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24 November 2017 - 6 Kislev 5778 - ו' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
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New Israeli bank notes to feature women Print E-mail

The Bank of Israel has announced that the new NIS 20 and NIS 100 banknotes — the two remaining denominations in series C of the New Israel Shekel (NIS) — are expected to enter circulation at the end of November this year.

The new NIS 20 note is red and will have an image of Rachel Bluwstein — known in Hebrew as Rachel the poetess, and the back of the bill will contain words from her poem “Kinneret” (meaning the Sea of Galilee), alongside a picture of the shore of the same lake. The new NIS 100 is orange and bears the portrait of Leah Goldberg, one of Israel’s most acclaimed poets and writers. The back of the bill will have an image of deer plus an excerpt from Goldberg’s poem “White Days”.

Within the framework of the preparations for issuing the new banknotes, automated-machine operators are required to complete the calibration of vending machines and banknote-counting machines, through software that identifies new banknotes.

(Issue Nov 2017)

 
JERUSALEM’S BIENNALE SHOW INCLUDES EXHIBITORS AND PROJECTS FROM ASIA E-mail

The third Jerusalem Biennale, currently underway, is hosting many dozens of exhibitions and projects from all around the world. Well over 200 global artists, including many from Asia, are displaying their works. The event runs until 16 November.

This year’s Biennale Show also encompasses 26 Jewish contemporary art exhibitions and projects, and is happening in several venues across the city, including the Tower of David Museum, The Bible Lands Museum, Hebrew Union College (The Skirball Museum), Polonsky Academy at the Van Leer Jerusalem Research Institute and more.

The central mission of the Jerusalem Biennale is to facilitate the manifestation of various creative forces in Jerusalem, within the framework of Contemporary Jewish Art.

This year’s theme is “Watershed”. As a geological term, it examines water, streams and rivers that split and converge. It can also be used as a metaphor to help us think about ourselves and the way we split and converge as individuals and groups. In both Hebrew (Kav Parahat Hamayim) and English, the word “watershed” refers to a significant turning point – an event that changes the course of history.

One of the strongest showcases features Indian artists. A group of nine Indian artists built their biennale exhibition, “War and Peace”, around a shared watershed moment: Indian and Israeli independence from the British Mandate, which occurred in 1947 and 1948 respectively. “When I read the history of Israel I found a lot of similarities between India and Israel. And I have been working on watershed themes for years, inspired by events in New Delhi,” said curator and participant Hemavathy Guha.

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India looking to bid for Israel oil-and-gas exploration E-mail

Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp plans to bid for Israeli offshore oil-and-gas exploration blocks, India’s oil minister told Reuters. It is the first significant major development between the two countries since a groundbreaking trip by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visit to the country in July.

A high-ranking delegation from India, the world’s third-biggest oil consumer, recently visited Israel to discuss taking part in the tender for blocks in the Mediterranean Sea. “We will definitely bid for Israel’s oiland-gas blocks,” said Indian Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. Many oil majors have been hesitant to enter the Israeli market, fearing a backlash from oil-rich Arab states hostile to the country.

Israel put 24 exploration blocks up for auction in November 2016, and the country’s energy minister, Yuval Steinitz, has said he would be happy to choose two or three foreign exploration groups. The auction closes on 15 November.

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Israel and China sign financial protocol E-mail

Israel and China signed a US$300 million extension of a financial protocol between the two countries in Beijing in September, aimed at increasing Israeli exports of clean tech and agricultural technologies to China.

The deal, signed by Israel’s Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon and his Chinese counterpart Xiao Jie, is an intergovernmental agreement that provides state guarantees for Israeli banks to provide long-term credit to Chinese importers to make purchases from Israeli exporters. Since the original financial protocol was
signed in 1995, some 320 transactions worth some US$1.75 billion have been signed in various fields, including health, agriculture and education.

“The visit to China follows the implementation of significant export transactions from Israel to China in recent years, which demonstrates the strength of Israeli industry and its reputation in the world,” Kahlon said.

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First time since WWII, a far-right party in the German parliament E-mail

Jewish leaders congratulated Angela Merkel in September on her election to a fourth term as German chancellor, while decrying the rise of Germany’s newest right-wing populist party, which for the first time will enter the national parliament.

The Alternative for Germany Party, or AfD, finished third with 13.1% of the popular vote. The party, which was founded in 2013, is likely to have 94 seats in the 631-member Bundestag.

Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union won with what is being seen as a weak 32.9 % of the vote, followed by the Social Democratic Party, with what observers have called a poor showing of 20.8%.

Speaking to the Tagesspiegel newspaper in Berlin, Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, called the AfD a “party that agitates against minorities”. For now their target is Muslims, he noted.

“But I am convinced that when the topic of Muslims is no longer interesting, and it becomes politically and socially opportune to switch to another minority, they could easily do so. And I include Jews in that number,” Schuster said.

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