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Jewish Journal

This week from Israel

by Noga Gur-Arieh

April 1, 2013 | 12:12 pm

Turkey tourism is back!

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, apologized to Turkey over the death of nine of its citizens during the IDF raid on the Gaza- bound ship, Marmara, in May 2010. The Marmara incident brought the Israeli-Turkish relationship down to a new low, and Israeli tourism to Turkey, which was very popular, stopped almost completely. The opinions amongst the Israeli people as to Netanyahu's apologies were divided. Some agreed it was the right thing to do politically, some did not. But one thing is for sure- flights to Antalya, the main Turkish destination for Israeli tourists, were already booked!

Read more here.

 

Israeli female scientist wins European contest

On Thursday, the Israeli Dr. Osnat Zomer-Penn was honored in a ceremony at the Sorbonne in Paris, after winning first prize in the L’Oréal-UNESCO “Women in Science” contest. It is the third time in  row for an Israeli to win this prize.

Read more here.

 

Sharing the burden

One of the more burning issues here in Israel, is the groups within the Haredi (ultra orthodox) population in Israel which enjoy many benefits, but do not serve in the army, and therefore, not "sharing the burden" like any other Israeli. In recent years, there have been several programs that allow Haredi to serve in the IDF, under special conditions which do not interfere with their way of life. This week, a new program of such released nearly two dozen Haredi soldiers to their IDF service, as Microsoft Certified IT Professionals (MCITP.)

Read more here.

 

Helping the "hidden Jews"

Rabbi Pinchas Punturello, 36, has been appointed to serve as the new emissary for the Shavei Israel organization in southern Italy and Sicily. One of his missions would be totrack down and help the 'hidden Jews' of southern Italy to reconnect with their roots. Punturello is undertaking this project in conjunction with the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, the official umbrella organization of Italian Jewry.

Read more here.

 

Richest men in the world reenacting the exodus

Several days before Passover, a group of Russian tycoons, several of the richest men in the world, landed their private jets in Israel. The group, part of Russia's economic Jewish elite, embarked on a four-day journey from the desert to Jerusalem, reenacting the exodus from Egypt.

Read more here.

 

Israel humiliates Turkey

Don't worry, this is not another diplomatic crisis, but an historic basketball match between Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Besiktas JK on Thursday. Maccabi has made another step towards the Euroleague quarter finals, after winning 101-58. Many jaws dropped that day…

Read more here.

 

British Peer apologizes for Jewish conspiracy allegations

Britain's Labor Party member,  Nazir Ahmed, was imprisoned after a fatal car crash, and later suspended from the party. He was accused of dangerous driving after sending multiple text messages, shortly before the accident, and chose to accuse the Jews,"who own newspapers and TV channels," for his imprisonment. After his words caused quite a commotion, Ahmed apologized.

Read more here.

 

Joan Rivers shows her support

After making a very dark joke about the holocaust, causing a controversy and refusing to apologize, Joan Rivers found a way to show her support in a worthy cause, by joining the battle of Israeli homosexual couple Yuval and Liran Altman-Kadury, who are trying to have a child through surrogacy. Rivers is a part of a group of other Hollywood celebrities who showed their support.

Read more here.

 

Israeli shekel rulz!

Investors’ quest for higher yield has drummed up support for the Israeli shekel, which this week hit its strongest level against the dollar since October 2011. What drew them to pursue the shekel are higher interest rate of 1.75% compared to near-zero rates of developed nations and hands-off approach to its currency, prompting them to buy more shekel-denominated bonds.

Read more here.

 

And as the Passover week reaches its closure, here is one last festive YouTube clip:

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