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A charming location, many elegant guests and a wonderful reason to celebrate: these were the essential components of the very successful event last night at Tel Aviv's Dan Hotel, hosted by the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to the State of Israel, on the occasion of the arrival and assumption of office of a new Ambassador to Israel, His Excellency Ambassador Zhan Yongxin. Adding to the joy of the occasion was the fact that China is ushering in the New Year of the Goat, and also celebrating the spring festival.

 

In his opening remarks, the Ambassador welcomed the assembled guests, also mentioning one uninvited "guest" in particular – the storm raging outside. He thanked everyone for coming, especially in the light of the very inclement (and unusual) weather. The cold outside was matched by the warmth of the reception inside.

 

 

His Excellency spoke of his arrival only two weeks earlier, but that he had already been deeply impressed by "this magical [and beautiful] country ... the wonderful [and passionate] people ... the vigorous economy. ... People say this is the Promised Land, but I say: Israel is a Promising Land. ... This is destined to be the most promising and successful land in my diplomatic career."

 

The Ambassador spoke of the Chinese economic miracle, quoting impressive statistics, past and present, with forecasts for the future. He mentioned his vision for improving the already fine bi-lateral relationship that China and Israel enjoy, and also the mutuality of the two peoples with their long and fascinating histories; and specifically China's role in offering refuge to so many Jews during WW2.

 

Ambassador Zhan Yongxin has had a dazzling diplomatic career, where his last position was as Director-General, Department of Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan Affairs, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He pointed out that he is China's 7th Ambassador to the State of Israel (in 23 years of excellent diplomatic relations between the two countries), and that the number 7 bodes success for all concerned "to embrace a better and brighter future". He concluded by thanking everyone for coming "to contribute to promoting friendship" and wishing everyone health and success in the Chinese New Year.

 

 

Israel's Minister of Energy, Infrastructure & Water, Mr. Silvan Shalom, responded on behalf of the State of Israel. In a moving speech, the Minister welcomed the new ambassador and his wife, and wished them every happiness in Israel.

 

"China", he said, is: "... an ancient civilization forging a bright future in the modern world. A society facing immense challenges, yet bringing constant progress to its citizens and to the world. The same is true of Israel. The two countries are vastly different in size, geography, populations, cultures, languages and more. ... Israel has a long history as a people, a short history as a state. We started as a doubt; we wound up as a miracle." Mr. Shalom spoke of Israel as "the start-up nation", mentioning that Israel, after Canada, is the 2nd most important foreign presence on NASDAQ; of her economic success, her efforts (as in China) to promote education, infrastructure, water resources and more. He also made reference to the dark years of European Jewish refugees who found a welcome in China, even as China was itself struggling with the threats of Nazi ideology during WW2. "Israel was one of the first countries to recognize the People's Republic of China and the people of Israel have always seen China as their friend. ... We are two ancient peoples whose values and traditions have left an indelible mark on humanity, but we are also two peoples embracing modernity."

 

 

 The Minister asked the new Ambassador to make efforts to improve the tourist imbalance between the two countries, and to promote Israel as a desirable potential tourist destination for Chinese travelers. In conclusion, he thanked the Chinese ambassador and again wished him a warm welcome to Israel.

 

A taste of Chinese culture was presented to the guests in the form of five scintillating dance performances, each representing a different aspect and narrative of Chinese life. Beautiful music, gorgeous costumes, excellent choreography and professional dancing – a recipe for enjoyment. The other "recipe" was provided in the form of a generous and tasty dinner, allowing time for the guests to mingle and enjoy old and new friendships.

 

Among the guests who honored the Ambassador with their presence were former prime minister Ehud Barak; former minister of industry, trade & employment, Ran Cohen; former minister of internal affairs Gideon Sa'ar (with his wife, TV personality Geula Even); several ambassadors (including of Sweden and South Africa); executive editor of the "Jerusalem Post" newspaper Steve Linde; journalist Tali Lipkin Shahak; Nobel prize laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman; head of the political-military department at the ministry of defense Amos Gilad; Israel's attorney general Yehuda Weinsten, chief of staff of several ministries Moshe Benyamin; former IDF spokesperson Avi Benayahu; Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai; IOC member Alex Gilady; Prof. Raanan Rein, vice president of Tel Aviv University and many other VIPs, diplomats, society personalities and captains of industry.

 

Long may China-Israel diplomatic relations blossom.

 

 Photos  Silvia G Golan

 

 

 

 

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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09 June 2017 – Jerusalem) The U.S. Permanent Representative of the United States to the United Nations Nikki Haley visited Yad Vashem today. The Ambassador was guided through the Holocaust History Museum by Dr. Robert Rozett, Director of Yad Vashem Libraries, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children's Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem Guest Book.

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On Wednesday evening, June 7th, the Embassy of Slovenia in Tel Aviv celebrated 26 years of independence, and 25 years of bilateral relations with Israel. The commemoration was held at the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation in Jaffa. The event was timed to coincide with visits by both the Minister of Education, Science and Sport Dr. Maja Makovec Brencic, and a high-level parliamentary delegation led by National Assembly President Dr. Milan Brglez.

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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)

Friday was a beautiful late spring day; the gardens were lovely, the weather was fine; the guests were elegantly attired; the refreshments were generous and delicious; all the makings of a happy celebration marking the National Day of Sweden. H.E. Carl Magnus Nesser, ambassador of Sweden to the State of Israel, hosted the event at the ambassadorial residence in Herzlia Pituach.

The event was attended by many Swedish nationals living in Israel; Swedish music, Swedish food, Swedish sponsors and a generous open bar – all the makings of a happy event.

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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

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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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President Reuven and First Lady Nechama Rivlin today, (Monday), welcomed President of the United States Donald J. Trump, and First Lady Melania Trump on arrival at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and then at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

On his arrival at the President’s Residence, President Trump signed the official guest book and wrote, “It is such a great honor to be in Israel and be with all of my great friends”.

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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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President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday , at a ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, received the diplomatic credentials of the new Ambassadors to Israel from Thailand and Spain. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, and - after the presentation of the credentials - the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel's national anthem 'Hatikva'.

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