17 July 2019 - 14 Tammuz 5779 - י"ד תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ט
International Women’s Day events in India E-mail

The Embassy of Israel in India celebrated International Women’s Day with a month full of women-empowerment activities in Delhi throughout March. The embassy’s activity ranged from culture to agriculture, from media to academia.

Women Empowerment Month with the Embassy of Israel began on 6 March with a Power Brunch with distinguished women from the Indian press and media. Editors and senior journalists shared their experience as women in their field, and the diplomatic team at the Embassy spoke about working in an all-women political team, except for the Ambassador.

On 8 March, the Israeli short film Ahotcha (Big Sister) was screened at Amity University, followed by a talk with the director, Michal Gassner. Later in the month, three Israeli films all directed by women were screened in an Israeli Film Festival, in co-operation with Hyderabad Film Club.

Mango expert Timna Shoer visited India, contributing to the Indo-Israeli co-operation on agriculture. And on 12 March, the Chair of the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education of Israel, Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, visited Delhi to promote further partnership in the field of academia between India and Israel.

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More Philippine caregivers deployed to Israel E-mail

In a report to the Department of Labor and Employment, the Philippine Embassy in Israel noted that for 2017, the deployment of Filipino caregivers in Israel increased by 2.53% compared with the 2016 figure.

According to the report, deployment from January to December 2017 reached 2,922, compared with 2,850 from January to December 2016.

Labor Attaché to Israel Rudy Gabasan noted that although there was an increase in deployment for 2017, this was minimal compared with the increase in 2016 (24.6%). The high placement fees for deployment to Israel are a significant factor in this minimal increase.

Although the minimum wage in Israel in the Household Service Workers category is higher than in other Middle East countries, caregivers going to Israel still pay exorbitant placement fees, which is illegal in the Philippines and in Israel.

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Ice cream company launches “Poor Jew” cone E-mail

The Jewish community in Russia’s Tatarstan region is strongly objecting to a new ice cream cone called “Poor Jew”. The product, by the Slavitsa company is wrapped in an image of Israel’s flag.

Leonid Shteinberg, a leader of the Jewish community in Naberezhnye Chelny, called the name “racist” and demanded that its production and sale be halted, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reported. The city prosecutor’s office says it will investigate the complaints.

In a social media post announcing the product’s launch on 28 February, the company described it as a “crusty horn” filled with chocolateand prune-flavoured ice cream and topped with peanuts. “Trying all this tastiness, it turns out that he is not so ‘poor’,” the post asserted.

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In a rare development, an Israeli delegation attended a UN conference in Malaysia last month. Malaysia and Israel have no official diplomatic or formal ties.

The Israeli delegation was part of the Ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF), that was held from 7 to 13 February in Kuala Lumpur. Participants from 165 countries, including more than 100 Ministers and Deputy Ministers, debated concrete implementation steps and how to work together building the Cities 2030, the Cities for All. Ironically, the next event will be held in Abu Dhabi in 2020.

WUF is the world’s premier conference on urban issues. It was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanisation and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies.

Malaysia has strong diplomatic support for the Palestinian cause, and anti-Israel protests have occurred over many decades. More recently, thousands of people took to the streets in Malaysia in December to protest when US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital.

Malaysia defended the decision to allow the Israeli delegation to attend the conference. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman said that Malaysia, as host of the international forum on urban development, had no choice but to allow all UN member states to take part.

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Israel and the Philippines mark 60th anniversary of Treaty of Friendship E-mail

On 26 February, Israel and the Philippines marked the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the two countries.

“The treaty was signed a few months after the establishment of diplomatic relations, highlighting the fact that it’s not just political bilateral relations, it’s also a people-to-people relationship founded on the basis of deep ties bonding our two nations historically,” Israel’s Ambassador to the Philippines Effie Ben Matityau said.

On 26 February 1958, then Philippine Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Felixberto Serrano and Israel’s Head of Mission Daniel Lewin signed the treaty for “perpetual peace and firm and lasting friendship between the Republic of the Philippines and the State of Israel and between their people”.

“We also commemorate and highlight a year of jubilees between 2017 and 2018, the 80th anniversary of President Manuel Quezon’s Open Door Policy, the 70th anniversary of the Philippines’ vote for the United Nations resolution that led to the creation of the State of Israel, and of course the 70th anniversary of our statehood,” added Ambassador Ben Matityau.

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