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Around the Jewish World




Golf course in the Negev desert

BEERSHEVA – The Caesarea Golf Club, about an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, is the only international-standards golf course in Israel. There’s also a nine-hole half-course at Kibbutz Ga’ash, 30 minutes north of Tel Aviv.

If all goes according to plan, the newest 18-hole golf course in Israel will be in the Negev.

“It will bring a wave of tourism to the region and new business deals,” Nisim Nir, of the Omer Regional Council, tells Israel21c.

Since 2001, the Caesarea Golf Club has been offering workshops aimed at the local hi-tech and business community, showing them how to play the club-and-ball-sport famous for laying the groundwork for big deals in North America and Europe.

“I’m sure we’ll see new deals being signed between foreign companies and companies from the Omer Industrial Park and from the Advanced Technologies Park in Beersheva,” says Nir, of the planned course that will straddle both high-tech parks. – Israel21c


Brandeis study finds anti-Semitism high on Canadian campuses


BOSTON – There are particularly high levels of hostility toward Jews or Israel on Canadian campuses, according to a new study about anti-Semitism at North American universities.

The Brandeis University report, which was released last week, was based on an online survey of more than 3 000 North American university students who had applied for, but not yet taken, a free, 10-day Birthright Israel trip.

One-third said they had been verbally harassed over the past year because they were Jewish, while almost three-quarters reported having been exposed to anti-Semitic statements, including the claim that Jews have too much power and that Israelis behave “like Nazis” toward Palestinians.

A quarter of respondents said they had “been blamed during the past year for the actions of Israel because they were Jewish”. – Canadian Jewish News


LGBT advocacy group elected to Melbourne Jewish body


MELBOURNE – Keshet has become the first affiliate of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) to specifically advocate for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

The organisation was unanimously voted in by the affiliates in attendance at JCCV’s plenum on Monday night.

It comes 16 years after Aleph Melbourne, a social and support group for the LGBT community, failed in its bid to join the JCCV after several Orthodox synagogues threatened to quit the communal roof body.

“This is a great feeling and, most importantly, we have now started a dialogue with the community which allows us to reach out to more members,” Jonathan Barnett, head of Keshet Australia, said after the vote.

“The excitement for me is that people want to be involved, they want to be supportive and, after almost five years of trying, the doors are finally open so that we can help people.” – Australian Jewish News


Sabbath strike at Ben Gurion Airport


BEN-GURION AIRPORT – The Ben-Gurion Airport employee union announced last week Thursday that it would be striking from the beginning of the Sabbath on Friday evening to the end of the Sabbath on Saturday evening in protest of the Airports Authority’s refusal to directly employ workers in place of hiring them on a contract basis. Contract workers receive fewer benefits than directly employed workers.

The union decided to take organisational steps after negotiations to limit hiring of contract workers reached a dead end.

Union chairman Pinchas Edan said that “it cannot be that everyone is talking about getting rid of the phenomenon of contract workers and in the Airports Authority they are expanding the use of this exploitative practice”.

The Airports Authority management called a special meeting to discuss the announcement by the union. Some 30 000 passengers on flights are expected to pass through the airport during the Sabbath. – Israel 21c


Israeli vets save Samuni the Lion


TEL AVIV – With the story of iconic Cecil the Lion killed by a US dentist in Zimbabwe recently, roaring from news media the world over, the almost anonymous Samuni the Lion got a new lease on life thanks to the quick response of Israeli veterinarians.

Samuni is an eight-year-old “Big Cat” living at the Zoological Centre of Tel Aviv-Ramat Gan (Safari). During a routine check-up on their charges, the zookeepers at the Safari noticed a large growth on Samuni’s stomach.

The beautiful lion was anaesthetised so the vets could take a sample of tissue for a biopsy. However, the lab results were inconclusive and the veterinarians decided not to take a chance but instead remove the tumour in its entirety.

“Every lion is extremely important for us here at the Safari and we will do everything we can to care for them and give them a quality life,” Sagit Horowitz, Ramat Gan Safari spokesman, told Israel21c. “There was no doubt that we’d take care of Samuni even though it is extremely difficult to anaesthetise a lion. We knew that we would do everything to save his life.”

Samuni underwent a two-hour operation and Horowitz said the veterinarians were able to remove the whole growth. Zookeepers sent the tumour tissue to a lab and upon finding out if it is malignant or benign, will decide upon continued care. – Israel 21c


Israeli President Rivlin has invited the Queen to visit Israel


JERUSALEM – Speaking at a ceremony in Jerusalem to welcome five new ambassadors to Israel, President Reuven Rivlin told British ambassador David Quarrey: “I want to also convey my warmest regards to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and extend to her an invitation to visit our region.”

To date, no member of British royal family has ever visited Israel in an official capacity.

Prince Philip once attended a Yad Vashem ceremony in Jerusalem which honoured his late mother as a Righteous Among the Nations. Prince Charles attended Yitzhak Rabin’s funeral and Prince Edward once went on a private trip.

Officials have been keen to stress that none of those visits were part of official royal duties.

President Rivlin told Quarrey: “During your term here, we will celebrate the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which perhaps marks the beginning of the diplomatic relations between Israel and Britain.

“I greatly appreciate the words of Prime Minister David Cameron on the need to fight against fundamentalism – terror is terror, wherever it occurs.

“We are aware of the importance you place in creating confidence building measures in order to bring an end to the conflict in our region. We must first of all understand, and then make our neighbours understand, that we are not doomed, but destined to live together.

“During your term here, we are looking forward, with your abilities and great experience, to receiving your assistance in building this confidence.”  <<   >>


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