- Written by Silvia G. Golan & Steven Aiello
Embassy of Kazakhstan Brings the Sights and Sounds of Spring to Israel with Joyous Nowruz Celebration at Ambassador’s Residence
The Embassy of Kazakhstan brought the sights and sounds of Spring to Israel on Sunday afternoon, with a joyous Nowruz celebration at the home of Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov and his wife Maira Karakeshova.
Nowruz, or “New Day”, marks the spring equinox, and has been celebrated by various nations for thousands of years, ranging from Afghanistan and India to Turkey, and of course Central Asia. This year UN Secretary General António Guterres’ noted the twin features of Nowruz, a celebration of renewal, as well as the beauty of human diversity:
“Nowruz is a celebration of new beginnings. The beginning of a new year. The arrival of spring…Nowruz is also a celebration of our diversity. It unites over 300 million people…It is a time to learn about each other, our cultures and our world.”
In that regard, the embassy of Kazakhstan in Israel championed the spirit of Nowruz, with a colorful and engaging celebration that regaled guests with the colors, sounds and flavors of Nowruz. Ambassador Satybaldy Burshakov invited the guests to enjoy the cultural richness of Nowruz with music and dance performances by Kazakhstani students studying in Israel. Amirlan Nazhmetdinov. an international student at Bar Ilan University, performed several traditional Kazakhstani songs. Then Amre Nursaulet and Melissova Diana, dancers from the Kazakh National Academy of Choreography who are spending a semester studying at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, performed several synchronized dance pieces, to the delight of the guests.
Following the music and dance performances, guests enjoyed a lavish lunch, with numerous traditional Central Asian delicacies, like baursak and samsa. A well-decorated Yurt outside of the ambassador’s residence, including traditional clothing and various books published by the embassy, further added to the rich cultural experience.
Nowruz was recognized as an intangible cultural heritage practice by UNESCO in 2009, at the initiative of Kazakhstan, together with Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In 2010, UN General Assembly Resolution 64/253 proclaimed the “International Day of Nowruz”.
Among the distinguished guests to join in the celebration were H.E. Mr. Khaled Azmi, the ambassador of Egypt; H.E. Mr. Sanjeev Singla, the ambassador of India; H.E. Mr. Mizushima Koichi, the ambassador of Japan; H.E. Ms. Feruza Makhmudova, the ambassador of Uzbekistan, H.E. Evgeny Vorobyev, the ambassador of Belarus; H.E. the Charge d'Affaires of Turkey Mr. Mehmet Fazil Sekerci , Mr. Nikoloz Chaloev, Senior Counselor of the embassy of Georgia; Mr. David Luxemburg, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Israel, Mr. Dmitry Shkaf, the honorary consul of Kyrgyzstan and Mrs Zina Polyanskaya Chairman of the All- Israel Association of Immigrants from Kazakhstan.
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the Embassy of Kazakhstan on this wonderful celebration, and wishes a happy Nowruz to all those celebrating.
- Written by Silvia G. Golan
23 Members of Parliament from around the world will arrive next week to participate in the annual Chairmen’s conference of the Israel Allies Foundation (IAF)
The biggest political conference to take place in Israel since the Covid pandemic
In partnership with the Combat Anti-Semitism Movement
They will meet with Ministers Yair Lapid TBD, Matan Kahana, Yuli Edelstein, Ze’ev Elkin, the head of the Binyamin Regional Council Israel, Israel Gantz, Natan Sharansky and more * They will tour Jerusalem, Atarot and Psagot * Will discuss the situation in Ukraine * Sign a resolution that they pledge to continue to fight anti-Semitism in the world
23 Parliamentarians from around the world, including the Minister of Technology from Uruguay, Senator Mizrahi from Colombia running in the May presidential election, US Republican congressman Doug Lamborn, Democratic congressman and close ally of Biden Juan Vargas, MPs from Finland, Holland, Sweden, Romania, England, Wales, Kenya, Liberia and more will attend the eighth annual conference next week on the 20-22th of March in the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
Many of these parliament members serve as Chairman of the Israel Allies Caucuses in their parliaments , advancing pro-Israel legislation. Israel Allies Caucuses worldwide focus on legislation against antisemitism, anti-Zionism and de-legitimization of Israel.
This year the Chairman’s Conference will focus on combatting antisemitism, the Iranian nuclear deal, construction in Jerusalem and the situation in Ukraine.
The members of this delegation are scheduled to meet with influential Israeli politicians such as Ministers Yair Lapid (TBD), Matan Kahana, Yuli Edelstein, Zeev Elkin, Binyamin Regional Council Chairman Israel Gantz, Natan Sharansky and more.
On Sunday, March 20, 2222, the members of parliament will tour Jerusalem - the Western Wall, the City of David and continue to Psagot and from there to Atarot, where they will sign a declaration which reads “We support the sovereign right of the State of Israel to build in its indivisible capital of Jerusalem”.
This is the largest international political delegation to come to Israel since the emergence of the covid pandemic. This year, a parliament member from Malawi will travel to Israel for her first time, announcing the opening date of the embassy in Jerusalem.
Among the prominent MPs who will attend this year's conference:
Senator Edgar Mizrahi of Colombia, who intends to run for president in May
Republican Congressman Doug Lamborn, who is working to stop the funding given to the Palestinian Authority on the grounds that the funds are being transferred to terrorists.
Democratic Congressman Juan Vargas who is very close to Biden but opposes the Iran deal.
Member of Parliament from Malawi Joyce Chitsulo to declare the date of the move of Malawi's embassy to Jerusalem
Uruguay's Minister of Technology - Ruperto Long
Venezuelan lawmaker Lawrence Castro, an opposition man who opposes President Maduro and opposes Biden's request to buy fuel from the ruler and dictator of his generation.
Member of Parliament from Finland, Peter Ostman, who is currently working on the adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism in Finland, at a time when Putin is threatening Finland.
Romanian MP Ben Oni Ardelean who will talk about the situation on Romania's border with Ukraine
EU Member of Parliament Bert-Jan Ruissen from the Netherlands, who will talk about the situation in Ukraine
Member of Parliament for the United Kingdom Mark Pritchard who is the vice chair of the UK’s parliamentary group on Ukraine.
Additional MPs from Sweden, Guatemala, Slovakia, Honduras, the Czech Republic, Kenya, Liberia and more will attend the conference.
IAF President Josh Reinstein, stated: "This year, the Jerusalem Chairman’s Conference will prepare legislators from all over the world to tackle rising anti-Semitism. While meeting with ministers and leading political figures in Israel, we will also focus on the war in Ukraine and strengthening our united capital of Jerusalem. We will continue to empower faith-based diplomacy and will use all the means at our disposal to fight anti-Semitism around the world."
Israel Allies Foundation.
Founded in 2007, The Israel Allies Foundation is dedicated to promoting communication between parliamentarians and legislators around the world over who share a belief that the State of Israel has the right to exist in peace within secure borders.
Today, the IAF coordinates the activities of 50 Israel Allies Caucuses around the world.
Photo Avi Hayoun
- Written by Silvia G. Golan & Steven Aiello
The Embassy of Bulgaria in Israel held a stirring concert in tribute to the National Day of Bulgaria on Monday evening in Tel Aviv. The evening was held at the Eretz Israel museum, and began with a cocktail reception for diplomats and civil society leaders, before a unique concert featuring musicians from Bulgaria and music from all over the world.
Ambassador Rumiana Bachvarova opened the evening with a speech welcoming guests and noting the strong cooperation between Israel and Bulgaria. Ambassador Bachvarova noted that Bulgaria’s national day doesn’t just commemorate “the end of the battle between the great powers,” but more importantly it marks a beginning: “the creation of the new Bulgarian state and the realization of its independence.”
The Ambassador noted the strong link to Jews in Bulgarian society: “The Bulgarian nation was formed based on the principles of freedom, democracy, tolerance between people and ethnic groups. Among its most progressive part were the Bulgarian Jews, who took an active part in the building of the new state and were its defenders in the subsequent battles and wars side by side with the Bulgarians.” The Ambassador also highlighted the courageous efforts by Bulgarian citizens, as well as Orthodox Church and opposition leaders, to stop the deportation of Bulgarian Jews during World War II, ultimately saving the lives of 48,000 Bulgarian Jews.
Ambassador Gil Haskel, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs and former director of Mashav, spoke on behalf of the government of Israel. Ambassador Haskel noted that “The National Day of Bulgaria marks the nation's liberation and its freedom after many years of repression. The Jewish people also share the experience of a national rebirth after ages without political sovereignty”, and thanked the people of Bulgaria for their stand to save Bulgarian Jewry during the Holocaust, as well as strong support of Israel to today. In closing he offered a toast to the best wishes of both nations.
Following the speeches, the guests entered Klatchkin Auditorium, to enjoy a unique concert. The national anthems of Bulgaria and Israel were first sung by Diana Guglina and Ilia Yosifov. A moment of silence was then called for those suffering in Ukraine. Following that, the concert began, with Diana Guglina and Ilia Yosifov alternating on the stage to perform operatic pieces in several languages from all over the world. The world acclaimed violinist Vasko Vasilev then took the stage, performing together with Vivi Vassileva & Lucas Campara Diniz. The trio performed traditional Bulgarian songs, along with pieces by Gershwin, and music from all over Latin America. The experience was lively and eclectic, bringing flavors of numerous genres to the delighted audience.
In attendance at the event were H.E. Rumiana Bachvarova, Ambassador of Bulgaria in Israel; Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria H.E. Yoram Elron, Ambassador H.E. Gil Haskel, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ambassador H.E. Dimiter Tzantchev, Permanent representative of the Republic of Bulgaria to the European Union; The Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Israel, Bulgarian-born Moni S. Barr; former Ambassador of Israel to Bulgaria, H.E. David Cohen; Itzhak Lipovetzky, President of the Israel-Bulgaria Friendship association; Mr. Boaz Waksman, Chairman of Ophir Tours, Stephen Abrahams, from the Ministry of National Infrastructures Energy and Water Resources, and many more distinguished guests.
Diplomacy.co.il offers best wishes to the embassy and nation of Bulgaria on their national day.
- Written by Silvia G. Golan & Steven Aiello
A historic delegation of Moroccan business leaders joined their Israeli counterparts for the inaugural Morocco-Israel Business Forum today at the Tel Aviv Hilton. The conference featured the largest business delegation ever to travel to Israel, and also inaugurated direct flights from Morocco to Israel on Royal Air Maroc, the Moroccan national airline.
Israeli Minister of Regional Cooperation Mr. Issawi Frej opened the conference with a warm welcome for his “Morrocan brethren”, pointing out that not only did his own family have Moroccan roots, but between Arabic speakers and Jews of Moroccan heritage, there are strong ties between Israel and Morocco. Speaking in Arabic as well as English, the minister noted that “peace is the only way” and called for increased economic ties and people to people diplomacy to build upon the formal peace of the Abraham Accords.
Deputy Foreign Minister Idan Roll thanked the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises (CGEM), Israeli Chamber of Commerce, Morocco-Israel Business Council, Israeli Export Institute, and the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel for organizing the event. Deputy Minister Roll expressed his conviction that the relationship between the two countries would only continue to grow, from trade to tourism, and said that Israel was looking forward to hosting Moroccan Foreign Minister Bourita later in the year.
Mr. Hadar Shor, Director of the Middle East, Africa & India Department at Foreign Trade Administration of the Minister of Economy, noted that the first trade cooperation agreement between Israel and Morocco had been signed just last month. Mr. Shor noted that the business ties would ensure that peace led to economic prosperity and growth, with the Israeli Ministry of Economy estimating that the Israeli-Moroccan volume of trade could quintuple within half a decade, going from 100 million USD to 500 million USD within just five years.
Mr. Alj Chakib, the President of CGEM, talked about the positive business environment created in Morocco under King Mohammad VI, as well as the prominence of Morocco as a gateway to the African economy, as well as its proximity to the European economy, painting a very positive image of the latent economic potential in Morocco in general, and specifically the opportunities for economic cooperation between Israel and Morocco.
Moroccan Ambassador Abderrahim Beyyoud was the final speaker, speaking a few sentences in Hebrew, before delivering his remarks in English. He talked about the importance of the development of Israeli-Moroccan ties, including the first flight of Royal Air Maroc being piloted by two women. The ambassador noted that Morocco represents a point of stability and a strategically key market. Applauding the growth of Moroccan-Israeli ties in just one year, the ambassador credited the Jewish-Moroccan connection as setting the stage for a mutually beneficial relationship, and furthering the path of peace.
Following the opening speeches, two new Memoranda of Understandings were signed by Dr. Ron Tomer, Chairman of the Presidents of Employers and Businesses and President of the Manufacturers Association, and Adv. Uriel Lin, President of the Association of Chambers of Commerce, together with Mr. Chakib Alg, President of CGEM. Promotional videos highlighting the economic potential and investment opportunities in Israel and Morocco further added to the optimistic feeling. The guests then enjoyed two panels highlighting a range of aspects to Moroccan-Israeli business potential, from agrotech to banking to academic cooperation.
After a networking lunch, the Israeli and Moroccan business leaders moved directly to Business to Business meetings. The Moroccan delegation included representatives of some 80 leading Moroccan companies from the automotive and aviation industries, food and beverages, chemical industry products and more.
The Israel Manufacturers Association, the Association of Chambers of Commerce, the Israeli Export Institute, CGEM partnered with the Ministries of Economy and Industry, Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation to organize the conference.
Distinguished guests at the event included Dr. Ron Tomer, Chairman of the Presidents of Employers and Businesses and President of the Israel Manufacturers Association; Adv. Uriel Lin, President of the Association of Chambers of Commerce, Morocco-Israel Business Council head Mr. Steve Ohana; Ayelet Nachmias - Verbin, Chairman of the Export Institute; Ohad Cohen, Director of the Foreign Trade Administration; Sabine Segal & Alain Mendoza from the Israel Export Institute; Henrique Cymerman & Dr. Nirit Ofir from the Israel Gulf Cooperation Council Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Gabriel Traub & Hadar Shor from the Ministry of Economy & Industry; Dan Catarivas, Director General – Foreign Trade and International Relations at the Manufacturers Association of Israel; Zeev Lavie from Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce; David Kenan President of the Marrakesh Federation; Gabriel Hayon Chairman of the Diplomat Institute; Matias Schapiro, President of the Chamber of Commerce Israel-Spain, and Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, President of the Ambassador’s Club; Brigadier General Avraham "Avi" Benayahu, former Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson .
- Written by Silvia G. Golan