19 November 2017 - 1 Kislev 5778 - א' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely revealed that Israel and Indonesia conducted secret negotiations, and that a representative of the Israeli Foreign Ministry recently visited the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta.

The statements were made in reply to a question in the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) from MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) regarding the Israeli decision to prevent Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi from entering Ramallah in March.

Israeli authorities stopped Marsudi from entering Ramallah to visit the Palestinian Authority (PA). According to local Israeli media, the Israeli decision to prevent her entry was sparked when she refused to meet with Israeli government officials in Jerusalem.

Marsudi was travelling to Ramallah to dedicate an honorary Indonesian consulate to the PA and to meet Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and President Mahmoud Abbas.

Haaretz reported that if Marsudi visited Ramallah she would also need to meet with Israeli politicians in Jerusalem. While Israel, as a result of policy changes in recent years, does not allow foreign ministers from countries with which it has relations to visit the PA without also visiting Israeli officials, ministers from Arab and Muslim countries had previously been allowed to go to Ramallah only.

“There were secret communications with Indonesia, with which we have no diplomatic relations, and there were understandings that they crudely violated, and we therefore prevented her from entering,” said Hotovely in the Knesset. “It was a violation of the diplomatic code, and so the most honourable thing is to honour the code, and when you commit a violation, don’t be surprised that you are preventing yourself from visiting the Palestinian Authority.”

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Rabbi rescues Israeli backpackers in Nepal E-mail

On 16 March, Rabbi Chezki Lifshitz, who co-directs Chabad of Nepal with his wife, Chani, joined the crew of a medical evacuation helicopter in Nepal to rescue two stranded Israeli backpackers who were suffering from hypothermia at an altitude of 15,500 feet.

Backpackers Maya Butbul and Sharon Nachumi were rescued from their predicament on a ridge in the Himalayas, 100 miles from the capital, Kathmandu.

The two women had messaged the rabbi an SOS signal with a satellite phone they had borrowed from a Chabad House in Kathmandu. “Hypothermia had set in, and every minute was precious,” Rabbi Lifshitz said.

Thanks to the Chilik Magnus rescue squad, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and fellow Israeli backpackers trained in first aid, the women were cared for until the chopper arrived. They were then taken from the Annapurna range in the Himalayas to a hospital in Kathmandu, where they received treatment.

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Bank of Israel signs MoU with Reserve Bank of India Print E-mail

The Bank of Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on “Supervisory Cooperation and Exchange of Supervisory Information” with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 8 March.

The signing of the MoU is intended to strengthen the ties between the Reserve Bank of India and the Bank of Israel, and reflects the commitment of the authorities to the principles of consolidated supervision and co-operation among banking regulators.

The MoU was signed by Mrs. Parvathy V. Sundaram, Chief General Manager-inCharge, Department of Banking Supervision on behalf of RBI, and Dr. Hedva Ber, Supervisor of Banks on behalf of the Bank of Israel. The MoU also reflects the commitment of the authorities to the principles of consolidated supervision and co-operation among banking regulators.

(Issue April 2016)


Japanese tourist injured by stone-throwers in Jerusalem Print E-mail

A 69-year-old female tourist from Japan was lightly wounded last month by stonethrowers who pelted a group of visitors from a roof near Saint Anne’s Catholic Church near Lion’s Gate in Jerusalem, police said.

The woman had wounds to her head, and paramedics transferred her to the emergency room at Hadassah University Medical Center. “I’m a tourist in Israel as part of a tour group of Japanese people who love Israel; I was very surprised by the stone-throwing attack,” said the wounded woman. “At the time [of the attack] I was praying and I didn’t understand what had hit me.”

Police have launched searches for the perpetrators of the incident. The identity of the assailants was not initially known.

(Issue April 2016)


Postage stamp for “British Schindler” issued E-mail

Britain’s Royal Mail issued a commemorative stamp in March featuring Sir Nicholas Winton, known as the “British Schindler”.

The first-class stamp is part of a set of six commemorative stamps honouring some of the UK’s greatest humanitarians and their achievements, the BBC reported.

Winton, who helped rescue 669 children from Nazioccupied Czechoslovakia, died on 1 July, 2015, at the age of 106. An online petition calling for the stamp, set up later that month by Jewish News, garnered nearly 106,000 signatures. The Royal Mail commissions 12 new stamps each year that must be approved by the Queen. The other two first-class stamps feature Sue Ryder, who founded homes for people in need, and Nobel Prizewinning scientist Lord Boyd Orr. The other three stamps feature Joseph Rowntree, a Quaker philanthropist; Eglantyne Jebb, founder of the organisation that became Save the Children; and Josephine Butler, a Victorianera campaigner for women’s rights and social reform.

Winton, the baptised son of Jewish parents, was a 29-yearold stockbroker when he arrived in Prague in December 1938. He had been planning to go on a skiing holiday in Switzerland, but changed his plans when he heard about the refugee crisis in Czechoslovakia, which had just been occupied by the Nazis. In the following nine months he organised eight trains that carried children, the vast majority of them Jewish, from Czechoslovakia to safety in Britain.

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