JTA NEWS
24 May 2017 - 28 Iyyar 5777 - כ"ח אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ז
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Yad Vashem pressures online retailer Amazon E-mail

The Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has called on the online retailer Amazon to remove books that deny the Holocaust from its websites.

Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, sent an email in March to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, requesting that he immediately remove the books from the sites.

“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote in the letter, The Jerusalem Post first reported. His letter continued, “Once again, given the presence of anti-Semitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store.”

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Australia welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu E-mail

After visiting Singapore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife were welcomed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy on 22 February at the start of a four-day visit to the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu inspected an honour guard and received a salute.

“I’m honoured to be the rst Israeli Prime Minister to officially visit Australia. God, it’s been a long time coming! It celebrates, really, 100 years of friendship of Australia to the Jewish people and their state,” commented Prime Minister Netanyahu.

On his first day in Australia, Mr Netanyahu repeated several times how much the country had done for Israel – from liberating Beersheba in WWI to playing a key role in the establishment of Israel as a state in 1947. “We are going to celebrate this and I’ve invited you, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and your delegation to mark this extraordinary event,” Netanyahu added.

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First Jewish wedding in Cambodia E-mail

As the sun set over Phnom Penh on 8 February, locals, tourists and guests from all over the world gathered for the first Jewish wedding to be celebrated in Cambodia.

The bride, Shlomit (Irina), had met Rabbi Bentzion and Mashie Butman, co-directors of Chabad Jewish Center in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, several years ago and began her journey to Torah observance.

The groom, Vadim Mitropolitansky, is an Israeli who now lives in Bangkok, Thailand. When the two decided to tie the knot, they chose to do so at the Chabad centre in Phnom Penh.

Local Cambodians, friends, relatives and Chabad families from both countries swirled in dizzying circles, following the lively music supplied by the keyboardist who had own in from Israel for the occasion. “In times of joy, as well as sadness, community takes the place of family in this part of the world, where most Jews are here without family,” says Rabbi Butman.

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New ambassador to China appointed E-mail

Zvi Heifetz has been appointed Israel’s new ambassador to China. Ambassador Heifetz arrived in January and replaces Ambassador Matan Vilnai.

Prior to his appointment in China, Ambassador Heifetz was Israel’s ambassador in Russia. He was born in Tomsk, Russia, and moved to Israel in 1971.

Heifetz was also Israel’s Ambassador to Austria from 2013 to 2015 and has held many government positions. He studied law at Tel Aviv University in 1985 and is a Member of the Israeli Bar Association.

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Taiwan school representatives meets Israel’s envoy in Taipei E-mail

Representatives from a high school in Hsinchu City paid a visit to the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei to apologise after a campus event featuring students wearing Nazi costumes and displaying swastikas sparked a public outcry.

As reported in Jewish Times Asia in last month’s issue, the Nazi parade took place on 23 December as part of Hsinchu Kuang Fu High School’s activities to celebrate the school’s foundation day. The ensuing public outcry resulted in the resignation of school principal Cheng Hsiao-ming Israel’s Representative in Taiwan Asher Yarden listened to the students’ apology and explanation, and said he forgave them and looked forward to future opportunities for educational exchanges with the school, the office said.

He also accepted a poster made by the students, which took the symbol of the Israeli office as its centre, with the students’ personal reflections on the incident written on leaves surrounding it.

Cheng, who led the students to the Israeli office as his final act before resigning, also invited the office’s staff to visit the school and speak to staff and students there.

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