- Written by Office of the President
The prestigious award will be conferred upon Chancellor Merkel at a special ceremony at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday 25th February as part of her visit to Israel
The committee's recommendation: "Chancellor Merkel placed Germany's unwavering commitment to Israel's security at the forefront of relations between the two countries. The strategic and security cooperation between Israel and Germany has reached new heights under her leadership."
The President of the State of Israel, President Shimon Peres, will confer the Presidential Medal of Distinction upon Chancellor Angela Merkel. The medal is the highest civilian award in Israel and is being bestowed upon Dr. Merkel for her unwavering commitment to Israel's security and the fight against anti-Semitism and racism in particular through education. The award will be conferred upon Chancellor Merkel during a special ceremony (Tuesday 25th February at 15:30) at the President's Residence in Jerusalem during her upcoming visit to Israel. At the event, which will be attended by senior figures involved in Israeli-German relations, President Peres will confer the Presidential Medal of Distinction upon Chancellor Merkel and they will both deliver speeches to mark the occasion. Following the ceremony President Peres and Chancellor Merkel will conduct a diplomatic work meeting during which they will discuss the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the Iranian nuclear program and relations between Israel and Germany.
President Peres and the committee gave the following reasons for the award: "Dr. Angela Merkel, is an exceptional leader with a deep moral conviction and high ideals including in her warm relations with the State of Israel and the Jewish people. Chancellor Merkel sets a wonderful example on education against anti-Semitism, racism and hate and works tirelessly to expand the work being done on these issues with the aim of educating future generations in Germany towards equality, tolerance and acceptance of the other. Chancellor Merkel not only strengthened the diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany but also the security relations. This commitment has been exemplified by the numerous examples of Germany standing absolutely by Israel's side within the European Union and the firm stance taken by the government against the delegitimization of Israel in the world. Chancellor Merkel placed Germany's unwavering commitment to Israel's security at the forefront of relations between the two countries. The strategic and security cooperation between Israel and Germany have reached new heights under her leadership. Chancellor Merkel is a leader of vision and foresight, an outstanding personality and she has captured the hearts of the entire world. She is a leader whose values inspire hope and whose actions inspire wonder."
Background Information on the Presidential Medal of Distinction:
The Presidential Medal of Distinction is awarded to private individuals and organizations that have made unique and outstanding contributions to Tikkun Olam (Bettering the World), Israeli society and the State of Israel's image around the world, and which constitute examples of initiative, innovation, creativity and vision. The medals themselves feature the North Star to symbolize the right path and a menorah, the symbol of Israel and the continuous link between past and present. The medal is crowned with the words from Samuel 9:2 "from his shoulders and upward." The Presidential Medal of Distinction is comparable to the "Legion of Honor" (France) or the "Order of Canada."
The advisory committee for the Presidential Medal of Distinction includes retired Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar, former President Yitzhak Navon, Professor Suzie Navot, Dr. Mohammed Issawi, Rabbi Dr. Ratzon Arusi, Gil Shwed and Professor Anita Shapira.
Previous winners of the award include President Obama, President Clinton, Elie Wiesel, former Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, the Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Mr. Zubin Mehta, Attorney Uri Slonim, Judy Feld Carr, The Rashi Foundation and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz.
President Shimon Peres & Chancellor Angela Merkel Photo: Mark Neiman/GPO
- Written by Ministry of Tourism
The Tourism Minister and the ITTAA are expected to make an official announcement regarding the adoption of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism at the ITTAA conference on Wednesday * Minister Landau: "This is a festive day for Israeli tourism" *
ITTAA CEO Yossi Fattal: "The association is pleased to join in this initiative by the Tourism Ministry and take the lead with this Code of Ethics that ensures responsible and sustainable tourism."
Tomorrow, (January 22, 2014), the Israel Tourist and Travel Agents Association (ITTAA) is expected to adopt the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism in its annual conference. The code, which has been promoted by the Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau via the professional staff in the ministry, has already been adopted by other countries around the world.
The Tourism Ministry recently approached the ITTAA, headed by Jacob Karni, suggesting that they adopt the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism - this with the understanding that this is an international trend that has been promoted in recent years by UNWTO, the private international sector and government travel agency organizations. The ITTAA took the decision to adopt the code and the formal declaration will be made tomorrow at its annual conference.
Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "This is a festive day for Israeli tourism. Israel has aligned itself with the highly developed countries in regards to quality of service and tourism ethics. Adopting this Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is the first step on the path to improved quality of service and the tourist experience in Israel - this in order to ensure that every visitor who comes to Israel will want to return and tour our beautiful country."
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is available on request.
- Written by Globes
is recovery around the corner?
At the conference on December 8-9, leading experts will examine the prospects for global recovery in 2014.
The 2013 “Globes” Israel Business Conference on , will try to analyze the condition of the global economy and examine whether the recovery, led by the economies of the US and Europe, is real. On one hand, US economic policy has succeeded in beating the crisis forecast that hung over it, while on the other hand, Spain and other European countries have had their first growth after years of crisis. But the threats remain, and they are great. Once again, the US has just avoided default by the skin of its teeth, and bought some relief for its economy. At the same time, it seems that the US has become addicted to “cheap money” and the helicopter of Ben Bernanke, who has decided to hand the task of initiating the exit strategy to his successor. In Europe, despite the rally in leading indices, the level of unemployment, especially among the young, remains high and dangerous, and the need for structural reform in and a and deepening of the EU are growing more urgent.
On the other side are the emerging markets, including China, India, and Brazil, which have begun to downshift. Their high growth rates of the previous decade now seem like a fleeting episode that will not be repeated. Together with the decline in growth rates, it seems that these economies desperately need thorough restructuring, which if not implemented immediately, threaten their economic achievements.
An equally important question is how these processes and movements in the global economy affect the Israeli economy, which demonstrated economic and financial soundness during the years of the crisis, but is undergoing a prolonged rise in the cost of living, accompanied by soaring real estate prices and widening social gaps between sectors of the population.
The first day’s plenum session will be opened by President of the State of Israel Shimon Peres. It will be followed by a special debate on the global economy in 2014, moderated by Richard Quest, the host of CNN’s “Quest Means Business”. The participants will be PIMCO global strategic advisor Prof. Richard Clarida, a Lowell Harris Professor of Economics at Columbia University and the US Assistant Treasury Secretary for Economic Policy in 2002-2003; former CEO of Deutsche Bank AG Dr. Josef Ackermann; China International Capital Corporation chairman Jin Liqun; and “Financial Times” associate editor and chief foreign affairs commentator Gideon Rachman.
The second day’s opening plenum session will discuss Israeli business sector growth, and will host former Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer, Israel Chemicals Ltd. (TASE: ICL) president and CEO Stefan Borgas,Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NYSE: TEVA; TASE: TEVA) president and CEO Dr. Jeremy Levin, and Prof. Alan Dershowitz of Harvard University, and a prominent defender of Israel.
OECD Secretary General Gurria to speak at Israel Business Conference
Angel Gurria will discuss a range of issues that will appear in the OECD report, with a focus on taxes and the healthcare system in Israel.
OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria is making a special trip to Israel to participate in the "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference. He will participate in the first day's plenum session and will speak with Richard Quest, the host of CNN's "Quest Means Business".
Gurria will discuss a range of issues that will appear in the OECD report, which will be published close to the conference, with a focus on taxes and the healthcare system in Israel.
For further information and registration, go to Israel Business Conference .
Gurria was elected secretary-general of the OECD in June 2006, and was reelected for a second term in 2010. He has strengthened the OECD's standing as global forum on economic policy, and has modernized and carried internal reforms at the organization.
Gurria, a Mexican citizen, arrived at the OECD after a distinguished career in Mexican public service, including terms as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Finance and Public Credit in the 1990s.
Israel joined the OECD in 2010, after an accession process of several years. The OECD was founded in 1961 by countries in North America and Western Europe, and has expanded over the years to include countries in Asia, the Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It currently has 34 members. The OECD member states account for more than 60% of global GDP.
The "Globes" 2013 Israel Business Conference, the country's largest business conference, will be held this year under the title "The Global Economy in 2014". It is Israel's premier and most prestigious economic event.
לינקים לידיעות בעברית:
- Written by Israel Tourist Ministry
INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES: TOURISM MINISTRY INVESTED NIS 6.5 MILLION IN MAKING ACCESSIBLE TENS OF TOURIST AND NATURE SITES FOR TOURISTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS AND PRODUCED A BOOKLET OF ACCESSIBLE TOURS IN JERUSALEM
Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: "It is important for us to properly represent people with disabilities in order to make it easier for them to relax and enjoy their holiday like everyone else. The Tourism Ministry under my leadership will continue to make tourism sites accessible."
Tourism Minister Director-General Amir Halevi: "In the tender to select a company for rating hotels in Israel, we determined that the higher the degree of accessibility in a hotel, the higher the rating. These are steps that are designed to increase the accessibility of tourist sites to all sectors of the population, regardless of disabilities."
The Tourism Ministry attaches great importance to making tourist sites in Israel accessible to visitors with disabilities. In the last two years, the ministry has invested about NIS 2.5 million out of an overall investment of NIS 6.5 million in the development of accessible tourist sites including, among others, tens of nature resorts, museums and heritage, historical and religious sites.
Tourists and visitors planning their trip to Israel can now enjoy a wide range of accessible trails, and can also consult with a color brochure that details all the sites that are accessible for tourists with disabilities.
Last month, the Tourism Product Administration in the Tourism Ministry, in cooperation with the Jerusalem Development Authority published a color brochure detailing five accessible tours of the Old City. These tours will enable visitors with accessibility needs to experience Jerusalem's religious and historical sites.
The tours include:
- From Jaffa Gate to Zion Gate
- The Jewish Quarter
- Jerusalem in the Second Temple Period
- The Temple Mount Compound
- The Via Dolorosa
In each tour detailed information is provided regarding the specific accessibility at the sites, including where the assistance of a helper is needed. Some of the tours require advance booking and reservations to provide the necessary facilities for accessibility, including the use of accessible elevators and other particular arrangements specific to the site.
The booklet is available free of charge at the Israel Government Tourist Office at the Jaffa Gate in the entrance to the Old City or online at
In 2012, the Tourism Ministry produces a 22-page full color booklet in English entitled: “Accessible Israel” (http://goisrael.com/other/
The brochure, written by an experienced tour guide who specializes in tours for people with special needs, offers the disabled traveler a wide range of tour routes in the north, center and south of Israel, as well as in Jerusalem. For each tour, there is a historical introduction and useful information on each site, including how to get there and disabled access at the site. An easy-to-read legend provides information on whether the route is accessible to the following: sight impaired; wheelchairs; those with difficulty walking; baby carriages and the hearing impaired.
The varied routes include:
- Around the northern shores of the Sea of Galilee
- The Gilboa region
- Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve
- Tel Aviv, including the Palmach Museum and the Tel Aviv Port
- The Old City of Jerusalem
- Mount Herzl and Yad Vashem
- Border Observation Point in the Negev
- Ein Feshka Nature Reserve and Qumran on the Dead Sea
The ministry runs a specialist course for licensed tour guides on the subject of accessible tourism. The ministry's website is also available with relevant information in A2 format for the sight-impaired.
The ministry recently organized a tour, the first of its kind, along those sections of the Gospel Trail that have been made accessible for tourists with disabilities, including Mount Precipice, Keshet forest, Kfar Kanna and the Wedding Church, Tabgha and Capernaum.
Sites made accessible by the Tourism Ministry include, among others:
- Rosh Hanikra - special bridge for wheelchair accessibility to the site
- Atlit - elevator for access to the different levels of the boat exhibition; paths and guides for the hearing-impaired.
- Masada - wheelchair accessible throughout the site, in the museum, guiding etc. Includes different models of the site for the blind.
- Hurshat Tal - wheelchair accessible paths, parking lots, bathrooms and picnic areas
- Latrun - elevator for access to the viewing levels and observation point
- Ein Shemer - Exhibits in the museum for the hearing impaired and wheelchair accessible throughout.
- Beit Shean - Accessibility for the sound and light show.
- Written by Office of the President
President Peres to depart for a State Visit to Mexico at the head of a delegation of 80 leading Israeli companies in the fields of security, cyber, UAVs, technology, communication, water and energy
President Peres will conduct diplomatic work meetings with the President of Mexico, leading government officials and deliver an address to the Senate
The peak of the economic and trade events will see President Peres meet with Carlos Slim, one of the wealthiest businesspeople in the world, and build links between his businesses and Israeli companies
The President of the State of Israel, Shimon Peres, will depart for a state visit to Mexico on 26th November at the head of a delegation of business leaders and managers representing 80 of Israel's leading companies in the fields of security, cyber, UAV's, technology, communication, water and energy. The delegation will include Rafael, Teva, Amdocs, Netafim, Tamar Group, Strauss, Babcom, Amiad and others.
President Peres will depart for the state visit (26/11-1/12), after receiving an invitation from the President of Mexico, Enrique Pena Nieto, in order to strengthen and expand the strategic, diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Mexico. President Peres will conduct a series of meetings with the senior leadership of Mexico as well as a meeting with Carlos Slim and other Mexican business leaders.
The diplomatic meetings will begin with a state welcome ceremony including an honor guard and a diplomatic work meeting with President Nieto during which the two will discuss ways to strengthen the strategic, economic and security relations between the countries, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, and relations between Iran and Latin America. Following the meeting the two presidents will deliver joint statements to the press.
President Peres will then deliver a diplomatic speech to the Mexican parliament before 128 members of Senate, and meet with the Speaker of the parliament and with other senior government officials. In his speech President Peres will address the importance of strengthening the relations between Israel and Mexico as well as Israel and Latin America as a whole.
As part of the visit there will be the first "Israel-Mexico Business conference" which will be opened by President Peres and President Nieto. The conference will take place in Mexico City, last two days and be attended 500 business leaders including the Israeli delegation, Mexican business leaders and the leading figures in Mexico's economy. The conference will include meetings between Israeli and Mexican business leaders, working tours for the Israeli delegation to their Mexican counterparts. The business group led by Carlos Slim will present to the Israeli delegation the range of activities and possibilities for cooperation with Grupo Carso and America Movil.
During the second part of the visit (), President Peres will visit Guadalajara and open the Israeli stand at the Guadalajara 2013 International Book Fair. This year Israel was chosen as the "Guest of Honor" at the book fair, which is one of the most important in the world and the largest in the Spanish speaking world with over 700,000 visitors each year. The Israeli stand will showcase Israeli cultural including literature, poetry, arts, academia and publishers including David Grossman and Etgar Keret, Ronny Somek and Agi Mishol, Ivri Lider and Achinoam Nini and Nobel Chemistry Prize laureate Professor Ada Yonath. The Israeli delegation will host over 200 cultural activities across the city and present the best of Israeli culture.