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On Thursday, October 17, the Chinese Ambassador to Israel Gao Yanping held a reception at the Dan Hotel, Tel Aviv, to mark the 64th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.


Many distinguished guests, including Israeli President Shimon Peres, came to congratulate the Ambassador and the embassy staff the on this special day.


President Shimon Peres  greeted, on behalf of the State of Israel, the Chinese People and Chinese Central Leadership for this special day.President Peres said that China is a good example to a country that arose from deep poverty and became the world's growth engine. China has the second largest economy and influence. Israel attributes great importance to the strengthening of the strategic relations with China, and said “ I am proud of the deepening relations between our two countries. Many countries around Israel in the Middle East have a lot to learn from China”.


Israeli Prime Minister BenjaminNetanyahu was not present, but sent a video recording where he greeted the Chinese Ambassador.


The Chinese Ambassador, Gao Yanping,started expressing her thanks to President Shimon Peres. She said that his presence was of great importance for the friendship and good relations between China and Israel. She also thanked the other friends present in the event for their cooperation to China's development.
She described the important achievements that have taken place in China since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949, including fast economic growth, social progress and closer relationships with countries around the world. She expressed the love for peace and harmony of China and the Chinese people, and their commitment to take the path of peaceful developments and independent foreign policy of peace.

She said that 2013 has been a special year in China's history, in which the Chinese New Central Leadership has put forward the renewal of the Chinese Nation in the new era, leading the Chinese People and the fulfillment of its major goals, mainly, to finish building a society of prosperity in all aspects by 2020, making China a modern country in the 21st century. China plays an increasingly larger role and is ready to fulfill its international obligations. Its economy is the second largest in the world. It is also a key member of the UN Security Council.
She said that we are celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-Israel relations. Our relations are geared in the right direction. Prime Minister Netanyahu made a successful visit to China and had important meetings with our leaders. We will deepen our mutual relationships, and our activities will broaden and deepen in all areas. Our governments shear the same goals of friendship, mutual understanding and determination to push forward our relations.


She said that mutual honor and trust are the bases of the relations between countries, and that we continue to work and bring the relations to a larger and brighter future.


Mr. Neil Bush (son of US Ex-President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush, and George W. Bush's brother), who is visiting Israel for business purposes, was also present in the reception.

The guests of the special event enjoyed the delicious Chinese food and the beautiful performance of artists from the southwest China's Sichuan Province with chinese classical dance , costumes and traditional musical instruments, .

Photos Silvia Golan















Slovakia Marks its Second Decade of Independence with a Reception and Garden Party at the Ambassador's Home


Slovakia recently celebrated twenty years of independence. The event was held on September 16 at the Ambassador of Slovakia and Mrs. Radovan Javorčík's residence in Herzliya in their beautiful garden. The Ambassador and his wife along with Slovakia's military attaché Lubosh Klima received guests with a warm welcome.

Among the well-wishers were, Foreign Ministry officials, ambassadors and members of diplomatic staff, officials and Jews from Slovakia whom maintain contact with their native land.

With excellent weather, almost like a summer evening, guests enjoyed a pleasant time along with the embassy's warm and welcoming staff. Guests were treated to lovely refreshments including finger foods and beverages. Everyone raised their glasses to toast the occasion and to encourage the continuation of mutual friendship between the countries.

 Photo Silvia Golan






H.E. MR. PATRICK MAISONNAVE  Embassador of france

President Peres Received on Thursday, October 10, 2013 Letters of Credence from the New Ambassadors of Ireland, France, Paraguay, Brazil and Mongolia.

President Peres to the new French Ambassador:

"In important and critical moments, France stood to the side of Israel. The State of Israel expects the important visit of President Hollande soon".

The French Ambassador to President Peres:

"France will also stand to the side of Israel in the future, and as Ambassador I intend to fulfill any task as necessary ".


Paraguay Ambassador presented the Letter of Credence to President Peres with the renewed opening of the Embassy in Israel after 12 years".


The new Ambassadors of Ireland, France, Paraguay, Brazil and Mongolia presented their Letters of Credence to President Peres, with their admission as Ambassadors of their respective countries. The five new Ambassadors thanked President Peres for the prerogative to serve in Israel and contribute to strengthen the mutual relations, and expressed their hope for further development of these relations.

A closing loop took place in the meeting of President Peres with the new French Ambassador, who started by saying: "France will stand to the side of Israel in the future as in the past, and as Ambassador I intend to fulfill any task as necessary".

President Peres responded that: "The State of Israel appreciates the special relations with France, which stood to our side in important and critical moments, and that the two countries have a common desire to march ahead with strengthened relations. I am sure that you will soon feel the warmth and closeness between the two nations. We expect the important visit of President Hollande in the next month, and wish you a great success in fulfilling your duties.

When starting the meeting with the new Paraguay Ambassador, President Peres greeted the renewed opening of the Embassy in Israel after 12 years, and said: "You represent the renewal of the relations between Israel and Paraguay. I am sure that all the doors will be opened for you, that you will be granted fruitful cooperation". The Paraguayan Ambassador thanked President Peres and said: "We consider the renewed opening of the Embassy in Israel of great importance, and we will do our best to strengthen the relations between the countries in a variety of fields.

President Peres wished great success to the new Ambassadors and said: "I am sure that you will find in Israel a warm home for strengthening the political, economical and cultural relations between the countries.

H.E  MR. EAMONN McKEE  Embassador of Ireland

 H.E. MR. MAX HABER NEUMANN Embassador of Paraguay



 H.E. MR. ALTANGEREL  BULGAA embassador of Mongolia

photos Mark Neuman / GPO



On Thursday, October 10th, Spain's Ambassador and Mrs. Fernando Carderera, along with the Spanish Embassy Missions, celebrated Spain's National - "Columbus Day".


The reception was held in the beautiful garden of the Ambassador's residence in Herzliya. Hundreds of distinguished guests came to congratulate the Ambassador and his wife, embassy staff and the Spanish people on this special day.


The honored guests included Gideon Saar, Minister of the Interior, (previously Education Minister), ambassadors, members of the diplomatic missions in Israel, members of the foreign ministry, business leaders and friends of the Embassy.


His Excellency, the Ambassador, surprised guests when he began his speech with a fluent Hebrew blessing, and then continued speaking in English. He said that since Spain is a key nation in Jewish history, the relationship between the two states is founded on many common interests and shared values. The relations between Israel and Spain are both complex and intense because their histories are also complex and intense. He noted that Spain and Israel have so much in common and therefore sees particular importance in developing relations in the fields of culture, education, science, new technology, research, trade and investment.


He also noted that there is growing presence of Spanish companies in Israel. Valoriza, is about to complete construction of a desalination plant in Ashdod; Abengoa is building solar plants; Telefónica has a subsidiary in Israel; and several Spanish companies want to take part in the construction of Israel's plan to improve its infrastructure.


Ambassador Carderera said that the economic situation in Spain has significantly improved in the last twelve months. Important reforms are already in place, public deficit has been reduced, productivity has improved, exports have increased and the Spanish current account balance has a surplus for the first time since 1997. He added that Spanish corporations are world leaders in key sectors such as renewable energy, infrastructure management, high-speed railways, biotechnology, naval technology, environmental technology, air and space systems, among others. He added, in Hebrew that Spain would like to use all this potential to do business and cooperate with Israel in all possible sectors.

Furthermore, he said that his country has invested a lot in international efforts to attaining peace in the Middle East, and that Spain fully supports Israel's right for security. Spain is committed to a two State solution through direct negotiations, including the creation of a viable Palestinian State that will recognize Israel


Ambassador Fernando Carderera raised a glass to toast to the long life and wellbeing of the Heads of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres and to His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain, as well as to our mutual friendship. Minister Sa'ar raised a glass in a toast to Spain and expressed his best wishes for prosperity and continuing friendship between the two nations.

Minister of the Interior Gideon Sa'ar congratulated His Majesty Juan Carlos the First, the government and people of Spain on the occasion of Spain's National Day, on behalf of the Government of Israel and the people of Israel. He said that bilateral relations between Israel and Spain are continuing to deepen and flourish. Friendly and productive ties are seen across many spheres – such as the political, economic, commercial, research, science, technology and cultural. In April of this year Spain's Foreign Minister visited Israel along with important economic delegations. Israel's embassy in Spain celebrated the 65th Anniversary of Israel's Independence under the heading of cooperation for innovation and growth. These events were followed with great interest in Spain.


Minister Sa'ar mentioned the joint history of Spain and the Jewish people and pointed out that the two countries share a common struggle in the uncompromising fight against terrorism and in so, acknowledged Spain for the participation of its forces in UNIFIL in southern Lebanon. He also noted that Spain's culture holds a place of honor among the people of Israel. Many Israelis have a great interest in the Spanish cultural scene and, of course, in Spain's famous football teams. The Minister stressed the importance of strengthening ties between the young generations of both countries.

The food, as we learned, was prepared courtesy of the ambassador's wife Victoria Carderera with most foods prepared by her personally. Among the special foods prepared for the occasion were the Spanish delicacies such as: tapas, including excellent meats and cheese brought specially from Spain for the occasion, croquetas, tortillas and a kosher corner. All food was accompanied by the best Spanish cava and wine.


During the event, a video was screened showing Spain's key companies and innovative technologies as well as the country's beauty, which attracts hordes of tourists each year.

When singing the anthems of Spain and Israel, the Ambassador again surprised guests by joining in the singing of the Israeli anthem in Hebrew, delighting all Israelis who were present.

In the artistic part of the event, Silvia Duran and her flamenco school performed traditional Spanish flamenco dancing.

The beautiful layout of the venue, wonderful stage lighting and tasteful decorations contributed to a cozy atmosphere and very nice and pleasant evening.


Photo Silvia Golan






Photo Silvia Golan

“Chile Forest, which lies within the Jerusalem Forest, symbolizes the cooperation between the two countries and our two nations.”
The annual ceremony in memory of General Bernardo O’Higgins, liberator of Chile, was held in Chile Forest in Israel’s Jerusalem Corridor. The event was attended by the Chilean Ambassador to Israel, members of a Chilean delegation on a visit to the country and representatives of KKL-JNF. “Thanks to General O’Higgins, today Chile is celebrating 203 years of independence,” said Chilean Ambassador Jorge Montero. “He was a shining example of patriotism and leadership in his lifetime, and he remains so today.”

Ceremony participants at the General O'Higgins Memorial. Photo: Yoav Devir

General Bernardo O’Higgins liberated Chile from the yoke of Spanish rule, served as his country’s leader after independence and is today considered a national hero and one of the founding fathers of the Chilean state. A ceremony in his memory is held annually in the heart of Eshtaol Forest at the events plaza that bears O’Higgins’ name. KKL-JNF established this plaza twenty-five years ago with the help of donations from its Friends in Chile and former Chileans living in Israel. 

This traditional ceremony takes place every year – but this year, for the first time, it was attended by an official delegation from Chile whose members included Marcello Elissalde, a representative of the O’Higgins Institute in Santiago, which promotes the general’s memory and heritage.

Marcello Elissalde by donor recognition plaques in Chile Forest. Photo: Yoav Devir

The General O'Higgins Memorial. Yoav Devir

Marcello Elissalde reminded his listeners that O’Higgins’ memory is perpetuated at 170 sites throughout the world, and emphasized the special importance of KKL-JNF’s cooperation with regard to memorializing this Chilean leader in Israel. “Here in the Holy Land a most beautiful and unique memorial has been established,” he said. 

Moment of silence. Photo: Yoav Devir

Touvia Goldstein, President of both the Israel-Chile Cultural Institute and the O'Higgins Institute in Israel, spoke of the good relations that prevail between the two countries: “Chile Forest, which lies within the Jerusalem Forest, symbolizes the cooperation between the two countries and our two nations,” he said. 

Fulvio Queinolo, the Chilean military attaché in Israel, gave examples of General O’Higgins’ activities on behalf of liberty and social issues, and added that the State of Israel also represents these values. “Thanks to the cooperation with KKL-JNF we can invite you to follow in the footsteps of this unique leader who honored both society and his fellow human beings,” he concluded. 

Chile Forest is not used only for events and ceremonies – it is also a popular venue for walks and other recreational activities. The forest was developed thanks to contributions from Friends of KKL-JNF in Chile, and it attracts large numbers of visitors. Its facilities include a recreation area dedicated to the memory of Noy and Rosa Furman of Santiago, which offers picnic spots and playground equipment for children; a decorative stone plaza named after National Senator Angel Faivovich; and attractive and convenient stone paths that link the various sites to one another. The forest trail, which is accessible to visitors exploring in cars, on bicycles or on foot, bears the name of social pioneer Leon Kaplun, who initiated the establishment of the O’Higgins Plaza. All these amenities are overlooked by the impressive stone monument dedicated to the memory of General O’Higgins, whose image now gazes down from the hilltop, as befits a military leader inspecting the terrain below. The general was famous for his special relationship with Israel and Jews, and we may assume that he would be impressed with the view he has been accorded. The participants in the ceremony laid a memorial wreath at the foot of the monument and stood for a moment in silence in his memory.

KKL-JNF was represented at the ceremony by Board Member Hernan Felman, who told those assembled about his visit to Chile several months ago, when he had the opportunity to observe how the country has developed and progressed. “KKL-JNF is glad of the opportunity it has been given to share some of its knowledge and experience by cooperating with Chile in matters relating to agriculture and afforestation,” he said. He went on to describe to his listeners the far-reaching changes that KKL-JNF has brought about in Israel in the areas of forestry,community development, agriculture, waterand ecology. 

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the guests went on to visit KKL-JNF’s offices in Jerusalem, where they listened to explanations of the organization’s activities and visited the hall where the KKL-JNF Books of Honor are kept. The covers of these large volumes were designed by a variety of artists, and the pages within them record the names of donors, well-known figures and other people from all walks of Jewish life. The donations record in the Books of Honor allows donors to participate in Israel’s progress and development and accords them the special honor of immortalizing their acts of generosity.

Donor recognition site in Chile Forest.  Photo: Yoav Devir