19 January 2018 - 3 Shevat 5778 - ג' שבט ה' אלפים תשע"ח
Philippines, Israel eye anti-drugs pact E-mail
The Philippines and Israel are moving closer to forging a bilateral agreement on cooperation in curbing illegal drugs.

In a meeting on 18 May in Tel Aviv, Philippine Ambassador to Israel Neal Imperial and Israel’s Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan acknowledged that the proliferation of illegal drugs is a serious threat to society and agreed that co-operation between the Philippines and Israel is essential to combat drug abuse and trafficking across borders.

Minister Erdan, a key member of Israel’s Security Cabinet, also welcomed the Philippine proposal for bilateral co-operation to combat illegal drugs as a transnational crime, with the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) due to take place in the near future.

The scope of the agreement includes co-operation through the exchange of information on pertinent laws and matters relative to the investigation of drug offences, such as the methods used for the transfer, concealment or disguise of illegal drugs, drug trafficking routes, and modus operandi by persons and organisations to smuggle and sell prohibited drugs. The agreement also covers the adoption of measures or programmes on the prevention of trafficking and use of illegal drugs, the rehabilitation of users, and other forms of bilateral co-operation.

Ambassador Imperial shared that a growing number of Filipinos in Israel have been arrested or convicted for involvement in the illegal drug trade. According to reports, illegal substances/drugs are sent to Israel from the Philippines hidden in parcels that have been intercepted by Israeli authorities. Filipino workers in Israel have been used as drug conduits, acting, wittingly or unwittingly, as recipients of these parcels with concealed drugs. This modus operandi prompted the Embassy to issue several advisories to the Filipino community in the past three years, reminding them not to engage in the illegal drug trade.
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Indian delegation attends security conference E-mail
An Indian delegation, including Congress leader Manish Tewari, visited Tel Aviv for three days in May to attend conferences on security issues.

The delegation was invited by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) in Tel Aviv, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the Centre for Global Security Research, according to the office of Congress leader Jaiveer Shergill, who was also part of the delegation.

The members of the Indian delegation spoke on security and economic issues facing the Middle East and South Asian countries.
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Lauder re-elected as World Jewish Congress president E-mail
Ambassador Ronald S. Lauder was re-elected for a third term as World Jewish Congress president at the WJC’s 15th Plenary Assembly in New York in April.

In his address to the more than 600 delegates from 90 countries, Lauder said: “I have done many things in my life, but there is no accomplishment, no title, no honour that I am more proud of than being president of the World Jewish Congress… we are one people, and we take care of each other.”

Lauder spoke to the delegates about the challenges facing the Jewish world, including the anti-Semitic nature inherent in the delegitimisation and demonisation of the State of Israel. A recent poll conducted by WJC in major Jewish communities around the world found that “the number-one concern for Jews today was the increase in anti-Semitism… and the rise of radical Islam,” Lauder said.

He added: “Today, there is a new form of anti-Semitism. Now, anti-Semites focus their hatred of Jews on the world’s only Jewish state. You can disagree with Israel’s policies, but when you talk about and seek the elimination of Israel, then you are an anti-Semite. So, when you hear someone say that they are not anti-Semitic, only anti- Israel, stand up and tell them that is a lie. It’s a lie because when you lie about Israel’s present and past, and when you actively seek its destruction, guess what? That doesn’t make you an anti-Zionist, it makes you an anti-Semite.”
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Yom Hashoah – a day to remember the Holocaust E-mail

Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Memorial Day, is observed every year. It is a day of commemoration of the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust as a result of actions carried out by Nazi Germany.

The day was inaugurated in Israel in 1959 and takes place on 27 Nisan (Hebrew month), a week before Yom Ha’Atzmaut–Israel’s Independence Day.

In Israel, flags are flown at half mast and there is a state ceremony held at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes Remembrance Authority. At 10 am, air-raid sirens are sounded for two minutes and all activity comes to a halt.

Outside of Israel, the day is marked with ceremonies and programmes that include the lighting of memorial candles. Jewish communities get together and solemnly observe and remember the millions of Jews who were murdered.

The Hong Kong Jewish community held their Holocaust Remembrance Day on 24 April at the Jewish Community Centre. The event was organised by the Hong Kong Holocaust and Tolerance Centre (HKHTC). This year’s theme was “Never Again”.

Members from all of Hong Kong’s Jewish congregations were represented. In addition, representatives from many consulates joined the evening’s gathering and other multi-faith leaders. In attendance was Sagi Karni, Consul General of Israel to Hong Kong, who gave an address.

Opening remarks were read by Glen Steinman, HKHTC Director. The evening programme included a moving and graphic video documentary entitled Sgt. Howard Cwick, Jewish Liberator: Eyewitness to History.


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Ohel Leah Synagogue celebrating Israel's 69th Independence Day of 1 May E-mail
To mark the day, the community was invited to take part in a festive Maariv (evening prayer) service including the Hallel prayer, with a guitar accompaniment.

However, before celebrations began in earnest, attendees took part in a ‘transition’ ceremony led by Assistant Rabbi, Itzik Sachs, marked the end of Israel’s Memorial Day – Yom Hazikaron and the move into Independence Day celebrations.

To mark the Memorial Day, community members were handed out a memorial candle with the name of a soldier or citizen who had died fighting for the State of Israel or through acts of terror. Readings were read by Alan Landau, Penina and Avi Nagar; and the memorial prayers were recited by Lior Dagan and Rabbi Sachs, where each person was invited to say the name written on their candle.

The Israeli flag was then raised to full mast by Elianna and Joe Diestel, hoisted to the top of the Ohel Leah synagogue building, marking the move to Yom Haatzmaut. A video of the Declaration of Independence was screened, followed by addresses by Rabbi Asher Oser and Sagi Karni, Consul General of Israel to Hong Kong.
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