11 April 2016 - 3 Nisan 5776 - ג' ניסן ה' אלפים תשע"ו
Helping flood victims in Myanmar Print E-mail

In August, Israel’s embassy in Myanmar donated over 12.5 million kyat worth of relief goods to flood victims from Thayarwaddy, where over 2,000 people were evacuated to 12 rescue camps.

Ambassador Daniel Zonshine visited the area and donated dry noodles, hygiene kits, mosquito nets and medicines on behalf of the people and the State of Israel. He also visited the Tharyarwaddy District Hospital to donate medicines for the flood victims.

The ambassador noted that Israel will continue helping the rehabilitation of flood victims of Myanmar. Up to 150,000 people have been displaced or had their livelihoods affected by the terrible flood.

(Issue September 2015)


New Shekel bill note to debut in early 2016 E-mail

The Bank of Israel will introduce a new 200 NIS (shekels) bill into circulation in early 2016. It will be blue and will feature the image of poet Nathan Alterman.

The 200 shekels bill will be the second in a series of four new bills. The first one, a green 50 shekels bill featuring poet Shaul Tchernichovsky, went into circulation in September 2014.

The new banknotes all include strict security markers to help prevent forgery and make it easier to identify fake bills. On the front of the 200 shekels bill, the words to Alterman’s Eternal Meeting Morning Song will be printed in small print next to his image. The text will be legible only with the use of a magnifying glass. The back of the bill will feature an image of vegetation at night and excerpts from Alterman’s Morning Song.

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A further strengthening of infrastructure co-operation between Israel and China was implemented with the recent announcement that a Chinese company, The Shanghai International Port (Group) Co., Ltd (SIPG), has obtained the right to run a new port in Haifa, northern Israel.

SIPG won the bid in March to operate the new port in Haifa for 25 years starting from 2021. The new port is currently under construction by Shapir Engineering and the Ashtrom group at a cost of around US$1 billion, and is expected to be completed by 2020. It will be able to handle 1.86 million standard containers, which will make it the largest harbour in Israel.

“The Chinese firm will bring its capabilities to the port development and strengthen relations between China and Israel,” said Israeli Transport and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz during the signing ceremony.

Chen Xuyuan, SIPG chairman, told Xinhua news agency that SIPG will employ its rich experience and technologies in managing ports as well as its long-term relations with shipping lines to develop Haifa’s new port into a regional transport hub.

Chen said that under the agreement, SIPG will invest around US$2 billion to build facilities at the harbour and purchase equipment for it. In the first stage of investment, a 700-metre-long harbour will be built. It will eventually be extended to 1,500 metres.

Sholomo Breiman, CEO of the Israel Ports Development and Assets Company, reinforced his expectations that SIPG would deliver a very competitive port. “The SIPG is one of the best companies all over the world, and we are looking for such a company to bring new methods of operation to Israel in order to increase the level of service.”

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Israel and China sign simplified customs rules E-mail

Israel and China have signed a roadmap agreement laying out policies that are expected to significantly boost trade.

The Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) agreement simplifies the customs approval procedure, settling on a recognised standard set of rules.

Once the final agreement is signed, approved Israeli companies will be able to take a “bureaucratic shortcut” for their exports, getting an expedited approval process and having to deal with fewer logistical hurdles. “The mutual recognition programme streamlines and simplifies trade between two countries, in this case between Israel and China, while maintaining a high level of enforcement,” Israel Tax Authority director Moshe Asher said.

“The relief granted to members of the trade community due to their participation in the programme is expressed through saving time and money, which is of beneficial interest in Israeli companies, exporters and importers and makes them more attractive to global trade market,” he said.

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Ice-cream cones named after Adolf Hitler E-mail

In yet another Hitler-related marketing incident in India, boxes of Hitler ice cream cones bearing the unsmiling image of the Nazi leader dressed in a military uniform are apparently available throughout India.

With temperatures soaring in India, ice-cream is a creamy and refreshing way to cool down. Unfortunately the eye catching ice-cream cones provides unpleasant enjoyment!

In 2012, municipal authorities in the Indian state of Gujarat removed the sign for a men’s clothing store named Hitler. The sign, on which the letter “i” was dotted with a swastika, was removed after hundreds of complaints from both within and outside of the Jewish community.

A year earlier, an Indian network premièred a daily soap opera called “Hitler Didi”, or “Auntie Hitler”, in which the lead character was a young woman known in her locality as a strict disciplinarian who took a no-nonsense attitude with her family.

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