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It was no surprise that the crème de la crème of the Israeli diplomatic corps and Israeli society were at the Dan Hotel on Monday evening to celebrate with, and to honor, the government and people of Bulgaria, and especially H. E. Mr. Dimitar Mihaylov, Ambassador of Bulgaria to the State of Israel. Bulgaria and Israel have a special bond, reaching back to the darkest days of WW2 when the people of that land refused to cooperate with the Nazi extermination and genocide program, and made every effort (successfully) to save Bulgaria’s splendid Jewish community. The history is long and complicated, but the ultimate result was that the 48,000-strong Jewish community survived almost intact.

 

The Honorary Consul of Bulgaria in Israel, Bulgarian-born Moni S. Barr introduced the Ambassador. It was only natural that in his brief opening words to the gathering, Mr. Barr, who came to Israel in 1948, made reference to the warm feelings and loyalty most Israeli Bulgarians still feel toward their mother country. “I recall my family talking about the rescue when I was still a child. We will never forget that”, he said. He then introduced Ambassador Mihaylov and invited him to address the guests.

 

The Ambassador’s heartwarming speech was presented in fluent Hebrew. Ambassador Mihaylov is a man of letters; he has a PhD in Islamic History from Sofia University and earned his MA in Arabic Language and Literature at Damascus University. He was also previously Bulgaria’s ambassador to Syria and has been with the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for close on 24 years – no small achievements for a man in his early 50s. He began by welcoming the guests to Bulgaria’s independence day celebrations, 137 years of development as a modern European country; mentioning too the secondary – but no less important reason for celebrating – 25 years of bilateral diplomatic relations between the two countries. “Establishing relations between Israel and Bulgaria ended the unnatural situation of dissonance between friends, the result of the Cold War. …. The positive result of these diplomatic relations is the warm-hearted and unshakeable friendship and trust between the governments of two friendly nations”. He added: “The friendship is one of the foundation stones on which the future stability of our converging “backyards” stands”.

 

Responding on behalf of the State of Israel was Minister of the Interior Gilad Erdan. He thanked the Ambassador and congratulated him and the Bulgarian government and people on this exciting event. He too pointed out that this year the two countries are celebrating 25 years of excellent bilateral diplomatic relations. “Bulgaria is among the important friends of Israel in Europe, and your strong support for Israel's policies with regard to the political process is of particular value and importance to us. Bulgaria plays a very important role in helping Israel to strengthen its relations with the European Union and other international organizations”. He added: “The community of Israelis originating from Bulgaria is an important bridge between the two countries and the presence of Israeli companies in Bulgaria contribute much to current economic development in Bulgaria and Israel alike and to the broadening of the cooperation between the civil societies in both countries”.

 

Minister Erdan also made grateful reference to the manner in which the Bulgarian people fought to save their Jewish compatriots from the terror of Nazism. “The National Day of Bulgaria marks the liberation of your nation, and the Bulgarian people's journey to freedom after many years of repression. The Jewish people in the land of Israel have also experienced this type of renaissance, after having waited for generations for their country to be reborn. We too know the value of freedom, and we congratulate you on this joyous occasion and look forward to many more years of partnership”. The Minister ended with warmest congratulations to the government and people of Bulgaria.

 

Reni Pilossof, a singer and new immigrant from Bulgaria then gave her truly lovely rendition of the national anthems of both countries. Guests were treated to a delicious and varied buffet dinner, which gave your www.diplomacy.co.il correspondent the opportunity to circulate and to catch up on some of the famous personalities present.

 

Among the many ambassadors and consular officials who honored the event with their presence were: H.E. Henri Etoundi Essomba of Cameroon and Dean of the Diplomatic Corps; Their Excellencies Prahlad Kumar Prasai of Nepal, Simon Pullicino of Malta, Ernest S. Lomotey of Ghana, Nathaniel G. Imperial of the Philippines, David Cohen (former Israeli ambassador to Bulgaria and ambassador to several other countries) and Sisa Ngombane of South Africa; and many military and cultural attachés, consuls and embassy officials, including Shlomo Morgan, Director of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Protocol Department. It was a grand and elegant meeting of diplomacy, culture, society, the arts, industry and good friends.

 

Bulgarians in Israel are well-known as cheerful friendly people, and Bulgarian culture is firmly entrenched here, from foods, music, theater and the arts. Among the guests with “traces of Bulgaria” were business-people Ms. Matilda Alkalai and the above-mentioned Mr. Moni Barr; Shelly Hoshen, Int’l. President of the Yad B’Yad Association and nominee for the Rappaport Prize; entertainers and TV and radio personalities Alex Ansky, Levana Finkelstein and Moni Moshonov; movie producer Nissim Levy (his movie “Bulgarian Rhapsody” is making waves now) and several others.

 

Best wishes to Bulgaria for a bright and sparkling future.

 

 Photo by 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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