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Posts Tagged ‘conference’

Young Entrepreneurs from India, Brazil, and El Salvador Experience Israel for First Time

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Jerusalem – An international group of young entrepreneurs had a first-hand glimpse into Israel’s social activism and entrepreneurial ventures in a unique project last week.

Hailing from India, El Salvador, New Zealand, Brazil, and South Africa, the participants, ranging from their early 20s to 30s, with a background in entrepreneurial work, were part of an international conference called S.E.E. Israel (Social Entrepreneur Exchange).Organized by Jerusalem’s Hebrew University students as part of a StandWithUs public diplomacy training program, the conference connected the international visitors with young Israeli social innovators, enterprises and organizations.

The four-day conference featured lectures and meetings with experts on a variety of topics including informal education and solutions to universal problems facing civil societies as well as how to strengthen society’s weaker sectors. The participants also experienced on-site tours of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and even participated in a social activist project during their stay.

For Jithin C. Nedumala, 25, of Bangalore, India, and founder of Make A Difference (MAD), the largest youth volunteer network for Indian orphans and underprivileged children, the visit to Israel was an eye-opening experience.

“Being here, I understand Israel and Israelis as people much better. In India, our perception of Israel comes from the media and we always hear about the conflict, especially the flotilla incident. Israel is always presented as an oppressor from this perspective,” Nedumala told Tazpit News Agency.

“The first time I heard about the entrepreneurial side of Israel was when I read the book, Start-Up Nation, which got me interested in Israel in a different way,” Nedumala explained.

“I’m amazed by how informal everything is—you don’t feel any hierarchy and people generally let others be. Israelis even refer to the Prime Minister by his nickname—Bibi. In India, society is much more strict and formal,” Nedumala concluded.

Jithin was not the only participant who discovered another side to Israel. Polyana de Oliveira of San Paulo, Brazil did not anticipate the diversity of the country. “There are so many different types of people here from all backgrounds,” she said.

The 26-year-old Oliveira is bringing back to Brazil “a lot of ideas” for her own tourist destination company that she has launched for English speakers in Brazil, called My Destination. “I learned so much about social models during the conference and the fact that we all have similar issues and problems– and that there are creative ways to solve them.”

In addition, the international participants had the opportunity to directly interact with Israelis at the Jerusalem market, Mahane Yehuda which has over 250 vendors selling fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, fish, spices, wines and other goods. They joined Israeli volunteers from the organization, Gveret Im Salim, or Lady with Baskets, which was founded two years ago to help elderly citizens shop in the open market. Distinguished by yellow shirts, the volunteers, who network on Facebook, walk around every Thursday offering to carry heavy bags of goods of elderly people stocking up for the weekend Sabbath. In exchange for the help, the elderly shoppers, many of whom have come to depend on the extra help, share stories of their past with the younger helpers.

It was a chance for the international group of the S.E.E. Israel program to learn more about the Jerusalem lifestyle and converse with elderly Israeli locals who told them stories of growing up in the city.

Rodrigo Aguilar of El Salvador even had the chance to practice a little Hebrew at that the market, which he learned during the visit. “I felt almost Israeli, saying Shalom, Todah (thank you) and Yalla (hurry up),” he said with a smile.

Aguilar, 21, a university student in El Salvador, who has volunteered for A Roof For My Country, an NGO that builds basic homes for the impoverished, explained that he came to Israel to “to see how it really is here.”

“The coverage that Israel receives in my country is usually negative, so I have always done my own research into the conflict and Israel which was why I wasn’t too surprised by what I’ve experienced culturally throughout the trip.”

And Tatyana Kurbatoff, 31, from New Zealand, found the conference especially inspiring. “You can see that the early pioneer spirit is still alive in the entrepreneurial outlook among the Israelis we have met. This was a great opportunity for us to meet, share and learn about the value of social innovation against the fascinating cultural landscape of Israel.”

Egyptian President Morsi to Visit Iran

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

The Israeli site NRG reports that Muslim Brotherhood’s Egyptian President Morsi will be making a visit to Iran at the end of the month.

This is the first time an Egyptian president will be visiting Iran in more than 30 years, since the 1979 Iranian revolution.

Morsi will be participating in a conference in the Iranian capital.

Panetta: Iran Diplomacy Window Still Open, Israel Won’t Strike

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at the Pentagon news conference on Tuesday that he doesn’t believe that Israel has made a decision to attack Iran’s nuclear sites, adding that international sanctions are increasing pressure on Iran to make concessions, the Pentagon has announced.

Negotiations with Iran have stalled, with the latter still refusing to give the global powers access to all its nuclear facilities. Led by the European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, the global powers are looking signs of movement from Iran on the access issue, before starting a new round of high-level talks.

“From our point of view, the window is still open to try to work toward a diplomatic solution,” Panetta said.

Israeli officials have been saying time is running out on its ability to bomb Iran’s facilities before they begin to produce nuclear weapons. Defense Minister Barak has said that Iran is approaching within months a “zone of immunity.”

The Fordo enrichment facility, located deep under a mountain near the holy city of Qom, will be difficult to destroy with the weapons.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said at the press conference that, based on his review of Israel’s military arsenal, an Israeli strike “could delay but not destroy Iran’s nuclear capabilities.”

Israel’s arsenal includes non-stealth F-16 and F-15 fighter jets and an unspecified number of large, deep-penetrating GBU-28, 5,000-pound bunker-buster bombs.

Early this week, Netanyahu said that the Iranian threat “dwarfs” all others. On the same day, Israel’s Home Front Command announced it was testing a nationwide text-messaging system to alert the public to incoming missiles.

According to an Aug. 12 Dialog Institute poll, 46 percent of Israelis now oppose a strike on Iran without U.S. support, down from 58 percent in March. An August 10 Ma’ariv poll found that 35 percent of Israelis believe that Israel should attack Iran alone if necessary, compared with 19 percent in a July 20 poll.

Jacques Rogge: Impartial to a Fault

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

This picture of IOC president Jacques Rogge—who refused to permit the minute of silence in commemoration of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Palestinian thugs in Munich—was published by Forbes in November of 2011. The caption below reads:

President of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge pauses during a press conference in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2010. Rogge on Tuesday expressed concern over “obstacles” facing Palestinian athletes, and in veiled criticism of Israel said athletes should be granted free movement regardless of politics.

They also shouldn’t be murdered in their dorms at the Olympic village, if at all possible.

Rock Throwing and Israeli Sovereignty

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Friend and colleague Baruch Widen joins Yishai. They talk about Yishai’s recent experience with being assaulted by Arab youths that threw rocks towards Yishai and his family.  Because of the assault, Yishai missed a conference that took place in Hebron where alternatives to the two-state solution were discussed.  Widen talks about the environment of the conference and some of the ideas that were discussed.  They move on to talk about how Israeli sovereignty needs to be extended across Judea and Samaria and at 20:30 Yishai presents a piece of the speech that American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave in Jerusalem this week.  They wrap up by providing commentary to Clinton’s time in Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Hillary Clinton: Jonathan Pollard Will Not Go Free

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

During a press conference on Monday evening in Jerusalem, a reporter for Channel 2 News in Israel asked the Secretary of State about Jonathan Pollard and if he might be released. Clinton went into a long background on Jonathan Pollard being arrested for spying and concluded that Pollard will not go free.

A full report on the press conference will appear in tomorrow’s edition.

 

Partial Transcript:

Q. On the matter of Jonathan Pollard, we’ve been here for a long time. Don’t you think it’s a matter of justice and even a humanitarian issue that after almost 27 years in jail he should be released?

A. With respect to Mr. Pollard, he was, as you know, convicted of spying in 1987. He was sentenced to life in prison. He is serving that sentence, and I do not have any expectation that that is going to change.

UN Watch: Iran Elected to UN Arms Trade Treaty Post

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Iran was elected to a top post on the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference, UN Watch revealed on Sunday. The Geneva-based human rights group is calling on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day, to condemn the selection of the Tehran regime.

“Right after a UN Security Council report found Iran guilty of illegally transferring guns and bombs to Syria, which is now murdering thousands of its own people, it defies logic, morality and common sense for the UN to now elect this same regime to a global post regulating the transfer of guns and bombs,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a non-governmental monitoring group based in Geneva.

“This is like choosing Bernie Madoff to police fraud on the stock market. And the U.N.’s scandalous choice of Iran is exactly why we fear that Syria’s declared bid for a U.N. Human Rights Council seat is not impossible.”

Although the U.N. conference website and summary fail to name the 15 members elected to the bureau on July 3rd, UN Watch has discovered that the countries elected to the five regional groups include Iran, Japan, and South Korea for the Asian group; Kenya, Egypt and Nigeria for Africa; Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Ukraine for Eastern Europe; Australia, Netherlands and Switzerland for the Western Europe & Others Group; and Mexico and two others for Latin America.

The United Nations Conference on the Arms Trade Treaty, which opened last week and runs until July 27, promises to deliver a new agreement to regulate the transfer of arms.

UN Watch called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who addressed the conference on the same day as the election, to condemn the decision to give Iran a position of responsibility in regulating the arms trade.

“He should remind the conference that the Security Council has imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran for refusing to halt its probited nuclear program, and that Iran continues to defy the international community through illegal arms shipments to the murderous Assad regime,” said Neuer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-watch-iran-elected-to-un-arms-trade-treaty-post/2012/07/09/

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