JTA NEWS
19 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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Israel beaten in World Baseball Classic in Tokyo E-mail

Team Israel saw its Cinderella run at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) end in March with a loss to Japan in Tokyo. Japan snapped a scoreless tie with five runs in the sixth inning on the way to an 8-3 victory in front of more than 40,000 fans packed into the Tokyo Dome.

Israel, the lowest-ranked team to qualify for the showcase tournament, dropped its last two games in the second round and did not advance to the semifinals in Los Angeles. Japan, with a tournament record of 6-0, and the Netherlands advanced from Pool E.

Israel had startled the baseball world by opening the tournament with four straight victories, including a 4-1 win over powerhouse Cuba in the first game of the second round, but lost 12-2 to the Netherlands and needed to beat Japan to move on. In the first round, the Israelis squeaked past third-ranked South Korea, 2-1, in extra innings, outscored fourth-ranked Taiwan, 15-7, and defeated ninth-ranked the Netherlands, 4-2, to finish first in Pool A with a 3-0 record.

This is the first year that Israel has qualified for the tournament. In 2012, its inaugural WBC squad narrowly missed advancing past the qualifiers.

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Switzerland to launch Holocaust remembrance app E-mail

A new app to teach youth about the Holocaust will be a centrepiece of Switzerland’s chairmanship of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

Switzerland took over the rotating chairmanship of the 31-member intergovernmental group from Romania on 7 March.

The app, called Fliehen vor dem Holocaust, or Escaping the Holocaust, allows users to learn about the fate of four individuals by using multimedia tools.

In a ceremony at the Swiss embassy in Berlin, Benno Bättig, secretarygeneral of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, said that educators must take on “the challenge of virtual reality” so youth will grasp that “we are speaking about people”, not merely about numbers.

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Agricultural Ministry signs MOU with Japan E-mail

Aiming to increase the quantity and quality of global food resources, Israel’s Volcani Center and Japan’s National Food Research Organization (NARO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for agricultural research co-operation in March.

The agreement, signed at the Agriculture Ministry’s Volcani Center, calls for collaborative research projects in the fields of water technology, environmental protection, agricultural sustainability and plant sciences. Researchers and managers of NARO – a government body located near Tokyo with about 4,900 employees – recently visited the Volcani Center, where they viewed the site’s laboratories and innovation under development. Some of the technologies on display include robotic systems, and precision agriculture and irrigation systems used to improve new plant varieties, a statement from Volcani said.

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Yad Vashem pressures online retailer Amazon E-mail

The Yad Vashem Holocaust museum has called on the online retailer Amazon to remove books that deny the Holocaust from its websites.

Robert Rozett, director of the Yad Vashem Libraries, sent an email in March to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, requesting that he immediately remove the books from the sites.

“It has been clear for many years now that Holocaust denial literature is freely available for purchase over Amazon. Many of the items appear with glowing readers’ reviews and recommendations for further reading in the same vein,” Rozett wrote in the letter, The Jerusalem Post first reported. His letter continued, “Once again, given the presence of anti-Semitism around the globe, which has become more prevalent in recent years, we strongly urge you to remove books that deny, distort and trivialize the Holocaust from your store.”

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Australia welcomes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu E-mail

After visiting Singapore, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife were welcomed by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his wife Lucy on 22 February at the start of a four-day visit to the country. Prime Minister Netanyahu inspected an honour guard and received a salute.

“I’m honoured to be the rst Israeli Prime Minister to officially visit Australia. God, it’s been a long time coming! It celebrates, really, 100 years of friendship of Australia to the Jewish people and their state,” commented Prime Minister Netanyahu.

On his first day in Australia, Mr Netanyahu repeated several times how much the country had done for Israel – from liberating Beersheba in WWI to playing a key role in the establishment of Israel as a state in 1947. “We are going to celebrate this and I’ve invited you, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and your delegation to mark this extraordinary event,” Netanyahu added.

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