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President Rivlin hosts Rosh Hashanah reception for foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps serving in Israel




President Reuven & First Lady Nechama Rivlin today (Thursday) held a festive reception at his residence for foreign ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps serving in Israel, to honor the upcoming festival of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Attending were 90 ambassadors and diplomats representing countries from around the world, including Israel’s neighboring countries Egypt and Jordan.


“Thank you for joining us to raise a toast and celebrate the new Jewish year,” began the President, and added, “I want to start by saying that Israel is proud of our cooperation with each of your nations; we are proud of the friendships that we are building, between us, and between our peoples. In the past year we have worked hard to build networks, and strengthen our ties and cooperation.” He stressed, “We are especially happy with the growing partnerships and friendships with our neighbors in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. I see these opportunities as a way to build a better future for all the people in our region.”


The President noted that in the Rosh Hashanah liturgy, “We say that it is decided, ‘Who will live and who will die, who by water and who by fire, who will rest and who will wander, who will have calm, and who will be troubled’.” He observed that “This last year in our region we have seen many die by fire, and when trying to find safety many have died by water. We have seen many people wander, and many people face troubles. These terrible facts are not the actions of God, they are the evil deeds of man pretending to speak in the name of God,” and told the ambassadors and diplomats attending, “to stand up to this terrible threat needs the brave actions of man. This is a duty for all of us.”


The President said, “I don’t believe we have forgotten our values, but if this were to be true the whole free world would be in danger of sacrificing everything that we sacrificed for: freedom, liberty, and democracy.”


He concluded, “This year, on Rosh Hashanah, it will be my prayer that the world will focus on the politics of values on which our society was built. That we will remember, that beneath the politics are people; men, women and children, of all faiths, and all nations. I hope that all their voices will be heard fairly, equal before the law, and equal in society.”


Dean of the Diplomatic Corps a.i, Ambassador of Dominican Republic, H.E. Mr. Alexander de la Rosa also addressed the event, and thanked the President and First Lady for their warm welcome and hospitality. He said, “On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps, I wish to the State of Israel, its Government, and all the Jewish people a happy New Year.”


He added that he hoped this year, “The negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians will be a reality, and the two sides will solve all the differences that exist between them.” He added, that the world today faced the challenge of “terrorism, which targets the social democracy, and human rights,” and added that there should be “condemnation of terrorism in all its manifestations”. He concluded, “I wish that the progress and flourishing of the Israeli economy will continue to rise,” and that, “Israel will continue its high standard in all the medical, scientific, and technological cooperation projects, providing knowledge and solutions for the world.”


Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)