JTA NEWS
24 April 2018 - 9 Iyyar 5778 - ט' אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Chinese tourists make Hitler salute E-mail

Two Chinese tourists were arrested in Germany for making the “Heil Hitler” salute on 6 August.

The men, aged 36 and 49, made the illegal salute in front of the Reichstag building, where the German parliament meets, Reuters reported. They were taking photos of each other giving the salute. According to police, the men were arrested for “using symbols of illegal organisations”. It is illegal to use symbols of Nazism in Germany.

They were released after they each posted bail of 500 Euros, or nearly US$600. If convicted, the men face a fine or a prison sentence of up to three years.

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Hong Kong welcomes new Consul General E-mail

Mrs Ahuva Spieler is the newly appointed Consul General to Israel in Hong Kong and Macau.

Arriving in August, she has replaced Sagi Karni, who was appointed for four years. Consul General Spieler becomes the first female consul to represent Israel in Hong Kong.

Mrs Spieler developed an early interest in Asia, graduating with a B.A. in Far Eastern Studies (China) and International Relations, from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, in 1997.

Since joining Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in 2001, she served at Israel’s Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica (accredited to Nicaragua and Panama), as Deputy Ambassador from 2002 to 2007. She was also at the MFA headquarters in Jerusalem as Deputy Director at the Economic Department (The America & Africa) from 2007 to 2010, and at the Embassy of Israel in Madrid, Spain, as Cultural & Science Counsellor from 2010 to 2015.

From 2015 and prior to her arrival in Hong Kong, she served at the MFA headquarters as Chief of Staff to the Vice Director General and Head of Multilateral Directorate.

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ZAKA declared a “national rescue organisation” E-mail

Israel’s Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, recently declared ZAKA Search and Rescue a “national rescue organisation”.

This new designation, which took effect immediately, ensures that in the event of a mass casualty incident, ZAKA volunteers will be considered an integral part of the country’s emergency and rescue forces, under the direction of the relevant body in charge of the incident. This is in addition to a 2005 declaration by the-then Minister of Defense, which recognised ZAKA as an “aid organisation in times of emergency”.

ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav commented: “The designation by the Minister of Public Security of ZAKA as a ‘national rescue organisation’ – and this in addition to the designation by the Minister of Defense of ZAKA as an ‘aid organisation in times of emergency’ – serves to underline ZAKA’s national importance in times of emergency and the recognition of the professional operational capabilities of both the organisation and the volunteers.”

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IRAN CELEBRATES QUDS DAY WITH STRONG ANTI-ISRAEL SENTIMENT E-mail

Millions of Iranians took to the streets on 23 June to attend Quds Day, held annually to protest Israel and Zionism. The event is also celebrated and commemorated around the world.

According to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, protesters attending the anti-Israel rallies declared that destroying the Jewish state is “the Muslim world’s top priority”. In a statement released after the marches, Iranians participating in Quds Day also called for unity among pro-Palestinian groups against the “child-murdering” Israeli government.

The resolution also criticised the US and Saudi governments for their treatment of Iran. Their supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that Quds Day was “the symbol of fighting arrogance and global hegemons,” the news agency reported.

Iran’s government established Quds Day, held on the last Friday of Ramadan, in 1979. Al Quds is the Muslim name for Jerusalem. In the UK, marchers in the annual day parade blamed a fire in a low-income housing complex there that left 79 dead on “Zionists”.

Also, in a separate and disturbing development, during a UN session the Israeli diplomatic mission distributed to UN Security Council members satellite images of an Iranian site set up during a test carried out last year, using the Israeli flag the Star of David as a target for a ballistic missile test.

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Israel welcomes Indian Prime Minister E-mail

Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi visited Israel from 4 to 6 July, at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a red-carpet welcome to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu said “Apka swagat hai mere dost. We have been waiting for you for a long time”.

The visit included a call on the Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, and a working meeting and dinner with the Israeli Prime Minister.

This significant visit, the first of an Indian Prime Minister to Israel, took place against the backdrop of 25 years of diplomatic relations between India and Israel, and aimed to further upgrade the ever-growing partnership between the two countries.

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