- Written by Steven Aiello
Europe Day 2019 was a double celebration in Tel Aviv. The Delegation of the European Union to Israel hosted a special reception in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin, which was followed by the ElectroVision festival, as part of the weeklong Eurovision festivities.
Representatives of the European Union member states and other guests enjoyed the private reception hosted by H.E. Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Head of the European Union Delegation, and Mrs. Min-Ja Masson at Charles Clore Park, adjacent to the area of the park where the concert was held.
President Rivlin addressed the audience on behalf of Israel and noted that the Eurovision theme, “Dare to Dream,” could fit both the European Union and Israel. President Rivlin reminded the guests that although Israel and the EU share values and interests, this shouldn’t mean taking EU-Israel relations for granted. He expressed appreciation to Ambassador Giaufret for his role in bolstering cooperation in a range of fields from cyber-security and counter-terrorism to tourism and trade.
The president pointed out that Israelis and their neighbors in the region must learn from the example of the European Union. He described a world in which Israelis and Palestinians shared joint research and academic institutions, and called for taking steps to achieve such a dream in the European Union model. President Rivlin acknowledged that this would not be easy, but he emphasized that “peace isn’t made with paper. Ending conflict requires bringing people together.”
Ambassador Giaufret delighted the crowd by beginning his remarks with in Hebrew. After noting the historical roots of the European Union, the ambassador welcomed his guests, including President Rivlin and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. Ambassador Giaufret emphasized that “united we are stronger”. Citing issues such as cybersecurity, climate change, and counter-terrorism, the ambassador stressed that cooperation was in the best interest of all countries, for regional and global peace and stability.
The ambassador also stressed the continued commitment of the EU to Israel’s security, as well as regional peace and stability. Recalling recent attacks on Israel, Ambassador Giaufret expressed the view of the European Union that the two-state solution must be advanced as the path to a sustainable and secure future for Israel and its neighbors. In conclusion, the ambassador thanked everyone in helping to make Eurovision in Israel a success and called for greater Israeli-European cooperation going forward.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai expressed his delight that the Eurovision competition had come to Israel, and to Tel Aviv, thus bringing tourists from all over Europe to visit Israel. Mayor Huldai pointed out that the European Union was proof that peace is not only made with those we love but sometimes we must put aside political differences for the sake of building a safer, more successful future together. He wished all of the Eurovision contestants the best of luck but noted that the real winner was the growing ties between the people of Europe and Israel.
Following the speeches, the anthems of the European Union and Israel were played. Guests were then allowed to continue to a VIP section of the park to hear the ElectroVision performances.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the European Union and its member states upon Europe Day 2019!
Photos by Silvia G. Golan
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
President Rivlin to the Finnish Ambassador:
"As Finland takes up the presidency of the European Union in July, your leadership is even more important. Close EU-Israel relations are in the interests of us all. Israel seeks peace with its neighbors, but the rockets fired on us just last week from Gaza show we cannot compromise on the security of our civilians."
President Rivlin to the Greek Ambassador:
"We face a rising tide of anti-Semitism across Europe, including in Greece, which I discussed recently with your president. It was a great honor to participate with the Mayor of Thessaloniki at the Yom HaShoah ceremony."
Ambassadors from Ethiopia, Finland, Peru, Greece, and Nicaragua presented their credentials today, Thursday, May 16 / 11 Iyar, to President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin at an official ceremony at Beit HaNasi as they take up their posts in Israel. As each ambassador arrived, their national anthem was played by the Israel Police Band, their national flag was raised and they reviewed an honor guard of IDF soldiers. After presenting their letters of credence to the president and an audience with him, they signed the visitors’ book and Hatikva was played.
The president welcomed Ambassador Reta Alemu Nega of Ethiopia, accompanied by his mother, who was the first to present his credentials today. The president sent his warm wishes to the President of Ethiopia who he met on his state visit to the country a year ago. “The Ethiopian-Jewish community in Israel is a living bridge between our countries and cultures. From personal experience, I can say that the avocados you grow can become an important export.” The president said that in the fields of business, agriculture, and security, the two countries already worked closely together and that he hoped to work closely with the ambassador.
The Ethiopian ambassador thanked the president for his warm welcome, saying “I bring the greetings of the President of Ethiopia, and of the Prime Minister, who hopes to visit here soon. Your visit left very warm memories. Visits of this kind are milestones in our relations, and we are ready to strengthen the excellent bilateral ties into a strategic partnership.”
Next, Ambassador Kirsikka Lehto-Asikainen of Finland presented her credentials to the president. “We are both small countries who play a big role in the fields of technology and innovation,” he said. “We are developing closer relations in the field of security and I hope that we will be able to deepen them even further.”
“As Finland takes up the presidency of the European Union in July, your leadership is even more important. Close EU-Israel relations are in the interests of us all. Israel seeks peace with its neighbors, but the rockets fired on us just last week from Gaza show we cannot compromise on the security of our civilians.” Speaking about resolutions passed by UNESCO regarding the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount, he said “Let’s leave history to the historians, not to politicians who ignore the Jewish people’s historic connection to Jerusalem. Finland showed great moral courage in protecting its Jewish community and refugees during World War II, despite the risks. Unfortunately, we see a resurgence of anti-Semitism across Europe today. It is a threat not only for Jewish people but for humanity as a whole, our values and morality.” he said in conclusion.
The Ambassador of Finland presented her letters of credence and said, “thank you for your important words of welcome. It is a great honor that Israel is my first posting as ambassador. Our countries have common interests in the fields of innovation, high-tech, and entrepreneurship. We share your concern about rising anti-Semitism in Europe. Finland has a long-term commitment to the stability of the region and will continue to play a role in UN peace-keeping missions. I am delighted to be here this week when Israel is a real part of Europe, and wish everyone a successful and enjoyable Eurovision Song Contest.”
Following this, the incoming Peruvian Ambassador, Carlos Daniel Chavez-Taffur Schmidt, presented his credentials. The president sent his wishes to those celebrating Yom Haatzmaut, Israel’s independence day, in Lima this evening, and said “We would be delighted to develop the relations between our countries in the fields of water, agriculture, and innovation. We have much to learn from each other. When I visited your country, I found such natural beauty and rich culture, including at Machu Picchu.” The president noted the important Jewish community in Peru, saying “we appreciate the shelter you gave to European refugees during World War II.”
The ambassador thanked the president for his remarks, saying “Mr. President, allow me to convey the best wishes of the President of Peru to the people of Israel. Peru shares the same values as Israel – democracy, freedom of the press, separation of powers and human rights. I believe that we can extend our relations for the benefit of both peoples. Peru is proud of our role as one of the first supporters of Israeli in 1947 and we celebrate the friendship every year on November 29th, the date of the UN’s vote on partition.”
Ambassador Elias Eliadis of Greece then presented his credentials speaking Hebrew. “I had the pleasure of visiting Greece last year when I visited to celebrate 70 years of relations between our countries. I also viewed the very impressive naval maneuvers of the Greek navy,” said the president.
The president added, “the relations between us are not just between countries. They are relations between two great cultures with thousands of years of shared history. Athens and Jerusalem are pillars of modern culture. Our relations have grown a great deal in the last decade and we work together on energy, tourism, and innovation. We face a rising tide of anti-Semitism across Europe, including in Greece. Just recently the Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki was defaced, and I discussed it with your president. It was a great honor to participate with the Mayor of Thessaloniki at the Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Heroes’ and Martyrs’ Remembrance Day) recently.”
The president added, “Israel is committed to freedom of religion and worship for everyone and we have excellent relations with the Greek Orthodox Church. Just recently, I visited the Land of the Monasteries with leaders of the churches. This is a project to restore and preserve an important site for Christianity, which we hope will draw many thousands of pilgrims to the Holy Land.”
The Greek Ambassador thanked the president for his warm welcome and said, “The Hebrew and Greek traditions are the basis for the world we know today. We want to promote cultural ties as the basis for wide-ranging cooperation between our countries. We are trying hard to fight anti-Semitism, which is not a problem of the Jews but of European society as a whole. I wish prosperity and success to the people of Israel.
Finally, the president welcomed Ambassador Oscar Obidio Cubas Castro of Nicaragua, saying “I am sure that you, like we, see the renewal of diplomatic relations after a break of nine years as a new start. The only difference between our flags is that ours is blue and white and yours is sky-blue and white. Yesterday, our ambassador in Nicaragua presented his credentials and you are here with your letter of credence today. I am delighted to welcome you.”
The ambassador thanked the president, saying “Thank you, Mr. President. I feel like your words come straight from the heart. Your country may be small geographically, but it is one of the most important in the world. We remember the Holocaust, one of the worst times you experienced as a people, but we continue onwards.”
Photo credits: Amos Ben Gershom (Ethiopia, Finland), Mark Neiman (Peru, Greece, Nicaragua) (GPO)
- Written by Silvia G Golan
For the first time in Israel, Tanzania will hold a special event marking the 55th anniversary, on April 30 at the Dan Panorama Hotel in Tel Aviv
In Tanzania, every 26 April is Union Day to commemorate the creation of Tanzania through the union of Tanganyika and the archipelago nation of Zanzibar on 26 April 1964
Tanzania will also mark the first anniversary of the inauguration of Tanzania's first Embassy in Israel
The event will be attended by diplomats, businessmen, and the Media. Tanzania's Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Job Masima, noted that the two countries share many common values and that he intends to further strengthen cooperation with Israel in tourism, technology, agriculture and more. According to Ambassador Masima: "Though Tanzania and Israel are separated by great distances in geographical terms, our strong bonds of affection, mutual confidence, common interests, and similar outlooks remains inextricably linked".
Ambassador Masima is the first Tanzanian ambassador to Israel. He received the diplomatic credential from President Reuven Rivlin at a moving ceremony last June. Ambassador Masima took his place as Tanzania's first ambassador to Israel a year ago. Until the arrival of Ambassador Masima, the Tanzanian delegation was headed by the Honorary Consul of Tanzania in Israel, Kasbian Nuriel Chirich, who worked intensively to increase cooperation between the two countries in all fields.
The secret of Tanzania’s magic lies in the fact that it is a paradise for nature lovers. The country features a breathtaking array of landscapes, including volcanoes and snow-capped mountains, lakes, savannahs, marshlands, rain forests, and more. Some of the world’s largest lakes are located within Tanzania’s 945,087 square kilometers. It is not a coincidence that Tanzania has become one of the most popular destinations for Israelis traveling to Africa. It has a unique culture, natural riches, beautiful and exciting nature reserves, and the islands of Zanzibar. More than 4 million wild animals representing over 430 different species make Tanzania their home so that Tanzania has the highest concentration of animals per square kilometer on earth. Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, soaring to a height of 5,895 meters, is located in northern Tanzania.
Israelis who want to visit must be issued a visa. There is a new option of getting Visa by E Visa through the internet. The E - Passport of Tanzania has been voted the best passport in the world. There are daily flights from Israel to both mainland Tanzania and the island of Zanzibar, and chartered flights during holidays.
Pictures Courtesy: Ministry for Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania and the Embassy in Israel.
- Written by President’s Spokesperson’s Office
President Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin hosted a reception today, Thursday 9 May / 4 Iyyar, for the diplomatic and consular corps in honor of Israel’s 71st Independence Day. Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz also participated in the event.
“Distinguished members of the diplomatic corps, dear friends. It is a pleasure to welcome you to this celebration of our seventy-first Independence Day, in our three-thousand-year-old capital of Jerusalem,” said the president at the beginning of his remarks, noting that in his meetings with world leaders they comment admiringly on Israel’s achievements, and said that Israel is indeed a miracle, particularly in the vibrancy of its democracy.
“From the day Israel was born until today, we have faced enemies. Yet despite the severe security threats, we have built a thriving democracy with an independent judiciary, a free press, and religious freedom for all. This is a modern miracle,” he said.
“Israel is a small country, but we have big dreams. In fact, we are already becoming a world superpower. Not a superpower of military might -though we will always do what is necessary to defend ourselves - but a superpower of hope. Hope for a better future for all humanity.”
“Israeli technologies are already improving the lives of people around the world in the fields of clean water, sustainable farming, green energy, and medical aid. Now imagine how these technologies could improve lives throughout the Middle East,” he continued.
“Peaceful relations between Israel and its neighbors, especially our Palestinian neighbors, could bring such tremendous development and prosperity to the region. We continue to dream of peace with all our neighbors because I deeply believe that we are not doomed to live together, we are destined to live together. Together we can build a better future for all the peoples of the region,” he concluded.
Acting Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz: “I congratulate the US administration for the sanctions, which they renewed against Iran, in order to bring an end to Iran's evil activity. I call upon the international community to support the American policy and to join the enforcing of the sanctions.”
During the day, Beit HaNasi received messages of congratulations for world leaders on Yom Haatzmaut. Among those sending messages was President of the United States of America Donald J Trump, who noted: "shared values are the cornerstone of relations between our two great nations”. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin congratulated Israel on its 71stanniversary and noted that today is also Victory Day, marking the end of the war against Nazi Germany and that the sacrifices for the sake victory were enormous. Messages were received from Federal President of the Federal Republic of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeir and Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, who sent her best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the people of Israel. King Felipe VI of Spain, President of Italy Sergio Mattarella and many others also sent wishes.
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
- Written by David Goland
Pasta Mia Restaurant and pasta maker was the venue hosting an evening of culinary experience with Accademia Italiana della Cucina – The Italian Academy of Cuisine – the Israeli chapter. The Academy is an international body, with branches in over 70 countries and over 200 chapters in Italy alone. We found out that new members can join the Accademia through a personal acquaintance, but with a restriction on restaurateurs and other dining purveyors, to avoid conflict of interest. The candidate fills an application form and submits it with a curriculum vitae. More about the Accademia is on its website (English version):
As you turn the corner onto Wilson Street in Tel Aviv, the well-lit front of Pasta Mia restaurant, with its large Italian and Israeli flags, comes into full view. Riccardo Hoffman, the public relations manager greeted us with a cordial handshake and a tri-lingual “Good Evening, Buona sera, Shalom”. As you walk in, the unassuming entrance with a showcase display of a marvelous variety of home-made pasta made on site turns into an elegant yet home-style, cozy room. The fifteen seats or so, around festive tables, fit well in the friendly, inviting room, decorated in an all-Italian style, with Italian music playing gently in the background. There are some more tables in the front patio, for open-air less formal dining.
As we sat down, we were graciously welcomed by Dr. Cinzia Klein, Academy Delegate of the Israeli chapter. Also attended Vice-Delegate Sabrina Fadlun as well as businesswoman Mrs. Giordana di Castro, artist Photographer Mrs. Deborah Sinai, business counselor Dr. Claudio Grego with his wife Luisa, architect Arie Sonnino with his wife Ruli, style influencer Mrs. Giustina Rachmanoff, writer and journalist Dr. Nessia Laniado, dietologist Dr. Francesca Torrini, marketing councilor Dr. Joelle Inowlocki and ex-consul of Dominican Republic Mrs. Aliza Radian.
After the short speech, the multi-course dinner was on its way, with remarkably generous portions.
The Antipasti were delicious, as the freshly baked, gently spiced focaccia was followed by fiori di zucca rapieni (pumpkin flowers stuffed with ricotta cheese). An off-menu delectable treat consisted of thin puff pastry (pasta sfoglia) shell “cigars” filled with artichoke. A generous traditional platter of eggplant and red pepper stripes cooked and flavored tastefully was supplemented with the less-traditional sweet-potato and roasted cauliflower. The thick slices of eggplant parmigiana, layered with tomato slices, melted in the mouth.
The Primo (main first) dishes started with gnocchi stuffed with truffle paste, so sumptuous, that we had to limit consumption, so we could enjoy the rest of the meal. The Tricolore ravioli al radicchio filled with pecorino cheese was properly al dente. The penne tasted wonderful, cooked quite al dente, concealed quite well their gluten-free makeup.
The Secondo (main second) dishes were fish and meat. The veal with artichoke heart was sliced thinly, Italian style. The tuna steak was generously portioned and properly underdone.
The Dolce (deserts) were excellent, not overly sweet, and nice on the tongue. The pear pie had a thin crust, letting us enjoy the fruit itself. The cheesecake filling was fluffy, aromatic – not too sweet, delivered on top of an ultra-thin crust.
Throughout the meal, we were pampered with Italian Cavit red and white wines, cabernet sauvignon and pinot grigio. Franelle sparkling water and a lemon-mint sorbet with a touch of proecco cleansed the pallet between courses.
The final toast with prosecco Monetto concluded the meal, as we all cheered and praised chef Ilan Moses and the outstandingly professional and efficient staff.
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Photos Silvia G. Golan