19 October 2018 - 10 Heshvan 5779 - י' חשון ה' אלפים תשע"ט
Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary makes official visit to Israel E-mail

With increasing co-operation and the potential for closer collaboration between Hong Kong and Israel, Paul Chan, Hong Kong SAR’s Financial Secretary, led a 72-member delegation to Israel for an official visit from 3 to 6 September to strengthen economic and innovation & technology ties.

Included in the delegation were James Lau, the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury; Legislator Elizabeth Quat and business leaders representing financial services, venture capital investment, biotechnology, fintech and smartcity development. Also among the delegation were Stephen Phillips, Director-General of Investment Promotion, Invest Hong Kong; Ms Jojo Cheung, Chief Marketing Officer, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Hong Kong, and representatives of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) and Hong Kong Cyberport.

During the four-day visit, Financial Secretary Chan met with Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s Minister of Finance; Eli Cohen, the Minister of Economy and Industry; Dr Ami Appelbaum, the Chief Scientist of the Israeli Innovation Authority, and Ambassador Yael Ravia-Zadok, Deputy Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Deadly floods hit India E-mail

The tiny historic Jewish community in the southern Indian state of Kerala largely escaped harm from the deadly floods there that started in June and persisted until recently.

More than 350 people in Kerala have been killed and over one million have been displaced by the floods, which were the worst the state has experienced in a century. The Jewish community has about 26 members, most of whom reside in areas that were not affected, although the synagogues experienced flooding.

IsrAID dispatched a threeperson relief team to the state. The group, assembled from the organisation’s team stationed in Nepal since the 2015 earthquake, included an engineer, a project manager and a relief specialist. IsrAID is planning a long-term operation in Kerala to deal with the aftermath of the floods.

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Israeli-American suspected of murder in Taiwan captured E-mail

An Israeli-American man suspected of the grisly murder of a Canadian English teacher in Taipei was tracked down in the Philippines and was flown back to Taiwan on 5 September.

Police have identified him as 37-year-old Israeli-American tattoo artist Shlomo Mayer, who goes by the handle “Oz Diamond”.

It is alleged that Mayer and a 30-year-old African-American man named Ewart Odane Bent ambushed, murdered and dismembered a 43-year-old Canadian English teacher, Ramgahan Sanjay Ryan, with machetes on 21 August.

Mayer fled the country on 23 August and ended up in the Philippines. Taiwan and the Philippines have an extradition agreement, which means that Israel’s Foreign Ministry decided to not become involved in the handling of his case, despite a request from his family to intervene.

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Thai Government donates funds to Barzilai Medical Center E-mail

On 22 August, Penprapa Vongkovit, Ambassador of Thailand to Israel, handed over a donation of 72,654 NIS [about US$20,300] on behalf of the Royal Thai Government to Dr Chezy Levy, CEO and Medical Director of the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, Israel.

The donation is an expression of appreciation to the hospital for medical treatment rendered to Thai workers in the south of Israel, and will support the work of the hospital.

Barzilai Medical Center is a medium-sized hospital with 600 beds, located in Ashkelon, southern Israel, about 10 kilometres from the Gaza strip border.

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Nobuki Sugihara finds forged visas in Lithuania’s archives E-mail

Nobuki Sugihara, son of the late Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara, travelled to Lithuania last month and visited the state archives. The documents and files in the archives include life-saving visas that his father provided to thousands of Jews during the Holocaust.

According to the LETA news agency, Nobuki Sugihara discovered that the seals and signatures on some visas said to have been issued by his father differ from those on the Japanese consulate’s official documents. Some of the forged visas were issued after the closure of the Japanese consulate in Kaunas, according to a report by the archives. The report did not say who may have forged the visas, or when and why.

Sugihara lived in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second city, between 1939 and 1940 and opened Japan’s consulate there. In 1940 he gave transit visas into Japan to some thousands of Jews fleeing the Nazis. The recipients had destination visas into Curaçao, a Caribbean island that was a Dutch colony, supplied to them by Jan Zwartendijk, the Dutch honorary consul in Kaunas.

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