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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 1, 2004 / 19 Kislev, 5765

Despite violent environment, Israeli companies focus on performance

By Cecil Johnson


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (KRT) The chairman of the board of an Israeli clothing manufacturer told "Business Under Fire'' author Dan Carrison a joke that speaks volumes about how Israelis and Israeli businesses cope with the waves of terror, especially in the past four years.


"One day G-d called all the leaders of the world into Heaven. He told them they had made a mess of the world, and that it was time to start the whole experiment over. 'Go to your peoples,' he thundered, 'and tell them in six months I shall cover the earth with another flood.' Contrite, the American president advised his countrymen to repent and prepare to meet their Maker. The Russian president told his subjects to eat, drink and be merry, for soon the world would end. The Israeli prime minister told the Knesset, 'We have six months to learn to live underwater.'"


The joke teller was Dov Lautman of Delta Galil Industries, which makes about $600 million worth of underwear each year that is sold under such brands as Calvin Klein, Hugo Boss, Nike, Ralph Lauren and Donna Karan through such retailers as Marks & Spencer, Target, Wal-Mart, Victoria's Secret, J.C. Penney and the Gap.


Lautman was among 30 Israeli business executives and managers whom Carrison interviewed for "Under Fire,'' all determined to weather the worst that those dedicated to their destruction can throw at them no matter long they do it.


That determination, Carrison writes, is not founded on any hope of peace in the foreseeable future. But neither does it reflect despair.

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"A lack of optimism does not necessarily translate into poor economic performance. In fact, it can be argued that Israeli companies are rock solid because of their indifference to rumors of peace or war. The Israeli CEOs, executives and managers I interviewed all had an implacable air about them, behind the charm, behind the humor. Like soldiers too long in battle — or like patients whose constant pain has finally smoothed the facial features — these managers were imperturbable," Carrison writes.


He came away from his interviews with the impression that those businesspeople would not be overjoyed by a peace treaty. Nor would they be devastated by a Palestinian violation of the treaty. They are dismissive of the news media and not overly concerned about world opinion. They see it as their responsibility to lead their country and their economy to increasing levels of performance.


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"The Israeli business community has demonstrated to the world that the issue of peace with terrorists as a prerequisite for business excellence should be forgotten. Peace is not a realistic possibility as long as there are legions of fanatics in the world, and it should be completely irrelevant to the profitable functioning of a business.


"If there is reason for optimism, it is the certainty that the civilized societies will eventually reduce the frequency of terrorist attacks to an acceptable level. Just as organized crime has been controlled but not conquered, terrorism can be stifled," Carrison writes.


Lautman's company has not been hit directly by terrorism because 90 percent of its sales are in Europe and the United States. It has contingency plans for meeting delivery schedules through plants in industrial zones outside Israel.


But Lautman told Carrison that every business is affected by the Palestinian intifada, or uprising, because it makes investors squeamish about Israel.


Moreover, he points out, Israel is small, the size of New Jersey, and everyone knows someone who has suffered from terrorist attacks.


The theme of everyone being affected was echoed by other executives and managers of companies with facilities and customers abroad and well-secured, largely inaccessible domestic plants. Some are high-tech companies providing cutting-edge terrorist-detection and — protection equipment to customers in Europe, Asia and the United States.


Tourism is the Israeli industry hurt worst by terrorism. Yet hotel managers make money with occupancy rates as low as 15 percent. They have had to drastically reduce staffing and the percentage of rooms available. But they insist on providing first-class service.


Their customers are primarily locals: Many Israeli companies provide incentives for employees to vacation in Israel. At the same time, however, they focus marketing efforts on American Jewish organizations and American Christian evangelicals.

Everyone Carrison interviewed who is in tourism criticizes the news media for exaggerating reports of bombings and scaring people into believing that Israel is unsafe. Israeli cities, which have little violent crime other than terrorism, are safer than most European and U.S. cities, tourism businesspeople say.


Nevertheless, from their own descriptions of the continuing suicide bombings and assaults on buses, the horrors of the bombings of Mike's Restaurant, the Bialik Cafe and Dolphinarian nightclub, it is understandable that some venture capitalists and other investors who go to Israel keep their planes ready to leave.


Carrison offers a readable account of a business community thriving under extraordinarily difficult circumstances. And he extracts valuable lessons for businesses in the United States, should the same terrorists trying to sink Israel's economy mount a similar effort here.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in Washington and in the media consider "must reading." Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Cecil Johnson is a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. To comment, please click here.

© 2004, Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.