20 June 2018 - 8 Tammuz 5778 - ח' תמוז ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Japan’s Prime Minister honours Chiune Sugihara E-mail

In a visit to the former Japanese consulate in Lithuania in January, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe honoured a Japanese diplomat credited with saving an estimated 6,000 Jews from almost certain death in 1940.

Chiune Sugihara was serving as Japanese consul in Kaunas, then the capital of Lithuania, when he disobeyed his superiors and issued Japanese visas to Jews fleeing Nazi-occupied Poland, despite his country being a close ally of Nazi Germany.

Abe’s visit to Lithuania was the first by a Japanese prime minister. “The courageous and humanitarian action of Mr Sugihara provides us with guidance as to how to we should survive in this world, where rule-oflaw-based international order is being challenged in various forms,” Abe told reporters.

“He worked far from Japan and in very difficult circumstances, but he had a strong belief as a Japanese diplomat and saved many Jewish people,” Abe added, after he had toured the former consulate and sat at Sugihara’s desk. “I am really proud of him as Japanese.”

Japan had several of its former leaders convicted and executed by an Allied tribunal as war criminals after the end of WWII.

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Israeli and Indian officials to meet to discuss terrorism E-mail

Senior officials from Israel’s foreign office in India are likely to hold a meeting this month with officials from India’s Ministry of Home Affairs to discuss the possibility of working closely on securityrelated matters, a senior government official said.

The meeting will be the first among many and a part of the “follow-up action” taken by the two governments after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited India in January.

A senior ministry official did not disclose the details of the meeting’s core agenda, but said issues related to terrorism, internal security, and foreign affairs, affecting both Israel and India, will be discussed.

“The meeting is the first one between government officials from both sides after the visit of Mr Netanyahu. We are hoping that both countries work closely and co-operate with each other on matters of security,” the official said.

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Hamas scientist to be deported from the Philippines E-mail

The Philippine government announced on 22 January that it would deport an elderly Iraqi man described as a scientist for Hamas and accused of helping the Palestinian terror group fire missiles at Israel.

Iraq tipped off the Philippines about the presence of Taja Mohammad al-Jabori, national police chief Ronald Dela Rosa told reporters. However, the arrest was due to visa problems rather than any evidence of militant activity, the police chief emphasised.

“He’s an illegal alien; his visa has expired so he has to be deported right away,” Dela Rosa said.

Taha Mohamed al-Jabouri, 64, arrived in the Philippines in August 2017 as the country was getting ready to host a gathering of Southeast Asian foreign ministers in preparation for a November summit meeting that included President Trump.

“He admitted being a member of Hamas. He’s a chemist and he has been responsible for improving the rocket technology of Hamas in firing their missiles from their area towards the other side, for Israel,” added Dela Rosa.

The police chief said it was the first time Philippine authorities had dealt with an alleged member of Hamas, a group labelled a terrorist organisation by the US, the European Union and Israel.

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Israel and India sign film collaboration agreements E-mail

India’s Union cabinet of ministers has approved a film co-production agreement with Israel that was signed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in January, during Netanyahu’s visit to India.

Films co-produced under the treaty will qualify as national productions and be eligible for production and post-production incentives in both countries.

In 2017, the Bollywood film Drive, produced by Dharma Productions with funding from the Israel Prime Minister’s Office and the Tourism Ministry, was shot in Israel. Directed by Tarun Mansukhani, and starring Sushant Singh Rajput and Jacqueline Fernandez, the film will be released later this year.

According to a statement from India’s press information bureau, “The signing of the pact will lead to mutual exchange of art and culture, and create goodwill and better understanding among the people of both the countries as well as various aspects of film-making. It will also help in the generation of employment among artistic, technical as well as non-technical personnel.”

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Suspected gang violence attack in Thailand leaves one man dead E-mail

Police in Thailand recently arrested two Israeli men suspected of killing a fellow Israeli on a Thai resort island after running him down with a car. Police Capt. Silchach Kamunee said the suspects were being held on suspicion of premeditated murder.

The two men, Dolez Zuarez and Eyal Bokal, were arrested in January at a Bangkok airport, police said. They were accused of slamming their vehicle into a motorcycle driven by the victim, Maor Malul, and then stabbing and killing him. Deputy police chief Chalermkiat Sriworakan said three others were injured in the attack.

The arrests came after Thai media published security video of the attack, which took place on Koh Samui island. The video shows an SUV crashing into a motorcycle, knocking off its two riders. The SUV then accelerates in reverse gear, colliding with the motorcycle again. A man then jumps out of the car and chases down the motorcycle driver, stabs him and flees.

Police Maj. Gen. Apichart Boonsriroj, chief of Surat Thani police station, said the suspects and victim had a personal dispute before entering Thailand.

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