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27 May 2018 - 14 Sivan 5778 - י"ד סיון ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Israel’s Transport Minister invites Japanese participation in Middle-East infrastructure projects E-mail

On a three-day visit to Japan in October, Israel’s transportation minister, Israel Katz, announced a far-reaching proposal that could radically transform the geopolitical landscape.

Katz, who doubles as minister of intelligence, invited Japanese participation in multibillion- dollar projects to dramatically improve infrastructure in the Middle East. Israel’s goal, he said, was to establish itself “as the ultimate gateway between Europe, the Mediterranean and the Gulf countries, to transport goods from east to west and bridge three continents”.

Katz intends to propose ambitious, unprecedented cooperation between Israel and the Sunni Arab world, along with simultaneous plans to help the Palestinians in both Gaza and the West Bank. His plan is twofold: one part would be a land bridge dubbed “Tracks for Peace”, and the second part would be an artificial island off the Gaza Strip.

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Israel Prime Minister to visit India E-mail

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on 23 October that he will visit India in January, six months after his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi visited the Jewish state.

Netanyahu will be only the second Israeli Prime Minister to visit India — Ariel Sharon visited New Delhi in 2003. “In the past year, I have visited all the continents besides Antarctica,” Netanyahu said at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament). “And in January, I will make a reciprocal visit to my dear good friend, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, whose population is a significant part of humanity,” he added.

Modi’s visit to Israel in July this year celebrated 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Modi’s visit, the first by an Indian Prime Minister, was described by many as the dehyphenation of New Delhi’s ties with the Palestinians.

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Anne Frank Halloween costume removed from websites E-mail

Just in time for this year’s celebratory Holloween parties, an online costume company removed a Halloween costume of Holocaust diarist Anne Frank from its US and European websites.

Holloween costumes.com, whose website is run by Minnesota- based company Fun. com, pulled the costumes after a backlash on social media.

The costume, which can be seen on social media in screen grabs, included a long-sleeved blue button-up dress, a brown shoulder bag and a green beret. The company described Frank as a WWII hero and an inspiration, adding that “we can always learn from the struggles of history”.

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New Israeli bank notes to feature women Print E-mail

The Bank of Israel has announced that the new NIS 20 and NIS 100 banknotes — the two remaining denominations in series C of the New Israel Shekel (NIS) — are expected to enter circulation at the end of November this year.

The new NIS 20 note is red and will have an image of Rachel Bluwstein — known in Hebrew as Rachel the poetess, and the back of the bill will contain words from her poem “Kinneret” (meaning the Sea of Galilee), alongside a picture of the shore of the same lake. The new NIS 100 is orange and bears the portrait of Leah Goldberg, one of Israel’s most acclaimed poets and writers. The back of the bill will have an image of deer plus an excerpt from Goldberg’s poem “White Days”.

Within the framework of the preparations for issuing the new banknotes, automated-machine operators are required to complete the calibration of vending machines and banknote-counting machines, through software that identifies new banknotes.

(Issue Nov 2017)

 
JERUSALEM’S BIENNALE SHOW INCLUDES EXHIBITORS AND PROJECTS FROM ASIA E-mail

The third Jerusalem Biennale, currently underway, is hosting many dozens of exhibitions and projects from all around the world. Well over 200 global artists, including many from Asia, are displaying their works. The event runs until 16 November.

This year’s Biennale Show also encompasses 26 Jewish contemporary art exhibitions and projects, and is happening in several venues across the city, including the Tower of David Museum, The Bible Lands Museum, Hebrew Union College (The Skirball Museum), Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Jerusalem Research Institute and more.

The central mission of the Jerusalem Biennale is to facilitate the manifestation of various creative forces in Jerusalem, within the framework of Contemporary Jewish Art.

This year’s theme is “Watershed”. As a geological term, it examines water, streams and rivers that split and converge. It can also be used as a metaphor to help us think about ourselves and the way we split and converge as individuals and groups. In both Hebrew (Kav Parahat Hamayim) and English, the word “watershed” refers to a significant turning point – an event that changes the course of history.

One of the strongest showcases features Indian artists. A group of nine Indian artists built their biennale exhibition, “War and Peace”, around a shared watershed moment: Indian and Israeli independence from the British Mandate, which occurred in 1947 and 1948 respectively. “When I read the history of Israel I found a lot of similarities between India and Israel. And I have been working on watershed themes for years, inspired by events in New Delhi,” said curator and participant Hemavathy Guha.

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