More women claim victory in recent municipal elections; trailblazing college disability program helps Muslim, Christian and Jewish students; new initiative boosts hi-tech employment for Arabs and ultra-Orthodox, and much more!
By Michael Ordman
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
More women mayors
In the municipal elections, Dr. Einat Kalisch Rotem became the first female mayor of Haifa – one of Israel’s largest cities. Other new women mayors include Yeroham’s Tal Ohana, Gezer’s Rotem Yadlin, Emek Hefer’s Galit Shaul, Drom Hasharon’s Oshrat Ronen and Beit Shemesh’s Dr. Aliza Bloch.
Pioneering disabilities program
Jerusalem’s Ono Academic College launched its two-year Disability Studies program in 2017. 40 students (Muslim and Christian Arabs, modern Orthodox and secular Jews) completed the first year’s theoretical component and 13 are now developing community-based group projects.
Boosting Arab and Haredi hi-tech employment
“Excellenteam” is the new program for “Enhancement of Arab and Haredi Human Capital for the Jerusalem High-Tech Workforce”. It aims to tackle the shortage of skilled hi-tech workers, while increasing the participation of Israel’s Arab and ultra-Orthodox community.
A Zionist, Muslim Arab IDF soldier
21-year-old Corporal Yahya Mahamid calls himself a “Zionist Muslim Arab.” He grew up in the Arab town of Um-Al Fahm. He loves Israel and wanted to “give back to his country.” He volunteered to join the IDF in a combat unit. His army colleagues treat him with respect and admiration.
Israel’s Armenian community
2,000 of Israel’s 11,000 Armenian Christian citizens live in Haifa. They continue to maintain their culture, language, customs and social religious heritage. The community in the Holy Land began prior to 400 CE and many more arrived after the 1915 massacres in Armenia.
First official state visit to Abu Dhabi mosque
Israel’s culture and sports minister, Miri Regev, paid a state visit to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque – the third largest in the Moslem world. “This mosque has a message of brotherhood and peace,” Regev wrote in the visitor’s book, in Hebrew. “I wish a good life and peace for all.”
Why we invited Israeli leader
Oman’s foreign minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah was interviewed on Al-Jazeera about the visit of Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and his Israeli delegation, to the Gulf State.
A delegation of Israeli officials has traveled to Chad – a Muslim-majority country in central Africa. Chad cut diplomatic ties with Jerusalem in 1972 after a decade of good relations and cooperation, however the two countries have recently been quietly discussing the renewal of diplomatic relations.
First female Israeli Ambassador to Egypt
Amira Oron, former Israeli head of Embassy in Turkey, was named as Israel’s first female Ambassador to Egypt. Fluent in Arabic, Amira was head of Arab media at Israel’s foreign ministry. Women were also named as ambassadors for Spain, Latvia and Chile.
Celebrating 25 years of diplomatic relations with Vietnam
The Israeli Embassy in Vietnam put on a large celebration in Hanoi to mark 25 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thousands of Vietnamese enjoyed a display of Israeli technology and a mass Israeli folk-dancing session.
Closer ties with Canada
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland in Jerusalem and discussed ways to deepen bilateral cooperation. An updated trade agreement aimed to double the scope of trade is shortly to be ratified by both Parliaments.
Mossad helps foil Iranian attack in Denmark
Israeli intelligence services (Mossad) aided Denmark in foiling a recent assassination attempt by Iranian agents. Mossad provided Danish security services with information which led to the arrest, in Sweden, of a member of the suspected Iranian terror cell operating in Scandinavia.
270 wheelchairs for Guatemala
Israel’s MASHAV Agency for International Development is donating 270 Wheelchairs of Hope to children with special needs in Guatemala. Israel’s Ambassador to Guatemala Mattanya Cohen presented the first of the wheelchairs at a ceremony attended by Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales.
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