European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 30.03.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 30.03.2016

Major Headlines
  • Israel and China announce bilateral free trade talks

Israel and China agreed on Tuesday to begin negotiations for a bilateral free trade agreement, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong announced in a joint press conference in Jerusalem.

A free-trade agreement with the world’s second-largest economy could have major implications for Israeli industry with the government estimating it could double trade between the two nations from today’s roughly $9 billion, boost technological cooperation and open the path for more investments, the Jerusalem Post reports.

“I was delighted to hear today from Vice Premier Liu that China is prepared to begin free-trade agreement negotiations with Israel. This is a momentous development and we are ready to do so right away,” Netanyahu said, specifying that healthcare, remote education, agriculture, marine agriculture and IT are fields ripe for development.

“In every field of human endeavor, the cooperation between Israel and China can yield enormous results. And we believe that Israel can be a perfect partner,” he added.

The talks will focus on lifting barriers to trade such as tariffs and coordinating regulatory standards.

Liu said China was pleased to begin talks, and that Israel and China were heading toward major joint projects, adding that Israel is known throughout the world for its innovation. She said that over the next five years China will work to upgrade its roads, communications and nuclear infrastructure, and expressed hope that more Israeli investors would come to invest in her country.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Chief rabbi retracts comments on non-Jews and killing terrorists

Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has walked back his statement that non-Jews should not live in Israel, calling the comment “theoretical,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

The letter also walked back Yosef’s statement made earlier this month that it is obligatory to kill terrorists.

Yosef made the statement about non-Jews on March 26 during his weekly Saturday night lecture. He said non-Jews could live in Israel only if they observe the seven Noahide Laws, which include prohibitions against idolatry, blaspheming God, murder, forbidden sexual relations, stealing, eating the limb off a live animal, and which call the establishment of a legal system. Non-Jews, Yosef said, are in Israel only to serve Jews.

“According to Jewish law, gentiles should not live in the Land of Israel,” Yosef said. “If a gentile does not agree to take on the seven Noahide Laws, we should send him to Saudi Arabia. When the true and complete redemption arrives, that is what we will do.”

Following a public backlash, Yosef on Tuesday clarified his comments in a statement, where he wrote that his lecture referred to a future messianic era, not the present day. He wrote that he has “always adopted a peaceful and embracing path.”

“These laws are theoretical, refer to fulfilling the seven Noahide Laws in the days of the messiah, and have no connection to the present day,” the statement read. “It’s clear that there’s no law in our time, God forbid, to expel non-Jews from Israel.”

Earlier this month Yosef, the son of the late chief rabbi of Israel Ovadia Yosef, asserted during his weekly lecture that it is a religious commandment to kill a terrorist. He also asserted in the same March 12 lecture that the threat of being killed by an attacker’s would-be victim would deter such attacks.

Yosef’s Tuesday statement claimed that “contrary to reports, he was one of the few who declared that neutralised terrorists should not be killed, and should be turned over to the authorities.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Al-Aqsa preacher convicted of incitement after calling for killing of Jews

A Muslim preacher at Al-Aqsa Mosque has been convicted of incitement to violence after a sermon in which he called for the killing of Jews, the i24 news website reports.

The charge sheet says that on November 28, 2014, Omar Abu Sara was giving a sermon in the mosque on the Temple Mount — known as the Haram al-Sharif to Muslims — which was filmed and put on YouTube.

"I say to the Jews loud and clear: The time for your slaughter has come. The time to fight you has come," Abu Sara said in the sermon.

"The time to kill you has come and we, with the help of Allah, we are ready for the task — we and the loyal and faithful Muslims, along with the armies of the state of the Islamic caliphate, which will come to liberate this land from your filth, and that day is near…"

Abu Sara continued: "Allah, please bring the day nearer, bring the day of killing them nearer, bring the day of fighting them nearer, bring nearer the day we cleanse al-Aqsa from their filth, bring nearer the day the caliphate Islamic nation arises…”

"Please do not leave in our hearts a single grain of mercy toward you, O Jews, because when the day of your slaughter arrives, we shall slaughter you without mercy."

Abu Sara's defense that he was citing passages from the Quran were not accepted by Judge Shmuel Herbst.

"The defendant's statements are rife with demonstrations of hatred and hostility toward all Jews," he added.

Click here to read the full article in i24


Wednesday, March 30, 2016
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