21 December 2019 - 23 Kislev 5780 - כ"ג כסלו ה' אלפים תש"פ
Israel immigration crackdown on Indian nationals E-mail

Israeli authorities arrested a family of Indian nationals residing last month as part of the Population Immigration and Border Authority’s crackdown on foreign workers who overstay their work visas.

According to various media reports, Tina and Minin Lopez and their Israeli-born children – Eliana (7-years-old) and a oneyear-old infant – were taken to the Beit Dagan detention facility in central Israel.

“Sources at the Indian mission said that the family were taken to the hospital for medical check-up and then presented in a court for hearing. The court decided that the family would be deported to India after completing documentation,” Indian magazine Outlook reported.

A PTI report claims that the family were released that same night, and are likely to be deported soon after related formalities are completed.

The couple reportedly came to Israel from Karnataka 12 years ago to work as caregivers.

The family’s attorney, David Tadmor, has termed the immigration authority’s action as “bullying”.

“This is a scandal. The Immigration Authority has not begun implementing the instructions of the Justice Ministry and the appellate court. It isn’t authorised at all to arrest children, and isn’t allowed to put out arrest warrants. We will contact the attorney general and demand that he immediately reins in the authority,” he told Haaretz.

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Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry confers medal on Don Shapiro E-mail

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu presented journalist Don Shapiro with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Friendship Medal of Diplomacy on 8 November.

Shapiro, a long-time resident of Taiwan, is currently Senior Director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei and Editor-in-chief of its Taiwan Business TOPICS publication.

He also reported for the New York Times in the 1970s, and Time magazine in the 1980-90s.

Wu praised Shapiro’s reporting on Taiwan’s democratic reforms and economic development and thanked him for his “remarkable contributions over the years to strengthening relations between Taiwan and the US.”

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India’s special minister for water makes official visit to Israel E-mail

India’s mission to ensure functional running water to every Indian household by 2024 will need Israel’ expertise, it has been asserted.

During Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent Independence Day address, he specifically mentioned a pledge to increase spending in the coming years, under the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, to bring piped water to all households by 2024.

Israel has made water recycling an integral part of daily life. More than 80% of household water waste is recycled, amounting to 400 million cubic metres a year. That ratio is four times higher than in any other country, according to Israel’s water authority.

India’s Jal Shakti Minister, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, is responsible for water resources, and embarked on a three-day visit to Israel between 17-19 November.

He met with Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Minister of Energywho is also responsible for natural resources Israel, including water systemsalongside other leading experts in the field of water management.

Five key areas have been identified for in-depth discussion during the Indian minister’s visit, which included his personal participation in many of the presentations.

These five areas are: waste water treatment, recycle, and reuse; water use efficiency; water – assessment, measurement and management with focus on technology to monitor ‘functionality’ of tap connection; ground water assessment and recharge; drinking water; and desalination.

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Israel to rebuild a new monument to honour Chiune Sugihara E-mail

Local media reports in Israel have indicated that a new monument will be erected to honour Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, who helped saved many thousands of Jews fleeing Lithaunia during WWII.

While working at the Japanese consulate in Lithuania during the war, Chiune Sugihara issued transit visas for Jewish refugees fleeing persecution in Nazi Germany.

His actions saved as many as 6,000 lives.

To commemorate this, Israel planted trees and built a monument near Jerusalem in 1985; however, one such tree has since been cut down by mistake earlier this year in Beit Shemesh, central Israel.

A related stone monument had also gone missing prior during preparation works for housing construction.

Sources say the Israeli government-affiliated organisation, the Jewish National Fund, has proposed an idea to rebuild the memorial at an alternate site nearby.

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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe receives AJC ‘Light Unto Nations Award’ E-mail

American Jewish Committee (AJC) honoured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on 12 November with its ‘Light Unto the Nations Award’.

It is the global Jewish advocacy organisation’s highest honour bestowed on world leaders who exhibit leadership in the defense of democratic values and friendship with the Jewish people.

“Steadfast defence of democratic values and unwavering commitment to friendship with the US and Israel are hallmarks of your leadership, and models for other nations to emulate,” said AJC CEO David Harris, who presented the award to the Prime Minister in Tokyo. “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.”

Upon receiving the award, Prime Minister Abe said that “It is my great honour to receive AJC’s Light Unto the Nations Award, a great and historic award. As CEO David Harris rightly mentioned, my cabinet, since its inception, has developed great relations with the US, the Jewish community, and Israel. In order to further build our ties with Israel and the Jewish community, I would like to thank AJC and the delegation for its support. Moving forward, I would also like to continue to advance the strong bond with the US and our mutual support for human dignity and shared values.”

Previous recipients of AJC’s ‘Light Unto the Nations Award’ include former US President Bill Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos, and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.

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