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Radicalization, religious approaches to gender equality and LGBT tolerance: these issues are all immensely relevant, yet have received inadequate discussion in the halls of the United Nations. On Monday July 17th, at NAHDAMUN, students from a dozen schools and cities around Israel met to discuss these and other key issues relating to religion and global peace and stability. After hours of intensive debate and negotiations, some resolutions passed, one was vetoed, and the best performers received awards for their diligence.

The students, who came to Kafr Qara from as far south as Gan Yavne, and as a far north as Sakhnin, were divided into the ECOSOC, HRC, and Security Council committees, discussing religious freedom and separation of church and state; freedom of speech as it relates to derogatory portrayals of religious figures, and religious radicalization and reform. As per MUN standards, the students handled such key, potentially divisive issues with grace and aplomb, engaging in meaningful discussions of various aspects of their topics, such as whether governments or religious leadership would be the best actor in promoting women’s roles within religious groups. Despite national policies, as each student was assigned a country to represent, a fundamental humanistic sentiment shone throughout the discussions. In their closing moments each committee rushed to pass a resolution—except the Security Council, which was thwarted when the US delegate chose to exercise her veto.

 

 

In the closing ceremony, the principal, Mr. Ashraf Sbehat, addressed the crowd of students, parents, US Embassy staff, and a visiting delegation from Sweden. He congratulated the delegates on their hard work and wished them success in the future. Speaking next, Mr. Mohammad Hamarshi, the MUN coordinator at Nahda High School, talked about the vision that had inspired him to bring the first MUN conference to Kafr Qara.

Omar Massalha, Secretary-General of NAHDAMUN spoke next, stressing that all humans deserve the right to live in peace and safety, and challenging the students present to go out and be a positive force for change in the world to bring global peace.

Dr. Yehuda Stolov, Director of the Interfaith Encounters Association (IEA), talked about the IEA’s work, and how MUN conferences could lead to increased interactions between students of different religious backgrounds in the holy land. Mr. Andrew Dilbert, Deputy Cultural Attache at the American Embassy, which co-sponsored the conference, spoke next. Mr. Dilbert gave examples from his experiences serving in Latin America and the Middle East for how the linguistic, oratory, and negotiation skills that students acquired through MUN could serve them in careers in diplomacy.

 

 

Following the speeches, students were awarded for their hard work preparing for and during the conference. In the ECOSOC committee, the chairs (Aseel, Kareem and Nooralhuda) called up the delegates of Australia (Yusef Sbahat, Nahda School), Azerbaijan (Maryam Amer, Jadida School), and the United Kingdom (Lian Majadley, Al-Qassemi School), to win the Outstanding and Best Delegate awards. In the HRC, the chairs (Adan, Omar and Omri) recognized Belgium (Shaden Akel, Nahda School), Slovenia (Forat Nasser, Bashaer School), and Tunisia (Benjamin Chelsky, Yachad Modi’in) for the Outstanding and Best Delegate awards. In the Security Council, the most advanced committee in the conference, the delegates of Egypt (Fiona Imperial, Tabeetha School) and France (Zohar Yaron, Wizo Hadasim) were awarded Outstanding and Best Delegate.

NAHDAMUN was the final MUN conference of the year for Debate for Peace. Students will continue to participate in an Israeli-Palestinian negotiations simulation over the next two Fridays (July 21 and 28), before resuming with conferences beginning in November. More information is available via the Debate for Peace website. In addition to the interfaith delegation from Sweden (Mr. Adrian Kaba and Mr. Peter Vig from Malmo), an MUN delegation from Holy Land MUN (July 17-21) led by Mr. Daniel Gindis visited the conference in the morning to meet the students.

Diplomacy.co.il congratulates all of the delegates and the conference organizers.

Photo Credits: Marsel Badir

Steven Aiello
Founder, Debate for Peace
debateforpeace.wordpress.com

 

 

 

On Thursday evening, July 20th, the Embassy of Colombia in Tel Aviv celebrated Colombia’s National Day, the anniversary of the signing of the country’s declaration of independence. The event was held at the beautiful home of Colombian Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Mr. Fernando Alzate Donoso, and  wife Mrs.Nancy, in Kfar Shmaryahu.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today (Wednesday, 19 July 2017), held a series of bilateral meetings with the heads of government of the Visegard Group: Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico. (Prime Minister Netanyahu met yesterday with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.)

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​PM Netanyahu: We face common challenges, the first of which is to defeat the forces of terror that rampage through the world and threaten both our countries. We must stand together in this battle, much as we work together to perfect the future.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara, this evening (Tuesday, 4 July 2017), at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem, hosted Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The EU Delegation in Israel and the Municipality of Tel-Aviv-Yafo presented:  Performance Europa!
Urban celebration of live performances and interactive installations
Tel Aviv’s White Night ,Rothschild 1 Plaza, 29 June 

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 On 11 June 2017, the 5thPhilippine Tourism and Country Fair organized by the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv,Municipality of Haifa and Castra Mall, opened in a festive atmosphere in the northern city of Haifa as the Philippines tries to sustain the rapid tourism growth from Israel.

During the one-day event, simultaneous activities on tourism and cultural promotion and highlights of the 60 years of strong bilateral relations between the Philippines and Israel were featured at the Castra Mall. Around 800 Israelis and Filipinos enjoyed the cultural program that showcased multi-awarded Filipino soprano singer, Ms. Francis Anne “Princess” Virtudazo, and the best talents from the Filipino community in Israel.

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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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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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