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President Francois Hollande celebrated the Bastille Day in Paris, with the Annual Military Parade, while in Israel, Mr. Christophe Bigot, the French Ambassador, held his traditional reception on July 14 at his beautiful residence in Jaffa.

The French National Holiday commemorates the Bastille Day, which took place on July 14, 1789, and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute power of Louis XVI's Ancient Regime. By capturing this prison, the people signaled that the power should be based on the nation and be limited by a separation of powers.

The ambassador, Mr. Bigot, accompanied by his wife, by the honorable guest Mr. Shimon Peres, president of Israel, by Mr. Meir Habib, Jewish member of the French Parliament, and the French- to-Hebrew translator, congratulated all the guests, stressing the warm and special relationship and cooperation between France and Israel.

 

Almost five thousand honorable guests participated in the event.

In his speech, Ambassador Bigot announced the end of the 4-year period of his diplomatic service in Israel. He pointed out his fascination of Israel, mentioning exciting moments that he experienced during his service in Israel, an also his involvement in the process of releasing soldier Gilad Shalit from captivity. Mr. Bigot ended his speech with the words: "Long live France!, Long live Equality!, long live the friendship between France and Israel!"

Israel's president, Mr. Peres, started his speech by quoting the late president of France, Charles De Gaulle: "one cannot mention France without its greatness, as one cannot mention the good relation between Israel and France without the great contribution of the host, the ambassador Bigot." Mr. Peres mentioned the Jewish contribution to France; for example, the Jewish engineer Gustav Eiffel, who designed the famous Tour Eiffel in Paris.

Mr. Peres ended his speech stressing the three important values to the French people, on which the French society is based on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, thus making July 14 an important day to the whole humanity.

President Peres said to the Ambassador Bigot, that he will change his place of service, but Israel will not change the friendship to him.

After the speeches, both national anthems, French and Israeli, were played and sung.

A remarkable and quite long fireworks show was then performed.

Among the distinguished guests, the following were present:

Mr. Ehud Barak, former Prime Minister

Prof. Daniel Shechtman, the Israeli scientist that won the 2011 Nobel Prize in chemistry,

Mr. Silvan Shalom, Minister of the Regional Development, Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Energy and Water.

Mr. Shlomo Morgan, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mr. Elie Chouraqui, the famous French Jewish film director and scriptwriter, who is going to "make alia" to Israel,

Noam Shalit, ambassadors, diplomats, businessmen, and many representatives of the French community in Israel.

 

Photo  Silvia Golan

 

 

 



 

Lithuania’s Statehood Day was celebrated Tuesday, July 9, at the Dan Hotel, with distinguished ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic corps in Israel attending. The event also marked the assumption of Lithuania of the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
His Excellency the Ambassador of Lithuania to Israel, Mr. Darius Degutis, began his address to the assembled with an impressive Hebrew greeting, in which he noted the strong bonds between Israel and Lithuania. He also said that, while the Holocaust must not be forgotten, both Israel and Lithuania should look to creating a better future, through cooperation in the fields of art, culture, tourism, and trade. He fondly mentioned the enjoyment both countries derive from their competitive basketball games.
Representing the government of Israel was His Excellency the Minister of Science, Technology, and Space, Mr. Yaacov Perry. Mr. Perry commented on the challenge of Lithuania’s presidency of the Council of the European Union. Mr. Perry also noted that, “In recent years the relations between Israel and Lithuania have strengthened… just a few months ago we were glad to host the Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs, as well as the Minister of the Economy.”
Mr. Perry added, “The field of culture is considered one of the main pillars… as is tourism. There is a successful agreement for bilateral cooperation in industrial research and development [between the two countries].”
Mr. Perry also mentioned that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna ghetto, saying that, “We appreciate the decision of the Lithuanian parliament and government to mark this anniversary with a series of events, to ensure we never forget the atrocities of the Shoah.”
The day after the celebration, the Deputy Speaker of the Lithuanian parliament, Mr. Gediminas Kirkilas, and the ambassador of the Republic of Lithuania, were hosted at a special screening documenting the 1992 Lithuanian basketball team, whose athletes struggled under Soviet rule. Sarunes Marcilionis, the legendary basketball player, was a guest of honor, as was Israeli basketball star Tal Brody, known for his famous proclamation marking Israel’s victory over the CSKA Moscow basketball team, “We are on the map!”

 





Photo  Silvia Golan




Celebrating Croatia's National Day & Croatia's ascension to the European Union

Last Wednesday evening June 26th, ambassadors from around the world gathered to celebrate Croatian national Independence Day as well as to congratulate the Croatian government for being accepted into the European Union. The event was held in the new and renovated Tel Aviv Museum of Modern Art. Upon arrival, guests were greeted by the Croatian Ambassador himself, Mr  Pjer Šimunović. Wine and ho'deurves were served as guests mingled. There were representatives present from governments around the world,  even  the Vatican was represented as well as the Rabbinate of Tel Aviv.



A very special Concert was held from Mr. Samuel Schlesinger, Honorary Consul of The Republic of Croatia at his residence in Savion, on Jun 25th 2013, in a warm atmosphere, on a warm typical Israeli summer evening

The concert, under the title "To Remember with Music" was dedicated to the memory of Jews from Yugoslavia, supported by the host, Mr. Schlesinger and by the Ing.Josef Zamboki - who also produced the concert.

The program included Opera arias by Puccini, Verdi, Rossini, Mascagni, Lehar, Catalani and Bizet, beautifully performed by three Opera Divas: Jasmina Trumbetas , Soprano from Serbia, Jelena Vlahovic , Mezzo soprano also from Serbia , Tijana Grujic , soprano from Germany, from Israel participated the soprano Ruth Zamboki, the singers were accompanied on the piano by Ljubica Grujic from Serbia and Jonathan Kol from Israel.

 
Senior members of the diplomatic, business and culture communities in Israel were summoned on June 25th, 2013 to celebrate the twenty second Slovenian National day as an independent country.

The dissolution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Establishment  of Slovenia took place on June 25th 1991. The country is recognized today as an important contributor and has influence in many fields, as it is growing constantly. Slovenia, a member of the European Union, is a country that contributes to economy, trade, culture and tourism, and has shown a capable grasp on its way to handle the economic crisis that Europe and the world is  currently facing.