Today, Vice President Tajani and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour of Israel Shalom Simhon signed two joint statements of intent to improve cooperation in the fields of space and tourism.
The Embassy of Peru in Israel and the Cervantes Institute of Tel Aviv (Instituto Cervantes de Tel Aviv) have the honor of inviting the diplomatic community and friends to the inauguration of the Photographic Exhibition “One hundred years of the revelation of Machu Picchu to the world”, which will take place on 30th June 2011, at 19.00 hours, at the Cervantes Institute of Tel Aviv (7 Shulamit St., Tel Aviv).
The exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the revelation of the City of Machu Picchu to the world through the scientific expedition carried out by Hiram Bingham, American professor of the University of Yale, in 1911. The pre Columbian 15th-century inca site is situated on a mountain ridge above the Urubamba Valley in Peru.
The photographs displayed will provide a general view on the attractiveness that the Historical Sanctuary and UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu has all over the world due to its archaeological significance and grandeur.
Mr. Barak Afik, professor of the Department of Romance and Latin American Studies of the Faculty of Humanities of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem will carry out an academic presentation in Hebrew about the City of Machu Picchu, voted one of the new Seven Wonders of the World in 2007.
The act of inauguration will conclude with a pisco sour cocktail offered by the Embassy of Peru in Israel.
The photographic exhibition will be open to the public during the month of July 2011.
Liberman: Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, now it becomes clear that we are also an island of stability in a chaotic region.
His Excellency the President of the State of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres,
Excellencies, welcome and thank you for being here on this, Israel's 63rd Independence Day.
This year I stand before you with mixed emotions. There are those who have always felt that Israel was the 'black sheep' of the Middle East and international politics. They suggested that Israel was the source for all the wars and challenges in the Middle East. Recent events have certainly ended this fantasy once and for all.
We were always proud to state that Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, now it becomes clear that we are also an island of stability in a chaotic region. In fact, Israel's stable democracy can serve as a model for the region. Some suggest that democracy can not flourish in the Middle East, Israel has proven that as a fallacy. Our country and its institutions, 63 years young, created by people from over 130 different countries, few with any experience of democracy and freedom, created one of the most successful and free democracies anywhere.
Our institutions have stood the test of time, especially in this dangerous neighborhood. The bloody reaction to those who seek change in our region has not surprised us.
The repression that has met the demonstrations in Syria, Yemen, Libya and elsewhere in the region can not possibly be justified. However, it remains confusing why the international community intervenes in Libya, but not in Syria or Iran. What conclusions are we to draw from this seeming inconsistency? These inconsistencies send a damaging message to the people of the Middle East and further erode the path to peace, security and democracy for our region.
The recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas brings up many questions. First of all, it is clear who are the leaders of Hamas and what are their goals. Also, we heard in the last few days that they are not willing to change the Hamas Charter and to accept the conditions of the Quartet. That an organization with a charter that calls for the destruction of the State of Israel through violent Jihad and aspires to a world without Jews, not just Zionists and Israelis, but Jews, should be thought of as partners to Fatah tells us more about Fatah than it does about Hamas.
The fact that Hamas mourned Bin Laden's death, as much as they celebrated 9/11, condemned America and called him "a Muslim and Arabic warrior" and prays that bin Laden's "soul rests in peace" further demonstrates the kind of people Fatah is now calling its partners and equals in government. In addition, in recent years over 12,000 rockets were fired at Sderot and southern Israel. Ask yourselves how would your countries have reacted to such attacks?
Fatah itself continues to glorify terrorists, including the naming of the Palestinian presidential offices in Ramallah after arch-terrorist Yahya Ayyash, a square in the government compound after Dalal Mughrabi, who participated in the Coastal Road massacre and rewarded the family of the mastermind of the terrorist attack which resulted in the death of dozens of Israelis enjoying a Passover Seder in Netanya.
The day before yesterday we heard Mahmoud Abbas say during a meeting that if Israel will freeze construction in the settlements for two or three months then the Palestinians will be ready to resume talks. This is very interesting and very strange. When the Israeli government decided on a moratorium as a unilateral gesture a year ago Abbas and the Palestinians rejected it completely. However, now they are exerting pressure for a moratorium that they previously rejected. The Palestinians wasted nine months and only during the final month entered into negotiations, not with a genuine intention to reach an agreement but rather because the U.S. imposed the process on them.
At least for me, it is clear that they are only looking for excuses to avoid meaningful talks that will lead to a comprehensive solution. The Palestinians are overly confident and are assuming that they have the complete support of the international community. This allows them to think that they will gain more directly from the international community than through negotiations with Israel. As a result, we have the right to wonder about the real intentions of Fatah.
We are ready for immediate talks without preconditions. However, there will be no new moratorium in Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria. Not for three months, not for three days and not even for three hours. The international community needs to understand that there is only one country in our region that respects international norms while standing against waves of unceasing daily terror attacks and incitement.
The recent killing of Osama Bin Laden should send a message to our enemies, that regardless of time, there is no statute of limitations to bringing justice for those massacred by terror. Our enemies on our northern and southern border who have shed innocent blood should pay attention to this message very clearly.
The State of Israel has always said and I repeat, we are willing to come to the negotiating table immediately to start direct talks with all of our neighbors. We are willing to make a great effort to achieve peace but we will not compromise our vital security interests.
I call on all of our neighbors to look at Israel's achievements in finance, hi-tech, science and industry. We are willing to share this knowledge with you. You have more to gain from cooperating with us than engaging in conflicts. The ball is in your hands.
As we celebrate 63 years of statehood we can look back on the historic miracle of the birth of a nation – the State of Israel. And we can laud one of our greatest leaders, David Ben-Gurion, for declaring the establishment of a Jewish state – a homeland – one momentous day in May 1948. Immediately afterward we were attacked - outmanned, outnumbered, outgunned.
From the debris of the War of Independence arose one of the best and most moral armies in the world. The desert turned into a model of state-of-the-art agriculture admired by all. Israel's development in fields such as hi-tech, science, technology and medicine has placed her at the forefront of advances in these areas the world over.
On the day of the proclamation of the State of Israel, it was stated that this newly-founded nation would be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel. We abide by the Jewish code of moral values instilled in us.
We are still facing evil forces, especially those that emanate from Iran. This call, by a regime that is a danger to the entire world, should be met by an uncompromising mobilization of the international community. We are determined, together with our supporters everywhere, to fight Anti-Semitism and delegitimization.
The State of Israel is prepared to do its share, even at a painful cost, to achieve peace with our neighbors. We are hopeful that the winds of change sweeping our region will herald new opportunities of peace, security and prosperity for all.
We all share the hope that Gilad Shalit will be reunited with his family immediately.
The bridges of kinship that link the Jewish state with the Jewish communities around the world are vital to us. You are full partners in our success. Looking back, we have much to be proud of. Looking forward, we still have much to achieve. Together we can accomplish anything and everything. Together we can prevail. And together we shall celebrate many more independence days to come.
חג עצמאות שמח!
After a long-running feud between the Prime Minister's Office and the Foreign Ministry, the Israeli government has chosen Ron Prosor as its next envoy to the UN.
(Published in crienglish.com at 13.2.2011)
Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan had originally been tapped for the UN role after a lengthy period of infighting between the Foreign Ministry, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu had been pushing for former UN envoy Dore Gold to return to the position, while Lieberman was backing Erdan and former consul-general in New York Alon Pinkas as candidates.
Prosor is a veteran diplomat who was a former director general at the Foreign Ministry, and, as ambassador, was Israel's point man over Iran's nuclear issue.
Meanwhile, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Meir Kalifi will take over Arad's spot as national security adviser, according to the radio.
The Greek Tourism Office announced that, after a two-year absence, Greece will again be participating in IMTM 2011 - Israel's International Mediterranean Tourism Market.
Last summer, spurred by the much-covered travel boycott of Turkey, Israelis rediscovered Greece and its outlying islands. Voting with their feet, they created a major boost for incoming tourism revenues in Greece, and the warming relationship is clear to see. This morning the Greek National Tourism Office announced that Greece will again be attending the IMTM 2011 in Israel, after a two-year absence.
Greece plans to set up a particularly large-scale booth at the event and to woo the Israeli audience with marketing means, exploiting the fresh momentum provided by the boycott of Turkey. Sources at the GNTO added that travel agents and hoteliers plan to participate individually in the tourism event.
Eyal Shmueli, publisher and editor-in-chief of Israel Travel News magazine, and one of the architects of IMTM points out: "We’re surprised every year by the soaring interest in Israeli tourists and the realization that their spending-power is among the world’s highest. This year Greece had unprecedented revenues from incoming tourism, and its return to Israel's international tourism fair signals its appreciation. I'm sure that Turkey hasn't abandoned the field, and its tourism sector will be doing its best to bring back the Israelis. This year's event is set to be really interesting."
IMTM 2001 will be held on 8-9 February at Israel Trade Fairs and Convention Center. Tourism representatives from dozens of countries will be marketing their wares to the Israeli audience. Joining them are scores of Israeli tourism and leisure representatives who will display the hottest innovations and attractions – aimed at encouraging domestic tourism.
IMTM Is the annual central event of Israel’s tourism sector. Its mission is to encourage incoming and outgoing tourism, plus domestic tourism in Israel, and to strengthen joint ventures with other countries. This is the 17th consecutive year of the event. Alongside the foreign nations taking part are Israeli representatives, tourism associations from around the country, hotels and airlines, car rental organizations, and tourism-service providers.
The event is organized by Ortra Ltd. and Israel Travel News, and sponsored by the Tourism Ministry, the Israel Hotel Association, EL AL, IATA, Israel Tourist & Travel Agents Association, and the Tel Aviv – Jaffa Tourism Association.
The annual EU-Israel political dialogue took place in Jerusalem today. Formally known as the Political Dialogue and Cooperation sub-committee, it is one of the 10 sub-committees established in 2005 under the European Neighbourhood Policy Action Plan agreed upon between the European Union and Israel.
Tomas Dupla del Moral, Director for the Middle East and South Mediterranean in the European Commission led the European Union Delegation. The Israeli delegation was led by Naor Gilon, Deputy Director General Western European Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
UK ambassador, Mr. Matthew Gould, spoke with president Peres about his past as a diplomat in Iran and said that one of his missions in Israel is to improve the cooperation between Israel and the UK regarding the Iranian nuclear threat and promised that he will dedicate his best efforts to this manner.
President Peres spoke with the ambassadors about tightening Israel's economic and technological bonds with the countries.
Guatemala ambassador, Mr. Alfredo Vasquez Rivera, has rich diplomatic past and served, prior coming to Israel, at the general Consulate in Denver, USA.
Mr. Vasquez Rivera was previously in charge of Guatemala general Consulate in Vancouver, Canada. Ambassador Vasquez Rivera's past also includes various positions at the ministry of foreign affairs of Guatemala.
Ambassador of Norway to Israel, Mr. Svein Sevje, began his diplomatic career in 1978 as he was posted at Germany, India, Spain and Brazil until 1994.
Ambassador Mr. Svein Sevje had served in Israel for four years as a Minister Counsellor in the Royal Embassy of Norway in Tel-Aviv alongside of being the head of Norway's representation office to the Palestinian Authority.
Mr. Sevje was the Ambassador to Norway to Syria, Lebanon and Sudan before coming back to Israel.
Ambassador of Sweden to Israel is Ms. Elinor Hammarskjold, Former Head of the department for international law, human rights and treaty law.
Ambassador of Canada to Israel is Mr. Paul Hunt, the former Canadian Ambassador to Brazil.
Mr. Hunt had fulfilled number of senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the last of them as vice-president, Africa.
Diplomacy.co.il wishes all the new ambassadors and families a productive, interesting and enjoyable stay in Israel.
(Photos: Mark Neiman) GPO
Message from the President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, to the Jewish Communities in the Diaspora
on the occasion of the Jewish New Year 5771
As we embark on the New Year, hope for peace appears tangible. While we focus on the summit meeting in Washington, we pray that it will lead to the signing of a historic peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians, and bring tranquility, prosperity and security to the peoples of the region.
In a world where science and technology rank high, Israel continues to stand at the forefront of advances in this domain. Indeed, we are proud of Professor Ada Yonath of the Weizmann Institute of Science, who received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, and Professor Eilon Lindenstrauss of the Hebrew University, who was awarded the prestigious Fields Medal for Mathematics, for their achievements and for bringing such credit to Israel and the Jewish people.
Our mission for the coming year is to strengthen our unity in matters that affect the destinies and future of us all. We must work together in harmony and reach agreements through dialogue. Solidarity, brotherhood, tolerance and understanding are the foundations of a strong and secure family. We cannot, and must not, allow disagreements to tear us apart. We must collectively dedicate ourselves to the well-being of the Jewish people.
Shana Tova U'Metukah
The Department of State has announced an increase in consular services fees, which includes passport and notarial fees, effective Tuesday, July 13, 2010. The new fees will be: PASSPORT AND CITIZENSHIP SERVICES: