European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 21/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 21/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Israeli minister throws support behind controversial Trump appointment

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel sent a letter to US President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial strategic adviser Steve Bannon on Friday, thanking him for his support of Israel, the Times of Israel report.

“I wanted to express my support and thanks for your friendship with Israel. While we do not know each other personally, dear friends of mine including Rabbi Shmuley Boteach have shared with me your strong opposition to the Iran nuclear agreement, which threatens Israel’s survival, your opposition to BDS and your opening of a Jerusalem bureau in Israel while head of Breitbart in order to promote the Israeli point of view in the media,” the letter reads.

Bannon’s appointment as “chief strategist and senior counsel” last week has been strongly condemned by some US Jewish organisations, including the Anti-Defamation League.

In what appears to be a reference to the controversy around Bannon’s appointment, the letter written in Ariel’s name said: “No doubt there are many areas of disagreement between us, but on this we agree: Israel, as the Middle East’s only democracy, must always have the strongest international support.”

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of Ariel’s nationalist Bayit Yehudi party, appeared at the dinner of the right-wing Zionist Organization of America’s dinner on Sunday, along with Bannon.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Settlers urge Defence Ministry to return body of Palestinian youth

Israeli settlers in the West Bank have appealed to the Defence Ministry to hand over for a family funeral the body of a Palestinian youth shot dead by the army, the i24 news website reports.

In a letter seen by AFP on Thursday, seven rabbis were among around 30 residents of the Gush Etzion settlement bloc who called on Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman to "immediately" deliver the body of Khaled Bahar, 15, for burial.

Bahar was shot dead on October 20 as Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian stone-throwers in the Beit Ummar sector of the West Bank.

The signatories of the letter said an investigation by the army had found that Bahar "apparently had nothing to do with the stone-throwers". 

"We, inhabitants of Gush Etzion, with links to residents of Beit Ummar and neighbouring villages, ask that the family be allowed to bury the young man", the letter reads, noting that the Bible does not allow bodies to go unburied.

Also among the signatories were the poet Eliaz Cohen and Michal Frouman, a young woman who was stabbed by a Palestinian assailant in January at a time when she was pregnant.

Since the October 2015 start of a wave of violence, many of which have targeted settlements in the West Bank, Israeli forces have confiscated the bodies of killed Palestinians, often for several months. 

Under former Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, the army had started to return the bodies as a means to reducing tensions. But his successor Lieberman on June 9 ordered a resumption of the policy.

Click here to read the full article in i24


  • Israel innovates and the world takes notice

Israel’s tech sector, one of the world’s most dynamic, remains an important driver of economic growth and innovation for the country. Perennially ranked as one of the most innovative countries in the world, Israel continues to produce an astonishing rate of high calibre, high technology start-ups.

In fact, despite possessing a population of just over eight million people, apart from the United States, Israel hosts more start-ups than any other country in the world. From fintech, edtech, health, agriculture, and transportation, Israeli start-ups are using technology to help solve some of the world’s most pressing problems.

While the global successes of Israeli start-ups are well known, it is important to note that Israel’s role on the global technology stage is not simply limited to commercial accomplishments. In addition to launching some of the most successful and innovative start-ups of this century including Waze, Viber, Wix, and Mobileye, Israel is also a major force not only in driving global innovation, but also in expanding the use of new technologies to improve the well-being of many of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

Given Israel’s status as a global innovation and technology powerhouse, countries all over the world are lining up to develop partnerships which will facilitate the ability of their citizens to learn from and collaborate with some of the globe’s most innovative tech entrepreneurs.

Indisputably, Israeli technological advances and innovative start-ups are having a major global impact not only commercially, but also in terms of their influence on economic development and humanitarian assistance. Recent figures estimate that nearly $2.8 billion was invested in 361 start-ups during the first half of 2016, with the investment total representing a 35 per cent year-over-year increase. If previous performance is indicative of the future success and impact of Israeli developed technology, we can be sure that the next wave of Israel’s start-ups will continue to play a major role in shaping our global future. Undoubtedly, the world will continue to take note and be a better place for it.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


Monday, November 21, 2016
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