web analytics
October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Rome’

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

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

President Rivlin Flies to the Vatican

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin flew Wednesday night for his first official visit to Rome and the Vatican at the invitation Pope Francis.

Before leaving, he said:

I leave now to meet with a leader who is a true friend of the State of Israel, and of the Jewish people.

Pope Francis is an inspirational leader who believes in dialogue between different faiths and whose activities and statements are aimed at the promotion of this dialogue. He is an emissary of reconciliation and compassion in his endeavors for the sake of humanity.

The President will be received at an official welcoming ceremony on Thursday morning at the Vatican, after which he will hold a private meeting with the Pope.

The two will speak about the need for dialogue “between the peoples of the Middle East and between all those of different faiths.”

President Rivlin’s office added that he “will express to the Pope the importance that the State of Israel places on the preservation of freedom of religion for the different faiths in Israel, and will update the Pope on his visit to the Christian sites in the Jordan Valley last week.

The visits were aimed at developing and preserving the area around the traditional baptism site and to enable greater access for pilgrims and visitors.

Later on Thursday, the President will meet with the Prime Minister of the Vatican and the President of Italy before addressing a special meeting with members of the Jewish community in the Great Synagogue in Rome’s old Jewish quarter.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

A Former Italian Model’s Mission at the Mount of Olives

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Vandalism and garbage throwing is not a new phenomenon at the most ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. Amid the thousands of tombstones, some of which have been defaced or smashed into pieces, there are areas full of trash and litter left by local Palestinian youth from neighborhoods nearby.

One woman in particular is extremely agitated by the current situation.

Mirella Petteni Haggiag, a former Italian model from Rome, makes her way through the tombstones with a garbage bag in her hand several times of year when she visits Israel. She comes ready to clean around the tombstone of her late husband, Robert Haggiag, the legendary Italian-American film producer.

“This is a holy place. It’s shocking to see what happens here” Mirella Haggiag told Tazpit News Agency in an exclusive interview recently. “The Arabs hold parties and leave behind a mess. For the past five years, I come here and clean up.” “I want this place to be perfect for my husband, may he rest in peace. But look at all this,” says Mirella Haggiag, picking up the garbage and red coke cans strewn around. “These must be the result of parties. It’s not nice.”

Because Mirella lives in Rome, she also sends someone to clean Robert Haggiag’s gravestone or one of their children when she cannot be in Jerusalem. “This isn’t actually as bad as other parts of the cemetery,” she comments. “Over there, you can see the graves have been burnt and some completely smashed up,” she says, pointing to the section where the Afghanistan Jewish community is located. “They haven’t been able to destroy my husband’s tomb,” she told Tazpit.

“My husband would have been 102 years old today. I can’t imagine what he would say about this. People need to know what is happening to this cemetery,” she says.

Her husband’s life is a one fascinating story among the many notable personalities and famous figures in Jewish history buried on the Mount of Olives.

A famous film producer, Robert Haggiag co-produced and distributed more than 50 films, achieving international success with such films as Moulin Rouge, the Barefoot Contessa (1954) starring Humphrey Bogart and Ava Gardner, and Anthony Mann’s El Cid (1961), with Sophia Loren and Charlton Heston, among many others. He earned the Italy’s prestigious David di Donatello award and the Palme d’Or at France’s Cannes Film Festival in 1965.

Robert was born Nessim Haggiag in 1913 in Tripoli, Libya and came from a Sephardic Jewish family of nine children. He studied at the University of Turin and eventually came to own many properties and movie theaters in Tripoli. However, during WWII, he was forced to abandon everything, and escaped as a war refugee to America with nothing. According to his obituary in the Telegraph, all that Haggiag owned was confiscated by the new Islamic social state.

In the late 1960’s, Robert Haggiag co-founded the largest film distributor company in Italy, with exclusive rights granted to Warner Brothers, Twentieth Century-Fox and other American studios. Later in life, he helped co-produce with his son the Lady Chatterley TV series for the BBC.

Haggiag passed away in 2009 at the age of 95 and is survived by Mirella, their two sons and a stepson.

To this day, the Haggiag family continues to maintain a strong connection with Jerusalem. This year, as in the past, the Haggiag Family Award for Israeli Cinema in memory of Robert Nessim Haggiag will be given during the upcoming Jerusalem Film Festival in July.

“My husband always wanted to be buried here in the Mount of Olives,” Mirella Haggiag told Tazpit. “And there is a family plot for myself and our children. But it’s quite depressing – I want to look for another burial place for myself. Who will clean up after I’m gone?” she asks.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Vatican Officially Recognizes PA as New Arab Country

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Vatican officially recognized the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday as a new Arab country. This, despite its lack of any borders, and the fact that it is, in essence, comprised of two complete entities ruled by two completely different governments.

In a new treaty finalized Wednesday but not yet signed, the Vatican welcomed the 2012 decision by the United Nations General Assembly to grant the entity non-member observer state status.

As the first legal document to be negotiated between the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican, the treaty as such constitutes an official recognition of “the state of Palestine.”

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas – who has remained in his position more than four years past the expiration of his legal term in office – is slated to meet with Pope Francis on Saturday.

Since the PA has not seen fit to meet its obligations under the internationally- recognized Oslo Accords, this treaty further exacerbates tensions over the entity’s violations of the agreement.

The PA has sought UN membership as a means of evading its responsibilities under the Accords, which include stopping terror and reaching a final status agreement with Israel through direct negotiations between the parties.

Hana Levi Julian

ISIS Threatens ‘Countdown to Terror’ in Rome

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization said Wednesday it has begun its “countdown” to terror in Rome.

The radical Islamist group organization posted photographs to ISIS-linked accounts on the Twitter social networking site, saying “waiting for the zero hour.”

The photos are taken in the streets of Rome with a paper bearing the message with the hashtag “ #Islamic State in Rome “ held up to the camera. Some are handwritten in Arabic, some are in Italian, saying, “We are in your streets,” the RT news site reported Wednesday. A number of messages on Twitter were posted in English as well.

One of the photos appears to have been taken at the Colosseum in Rome; others seem to have been taken in Milan. Some Italian Twitter users are claiming the tweets are fake and the photos are as well.

The Italian government, meanwhile, is taking no chances and has increased security around Rome, particularly at strategic sites and landmarks that could be targeted by the group. Security officials established a counter-terrorism task force months ago with Albania, following the “Charlie Hebdo” and Hyper Cacher massacres in Paris this past January.

Hana Levi Julian

Italian Jewish Leader Arrested For Trying To Escape From Auschwitz

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

First published at Jewish Business News by Vered Weiss

On the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Riccardo Pacifici, a leader of Rome’s Jewish community, was trapped inside Auschwitz and arrested for trying to escape through a window, as reported by Haaretz. Pacifici was recording a television show about the ceremony to commemorate the liberation of the death camp and, in the course of the interview, he didn’t realized that the gates had been closed and locked by guards.

Pacifici, whose grandparents perished in Auschwitz, was faced with freezing conditions along with Italian journalist David Parenzo, Fabio Perugia, Jewish community spokesman and other members of the television crew. Their cries for assistance were not heard, so they escaped through an open window, setting off an alarm.

Polish police officers arrested them immediately, and they were interrogated until 2:30 am. “They arrested us and treated us roughly as though we were criminals,” Mr. Perugia told Haaretz. More police officers were called up until there were a dozen confining the small group. After hours of more questioning, which was relieved only by an interpreter summoned by the Italian foreign ministry, the group was released.

While interrogated, Mr. Pacifici Tweeted in Italian, “We are being held by the Polish police inside Auschwitz … a disgrace.”

Upon his release, he called the incident “madness” and a “folly” and said, “They interrogated us until 6 in the morning, to Jews who had been locked inside the Auschwitz camp where I lost some of my family,” he told La Stampa, an Italian newspaper. “My grandparents died here. It’s a shock. Our only crime was that we tried to get out through the window.”

JBN / Jewish Business News

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/italian-jewish-leader-arrested-for-trying-to-escape-from-auschwitz/2015/01/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: