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Europe Day at the EU Ambassador.

 

The weather was gorgeous, the Ambassador’s home is beautiful and welcoming, and the occasion was exciting. It was on May 9 1950 that the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman first proposed the political cooperation that subsequently led to the European Economic Union (EEC) and ultimately to the European Union (EU) of today. The idea was to “make war between European nations unthinkable”.

 


Guests included many members of the diplomatic corps, several Israeli politicians, the crème of Israeli society and high-ranking military and commercial and business leaders; but the guest of honor was none other than the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Reuven Rivlin. His presence was surely the most powerful indication of the strong links between Europe and Israel.

 

His Excellency Ambassador Lars Faaborg-Andersen, head of the Delegation of the European Union to the State of Israel opened his address to the President & the assembled guests with a few words in Hebrew, thanking everyone for attending. His friendly speech emphasized the importance of Israel-European relations: “As the Jewish philosopher Spinoza wrote back in the 17th century: ‘Peace is not the mere absence of war – it is a virtue, it is a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence and justice’. … The mutual commitment to pursue these values also constitutes the very core of the EU-Israel relationship, together with the strong cultural and historical ties that bind the Jewish people and Europe together. Let me at this point make very clear, as we just marked Yom HaShoah last week: anti-Semitism has no place in Europe. We will not accept that Jewish communities in Europe are attacked and do not feel safe. Attacks against Jews are attacks against all Europeans and against our European values. We are determined to fight anti-Semitism on every front – whether on the extreme right or the extreme left or when it is instigated by extreme Islamists.

 

 

 

“EU-Israel relations have flourished over the years, now spanning trade, open skies, science and technology and political cooperation. Our relationship with Israel is now probably the most developed that the European Union enjoys with any third country. And we are keen to further deepen and strengthen our mutually beneficial relations.” The Ambassador pointedly embellished the point and quoted the President as having said: "We are not doomed to live together, but rather it is our destiny to live together."

 

He spoke meaningfully of the current problems in the EU with refugees flooding in and Europe struggling to ensure that the asylum seekers’ rights are respected. He added: “During the past year, terror has struck in Europe on several occasions perpetrated by fanatical individuals who hate our values and way of life. In Israel, you are living daily under the threat of terror, be it from rockets aimed at your cities or knife-wielding youths attacking, without warning, innocent people walking the streets. This is unacceptable. We strongly condemn terror no matter what form it takes.

 

“And so we are both confronted with the challenge of how to shelter our open societies against the threat of terror, fanaticism and intolerance without sacrificing the very values that we want to protect. … How do we strike the right balance between freedom of speech and legitimate criticism on the one hand and effective action against incitement, prejudice and fanaticism on the other? How do we avoid that groups of people or whole segments of the population are being ostracized and discriminated against because the majority feels that they don't fit in?”

 

The Ambassador ended by thanking the guests again, and expressing the hope that the EU could welcome President Rivlin in Brussels very soon.

 

The State President charmed the assembled guests with his response. He thanked Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen for his hospitality and added: "Your celebration is also our celebration. Israel and the European Union are bound together by many bonds; we share strong economic ties which benefit both sides and I am happy to say that the list of agreements between us is too long for me to mention here. Let me simply say to you, our largest and most important trading partner: Israel's relationship with the European Union is indispensable.

 

"It is true that Israel and the European Union do not always see eye-to-eye on issues of policy, but our cooperation and our mutual progress must not be held hostage by the lack of progress between Israel and the Palestinians. This would be a victory for those who are not ready to accept that the only way to solve the conflict is by building trust between people."

 

The President reiterated that in addition to the strong economic trade between Israel and the EU, both are committed to fighting racism “and to promoting tolerance and a shared society … let us be sure to continue to work hand-in-hand." President Rivlin added that it is time to give thanks to those heroes who fought (and fight) for peace, and that Israel is very proud to develop culturally and in other ways side by side with the EU. “Israel is a miracle and the Europeans have contributed to this miracle. We reaffirm our deep commitment to friendship with Europe.”

 

The President concluded by expressing solidarity with the people of Europe in the face of the many challenges: "This has not been an easy year for Europe. Europe is facing internal economic challenges, a refugee crisis, and unfortunately many horrible acts of terror. In these difficult times, I wish to express Israel's solidarity with Europe. I wish to reaffirm our deep friendship with you, and commitment to the values we share."

 

The formal part of the celebrations ended with a rendering of the national anthem of the state of Israel and then of the European Union (Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”).

 

As guests mingled and enjoyed the lavish reception, they were entertained by the music of the Polyphony Youth Ensemble. (The Polyphony Foundation’s purpose is to help bridge the divide between Arab and Jewish communities in Israel by creating a common ground where young people come together around classical music.)

 

 Photo Silvia 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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