Around The Jewish World

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by SA JEWISH REPORT STAFF | Aug 17, 2016

City of David bolster Jewish claim to Jerusalem


JERUSALEM - Tisha B’Av is a day deeply rooted in Jewish history and memory. Its primary association is with the destruction of the Second Temple at the hands of the Roman Empire in 70 CE.

Despite controversy over the temple with international bodies such as Unesco, remembering the religious and cultural heritage that the temple represents can take form in looking back at the biblical archaeological record, something that City of David International Affairs Director Ze’ev Orenstein believes strongly bolsters the connection between Judaism and Jerusalem.

“If all that stuff is built on the notion that none of this ever happened, and then you pull a seal out of the ground with the names of the ministers straight out of the Bible one after the next in the same verse... that causes problems.”

Seals in reference to King Hezekiah, lower-level royal officials and even of a woman named Elihana bat Gael, serve as proof of a 3 000-year connection between ancient Israel and the country we know today, adds Orenstein.

According to him, these discoveries present problems, however, for people who are committed to an opposing agenda.

“Unfortunately today, much of what you can call ‘Palestinian nationalism’ or ‘Palestinian identity’ is based on the narrative that the Jewish people have no legitimate ties to this land... that we’re a bunch of white Europeans,” says Orenstein. “That would then make excavations in the City of David particularly problematic.” - Jerusalem Post


15 swastikas daubed in Bondi Beach


SYDNEY - Police are appealing for witnesses after 15 swastikas drawn in permanent black marker were located on Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach last week.

The swastikas were drawn on the footpath, bus shelter, poles, benches and electrical boxes and span the eastern (beach side) footpath between Beach Road and Hall Street.

One of the benches with swastikas drawn on also had the words “Not white not right” written in black permanent marker.

The vandalism has reportedly since been removed.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was “appalled” at the anti-Semitic graffiti.

“This is a vicious attempt to intimidate and insult the Jewish community and seeks to undermine the harmony of all Australians,” Turnbull said.

“This hateful vandalism has absolutely no place in our society, and those responsible should be held accountable.”

Superintendent Jason Box, commander of the Eastern Suburbs Local Area Command, said: “The NSW Police Force takes crimes that are motivated by hatred or prejudice very seriously and any such crimes will not be tolerated.”

New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff told The Australian Jewish News: “How very disappointing that there are those who feel the need to express their bigotry in this way. A swastika is more than graffiti; it represents the ultimate in racial hatred.” - AustralianJewish News

Snake prank teens sent home from Israel tour

LONDON - More than half the boys in a Bnei Akiva Israel tour group were sent home after a dead snake was draped over the door of a female leader and tour members urinated outside her room.

Nine members of the group were expelled from the programme two days before it was due to end. One of those sent home has claimed that many of the nine were not involved in the snake incident.

The snake had been obtained from a formaldehyde jar found in an abandoned office on the site of the tour party's accommodation.

According to the boy who spoke to the Jewish Chronicle, the prank was meant to symbolise a feeling among some of the group that the madricha had allegedly been snake-like - duplicitous - in her behaviour towards them.

Bnei Akiva said that the nine had all been previously warned about their behaviour during the tour, organised as part of the UJIA Israel Experience. They were dismissed for "serious breaches of our code of conduct, far beyond anything we would normally expect".

The expelled boys were part of a tour party of 32, including 15 girls, from schools said to include Hasmonean, JFS and Immanuel College. Five boys from another Bnei Akiva tour group were sent home for alcohol-related breaches of the conduct code. - Jewish Chronicle, London


Montreal Mayor Coderre condemns BDS advocacy


MONTREAL - Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre attempted to distance his administration from anti-Israel - and what Jewish groups have described - as anti-Semitic content at the World Social Forum (WSF), but he fell short of condemning the international event as a whole.

The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), B’nai B’rith Canada and the Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Centre had appealed to Coderre to dissociate the city from the six-day event, which concluded last Sunday.

The city continued to be listed as a “partner” on the WSF website as of August 11, in recognition of the $30 000 grant it contributed.

Speaking at the city’s August 10 executive committee meeting, Coderre said: “Associating with this event does not mean that we confirm everything said there. Like the government of Canada, we are against BDS [the boycott, sanctions and divestment campaign against Israel].

“We must be proud to have a gathering of progressive forces and we cannot be in agreement with everything that is said. Things that are condemnable are going to be condemned,” he said, underlining the stand he has taken against anti-Semitism and mentioning that he and Toronto Mayor John Tory are leading a mission to Israel and the West Bank in November.

Coderre noted that some 1 400 activities were scheduled throughout the WSF and “no one can speak in the name of” all those participating.

The WSF website listed more than 9 500 registrants from around the world and there were events open to the public. Most activities were “self-managed” by the more than

1 200 “civil society” groups from 118 countries said to be represented. - Canadian Jewish News


Israel manages its water better than California does


LOS ANGELES - California and Israel share a climate of perpetual drought. As far as water is concerned, however, that’s where the similarities end.

Israel has a water surplus, while California struggles to manage. Among other reasons, the Jewish state owes its water wealth to technology such as drip irrigation and water reclamation, which have yet to win wide popularity here. 

But different rules on water use pose one often overlooked answer to why California remains parched while Israel thrives.

Water law is a famously complex field, but one regulatory difference is clear-cut: In California, if a landowner digs a well, he can freely use the water that comes up. In Israel, the government controls that water.

“This itself is so powerful,” said Tamar Shor, senior deputy to the director of the Israel Water Authority. 

In late June, Shor sat at a round table at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Ray at a conference on Israel-California water collaboration. Across from her was Felicia Marcus, who, as chairman of California’s State Water Resources Control Board, is the top water official in the state.

Marcus expressed her “Israel envy” over the way water rights are apportioned in the Los Angeles County-sized nation.

In comparison to Israel’s system, she said, California’s water rights look something like the Wild West.

“Right now, it’s whoever has the deepest pump wins,” she said.

Wells draw from underground water tables with finite resources. - Jewish Journal, Los Angeles


Israelis win Best Innovation at UK robotic challenge


HAIFA - Israeli researchers from the Technion and Rambam Health Care Campus triumphed over 11 other international teams vying for top nods at the Surgical Robotic Challenge 2016 in London, with their robot for minimally invasive neurosurgery.

The robot, intended for the removal of brain tumours of up to six centimetres in size, is operated through a small keyhole in the skull using laser irradiation and tumour extraction.

The device is composed of a needle assembly: a rigid outer needle and a self-reassembled inner needle. The outer needle is responsible for rotational movement and vertical movement into the tumour, while the inner needle is able to move laterally.

“This project involved many challenges,” says Technion doctoral student Hadas Ziso. “Besides the challenge of miniaturising the detection and treatment tool, we had to allow the passage of a 90-degree curve in order to minimise the outer needle diameter.

“For this purpose we developed an inner needle that is flexible enough to pass through the curve, but also strong enough to lead the diagnostic and treatment tool to the tumour accurately…”. - Israel 21c



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