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16 December 2019 - 18 Kislev 5780 - י"ח כסלו ה' אלפים תש"פ
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World Bank lists Israel 49th in Doing Business Index Print E-mail

Israel has climbed five spots on the World Bank’s “2019 Doing Business Index”, published in November, and is now ranked 49th out of 190 countries after a seven-year downward trend.

Published annually, the index analyses a variety of criteria, including government regulation, access to electricity, taxation and the availability of financing to determine a country’s ranking in terms of the ease of doing business there. The top five countries/jurisdictions this year, in order, are New Zealand, Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong and South Korea. The US is ranked eighth and the UK is ninth.

(Issue Dec 2018)

 
US State Dept offers reward for information on Mumbai attacks E-mail

On the 10th anniversary of the co-ordinated terror attack on sites in Mumbai, the US State Department offered a new reward of US$5 million for information leading to the arrest of its planners and facilitators.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered “solidarity with the people of India and the city of Mumbai on the 10th anniversary of the Mumbai terrorist attack” he said in a statement on 26 November. “We stand with the families and friends of the victims, whose loved ones were lost in this act of barbarism, including six American citizens. The barbarity of 26/11 shocked the entire world.”

On 26 November 2008, 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, an Islamic terrorist organisation based in Pakistan, carried out a series of 12 co-ordinated shooting and bombing attacks on locations throughout the Indian city. The Nariman Chabad House was among the specifically targeted locations.

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Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson dies E-mail

Robert Faurisson, a former French academic whose denial of the Holocaust inspired many claims that the genocide did not happen, died on 21 October in his hometown of Vichy. He was 89.

British-born Faurisson was a staunch defender of Marshal Philippe Petain, the French leader who collaborated with Nazi occupiers of the country during WWII, and whose government was named for its former seat of Vichy. Faurisson was convicted several times for claiming there were no systematic mass killings of Jews by Nazi Germany.

A former professor of French literature at the University of Lyon, Faurisson claimed there were no gas chambers in wartime Europe, saying deported Jews died instead of disease and malnutrition.

He said The Diary of Anne Frank was a hoax, and was convicted by a French court in 1981 of inciting hatred and racial discrimination for a book claiming that reports about the Holocaust were “grossly exaggerated” and that genocide was not a policy fundamental to Nazism.

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CHINA’S VICE-PRESIDENT ATTENDS EVENT ON INNOVATION CO-OPERATION WITH ISRAEL E-mail

China’s Vice President Wang Qishan made a significant four-day visit to Israel in October, to attend the 4th IsraelChina Joint Committee on Innovation Cooperation, be the guest of honour at the Prime Minister’s Innovation Summit and attend a ceremony inaugurating the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation.

The visit was also noteworthy as it was the first visit by a senior Chinese leader since the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited the country in 2000. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed Vice President Wang on 22 October at the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem, where the esteemed visitor signed the guestbook.

Vice President Wang was accompanied on the trip by a large delegation of Chinese businesspeople and executives, including the founder of the Alibaba Group Jack Ma and many ministry officials. In all, around 13 senior Chinese ministry officials were part of the delegation.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told Vice President Wang: “Welcome to Israel. This is the most important visit by a Chinese leader in the last 18 years. It’s a sign of our growing friendship. The fact that the Vice President of China came to Israel at my invitation for the Prime Minister’s Innovation Conference is a tremendous compliment to Israel and a reflection of the growing ties between China and Israel. And I look forward to our discussions.”

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Singapore minister visits Israel E-mail

Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean visited Israel from 15 to 18 October for the third leg of his journey through the Middle East. During his stay he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo called on Netanyahu on 17 October. Both leaders reaffirmed the countries’ strong bilateral co-operation in areas such as security, education, research and development, and technical fields, and discussed ways to further expand that co-operation. They also had a useful exchange of views on regional and international developments. He reiterated Singapore’s consistent and longstanding position on a two-state solution. “We support Israel’s right to live within secure borders and in peace, and also the right of the Palestinian people to a homeland,” he said.

Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security, received a briefing from the Israel Cyber National Directorate on cyber-security issues. “Given the transboundary and cross-cutting nature of cyber security, both sides had a productive discussion and shared best practices,” said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.

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