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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Iranians Caught With Fake Israeli Passports

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Israeli intelligence agencies were updated during Yom Kippur that three Iranian citizens were caught in Italy with fake Israeli passports.

They were deported via Serbia to Turkey, according to a report Wednesday night broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 television news.

Security agencies are investigating the history of the trio to see whether any of the three have carried out terror attacks against Israeli targets in the international arena.

Hana Levi Julian

Archaeologists Restore Second Temple Courtyard Flooring with Help from Mathematician

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Archaeologists from the Jerusalem-based Temple Mount Sifting Project are confident that they have successfully restored a unique architectural element of the Second Temple: a series of regally decorated floor tiles that adorned the porticos atop the Temple Mount, which were likely featured prominently in the courtyards of the Second Temple during the rule of King Herod in Jerusalem (37 to 4 BCE).

Frankie Snyder, a member of the Temple Mount Sifting Project’s team of researchers and an expert on ancient Herodian style flooring, said he succeeded in restoring the ornate tile patterns “using geometric principles, and through similarities found in tile design used by Herod at other sites.” Snyder, who has an academic background in both mathematics and Judaic Studies, explained that “this type of flooring, called ‘opus sectile,’ Latin for ‘cut work,’ is very expensive and was considered to be far more prestigious than mosaic tiled floors.”

Assortment of Herodian floor tiles / Courtesy City of David

Assortment of Herodian floor tiles / Courtesy City of David

“So far, we have succeeded in restoring seven potential designs of the majestic flooring that decorated the buildings of the Temple Mount,” said Snyder, who noted that there were no opus sectile floors in Israel prior to the time of King Herod. “The tile segments were perfectly inlaid such that one could not even insert a sharp blade between them.”

“It enables us to get an idea of the Temple’s incredible splendor,” said Dr. Gabriel Barkay, co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project. The restored tiles will be presented to the general public on September 8, at the 17th Annual City of David Archaeological Conference.

Zigzag Module, Herodian floor tiles / Courtesy City of David

Zigzag Module, Herodian floor tiles / Courtesy City of David

“This represents the first time archaeologists have been able to successfully restore an element from the Herodian Second Temple complex,” said co-founder and director of the Temple Mount Sifting Project Zachi Dvira.

The Temple Mount Sifting Project was established in response to the illegal removal of tons of antiquities-rich earth from the Temple Mount by the Islamic Waqf in 1999. It is located in the Tzurim Valley National Park, and is supported by the City of David Foundation and the Israel Archaeology Foundation. The initiative is run under the auspices of Bar-Ilan University and the Israel Parks & Nature Authority.

To date, approximately 600 colored stone floor tile segments have been uncovered, with more than 100 of them definitively dated to the Herodian Second Temple period. This style of flooring is consistent with those found in Herod’s palaces at Masada, Herodian, and Jericho, as well as in majestic palaces and villas in Italy, also attributed to the time of Herod. The tile segments, mostly imported from Rome, Asia Minor, Tunisia, and Egypt, were created from polished, multicolored stones cut in a variety of geometric shapes. A key characteristic of the Herodian tiles is their size, which corresponds to the Roman measurement of one foot, approximately 29.6 cm.

Herodian floor tiles Opus Collection / Courtesy City of David

Herodian floor tiles Opus Collection / Courtesy City of David

The possibility that large expanses of the Temple Mount during the Second Temple were covered with opus sectile flooring was first raised by archaeologist and director of the Jerusalem Walls National Park with the Israel Nature and Parks Authority Assaf Avraham in 2007.

Avraham’s theory was based on a description given by the Romano-Jewish historian Josephus (1st Century CE) who wrote, “… the uncovered [Temple Mount courtyard] was completely paved with stones of various types and colors…” (The Jewish War 5:2). Additionally, Talmudic literature records the magnificent construction of the Temple Mount, describing rows of marble in different colors — green, blue and white.

“Now, as a result of Frankie Snyder’s mathematical skills, we have succeeded in recreating the actual tile patterns,” said Dr. Barkay, stressing that “this represents the first time that we can see with our own eyes the splendor of the flooring that decorated the Second Temple and its annexes 2,000 years ago.”

Barkay related that in describing the Temple that Herod built, “the Talmud says that ‘Whoever has not seen Herod’s building has not seen a beautiful building in his life,'” so that although our generation has not yet merited to see the Temple in its glory, “with the discovery and restoration of these unique floor tiles we are now able to have a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Second Temple, even through this one distinctive characteristic.”

Since the Temple Mount Sifting Project’s inception in 2004, more than 200,000 volunteers from around the world have taken part in the sifting, representing an unprecedented phenomenon in the realm of archaeological research.


Peres Interrupts Busy Schedule to Receive Pace Maker

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Former president Shimon Peres is expected to undergo surgery to implant a pace maker Monday. Peres, 93, who suffered a mild heart attack three months ago, which was followed with catheterization, will undergo the procedure at Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, with partial anesthesia.

Peres continued his full schedule prior to Monday’s procedure and over the weekend participated in an economic conference on Lake Como, Italy, where he shared a panel with Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal and Wu Hongbo, Under-Secretary-General of the UN. They discussed for two and a half days global risks and their impact on business, as well as the future of the Euro. Prince Al-Faisal, a member of the Saudi royal family, talked about political risks in the Arab region.

A few years ago, Prince Al Faisal told the Daily Mail that Saudi Arabia may have to arm itself with nuclear weapons to counter threats from Iran and Israel. In 1956, Shimon Peres, in his role as Director-General of the Ministry of Defense, was responsible for acquiring a French nuclear reactor that launched Israel’s atomic program.

Small world.

Incidentally, last January, when the former president was rushed to Sheba Medical Center after complaining of chest pains, he had to cancel one of the items on his busy schedule: a visit to the Soreq Nuclear Research Center.


Hebrew University Launching Israel’s First Wine Making Course

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

In recent years, Israel has experienced significant maturation in its wine industry and a surging local and international demand for its outstanding wines. In response to the growing need for skills and professionalism in the industry, the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has opened Israel’s first academic degree program in wine: the International MSc in Viticulture and Enology. The four-semester MSc program begins on March 2, 2017.

Students will gain knowledge and skills at an academic level, consistent with leading programs in other wine-producing countries such as France, the United States and Australia, with special emphasis on the Israeli industry. Upon completion, the students will earn a world-recognized MSc degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. This is the first MSc level degree in viticulture and enology to be approved by the National Council for Higher Education (CHE) in Israel.

Program leader Prof. Zohar Kerem said: “Following the success of Israel’s wine industry, I’m excited to open a program that puts Israeli research and academia on the international map of winemaking. The program covers topics of a spectrum similar to programs around the world, and has been tailored to fit Israel’s dry conditions. The program is innovative and unique, and the participants will receive training and guidance from leading academics and professionals.

“The program will provide students from around the world an opportunity to obtain a practical Master’s of Science degree, in a fascinating industry that started here 5000 years ago, from one of the world’s top 100 universities. This will be a great opportunity to meet people from around the world, to form an international network, and to taste and produce some delicious wines,” added Prof. Kerem.

Heading the program, and chairman of its academic committee, is Prof. Zohar Kerem, an Associate Professor at the Robert H. Smith Faculty and a world-renowned researcher in food chemistry, wine quality and olive oil. The program’s professional coordinator is Mr. Yotam Sharon, a postgraduate with honors in Enology from the University of Montpellier in France, an MSc graduate of the Smith Faculty, and a leading winemaker at one of Israel’s premier wineries. Other distinguished members of the teaching staff are Prof. Ben-Ami Bravdo, Prof. Oded Shoseyov and Dr. Ron Shapira. Esteemed guest lecturers from abroad will teach various topics.

The MSc is an 18-month academic program that spans four semesters, with classes held two full days per week on Thursdays and Fridays. The program includes theory; practice in a wine-tasting room on the Smith Faculty campus; an internship in cooperation with Soreq Winery, one of Israel’s leading wine producers; and a workshop to be held in Italy or France. Study subjects include:

—The Vineyard: Planning and cultivating; design; grapevine stocks and types; plot preparation; propagation; planting; trellising; pruning; irrigation; fertilization; mechanization; grape quality treatments.

—Wine Production: Equipment and winery management; micro-vinification; chemistry and stability; microbiology; distillation technology; fermentation science.

—Analysis of grape juice and wine: Biosynthesis of taste and odor factors; sensory evaluation of types of wine and defects in wine; sensory evaluation of wines from Israel and the world.

—Additional Courses: Economics, management and marketing in the wine industry; wine workshop and reading seminar in grapevine and wine production (to be conducted abroad).

Candidates must have a full BSc degree from a recognized institution in a related field, such as biology, chemistry or agriculture. Candidates whose background is lacking in specific subjects will be required to complete an individualized Preparatory Program either before or in conjunction with the beginning of the Enology program.

For more information, visit the Hebrew U Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Environment website, or write or call Mrs. Rakefet Kalev, rakefetk@savion.huji.ac.il, +972-8-9489991

David Israel

Final Lavi Trainer Aircraft Delivered to Israel

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

By Tzvi Lev/TPS

Hatzerim (TPS) – The final three Lavi M-346 trainer aircraft were presented to Israel at an official ceremony marking the completion of a procurement deal between Israel and Italy.

“I can’t remember a deal of this size that was completed without delays and with so much appreciation,” said Defense Ministry Deputy Director General Shmuel Tzuker. “The Lavi contract opened opportunities for deals between Israeli, American, and Italian industries. The Israeli Air Force is now the world’s largest user of the M-346 aircraft and we love it and believe in it.”

The ceremony was held at Hatzerim Air Force Base near Beer Sheva and was attended by both Israeli and Italian officials, including Defense Ministry Director General Udi Adam and Mauro Moretti, the creator of the plane.

Israel had signed an agreement with Italy in 2012 to the tune of NIS 4 billion that would provide Israel with 30 planes. The first plane arrived in 2014 and the rest were delivered at a rate of 1.5 planes a month.

Italy also committed to buying a substantial amount of Israeli defense products as part of the deal.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Qatar Shopping in Italy for $6.2 Billion Worth of Naval Defense

Friday, July 1st, 2016

MBDA Italia secured a contract to provide $1.1 billion worth of missiles for Qatar’s new naval vessels. These missiles include the Aster 30 Block 1, VL MICA air defense missiles and Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles.

A short while ago, Qatar agreed to a $5.1 billion purchase of seven naval vessels from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard, which include four corvettes, one landing platform dock, and two offshore patrol vessels.

David Israel

PM Netanyahu Explains His Turkey Deal While Visiting in Rome

Monday, June 27th, 2016

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Monday, 27 June 2016), issued the following statement at his press conference in Rome:

“Israel has reached an agreement of strategic importance for the State of Israel, for security, for regional stability and for the Israeli economy. As Prime Minister of Israel, it is my responsibility to be concerned with its strategic interests, to take a broad and long-term view, based on an understanding of the international arena as well as of our security and economic needs, at present and in the future.

Last night and this morning, I spoke with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Last night I spoke with US Vice President Joe Biden and have spoken just now with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Of course, they all welcomed the agreement. They think that it will greatly strengthen the State of Israel and its position in the region. Of course, the US says this based on that same strong and fundamental alliance that is a cornerstone of our international relations. But we know that we need to add centers of stability. The world and the Middle East are in turmoil and my policy is to create centers of stability in this unstable and stormy region.

We are doing so with our close neighbors, Arab countries. We are doing so with Greece and Cyprus. We are doing so with Russia. We are also doing so with Turkey. Of course, we are doing all of this in full coordination with our greatest ally, the United States. This is part of a clear strategy, to create centers of stability in the stormy Middle East. Now, Israel and Turkey are two major powers in the region and the break between us is not good for our vital interests and prevents us from cooperating in those instances, and there are more than a few, in which cooperation is warranted.

The first thing in this agreement is protection for IDF commanders and soldiers from criminal and civil claims, both those being prosecuted now and those that might be prosecuted in the future. As of now there are very many such claims and their scope is increasing; they could reach many millions of dollars and prevent the free movement of our soldiers, their freedom of activity – all of this is cancelled. The agreement will ensure that our soldiers and commanders will not be exposed to claims by Turkey. Moreover, the agreement also stipulates that the Turkish parliament will pass a law cancelling all of these processes in Turkey.

The second thing that this agreement gives is maintaining the maritime security blockade of the Gaza Strip. This is our supreme security interest; I was not prepared to compromise on it. This interest is vital to prevent the strengthening of Hamas and it remains as it has been. Of course, we are allowing ships to dock at Ashdod port and unload civilian and humanitarian cargoes there for the Gaza Strip. We have never prevented this, of course, and we are making it possible now.

The third thing that this agreement does, along with maintaining the security arrangement, is to allow for dealing with humanitarian issues in the Gaza Strip, subject to Israel’s security procedures and considerations. I would like to explain that beyond the humanitarian consideration, this is also an outstanding interest of Israel’s, especially in two areas – water and electricity. Water: When there is not enough water in Gaza, and Gaza is in the process of gradually drying up, the aquifers become polluted and when the aquifers become polluted, this is not limited to the Gaza side of the aquifer but also passes over to the aquifer on our side. Therefore, it is in Israel’s clear interest to deal with the water problem in the Gaza Strip. Electricity: When there is not enough electricity, various problems arise, including those having to do with sanitation, and when there are outbreaks, the outbreaks do not stop at the fences. This is both a humanitarian interest and an outstanding Israeli interest. Therefore, we are allowing these infrastructures to be dealt with. Just like other countries, from Norway to Arab states, so too will Turkey be able to help on this matter. Of course, we will hold discussions with Turkey on these issues.

An additional thing that the agreement gives is a commitment to prevent all terrorist or military activity against Israel from Turkish soil, including collecting funds for these purposes. This is an important – even primary – commitment that we have not had up until now.

In addition, we received a letter according to which the President of Turkey has instructed the relevant Turkish agencies to assist in every way in returning the prisoners and MIAs on a humanitarian basis. I understand the suffering of the families. I speak with them and I know what they are going through, and I would like to assure them: I promise you, members of the families, I promise you that we will not stop and we will not rest until we bring the boys back home. This is a personal, national and moral commitment. I think that the letter which accompanies the agreement gives us another tool to use in this holy work.

Also, this agreement requires Turkey to assist Israel in entering into all international organizations that Turkey is a member of. Now, we have already had one case before the signing which is very important from our point-of-view and it is based on goodwill, and this is Turkey dropping its opposition to Israel establishing a NATO office. Israel is now working to open an office with NATO; this has been a goal of ours for many years and it is being realized.

I would like to touch on an additional point, which I think is critical, and this is in the economic sphere. This agreement opens the way to cooperation on economic and energy matters, including the gas issue. Gas is so important and contains the possibility of strengthening the Israeli economy and state coffers with vast capital. But the gas issue is composed of several things: One, extracting it from the sea and we have dealt with this; I will not go into detail on this issue here. But the second thing is creating markets for the gas that we are extracting from the sea. I remind you that 60% of every shekel that comes out of the sea goes to the state treasury. These are vast sums but we need markets. Leviathan could supply both the Egyptian market that we intend to work with and also the Turkish market as well as the supply of gas through Turkey to Europe, and this is a strategic issue for the State of Israel. This could not have come sooner without this agreement and now we will work to advance it.

I updated the leaders of Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece, Russia and, of course, our American friends, on this development. We updated them on every aspect that we focused on in this agreement. This took a lot of time, including recently. But I would like to update you on something: There are two people here who worked very hard on this matter. I would like to thank Yaakov Nagal from the National Security Council, who did very loyal – and I must say quiet – work. I would also like to thank someone who, not for the first time, has aided the State of Israel, and he has done exceptional work, Yossi Ciechanover. Yossi did marvelous work dealing with the Palmer report in wake of the Marmara incident. He dealt with it, the results are known, one of the few cases in which Israel came out on top in a UN report, and this was greatly due to Yossi. Yossi worked diligently on this agreement and I want to offer him the heartfelt gratitude of the citizens of the State of Israel. Thank you to you both.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahus-statement-at-his-press-conference-in-rome/2016/06/27/

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