubic feet) and 40' HC (2400 cubic feet).  

To determine which container fits your needs, you can download the Aliyah Lift Calculator (ALC), which is a spreadsheet filled with many commonly sized items. Simply enter the quantity of each item you are taking, and the volume will change accordingly.   It is important to know that your surveyed volume (in-house, ALC, or over the phone) has a discrepancy of 10%-20%.

If your surveyed volume is close to a full container's volume, you may want to make a list of lower priority items and have them loaded last, or consider a larger container.

Services.  We offer the following origin services when shipping a container:
  • Full Packing and Container Loading
  • Partial Packing and Container Loading
  • Container Loading
  • None of the above - you can elect to pack and load your own container if you choose
All container shipments include delivery to your residence in Israel.

Understanding Your Quote.   Quotes involving "live loading" are given 4 hours to complete the task, and after 4 hours there is an hourly charge. This is designed to be an incentive for the customer to be prepared for the evolution at hand.

Sometimes it is more cost effective to have the container dropped off and picked up later in the day or the next day. If this is the case you may want to check with the local authorities to see if there might be a problem leaving it overnight.   If the container is left overnight, it is imperative to park a vehicle in front of the container to inhibit theft of the containers.
   Additionally, the container's doors should be locked.

Loading Day.   Most container shipments are "live loaded", which means the truck driver stays with the container and waits until the loading is completed.   Assuming everything is prepared and the container is conveniently parked, it takes a three-man crew about 3-4 hours to load a 20' container and a four-man crew about 6-8 hours for a 40' container.

Containers are large and may be difficult to maneuver in a residential neighborhoods or storage facilities.  If you have any concerns that the container will not have easy access to your residence/storage facilities, please let me know ahead of time.  I am not responsible if, on loading day, the truck cannot access your residence/storage facilities.

It is also important to know that the truck bed is approximately 5' off of the ground.   If you are self loading you will need a ramp.

When the loading is complete, the driver will put a "seal" on the back of the container, making it impossible for the truck to be opened without removing the seal.   The seal will stay on the container until it is delivered to your residence, where you should endeavor to witness its removal.