Vive La France! Bastille Day
On July 13th' early evening, at the beautiful residence of H.E the ambassador of France in Israel, Mr. Patrick Maisonnave, the traditional Bastille Day was celebrated with approximately 500 distinguished guests from France, Israel and around the world.
It was indeed a festive event with fine French decor, all "Blue White Red" flags, balloons, lighting effects, and a magnificent Eiffel tower cake…
At the entrance to the ambassador's residency, an old replica of "The Marseillaise" was placed, and an honorary French delegation welcomed the guests.
Throughout the beautiful house and garden, the honorable guests mingled, while drinking fine Israeli kosher wine from "Barkan" wineries, and world famous "Evian" water to cool the hot summer evening.
Among the distinguished guests were noticeable with their elegant white uniform the crew and soldiers of the French marine ship Bismuth that is now harboring in Haifas' harbor, alongside Israeli soldiers all dressed in the marines' white uniform.
Among the versatile guests also noticeable Israeli artists, Clergy people, military personnel and many representatives from the Israeli government and the top business sector.
At 19:30 h/e the French ambassador Patrick Maisonnave opened his speech by welcoming the honorable guests, touching upon the glorious story of the Bastille and the great French revolution, then perused to ensure the long and lasting strong allies between the Republic of France and the State of Israel, emphasizing the bonds and friendship between the two nations and peoples, the commitment of France to the security of the state of Israel, from the times of the Embargo, through the wars that the brave state Israel had to endure in its pursuit of legitimateexistence in the Middle East ,and its strive for peace with the Arab world.
The ambassador ensured that France continues to stand by Israel in the fight against world terror, and mentioned with great sorrow the Charlie Hebdo and the kosher market massacres.
The ambassador Patrick Maisonnave talked about the continuous peace initiatives of France, in spite of some criticism, to help reach agreements between Israel and the Palestinians.
The ambassador expressed his appreciation to the 150000 French residents living in Israel, who love and admire Israel.
The ambassador then thanked the Israeli Minister of Environmental Protection Mr Avi Gabbay for the cooperation in the fields of agriculture and the contribution to global ecology.
Mr Avi Gabbay, representing the state of Israel, talked about the true and deep friendship between the two nations that "is not just nostalgic ties", Mr. Gabbay continued to talk about the concept and the meaning of "Liberty ,Equality ,Fraternity " that the two nations share, and the importance of democracy.
He talked about Zionism and how France stood by Israel at the declaration of the independence of Israel by the UN, and is continuing to stand by Israel against Irans' nuclear threats and world terror.
Mr. Avi Gabbay then concluded with the warmest congratulations on behalf of the state of Israel to the French' national day.
The guest of honor, Mr. Shimon Peres, the former president of Israel then addressed his speech.
His honorary Mr. Peres moved everyone in the vast crowd with his calm, soothing manner of speech, expressing his personal love and appreciation to France, its leaders and the French people, who stood by Israel in its most vulnerable times of need.
Mr. Peres talked about the beginning of Zionism in the Alfred Dreyfus trial, the fact that the Jews are deppendant on the world so they needed to change that by creating Zionism, he praised Emil Zola and his historic "J'accuse".
Mr. Peres talked about the 4 Jewish head of state in France and the fact that after world war 2 France stood by Israel in spite of its allies and the embargo against Israel.
Mr. Peres recalled sitting with Prime Minister Ben Gurion at the evening of the declaration of the state of Israel by the UN, who then told him that "today we are joyous but tomorrow there will be bloodshed…"
Mr. Peres stressed the fact that only France gave us weapons, allowed ships to harbor in France and allowed to bring Jews to Israel.
He talked about his admiration to the former prime minister Charles De Gaulle, one of the great friends of Israel, then continued to praise the support of France in the "Kaddesh Operation", the "Six Days War" with weapon supply of French fight planes, tanks etc'. Mr. Peres concluded his speech by appreciating and thanking the ongoing collaboration between the two nations.
After the speech, all the attendants were invited join in singing the French anthem "The Marseillaise", followed by the Israeli anthem "Hatikva" and right after everyone raised a toast "Vive la france!"
The elegant celebration went on with best French cuisine and fine wine into the beautiful night, overlooking the Yaffa seashore.
Photos Silvia Golan