26 August 2016 - 22 Av 5776 - כ"ב אב ה' אלפים תשע"ו
French comedian barred from Hong Kong E-mail

Controversial French comedian Dieudonne M’bala M’bala, who arrived in Hong Kong on 28 January to perform two stand-up comedy shows, was expelled from Hong Kong a day after being detained, and his shows were cancelled. His two sons, one a minor, were also detained.

Dieudonne, who has been convicted seven times in France for inciting racial hatred against Jews, posted photos of the incident on his official Facebook page. In a later post, he said he had been detained for 15 hours, and blamed it on “pressure by Israel”. He returned to Paris via Thailand on the same day.

In November last year, a Belgian court sentenced Dieudonne to two months in jail for racist and anti-Semitic comments during a show there.

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Couple arrested for forged Israeli passports Print E-mail

An Iranian couple was arrested in India while trying to board a British Airways flight because they were carrying forged Israeli passports.

The husband and wife were also carrying their original Iranian passports when they were arrested on 24 January at Chennai Airport, the New Indian Express reported.

They had met and married while working in India and had planned to settle in the US. The couple reportedly thought it would be easier to enter the US with Israeli passports. Airport police told the newspaper that the passports were forged in Goa in India, where the man was working.

(Issue March 2016)


Israeli wine exports to Asia increase E-mail

Israel’s wine exports grew 6% to US$39 million in 2015, the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute commented during the 2016 Sommelier Wine Exhibition, which was held in Tel Aviv in January, where 80 wineries displayed their wares.

The Export Institute added that despite last year’s larger export volume, the money value of exports actually slipped 3% in 2015, due to the weakness of the Euro.

An analysis by the wine industry and the Export Institute’s economic unit shows that most of the increase in Israel’s exports of wine and other alcoholic beverages were to Asia: the wine sector’s exports to Asia rose 16% to US$2.6 million, while exports to North America grew 8% to US$25 million. Exports to the European Union were down 18% to US$10 million, which the Export Institute attributed to the Euro crisis.

According to Export Institute figures, Israel has 300 wineries, 60 of which are commercial. Most of the wineries are boutique and garage wineries – small businesses producing only a few thousand bottles a year. The local wine market’s annual turnover is NIS 1 billion, with exports totalling 40 million bottles a year, plus 10 million more bottles of grape juice, and 20% of output is for export.

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Twitter suspends accounts for terror threats, mostly ISIS-related E-mail

Twitter said in February that it has suspended over 125,000 accounts “for threatening or promoting terrorist acts, primarily related to ISIS”.

“We condemn the use of Twitter to promote terrorism and the Twitter Rules make it clear that this type of behaviour, or any violent threat, is not permitted on our service,” the social networking service reported on its blog.

Twitter said it has increased the size of the team that reviews reports of abuse, and that has reduced response time to such abuse on the app. It also said that it was partnering with organisations working to counter extremist content online.

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More Indian tourists E-mail

Israel is actively targeting 50% more Indian tourists in 2016, said a top executive from the Israel Ministry of Tourism (IMOT).

The country welcomed 13% more Indian tourists in 2015, with approximately 40,000 Indian tourists visiting Israel compared to around 35,000 in 2014. December 2015 alone saw a growth of 52% over the previous year, IMOT said. Israel attracted over three million visitors globally in 2015.

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