News Highlights May 2009
Pope Benedict 16's first official visit to
The Pope, who was forced by the Nazi's to belong to their youth movement, reminded the world that they must not forget the atrocities of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust which wiped out one third of the Jewish population of the world, some six million men, women and children. The Pope laid a wreath at
President Obama's much publicized June visit to the
Some other notable news items involving
10th Anniversary – The KM Website
The Kibbutz Movement (KM) celebrated the tenth anniversary of the establishment of its website which was created to provide information for the more than 270 kibbutzim in
It was believed that the kibbutzim faced several similar problems and that the website would provide an update on subjects of joint interest.
The website has developed into a very useful source of information for kibbutzim and includes information in the areas of education, culture, economics, agriculture, details of individual kibbutzim and general subjects of joint interest including debates on the changing face of the kibbutzim. The site also includes details of the Kibbutz Movement's organizational structure. There are various other forums including job vacancies and dating services. On line newspapers relating to kibbutz matters are also included.
Mayors of cities and towns from
The representatives discussed ways of saving water, the problems of pollution and especially the joint sources of water. Several ideas were put forward to deal with the treatment of waste water.
The participants also visited projects in
Several organizations joined hands for a special project against racism.
Fifty places in
The participants in the program decided on a particular date to eliminate the racist graffiti and during the course of that day all the chosen places were cleaned and the racism graffiti removed.
The organizers of the project stated that the Israeli Declaration of Independence clearly states that all citizens will be given equal rights regardless of race, color or religion. It was further stated that the action was taken to eliminate obvious acts of racism.
The kibbutz movement together with the Ilan organization for physically handicapped children will hold summer camps on 25 kibbutzim for approximately 500 children.
The children will come from towns and kibbutzim and will enjoy a week of various activities and challenges.
Kibbutzim not participating in 2009 have been invited to witness the summer camps and get a feeling for what they can do in the future.
The Economic Downturn
The economic downturn has taken its toll on many companies, small businesses and kibbutzim and the rate of national unemployment has again risen to more uncomfortable heights.
The Kibbutz Movement has found itself in a position where it has to look at its finances in a tough economic climate.
The KM reluctantly decided on across the board budget cuts, which will partially affect the KM's level of activities in many fields.
However, it is firmly believed that the leaner KM will still operate at a high level and meet the challenges of the future.
The Australian Institute of Peace
The Institute published its 2009 list of 144 countries from the most peaceful to the most dangerous.
The index used by the Institute is based on 23 factors and includes the degree of democracy, civil rights, wars and crime rates.
One wonders about the logic and thinking of the members of the Australian Institute of Peace, who consider that
Any visitor to
The reality is that
The Israeli national team attended a Taekwondo contest in
The Israeli team was not listed on the competitors list as the organizers feared a violent confrontation with anti-Israel demonstrators.
Notwithstanding the pressure from the threats, a member of the team managed to take first place in his weight category.
Team members proudly sang the national anthem "Hatikva" as the Israeli flag was raised for the winner of the gold medal.
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