JTA NEWS
27 May 2019 - 22 Iyyar 5779 - כ"ב אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ט
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Ex-Pakistani leader calls for diplomatic relations with Israel E-mail

Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, who in 2005 established contacts via Turkey, told a journalist in Dubai that there is no harm in establishing relations with Israel. The news was first reported by The Media Line.

Musharraf said he believes it’s time for Pakistan to consider establishing ties with Israel. He was speaking at a press conference on 22 February in Dubai, where he has been living in selfexile to avoid what he believes are politically motivated court cases back home.

“There is no harm to establish a relationship with Israel,” Musharraf said, adding that “it will help Pakistan counter India” by accessing an “elite club” of “influential” nations.

His remarks came as tensions between Pakistan and India spiked recently over the contested Kashmir region.

Musharraf led Pakistan from 1999 to 2008. He was a strong critic of Israel until 2005, when he established contacts with the help of Turkey. Since then he has been a staunch supporter of ties between the two countries.

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Senior delegation visits China Israel Changzhou Innovation Park E-mail

On 14 March, Dr Eyal Propper, the Consul General of Israel in Shanghai, accompanied Zhou Minhao, District-Mayor of Shanghai Putuo District, and Cao Jiazhong, Standing Committee Member of Changzhou Municipal Committee and Executive Vice Mayor, to the China Israel Changzhou Innovation Park (CIP) initiative in Jiangsu Province.

Since the official launch of the CIP last year, it has attracted significant investment and interest from both sides. The park has so far gathered 81 Israeli and Chinese-Israeli co-operative enterprises, including the CI3 incubator, with more than 20 Israeli companies.

During the visit, the participants agreed that Shanghai has the best resources in the country in terms of innovation platform, innovation resources and financial capital, while Changzhou has a strong foundation in terms of industrial co-operation.

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135-year-old synagogue in Mumbai restored E-mail

After an extensive 20-month restoration effort, the 135-year-old Knesset Eliyahoo synagogue in the Kala Ghoda area of Mumbai, India, popularly known as the Blue Synagogue, was inaugurated in February at an event that underlined secularism and gender equality.

The restored neo-classical structure was inaugurated by Israel’s Ambassador to India, Ron Malka, and the Governor of Maharashtra, C Vidyasagar Rao.

In a first, non-Jews will not only be allowed to take a look at the place of worship but will also be welcomed to take part in the prayers. Sending out a message of secularism, Solomon Sopher, the leader of the Baghdadi Jewish community in Mumbai, said: “Everyone is welcome here. Be it Muslim, Christian, Hindu or any other community.”

Ambassador Malka spoke of the bond between Israel and India. “Many Jews moved to Israel from India, playing an important role in strengthening the relationship between the two countries. I want to congratulate the Maharashtra government for formally recognising the Jewish community.”

Sangita Jindal, chairperson of the JSW Foundation, which contributed towards the restoration, said the message she wanted to give through the restoration was of secularism. “I was told that no woman has ever stepped inside the prayer area from where I am speaking today. It is a privilege that I got the opportunity,” she said.

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Myanmar and Israel co-operate on agriculture research Print E-mail

As part of the bilateral cooperation between Myanmar and Israel, the inauguration ceremony of a Demonstration & Research Plot, established with the help of Israel, was held at Yezin Agricultural University in Myanmar on 21 February.

Attending the opening ceremony were Gilad Cohen, head of the Asia and Pacific division of Israel’s Foreign Ministry; Israel’s Ambassador to Myanmar Ronen Gilor; Naing Kyi Win, Director General of the Department of Agriculture Research; Dr Nang Hseng Horn, Rector of the university, and other guests.

The Israeli Embassy initiated the Israeli demonstration and research plot at the university in August 2017. The main purpose is to demonstrate to students and faculty members various aspects of Israel’s advanced agriculture and water-management techniques.

(Issue Apr 2019)

 
Last Chabad Yeshiva student to survive the Holocaust dies, aged 100 E-mail

Rabbi Avraham Tzvi Landa, the last Chabad Yeshiva student to survive the Holocaust, has died in the US. Landa died in his sleep on 15 February at the age of 100.

Landa escaped from Poland after being granted a visa in 1940 by Japanese consul Chiune Sugihara, and spent the remainder of WWII first in Kobe, and then in Shanghai. He was the last of the group of Polish Chabad Yeshiva students to escape the Nazis.

Landa had written to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the sixth Lubavitcher rebbe, for advice on how to get out of Vilnius, Poland, where he was in the Chabad Yeshiva, and received a reply that assured him that God would grant him “... long, good and illuminating days and years, within the tent of Torah.”

Landa’s parents and all but one of his siblings were killed in the Holocaust. He received a visa to the US and arrived in New York in 1946. He was a teacher for decades before taking a job at the US Postal Service. After retiring he taught in synagogues and Yeshivas in Borough Park in Brooklyn. He is survived by his four children and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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