JTA NEWS
19 September 2019 - 20 Elul 5779 - כ' אלול ה' אלפים תשע"ט
JTA NEWS :
Regional
Large pro-Israel rally held in India E-mail

Braving inclement weather and floods, Indian grassroots Hindu organisation Singha- Bahini conducted a major pro-Israel rally in Kolkata last month.

President of SinghaBahini, Devdutta Maji, personally organized the event. The rally saw more than 10,000 people gathering. This is an incomplete roll-call of support, with many other parties impeded by bumper- to-bumper traffic due to the sudden heavy rains and floods.

At the rally, placard slogans included “We Support the Jewish People in their 2000 years old struggle,” and “India and Israel Friends forever,” and “We support Israel in their war against terrorism”.

Maji, who visited Israel in 2018 and was hosted by Israelbased organisations and activists, told the Jerusalem Herald that the rally would “Help to build on the foundations we have created for the India-Israel relationship, on a people-topeople basis.”

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Israel wants Holocaust education added to Philippine schools E-mail

A formal request has been submitted for the story of the Holocaust to be added to the education curriculum in Philippine schools.

The request was given by the Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines, Rafael Harpaz during a visit with the Philippines Department of Education Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones in August.

Ambassador Harpaz proposed and requested the inclusion of the Holocaust in the country’s basic education curriculum, as the subject remains a grey area for many in South East Asia. Such inclusion, according to the ambassador, should contain what he described as the “invaluable support that the Philippines’ government extended to the Jewish people, through the efforts of then President Manuel Quezon.” Harpaz said the Philippines, under the administration of Quezon, was the only country in Asia that accepted Jewish refugees during WWII.

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Bar-Ilan and Chinese Academy of Sciences set up a Nanotechnology Excellence Centre E-mail

Israel’s Bar-Ilan University Institute of Nanotechnology and Advanced Materials (BINA) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) signed a joint agreement in Beijing on 20 August to establish a Chinese Centre of Excellence within Israel’s Bar-Ilan University.

The Chinese National Academy of Sciences will set up the Centre, which will include a research lab focused on nanomedicine, 2D-materials engineering, and grapheme production.

The Centre will host scientists from additional research institutes in Israel, according to a Bar-Ilan University statement.

The signing ceremony took place at the Chinese National Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Institute (NCNST) in the presence of diplomats from the Israeli Embassy in Beijing. The agreement was signed by the host and institute Director, Professor Yuliang Zhao, and Professor Dror Fixler (Director of the BINA).

The main goal of the joint research laboratory, according to the agreement, will be to integrate teamwork between Chinese and Israeli researchers.

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Israel orchestrates private bond sale to a Japanese investor E-mail

Israel raised 15 billion yen (US$138 million) in a private placement of bonds to a large Japanese institutional investor, Israel’s Finance Ministry said on 29 July. Details of the private investor have not been made public.

This development, underwritten by investment banking group Goldman Sachs, could attract similar appetite in the future- granted Israel maintains its enviable sovereign debt rating.

Israel is keen to diversify its investors and bring in more Asian exposure. As such, the seven-year bonds, which will pay fixed interest of 0.15pc, came after the Accountant General held meetings last month in Tokyo.

The ministry said the placement was made to one of Japan’s largest investors, and that it was its first investment in Israeli government debt.

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Shinzo Abe to receive American Jewish Committee’s prestigious ‘Light Unto Nations Award‘ E-mail

American Jewish Committee (AJC) announced in June that it will honour Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with its ‘Light unto the Nations Award’.

The statement was issued during the AJC Global Forum which took place from 2-4 June in Washington, D.C. It is AJC’s highest honour, typically bestowed upon world leaders who exhibit leadership, courage, and principle.

“Steadfast defense of democratic values, and an unwavering commitment to friendship with the United States and Israel, are hallmarks of your leadership and [are] models for other nations to emulate,” said AJC’s Asia Pacific Institute Chair, Jeffrey E. Stone. The AJC award will be presented to Abe later this year.

“Japan is a democratic powerhouse in Asia, an essential ally and partner of the US, a close friend of Israel, and an anchor of stability in a vital part of the world,” Stone added.

AJC, a leading global Jewish advocacy organisation, has uniquely engaged Japan over the past 30 years through its pioneering Asia Pacific Institute (API). Meetings with Prime Minister Abe have occurred regularly during the annual API delegations’ visits to Japan since he assumed office in 2012.

Kiyoto Tsuji, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, briefly addressed the AJC Global Forum. “I would like to express my deep appreciation on the bestowal of the ‘Light Unto the Nations Award’ from AJC to Japan’s Prime Minister Abe. I take the award as a sign of acknowledgement of the leadership that he has shown for many years in promoting the partnership between Japan and the Jewish community, including Israel.”

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