News Highlights October 2010


The First 100 years

The year 2010 is the hundredth anniversary of the establishment of Kibbutz Degania, which was the first kibbutz to be established in Israel.

The official ceremony was attended by The President of Israel, Members of Parliament, senior officers of the Defense Force and leading figures from the business community.

As part of the celebrations a bicycle tour will take place and hundreds of cyclists will participate. The cyclists will travel to many kibbutzim from the North to the south of Israel.

The kibbutzim formed the backbone of the country before Israel gained independence in 1948 and during the first few years after independence. There was an experienced infrastructure in place because of the kibbutzim and many notable persons from kibbutzim took part in the political and defense organizations as the new state came into being. The kibbutzim were also the bread basket of Israel providing a large percentage of the country's food needs.

The kibbutzim formed a large part of Israel's economy and even today nearly ten per cent of the country's economy is derived from kibbutz enterprises.

A Volunteer Produces a Movie about Kibbutz Life  

A former volunteer from Germany has produced a movie about kibbutz life. He chose the kibbutz where he volunteered to produce the movie. The movie entitled "Hazorea" has already been seen in movie theaters in Germany.

The movie will be screened at movie theaters throughout Israel.

It describes the life in a kibbutz from the 1930's until the present day. The producer chose members of the kibbutz who came from Germany during the 1930's and the grandchildren of some members to perform in his movie.

The movie describes life during those early years with all its hardships and compares that to the wishes of the young people to blend more with the realities of life in the twenty first century.

The older members chosen are all in their nineties with some approaching a hundred years of age.

The movie also included some volunteers and ulpanists who married kibbutz members and made their lives on the kibbutz.

The theme centers on the conflict between those who wish to create a modern capitalist community and those who wish to cling onto the old communist values.

Connecting Nations with Advanced Technology

The longest journey ever undertaken by an unmanned land vehicle has ended after an amazing 13,000 kilometers from Italy to China. The vehicle navigated through several changing weather conditions including driving rain and snow.

The journey took three months and the vehicle travelled through parts of Russia and the great Chinese Gobi desert and the historic Great Wall of China.

The electrically powered vehicle even stopped to pick up hitch hikers along the way. It was part of a four unmanned vehicle caravan that was designed by Italian engineers. Two engineers travelled in the vehicles as passengers and just in case some dangerous situation occurred.

The engineers had to intervene during freezing conditions in Siberia at a camp site and on a toll road and during the rush hour in Moscow. A police officer in Moscow stopped the leading vehicle to ask some questions and was shocked to find that there was no human presence in the vehicle.

The European Research Council primarily funded the expedition, to develop technology to increase road safety and fuel efficiency by supplementing driver decisions at the wheel.

European Students meet in Jerusalem

The European Students’ Union convened its annual conference in Jerusalem , the first time the event has been held in Israel.

More than 120 students from dozens of countries across Europe attended the conference, including, according to the organizers, “students that hold negative feelings towards Israel.”

The students also visited sites in the north and the center of Israel.

A government minister stated that “One of the most vicious fronts of the attack on Israel’s legitimacy is the academic world, whose protests do Israel enormous and unjust damage. Unfortunately the preaching of hatred under the guise of an academic, philosophical or intellectual umbrella leads directly to anti-Semitic or anti-Israel activity.”

The minister said he hopes the delegates “remained open-minded and open-hearted” during their visit, and saw Israel “as she truly is; an Israel that values and enjoys life, an Israel full of international achievements, an Israel that carries the banner of human rights, minority rights and moral values above all else.”

Tourists Should Visit Mount Carmel in Haifa

Tourists will be amazed that the Carmel Mountain Range in and around Haifa bears witness to some of Israel's ancient past.

There is much evidence that shows that the Carmel Mountain was inhabited during prehistoric times. In the twentieth century, scientists uncovered the remains of a Neanderthal, Homo sapiens, and early modern humans, including the skeleton of a Neanderthal female, which is regarded as one of the most important human fossils ever found.

 The modern traveler can visit the caves and learn how our prehistoric ancestors lived.

In the Bible, the Carmel Mountain symbolized beauty and fertility. It is also best known as the site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Baal. On Mount Carmel Elijah confronted the Pagan priests, who placed a sacrifice on their alter waiting for their Gods’ miracle to burn the sacrifice. After they failed to do that, Elijah asked to water-soak his sacrifice, the alter, and the surrounding area and then called on G-d. The fire of G-d fell from the sky and consumed the offering, the wood, the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench (1 Kings 18). This confrontation is believed to have taken place at one of the highest points of the mountain, known as El-Maharrakah (המוחרקה, קֶרֶן כַּרְמֶל), meaning the burning. Therefore, the Carmelite Order built a monastery at that magnificent point and placed a sculpture of Elijah there.

The Carmel Mountain range is a beautiful place to visit, enjoy nature, explore unique holy places and admire one of the most beautiful cities – Haifa.

The Battle of Beersheba

Diplomats, civilian delegations and representatives of militaries from around the world gathered in Beersheba to commemorate the 93rd anniversary of the World War I battle of Beersheba.

Defense attachés from Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Africa, Austria, and Israel, together with high ranking envoys from United Nations Organizations, joined the city’s municipality for the day’s events.

The Battle of Beersheba is famous for the charge of the 4th Brigade of the Australian Mounted Division – known as the Light Horse Brigade – which played an important role in enabling British forces to conquer the Ottomans, paving the way for General
Edmund Allenby to take control of Jerusalem on December 11, 1917.

Referring to both world wars, Mrs. Faulkner, the Australian ambassador to Israel, noted that many Australians had fought and died in Israel. Of the nearly 800 Australian troops buried in Israel, 175 are buried in Beersheba, she said. The bravery of the brigade is recorded as one of the finest moments in Australian military history, she stated, adding that Australia is to this day inspired by the courage of its members.

Israel Chairs the Kimberley Process Body

Hundreds of representatives from more than 70 diamond-producing and trading countries gathered in Jerusalem to take part in the annual session of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

A government minister said, “Chairing the Kimberley Process had given the Israeli Government a chance to demonstrate its commitment to the goals of the Kimberley Process – the same commitment is what has brought you all here today.” “We must not let the challenges we face prevent us from working together toward our common goal. This organization is too important to fail.”

Ben-Eliezer concluded his remarks to the meeting by urging all participants to work together “in harmony” to overcome the existing challenges and to “work together to make the Kimberley Process more effective, especially when it comes to implementation and enforcement.”

“We are standing before a critical junction for the process. The eyes of the world are on us and we must prove that the process is still trustworthy and relevant, that it can still prevent trade in conflict diamonds and thus prevent human rights violations,” said Boaz Hirsch, deputy director in charge of international trade at the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry and acting KP chairman.

The chairman oversees the implementation of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the operations of the working groups and committees, and general administration. The chair rotates annually and is selected at the annual meeting. Following Israel, the chairmanship will go to the
Democratic Republic of Congo.

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