On October 11, one day before the official date, the Ambassador of Spain in Israel H.E. Manuel Gómez-Acebo and his wife María José Gómez-Acebo hosted a reception celebrating their National Day at the Rabin Center in Tel Aviv.
The official Ceremony of the event took place in the main Hall, which was decorated with the flags of Spain and Israel and with a huge band of flowers with the colors of the Spanish flag.
First, the national anthems of both countries were performed, followed by the speech of the Ambassador of Spain in Israel H.E. Manuel Gómez-Acebo.
Below are some of the highlights of his very important and interesting speech:
“This coming December 2018, the Spanish Constitution will turn 40. In 1978 the Spanish people overwhelmingly chose a social and democratic State, guided by the rule of law. The legal framework that Spaniards gave themselves 40 years ago has laid the ground for a democratic and modern Spain.”
The ambassador highlighted the vibrant, tolerant society in Spain, marked by “plurality, equality, solidarity, progress and democracy”. He noted that Spain has the highest share of women members of Cabinet in the world (60%), and also promotes LGTBI rights, including same-sex marriage.
Moving to the shared history of Spain and Israel, Ambassador Gómez-Acebo observed a renewed interest in Spain’s Jewish roots that led to a 2015 law allowing thousands of Jews of Sephardic descent to obtain Spanish nationality.
The ambassador also mentioned President Rivlin’s visit to Spain, as well as the upcoming 20th International Congress of Hispanists, to be held in Jerusalem, with around 800 participants. In closing, the ambassador welcomed his new colleagues at the Embassy and thanked those who put in the effort to organize the celebration " this splendid Rabin Center who have worked hard to prepare this event, " a special thanks to Dani Danosh and to the director, Ms. Dalia Rabin-Pelosoff."... and the sponsors of the evening: The Spanish Ministry of Defense, SEAT, MobilEye, Air Europa, LaLiga, Inspiralia, CaixaBank and IE University, and business school. Thanks also for the collaboration of Beronia, Freixenet, Tío Pepe, San Miguel, and Ramban.
Deputy Minister Dr. Michael Oren spoke on behalf of the government of Israel, noting that although formal relations between Spain and Israel date to 1986, the connection between the Jewish people and Israel goes back centuries, and includes many of the greatest scholars in Jewish history.
Dr. Oren noted Israeli-Spanish cooperation in diplomacy, counter-terrorism, art and culture, and tourism, with approximately 350,000 Israeli tourists to Spain annually-- almost one out of every 20 Israelis!
Throughout the ceremony, photos of the events of the visit of President Rivlin during his visit to Spain, hosted by King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia of Spain, were shown on large screens.
Following the speeches, the traditional toast was performed and then a group of dancers of the Compas Danzas Flamencas Company’, an Israeli Group, burst into the room to the surprise of the guests.
All those present were invited to the magnificent terrace of the building, where an even greater surprise awaited them: a performance by the famous and beloved Israeli singer and composer David Broza, who sang in Spanish and Hebrew. The flamenco dancers who accompanied him danced among the guests.
Among the distinguished guests were ambassadors, diplomats, Chamber of Commerce members, Israeli and South American business people with personal ties to Spain, including Ambassador Meron Reuven, Chief of Protocol of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Rodica Radian-Gordon, Deputy Director General for Western Europe in the MFA; Rafael Matos, General Consul of Spain in Jerusalem; Professor Aviva Doron, Micha Shitrit and Moshe Shoham of the Chamber of Commerce Israel - Spain; Gabriel Hayoun, President of the Chamber of Commerce Israel-LatAm; Leon Amiras Vice President of the OLEI; Viviane Epstein of the Raoul Wallenberg Foundation; representatives of Air Europa, one of the sponsors of the evening, and many other prominent members of the Spanish speaking community
www.diplomacy.co.il salutes Spain on this important day and we wish to continue the close ties of friendship and cooperation with Israel
Photos by Silvia Golan