Embassy of Slovenia Celebrates its National Day with an Exclusive Panel and Exhibition at the Diaspora Museum
The Embassy of Slovenia in Israel celebrated its national day in fitting fashion, with a celebration in the Beit Hatfutzot Museum which included a special panel and exhibition.
The event highlighted Jewish history of Slovenia, as well as the strong cooperation between Israel and Slovenia at the governmental and cultural levels. Several ministries within the Slovenian government supported the event, along with the Milko Kos historical institute, the Center of Jewish Cultural Heritage Synagogue in Maribor, and of course Israel Beit Hatfuzot Museum (the museum of the Diaspora).
During the panel, Slovenian researchers and historians Dr. Renato Podbersič and Prof. Boris Hajdinjak discussed the Jewish presence in Slovenia throughout history, with a focus on World War I. Prof. Hajdinjak talked about the importance of Maribor for Jews, as a key point between Vienna and Venice. Dr. Podbersič’s remarks were on the exhibition, which highlights the experience of Jewish soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian army who fought on the Isonzo front during World War I. The panel was moderated by editor, historian, and journalist Mr. Oren Nahari.
The evening was about more than just history, however, with a focus on bilateral cooperation and friendship in the present, and an even greater focus on the future. The Embassy of Slovenia marked, in particular, the recent World Bee Day on May 20th, as a Slovenian-led effort at the United Nation to recognize the importance of bees to nature and humanity.
Ambassador Sušnik opened her remarks first by offering congratulations for the 70th anniversary of the State of Israel and for Israel’s multifaceted successes. The ambassador noted recent achievements in bilateral relations between in Israel and Slovenia, particularly in tourism, economy, cultural exchange and scientific cooperation.
Invoking the fundamental belief in the right to self-determination of every nation, which underpins the Slovenian proclamation of independence and the Slovenian national anthem, the ambassador expressed the support of Slovenia for Israel, as well as efforts to establish peace and stability in the Middle East through a negotiated two-state solution. Ambassador Sušnik noted that Slovenia condemns recent attacks on Israeli territories, but is also concerned each time civilians are killed.
Michael Oren, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke on behalf of Israel. Deputy Minister Oren remarked on the commonalities between Israel and Slovenia -- similar geographic size, liberal democratic governance, preservation of ancient cultures and languages. Recognizing Slovenia’s initiative in pioneering World Bee Day, Oren pointed out that Israel also shared this concern for sustainability.
The deputy minister observed that Slovenia’s Port of Koper was Israel’s entry point for exports to central Europe and that Israeli tourism to Slovenia continues to rise. He expressed his hope that Israel would open an embassy in Slovenia soon. Oren finished by thanking Ambassador Susnik and her staff for their work to promote bilateral relations and wishing peace, security, prosperity, and success to the nation of Slovenia on this important occasion.
Following the speeches, the jazz band of Gašper Bertoncelj, a Slovenian jazz musician, performed the national anthems of Slovenia and Israel. Guests then enjoyed a reception in honor of Slovenia’s national day.
The distinguished guests in attendance included Josef and Anita Weiss, owners of Adria Airways; Meron Reuben, chief of state protocol in the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Adi Rosenfeld, Honorary Consul of Slovenia; Myron ReDror Dotan, President of the Israel-Slovenia Chamber of Commerce; Israeli Ambassador Eyal Sela; Ambassador Dr. Rodika Radian-Gordon ; Conductor Ronen Nissan, and Jazz musician Gasper Bertoncelj.
Diplomacy.co.il wishes the Embassy of Slovenia and the people of Slovenia congratulations on their national day, and hopes for many more years of success.