On Sunday, December 1st, 2013, the Ambassador of Romania in Israel, Mrs. Andrea Păstârnac, and Mr. Mircea Păstârnac, held a Reception and Romanian Wine Tasting evening in celebration of Romania's National Day, the Great Union Day as it is better known. (On this day in 1918, during the reign of king Ferdinand I, Romania, which at the time consisted of Moldova and Wallachia– was united with Transylvania, Crișana, Banat and the Maramureș area.)



The event took place in the Ruth Bruce Rappaport Foyer, in the new wing of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.

The ceremony began with the national anthems of Israel and Romania proudly intoned by all present.


Then, Rabbi Joseph A. Wasserman, President of the Foundation for the Advancement of the Romanian Jewry, said prayers for Hannuka, and lighted the 5th candle, singing, accompanied by the public, traditional songs of Hannukah.

Many distinguished guests, including Mrs. Yael German, Israel's Minister of Health, ambassadors and members of diplomatic missions, honored the event with their presence and offered heartfelt congratulations to the ambassador and the embassy staff on this special day.



Mrs. Yael German said that she was deeply honored and very pleased to represent the Government and People of Israel in congratulating Romania in this celebrating of her Day.

She further pointed out that Romania and Israel have enjoyed a very special and excellent relationship for the past 64 years, ever since Israel's rebirth in 1948. She noted that Romania had been the only country of the former Soviet bloc that maintained diplomatic relations with Israel throughout all these years without interruption.


She said that both countries have special ties based on a broad common foundation, share common values and cherish freedom, and have a similar strategic outlook regarding regional and international issues. Jewish and Romanian history is intertwined – and always was, in times of joy and sorrow alike. “We hope that the joint future of Israel and Romania will be one of security, hope, prosperity and peace.” – said Mrs. German. “The bilateral cooperation between Israel and Romania exists in various areas: political, economic, cultural, scientific, and more. Our ties are expressed also in many mutual official visits, as well as in the ever-growing touristic exchange between Israel and Romania.


She mentioned the following facts:

·         The first meeting between governments was held in Jerusalem on November 24, 2011, and was headed by the Prime Ministers of Israel and Romania. The next meeting is expected to be held in Bucharest during the first half 2014.

·         Romanian's President, Mr. Traian Băsescu, is planning to visit Israel in January 2014.

·         Romanian's Prime Minister Mr. Titus Corlățean and the President of Romanian's Senate, Mr. Crin Antonescu, will visit Israel this coming December.


Mrs. German concluded by asking the Romania's Ambassador in Israel to convey to the Government and People of Romania best wishes and congratulations from the Government and People of Israel.

The Ambassador of Romania to Israel, Mrs. Andrea Păstârnac, addressed Mrs. Yael German, the distinguished guests and all the friends invited and said "This evening, beyond our titles and official capacities we are all friends of Romania. Today we celebrate the 95th birthday of Romania".


She continued by saying that both Romania and Israel, a young democracy of barely 65 years old, hold in the highest regards their uninterrupted friendship and celebrate continuous diplomatic relations between the two countries.

However, our history goes beyond that, stretching towards the beginning of the first millennium of the Common Era, when the first Jews arrived in the southern part of Dacia Felix. The rich and complex history of Romanian Jewry continues from the 14th to the 21st century. The Jews became the second largest ethnic component in the Old Kingdom of Romania, then the fourth largest community, in the new state emerging from the 1918 Unification.



The unitary history of the Romanian people highlighted the cultural Judaic life, which gradually developed an original Romanian Jewish nature, blending specific forms with contributions to Romanian life and culture.

30 years after the historical moment of Great Union, Romania and Israel established full diplomatic relations in June 11, 1948.

We share today all these years of history, and on this complex and unique ground we are building a special relation.

She ended by wishing:

"Happy Anniversary - La Mulți Ani, Românie!".


Amongst the distinguished guests that took part in the ceremony were:

·         Mr. Abraham Rosental, Director General of the Center of Organizations of Holocaust Survivors in Israel, and previous CEO of the Israel's Hotel Association.

·         Mr. Bruno Landberg, Founder and Chairman of the Sano Group.


The evening was also highlighted by the superb performance of Izabela Barbu, an acclaimed Romanian singer known as Jezebel, who delighted the audience with Romanian songs and ballads. She was accompanied by the guitar players Mihai Melinescuand Tudor Anghelescu.  


Photo Silvia G.Golan


On November 11th, the Embassy of Angola held a reception marking 38 years of independence at the Daniel Hotel in Herzliya.

The Ambassador of Angola - Jose Joao Manuel,Antonia Manuel and senior staff of the embassy greeted guests with a warm handshake at the entrance hall.


Among the distinguished guests were Naftali Benett, Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Minister of Religious Services and Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs; foreign ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions, heads of organizations, senior members of Israel's business community and friends.


Here are some interesting points about Angola: Angola, officially, the Republic of Angola, is the world's twenty-third largest country, bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of Congo on the north, Zambia on the east, and the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The former Portuguese colony became an independent country in 1975 and was formally named the Republic of Angola. Interesting photos of Angola and images that revealed the changes in industry in the country in recent years, were projected on giant screens in the hall.

Before the ceremony, I had the opportunity to chat with the head of a delegation of Angolan agronomists who came to Israel in order to gain practical experience with modern Israeli agricultural methods. He told me that his team was staying at Kibbutz Beit Alpha and that they are traveling around Israel visiting agricultural fields in various parts of the country. At these fields, they are experiencing first-hand the agricultural methods in place here so they can implement these latest methods in their own country.


After playing the national anthems of Angola and Israel, the Ambassador of Angola, Jose Joao Manuelwelcomed all the guests and said that although Angola is a young country, it has enormous potential that guarantees its socio-economic development and offers great business opportunities.

Angola's goal is a consolidated peace and a stable political situation based on the pillars of democracy. He added that in spite of economic setbacks that have negatively affected the economies of many countries – the growth of the Angolan economy for 2013 is projected to reach 5.1%.


"Revenues from the sales of oil, gas, diamonds and other natural resources are being used, on one hand, to reconstruct infrastructures destroyed during the civil war, and on the other hand, to build a modern country with the capacity to provide commodities and services essential for the welfare of its inhabitants". Ambassador Manuel mentioned that this endeavor is already producing visible results, As a matter of fact, quite a few of the guests here today can confirm this, because they too, have been ​​and continue to be a part of this mission of re-building Angola".


He said that Angola is growing with the help and cooperation of many countries, with Israel being one of them. The multifaceted cooperation between Angola and Israel involving human training is going through a very productive phase, mostly recognizable in the agricultural, energy, water, health, telecommunications, defense and security sectors.

In order to emphasize the fact that the Angolan market remains open for Israeli entrepreneurs interested in assisting in the building of the New Angola, he quoted the President of Angola, José Eduardo dos Santos who said: "There are businessmen from Israel who are interested in our market because Angola is a country that offers great business opportunities, allowing relations with Israel to be dynamic and multifaceted, thereby satisfying the interests of both countries."


Ambassador Manuel said that Angola is focusing on promoting cultural exchange visits by Angolan groups and artists to Israel, and with Israel sending cultural emissaries and groups to Angola. This has had a positive effect on bringing the nations closer than ever together.

Regarding Angola's foreign policy, Ambassador Manuel referred to the speech of the Vice President of the Republic of Angola Manuel Vicente, in front of the UN's General Assembly in New York where he made clear that the government of Angola supports the mediation efforts made by Secretary of State, John Kerry, and expressed the hope that the resumption of the bilateral dialogue between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority will result in a lasting peace settlement, culminating in the establishment of a Palestinian State that will coexist with the State of Israel.


Israel's Minister of Economy, Naftali Bennetrepresented the Government of Israel and the People of Israel in congratulating the government and people of Angola. He praised the fact thatafter decades of civil war, Angola has developed into a stable, secure, and prosperous nation. "Angola’s recent elections have once again demonstrated the country’s commitment to stability, democratic values, and the rule of law".  Minister Bennet mentioned that last year, Angola’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Georges Rebelo Chikoti, visited Israel, and added "This year we received João Baptista Borges, Minister of Water and Energy, who participated in an international conference in Tel Aviv. Such visits are invaluable, strengthening our diplomatic ties and reaffirming our bilateral relations".  He continued: "Israel’s business initiatives in Angola are as vast as they are diverse, which include agriculture, mining, construction, water, energy, and more".


He added that Angola’s economic development, as seen in its capital Luanda and other cities and provinces, is quite impressive and Israel has been a proud partner in this endeavor.

Minister Bennet thanked Ambassador Manuel for all his hard work and wished him great success in his next position. Ambassador Jose Joao Manuel will soon be completing his role as Angola’s first Ambassador to Israel (ending what will be a 13 year tenure). "We will warmly welcome his successor and help the next Ambassador to continue to further the ties between our two countries".


Minister Bennet wished Angola peace, stability, and prosperity and praised the good relations and friendship between the State of Israel and the Republic of Angola and expressed the desire for it to grow ever stronger in the years to come.


Photo Silvia Golan





President Peres Hosted an Official State Dinner in Honor of President Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler


President Peres:

"Israel thanks you for the brave stance you have taken against Iran's dangerous nuclear ambitions"

President Hollande:

When we demand that Iran not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons – we do it for peace

The happiness of your neighbors will bring security to you – that is my wish for you Mr. President and all of the people of Israel


The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, hosted an official state dinner in honor of President Hollande and his partner Valerie Trierweiler on the second night of President Hollande's state visit to Israel. The dinner was attended by, among others, the Prime Minister and his wife, the Defense Minister, the Finance Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Justice Minister and the Minster for Strategic Affairs, Intelligence and International Relations.

At the beginning of the dinner the two presidents delivered speeches to mark the festive occasion. President Peres began and said, " Israel thanks you for the brave stance you have taken against Iran's dangerous nuclear ambitions. Your statements, and those of your Foreign Minister Fabius, were clear and strong. They impact the entire international community. You made clear that without massive pressure on Iran, Iran would not cease to be a threat to Israel, to the Middle East and the entire world. This pressure should not be stopped because of words alone, only when we see results. You made clear Mr. President that your position will not change until the situation changes."

President Peres continued and addressed France's role in the peace process, "During all the efforts for peace in this region, France extended a supportive hand. In particular to realize the agreement that exists that the solution will be based on two states for two peoples. We are full of hope that the talks which are taking place today between us and the Palestinians will lead to peace. Peace, in our eyes, is not just a strategic decision but also a moral call that comes from the depth of our history. France has a crucial role to play in the process. Both due to its role as a central country in the European Union and its friendship with the United States of America. France is leading the fight against terrorism, in the decision to include Hezbollah with Hamas and Al Qaeda in the list of terrorist organizations. France established factories in the Palestinian Authority to progress peace."

President Hollande thanked President Peres for his warm words and said that France has always been on the side of peace and that when France demands that Iran not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons it is done for the sake of peace not only of Israel and of France but of the entire world. President Hollande expressed his opposition to anti-Semitism and added that the struggle against racism was also part of the search for peace. He added that sometimes you need to fight for peace and that France wants to contribute to peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Quoting King Solomon, President Hollande said that, the happiness of your neighbors will bring security to you, and added that this is his wish for you Mr. President and all of the people of Israel.



 The Anita Villalaz Cultural Circle (Círculo Cultural Anita Villalaz), Panama's Club Theater (Teatro Club de Panamá) and the Belle Arts Labor Academy (Academia Laboral de Bellas Artes) granted the prize "Diplomat of the Year" to Israel's Ambassador Dr. Alexander Galilee. This event took place during the XXXIV Gala of Anita Villalaz Prizes, in the Teatro En Círculo, and involved artistic and cultural references, and great friendship.


The renowned Actor and President of the Joint Comittee on Cultural Activities (Comisión Conjunta de Actividades Culturales), Miguel Moreno, stressed the fact that Dr. Alexander Galilee deserves this prize due to his impulse and contribution to the mutual relations between the two countries, particularly in sharing the diverse artistic and cultural expressions of Israel with the people of Panama.


During the prize, the Israeli Ambassador expressed his feeling of being honored for this recognition, which provides him with incentive to keep sharing part of Israel's art and culture with Panama, a country with beautiful traditions, which saw the birth of recognized artists that distinguished themselves at national and international level.


The prize was handed by the renowned Panamanian actress Eliza Morales, accompanied by the hosts Maritza Peregrina, Eyda Guardia de Allen, Lolita Rivera and Miguel Moreno.


The celebration was twofold regarding Israel, due to the fact that the Panama-Israel Cultural Institute (Instituto Cultural Panamá Israel) was granted the prize of Cultural Association of the Year, which was received by Israel's Honorary Consul in Panama, Mr. Moises Mizrachi


Photo provided for the Israel embassy in Panama


Translated by David Altman





On Monday November 4, the Panama Embassy held a reception in honor of the 110th anniversary of its Independence. The reception was held at the Hilton hotel in Tel Aviv and was sponsored by COPA Airlines (the Panamanian national air carrier), which is represented in Israel by the Open Sky Group.


Hundreds of guests came to congratulate the Ambassador, embassy staff and the Panamanian people on this special day. Guests enjoyed a festive Latin atmosphere with a band playing Latin tunes, as well as large variety of Panamanian cuisine.


Among the guests were Ofir Akunis, Deputy Minister of Israel's Prime Minister office, Einat Kranz Meiger, Director of the Department of Mexico Central America and the Caribbean and Shlomo Morgan, Protocol Department from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and members of the foreign diplomatic corps.

In attendance were also Israeli businessmen, among them the Presidents of Israel's Bi National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Gad Proper, Dudi Simcha and Amnon Dotan; Kobi Zussman, the General Manager IATA /BSP Israel; Avi Friedman, Chairman of the Israeli Panel of Foreign Airlines and the General Manager of United Airlines in Israel and many others.


After playing the national anthems of Panama and Israel, the Ambassador of the Republic of Panama in Israel, Hector Aparicio, opened the ceremony by welcoming all the guests. He praised the heroes who sacrificed their lives for the liberation of Panama and described how Panama received its independence from Colombia after many failed attempts, until finally the Panamanian people managed to win independence without war or bloodshed.  


The Ambassador noted that Panama was among the first countries in the UN that voted in favor of the establishment of the State of Israel. Panama attaches great value to the friendship and goodwill between the nations, and respects all religions and sects who live in the region. Panama is now a modern and dynamic country, hospitable, and one which encourages the development and attracting of business and investment from around the world. After 110 years, there are still many challenges and social issues to resolve, yet Panama is proud of its democracy and respect for human rights.



Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis, spoke on behalf of the government and people of Israel, saying: "The relations between Panama and Israel are very close, reflecting a deep friendship and cooperation in a wide range of areas. Indeed, Panama has stood by Israel since our country's rebirth". "We very much appreciate Panama's support for Israel in multilateral forums. Panama was one of the few countries that voted against bringing the Palestinians into UNESCO and also was one of the few countries that voted against giving the Palestinians Non-Member State status in the UN General Assembly".


Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis noted that in the past Panama has made clear that it would not support any one-sided moves and would not recognize a Palestinian state unless it was part of an agreement reached between both the Palestinians and Israel. He continued by saying that the strength of the ties between both countries was also reflected in mutual high-level visits. Panama's President Ricardo Martinelli, who is a very good friend of Israel, visited our country in 2010, followed by the visits of a number of Panama's top Ministers. Israel's former Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, visited Panama in August 2012. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Panama visited Israel in November 2012 and headed Panama's delegation in the very first round of bilateral talks between the Foreign Ministries of both countries. In this dialogue, an agreement on avoiding double taxation was signed.  He also noted that during the next few weeks both countries would begin negotiations on a free trade area agreement with Panama.  


Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis mentioned that there is a large and important Jewish community in Panama, which has worked tirelessly to build bridges of friendship between our two countries.  He concluded, on behalf of the government and people of Israel, by congratulating the government and people of Panama and said that he hopes that the cordial relations between our two nations will continue to grow in the years ahead.


Ephraim Fortis, CEO of the Open Sky Group, greeted everyone on behalf of COPA Airlines top management and shared Open Sky's appreciation for promoting Panama as a preferred tourist destination and as a hub to Central and South America using COPA Airlines' international network. He mentioned that COPA Airlines has been flying for more than 65 years in Latin America, operating from the "Hub of the Americas" in Panama to 66 destinations in 29 countries in North, Center and South America and the Caribbean. COPA Airlines has a strategic alliance with United Airlines and is a Star Alliance member.


At the end of the evening, guests were invited to partake in the excellent food, beverages, and enjoy music played by the Latin band - "Latin Power". The warm atmosphere and lively music inspired many guests to get up and dance to the Latin rhythms.

Photo Silvia Golan