Israël vandaag - 5 september 2017.
ISRAEL’S EXPORTS UP 6 PERCENT IN FIRST HALF OF 2017:
Israeli exports rose 6% - to $50 billion - during the first half of 2017. The jump in exports was driven by rapid growth in high-tech services and incoming tourism, the report said. Exports of services totaled $21 billion in the first half of this year, boosted by the rising trend in exports of computer and software services, which grew 12% to $6.8 billion. Exports of tourist services were up 16%, to $3.2 billion, in the same period. Exports in industrial sections - including drugs, chemicals, refined oil products and electronic components - grew 5%. “Increasing exports is a strategic goal of the Ministry of the Economy and Industry, because the export industries feature high productivity,” Israel’s Minister of the Economy Eli Cohen said. “We are continuing our efforts to attract international companies. With the help of incentives for exporters, we will cross the $100 billion mark, which is our annual export target.” (Algemeiner)
IN FIRST, ISRAELI WINS BRONZE AT WORLD GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS:
Israeli gymnast Linoy Ashram finished third in the all-around competition at the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, making her the first Israeli to ever win a medal in the category. Prior to Ashram’s performance on 1 Sept. 2017, in Pesaro, Italy, the best result for an Israeli in the category was Neta Rivkin’s seventh place finish at the 2015 world championships. Following her third-place finish, Ashram said the significance of the historic result is “slowly” starting to sink in. “But on the other hand I must be focused and quickly return to my routine in order to work on my next goals,” said the 18-year-old Rishon Lezion native. Asked about the possibility of winning a medal in the 2020 Olympics, Ashram said, “There are three years of hard work waiting for me,” she said. “In the meantime I want to thank everyone for the support - the team of coaches, the Olympic committee and the people of Israel,” she added. (Times of Israel)
NORTH KOREA SAYS HYDROGEN BOMB TEST WAS "PERFECT SUCCESS":
North Korea said on Sunday 3 Sept. 2017, it has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb designed to be mounted on its newly developed intercontinental ballistic missile, producing a greater yield than any of its previous nuclear tests. The hydrogen bomb test ordered by leader Kim Jong-un was a "perfect success" and was a "meaningful" step in completing the country's nuclear weapons program, state television said. The announcement came hours after a large earthquake that appeared to be man-made was detected near the North's known nuclear test site, indicating that the reclusive country had conducted its sixth nuclear test. South Korea said that North Korea's defiant sixth nuclear test should be met with the "strongest possible" response, including new UN Security Council sanctions to "completely isolate" the country. Seoul and Washington also discussed deploying USA strategic military assets to the Korean peninsula after North Korea defied international warnings and conducted its most powerful nuclear test ever. (Reuters)
In July of 2014, critics of the Obama-supported Iranian deal warned that even if the Iranians agreed to limit nuclear work, such would be a standing invitation for Tehran to cheat its way to a nuclear weapon. The same strategy was and has been used by North Korea since the Clinton and Bush administrations wrongly assumed the deals they signed with Pyongyang would be adhered to. So what’s to keep Iran from following in suite, and who’s going to do anything about either of these nations that are thumbing their noses at the West?
YA’ALON: TENSIONS IN KOREA WORRY ISRAEL:
Former defense minister Moshe Ya'alon says tension on the Korean peninsula should worry Israel. Writing on Twitter,Ya'alon said, "The response of the international leadership, led by the USA, to the provocations of the N. Korean regime will reflect on the Iranian regime's nuclear policy in the near future." (Times of Israel)
REPORT: USA TO LET IRANIAN-BACKED FIGHTERS WITHIN 10 KM OF GOLAN HEIGHTS:
USA officials have agreed to let Iranian-backed fighters take up positions in Syria less than ten kilometers from the Israeli Golan Heights. Russian media claims that Moscow has ignored pleas from Israel to prevent Iran from exploiting Syria’s ongoing civil war to expand its military influence into Syrian territory. Citing unnamed Western diplomatic sources, the report said a USA team that was holding talks with their Russian counterparts in Amman, Jordan, to discuss the nationality of observer forces overseeing a July 2017 truce, backed down on some of their initial demands. The report said the USA agreed that Iranian-backed militias could be positioned as close as 8-16 kilometers (five to ten miles) from the Jordanian border and the Golan Heights, less than half the originally sought 32 kilometers (20 miles) distance. In July 2017 the Times of London reported that Israel was pushing Russia and the USA for an agreement that would prevent “Hezbollah or other Iranian-backed militias” from operating in the area, which would extend some 30 miles (48 kilometers) beyond the Israeli-Syrian border on the Golan Heights. Hezbollah, the Lebanese terror group that acts as a proxy of Iran, has been fighting on behalf of the Syrian President BasharAssad in his efforts to suppress a six-year long insurgency. Russia, an ally of both Syria and Iran, has also provided military assistance in the war. The USA negotiators also agreed to let Russian observers police the truce zones, angering other USA officials and allies of America. In particular, Israeli officials are concerned that the Russian presence could limit its operations against targets in Syria, the report said. (Times of Israel)
ANTI–SEMITISM IN POLAND BEING ‘NORMALIZED,’ EUROPEAN JEWISH GROUP WARNS:
There has been a "distinct normalization of anti-Semitism" in Poland, the European Jewish Congress (EJC) warned last week and called on the Polish government to respond forcefully. The EJC also expressed "grave concerns" over the deteriorating relationship between the Polish government and Poland's Jewish population at a time of rising anti-Semitism in the country, stating that no senior Polish government official has met with the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, the democratic body responsible for representing Polish Jewry, in approximately one year. The EJC statement declared that Jewish community concerns have peaked following a string of anti-Semitic incidents in Poland. According to the statement, the rise in anti-Semitism "appears to have permeated many layers of Polish society. Recent incidents have included the appearance of flags of the far-Right ONR Falanga group at state ceremonies and Law and Justice member of parliament Bogdan Rzonca's social media post that said: "I wonder why, despite the Holocaust, there are so many abortionists among Jews." In August 2017, an Israeli soccer team was attacked by Polish hooligans following a soccer match near Warsaw. Also in August, Leslaw Piszewski, president of the Union of Jewish Communities in Poland, and Anna Chipczynska, president of the Jewish community in Warsaw, sent an open letter to a founder of the Law and Justice party stating that they were "fearful for their security as the situation in their country is becoming more dangerous." In 1939, Poland's Jewish population stood at over 3 million people, representing almost 10% of the country's citizens and the largest Jewish population in Europe. Today, it is estimated that there remain approximately 10,000 Jews in Poland. (J.Post)
RELIGIOUS COURT IN ISRAEL RULES MESSIANIC JEWS ARE CONVERTS TO CHRISTIANITY:
An Israeli rabbinical court has for the first time ruled on the religious status of Messianic Jews – Jewish men and women who assert that they are Jews but nevertheless believe in Yeshua as the Messiah. In a case involving such a couple, the Tel Aviv Rabbinical Court ruled that the plaintiffs cannot marry in a religious ceremony in Israel because they are considered to be converts to Christianity. The judges went on to say that the court will re-address the issue if the couple “declares before the court they have completely given up their Christian beliefs, including their belonging to a Messianic Jewish community.” The basic position of Jewish law is that those born Jewish remain so despite apparent conversion. But the court relied on a High Court ruling that denied a Messianic couple the right to immigrate under the Law of Return because the law denies the right to members of another religion and the parties in that case averred that they did, indeed, belong to another religion. (Medialine)