On the evening of Thursday March 16th, the Irish Embassy in Tel Aviv celebrated St. Patrick’s Day alongside the Opening of its new embassy. Diplomats, leading business and community leaders, and Irish emigrants were hosted by Irish Ambassador Alison Kelly at a festive event at the Amot Atrium building to mark Irish culture, Irish-Israeli ties, and Ireland’s peacekeeping missions in the country.
H.E. Ambassador Kelly opened the evening, welcoming the guests, and remarking on the great work done by many to make sure the new embassy could open and thanking the the Irish peacekeeping troops in Golan, as well as the people who had come to the evening and who had worked so hard on the diplomatic relations between Ireland and Israel. Ambassador Kelly also remarked on the great work of the first Irish woman to command an Irish peacekeeping mission, Lt Col Mary Carroll and her colleagues.
Following Ambassador Kelly, Minister of State Mr. Paul Kehoe addressed the guests. The minister’s speech highlighted the strength of the Irish-Israeli friendship. Mr. Kehoe focused his remarks on the warm diplomatic and economic and peacekeeping ties between the two nations, and cooperation in counterterrorism, while calling to strengthen these partnerships in the future.
Israeli Knesset Member Ayoob Kara spoke next, congratulating the Irish people on their national day, and highlighting the similarities between the nations despite their distance. Mr. Kara especially mentioned their economic, political, and educational/ technological similarities. He also mentioned the jewish community in Ireland and the common respect and understanding there.
All of the speakers called for increased cooperation between the countries going forward. Following the speeches, the anthems of Ireland and Israel were played, and guests were then free to continue enjoying the buffet and traditional Irish music and dance. Guests included Minister Kehoe, Minister Kara, Members of the Knesset, Tim Reilly, Pascale Chen (Women Wage Peace), Daria Carmon (from the U.S Embassy), and Zvi Gabi, Israel’s first Ambassador to Ireland.
Nooralhuda Hoji – co-director of the Debate for peace program
Photo Silvia Golan