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Monday, April 7, 2008

Faith in Israel: John Deere buys Israeli company, Plastro

Avi Shauly / Globes - February 10, 2008

John Deere & Company has signed a contract to acquire Plastro Irrigation Systems Ltd. from Kibbutz Gvat at a company value of NIS 265 million. The kibbutz owns 75.1% of the company through Gvat Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperative Business Ltd. Under the initial agreement from July 2007, John Deere will extend a loan to Plastro. Plastro will use the loan to buy back all its securities held by the public and delist the company from the TASE. John Deere is paying NIS 13.60 per share for Plastro, which closed at NIS 12.92 on Thursday. John Deere has undertaken to keep Plastro open and employ Kibbutz Gvat members at the company for 15 years. Each kibbutz member will sign a personal job contract with John Deere. Kibbutz Gvat will cease receiving management fees for Plastro in exchange for an annual payment of $1.3 million over ten years for a non-competition agreement. (hat tip/ Allan Ross)

Residents of an Israeli-Arab village painted their mosque blue and white in honor of the Jewish state's 60th anniversary.

Breaking with many Israeli Arabs who have declared they will boycott next month's celebrations, residents of A-Taibe in the Gilboa region have painted the dome of their mosque in the national colors.

"We are citizens of the State of Israel," village elder Hisham Zouabi, explained to the daily newspaper Ma'ariv. "For us religion encourages us to bring nations together. The goal is simple: coexistence. A Jew who comes here should not feel that the place is hostile but like home."

A-Taibe has approximately 2,000 residents and reports excellent relations with nearby Jewish communities. (JTA)

Olmert and Abbas met Menday afternoon. I'm looking for independent confirmation, however, if, as speculates, Fatah and Hamas have reached an agreement, which would impact on how the PA will relate to negotiations with Israel. The report is at

Hagee: We don't tell Israelis what to do Christian Zionist rebuffs Reform rabbi's criticism over statements urging retention of W. Bank territory.