21 April 2014 - 21 Nisan 5774 - כ"א ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ד
Workshop on tourism held in Vietnam Print E-mail

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Vietnam and Israel, Israel’s embassy in Vietnam held the first workshop on Israeli tourism on 4-5 December, under the theme: Israel – the Unique Destination, held in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

The seminar was an opportunity to introduce Israel’s rich cultural and varied tourism spots and a platform to exchange business cooperation between tour organisers of the two countries. In recent years, the number of Vietnamese tourists to Israel has significantly increased from a few hundred in 2008 to around 3000 visitors in 2012.

(Issue February 2014)


Taiwan and Israel sign directive on mutual recognition for Customs cooperation E-mail

The Administrative Directive on Mutual Recognition (MRA) of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) between Taiwan and Israel was signed at a closing ceremony of the 10th Taiwan-Israel Economic and Technological Cooperation Conference in Taipei on 10 December.

The directive was signed by Taiwan Customs Administration’s Director General Liang Wang and Israel Customs’ Director General Moshe Asher. Also in attendance was Liang-Jen Chang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Tel Aviv and Representative Simona Halperin of the Israel Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei.

This is Israel’s first MRA of its kind with other countries. Therefore, the inking of this Administrative Directive symbolises a milestone for the Customs cooperation between the two countries. Through the directive, traders that are awarded AEO status from both Taiwan and Israel are able to enjoy preferential treatments at the other side, such as much lower cargo examination rates and simplified clearance procedures. Therefore, it will have a far-reaching impact on the bilateral trade through strengthening supply chain security and providing trade facilitation, and in turn, enhance the international competitiveness of traders in the respective countries.

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Peres addresses Arab and Muslim ministers E-mail

In an unprecedented event, Israel’s President Shimon Peres spoke from his office in Jerusalem via satellite to 29 foreign ministers from Arabic and Muslim countries at the Gulf Security Conference in Abu Dhabi which was being held in December.

Peres, who was chosen by the summit’s organiser, the United Arab Emirates, to open the conference, was interviewed via satellite by UN Under Secretary-General Terje Rød-Larsen. As per the conditions for Peres’s appearance, the president and the foreign ministers only spoke through Larsen, and none of the content was leaked to the press.

Among the countries represented were Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Bangladesh.

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Global relief efforts to assist stricken residents of the Central Philippines is now in full swing, after a powerful typhoon struck the country on 9 November.

According weather meteorologists, Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest ever recorded with winds packing of over 300km/h to make landfall. The 300 mile wide typhoon creating a huge tidal surge destroyed well over 70% of the area in its path, weeping away entire coastal villages in the Leyte province and devastating the region’s capital city Tacloban.

As part of a worldwide coordinated effort, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) immediately sent two Boeing 747 airplanes with 234 Israeli doctors, nurses and paramedics, as well as equipment to set up a state-of-theart mobile hospital. In addition around 100 tons of supplies and 148 personnel from search and rescue units of the Home Front Command were also sent. Heading the mission was Col. Ramtin Sabati, who commanded the National Rescue Unit and Deputy Medical Corps Chief Col. Dudu Dagan, who acted as commander of the field hospital. The rescue units were dispatched to the victims in Tacloban where the field hospital was set up.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge immediately expressed appreciation for the assistance Israel has offered to his stormravaged country, saying it made him “so happy.”

In a letter to Philippine President Benigno Aquino III the day after the typhoon struck, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended his “heartfelt condolences” to the victims of the “horrific typhoon” and guaranteed Israel’s “assistance to alleviate the suffering.”

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said Israel was supporting the Philippines “not only in words but also in actions.” Israel assembled a similar hospital in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake there, equipped with an intensive care unit and a maternity ward.

Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Menashe Bar-On stated, “The Philippines and the Filipino people are close friends with Israel and the Jewish people,” adding that “at this moment, our urgent task is to extend help to the Philippine government.”

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More B’nei Menashe to make Aliya E-mail

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, has approved a further 899 Indian nationals known as B’nei Menashe to make aliyah to Israel. This is according to Shavei Israel, an organisation that tries to find lost Jews throughout the world and bring them to Israel.

The latest batch of B’ nei Menashe will take effect starting this December. Some 374 Bnei Menashe have already immigrated over the past two years. Around 1,700 are currently living in Israel.

Indian Jews are decendents from one of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, the B’ nei Menashe. In March 2005, Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar officially backed B’ nei Menashe’s claims after an investigation lasting several years.

The announcement led to a wave of immigration to the “Promised Land,” where members were formally converted to Orthodox Judaism.

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