- Written by Diplomacy
After 41 years of public service, Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Yizhak Eldan has finished his tenure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A wealth of Ambassadors and friends gathered at the residence of the Korean Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Young Sam Ma, to honor and congratulate Mr. Eldan as he embarks on new ventures and finishes his lengthy career as a public servant.
Ambassador of Cameroon to Israel, Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, spoke on behalf of the diplomatic community expressing his sadness about the departure of Ambassador Eldan from the diplomatic circle as he always made himself available to the Ambassadors regarding any problem that may have arisen. Mr. Eldan is known and recognized for always giving his utmost attention to each request with a smile.
Ambassador Etoundi said that Ambassador Eldan's work made the diplomatic community feel more comfortable and more at home in Israel.
In response to the kudos given, Mr. Eldan explained that he feels like a marathon runner that just crossed the finish line: a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.
Mr. Eldan thanked Ambassador Young Sam Ma for hosting the event in his honor and praised the Ambassador of Cameroon, Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Dean of the Diplomatic Core in Israel for his words. Ambassador Eldan also thanked the attendees for coming to the event, and said that it was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them. He added that he is starting a new chapter in his life, yet the diplomatic world will still remain close to him and continue to be a driving force in his life.
Ambassador Eldan said that he is forming a new initiative enitled the "Ambassadors Club" in which everyone present at the event will become a member.
Two unexpected surprises also presented themselves. The first was a medal on behalf of the city of Jerusalem, and the second was a birthday cake to mark his upcoming birthday this week.
As Mr. Eldan blew out the candles and cut the cake, all the guest gave a formidable round of 'Happy Birthday'.
After the speeches, the guests enjoyed a plethora of delicious Korean food prepared by Mrs. Young Sam-Ma. Overall, the evening was one to remember.
Photos Silvia Golan
- Written by Diplomacy
The Embassy of the Czech Republic in Israel marked the country's National Day in an event at the residence of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Israel, Mr. Tomas Pojar.
A plethora of dignitaries attended the event, among them, Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman.
Mr. Pojar welcomed those in attendance to his home, stating that it is a privilege and honor to host his homeland's National Day as a second generation representative after his father hosted the celebration in the same place years back honoring the Czech Republic's first National Day.
Ambassador Pojar spoke about the appreciation and admiration of the Czech people for freedom and independence and the experience of his nation during the division of Czechloslovakia
"The bond between [the Czech Republic and Slovakia] our two countries is unbreakable", the ambassador said, referring to the suffering of both people until each earned the right to self-determination in their own homeland
After the words of the Czech Ambassador, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon, addressed the crowd. Mr. Ayalon thanked Ambassador Pojar for his hospitality, and congratulated the Czech Republic on its National Day.
He said that Israel and the Czech Republic share many similar and cherished values such as democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of peace.
Vice Minister Ayalon noted the fact that Ambassador Pojar is a second generation head of the Czech diplomatic mission to Israel, attesting to the quality of the Ambassador. He further added that he hopes for third and fourth generation Ambassadors to Israel who will carry the same name.
The Israeli Vice Minisiter mentioned the black stain on the history of Europe as the cruel Nazi regime destroyed Czechoslovakia in its journey to conquer the world.
Mr. Ayalon ended his words with a toast to the Czech Republic.
As is customary, the guests enjoyed delicious Czech food from "Little Prague" restaurant as they sponsored the event.
Photos Silvia Golan
- Written by Silvia G Golan
Ambassador of Spain in Israel, Mr. Alvaro Iranzo hosted the celebration of Spain's National Day at his residence in Hertzliya.
The guests were received by the Ambassador, Mr. Iranzo, and a long line of cultural and military attaches, counselors, secretaries and other members of the Spanish Mission in Israel.
The event started with the Ambassador's speech. His Excellency welcomed those in attendance in both Hebrew and Spanish. Among the distinguished guests were Israel's fifth president, Mr. Izhak Navon and Prof. Ben Zion Netanyahu, father of Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.
Ambassador Iranzo said that Spain was celebrating the discovery of America, an event that made Spain a global actor with great responsibilities. Mr. Iranzo added that Spain is no longer a superpower but history has rewarded the country with the crown of world soccer champions.
Ambassador Iranzo mentioned that Spain has promoted Europe's relations with Israel, as the president of the European Union in the first half of 2010. He spoke of the official visits of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak to Spain as well as the frequent visits of Miguel Angel Moratinos to Israel.
Ambassador Iranzo spoke of the growing cooperation between Israel and Spain and mentioned that the two countries had signed agreements to increase collaboration in all fields.
At the end of his speech, Mr. Iranzo raised a toast to the occasion and invited Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar, to carry his words.
Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar first congratulated the Ambassador, the present and all of Spain for their national day and the achievement of winning the world cup last June.
Mr. Sa'ar said that next year, Israel and Spain will celebrate 25 years of diplomatic relations and added that every passing year only increases the bond between the two nations. He emphasized that Spain stood alongside Israel as the president of the European Union and contributed to strengthen the relationship of Israel with EU itself.
At the end of his speech, Mr. Sa'ar also proposed to raise a glass to Spain and to the relationship between the two countries.
After the speeches, Ambassador Iranzo had the honor of awarding four Israeli citizens the Order of Civil Merit, on behalf of the King of Spain, His Majesty Juan Carlos. The recipients were Nira Toledano, Dani Karavan, Jose Benarroch and Micha Harish.
The Decoration was awarded for the distinguished contributions of the four to the relations between Israel and Spain.
(Photos: Andres Lacko)
- Written by Silvia G Golan
The beautiful residence of the Hungarian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Zoltan Szentgyorgyi played host to many guests who gathered in celebration of Hungary's National Day.
Ambassador Szentgyorgyi welcomed guests alongside the Military Attaché and their wives.
Among the guests were diplomats from various Embassies and officials from both the Knesset and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
In his address, Ambassador Szentgyorgyi spoke about the special relationship between Hungary and Israel as well as the strong cooperation between the two countries in wide range of areas. Szentgyorgyi shared his experience and impressions of a recent visit to the Latrun Armoured Corps Memorial and Tank Museum
While visiting the Museum, Mr. Szentgyorgyi found among the Merkavas and Abrahams the type of tank which contributed to the invasion of Budapest in 1956. This unexpected encounter with history made him realize how "desperate and how brave his compatriots must have been fighting practically with their bare hands against those formidable steel monsters".
He added that living without freedom can mean many things, among others, that one must "learn a falsified history and at the end not knowing what is true and what is false."
Ambassador Szentgyorgyi emphasized the excellent political relations between the respective nations. He mentioned that Hungary was delighted to host Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in his visit to Hungary, and added that his country would be delighted to host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well.
The Ambassador also mentioned the recent visit of the Hungarian Defense Minister who left Israel just days before the reception, and that he is already preparing for the visit of the Foreign Minister within the next few weeks.
After the Ambassador’s speech, the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, took the floor opening his address in fluent Hungarian which he learned from his parents who came to Israel after the Holocaust.
Prof. Hershkowitz spoke of the great strides and development and the way Hungary has shaped itself in recent years and stressing the contribution of the Jewish community in these achievements. He added that Israel is lucky to have such close friend as it does in Hungary.
Prof. Hershkowitz also pointed out the importance of Foreign Minister Liberman's visit to Hungary in January as he joined the Ambassador's wish to see a visit from Prime Minister Netanyahu to Hungary in the near future. Prof. Hershkowitz concluded his words by blessing both of the countries with prosperity, success and friendship.
After the speeches, both of the national anthems were played as guests enjoyed the fine Hungarian cuisine and music.
Photos Silvia Golan
- Written by Silvia G Golan
A crowd of Diplomats, Knesset members, business executives and others gathered to celebrate The Republic of China's (Taiwan) 99th National Day.
Representative Mr. Liang-Jen Chang received the guests in the Conventions Hall at the Dan Panorama hotel, Tel-Aviv.
Many Taiwanese companies exhibited their products to the attendees, such as Kymco and Asus.
After the reception, Representative Mr. Chang addressed the crowd and welcomed them to the 99th anniversary of the founding of The Republic of China (Taiwan). His speech started with explaining the new foreign policy mapped out by President of Taiwan, Mr. Ying-jeou Ma. This policy calls for an end to the conflict with Beijing and more flexible diplomacy.
Mr. Chang mentioned that in June 2010, Taiwan and mainland China signed a historical agreement for economic cooperation (ECFA).
Representative Chang stated that the trade between Taiwan and Israel would reach a volume of $1.3 billion USD. However, he added that there is much more room for improvement in these areas.
Mr. Chang praised Israeli and Taiwanese cooperation in the areas of water technologies and youth affairs.
After the speech, Knesset member, Dr. Nachman Shai, chairman of the Israel-Taiwan friendship group, was invited on stage.
Dr. Shai congratulated the republic of China on their 99th national day. As the chairman of the Israel/Taiwan Friendship Group, Dr. Shai declared that the importance of the relationship between the state of Israel and The Republic of China is flourishing and joined the hope shared by Mr. Chang to create a stronger bond between the countries.
Dr. Shai ended his speech by raising his glass to the continuation of the solid friendship between Taiwan and Israel.
The following speaker was Knesset member Ms. Orit Noked, Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor. Ms. Noked spoke of Taiwan's great economic abilities and the country's similarity to Israel.
Ms. Noked said that the many virtues of the people of Taiwan allow them to be one of the strongest economic powers in the far east region.
The crowd also had the privilege of hearing about the experiences of Mrs. Maya Cohen, an Israeli student who got a scholarship to study in Taiwan.
After the speeches, the guests were free to enjoy the fine oriental style food.
Photo Silvia Golan