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

Major Headlines 
  • Interior Minister says Trump election heralds coming of the Messiah

rael’s Interior Minister and chairman of the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox Shas party Arye Deri said on Thursday that Donald Trump’s election could herald the coming of the Messiah due to the blow he expects the next president will strike against the “non-Orthodox Jewish hold on the US government,” the Jerusalem Post reports.

“There is no doubt that one can give thanks to God that all those who have damned the [Jewish] covenant and would wipe out Judaism, thinking they could take control over the Land of Israel here and lead reforms in order to cause destruction received their blow,” Deri said during an address to the religious council of Ashdod.

“Their influence and the great threat they posed to us has been reduced because they held [control over] the US government,” Deri said.

“They understand that this power has disappeared and we can continue, God willing, to strengthen traditional religion and Judaism, transmitted down to us from generation to generation.”

Trump’s election, he added, presages the coming of the Messianic Age.

“If such a miracle can happen, we have already reached the days of the Messiah. Therefore, we are really in the era of the birth pangs of the Messiah when everything has been flipped to the good of the Jewish people.” 

Senior United Torah Judaism leader MK Moshe Gafni was of similar mind, predicting that Reform and Conservative influence in Israel would now wane.

“Naturally, Reform [Jews] mostly identified with the Democratic government and now their influence will weaken,” Gafni was quoted as saying.

“The Right has risen, along with more conservative stances,” continued the MK, saying he believes the non-Orthodox Jewish leadership had worked against Trump during the campaign.

Yizhar Hess, director of the Masorti (Conservative) Movement in Israel called Deri “ignorant” and said he was seeking to deceive his electorate and the Israeli public.

“Someone who tries to make a connection between the election of President-elect Trump and the supposed weakening power or status of American Jews in their country doesn’t understand anything about the deep dialogue between Israel and America – a dialogue for which the figure of the serving president is almost irrelevant,” said Hess.

“His words are anti-Jewish, anti-Zionist, and border on actual antisemitism.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israel asks Russia to pressure Hamas to return Israelis

Russia has agreed to pressure Hamas to return the bodies of two soldiers and repatriate three Israeli civilians it is holding in Gaza, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday after meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Ha’aretz reports.

 “I would like to thank you for your willingness to assist in a prime humanitarian matter – the return of the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, and of the three Israeli civilians being held in the Gaza Strip,” Netanyahu told reporters after the meeting in Jerusalem. “This expresses the friendship between us.”

 The issue also came up in a meeting between Medvedev and opposition leader Isaac Herzog.

“I am asking you as the prime minister of one of the most important powers with great influence in the Middle East to place your full weight behind this just humanitarian and political act and return the soldiers and release Abera Mengistu,” Herzog said, referring to one of the three civilians.

Medvedev arrived in Israel on Wednesday evening and visited the Western Wall. He also met with President Reuven Rivlin on Thursday.

In his talk with reporters, Netanyahu also discussed the situation in Syria. He thanked Medvedev for the cooperation between Israel and Russia designed to prevent clashes between the two militaries during Russia’s operations in Syria.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Israeli invention standardises diamond grading

An Israeli company has invented a machine that it says can instantly grade the clarity of polished diamonds—a development the company said on Thursday will bring new standards to a painstaking process that has long been susceptible to the subjectivity of appraisers, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Sarine Technologies Ltd. said its system, currently in advanced large-scale testing in India and expected to be marketed toward mid-2017, will revolutionise the global diamond industry by enhancing consumer trust in each diamond's valuation.

The system will simplify the clarity grading process and provide accurate and objective mapping of the polished diamond, said chief executive and executive director Uzi Levami.

"Instead of a human looking at the diamond from various angles, maybe the light isn't good, maybe he drank too much coffee, so he is making a mistake," he said. The machine can "make the final decision for the grade of the diamond," he said. 

He said diamond dealers still need to provide other services, such as determining a diamond's authenticity. "So this will help people but not replace people," he said. 

Israel does not produce diamonds itself, but is a leading polishing and trading centre and was among the founders of the Kimberley Process—the global body responsible for ending the trade of "blood diamonds" that fund fighting across Africa. The Israel Diamond Institute claims to have the world's largest diamond trading floor.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

Friday, November 11, 2016
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