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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jerusalem’

Netanyahu, Luxembourg PM Bettel Meet In Jerusalem

Monday, September 12th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his Luxembourg counterpart Xavier Bettel toasted strong diplomatic ties between the two countries Monday and pledged to build on an already strong economic relationship.

“We are friends, Luxembourg and Israel, and our bilateral relations are excellent on the political level but also on the business level,” said Bettel. “We have a big economic delegation that is currently in discussions with its counterparts here in Israel.”

Bettel’s visit follows a 2015 trade mission from Luxembourg to Israel focusing on the finance, logistics, automotive components and clean technology sectors. This summer, a delegation of Israeli financial technology (fintech) companies reciprocated with a week-long visit to the European country.

“Trade between Luxembourg and Israel nearly doubled from 2014 to 2015. There is still a large potential but I’m also happy that we opened a Trade and Investment Office here in Israel in 2010,” Bettel added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the bilateral relationship between Israel and Luxembourg demonstrates a unique ability for small countries to assume leadership roles in the field of innovation.

“Israel and Luxembourg are two small countries but we’ve shown that two small countries shouldn’t be judged by our size,” said Netanyahu. “Innovation is the key to economic growth, to turn the promise of tomorrow’s technologies to better the lives of our peoples and I think for the peoples around the world,” the Israeli prime minister added.

Prime Minister Bettel said an additional focus of his visit to Israel is the field of education. He will visit the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to sign an agreement between universities to strengthen cooperation on the academic and student levels.

Jerusalem’s ties with Luxembourg have not always run smoothly. A significant portion of the European country’s population collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II, and did not offer an official apology until June 2015.

“I’m very happy that my Government, 70 years later, apologized to the Jewish community by saying that we were not all heroes in my country,” said Luxembourg’s Prime Minister. “It’s never too late to recognize mistakes, but the biggest mistake is not to recognize mistakes.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged the apology, saying, “I expressed my appreciation for the forthright position that you took in Luxembourg regarding the events there during the Second World War. Your apology to the Jewish community was [also] deeply appreciated,” Netanyahu told Bettel.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem Iranian Synagogue Defaced with Crosses

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Jerusalem Police received a report overnight Monday about crosses that were spray painted in black on the front wall and windows of the Koresh synagogue run by Iranian Jews at 34 Yossi Ben Yoezer Street in the Katamon section of Jerusalem. Police investigators and a forensic team arrived at the site.

The synagogue, named Koresh – Mishkan Shalom l’yotzei Iran (Cyrus – abode of peace for Iranian newcomers), is named after the Persian king who allowed Babylonian Jews to return to Israel after the first Exile.

The Iranian Jewish community maintains a close relationship with its brethren in Israel, as part of a tradition that began with the Babylonian exile, when the Jewish community of Iranian started to send a messenger to Israel, to check whether the Jews had started to return to the Land of Israel in order for them to also come back. Israeli Jews of Iranian descent also have a deep connection to Iran, and many continue to use Farsi.

According to a BBC report, Israel Radio broadcasts daily to Iran in Farsi. Twice a week Menashe Amir, a Persian Israeli, hosts a talk show with callers from Iran, the vast majority of whom are Muslim. The show attracts two to six million listeners every day from a country where the Jewish community is estimated at 20,000.

“I would say if 10 people are calling us from Iran, only one is talking about destroying Israel or death to Israel,” Amir told the BBC back in 2007. The Iranian callers aren’t allowed to call Israel directly, and they phone a number in Germany from which they are patched through to the Jerusalem studio.

David Israel

Commuter Alert: 3 Tel Aviv Train Stations Close for 8 Days

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Israel Railways has announced that for the next eight days, three of the four main Tel Aviv train stations will be closed for business in order to carry out infrastructure work.

The work is being carried out in order to prepare for the new fast rail line between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which is hopefully set to begin operations in two more years.

But this week’s closure, meanwhile, is only adding to the already congested situation on the railway line that links Tel Aviv with the rest of the country, so here’s all the info you ever wanted to know about which trains are running where, when and how.

* * *

All of the Tel Aviv stations except Haganah will be closed down from Monday, Sept. 19 until Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 05:00 am. These include Hashalom, Savidor Central and University stations.

Changes that will be made to the remaining, reduced operating lines include the following:

Trains SOUTH OF TEL AVIV: These will end at Haganah station.

Trains NORTH OF TEL AVIV: These will end at Herzliya.

Suburban lines: Trains from Binyamina will operate to and from Herzliya.

There will be no Tel Aviv-Haifa express trains. There will, however, be a special express train bypassing Tel Aviv, between Be’er Sheva and Nahariya, and trains between Binyamina and Hod Hasharon.

Night trains between Nahariya and Ben Gurion International Airport will also operate to and from Herzliya.

The Herzliya-Jerusalem (Malha) line will operate between Beit Shemesh and Lod only, according to the Globes business news website.

There will also be special shuttle bus service to replace those trains that are not running during the infrastructure work, and existing bus service will run more frequently.

“We are aware of the inconvenience caused by these works, and are acting together with the Ministry of Transport to provide travel alternatives,” Israel Railways CEO Boaz Tsafrir told Globes.

Hana Levi Julian

Mayor Barkat Thanks Czech Government For Refuting ‘Palestinian Lies’ on Jerusalem

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat praised the Czech government on Wednesday for reversing a decision last week by its Education Ministry to require the removal of any reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in educational books. Barkat called the decision a victory against Palestinian incitement and lies against Israel.

“Truth has overcome lies,” said Barkat. “Future generations of Czech students will continue to learn the truth: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

Last week, the Education Ministry in Prague ordered the Shocart publishing company to erase references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after Palestinian Authority ambassador to the Czech Republic Khaled al-Atrash complained that Shocart school atlases referred to the city as the Jewish state’s capital.

“The atlas says something that is unacceptable not only for the Palestinians but also according to international law and the official position of the European Union, including the Czech Republic,” argued al-Atrash.

Irena Valentova, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, initially told local media that the country does not consider “east Jerusalem” to be Israeli territory.

“The EU member countries, including the Czech Republic, view Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine,” Valentova said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the short-lived policy, saying the Palestinian Authority is “no longer satisfied with poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth. Now it wants to spread lies and misinformation among Czech youth as well.”

Sunday, Barkat added his voice to the protest, asking Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to reverse the decision.

“ Just as Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, so too is Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel,” Barkat wrote. “Future generations of Czech students deserve nothing less than the truth: Jerusalem’s rightful place as the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people, cannot and should not, be denied,” Barkat continued.

By Tuesday, Education Minister Valentova had reversed the decision, saying “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital from the viewpoint of the declaration of the country to which this relates, which means Israel.”

“I am pleased that my letter to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, together with other diplomatic efforts, have positively impacted this decision,” said Barkat on Wednesday. “I’m thankful to the Czech government for making the right choice, and for refusing to surrender to Palestinian incitement and lies.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

More Israeli Jews See Trump as Better for Bibi While Arabs Choose Clinton

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

A full 62% of both the Jewish and the Arab public expect Hillary Clinton to win the November elections, while fewer than 25% think the winner will be Donald Trump; the rest do not know, according to the August Peace Index, a monthly survey of 400 Jews and 100 Arabs in Israel, conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute, which is an independent, leftwing think tank located in Jerusalem.

On the question of which of the two candidates will be better for the current Israeli government, 38.5% of the Jews in Israel pick Trump, compared with only 33% who think Clinton and Netanyahu are a good match. However, on the question of “whom would you want to win the US presidential elections?” 43% prefer Clinton, 34% pick Trump.

On the Jewish left, 86% prefer Clinton over Trump (9%); in the center 57% want Clinton over Trump (23%); the right prefers Trump (49%) over Clinton (23%), but more than 25% of rightwing Israelis said they did not know who was better.

In the Arab public, 40% think Clinton will be better for the Israeli government’s policy, while 31% think both candidates will be good for Israel and only 14% expect Trump to be better. On the question of “Whom would you want to win the elections?” 58% of the Arab public want Clinton over Trump (11%), with a whopping 31% saying they don’t know which candidate to support.

The August survey also inquired about the trial of Sgt. Elor Azaria, who is accused of killing an Arab terrorist who had already been neutralized in Hebron last March. 65% of the Jewish public justify Azaria’s action and uphold his claim that he shot the terrorist in self-defense out of fear that the latter was wearing an explosive belt. Only 25% support the military establishment’s position that Azaria violated the rules of engagement and shot the terrorist for vengeance. The rest, 10%, preferred not to answer.

Rightwing Jews support Azaria at an overwhelming rate of 83%. 51% of centrist Jews, and even 20% of leftwing Jews also support Azaria. Support for Azaria is at 84% among army-age (18-24) Jews, and even more, 95%, among Haredim, and 79% among national religious Jews. A majority of traditional and secular Jews also support Azaria.

51.5% of the Jews support a group of reserve soldiers who recently announced that they will not report to duty when called as long as Azaria has not been completely exonerated. 43.5% oppose the group. On this question, 71% of rightwing Jews support the protest; but only 31.5% of centrist Jews and 14% of leftwing Jews do.

The survey notes that these political camps are not equal in size, and the rightwing now constitutes more than half of the Israeli Jewish public.

JNi.Media

Arab Family Tries to Kill Each Other in Jerusalem

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Emergency personnel treated an Arab family in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ras Al-Amud on Wednesday night, after a family feud got out of hand.

At around midnight, police were called to the Ras Al-Amud neighborhood, near the Mount of Olives, after shot were heard fired.

Police say they found a number of injured people at the scene with wounds from gunfire, stabbings and stone throwing.

An initial investigation discovered that they were all from the same family and fighting over ownership of a home.

Three family members were taken to the hospital, according to MDA, including a 20-year-old in serious condition with a knife wound, a 20-year-old who was moderately wounded from a gun shot, and a moderately wounded 30-year-old with a knife wound.

Police have arrested 2 suspects so far, according to a TPS report.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Russia, Abbas, Pushing for Moscow Summit with Netanyahu

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

The Palestinian Authority on Tuesday pointed out the importance of Russia’s role in organizing the Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following the meeting of President Putin’s special envoy to the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, with high-ranking PA and PLO officials.

“During a confidential exchange of opinions on the entire set of Palestinian problems, special attention was paid to the development of the situation in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip in light of Palestinian municipal elections set for early October,” the ministry’s statement said.

“The task to restore as soon as possible Palestinian national unity based on the PLO political platform aimed at the establishment of a Palestinian independent state coexisting in peace and security with Israel was also considered,” the statement continued. “The Palestinian leadership representatives underscored Russia’s prominence in organizing a reliable Palestinian-Israeli negotiating process, including the possible organizing of a meeting in Moscow between the leaders of Palestine and Israel,” the statement said.

After the Ramallah meeting, Bogdanov spoke on the phone with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is visiting Poland. “Abbas confirmed his unchanged readiness for continuation of active Russian-Palestinian political contacts in the interests of a solid and just peace in the Middle East,” the Russian statement said.

However, according to Abbas, who spoke to reporters following a Tuesday meeting with Polish leader Andrzej Duda, the Israelis have suggested postponing the initial talks in Moscow which had been scheduled, he claimed, for September 9.

“President Putin offered to meet in Moscow on September 9,” Abbas said. “I agreed. I was to fly to Moscow from here (Warsaw) to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. Unfortunately, in talks held in Jerusalem yesterday between representatives of President Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli representative proposed to postpone this meeting.”

“So, the meeting will not take place,” Abbas complained, telling reporters, “I am prepared to travel to Moscow or any other country for the next meeting, since dialogue is the only way to peace for the Palestinian people and the only opportunity for our independent country to live side by side with Israel.”

Speaking at a joint press conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I am prepared to meet with Abbas at any time for direct talks without preconditions. I have said this hundreds of times and I am reiterating it now. I do not care about the place, be it in Holland, Moscow or anywhere else – this is not a problem, and it certainly could be in Moscow. I have said this to President Putin. I said this on Sunday to his envoy Bogdanov.”

“The main question is, of course,” Netanyahu said, “whether Abbas is prepared to meet without preconditions. We hear contradictory reports about this. Just yesterday, Palestinian spokespersons made it clear that they are ready to meet but they have conditions – releasing prisoners, they want to know if the talks will have results, etc. If Abbas is ready to meet for direct talks without preconditions, I am ready at any time. I have been calling on him to do this for almost seven years already and if he agrees to do this – there will be a meeting.”

For the record, though, Putin’s spokesperson said that while Moscow supports the Israeli-PA peace process, so far there have been no specific agreements between the two leaders on meeting in Moscow.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/russia-abbas-pushing-for-moscow-summit-with-netanyahu/2016/09/07/

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