European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 11/10/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 11/10/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Report: Missing airman Ron Arad died in 1988

Israel’s security community has come to the conclusion that Air Force navigator Ron Arad, who disappeared 30 years ago when he ejected from his stricken plane over Lebanon, died within two years of vanishing, Channel 2 said on Monday.

A joint report by the Mossad spy agency and the Israel Defence Forces’s Directorate of Military Intelligence, which includes new information obtained over the past two years, says Arad likely died by 1988, earlier than was previously believed, the Times of Israel said citing the TV report.

The navigator disappeared after he and pilot Yishai Aviram bailed out of their plane over southern Lebanon.

Aviram was rescued shortly afterwards, but Arad was never found. Israel believes he was captured by the Shi’a Amal movement before being handed over to Iran, and moved from Lebanon to Iran and then back again.

Israel declared the airman dead in 2008.

In 2006, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said the group believed Arad was dead and his burial site unknown. In 2008, German negotiator Gerhard Konrad told Israel that Hezbollah said Arad died during a 1988 escape attempt.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Ethiopian Aliyah resumes as first group arrives in Israel

A group of 63 Ethiopian immigrants (olim) arrived in Israel on Sunday night, the beginning of a new wave of aliya from Ethiopia in accordance with a government decision passed in August, the Jerusalem Post reports.

According to the decision, the government will bring 9,000 Falash Mura to Israel by the end of 2020, starting with 1,300 Ethiopians who are expected to arrive by the end of 2016. This follows a three-year hiatus after a declaration of the “end of Ethiopian aliya,” which left many families separated.  

Tears of happiness were shed on Sunday night as some of those families were reunited after having been apart for as long as ten years. But for some, that joy was clouded by longing and uncertainty as many still have loved ones waiting in Gondar and Addis Ababa. Both cities have been affected by the violent riots which have claimed dozens of lives in recent weeks.

The new olim were headed to the northern town of Safed, where they will begin their new lives in Israel.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Global AgTech investors find rich pipeline of opportunity in Israel

Israel may be second in line to North America in the world of agricultural entrepreneurship, an international investor in the sector has told The Jerusalem Post.

"It's the Start-Up Nation," said Arama Kukutai, a co-founder and partner at Finistere Ventures. "I have no bias toward Israel other than observing what I see, which is an entrepreneurial ecosystem, more akin to what we see in Silicon Valley."

Originally from New Zealand, Kukutai came with more than 20 years of agribusiness experience to Finistere, a San Diego-based venture capital firm that aims “to build disruptive companies changing modern agriculture,” according to the company. He spoke with the Post on the sidelines of AgriVest 2016, at a conference in Rehovot organized by the Israeli agricultural investment group Trendlines Agtech. 

"I think it's one of the world's leading centres of excellence from a technology standpoint, starting with research at places like Weizmann [Institute] and Volcani [Center] and many decades of distinguished scientists.”

The beauty of agricultural technology is the way the sector is “equipped to adapt” to existing know-how, Kukutai explained.

"Agriculture is really a cannibaliser of other technologies," he said, noting that the sector has become intertwined with fields like genomics, synthetic biology and software – areas in which Israel particularly excels.

“Agriculture is the last great industry to get digitised," he added.

At AgriVest 2016, experts from around the world gathered to share their perspectives on the future of agricultural innovation as well as investment trends. In addition, budding Israeli AgTech firms competed to earn the title "best start-up," with participants voting and ranking them in real-time.

"We live in an interesting area of radical and dramatic changes," said Oded Distel, director of Israel NewTech at the Economy Ministry. "The idea is to understand and to go along with those changes."

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
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