Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "It is a great honor for me to host the Cardinal in Jerusalem. I see great importance in maintaining warm connections between the Christian and Jewish communities, and in strengthening and walking along the path that represents the life of Cardinal Lustiger. I hereby invite the members of the Christian community in France to visit Israel, to enjoy the beauty and the historical and religious treasures that this land has to offer, while strengthening inter-faith ties."
His Eminence, André the Twenty-third, Cardinal of Paris arrived in Israel last week for a historic visit, accompanied by a 130-strong delegation. The Cardinal participated in a ceremony unveiling a commemoration plaque at Abu Ghosh in memory of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, who converted from Judaism and worked within the Catholic Church to promote close ties between Christianity and Judaism.
Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau hosted a festive reception last weekend in honor of the Cardinal and his delegation at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. During the course of his visit, the Cardinal led prayers in churches throughout Israel, visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Qasr el-Yahud, Qumran, Masada, the Ramon Crater, Beit Hatfutzot and Bethlehem. The visit generated publicity in the Christian media, including coverage by six accompanying journalists from the French Catholic media who were guests of the Tourism Ministry.
The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to this visit of leading opinion-formers in France, who have the capability of making significant contributions in increasing pilgrimage tourism from France.
In 2012, about 300,000 tourists arrived in Israel from France, of whom 60% were Jewish and 29% Christian.
Photo credit: Dudi Salem
The agreement aims to upgrade the bilateral cooperation, including encouraging their mutual tourism, exchanges of experts, creating anchors French investors pull Israeli hotel industry, exchange of knowledge on professional training and development of quality standards of tourism services.
On her first visit to Israel, UNESCO Director-General Bokova met with President Peres and other senior government officials, and discussed joint projects and increased cooperation with Israel
Joint statement, UNESCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel:
On her first official visit to Israel from 29 to 30 May 2011, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with President Shimon Peres, as well as with other high-level Israeli Government officials such as Daniel Hershkowitz, Minister of Science and Technology, Gideon Sa’ar, Minister of Education, Limor Livnat, Minister of Culture and Sport, Yona Yahav, Mayor of Haifa, and Ambassador Eviatar Manor, Head of the Division for the UN and International Organizations of the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
During the meeting she held with President Peres, the Director-General evoked the longstanding fruitful cooperation between UNESCO and Israel notably in the fields of Holocaust education, bioethics, and water science and gender equality
Ms. Irina Bokova also underscored her strong commitment to support education and training for women and girls during the opening ceremony of the International Women Leaders Conference On SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION: Education and Training for Women and Girls, celebrating of the 50th anniversary of the Golda Meir-Mount Carmel Training Centre under UNESCO's auspices and with the cooperation of MASHAV – Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation.
In her meeting with the Minister of education, the Director-General congratulated Mr. Gideon Sa'ar, for his ground-breaking reform of the education sector in particular targeting High school in the area of teacher training and also with a view to enhancing technical and vocational education and training. They also discussed joint projects for enhancing the capacities of teachers and teacher training with special emphasis on Africa
Avenues for enhancing UNESCO-Israel cooperation in the field of sciences and technology for Africa were also discussed with Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, Minister of Science and Technology, building on Israel's Research and Development centers already established in sub-Saharan Africa, notably harnessing local research and countering brain-drain.
During her visit, the Director-General also paid a visit to the Yad VaShem Memorial to lay a wreath in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. She emphasized that “the duty of History is to remember, to document, to research, and to educate” and that “the importance of Yad VaShem lies in providing testimony of History and in standing witness for the future. During her meeting with Mr. Avner Shalev, the chairman of the Yad VaShem Directorate of the Holocaust Martyrs' & Heroes' Remembrance Authority, the Director General discussed future possibilities to enhancing the cooperation in the field of Holocaust education with a special focus on curricula development notably foreseeing eventually a cooperation with International Bureau of Education in Geneva.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of El Salvador, Hugo Martinez, will be visiting Israel from 28 February to 2 March. This is his first visit in Israel as foreign minister since he took office about 20 months ago.
During his visit, FM Martinez will meet with President Peres, Foreign Minister Liberman, and prominent figures in the Israeli economy. He will also speak at a special seminar about El Salvador to be held by Israeli businesspeople.
FM Martinez will visit Yad Vashem and lay a wreath in the Remembrance Hall. He will also participate in the unveiling of the name of a Salvadorian righteous gentile, Jose Arturo Castellanos who, as Consul General of El Salvador in Geneva during World War II, saved the lives of thousands of Jews by granting them Salvadorian identity papers. These papers helped the Jews escape from Nazi-occupied Europe. Castellanos was the first righteous gentile to be recognized from Central America.
Even before the war began, when he was a Consul in Hamburg, Castellanos urged his government to allow German Jews to emigrate to El Salvador. In response, he received written instructions forbidding him from providing visas to Jews. During the war years, Castellanos, as consul in Geneva, along with George Mantello, a Jewish man of Romanian origin who Castellanos appointed first secretary at his Embassy, issued some 10,000 visas and false citizenship papers to more than 20,000 Jews in Nazi-occupied Europe, in particular Hungary. In many cases, the papers issued were good for 2, 3 or 4 people, thus potentially saving the lives of thousands of Jews. Castellanos and Mantello did not take any payment for the papers. In May 2010, Castellanos was recogznied as the first (and thus far only) Righteous Among the Nations from El Salvador.
Thus far, some 23,700 people have been recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
Polish PM Donald Tusk arrived in Israel on February 23 as the head of a delegation of ministers for a series of inter-governmental consultations.
The Prime Minister of Poland, PM Donald Tusk, arrived in Israel on February 23 as the head of a delegation of ministers for a series of inter-governmental consultations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and members of his government.
PM Tusk is accompanied by Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, Education Minister Katarzyna Hall, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Piotr Żuchowski, Health Minister Ewa Kopacz, Secretary of State, plenipotentiary for International Dialogue, Wladyslaw Bartoszewski, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of the Environment, Bernard Blaszczyk, and Secretary of State, secretary of the Committee for Special and Intelligence Services, Jacek Cichocki.
They will be joined from the Israeli side by, in addition to PM Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar, Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat, Minister of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Yuli Edelstein, and Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman.
The consultations between Poland and Israel take place in the context of the close relations between the two governments. They are intended to further strengthen the special connections between the two sides, which are based on the nearly 1,000 year old friendship between the Polish and the Jewish peoples.
International Relations: Poland is an important and active friend of Israel in the European Union (EU). It supported and continues to support the upgrading of relations between Israel and the EU.
Poland has stood by Israel in numerous international forums. In the UN General Assembly votes on the Goldstone Commission Report, Poland was among those EU countries which showed support for Israel (opposing the resolution in the first vote and abstaining in the second, which no EU countries opposed.) Along with only five other European countries, Poland refused to participate in the 'Durban II' conference (2009 Durban Review Conference), and absented itself from Iranian President Ahmadinejad's address to the General Assembly. In November 2010, Poland was among the relatively small group of countries which opposed the ratification of the resolutions passed at 'Durban II'.
Culture: Extensive cultural relations exist between Israel and Poland. The "Polish year in Israel" took place in 2008-2009, which included approximately 150 cultural events in Poland and more than 100 in Israel.
Education: More than 27,000 Israeli youth visit Poland annually. Over the last several years, the two countries have undertaken initiatives to include meetings with Polish youth and familiarization with contemporary Poland as part of these visits. A youth exchange agreement has recently been signed.
Foreign and defense relations:
• Expanding bilateral dialogue in the fields of strategic policy, commercial relations, and research and development.
Economics and technology:
• The two governments will hold discussions aimed at establishing low-cost flights between Israel and Poland.
Culture and national heritage:
• The two governments will discuss ways to ensure that future generations will honor and preserve the memory of the Polish Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust. They will address initiatives to be taken between 2011-2013 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the start of the Holocaust in Poland, and collaboration on specific projects.
• The two governments will discuss a plan to increase cooperation in the field of health, and the expansion of economic ties between companies in the field.
Education and youth exchange programs:
• The two governments will explore ways to strengthen and expand youth exchange programs, out of recognition that such programs are vital for reinforcing the relationship between Israel and Poland. To date, 15,000 young people have taken part in meetings between Israeli and Polish youth.
Minister Jimenez’s visit will mark 25 years to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain. It is Minister Rosenthal's first trip to the country since assuming office.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Ms. Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera will visit Israel (7-9 February 2011). This will be Minister Jimenez’s first visit to the region since entering office two months ago.
Minister Jiménez's visit will mark 25 years to the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Spain. As part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations, the President of Israel Mr. Shimon Peres will visit Spain (21-25 February 2011). In addition to commemorating the establishment of relations, the visit is designed to strengthen bilateral ties between the two countries, including in the political, economic, cultural and scientific spheres.
During her visit, Minister Jiménez will meet with President Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Minister of Education Gideon Sa'ar, as well as the leader of the opposition, MK Tzipi Livni. Minister Jimenez will also visit Yad Veshem, Israel’s Holocaust History Museum, where she will lay a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, Mr. Uriel Rosenthal, will visit Israel (7-9 February) in his first trip to the country since assuming office.
FM Rosenthal's visit is taking place as part of the ongoing dialogue between the two states, which have traditionally enjoyed excellent relations. In his meetings, opportunities for advancing and expanding relations will be discussed.
FM Rosenthal will meet with President of Israel Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and the leader of the opposition MK Tzipi Livni. During his visit, the Foreign Minister will address the Eleventh Annual Herzliya Conference and will lay at wreath in the Hall of Remembrance during his visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust History Museum.
President Shimon Peres held today (29.12) a working meeting with Prime Minister of Lithuania, Andrius Kubilius. The two discussed expanding the strategic cooperation between Israel and Lithuania in the fields of economy, science and high - tech.
We expect the European Union to be more proactive in preventing the next flotillas, first and foremost by exerting pressure on Lebanon, Syria and Turkey to prevent superfluous provocations
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Liberman met on Thursday afternoon (July 22) with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.
The two discussed state matters and Foreign Minister Liberman addressed the negotiations with the Palestinians, saying that "We are ready for direct talks, but the continuation of the building moratorium is impossible and unreasonable."
Foreign Minister Liberman thanked the Greek Prime Minister for his cooperation in connection with the recent flotillas and said, "We expect the European Union to be more proactive in preventing the next flotillas, first and foremost by exerting pressure on Lebanon, Syria and Turkey to prevent superfluous provocations."
Foreign Minister Liberman said that in the past year there has been a significant improvement in the relations between Greece and Israel and emphasized the fact that this was the first official visit to Israel by a Greek prime minister in many years.
The foreign minister added that Israel appreciates the courageous actions taken by Greece to stabilize the economy.