28 November 2015 - 16 Kislev 5776 - ט"ז כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Ice-cream cones named after Adolf Hitler E-mail

In yet another Hitler-related marketing incident in India, boxes of Hitler ice cream cones bearing the unsmiling image of the Nazi leader dressed in a military uniform are apparently available throughout India.

With temperatures soaring in India, ice-cream is a creamy and refreshing way to cool down. Unfortunately the eye catching ice-cream cones provides unpleasant enjoyment!

In 2012, municipal authorities in the Indian state of Gujarat removed the sign for a men’s clothing store named Hitler. The sign, on which the letter “i” was dotted with a swastika, was removed after hundreds of complaints from both within and outside of the Jewish community.

A year earlier, an Indian network premièred a daily soap opera called “Hitler Didi”, or “Auntie Hitler”, in which the lead character was a young woman known in her locality as a strict disciplinarian who took a no-nonsense attitude with her family.

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Israeli killed in Myanmar crash Print E-mail

A 62-year-old Israeli from Tel Aviv was killed in May in a traffic accident near the city of Bagan, some 500 kilometres north of Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon. His wife and son were slightly wounded in the crash. The son had been travelling in the country, where his parents joined him recently for a trip.

The family was travelling in a minibus when it crashed into a truck; from the force of the impact, the minibus was diverted, coming to a stop after hitting a house.

The man died at the scene and his wife and son were evacuated to a hospital in a nearby town. Israel’s embassy in Myanmar managed to secure the body for burial in Israel.

(Issue July/August 2015)


Tony Blair to head international group fighting racism and anti-Semitism E-mail

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been appointed to head an international organisation that fights racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

Blair’s appointment as chairman of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), heading a board of former European presidents and prime ministers, was announced in June.

The appointment comes after Blair announced that he will step down as the special Middle East peace envoy of the Quartet, the diplomatic group representing the US, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, a post he has held since 2007.

“Incidents of extremism, rising anti-Semitism and surging nationalist forces who seek to cultivate a spirit of resentment by playing on people’s fears, threaten our European ideals of freedom, equality and a desire for peace,” said Blair in a statement.

“But such intolerance has been rejected before in our history and must be rejected again today. The ECTR stands against such closed-minded views – and I am delighted to have this opportunity to work with them to promote our shared vision for the future: societies based on an open-minded, inclusive and tolerant worldview.”

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Rabbi sentenced to six and a half years for filming women in Mikvah E-mail

As reported in the March 2015 issue of Jewish Times Asia, Rabbi Barry Freundel, the former spiritual leader of a prominent Orthodox synagogue in Washington, US, who pleaded guilty to 52 counts of misdemeanour voyeurism, has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison for videotaping dozens of nude women at a ritual bath.

“You repeatedly and secretly violated the trust your victims had in you, and you abused your power,” Senior Judge Geoffrey Alprin of D.C. Superior Court said at the sentencing, the Washington Post reported. Alprin also fined Freundel more than US$2,000.

Prosecutors had sought a 17–year sentence after Freundel pleaded guilty in February to 52 counts of misdemeanor voyeurism. Freundel’s lawyers sought community service. Each count carried a maximum penalty of one year in prison and fines of US$1,000 to US$2,500.

Freundel was given 45 days for each of the 52 counts. He will serve the sentences successively, amounting to nearly sixand-a-half years.

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Following April’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal, updated figures as of end of May from the Nepal Red Cross Society, reported that the death toll stood at 8,143, the number of injured was 17,576, and 260 people were still missing.

Nepal is still coming to terms with the massive devastation of large parts of the country, including the capital, Kathmandu. Nepal’s National Emergency Operations Center estimated that more than 10% of the country’s homes were damaged or destroyed. According to UNICEF, more than 1.7 million children needed immediate assistance. Many international aid agencies and foreign governments have been involved in delivering much-needed financial assistance and supplies.

Israel and Nepal have very close ties. Thousands of Israeli backpackers visit the country every year to trek, sightsee and go hiking in the Himalayas. At the time of the earthquake, around 500 Israelis were located in Nepal, thanks to efforts led by the Department for Israelis Abroad at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem. About 250 people have been flown home to Israel, however several remain unaccounted for.

Israel’s Embassy in Delhi provided considerable support to the aid and rescue efforts. Staff from the Ministry in Jerusalem and nearby missions – among them the Deputy DG for Asia and the Pacific, the regional administrative officer for Asia, the New Delhi consul, were sent to assist the people in the field.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote to Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala within hours of the first earthquake on 25 April, saying that Israel was pained by the disaster that had befallen Nepal, and offering Israel’s assistance. He conveyed his condolences to the families of the victims and wished a full recovery to the injured.

Jewish and Israeli humanitarian aid delegations have been one of the largest international groups to assist in the relief efforts, with an 80-member IDF humanitarian aid delegation flying to Nepal within 48 hours of the disaster. They were joined by another cargo flight with around 170 trained military personnel. During the following two weeks, the IDF search-and-rescue teams were deployed near Kathmandu to locate survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings.

A field hospital was set up in Chhauni to provide medical services for the local population. It had two operating rooms, four intensive-care rooms, 80 hospital beds and 260 military medical personnel, including specialists in neonatal and adult care. Approximately 1,500 patients were treated in the hospital and other locations. More than 70 life-saving surgeries took place, and eight babies were born in the hospital.

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