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In her first appearance at an Israeli university, Brazilian Ambassador to Israel - H.E. Maria Elisa Berenguer - addressed guests at Tel Aviv University and discussed the special relationship between Israel and Brazil as well as Brazil's newly accelerated diplomatic efforts across the Middle East.Ambassador Berenguer (Photo by: senado.gov.br)

 



Assuming the post as ambassador only four months ago, Ambassador Berenguer expressed her amazement at both the fast paced environment in Israel and how regional events themselves are rapidly changing on a day to day basis.  Mixed with its surging economy, it is these rapid developments that have motivated Brazil in undertaking a new diplomatic track as opposed to the country's previously held strategy of 'quiet diplomacy'.



Those familiar with the latest current events in Brazil know that Latin America's most populated and largest country has become a thriving economic force as it has established itself as one of the top ten economic giants across the globe (as measured by GDP).  With this, Brazil can only assume a greater role in world diplomacy while trying to expand its "friendly neighbor" policy worldwide and with special attention to the Middle East.



In specifically addressing Brazil's foreign policy efforts towards Iran, Ambassador Berenguer explained that Brazil is adamant in its belief that all nation's have the right to a peaceful nuclear energy program and that her country is attempting a new strategy in approaching the Iranian government with regards to its nuclear program.  



Referring to the recent meeting between Brazilian President Lula da Silva and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Ms. Berenguer explained that, "He [President da Silva] had long conversations with Ahmadinejad about the Jewish people and stressed the importance in not denying the Holocaust."



As Dilma Rousseff is set to assume the Brazilian presidency on January 1st (she will be the first woman to fill that role), Ambassador Berenguer stressed the importance in continuing to pursue a similar diplomatic policy towards the region. "Brazil has been a long time friend of Israel and worked very hard behind the scenes in favor of the UN's resolution, which lead to the establishment of the State of Israel," stated Ms. Berenguer.  



And although many Israelis may feel uncomfortable with Brazil's extended hand towards the Iranian regime, Ambassador Berenguer made it clear that Brazil will continue to pursue an agenda that publicly stresses the importance of Israel's security.

Ms. Berenguer said she is looking forward to her stay in Israel and expressed her commitment to maintaining and strengthening the overall ties between her country and Israel.




For more on the Brazilian diplomatic mission to Tel Aviv, visit http://www.brazilianembassy.org.il/


Photo Jose Cruz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photo by: Andres Lacko

 

Appearing before dozens of guests at the IBCA Balfour Dinner, the recently appointed British Ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, addressed the question of "loyalty" in regards to to being the United Kingdom's first Jewish ambassador to Tel Aviv.



"I am a Londoner through and through, and my heart beats a litle faster when England gets within striking distance of the World Cup.
My identity as a proud Jew does not detract one iota from my loyalty as a British citizen.  These loyalties operate on different levels, and they do not conflict."



The ambassador invoked references of Chaim Weizman and Walter Rothschild in explaining the phenomenon of dual loyalties as he himself shares between his allegiances to Britain as a citizen and representative abroad and his strong ties to the State of Israel.

"There is absolutely nothing incompatible in this with the most thoroughgoing British patriotism," Gould commented, directly quoting Lord Alfred Milner, a member of former British Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet at the time the Balfour Declaration was created.



In terms of strides being made since assuming his post in Tel Aviv, Ambassador Gould discussed the quick developments being made in further strengthening the economic bonds between Israel and Britain with particular regards to the high-tech sector while also building on the already strong scientific collaboration enjoyed between the two countries.  

The ambassador described his agenda as 'long, ambitious and immensely positive'.  "This is a country [Israel] of great intensity," commented Gould.  "In two months, I have had a crash course in Israeli culture, into Israeli politics, on the Israeli economy.  I have made more friends, met more people, visited more places than I ever though possible," he added, saying that his understanding of "the country in which I now live" has expanded greatly.



Among other issues, including the current situation surrounding the Iranian nuclear program, Gould promised the attendees that his country would "amend the legal anomaly" regarding universal jurisdiction so that Israeli politicians would have no doubts on their legal security when visiting the UK.

Many of the guests in attendance were new olim (new Israeli citizens) from England as they themselves must now deal with the issue of "dual loyalties".  



Identifying with the new immigrants and their allegiances, Gould stated, "As a British Jew, sent to the State of Israel to represent my country, I am a personification of this issue [dual loyalty].  I am a patriotic and loyal citizen of Britain and a proud Jew.  I love Israel and yearn for her security.
I hold these together without shame and without contradiction".


Ambassador Gould with Israeli MK Avishay Braverman (Photo: Andres Lacko)
Clearly, Gould's kippah (Jewish skullcap) of the British flag illustrated the entirety of his speech.

(Photo  by Andres Lacko)

For a full copy of the speech, click here

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Romania's rich musical traditions were on display Wednesday night at the Givatayim Theatre as some of the Eastern European nation's finest young talent performed before hundreds of guests in attendance in celebration of Romanian National Day.Ambassador Edward Iosiper (Photo: Claudia Lazar)

 



In honor of the country's reunification of Transylvania into 'Greater Romania' (December 1, 1918), Romanian National Day glorifies the storied cultural achievements throughout the nation's intriguing history.  Undoubtedly, Romania's global contributions to the Arts is something that cannot be overlooked; rather, it is these contributions that have helped place the country amongst the world's most sophisticated centers for both the composition and performance of classical music.


Thus, it was quite a privilege for those who attended the Romanian Cultural Institute's - in conjunction with the Embassy of Romania - sponsored orchestral performance honoring the country's heralded musical traditions of both past and present while also getting a glimpse at the the next generation of Romanian prodigies whom have gracefully begun to carry-on those traditions.



The cultural evening commenced with the playing of both the Romanian and Israeli national anthems and was followed by speeches from Gina Pana, Director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in Tel Aviv, and the Romanian Ambassador to Israel himself, H.E. Edward Iosiper.  



In his speech, Mr. Iosiper discussed the already strong bilateral ties between Israel and Romania while also stressing the desire to see even greater cooperation between the two nation's.  Iosiper, who has been posted in Tel Aviv since 2007 said that he was proud of the achievements garnered by both countries and that each can benefit greatly through the continued strengthening of those familial bonds.



Romania, which has a large contingent of foreign workers in Israel, has also recently become a prime destination for Israeli travelers and is growing each year in regards to its tourism industry.



As the evening continued, the young musicians - all students of Romania's finest conservatories - performed pieces by George Enescu and Paul Constantinescu, two of Romania's most celebrated composers, as well as works by Tchaikovsky, Chopin and Robert Schumann.  The focus of the concert was to honor both Romania's finest composers and a few of the more recognized Jewish ones.



All of musicians - members of the "Dinu Lipatti" Group for Musical Excellence (Daria Ioana Tudor, piano (13 years old); Georgeta Ioana Iordache, violin (16 years old); Stefan Cazacu, violoncello (17 years old); Arthur Bocaneanu, piano (19 years old) ) - are well known both within Romanian philharmonic circles as well as those worldwide as they have taken their talents across the globe.Cazacu, cello and Bocaneanu, piano (Photo: Claudia Lazar)  They were accompanied on piano by Verona Maier, from the National University of Music in Bucharest.   Producing classical music talent is definitely something of which Romania excels.



So, as the festivities of Romania's National Day officially commence, diplomacy.co.il offers a special congratulations to the Romanian mission to Tel Aviv as well as all Romanian citizens currently residing in Israel.










For more information on the Romanian diplomatic mission to Tel Aviv, click here 







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Guests of the Latvian Embassy in Tel Aviv gathered at the Einav Cultural Center to celebrate the nation's Independence Day as well as its cultural contributions to the world and its storied Jewish past.



 

 

The Republic of Latvia has faced insurmountable obstacles in establishing itself as a contributing member within the European community as well as on the world stage.  Despite the obstacles throughout the Baltic nation's history however, the resilience of the Latvian people in their pursuit of self-determination and global success has remained persistently strong as the republic embarks on 92 years of independence - an independence represented in two stages:  1918-1940 and 1940-1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Amidst a large gathering of guests and close friends within the diplomatic community, Latvian Ambassador to Israel, the Honorary Mārtiņš Perts, highlighted the global vision for his country going into 2011 as well as his desire to see larger strides taken between Israel and Latvia in fortifying the already strong relations between the two nations.

 



Latvian Ambassador PertsThe 2010 celebration in Tel Aviv - normally Latvian Independence day is celebrated on the December 18th - was purposely pushed forward as to coincide with a special exhibit on Latvian philosopher Isaiah Berlin, being displayed at the Einav Cultural Center in central Tel Aviv.  The exhibition, 'Isaiah Berlin and the Riga of His Time' - in cooperation with the National Library of Lativa - portrays the intellectual culture and history of Riga at the beginning of the 20th century with a focus on the city's Jewish community - a community that all but perished during the Holocaust.

 



"Such remarkable persons as Isaiah Berlin show the importance of the Jewish community in Latvia who have contributed and benefited the multicultural society inherent in Latvia nowadays," noted Mr. Perts, adding that the Latvian people would neither be who they are nor where they are today without the achievements of its Jewish past.




In regards to bilateral relations between Israel and Lativa, Ambassador Perts made note of key state visits between officials of each nation's foreign ministry as well as the importance of the scheduled visit of Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade & Labor, David Ben-Eliezer, to Latvia in the coming year.  The ambassador also stressed his desire for Israeli President Shimon Peres to incorporate Latvia into his list of upcoming state visits while noting that he expected 2011 to be a "intense" year regarding the levels of Israeli-Latvian economic cooperation.



"Latvia highly values the active political dialogue with the State of Israel," explained Perts.  "I am convinced that Israel and Latvia will continue to enjoy an open and constructive exchange of views regarding our common interests - both bilateral, regional and in regards to the global agenda."

Among the notable guests was Executive Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pinchas Avivi.  Avivi spoke on behalf of the Foreign Ministiry and the Israeli people, recognizing the accomplishments of Latvian society, despite having to endure near centuries of foreign rule throughout its history.



MFA Executive Director Avivi addresses the guests

 

He further noted the extensive 'Aliya' [Jewish immigration to Israel] of Latvia's remaining     Jewish community after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 as well as Israel's   immediate recognition and establishment of diplomatic ties upon Latvia's "regained" independence.













For more information on Latvia and its diplomatic missions worldwide:

http://www.mfa.gov.lv/
 


    

[photos courtesy of Carmel Skutelsky]

 

 

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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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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)

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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 Add a comment

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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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  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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On the eve of the Shavuot holiday, the Society for the Promotion of Tourism in Herzliya, in conjunction with the Grape Man, is hosting the White Summer White Wine Festival at the Herzliya Marina. The largest white wine festival in Israel will take place on the plaza of the marina on Wednesday and Thursday, May 24-25, 2017.

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President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Wednesday), met at his residence in Jerusalem with a delegation visiting Israel, made up of Jordanian sheikhs representing different tribes from across Jordanian society, from Irbid, Zarqa, and Amman. Also participating in the meeting were senior members of the, Middle East Department, of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The delegation of sheikhs were visiting Israel for five days, during which they met with different faces from across Israeli society, deepening the understanding between the peoples.

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Just across the Ayalon Freeway from the Azrieli Center, in a mixed residential and office neighborhood, is a bistro barely one year old that is already making a name for itself.

In the words of chef-owner Daniella Berneman Fleishman herself, “On the border of Tel Aviv and Givatayim, I have opened a place that is the realization of a dream, combining my passion for hosting and love of food, where delicious food is served in a an atmosphere of home hospitality.”

Daniella has become popular with diverse audiences: workers from the adjacent office buildings during the day, families in the evening, and young people late at night. Parking on weekdays is only in paid parking garages, but there is plenty of free parking on evenings and weekends.

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The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, visited the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation and met with Chemi Peres on Thursday (11.5) to promote interfaith relations and hear from Young Ambassadors for Peace

The Most Reverend Welby said: "Shimon Peres always supported and worked for peace initiatives. I am glad that we have people like you – Christian, Muslim, and Jewish, Palestinian and Israeli – who continue in this vision. We need you. You are our future. I will support you."

Chemi Peres: "You young people must not wait for an end to the conflict, but must trust yourselves and work together to move us forward."

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