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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Netanyahu’s Choice for Ambassador to Italy Withdraws

Friday, May 13th, 2016

Israeli-Italian journalist and former Member of Parliament Fiamma Nirenstein, now living in Jerusalem, who was appointed by Prime Minister Netanyahu as ambassador to Italy, has withdrawn her candidacy. Nirenstein issued a statement this week saying she had informed Netanyahu she no longer sought the position. “I thank the prime minister for the trust he put in me. I would like to express my readiness to continue to contribute to the State of Israel as best I can,” she wrote.

Israeli media suggested Nirenstein gave up on her prestigious appointment in response to negative views by the Jewish community of Rome, who feared that Nirenstein, who only two years ago had served as an Italian MP, would cause charges of dual loyalty. Rome Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni said there may be problems, “Just read what’s already on the social networks about her dual citizenship.”

David Israel

Israel’s Material Well-Being and National Wealth Stats Up Across the Board

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Real national disposable income per capita in Israel has gone up by 1.7% in 2014 compared with the year before, reaching a level of 119% compared with the year 2000, Israel’s Central Board of Statistics announced on Wednesday.

In 2014, the government debt as a percentage of GDP (65%) was lower than that of France (85%), Spain (88%), the UK (94%), the US (98%), and Italy (127%). It was higher than Germany’s (48%), the Czech Republic (46%), Sweden (44%), Turkey (37%), Switzerland (21%), and Norway (17%).

Between the years 2008-2011 there was a moderate rise in net income inequality in Israel (according to the Gini coefficient, a.k.a. the Gini index or Gini ratio — a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, which is the most commonly used measure of inequality.) It was followed by a downward trend in the Gini index until 2013, but remains high in Israel, compared with other OECD countries — higher than the US, Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

In 2013, the net annual income per standard capita was 91,604 shekel ($24,283), a rise of 5% compared with the year before, in 2013 rates. The net annual reported income per standard capita in Jewish households was double the amount in Arab households.

In 2013, Israel’s household debt as a percentage of GDP (47%) was significantly lower than most other OECD countries, such as Spain (79%), France (63%), Germany (56%), and Italy (49%). It was still higher than that of Poland (35%), Slovakia (32%), and Hungary (31%).

58% of Israelis ages 20 and up were satisfied with their economic situation in 2014: 59% of men, 57% of women.

Israeli Jews were more satisfied than Israeli Arabs — 60% vs. 48% respectively.

JNi.Media

Italian Kickboxing Champion Denies Joining ISIS, Plotting to Blow Up Israeli Embassy, Vatican

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Kickboxing champion Abderrahim Moutaharrik, 28, who was arrested on Thursday with his wife, Salma Bencharki, 26, in Lombardy, northern Italy, for allegedly planning to flee Italy for Syria with their two children, ages 2 and 4, is insisting they were only planning to go to Syria to help the suffering children there, La Repubblica reported.

Moutaharrik also denied that he was planning an attack the Vatican and the Israeli embassy in Rome.

The couple was arrested as part of an investigation conducted by the Italian anti-terror squad and the Special Operations Group fighting organized crime. Police released pictures of Moutaharrik in his kickboxing kit and a keffiyeh, and a black shirt styled after the ISIS flag.

Talk about the fashion police…

“I saw images of children being tortured and I wanted to go to Syria to help the people and not to enrol with ISIS,” Moroccan born Moutaharrik told a magistrates at Milan’s San Vittore prison.

The couple’s lawyer told reporters his clients had “told the magistrates that they grew up in Italy and would never want to seriously hurt anyone.”

Did we say the accused is a kickboxing champion?

Arrest warrants were also issued Thursday against Alice (Aisha) Brignoli, 39, and her husband, Mohamed Koraich, who have allegedly left Italy a year ago to join ISIS in Syria. Koraich’s sister, Wafa, was arrested in the town of town of Baveno, Piedmont, and Abderrahmane Khachia, 23, a Moroccan, was arrested in Varese, Lombardy. Police say Khachia’s brother was a jihadist who died in Syria.

David Israel

Italy Hopes Netanyahu Will Reconsider Ambassadorial Choice for Rome

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has sent a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quietly asking him to reconsider his choice for Israel’s ambassador to Rome.

Last week, however, a senior Foreign Ministry official said the appointment of former Italian parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein, 71, has passed the Civil Service Commission.

Nirenstein was appointed to the post by Netanyahu last August. Sources in the Italian foreign ministry and Renzi’s office both said they do not wish to create a crisis over the issue, but they have expressed concern, according to a report published in Haaretz.

A right-wing member of the Italian parliament from 2008-2013, Nirenstein served as the deputy head of the foreign affairs committee after a career as a journalist. She moved to Israel three years ago, but her son still serves in a senior position in the Italian intelligence arena.

The Italian government has said it will not strongly oppose the appointment if Netanyahu insists. But the question of Nirenstein’s duality and her knowledge of sensitive Italian government information makes things awkward for Rome. As a former MP, she receives an Italian government pension and will continue to do so, even after becoming an Israeli ambassador.

In addition, there are concerns by the Italian Jewish community about the way her appointment might impact on their own lives. Might their fellow Italian citizens or government officials begin to question their own loyalty as a result of Nirenstein’s new role?

Hana Levi Julian

3 More Terrorists Charged in Brussels Airport, Metro Attacks

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Officials say three more terror suspects were charged in the Islamic State (ISIS) attacks on Zaventem Airport and the metro station near the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels last week.

Faycal Cheffou, the man in the light vest and dark hat seen in the airport CCTV video footage last week was arrested Thursday. The Belgian Federal Prosecutor’s Office said he was charged with “involvement in a terrorist group, terrorist murder and attempted terrorist murder,” according to Fox News. Belgian media said Cheffou was a local activist known to police as an agitator who tried to convert local homeless and asylum-seekers to radical Islam.

Two other suspects arrested Thursday, Raba N. and Aboubakar A., were both charged with “involvement in the activities of a terrorist group.”

On Sunday, police in Italy arrested an Algerian suspect in Bellizzi in the Salerno province, according to the ANSA Italian news agency.

The Algerian suspect is wanted by Belgian authorities on suspicion of producing fake residency documents linked to the Brussels Attacks, Italian National Police told CNN. In addition, he is also wanted in connection with the Nov. 13 terrorist massacre in Paris, police said in a statement on Twitter.

An American couple has been identified among the dead from last Tuesday’s attack in Brussels.

Justin and Stephanie Shults, ages 30 and 29 respectively, were missing since last Tuesday. Both were graduates of Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management. They were dropping off Stephanie’s mother at the airport when the bombers detonated their explosives. The mother emerged unscathed.

Officials revised the death toll from the Brussels attacks to 28, removing the bodies of the three suicide bombers from the count. Thus far, 24 of the victims have been identified by Brussels officials.

Hana Levi Julian

WikiLeaks Reveals American NSA Snooping on Netanyahu-Berlusconi Talks

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016

In 2010, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu placed a phone call to Italy’s President Silvio Berlusconi to ask for help in dealing with U.S. President Barack Obama over tensions regarding housing plans in Jerusalem. While Jerusalem’s line was secure, it is suspected that Netanyahu knew that the Italian’s line wasn’t secure and the Americans were probably listening in.

The call happened at one of the times when PM Netanyahu was receiving the silent treatment from President Obama and it appears Netanyahu used the tapped line to get his message across to the White House. which was otherwise refusing to communicate with him at all at that point.

On Monday night, the WikiLeaks website revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency was tapping the line and listening in to the entire conversation.

As a matter of fact, the NSA listened in on calls with three Italian officials, including the national security adviser and the president’s personal adviser.

“Netanyahu pleaded with Berlusconi to help him deal with Obama,” according to the website. The intercepted communication showed “Berlusconi promised to assist helping Israel in mending damaged relationship with the U.S.”

Here’s the original NSA text, unabridged, in the document released on the WikiLeaks website: (bold added for emphasis)

Italy Would Help Israel Mend Relations With U.S. (TS//SI//OC/REL TO USA, FVEY)

(TS//SI//OC/REL TO USA, FVEY) Israel has reached out to Europe, including Italy, for help in smoothing out the current rift in its relations with the United States, according to Italian diplomatic reporting of 13 March. Speaking with Italian Prime Minister (PM) Silvio Berlusconi, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu insisted that the trigger for the dispute–Israel’s decision to build 1,600 homes in contested East Jerusalem–was totally in keeping with national policy dating back to the administration of Golda Meir, and blamed this mishandling on a government official with poor political sensitivity. The objective now, Netanyahu said, is to keep the Palestinians from using this issue as a pretext to block a resumption of talks or to advance unrealistic claims that could risk sinking the peace negotiations altogether. Continuing, he asserted that the tension has only been heightened by the absence of direct contact between himself and the U.S. President. In response, Berlusconi promised to put Italy at Israel’s disposal in helping mend the latter’s ties with Washington. Other Israeli officials, meanwhile, believed that this tiff goes far beyond merely the question of the construction plans, marking instead the lowest point in U.S.-Israeli relations in memory.

Hana Levi Julian

Economic Cooperation Pact between Italian Region and Samaria Defies EU Labeling

Friday, November 20th, 2015

(JNi.media) Despite the EU’s decision to label products from the settlements in Judea and Samaria, an economic cooperation agreement has been signed Wednesday between the Valtellina valley in the Sondrio province in northern Italy and the Shomron Regional Council in Samaria, Walla reported. The signing ceremony, in the city of Sondrio, at the heart of the Valley, was attended by vintners from both regions.

Valtellina is home to 180 thousand inhabitants, the Shomron Council boasts 29 Jewish towns and villages, with an estimated 25 thousand residents. The ceremony was held by Shomron Council Chairman Yossi Dagan and Province of Sondrio President Luca della Briotta. The signing of the cooperation agreement was made possible with the mediation of the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Dr. Fiorello Provera MEP, formerly the president of Valtellina.

“With great pleasure, We, the undersigned, Regional Directors of Valtellina and Shomron respectively, announce our agreement for bilateral relations between our two regions, which will begin immediately with the signing of this agreement,” reads the pact. “The goal of this declaration of cooperation is to promote culture, science, industry, trade, tourism, agriculture and technology between leaders in each field in ​​our communities.”

After the signing, President della Briotta said “the friendship between the region of Valtellina and Samaria has lasted a long time, and we hope that this friendship will grow stronger, and will gain ground. I am convinced that these days the world needs to cooperate, and sign covenants of peace, so that in the end we will reach a true peace.”

The vintners from both regions said they were looking forward to cooperation in technical knowledge and marketing, despite the EU Commission’s decision, which seeks to limit them, Walla reported. Dr. Provera said, “I think the EU’s decision to boycott Israeli products is a mistake and it would hurt both industry and the common people, including thousands of Palestinian families who actually make their living from working for Israelis in these plants.” He said “it’s a decision that will affect the common people, not the rich.”

Sondrio-and-Samaria-pact

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/economic-cooperation-pact-between-italian-region-and-samaria-defies-eu-labeling/2015/11/20/

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