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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Austria’

Israel Will Not Sign On to US Regulation of Israeli Drone Exports

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

Israel is refusing to sign a document on drone usage which is being circulated by the US State Department, with guidelines on the use and export of armed drones, Haaretz reported Sunday. The one-page document covers international legal standards, oversight of exports, and transparency.

So far, the documents has been signed by more than 40 governments, including Austria, Germany and Italy, but Israel appears to be a stubborn holdout.

The State Department unveiled back in March of 2015 its policy permitting US companies to export military and commercial drones, including armed systems like the Predator and Reaper to US allies. According to a Defense News report last August, the State Department is now asking countries to sign onto a set of international norms for the sale and use of armed unmanned systems, adding that top agency officials held meetings with delegates from several countries at the Arms Trade Treaty conference in Geneva on the subject.

According to DN, the document offers five key principles of international norms, including applying International law and human rights when using the armed drones; following existing arms control laws in selling armed drone systems; considering the buyer country’s history on “adherence to international obligations and commitments”; following “appropriate transparency measures”; and ensuring that the sold unmanned system’s capabilities “are transferred and used responsibly by all States.”

Sources in Israel’s defense industry have told Ha’aretz they think the American document could limit their export business, and, in fact, constitutes yet another American attempt to damage Israeli exports. They cite another US move in admitting India to the multilateral Missile Technology Control Regime, this removing barriers to the sale of American drones to India. Shortly thereafter, India went shopping for the US made Predador drone over its Israeli competitors. Ha’aretz reported earlier about a lawsuit by an American company, General Atomics, trying to block Israel from leasing the Heron TP drone to Germany. Slowly but surely, these and other American companies have been encroaching on a field where in the past Israeli products ruled.

A senior Israeli Air Force official told Ha’aretz that the one advantage the Israeli drones still possess is the promise to potential buyers to train with Israel’s drone squadron, because the Israel Air Force is considered the world’s expert in the use of drones.

JNi.Media

Austria Backpedals on Demolition of Hitler’s Birth House

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

An Austrian government committee has backtracked on demolishing the house in which Adolf Hitler was born, and now instead says the building will remodeled.

Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka revised his remarks of the day before in which he told Die Presse the house would be “torn down,” telling media the building in the western town of Braunau au Inn “will not be recognizable.”

Several members of the committee said when discussing the future of the building that demolition might destroy the structure but would not end the fascination of the site for neo-Nazis and other Hitler admirers. Moreover, it would give the impression that Austria was trying to erase its history, rather than rectify it.

The three-story structure contains an apartment where Hitler was born. Nazi sympathizers from around the world converge before the 800-square meter property, which belongs to local resident Gerlinde Pommer, every year on Hitler’s birthday. The government has tried to purchase the property from Pommer, who has refused to sell, but in July legislation was approved by the government to finally seize the house and simply compensate her. The bill was to be debated Tuesday in the parliament.

Meanwhile, the government committee has suggested a “profound architectural redesign” — Sobotka’s interpretation had been the destruction of any “semblance” to the current structure, “especially its outer appearance.” Regardless, the committee report reflects opposition to leaving “an empty space instead of a building… A complete transformation or removal of the building is in principle suited to erase the place’s ideological connotation and dissolve the emotional ties with Hitler. But … a historical contextualization remains necessary,” the report said.

Hana Levi Julian

Hitler’s Childhood Home to be Demolished by Austrian Government

Monday, October 17th, 2016

The home where Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 is to be demolished, pending passage of a law to legally ensure its destruction because the owner of the house was refusing to sell – or demolish – it. The same family has owned the property for more than a century, although the Nazi regime bought the house and used it during the reign of the Third Reich. It was returned to the owner’s family in 1952.

Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said a committee of experts ruled in favor of demolition of the former guest house, according to a report in Die Presse, a German-language Austrian newspaper. “A thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building,” Sobbotka said.

The structure, located in the western town of Braunau, will be replaced instead with a new building to be used for administrative or charitable purposes, the paper reported.

There has been discussion for some time over whether to demolish the building, or simply renovate it to change its use. However, the Austrian government wants to block the structure from becoming a pilgrimage destination for neo-Nazis. The building has been empty since 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Among Top Five Countries on WHO 2015 Life Expectancy Chart

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Only 22 countries around the globe have reached an average life expectancy at birth greater than 80 years, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, which would suggest that if one is planning to retire abroad, one should consider those countries most seriously.

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Global life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), ranging from 60.0 years in the WHO African Region to 76.8 years in the WHO European Region, giving a ratio of 1.3 between the two regions. Women live longer than men all around the world. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.5 years in 1990 and had remained almost the same by 2015 (4.6).

Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic, and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 2000-2015 increase was greatest in the WHO African Region, where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV.

As to the friendly global race of whose citizens get to live longer, the top countries are, in descending order: Japan – 83.7, Switzerland – 83.4, Singapore – 83.1, Italy – 82.7, and Israel – 82.5. The US did not make the 80+ club in 2015, with only 79.3 years’ life expectancy. Neither did the Russian Federation – 70.5.

Israel’s neighbors are definitely not ideal locations for retirement: Egypt – 70.9, Jordan – 74.1, Lebanon – 74.9, and Syria – 64.5 (if you’re lucky). Nigeria stands out with 54.5 life expectancy, along with Angola – 52.4, Burkina Faso – 59.9, Burundi – 59.6, Cameroon – 57.3, Central African Republic – 52.5, Chad – 53.1, Guinea – 59, and Guinea-Bissau – 58.9.

So, here is the list of world countries where you’ll get to grow older than 80, barring unexpected circumstances:

Japan – 83.7
Switzerland – 83.4
Singapore – 83.1
Italy – 82.7
Israel – 82.5
France – 82.4
Sweden – 82.4
Canada – 82.2
Luxembourg – 82
Netherlands – 81.9
Norway – 81.8
Malta – 81.7
New Zealand – 81.6
Austria – 81.5
Belgium – 81.1
Finland – 81.1
Germany – 81
Denmark – 80.6
Chile – 80.5
Cyprus – 80.5

JNi.Media

Israel, Austria Celebrate 60 years of Diplomacy

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Austrian Ambassador to Israel Martin Weiss tweeted his thanks for an evening at the Israel Museum celebrating 60 years of Austrian-Israeli relations. The evening event featured a speech by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who began the week in Jerusalem, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel Ambassador to Austria Talya Lador was present Sunday to greet the foreign minister upon his arrival in the country. For his part, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met this week with a group of young Austrians. “We really appreciate that you took the time!” tweeted Ambassador Weiss.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with a delegation of young Austrians.

Kurz took time Monday to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum, and spoke with Austrian Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem. He tied up the day by laying a wreath in a memorial ceremony at the Mount Herzl military ceremony in the capital.

Netanyahu and Kurz also met to sign a “working-holiday agreement” that provides easy access for the young to work in each others’ country,” Weiss said.

Kurz also met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah during the day on Monday as well.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu, Austrian FM Discuss Israel-Palestinian Authority Peace Talks

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a memorandum of understanding Monday with Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz on educational and cultural issues.

During their meeting in Jerusalem, Netanyahu underlined the importance of direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He noted the rising threat of radical Islam and its implications both for Israel and Europe, according to a spokesperson for the Prime Minister’s Office.

The two leaders also signed a work and holiday visa agreement.

Hana Levi Julian

Anti-Semitism in Austria ‘Highest in Years’

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A Jewish organization in Vienna says anti-Semitism in Austria is at its highest level in years.

The group representing the Jewish community is an NGO (non-governmental organization) called the Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde, or IKG.

Data presented to the IKG by a second group, the Forum Against Anti-Semitism (Forum gegen Antisemitismus) indicates last year there were 465 incidents involving anti-Semitism, as compared to 255 such incidents in 2014 – an 82 percent rise.

In 2015, nearly half of the incidents involved Islamic anti-Semitism online (205 cases), according to IKG President Oskar Deutsch. There were 85 anti-Semitic incidents online in 2014.

Around 15,000 Jews live in Austria.

“There is an increasing concern in our community that – if the proportion of Muslims in Austria continues to rise due to immigration, due to the refugees – this could become problematic for us,” IKG secretary-general Raimund Fastenbauer told the European Jewish Press.

The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has urged the European Union and its member states to increase efforts to combat widespread anti-Semitic cyber hate.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz reacted to the report by affirming, “Jewish life must be protected in Austria. It is the duty of the state to make Jewish people in Austria feel secure; that is for us as Austria a great responsibility.”

However, Sebastian did not outline any concrete plan to address the issue, nor did he offer any suggestion to the Jewish community on how to mitigate the threat.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-semitism-in-austria-highest-in-years/2016/04/12/

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