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News from the Middle-East

By Herbert Howard,2014-04-12 07:59
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Israel's automotive industry consists of manufacturers that design and produce high-technology automotive parts, tooling, systems and sub-assemblies.

    Rosh Hashanah Special

Rosh Hashanah (30 September) marks the beginning of the Jewish year 5769. Its origin is Biblical (Lev.

    23:23-25): ‚a sacred occasion commemorated with loud blasts *of the shofar, the ram’s horn+.‛ The term

    Rosh Hashanah, ‚beginning of the year,‛ is rabbinical, as are the formidable themes of the festival:

    repentance, preparation for the day of Divine judgment, and prayer for a fruitful year. The two-day

    festival falls on 1-2 Tishrei in the Jewish calendar, usually September in the Gregorian calendar, and starts

    at sundown of the preceding evening, as do all Jewish holidays. Major customs of Rosh Hashanah include

    the sounding of the shofar in the middle of a synagogue service and elaborate meals at home to inaugurate

    the New Year. The prayer liturgy is augmented with prayers of repentance.

Yom Kippur (09 October), ten days after Rosh Hashanah, is the day of atonement, of Divine judgment,

    and of ‚affliction of souls‛ (Lev. 23:26-32) so that the individual may be cleansed of sins. The only fast day

    decreed in the Bible, it is a time to enumerate one’s misdeeds and contemplate one’s faults. The Jew is

    expected, on this day, to pray for forgiveness for sins between man and God and correct his wrongful

    actions against his fellow man. The major precepts of Yom Kippur - lengthy devotional services and a 25-

    hour fast - are observed even by much of the otherwise secular population. The level of public solemnity

    on Yom Kippur surpasses that of any other festival, including Rosh Hashanah. The country comes to a

    complete halt for 25 hours on this day; places of entertainment are closed, there are no television and radio

    broadcasts (not even the news), public transport is suspended, and even the roads are completely closed.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year. May all our hopes and prayers come true in the coming

    year. May we all have health and peace for the year ahead.

Shana Tova,

Orna Sagiv

    Consul General

    News from the Middle-East

    (Political, Cultural and Academic News from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel)

    President charges FM Livni with forming government after resignation of PM Olmert

Peres: "With the power vested in me by the Basic Law:

    The Government, and after having consulted with all of

    the factions of the Knesset, I have decided to bestow the

    task of forming the next government on Knesset

    Member Tzipi Livni. Knesset Member Tzipi Livni has

    agreed to take this task upon herself."

Livni: "The first and right choice for Israel is a stable

    government that will serve until the end of the current

    Knesset's term. I have every confidence in my ability to

    lead the State of Israel, with the full, honest and

    genuine cooperation of all the parties invited to join the

    coalition."..…. (More)

US Secretary of the state Condoleezza Rice visits Israel

US Secretary of the state Condoleezza Rice visited Israel

    to boost the peace process with the Palestinians.

    Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni met with Secretary Rice

    prior to the trilateral meeting with the Palestinian

    negotiating team. In a joint Press Conference, Livni

    said,‛ We need to remind ourselves where we stood only a year ago, when we faced terror attacks, when the

    situation in the Gaza Strip led to an understanding that

    there was no hope for peace. We launched the

    Annapolis process. There is now a dialogue between

    Israel and diplomatic leaders on the Palestinian side.

    There is hope for peace, which can represent the

    interests of both sides.‛…. (More)

Israel releases 198 Palestinian prisoners

As a confidence-building measure vis-a-vis the

    Palestinian Authority, the Government of Israel

    decided on August 17, 2008 to release approximately

    200 Palestinian prisoners in accordance to the criteria

    set by previous government decisions - that is to say,

    no release of those prisoners with "blood on their

    hands" belonging to Hamas or Palestinian Jihad. Those

    to be released are members of factions that support the

    leadership of Palestinian Authority President

    Mahmoud Abbas….. (More)

    Second Temple southern wall of Jerusalem discovered in excavations

An exciting discovery in Jerusalem, constituting

    extraordinary remains of the wall of the city from the time of

    the Second Temple (second century BCE-70 CE) that was

    built by the Hasmonean kings and was destroyed during the

    Great Revolt, and also the remains of a city wall from the

    Byzantine period (324-640 CE) which was built on top of it,

    were uncovered in an extensive excavation that is currently

    underway on Mount Zion. The lines of these fortifications

    delineated Jerusalem from the south in periods when the

    ancient city had reached its largest size….. (More)

    Israeli-Jordanian initiative to power Jordan Valley eco-tourism

An Israeli-Jordanian initiative project, spearheaded by

    Friends of the Earth Middle East (FoEME), aims to revive the

    Jordan valley, and the Rotenberg compound along with it, as

    a unique eco-tourism site spanning both sides of the border.

    The Jordan River Peace Park proposes to combine two

    adjacent areas; Naharayim/Baqura to provide new livelihood

    opportunities for the residents of the Jordan Valley. The

    project also proposes to rehabilitate the lower Jordan River

    by re-flooding the wetlands and rebalancing the ecosystem, a

    matter that is of primary concern to FoEME…. (More)

    Hebrew University archaeological excavations uncover Roman temple in Zippori (Sepphoris)

Ruins of a Roman temple from the second century CE have

    recently been unearthed in the Zippori National Park. Above

    the temple are foundations of a church from the Byzantine

    period. The excavations, which were undertaken by the

    Noam Shudofsky Zippori Expedition led by of Prof. Zeev

    Weiss of the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew

    University of Jerusalem, shed light on the multi-cultural

    society of ancient Zippori. The discovery indicated that

    Zippori, the Jewish capital of the Galilee during the Roman

    period, had a significant pagan population which built a

    temple in the heart of the city center. The central location of the temple which is positioned within a walled

    courtyard and its architectural relation to the surrounding buildings enhance our knowledge regarding the

    planning of Zippori in the Roman era….. (More)

Israel - A paradise for birds and bird watchers

Every fall, the skies of Israel fill with the sight of 500 million

    birds, migrating south from Europe to warmer climates in

    Asia and Africa - a paradise for bird watchers. Israel's

    unique strategic location, the only land bridge between

    Europe, Asia and Africa, provides the migrating birds with

    a large variety of habitats and the warm air currents they

    need for perfect soaring conditions. This makes Israel one of

    the most exciting and accessible regions for bird watching in

    the whole of the West Palearctic. The Israel Ornithological

    Center, which operates three bird watching centers in Israel

    and aims to protect the region's biodiversity through

    activities with birds, has recorded more than 540 different

    species of birds in Israel at various seasons in the year, with over 400 occurring annually - and this despite the fact that the country is only 500 kms long……….. (More)

    Cholera prevention program developed by Hebrew U. students adopted by International Red Cross

    A unique cholera prevention program developed by students of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School's International Masters in Public Health Program has been adopted by the Red Cross in Kenya. The prevention program, which was utilized by the Red Cross in the displaced persons camps during the recent political crisis in Kenya, was found to be highly effective in prevention and management of the disease. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (IFRC) is now preparing to implement the program beyond the camps….. (More)

    Cultural News and Events

Film Director Dan Wolman Visits India

    Renowned Israeli film director, Dan Wolman was the chief guest at the 13th Trivandrum International Film Festival (TIFF) organised by the Chalachitra Film Society from 01-07 August. Eight films directed by Dan Wolman were screened in the retrospective section. These include Foreign Sister, Baby Love, The Distance, Floch, My Michael, Ben’s Biography and Spoken with Love. During his visit to Mumbai Dan Wolman conducted a workshop with the students of Whistling Woods International. A special screening of documentary ‚Ben’s Biography‛ was organized at the Ruparel College’s Film Club. The screening was followed by discussion on Israeli cinema.

    Israeli Film Festival Offers a Feast to Chennai Cinema Lovers

Chennai cinema lovers got a real treat in the form of an

    Israeli Film Festival organised at the Film Chamber Theatre

    from 22-25 September. The festival was organized by the

    Madras Film Society, ICA Foundation and Indo-Israel

    Friendship Association in coordination with the Consulate

    General of Israel, Mumbai. Consul General Orna Sagiv

    inaugurated the festival in the presence of Mr. G.

    Mutthuswamy, Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu

    and Mr. Jayendra, Director, Real Image Media. Renowned

    Kuchipudi dancer V R Jayapriya was the guest of honor. Six

    noteworthy films such as ‘Walk on Water’, ‘Campfire’,

    ‘Passover Fever’, ‘Bonjour Monsieur Shiomi’, ‘Time of Favor’

    and ‘The Troupe’ were showcased in the film festival.

     Economic News

Prime Minister’s Conference for Export and International Cooperation 2008 MFA Israel

The Prime Minister’s Conference for Export and International Cooperation to be held in Jerusalem on

    November 12th, 2008 (Satellites Conferences/Activities on November 11 & 13) will be Israel's National

    Conference to mark 60 years of independence and economic achievements. The Prime Minister's

    Conference 2008 will feature in its main session, four parallel professional conferences, three of them

    dedicated to technological sectors in which Israel has gained international reputation for its innovative

    technologies and achievements. The 4th Conference will deal with Israel's financial market and its

    prospects in the future….. (More)

Ya'akov Angel and Hezi Hermoni plan to build major project in Goa Elul News

Israeli businessmen Ya'akov Angel and Hezi Hermoni plan to build major projects consisting of 2,030

    residential units at a cost of around $500M in the Indian state of Goa, according to a report in Globes. The

    initial project is in Cortalim (also known as Cortolim), on a site overlooking the Zuvari River. Other

    projects will be in Panaji, the Goan capital, and in the prestigious Dona Pola area. The projects will be

    carried out by Venosa, a joint venture of Angel's Angelinvest (75%) and 22% by Hermoni, the former GM

    of Tadiran Communications with 25 years' experience in India. Angelinvest already has projects valued at

    $1.5B in Mumbai, Jaipur, Ludhiana, Faridabad and Goa….. (More)

    Sun shines over Taro: Israeli court clears decks for takeover Economic Times

Sun Pharmaceuticals has won the first round in the legal battle for Taro Pharma, with the Tel-Aviv district

    court asking promoters of the Israeli drug maker to sell their stake to Sun at the agreed price of $7.75 a

    share. The court also rejected Taro’s contention that Sun should have conducted a special tender offer

    under Israeli law. Sun Pharma is now in a position to complete the tender offer, following which all

    conditions for the option agreement to acquire the shares held by the controlling shareholders of Taro will

    be satisfied. Then, the controlling shareholders will have to deliver their shares… .. (More)

Israel’s second-quarter GDP grew at 4.2% annual pace

Israel's gross domestic product grew faster than expected in the second quarter, as booming chemical and

    fertilizer sales drove exports. The economy expanded at a 4.2 percent annualized rate in April-June, the

    Central Bureau of Statistics said in an e-mailed report. That beat the median forecast of 4% from five

    economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Still, growth was the slowest since the Second Lebanon War in 2006,

    easing from 5.6% in the first quarter……… (More)

Saving energy in the greenhouse

When the sun is shining, greenhouses collect thermal energy from the sun, trap it inside (the greenhouse

    effect) and keep the plants warm and happy. But on colder cloudy days and at night, energy is required to

    keep the greenhouse warm, and that's when it starts to become expensive both in terms of costs and the

    environment. Israeli company, Trio Energy Systems, has developed a solution that minimizes energy

    consumption in the greenhouse, keeping both our vegetables and planet happy….. (More)

    Israeli honeycombs create instant roads Israel21C

Israeli company PRS's Neoweb polymer honeycomb sheets can be laid and filled with soil or recycled

    materials., Neoweb can be laid out on land, and then filled with local soil, or recycled materials to form a

    road, or as infrastructure for landscape architects. The material - which holds promise for developing

    countries where one billion people lack access to all-weather roads - does not leach into groundwater, can

    withstand the scorching desert sun, the coldest of Siberian winters and is earthquake resistant due to its

    inherent flexibility….. (More)

    SAP International to expand activities in Israel Invest in Israel

‚We see Israel as a very creative country with tremendous technological capabilities,‛ Leo Apotheker,

    CEO SAP International

    On a visit to Israel last month , SAP International CEO, Leo Apotheker described the company’s plans to

    expand sales and services of SAP Israel and announced the establishment of a new R&D center at SAP

    Labs in Raanana. To start, activities at the Raanana facility will focus on identifying the productive areas in

    Israel which can contribute to the continued growth of SAP International. ‛...then we will expand our

    workforce and strengthen our ties with Israeli academia,‛ said Mr. Apotheker SAP, the 3rd largest

    provider of business software worldwide. The R&D center in Raanana employs 850 people and an

    additional 70 work at the SAP facility in Carmiel….. (More)

    Tourism to Israel Grows 45% in Past 6 Months Invest in Israel

According to the Ministry of Tourism, Israel hosted 1.5 million tourists in the first quarter of 2008 and is on

    course to reach its projected goal of 2.8 million visitors by the end of the year, an increase of nearly 50%

    over 2007. 240,000 tourists visited Israel in June 2008, an increase of one-third over June of last year….

    (More)

Israeli super-star consortium to produce castor oil biodiesel in Africa Israel 21C

Orfuel, a subsidiary of Ormat, and Evogene based in Israel is set to create and commercialise biofuel from

    castor oil. Leviev already owns mining concessions in Nambia, where the biofuel will be harvested, Orfuel

    has substantial experience in biofuel R&D, and Evogene is a world leader in plant genetics and breeding.

    Castor-based biodiesel is expected be a substantially cheaper alternative than biodiesel developed from

    crops such as canola and soybeans, Liat Cinamon, a PR rep from Evogene, tells ISRAEL21c. Additionally,

    castor varieties can be grown on poor soil, where food crops cannot be grown - an important consideration,

    because it means that the biofuel does not compete with crops for food in the global and local

    marketplace….. (More)

    Automobile Industry in Israel

    Israel, a prominent destination on the map of global automobile industry, does not manufacture cars domestically with an exception of a relatively small special vehicles trade production (such as vehicles for military or police use, fire-fighting units, and off-road vehicles). In its history of 60 years, only two attempts were made to develop an auto-manufacturing base in Israel and the last one was in 1960s. However thanks to its highly educated workforce and culture of innovation, Israel offers some of the best automotive technologies in the world. Israel is already a choice source for quality aluminum-magnesium castings and steel assemblies for Jaguar, MB, BMW, GM, VW, Peugeot, and Volvo. Jaguar gets its engine heads and Audi buys engine valve springs from Israel.

Israel’s automotive industry consists of manufacturers that design and produce high-technology

    automotive parts, tooling, systems and sub-assemblies. Subcontracting is an important component of the industry. Originally established to support the security, aircraft, and automotive industries, Israel’s subcontracting industry successfully integrates all types of complex production processes required for industry giants. Israeli automotive companies operate in diverse areas like High pressure die-casting; forging; cold forming & stamping; turning & milling; metal injection molding; plastic - injection & blow molding; rubber extrusion, molding, compression, injection; plating etc. They supply parts, systems,

    modules & tooling to the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM’s) and also to the secondary market.

Key Segments

Metal, Machinery and Plastic and Rubber

    Israeli companies use their advances in the fields of metals and composite materials to manufacture metal rods and coils; iron and steel castings; pipes and valves; and tanks, tools and locks for automotive companies. In the field of machinery, Israeli companies have earned reputation in manufacturing heavy agricultural equipment, pumps, compressors and turbines. Plastics industry comprises about 5% of Israel’s

    total industrial production. Many plastic manufacturers subcontract for leading automotive companies in the world.

Success Stories - (Courtesy - Israel 21C)

    Raviv carbon fabric heated seats, the system designed and manufactured at Kibbutz Revivim in the Negev, proved itself during a drive in freezing Michigan weather, now is in development for introduction with a major automaker.

    TexoPlast's new hardened fabric, tough and lightweight, that features a soft, luxurious-to-the-touch material on one side, and hard plastic shell on the other perfect solution for the cabin floor for a European Commercial Vehicle Manufacturer.

    High-end luxury seating fabric, called Impala manufactured by Magical Industries that feels like leather and is anti-stain, has earned high marks in durability tests.

Electronics & Automation Technologies - the Multiplier

    Electronics will be the industry multiplier of the future. "Electronic devices and systems used in a car is around 15 percent of total car cost and is set to increase up to 35%. It is a sector, experiencing impressive growth. Israel, a home to hi-tech companies offers a number of innovative technologies in the areas of Driver safety systems, Telematics, Tracking technologies, Manufacturing control software, Navigation & control systems, Diagnostics, Sensors, Testing & Measurement solutions, On-board driver assistance systems and so on. Presently, around 400 Israeli companies operate in the field; more than 150 of them export close to US $ 1 billion mostly to Western European and American companies.

Success Stories - (Courtesy - Israel 21C)

    IPU Industries is developing a 360 degree vision system for cars that combines thermal imaging, radar warning and video cam designed to distinguish and identify pedestrians, animals and other objects on possible collision course. Elbit and MobilEye are also developing driver vision systems for Ford, while Idesia uses driver heartbeat for a biometric-based security. IPU’s distribution units (PDU) is an intelligent

    fuse box, the PDU monitors and supports auxiliary applications such as security systems, audio, GPS, satellite TV, coffee warmer, and fog lamps. It is easy to assemble, and operates safely with a minimal energy loss. New Israeli "vehicle to environment" communications systems include satellite TV reception.

Innovate to Survive -

    Rising prices of fossil fuels, cities congested with traffic and sever market competition is forcing auto-manufacturers to innovate cars with higher safety, fuel efficiency and facilities for users. Israel is among world leaders in innovation. It has the highest ratio of Engineering graduates and Scientists as proportion of population. Israel’s highly skilled workforce, strict compliance to international quality standards and sophisticated, computerized logistics make it a preferred destination for R&D for automobile companies. So far Israel has innovated a number of path breaking technologies and successfully converted technologies for military use for civilian purposes. Israeli companies also offer electronic equipment to improve the accuracy, quality and efficiencies of vehicle production.

Project Better Place, Israel

    In addition, Israel government has taken a strategic decision to push forward the development of the electric car for mass transportation. Government of Israel is a partner in ‚Project Better Place‛, a brainchild

    of Israeli wiz-kid Shai Agassi (who was number 2 in German MNC SAP) aims to mass manufacture zero emission cars by the end of 2011 along with necessary infrastructure of charging batteries and switching stations. Agassi has succeeded in security US $ 200 million of investment. Automaker Renault-Nissan will manufacture cars that will run on batteries which can be recharged by electricity and can be replaced at roadside service centers. Danish Government has joined the Government and the project has attracted interest of several Government and leading auto companies.

Contact Information

    For further information, please contact Trade Department of the Consulate or contact Uri Pachter - Executive: Subcontracting & Automotive

    The Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute

    29 Hamered st., Tel-Aviv 68125, Israel

    Tel. +972-3-5142811 Fax. +972-3-5142881

    E-mail: urip@export.gov.il

    Modern Hebrew Literature

Israel, a young state made up of people from diverse cultures (population 7.2 million) has a rich and

    rapidly evolving literary culture. Hebrew, the national language of Israel, is as ancient as the Jewish

    culture and is the language of the Bible. Though it was ceased to be spoken around 200 CE, it remained

    alive among Jewish people as the 'sacred tongue' in liturgy, philosophy and literature. It was revived

    towards the end of the 19th and in 20th century as Jewish people around the started returning to their

    promised land. After the birth of the state of Israel in 1948, Hebrew became its national language. The

    revival of the Hebrew language is unique and can be called miraculous as there are no other examples of a

    language devoid of native speakers becoming a national language with millions of first generation

    language speakers.

Hebrew vocabulary has expanded from some 8,000 words in biblical times to more than 120,000 words. Its

    formal linguistic development is guided by the Academy of the Hebrew Language (est. 1953). The process

    was not easy. Literary Hebrew was renewed in Europe's cities, whereas spoken Hebrew developed mainly

    in Palestine. The two movements began to merge only in the beginning of the 20th century. However, a

    substantial difference between spoken and written Hebrew remained, and this difference persists until

    today. The characteristics of spoken Hebrew only began to seep into literature in the 1940s, and only in the

    1990s did spoken Hebrew widely appear in novels. Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (1858-1922) pioneered Hebrew

    usage in home and school, coined thousands of new words, established two Hebrew language periodicals,

    co-initiated the Hebrew Language Committee (1890) and compiled several volumes of a 17-volume

    Complete Dictionary of Ancient and Modern Hebrew which took almost 50 years to complete.

    The Pioneers

    Yosef Haim Brenner and Shmuel Yosef Agnon

    are considered by many to be the fathers of

    Modern Hebrew literature. Brenner, who

    published his first story in 1904, immigrated to

    the land Israel in 1909 and brought the center

    of Hebrew literature away from Europe.

    Struggle of Jewish people settling down in the

    arid and difficult conditions to shape up the

    Jewish identity in Palestine, was the central

    theme of Brenner’s work. Essayist, critic,

    commentator, translator, novelist and poet, Brenner is the most prominent figure in the history of Hebrew

    literature. Shmuel Yosef Agon, an orthodox Jew, focussed his work on issues like disintegration of

    traditional ways of life, the loss of faith, and the subsequent loss of identity. The 2nd World War and the

    Holocaust had a great influence on his work. Agon received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1966 along

    with Nelly Sachs.

A generation of writers born in Israel around the time of its Independence (1948), with Hebrew as their

    mother tongue, brought a new dimension to the Hebrew Literature. The work of authors like S. Yizhar,

    Moshe Shamir, Hanoch Bartov, Haim Gouri and Benjamin Tammuz waved dramatically between individualism and commitment to the society and the state, and presented a model of social realism, often

    in the heroic mode, featuring a blend of local and international influences. From1960s the influence of

    socialism or collectivism on Israeli society was started to fade and was replaced by individualism which is

    reflected in the literature as well. A new generation of very popular and influential writers including A.B.

    Yehoshua, Amos Oz, Yoram Kaniuk and Yaakov Shabtai, started challenging the ideological patterns and focusing on the world of the individual. Hebrew prose of that period presents a variety of subjects and

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