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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Switzerland’

Complying with Ottoman Law, IDF Panel Revokes Jewish Community’s Land Ownership

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The IDF Appeals Committee in Judea and Samaria has ruled recently that the 2013 declaration of an area of some 55 acres in the vicinity of Kokhav Ya’akov, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as state land is null and void, because the process of making the acquisition was improper, Ha’aretz reported Monday. The military panel was also critical of the lack of transparency in making the declaration public — meaning that it was being kept out of PA Arabs’ earshot.

The panel’s ruling on an appeal by NGO Yesh Din on behalf of alleged Arab land owners, is more a judicial recommendation to the IDF in the area than a compelling decision, but should the declaration of state land be appealed in the Israeli Supreme court — as it surely will be — the panel’s decision would influence the justices’ ruling.

The grounds for dismissing the government acquisition of the land has to do with its failure to adequately comply with Ottoman Law — a remnant of the Turkish government’s rule over these lands before 1918, which continues to be the law of the land; and will continue to be so as long as Israel fails to impose Israeli law on Area C, where Jews live.

Ottoman law says that a man can establish claim to his land if he can show that he has been tilling it for the previous ten years. The state tried to comply with the law by providing aerial photographs of the area from 1969, showing clearly that the land was not being cultivated.

However, the dissemination of lands to local Arabs by King Hussein, who ruled the area from 1949 to 1967, took place in 1961. So the panel ruled that the aerial photos proving the land was not being cultivated had to be from before 1961, and, according to the state, such photographs could not be found.

There are photographs from 1944 showing that some of the land was being tilled then.

The judges wrote that they were not convinced the state had made the full effort to discover those 1956 aerial photographs, and that without them the panel must rule that the situation back in 1944 continued uninterrupted through 1961. Of course, the decision to require a photograph from before 1961 assumes that when King Hussein handed over lands to the heads of local Arab clans (whom he viewed as a source of potential rebellion) — he had the right to give those lands away. But Hussein was never recognized universally as the sovereign of the “West Bank,” which was considered an occupied territory, along the 1949 armistice border with Israel.

Local residents of Kokhav Ya’akov say they have also purchased the land, but regardless of the ownership papers they would present to the high court, organizations like Yesh Din will rustle up a group of Arab claimants to the land, with papers freshly minted by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah showing the land belongs to them.

According to NGO Monitor, Yesh Din operates on an annual budget of $1.58 million, provided by the EU, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands).

David Israel

Jewish Photographer Dorothy Bohm Brings Back ‘Sixties London’ [video]

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

If you’re in London on vacation this month, here’s an opportunity to explore the streets of 1960s London through the lens of eminent photographer Dorothy Bohm. Born in 1924 to o a Jewish-Lithuanian family in Konigsberg, East Prussia, Bohm escaped Nazism in 1939 when she was sent to England to finish her schooling, armed with a Leica camera handed to her by her father as she was departing. She Graduated from Manchester College of Technology in 1942 and worked in leading portrait studio in central Manchester. In 1945 she married Louis Bohm, in ’46 she opened “Studio Alexander” in Manchester, and in 1947 visited Palestine for the first time. Between 1947 and 1955, she traveled to Switzerland, lived in Paris, lived in New York and San Francisco, traveled around the US and Mexico, until in 1956 she settled in Hampstead, North London, where she still lives.

Church Street market, Marylebone / Dorothy Bohm, Courtesy

Church Street market, Marylebone / Dorothy Bohm, Courtesy

She continued to travel and shoot around the planet, but her retrospective show that ends August 29 at the Jewish Museum London steps back in time to discover the diversity of life in London in the 1960s, with photographs focusing on its inhabitants from all walks of life, from schoolchildren to fashion-conscious young adults to market traders.

Dorothy Bohm: Sixties London, at the Ben Uri Gallery & Museum through August 29 2016.

Open Daily 10 AM – 5 PM (Fridays 10 AM – 2 PM). Last entrance is 30 minutes before closing.

Jewish Museum London, Raymond Burton House, 129-131 Albert Street, London NW1 7NB

Tel: +44 (0)20 7284 7384


UPDATE: Swiss Air Force Escorts El Al Plane Following Bomb Threat

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

The Swiss Air Force scrambled fighter planes to escort an El Al flight from New York to Tel Aviv around their borders following a bomb threat against the flight.

The Swiss F-18 planes escorted the El Al flight along the French-Swiss border, according to Swiss media.

Israel radio said that German fighter planes were scrambled too.

It is unclear what the fighter planes would actually do if there was a bomb on board.

The flight is continuing on to Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport without a problem. It’s expected to land between 12:32 PM to 12:40 PM Israel time. Update: The plane has landed safely at around 12:43 PM.

El Al released a statement that an anonymous threat was received, and the plane is continuing to Ben-Gurion airport as planned.

According to the Israeli Foreign Ministry after conferring with El Al, US airport authorities received an anonymous threat of a bomb in the kitchen of the El Al plane. The American authorities informed the Swiss authorities as the plane was then over their airspace. The Swiss then scrambled their fighters.

The El Al crew checked and did not find any bombs on board in the kitchen or elsewhere.

Update: The plane has landed safely at Ben-Gurion Airport at around 12:43 PM.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Cardinal Urging Christians to Convert ISIS Members, Regardless of Obvious Repercussions

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Roman Catholic Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, declared that the mission for Christians to bring other people to the faith includes militants like the Islamic State (ISIS) who are responsible for the highest persecution of Christian believers in the Middle East. Speaking last Sunday in Einsiedeln, Switzerland, the Cardinal argued that 80% of all the people who are persecuted for their faith around the world today are Christians, who are executed without regard to their denominational distinctions.

Cardinal Koch also advocated a thoughtful welcome of refugees knocking on Switzerland’s door. Incidentally, the Swiss have turned sheltering refugees from the Middle East into a lucrative business, as refugees arriving in Switzerland have had to turn over to the state any assets worth more than $1,000 to help pay for their upkeep. It also presents an ingenious pricing policy: whatever you have above a thousand bucks, please. But we digress.

Recalling the words of Tertullian, an emblematic figure of the Christian community in Carthage in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, Cardinal Koch told his listeners on Sunday that “the blood of martyrs is the seed of new Christians.” Considering the state of affairs in ISIS controlled areas, this should make for lots of new Christian seeds. Indeed, Koch, formerly the bishop of Basel, Switzerland, suggested that more Christians are persecuted in the world today than they were in the Roman Empire in the first centuries of Christianity.

Since the start of the civil war in Syria, more than 2,000 members of the local Christian minority were killed, and tens of thousands have fled the fighting to seek refuge abroad. More than one hundred churches were damaged or completely destroyed, according to figures provided by AED.

Catholicism is not for the faint of heart, and not for folks seeking self-preservation, never mind a comfortable life. Cardinal Koch noted that while Christians are fleeing the war in the Middle East by the tens of thousands, local bishops have been pleading with them to stay, even at the cost of a swift martyrdom.

But the Church insists on the same disregard for its people’s safety once they have reached European shelters. Faced with the alarming news that about 40,000 Christian refugees are being harassed and threatened by Muslim refugees in shelters in Germany, Church officials have resisted calls to separate the refugees according to their faith. “There’s an educational job to do, it’s a long process to pass the values which are in force in our democracies,” Cardinal Koch said, pointing to the eventual peace that has been reached between Protestants and Catholics in Europe, arguing the bloody conflict between Sunnis and Shiites will inevitably be resolved equally peacefully.

Of course, it’s taken Catholics and Protestants a good six centuries or so to stop murdering each other, and in some parts of Europe and the US the smoke hasn’t yet cleared off of that one completely. But the cardinal is stoic as to the number of victims this approach to conflict resolution will surely exact.

Cardinal Koch told the Daily Telegraph: “We have a mission to convert Muslims to Christianity. We have a mission to convert the people of all the non-Christian religions [except] Judaism.” He also urged Christians to view Judaism as a “mother” – despite key differences between the two faiths – and said they have a unique relationship, unlike the third Abrahamic religion, Islam.

One of the most crucial distinctions in that regard has been that Jews rarely massacre your entire village for daring to invite them to mass.


Israel Among Top Five Countries on WHO 2015 Life Expectancy Chart

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Only 22 countries around the globe have reached an average life expectancy at birth greater than 80 years, according to the World Health Organization’s Global Health Observatory (GHO) data, which would suggest that if one is planning to retire abroad, one should consider those countries most seriously.

Life expectancy at birth reflects the overall mortality level of a population. It summarizes the mortality pattern that prevails across all age groups in a given year – children and adolescents, adults and the elderly. Global life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years (73.8 years for females and 69.1 years for males), ranging from 60.0 years in the WHO African Region to 76.8 years in the WHO European Region, giving a ratio of 1.3 between the two regions. Women live longer than men all around the world. The gap in life expectancy between the sexes was 4.5 years in 1990 and had remained almost the same by 2015 (4.6).

Global average life expectancy increased by 5 years between 2000 and 2015, the fastest increase since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s, when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic, and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The 2000-2015 increase was greatest in the WHO African Region, where life expectancy increased by 9.4 years to 60 years, driven mainly by improvements in child survival, and expanded access to antiretrovirals for treatment of HIV.

As to the friendly global race of whose citizens get to live longer, the top countries are, in descending order: Japan – 83.7, Switzerland – 83.4, Singapore – 83.1, Italy – 82.7, and Israel – 82.5. The US did not make the 80+ club in 2015, with only 79.3 years’ life expectancy. Neither did the Russian Federation – 70.5.

Israel’s neighbors are definitely not ideal locations for retirement: Egypt – 70.9, Jordan – 74.1, Lebanon – 74.9, and Syria – 64.5 (if you’re lucky). Nigeria stands out with 54.5 life expectancy, along with Angola – 52.4, Burkina Faso – 59.9, Burundi – 59.6, Cameroon – 57.3, Central African Republic – 52.5, Chad – 53.1, Guinea – 59, and Guinea-Bissau – 58.9.

So, here is the list of world countries where you’ll get to grow older than 80, barring unexpected circumstances:

Japan – 83.7
Switzerland – 83.4
Singapore – 83.1
Italy – 82.7
Israel – 82.5
France – 82.4
Sweden – 82.4
Canada – 82.2
Luxembourg – 82
Netherlands – 81.9
Norway – 81.8
Malta – 81.7
New Zealand – 81.6
Austria – 81.5
Belgium – 81.1
Finland – 81.1
Germany – 81
Denmark – 80.6
Chile – 80.5
Cyprus – 80.5


Israeli Tourists Die in Car Accident in Switzerland

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

An Israeli mother and daughter from Rishon LeZion have died in a car accident in southeastern Switzerland. The two Israelis died after crossing the Italian-Swiss border, while traveling from Milan.

Israel’s Foreign Minister said Wednesday the families were notified overnight.

The bodies of the mother, in her 50s and the daughter, in her 20s, have both been identified.

The Israeli embassy in Switzerland is making arrangements to transport the two citizens back home to Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Meets With U.S. VP Joe Biden in Davos

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Thursday morning with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

He is also scheduled to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Argentine President Mauricio Macri.

“The meeting was friendly and cordial and was held in an excellent atmosphere,” said the prime minister’s media adviser in a statement. “The two men discussed Middle East security and strategic issues and energy.”

On Tuesday, the U.S. joined the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority in condemning Israel’s plans to designate 370 acres of agricultural land in the Jordan Valley as official state land.

State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said in a statement, “We strongly oppose any steps that could accelerate settlement expansion and we believe they’re fundamentally incompatible with a two-state solution and call into question frankly the Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution.”

Netanyahu flew to Davos on Wednesday with his wife Sara and a delegation that includes National Economic Council Chairman Professor Avi Simhon and National Cyber Bureau head Dr. Eviatar Matania, as well as the director of the prime minister’s office, director-general Eli Groner. He is expected to return Friday.

Although the prime minister’s main objective is to present the Israeli economy to the international community in a positive light, with emphasis on its strength in cyber and technology, Netanyahu also will obviously take the opportunity for necessary chats with relevant global leaders.

So far, he has met with Uber co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick and HP president and CEO Meg Whitman. Also on the schedule is a public dialogue with CNN journalist Fareed Zakaria.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-meets-with-u-s-vp-joe-biden-in-davos/2016/01/21/

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