JTA NEWS
22 November 2017 - 4 Kislev 5778 - ד' כסלו ה' אלפים תשע"ח
JTA NEWS :
Regional
New offering for Indian tourists: “defence” tourism E-mail

Increasing the number of tourists from India to Israel is a major aim of the Israeli Ministry of Tourism (IMOT) in India, which has organised extended tourism road shows. In a new initiative, IMOT is in discussions with Indian travel agents regarding “anti-terrorism” or “defence” tourism, an Israeli official has said.

Hasan Madah, director of IMOT India, said: “It’s a niche concept. There are many tourists from the US and Europe who are interested to learn how people defend themselves and things about warfare... because the reputation of Israeli security is very high.”

Madah said some entrepreneurs were exploring the concept, after tourists displayed an interest in training in defensive tactics. He explained: “They want to know how to shoot, how to die, how to tackle. It’s similar to paintball. Some people like to relax and some people like to get things done, so why not? We are exploring all (tourism) angles with travel agents in India. We are interested in promoting anything that brings in tourists.”

Ministry officials were on a roadshow that started in Mumbai on 21 August, taking in Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad and Bangalore, before finishing in Chennai on 30 August.

The Israeli delegation was led by Mahad, along with Judah Samuel, director of marketing at IMOT India, and included representative partners from the tourism industry of Israel.

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India approves MOU fund with Israel E-mail

On 30 August, India’s cabinet approved the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Israel to set up US$ 40 million fund for industrial research and technological innovation.

“The union cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Israel on ‘India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)’. The MoU was concluded in July, 2017,” an official statement said.

India and Israel will make a contribution of US$4 million each for the fund annually for five years, which will be governed by a joint board comprising four members from each country.

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Israel, Japan to co-operate on cybersecurity efforts for 2020 Olympics E-mail

Japanese officials preparing for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are seeking Israeli anti-terror expertise amid a rising tide of global Islamic terrorism.

Israel and Japan announced plans for a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), laying down the foundation for joint cybersecurity efforts between the two countries ahead of the 2020 Olympics, Nikkei reported.

Japanese officials are also looking to their Israeli counterparts for assistance in preparing for more conventional attacks, particularly terror attacks involving hostage situations and time-critical negotiations.

According to a report by the Israel Hayom newspaper, intelligence and security officials from six countries travelled to Israel to meet with members of the Israeli security establishment as part of a recent counterterror conference hosted by Israel Police, focusing on negotiations in the age of global Islamic terrorism – an issue of particular interest to Japanese officials as they prepare for 2020.

“The world can learn a great deal from our experience with terrorism,” a senior police official told Israel Hayom. “But today there is also a lot we can learn from the rest of the world.”

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Japan’s “Schindler” granddaughter visits Australia E-mail

The granddaughter of Japan’s “Schindler”, diplomat Chiune Sugihara, paid a special visit to the Sydney Jewish Museum last month to meet the descendants of those whom Chiune “Sempo” Sugihara saved.

Madoka Sugihara travelled from Japan with her daughter Oriha, and gave a presentation about her grandfather, who helped save tens of thousands of lives during WWII, risking his life in the process.

“My grandfather issued visas according to his conscience,” Madoka told the small gathering. “I was surprised to hear the stories from my grandmother and father before my grandfather died because I never heard it from him.”

Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Lithuanian Jews from the Holocaust by issuing transit visas so they could travel through Japanese territory. He was a Japanese government official who served as vice-consul for the Japanese Empire in Lithuania, and had been ordered by his government not to issue visas.

In 1985, Israel honoured Mr Sugihara as one of the Righteous Among the Nations for his actions.

Oriha read out a passage her great-grandfather wrote in 1978: “I admit that I myself agonised over the decision all night after receiving the orders. After much struggle and torment, I ultimately reached the conclusion that humanity and compassion come first. I risked my career and duly executed my mission without hesitation. I’m confident even now that I did the right thing.”

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Indian protection against fruit flies E-mail

An Israeli company says it has developed a no-spray, environmentally friendly solution that can protect Indian farmers from the deadly oriental fruit fly, which has destroyed 300 fruit species in India.

The Oriental Fruit Fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) is considered to be the most destructive, invasive and widespread of all fruit flies, and is also a menace in 65 other countries in Asia, Africa and the Americas.

The agri-tech company Biofeed’s “lures”, which are hung on trees, contain a customised mix of organic food and feeding stimulants, and control or therapeutic agents delivered by a patented gravity-controlled fluid-release platform.

Attracted by the odour, the fruit flies take a sip and soon die, without any chemicals reaching the fruit, air or soil.

“We were hoping to bring a solution that will replace spraying and increase productivity by 50 per cent. I am excited by the results, demonstrating the future potential for some farmers to bring about 900 times more marketable produce to the market,” said the company’s CEO, Nimrod Israely.

“We don’t have the Oriental Fruit Fly in Israel. However, until now there was no solution for this problem. So we took the challenge and chose to focus on India,” Israely told Israel21c, an online news magazine.

Biofeed was one of the six innovative Israeli companies invited to give a demonstration to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu during the former’s July visit.

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