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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Israeli Envoy: Anti-Israel UN Seminar Was Led by BDS Activists

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

The UN Dept. of Public Information held a three-day media seminar in Pretoria, South Africa, earlier this month, on peace in the Middle East, with the stated goal of bringing together “politicians, academics and other experts exploring new ways to narrate the complex and evolving story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” relates a press release from Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon, but “no official Israeli representatives were invited to participate.” Instead, “the current Palestinian representative to the UN and their former representative to the European Union both took part in the seminar,” the Danon statement said.

“Moreover, most of the speakers at the event are known for their anti-Israel views including Professor Steven Friedman from the University of Johannesburg who attacked Israel and defended the BDS movement,” Danon complained, adding that “other officials affiliated with the BDS movement took part in the seminar and were quoted on the official UN website.”

Ambassador Danon wrote a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon harshly criticizing the fact that the UN sponsored an anti-Israel event: “The UN has a moral obligation to act in accordance with the values and purposes of its charter, and events like this undermine the integrity and impartiality of the UN,” he wrote, saying “it is unfortunate that approximately 6.5 million dollars annually are diverted from those in dire need of humanitarian assistance to bodies whose only function is to serve as public relations departments for the Palestinian cause.”

Ambassador Danon also noted that “BDS is a notorious anti-Israel movement, which is conducting a global campaign of misinformation and outright slander against my country. Such activity against a member state ought not to be promoted by the UN.”

David Israel

Operation Safari Rescuing Gaza Beasts Completed at Erez Crossing

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

In a complex operation, a group of animals was transferred on Wednesday morning from the Gaza Strip via Erez Crossing, in order to receive better living conditions and improved care, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry Spokesperson’s Office reported. As on previous occasions, the move was made possible due to cooperation between the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, the Defense Ministry Crossings Authority and the local Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza.

At the initiative of international animal welfare charity Four Paws, a tiger, five monkeys, two ostriches, two gazelles, two tortoises, a swan and a porcupine left Gaza Wednesday morning. These animals, which will be transferred to zoos in South Africa and Jordan, the Ben Shemen, Israel monkey park and the Safari zoo in Ramat Gan, Israel, are the last from the Khan Yunis zoo in the southern Gaza Strip. Their transfer constitutes the closing of Khan Yunis zoo, the operation of which had become very difficult in recent years.

Special cages, veterinary equipment and medicines were brought into the Gaza Strip to facilitate optimal veterinary treatment of the animals before the actual transfer.

Uri Madar from the Agriculture Ministry Gaza Coordination and Liaison Office said in a statement: “Given the less than satisfactory conditions and in the absence of the ability to continue caring for the animals at the Khan Yunis zoo, the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry assisted and coordinated the transfer of the animals to zoos in Israel and around the world. Over the last two years, the ministry transferred lions, a horse and other animals. Our veterinary services have been continually active and are devoted to the welfare and health of the animals. We are delighted and moved every time we are able to be of assistance in saving the lives of animals.”

David Israel

San Francisco Bus Ad Defends BDS

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign (SeaMAC) has launched a new ad on buses in San Francisco with the slogan “Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights.” The ad is not clear as to which Palestinians are bereft of those equal rights: are they the ones being repressed by Hamas that steals their charity funds, diverting them to luxury homes for Hamas bigwigs and to terror tunnels aimed at kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians? Are they the ones struggling to make it under an incompetent, corrupt PLO-run Palestinian Authority, that hasn’t run a national election in almost ten years? Or are they Israeli Arabs, with a representation in the Knesset that matches their 20% of the population, democratic freedoms and access to higher education? Or is it too much to ask a bus ad for specifics?

The ambiguous bus ad will run for four weeks, according to a SeaMAC press release. The ad includes the slogan “Stop Anti-Boycott Legislation” and features a list of historic boycotts, including the Boston Tea Party, segregated buses in Montgomery in 1956, and South Africa’s apartheid regime.

“Advocates for Israel’s apartheid are trying to persuade state and national legislatures to outlaw the right to boycott against social injustice in Israel,” said Edward Mast, volunteer board member of SeaMAC. Of course, Israel does not have an apartheid system — the Arab member of the Supreme Court would never approve of it, nor would the thousands of Arab students in Israel’s universities, thousands of Arab doctors and lawyers, and Israeli Arabs from all walks of life who participate in a free Israeli society. It’s not a problem-free society, but compared to the neighborhood it is pretty impressive.

Mast, however, sees attempts to seek legal means of stopping his campaign of lies as an “attack on free speech … one more example of demanding special treatment for the State of Israel.”

SeaMAC ran the slogan “Boycott Israel Until Palestinians Have Equal Rights” on buses in Washington, D.C. and three other cities in 2015, but the same ad was taken off a billboard in Chicago. in early 2016. SeaMAC has also been blocked from running anti-Israel bus ads in Seattle, Washington.

David Israel

Pro-Israel Legislators in Jerusalem to ‘Stand with Israel’

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Twenty-two parliamentarians from 18 countries around the world are in Jerusalem for the annual Israel Allies Foundation conference in Jerusalem and will focus on attacking the Boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

They also will discuss the threat of a nuclear Iran on Israel and the Western world, and Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The three-day conference starts on Tuesday and is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). Represented countries are Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Holland, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

President Reuven Rivlin, several Knesset Members and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will address the visitors on Tuesday.

They will tour Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, including the Rami Levi supermarket between Jerusalem and the communities of Beit El and Ofra. Arabs who work with Jews in the market will speak with the delegation.

The group also will visit Bat Galim Shaer, the mother of one of the boys kidnapped and murdered by Hamas last summer.

On Thursday, the parliamentarians will draft and sign a resolution declaring their support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against racist, anti-Israel movements such as BDS.

Jewish Press Staff

SA Chief Rabbi: Proposed Ban on Dual Citizenship ‘Insulting’

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

In response to the African National Congress’s (ANC) proposed ban on dual citizenship, South Africa’s Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein released a strongly worded and heartfelt video statement calling the move a threat to Israel and peace in the region.

Goldstein said the proposal was “insulting” to the 175-year-old community, which has strong ties to Israel and has contributed greatly to South African society and culture. In his video, the Chief Rabbi also rejected claims that Israel is an “apartheid” state, an accusation often aimed at the Jewish State by BDS protesters and pro-Palestinian Arab foreign provocateurs.

”The apartheid accusation against Israel is a lie and without any foundation in reality,” said Goldstein.

In addition to the defamatory nature of this claim, the misuse of “apartheid” diminishes the true meaning of the word and dishonors the ordeal of those who lived under its rule, he noted. “If everything is apartheid then nothing is apartheid,” he stated. The Jewish population of South Africa currently stands at 75,000, according to the Chief Rabbi’s office.

While the citizenship ban would potentially affect millions of people living in South Africa, it is motivated by the ANC’s “obsession” with Israel, said Rabbi Goldstein.

“By targeting the local Jewish community, the ANC is ignoring the country’s ethic of tolerance and dishonoring the legacy of former president Nelson Mandela.” An official appointee, Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein holds a prominent and respected position within South Africa. He serves as a senior member of the National Religious Leaders Council and has collaborated on projects with the government. He had the honor being one of those clergy chosen to eulogize the late Mandela at his funeral. His Bill of Responsibilities has been adopted as part of the official South African school curriculum. “The time to act is now,” said Rabbi Goldstein, who called upon ANC to change its course and become a force for peace in the Middle East and the entire world.

“That is the way forward: a dream of peace,” he declared at the conclusion of the video.

Hana Levi Julian

South Africa one of Leading Kosher Markets

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

It is certainly not Jerusalem and New York but according to a recent article in the SA Jewish Report, the two major South African cities can take their place among some of the world’s vibrant kosher centers.

There are approximately 70,000 Jews in South Africa, and the paper reported, “Its members are fortunate to choose from an impressive selection of kosher products available at all local supermarkets.”

By comparison, Britain has approximately 300,000 Jews. London Beth Din Rabbi Eli Schoeman explained that there is a difficulty in securing products for those living outside the typically Jewish areas. “Meat and dairy products are difficult to come by and people have to make different arrangements for how they get these delivered to their area.”

Toronto, with 270 000 Jews, is a significant kosher market. In a price comparison of a whole kosher chicken across the continents, Jewish Report ascertained that kosher chicken comes out cheapest in Johannesburg as opposed to Britain, Toronto, and Melbourne.

Turning to kosher restaurants, the paper notes, “South Africa has a good selection of kosher restaurants, some of which have even become a favorite of overseas visitors who return to foreign shores raving about.”

Kosher Today

What Sanctions? Iran Receives 13 Tons of Gold From S. Africa

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

The Central Bank of Iran took deliver of 13 tons of Iran’s gold reserves from South Africa, worth close to $12 billion, Iranian Bank Governor Volilollah Seif announced on Wednesday, according to IRNA.

Seif said that Iran’s delegation to Vienna had taken up the issue of the gold reserves last week, in the course of the nuclear talks. Once again, Iran got everything it asked for.

Seif explained that the shipments of Iranian gold reserves, purchased from South Africa two years ago, had been blocked due to the sanctions.

The Central Bank governor confirmed that three shipments had been returned to the central bank since the start of the week, and on Tuesday night “the last parcel of that gold reserve, weighing four tons, arrived in Iran and was delivered to the safe of the CBI.”

Around $100 billion of Iranian assets have been frozen by the various sanctions, though sanctions were supposed to still be suspended until a deal was reached on Iran’s nuclear program as well as its support for terrorist organizations and developing ballistic missiles.

Iran already received $4.2 billion in thawed assets under the 2013 interim agreement with the US, followed by another $2.8 billion that the Obama administration freed last year to keep Iran at the negotiating table.

Iran has already been able to free up some 20% of its frozen assets, around $19 billion. At best, that’s without doing anything, and at worse, that’s while continuing to rush towards a nuclear bomb.

So much for sanctions.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/what-sanctions-iran-receives-13-tons-of-gold-from-s-africa/2015/07/01/

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