April 20, 2024
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Christian Leaders Set to Complete 13-Month Educational Program on Judaism

(JNS.org) The American Jewish Committee (AJC) and the Shalom Hartman Institute have partnered together on a soon-to-be-completed educational program on Judaism for 16 Christian leaders. The partnership, known as the Christian Leadership Initiative (CLI), has allowed Christian leaders of diverse denominations to engage in long-distance study of classical Jewish texts with leading Israel scholars over a 13-month period. The program began in Jerusalem in July 2012 and will finish there this year in the program’s final stage from July 17-25. “CLI fosters a unique approach in advancing interreligious relations. It provides an open space for Christian leadership to experience and study Judaism and Israel from a Jewish perspective,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, AJC’s director of interreligious and intergroup relations. “We look forward to working with the CLI fellows as they apply their learning to Christian education and Jewish-Christian relations.”

HAMAS Preparing For Next Attack

(TIP) HAMAS is manufacturing and testing rockets—including a Gaza version of the advanced Iranian Fajr-5—capable of striking Israel’s densely packed population centers.Israel substantially degraded the Gaza-based terror group’s arsenal of advanced missiles during Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli response to previous HAMAS missile attacks that targeted civilians. While in the past HAMAS has been supplied and resupplied by Tehran, it has in recent months sought to replenish its supply “less through tunnels and more through self-production,” IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said. Those weapons that are being imported are, according to a senior IDF officer who spoke last month, smaller in quantity but higher in quality.

India-Israel Free Trade Agreement in the WorksThe Hindu Business Line

Hyderabad – Trade between India and Israel touched the $6-billion mark during 2012-13, up from $5.15 billion in 2011-12, according to an official from the Israeli Embassy. Addressing a meeting hosted by the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Fapcci) and Indo-Israel Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Jonathan Ben Zaken, the Israeli Attaché  for Economic and Commercial Affairs, said trade volumes had grown to this level from a modest $200 million in 1992. He added that both nations are experiencing a convergence of interests in agriculture, farm research, science, public health, IT, telecommunications and cooperation in space. Israeli industry is keen to take advantage of synergies with India in areas like water technologies, information technology and sectors that Israel is strong in. About 265 information technology companies are doing significant business in Israel. Fapcci President Srinivas Ayyadevara said: “Early implementation of the proposed free trade agreement between India and Israel will boost bilateral trade multi-fold.” Ken Uday Sagar, President, Indo Israel Chambers of Commerce and Industry, explained the potential for collaboration and scope of bilateral trade.

Remnants of King David’s Palace Unearthed Southwest of Jerusalem

(JNS.org) Two large structures believed to have been a part of King David’s palace have been unearthed in a joint seven-year excavation led by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Israel Antiquities Authority. The discovery was made in the site of the ancient city of Khirbet Qeiyafa, located southwest of Jerusalem and borders Beit Shemesh and the Elah Valley, Israel Hayom reported. The city dates back to the early 10th century B.C.E., and archeologists believe it met a sudden end around 980 B.C.E. Antiquities Authority researchers Professor Yossi Garfinkel and Saar Ganor identified one of the structures as King David’s palace and the other as a large storehouse structure on the royal compound, which, according to archaeologists, stretched some 1,000 square meters (about 11,000 square feet). “The ruins are the best example to date of the uncovered fortress city of King David. … This is indisputable evidence of the existence of a central administration in Judea during the time of King David,” the Antiquities Authority said.

Maccabiah Athletes to be Offered Incentives to Move to Israel

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Around 9,000 Jewish athletes from 79 countries will take part in the 19th quadrennial Maccabiah Games that will get underway later this week. Most of the athletes will be visiting Israel for the first time, and Israel’s Immigrant Absorption Ministry will grant a unique benefits package to Maccabiah participants who immigrate to the Jewish state by December 31, 2014. The package will include expanded financial grants, professional Hebrew courses and special assistance from the Immigrant Student Authority. The Immigrant Absorption Ministry will also encourage employers to hire immigrants and give preferential aid to immigrants who choose to live in national priority areas.

Muslim Arab Bedouins Serve as Jewish State’s Gatekeepers

(AFP-Al Arabiya) Lt.-Col. Magdi Mazarib, a Bedouin Muslim Arab who grew up in northern Israel, is the Israeli army’s highest-ranking tracker. He commands a small unit of Bedouin soldiers who use their field craft skills to serve as the Jewish state’s gatekeepers. “This is our country,” he states in perfect Hebrew with a light Arabic accent. He believes that his fellow Bedouin across the Middle East are even envious of the way those in Israel live. “The state of Bedouin in Israel is better, as far as the respect we get, our progress, education,” he says. “It’s a different league.” Cooperation between the Jewish people and Bedouin tribes began before Israel became a state in 1948, when the northern tribes sided with the Jews, whom they believed would win the war against the Arabs. The army says that although they are not required to do military service, there are 1,655 Bedouin on active duty. That relationship, however, may change as Bedouins in Israel are being moved out en masse from their traditional homes and territory in the Negev.

Baptist Pastor in Bethlehem Recognizes Jewish Rights in Israel

The Jerusalem Post reports that Baptist Pastor Naim Khoury in Bethlehem insists that Palestinian Christians are obliged to love all their neighbors, Muslim and Jew, and that the Jews’ right to live unhindered on the land promised to them by God is clearly set out in the Bible. As a result of his courage, Pastor Khoury has been shot, is shunned by fellow Christians, his church has had its right to conduct marriages and baptisms withdrawn by the Palestinian Authority, and his church has been bombed 14 times. Nevertheless, his Arab congregation numbers in the hundreds, the largest in the territories.

More Than 5,500 Attacks on Jews In Israel In First Half Of 2013

(JNS.org) Figures released by HatzalahYehudah and Shomron, a volunteer emergency medical response organization in Israel, show that there were 5,635 attacks in the first half of 2013 against Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria, Jerusalem, and the greater Jerusalem region. Among these attacks, 611 involved Molotov cocktails and 5,144 were rock attacks. Eight attacks involved guns and knives. One death and 171 injuries resulted from the attacks. Hatzalah spokeswoman Yehudit Tayar said, “If there is spray painting on the side of a mosque or an Arab’s tires are slashed it is on the news, but violence against us is ignored… Can you imagine being attacked on a consistent basis and it not even being reported?”

Defense Cuts Bite Into IDF’s Operational Platforms

(JNS.org) The Israel Defense Forces has started making ($6 billion) government-mandated cuts and over the next three years, will reconfigure its operational platforms, while others will be retired, in an effort to slash expenditures. The Israel Air Force will shut down one of its veteran squadrons and fuse two other squadrons into one. One of the IDF’s ground units will also be shut down, and several brigades will be reconfigured. The IDF has yet to finalize the restructuring of some of its ground units, but a military source familiar with the issue said the army would retire outdated tanks and other equipment whose operational relevance had significantly reduced over the years, before making changes that would affect personnel.

IBM Buys Israeli Cloud Computing Company

(Israel Hayom/ JNS.org) IBM will acquire Israel-based Computing Solutions Leaders International, a leading provider of virtualization management technology for IBM’s zEnterprise system. Financial terms were not disclosed, but market sources told Globes that IBM was paying about $20 million. CSL International is a privately held company founded in 2004 by Sharon Chen with headquarters in Herzliya Pituach. CSL International’s CSL-WAVE software enables companies to monitor and manage their z/VM and Linux on System z environments. The software provides drag and drop simplicity to instantly create, discover, visualize and connect virtual servers to resources, allowing clients to free up more skilled staff to address other business challenges. The zEnterprise System enables clients to host the workloads of thousands of commodity servers on a single system for simplification, improved security and cost reduction. The combination of IBM and CSL International technologies will allow clients to manage all aspects of z/VM and Linux on System z virtualization, including CPU, memory, storage, and network resources.

Israel Reportedly Mulling Deal That Would See Russian Troops On Golan

Asharq Al-Awsat an London-based Arab paper, reports that Israel may allow Russian soldiers to join the United Nations peacekeeping forces on the Golan Heights, and in return Moscow will halt the transfer of advanced anti-aircraft missiles to Syria. According to the report, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss alternatives to the weapons deal, which would provide Syrian President Bashar Assad with the S-300 missiles within weeks. last month President Vladimir Putin offered to send 380 Russian soldiers to replace the Austrian forces who withdrew from the Golan, when the civil war trickled over the border. The UN rejected Putin’s offer, saying the disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria following the 1973 Yom Kippur War bars troops from the Security Council permanent member states from joining peacekeeping forces.

Israel to Revamp Army for New Risks

The Wall Street Journal reports Israel’s military plans to downsize its conventional firepower such as tanks and artillery to focus on countering threats from guerrilla warfare and to boost its technological prowess, in a recognition that the military in Egypt and Syria are now mired in domestic unrest. “Wars of military versus military—in the format we last met 40 years ago, in the Yom Kippur War—are becoming less and less relevant,” said Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. Defense chiefs and military analysts said that the overhaul would focus on countering threats from guerrilla armies with rockets embedded in civilian areas, such as Hezbollah and HAMAS. Israel will also focus on cyberwarfare and confronting Iran, which seeks to build a nuclear weapon.

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