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Thank you. I want to thank my friends, first and foremost the Speaker of the Knesset, Yuli Edelstein. He's pretty good in English too. To Deputy Minister Faina Kirshenbaum, a very, very able Knesset member, I can tell you, and very able Deputy Minister. To my childhood friend, Natan Sharansky. We were both children when you came out – well, younger. To Duvdev and to all the members of the Board of Governors: I see Michael Siegal here and so many other friends. And most especially Jimmy Tisch. He is the real article, I mean, he takes a position and he does it here, before that in the Conference of Presidents, before that in the Federations of New York. He also knows something about business – not much. He knows a great many things and he's put them forward on behalf of our people and the partnership between us and the launching of the joint initiative. And I deeply value that. I value your commitment. I value your investment in this, in this, which is an investment in our future. And this is what all of you do. And this is what we try to do.
Now, we face many challenges. The immediate challenge before us is to get these three teenagers back home safely. Our working assumption is that are alive. We're doing everything we can to bring them back alive from the clutches of Hamas. There's no question Hamas perpetrated this savage act of kidnapping, no question whatsoever. We have another working assumption that they are in the territories of Judea, Samaria, most likely in Judea. We can't rule out completely other possibilities but we have reason to believe that that is the case and we're operating on these premises. We also are taking action against Hamas, which is a terrorist organization that not only attacks our citizens, but is devoted, is committed to our destruction. And it is part and parcel of a larger witch's brew of Islamist radical murderous forces that are sweeping the Middle East. It is one of the great challenges that face us today.
Israel has had remarkable achievements. In our sixty-six years, our population has grown ten-fold. Our economy has grown a hundred-fold – one hundred times. Our GDP per capita has grown over thirty times. We've done this in the face of great adversity. We've become a global technological power, as you know, and the world's leading powers and leading companies are coming to Israel to partake of our great skills in innovation. But as we build the country, we have to also fend off these attacks and meet three great challenges. I don't mean only to the Jewish state, I mean to the Jewish people because the future of the two, as you know, is intertwined.
The first challenge is the rising tide of anti-Semitism, especially in Europe. There there is an amalgamation of anti-Semitism from the hard left, the hard right and the Islamist anti-Semitism that is now permeating Europe. And that is changing the situation of the Jews of France and the Jews of Belgium and Jews elsewhere, not only with the violent attack that Speaker of the Knesset Edelstein referred to. It's a systemic change and I think that the important thing to do in the face of anti-Semitism there and elsewhere in Eastern Europe is to first attack it. Don't bow to it. We have the ability to do something that we never had in the history of anti-Semitism in antiquity and especially in the Middle Ages and modern times. We have the ability to speak out against it. We have a state; we have the Jewish Agency; we have our institutions. 
And one of the first things that we have to do in the face of this campaign of hatred, which is based on lies, is to attack the lies and speak the truth. And we should do that proudly and forcefully. It's crucial, including the DBS campaign and this shameful, shameful decision by the Presbyterian organization in America. This is what they have to say today? I mean, the whole Middle East is aflame with terrible tyranny and terror. Hundreds of thousands are being butchered, millions are being displaced, Christians are persecuted everywhere, churches are burnt. And the only place that's safe, the only beacon of freedom and human rights and human dignity, where Christians are protected – Christians are protected – is Israel. I suggested to that body that they come to the Middle East, see Israel for the enlightened, beleaguered democracy that it is and then take a bus tour to Libya, Syria, Iraq, and see the difference. I only have two suggestions for them: One, that it be an amour-plated bus; and two, that they don't say that they're Christians.
I think we have to fight anti-Semitism and the vilification of Jews and the Jewish state forcefully, proudly, incessantly. And that is a job that we all share. That's the first thing. Of course, bringing those communities to Israel, making sure that Israel is worthy of this, as my friend Yuli said, is our joint responsibility, but we must speak out against anti-Semitism. That's the first task.
The second is to address the larger regional convulsion that is taking place here. The entire area from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Khyber Pass has been uncorked. Essentially, for the last one hundred years, most of this area was governed by an arrangement done by two young diplomats – almost a hundred years ago. One of them is actually, a year later, was instrumental in passing the Balfour Declaration, but very few people know the contribution of Mark Sykes to Zionism. He became an ardent Zionism a year later. But they drew a map. That map held intact for half a century with colonial powers and the other half with dictatorial regimes – secular dictatorships. First the colonial powers collapsed after World War Two and the dictatorial regimes collapsed with the so-called Arab Spring. Some spring. And what's uncorked, what is bursting out with full force, are centuries-old hatreds between Sunnis and Shiites, sect against sect, tribe against tribe, and this is just sweeping through the region. 
This puts of course the lie to the sacred cow that has been forever slain that the core of the conflict, always in the singular, in the Middle East was the Israeli-Palestinian problem. It seems laughable now, but people were saying that seriously until very recently. The Middle East is undergoing a tremendous convulsion. You see it now not only in the countries that I mentioned, especially in Iraq, and there are two main camps that are fighting one another: The radical Shiites, led by Iran, and the radical Sunnis, led by Al-Qaeda and ISIS and others, battling each other. They're both, both of these camps, are mortal enemies of Israel and the United States and just about everything in between. And when your enemies are fighting one another, don't strengthen either one of them. Weaken both. There is a task to be done in Iraq to prevent the overtaking of Iraq by ISIS, or for that matter, by Iran, to prevent what happened, its takeover, like the one it did in Lebanon or in Syria, and whatever advice we have, we give to our American colleagues in other forums.
But one thing you don't want to happen and must not be allowed to happen, for the sake of the Jewish future, for the sake of the Jewish state, for the sake of the American state and everything in between, is to have one of these sides arm themselves with atomic weapons. You just imagine these fanatics armed with atomic bombs. That has to be stopped. Now, my concern is that as we speak, within a week or two weeks, there could be an agreement that in practice enables Iran to be a threshold nuclear military state with a capability to produce nuclear weapons in short order. That problem of preventing any one of these sides from having, keeping and employing weapons of mass death has just been addressed in Syria. There they removed chemical weapons. Notice what I said: Removed. Those stockpiles of chemicals and the weapons and the means to produce both were removed. They were dismantled and removed from Syria.
The deal that is being discussed with Iran is not that arrangement. It's not dismantle and remove; it's keep and inspect. Suppose the deal in Syria would have been, alright, Basher Assad, you can keep your chemicals, you can keep your weapons, you can keep the means to produce them. We'll put inspectors there and we'll put them under lock and key so that if you break the lock it will take you a few weeks or a few months to get it back. What would you say? What would anyone say? Happily, that is not the case and 92% or 93% of the chemical weapon stocks have been removed and we have to make sure that 100% is removed. 
That is not what is being discussed in Iran: Basically, to keep that capacity, remove the bulk of the sanctions and keep the bulk of the capability, some of the centrifuges spinning and the others in, they call it mothball. You know what it means, mothball? You ever had a coat mothballed in the closet? You open the closet, take out the mothballs, take out the coat, you've got the coat. That's a bad deal. Better no deal than a bad deal, because if Iran is allowed to park as a nuclear threshold state, that will change history. Iran is a terror regime that is bent on dominating the Middle East and beyond. And if it has nuclear weapons capability, that will be a pivot of history. It must not be allowed to happen. 
I raise this with you because we're talking about a partnership in the Jewish future. I think a partnership in the future of peace and stability in the world, and I raise it here because I welcome and urge all of you, each and every one of you, to participate in your own way to say this. Speak out on this while there's still time.
And the third thing that – is that enough challenges? The third one is something that I think gives us the power, the force, the moral force, to address all these challenges and many others and to achieve the great things we have achieved, and that is to strengthen Jewish identity. Now we've embarked on a great partnership. It's exactly that: A partnership. And we want to strengthen it in every, in innovative programs, which we are launching, because ultimately the power of nations and the power of our nation, the power of our people, is based on the strength and depth of our identity.
I read recently a slim volume of a wonderful historian. Some of you might remember him, Will Durant. Yeah? Most audiences I never get any response to, but Will Durant wrote many years ago "The Story of Civilization" – eleven volumes describing the history of ancient China right up to Napoleon roughly. And then he wrote a very slim volume which he called "The Lessons of History". He wrote it with his Jewish wife, Ariel. What a partnership. Anyway, after a lifetime of study of history, he says, here are the lessons of history. Every line is pregnant with meaning and wisdom, but I want to summarize it for you. Now, do you want the good news or the bad news? 
I'll give you first the bad news. The bad news, if you really read what he's saying, he's saying in history, numbers count and the nations with the big numbers have an advantage because, you know, they have a bigger GDP. They can have bigger military machines, armies. And they have power and they dominate the smaller nations. Of course, there are cycles of rise and decline and so on, and even fall.
Now you want the good news? The good news: He says that there are exceptions to this rule, and the exceptions to the rule, both in the challenging demography, challenging geography – he gives one example. He says perhaps the best example of mustering cultural, the forces of culture and leadership is the young State of Israel. This is over forty years ago, so you know, we've had a few challenges in these forty years and we've been able to overcome them with what he calls "a force of culture". And the force of culture is really the strength of identity, the appreciation of our heritage, the education we give to our children, the pride we have in our history, in our state, in our common bond. That is really what we're working together to give to the next generation to ensure our future.
I know that each of you is deeply committed to this goal. I know you dedicate a good portion of your lives and in many ways your entire lives to it. And I want to thank you for it, for investing in our common future, in our culture, in our bond.
Thank you all and thank you, Jim. Thank you very much. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Photo  GPO
 
 
 

 

The EU Delegation in Israel and the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo presented:  Performance Europa!
Urban celebration of live performances and interactive installations
Tel Aviv’s White Night ,Rothschild 1 Plaza, 29 June 

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Over 60 leading women from across the world joined together last month for a panel discussion showcasing Israeli females in the lead.
Organized by The Israel Project (TIP) and the Embassy of Cyprus in Israel, the event served as a platform to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities facing women in Israeli society in the modern age.
Among the panelists were popular journalist Judy Shalom Nir-Mozes. Former IDF commander Miri Eisin and Israeli Olympic athlete Maayan Davidovich.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, today (Thursday, 15 June 2017), in Thessaloniki, at the third trilateral summit, signed joint statements for the continued strengthening of relations.

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A senior delegation from Tanzania, headed by Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, Permanent Secretary Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism, arrived in Israel for a series of meetings and events designed to increase cooperation with the Israeli tourist industry, and encourage Israeli tourism and investments to enchanted, exotic Tanzania.

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At a festive ceremony attended by Minister of Education Naftali Bennett, the Lauder Dormitory Building was inaugurated today at the Technion
state of the art building was donated to the Technion by World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder and his wife Jo Carole

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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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President Reuven Rivlin today (Wednesday) met at his residence in Jerusalem with United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Nikki R. Haley.

President Rivlin welcomed her and said, “You are a dear friend of Israel. We appreciate your strong stand on the world’s most important stage, in support of the security of the people and the State of Israel. With your support we see the beginning of a new era. Israel is no longer alone at the UN. Israel is no longer the UN’s punching bag.”

He continued, “When I spoke at the UN on Holocaust Memorial Day, I said that the UN must learn from the lessons of the past, and stand up against hatred and racism. I said it must end its obsession with targeting Israel. Progress has been made. Israel’s standing at the UN has improved. But sadly, we have a long way to go. Both in holding to account, public statements made by officials, and in supporting regulation to reduce the ridiculous number of discussions and resolutions against Israel. This is also true in the Human Rights Council - which has been hijacked as a weapon against Israel - and in UNESCO, where they seek to rub out the history of the Jewish people.”

The President thanked the Ambassador for her great contribution to the State of Israel, and said, “Ambassador Haley, as the representative the US - Israel’s greatest and strongest ally - we appreciate very much your support of Israel, and all you do to stand up for the values of freedom and democracy which we share. Welcome to Israel, welcome to Jerusalem.”

Ambassador Haley thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “Thank you Mr. President for taking the time to meet with us, it is an absolute thrill to be here in Israel, I so much appreciate the support we have received from the people of Israel. But I feel somewhat guilty because all I did at the United Nations was tell the truth. I have never taken kindly to bullies, and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time, and we are not going to let that happen anymore. It is a new day for Israel in the United Nations. We just got back from Geneva, talking about the Human Rights Council and hopefully it will be a new day at the Human Rights Council when it comes to Israel.”

She concluded by saying she was greatly looking forward to her visit to Israel and said, “I am looking forward to taking in the history, the beauty, the tradition, and all that comes with the magic of Israel. Thank you very much for having me it is a pleasure to be here.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)

Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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A fundamentally agricultural holiday, Shavuot commemorates the custom of bringing offerings to the Holy Temple from the first fruits of the harvest and the first animals born to the flocks.

Shavuot, the Holiday of Weeks, is one of the three pilgrimage holidays, along with Pesach and Sukkot. These are the holidays on which the whole Jewish people would come to Jerusalem​ in ancient times, when the Holy Temple was there, and would offer animal and grain sacrifices.

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Tel Aviv Eat presents three evenings of tastings and workshops featuring the region’s leading restaurants and most prominent chefs. Entrance is free (including the chefs’ demonstrations), and tasting portions range in price from NIS 20-35. Doors open each evening at 18.00. There are several performance stages, live music, and stands selling beer.

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"Only when we remember the families who were torn apart from everyone they loved, who suffered that terrible darkness and evil, who had endured the unbearable horror of the Holocaust, only then can we prevent this agony from ever repeating." President Donald J. Trump

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The Charles Bronfman Auditorium at Habima Square is one of the centerpieces of the Israeli arts and cultural scene, home to the Israel Philharmonic for the last 60 years. On Friday, May 19th, it was home to yet another historic event, with the dedication of the entrance hall to Miri Shitrit of blessed memory.

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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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  Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, today (Monday, 22 May 2017), at Ben-Gurion International Airport, welcomed US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania with an honor guard.

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The EU Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen, on 17 May to discuss Israel's
successful participation in Horizon 2020, European Union's research and innovation funding programme.

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