18 February 2018 - 4 Adar 5778 - ד' אדר ה' אלפים תשע"ח
India’s navy chief visits Israel E-mail

The head of the Indian navy, Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, arrived in Israel on 11 June for a five-day visit, during which he met with Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Israel Navy Commander Maj. Gen. Eli Sharvit, according to Haaretz.

Indian media reported that during his visit, Lanba would follow up on the progress being made on “joint projects and initiatives with Israel”.

The chairman of India’s chiefs of staff committee (CoSC) also met with highranking officials from Israel’s Defense Ministry and visited Haifa Naval Base and other military sites. “Since the renewal of formal diplomatic relations in 1992, defence co-operation has been one of the main pillars of bilateral engagement between the two nations,” The Hindustan Times reported, quoting a Defense Ministry statement.

One of the things that interests India is how Israel is securing its gas fields in the Mediterranean. The plan for securing the area includes the purchase of four patrol boats made by the German company Thyssenkrupp, the use of drones, and the collection of intelligence relating to possible attacks on the fields, whether by missile fire, sea vessels or aircraft.

“The threats [faced by the two militaries] are totally different, but in the end, they too want to learn about the technologies we are using and their concept. The world of terror has also changed, and they are coming to the conclusion there that with a small investment, an attack on a platform like a gas field can cause a strategic crisis or seriously harm a country,” said an Israeli naval officer.

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Independence Day donation supports reading programme for Hong Kong children E-mail

While a traditional reception to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day is generally expected each year, this year the Consulate General of Israel in Hong Kong chose to make use of its budget fund to donate to a programme that targets children in the local community of Hong Kong. This year, Israel marked its 69th Independence Day on 2 May.

The Consulate partnered with the Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children (HKSPC), a Hong Kong children’s charity organisation that since 1926 has been committed to nurturing children in their early childhood development, to support their “Parent-child Reading Programme”, an educational programme that encourages reading and learning in deprived families.

“Chinese and Jewish families do share similar cultures and values. It is important for us, as parents or teachers, to encourage children and cultivate this good habit. There is nothing better than reading a book to inspire one’s imagination,” said Consul General Sagi Karni, adding: “We hope our donation will make even a small difference in raising the awareness of reading and making it more accessible to the needy families with more budget for manpower and books.”

This is the third donation from the Consulate to a non-government organisation as a token of appreciation for the close friendship between Israel and Hong Kong.

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Shanghai community marks Yom Hashoah E-mail
A special gathering to remember the victims of the Holocaust was held in Shanghai’s Ohel Rachel Synagogue on the evening of 24 April to mark Yom Hashoah.

White candles were lit for the annual Holocaust memorial event, organised by the Israeli Consulate in Shanghai. Diplomats from 22 countries attended the event, which was hosted by Nadav Zysblat, Israel’s Deputy Consul General.

Six million Jews were killed during WWII. Old pictures displayed at the memorial event were a testament to the Jewish people’s struggle in the fight against fascism. According to official data, over 20,000 Jews fled to Shanghai during WWII, escaping from Nazi persecution with the help of the Chinese people. In his speech at the event, Deputy Consul General Zysblat expressed his gratitude to Shanghai and China.
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AJC honours Japanese Ambassador Hideo Sato E-mail
Ambassador Hideo Sato, a Japanese diplomat, was honoured on 16 May by the AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organisation, with its prestigious Madeline and Bruce Ramer Award for Diplomatic Excellence.

“Some diplomats are particularly well-positioned to have a major impact on a country’s foreign policy. Hideo Sato, in a career spanning more than three decades, excelled in strengthening relations between Japan and Israel, and understanding between Japan and the Jewish people,” said AJC CEO David Harris.

AJC Honorary President Bruce Ramer presented the award at the annual meeting of the AJC Los Angeles Regional Office. The award recognises an outstanding official who has furthered the cause of positive relations between his or her country and Jewish communities in the US and abroad.

“I did simply what was expected of me as a diplomat, to deepen and enhance understanding and friendship with other countries, in my case with Israel and the Jewish people,” said Sato. He praised David Harris and AJC for their “long and valuable friendship and cooperation with Japan”.

During a 33-year career in Japan’s Foreign Ministry, Sato served four times in the Japanese Embassy in Israel, the last position as ambassador from 2011 to 2014. Earlier in his diplomatic career, Sato served as First Secretary of Japan’s Embassy in Washington, D.C., from 1991 to 1995. He first joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1982 while studying at Tel Aviv University.
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Myanmar delegation visits Israel E-mail

As part of the collaboration between Israel and Myanmar, a business delegation of 12 people visited Israel from 7 to 10 May. The trip was initiated by the Embassy of Israel in Myanmar along with the Directorate of Investment & Company Administration (DICA).

The programme was organised by the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce and Israel’s Ministry of Economy. The delegation was led by the Director General of DICA U, Aung Naing Oo, and included business people from private companies in various sectors. The goal was to bring together business people from both countries and encourage more economic co-operation between companies in Israel and Myanmar. The delegation focused on agriculture, information and communication technology (ICT) and trade.

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