14 Days: EMET prize

What happened in the last two weeks in Israel?

Past EMET Prize winners (photo credit: KOBI KALMANOVITZ)
Past EMET Prize winners
(photo credit: KOBI KALMANOVITZ)
EMET PRIZE Nine outstanding Israelis, five women and four men, were awarded the EMET Prize, known as the Israeli Nobel, at the Jerusalem Theater on November 15. Standing with A.M.N. Foundation head Arie Dubson (fourth from left) are (from left) laureates Prof. Ephrat Levy-Lahad, Sharon Yaari, Michal Rovner, Prof. Nahum Rakover, Prof. Hanna Engelberg-Kulka, Prof. Meir Lahav, Prof. Leslie Leiserowitz, Prof. Hanna Herzog and Prof. Eva Illouz, who praised the pursuit of “pure knowledge” in her words of thanks.
AIRBNB OUTCRY Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said he was speaking to senior US officials to counter a decision by Airbnb on November 19 to remove Israeli settlement listings from its international website of temporary apartment rentals in 191 countries. The move violated American laws against Israeli boycotts that exist in 25 out of 50 states, he said. “Anti-Israel boycott organizations do not distinguish between the State of Israel and Judea and Samaria (the West Bank),” he said. “As far as they are concerned, the entire State of Israel has no right to exist.”
In a close runoff race on November 14, Moshe Lion defeated rival Ofer Berkovitch to be crowned mayor of Jerusalem. “I plan, with God’s help, to be mayor for all the residents of Jerusalem,” Lion said at his victory party. In the biggest upsets in the more than 50 runoffs across the country, Rishon Letzion Mayor Dov Tzur lost to Raz Kinelstalich, Ramat Gan Mayor Israel Zinger was defeated by former MK Carmel Shama-Cohen, and in Ma’alot-Tarshicha, Arkady Pomerantz beat Shlomo Buhbut, who had served as mayor for more than 40 years.
visit Chad’s President Idriss Deby arrived in Israel on November 26 for a first visit that he hailed as opening “a new chapter” in bilateral ties. Although diplomatic relations were cut off in 1972, Deby was welcomed at Ben-Gurion Airport by Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, and later met both President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said, “Chad is a very important country in Africa and a very important country for Israel.” The visit was kept under wraps until Deby’s arrival.
NEVSU EMMY An Israeli TV show about an interracial family, “Nevsu” (Amharic slang for sweetheart) won an International Emmy Award for best comedy on November 19. The creators of the show, Shai Ben-Atar and Yossi Vasa, who also stars in it, received the award at the ceremony. The Reshet Channel 13 show focuses on the marriage of Gili, an Israeli man of Ethiopian descent, and Tamar, an Ashkenazi woman, and the relationship between their families. The International Emmy for arts programming went to a Dutch documentary, “Etgar Keret: Based on a True Story,” about the popular Israeli writer.
Israel’s national high school debating team was crowned champion of the EurOpen debate competition on November 14 in Stuttgart, Germany. The team, comprising Maya Carmon and Omer Zilberberg (Atid High School for Arts and Sciences in Lod,) Tamir West (the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem) and Tomer Zucker (Oleh Shem High School in Ramat Gan), beat 37 teams from around the world, including Germany, the US and China.
SPECIAL ENVOY Israel’s Foreign Ministry has appointed George Deek as the next ambassador to Azerbaijan, making him the country’s first Christian Arab ambassador. Deek, 34, grew up in Jaffa and is a highly acclaimed diplomat who served in Norway and Nigeria and most recently as a top adviser to the ministry’s director general, Yuval Rotem. The appointment “perfectly symbolizes the integration of Israelis from different backgrounds in the representation of the state,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.