Israel in the News Aug/Sep 1991

Israel airlifts Jews from war-ravaged Ethiopia
from The Philadelphia Inquirer
Israel yesterday (May 24, 1991) began flying thousands of Jews out of Ethiopia in a race against time while rebel troops moved closer to Addis Ababa, the capital.

Aircraft from Ethiopian Airlines, El Al and the Israeli Charter Co. began lifting off from Addis Ababa Airport about 1:30 p.m. yesterday for the 1/2-hour flight to Tel Aviv. The lift’s organizers planned to continue the flights on a 24-hours basis until the transfer is complete.

The massive airlift was a carbon copy of the 1984–85 airlift code-named Operation Moses that brought perhaps 12,000 Ethiopians to Israel. This time the goal is to bring 14,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel, nearly all of Ethiopia’s Jewish population except for an unknown number—perhaps 2,000—trapped in remote areas or behind rebel lines.

Around the hillside compound of the Israeli Embassy yesterday, thousands of immigrants, many of them bringing only what they wore or could carry on their backs, jammed every inch of ground and pavement as far as the eye could see. “These people will all leave tonight,” shouted one of the Israeli security men, “if we can only get rid of the 40,000 Addis residents who are also here!”

The scene at the airport here as the airlift began reflected the sense of urgency. The aircraft, including one jumbo Boeing 747 with blue and white Israeli markings, arrived every few minutes to begin the transit.

Institute Plans Candelabrum
from Confident Living
A candelabrum, expected to cost $10 million in materials alone, is being planned by the Temple Institute, an organization trying to rebuild the ancient Jewish temple. The institute has already built 53 of the 92 vessels the Bible says were used in the ancient temple. The newest object, a six-foot-high candelabrum or menorah, was unveiled at a recent ceremony.

Israel’s Religious Affairs Ministry has praised the institute, but Muslim clergy fear it signals plans for the Jewish takeover of the temple mount. Many traditional rabbis say the temple will not be rebuilt until the coming of the Messiah.

Portugal to talk trade
from The Jerusalem Post
Portuguese economic officials and businessmen, led by the Secretary of State for Commercial Affairs, Jose Leite Arauto, will be visiting Israel at the beginning of next month. The purpose of the visit is to examine possibilities for expanding trade between Israel and Portugal as well as multilateral trade possibilities.

Portugal cancelled all customs charges on Israeli products in 1988, when it joined the European Community. Last year, Israeli exports to Portugal totaled $40 million, an 85% increase from the previous year. Imports from Portugal increased by 37% in 1990 as compared to the previous year, for a total of $46 million.

Albanian Emigrés
From National & International Religion Report
Virtually the entire Jewish population of Albania emigrated secretly to Israel over the past two months or so, Israeli officials announced. The some 325 refugees arrived with almost no luggage and were taken to reception centers. Their flight was arranged via two unspecified European countries, likely Yugoslavia and Greece.

Soviets offering business ideas
from The Jerusalem Post
Eighty Soviet companies have expressed interest in doing business with Israel, the Israel Chamber of Commerce has announced.

In March, the Chamber’s Soviet office received 150 business proposals from the USSR. They include proposals for the establishment of a plant for industrial construction in Israel, combined commercial fishing activities, joint export of medicines to Third World countries and establishment of a furniture manufacturing plant near Moscow.

The Russians are searching for Israeli partners to help implement most of the ideas.

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