European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 01/12/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 01/12/2016

Major Headlines 
  • Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey arrives in Ankara

Israel's new ambassador to Turkey was to arrive in Ankara on Thursday to take up his new post. This will be the first time that Israel will have an ambassador in Ankara since September 2011, Ha’aretz reports.

The arrival of Eitan Na'eh, the former Israeli deputy ambassador in London, marks another stage in improvement of relations between Israel and Turkey; ties that soured markedly in 2010 after a Turkish flotilla sought to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

In September 2011, Turkey recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv and expelled the Israeli ambassador.

After the two sides signed a reconciliation agreement this year, Israel paid $20 million into a fund set up by Ankara from which compensation will be paid to the families of the Turkish nationals killed on the Mavi Marmara. The Turkish parliament passed legislation necessary to implement the agreement.

Before becoming deputy ambassador in London, Na’eh was the Foreign Ministry’s representative on the National Security Council in the Prime Minister’s Office. Prior to that, he was Israel’s ambassador to Azerbaijan.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Israel launches first national fire protection organisation

Less than one week after brush fires engulfed large swaths of the country, Israel on Thursday launched its first National Fire Protection Association, based on a successful American model created to teach fire safety and minimise fatalities and damages, the Jerusalem Post reports.

Shmuel Netanel, who served as Israel’s first fire protection engineer, is the chairman of the newly formed Israeli Fire Protection Association, which is partnering with the Building Engineer’s Association, and seeking to work with the National Association of Builders.

While not a direct wing of the US’s NFPA, Netanel said its missions are identical.

“The idea was developed about three years ago, and about one year ago, the association was registered with the goal of holding our first convention on December 1,” Netanel said, adding that 350 people registered to attend the Thursday event at the Avenue Convention Hall, outside Tel Aviv.

Noting that many of the country’s high-rise buildings do not have proper fire-safety protocols and not enough people are trained for fire safety, he said that such an organisation is long overdue.

“The buildings’ occupants do not know about fire-safety measures and do not know what to do in the event of an emergency,” he said. “So, we believe that as quickly as possible, we need to launch this nationwide programme to help prevent fires, and train people how to react if a fire does start.”

To that end, Netanel said the organisation, which presently has over 200 volunteers, intends to contact every residential and business building owner and management company in the nation to teach them effective safety measures.

“There is a lot of excitement about this, because our aim is to have over 2,000 volunteers across the country working with us,” he said. “We are going to go to each building, while working very closely with the Firefighting Rescue Commissioner’s Office.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Israel holds ceremony to honour refugees from Arab countries

On Wednesday evening, Israel held the third annual commemoration of the expulsion of some 850,000 Jews from Arab and Muslim countries during the course of the 20th century.

The event, was hosted by the Social Equality Ministry and featured special musical performances. It was attended by some of those who were forced to leave the Arab countries and they gave testimonies of their journeys to Israel.

"For 68 years, the chapter of Mizrahi Jews has been omitted from the annals of the Jewish people," Social Equality Minister Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) said ahead of the event.

"The time has come to amend this, and we will. This is the essence of the day to mark the exit and deportation of Jews from Arab lands and Iran. This is not just in the interest of Mizrahim; it is a national, Jewish and Zionist interest. It is the right of the Jewish nation to know its heritage, and historically this is also its obligation."

In the immediate aftermath of the adoption of the partition plan, pogroms were perpetrated against Jews – on direct orders of the Arab League – in Aden, which had 8,700 Jews in 1948 (there were 45,000 in total in Yemen) and Syria's Aleppo, which boasted a 20,000-strong Jewish community before the creation of Israel.

Later, after Israel's victory over Arab armies in the 1948 war, etched in the Palestinian collective memory as the Nakba (the Arabic for “catastrophe”), the expulsion was reframed as an act of retaliation for Israel's military victory.

In Morocco, the number of Jews shrank from 286,000 in 1948 to 50,000 in 1968. In early 2015, there were no more than 2,500. In Algeria, the number went from 130.000 in 1948 to 1,500 in 1968, whereas in Egypt, the number dropped from 75,000 to less than 1,000 in the same period.

Click here to read the full article in i24

Thursday, December 01, 2016
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