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Guests of the Latvian Embassy in Tel Aviv gathered at the Einav Cultural Center to celebrate the nation's Independence Day as well as its cultural contributions to the world and its storied Jewish past.



The Republic of Latvia has faced insurmountable obstacles in establishing itself as a contributing member within the European community as well as on the world stage.  Despite the obstacles throughout the Baltic nation's history however, the resilience of the Latvian people in their pursuit of self-determination and global success has remained persistently strong as the republic embarks on 92 years of independence - an independence represented in two stages:  1918-1940 and 1940-1991 with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Amidst a large gathering of guests and close friends within the diplomatic community, Latvian Ambassador to Israel, the Honorary Mārtiņš Perts, highlighted the global vision for his country going into 2011 as well as his desire to see larger strides taken between Israel and Latvia in fortifying the already strong relations between the two nations.


Latvian Ambassador PertsThe 2010 celebration in Tel Aviv - normally Latvian Independence day is celebrated on the December 18th - was purposely pushed forward as to coincide with a special exhibit on Latvian philosopher Isaiah Berlin, being displayed at the Einav Cultural Center in central Tel Aviv.  The exhibition, 'Isaiah Berlin and the Riga of His Time' - in cooperation with the National Library of Lativa - portrays the intellectual culture and history of Riga at the beginning of the 20th century with a focus on the city's Jewish community - a community that all but perished during the Holocaust.


"Such remarkable persons as Isaiah Berlin show the importance of the Jewish community in Latvia who have contributed and benefited the multicultural society inherent in Latvia nowadays," noted Mr. Perts, adding that the Latvian people would neither be who they are nor where they are today without the achievements of its Jewish past.

In regards to bilateral relations between Israel and Lativa, Ambassador Perts made note of key state visits between officials of each nation's foreign ministry as well as the importance of the scheduled visit of Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade & Labor, David Ben-Eliezer, to Latvia in the coming year.  The ambassador also stressed his desire for Israeli President Shimon Peres to incorporate Latvia into his list of upcoming state visits while noting that he expected 2011 to be a "intense" year regarding the levels of Israeli-Latvian economic cooperation.

"Latvia highly values the active political dialogue with the State of Israel," explained Perts.  "I am convinced that Israel and Latvia will continue to enjoy an open and constructive exchange of views regarding our common interests - both bilateral, regional and in regards to the global agenda."

Among the notable guests was Executive Director of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pinchas Avivi.  Avivi spoke on behalf of the Foreign Ministiry and the Israeli people, recognizing the accomplishments of Latvian society, despite having to endure near centuries of foreign rule throughout its history.

MFA Executive Director Avivi addresses the guests


He further noted the extensive 'Aliya' [Jewish immigration to Israel] of Latvia's remaining     Jewish community after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991 as well as Israel's   immediate recognition and establishment of diplomatic ties upon Latvia's "regained" independence.

For more information on Latvia and its diplomatic missions worldwide:



[photos courtesy of Carmel Skutelsky]




This Thursday, 11 November 2010, the Republic of Angola will commemorate 35-years of nationhood upon which it gained full independence from Portugal.



To kick-off the celebration, guests of the Angolan Embassy in Tel Aviv gathered for a night of festivities at the Givatayim Theatre, which included a fashion show displaying the latest Angolan trends and styles as well as a crowd arousing dance and music performance by the world renowned Kilandukilo Ballet.




The dance troupe was founded in 1984 by a group of young Angolans looking to express the various styles inherent in the country’s rich historical culture of rhythm and dance.

Kilandukilo – the style of performance as it is known - showcases a wide range of both modern and traditional dances accompanied by percussion beats representing the mood portrayed within the dancing itself.  The ‘ballet’ group itself has performed across the globe and was welcomed enthusiastically by the large group of attendees.


Ambassador João Manuel – head of the Angolan mission in Tel Aviv – warmly welcomed guests and expressed his gratitude for the large turnout.  In attendance were representatives of various diplomatic corps, those from the business and higher-education communities as well as officials from the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.





One of the more notable guests at the event was the former Colombian Ambassador to Israel, David De La Rosa.

After a long career representing Colombian interests in Israel, Mr. De La Rosa immigrated to Israel where he is now the head of Resource Development for the Our Children Foundation, in association with the Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel.




Although Angolan Independence Day is celebrated on the 25th of December, the 11th of November represents the country’s National Day as that was the official date in which the Southwestern African nation won its independence after nearly 500 years of Portuguese rule.

As a side note, it must be noted that Angola’s National Day coincides with All Souls Day, which commemorates families’ loved ones of generations past.


Congratulations to the Republic of Angola and all of its representatives in Israel on celebrating 35-years of Independence. 


For more information on Angola and its diplomatic mission in Tel Aviv:




 For more information on the Our Children Foundation:



Photos Silvia Golan







The Embassy of  the Czech Republic in Israel marked the country's National Day in an event at the residence of the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Israel, Mr. Tomas Pojar.

A plethora of dignitaries attended the event, among them, Vice Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, Avigdor Liberman.



Mr. Pojar welcomed those in attendance to his home, stating that it is a privilege and honor to host his homeland's National Day as a second generation representative after his father hosted the celebration in the same place years back honoring the Czech Republic's first National Day.




Ambassador Pojar spoke about the appreciation and admiration of the Czech people for freedom and independence and the experience of his nation during the division of Czechloslovakia


"The bond between [the Czech Republic and Slovakia] our two countries is unbreakable", the ambassador said, referring to the suffering of both people until each earned the right to self-determination in their own homeland



After the words of the Czech Ambassador, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Danny Ayalon, addressed the crowd.  Mr. Ayalon thanked Ambassador Pojar for his hospitality, and congratulated the Czech Republic on its National Day.

He said that Israel and the Czech Republic share many similar and cherished values such as democracy, freedom, and the pursuit of peace.



Vice Minister Ayalon noted the fact that Ambassador Pojar is a second generation head of the Czech diplomatic mission to Israel, attesting to the quality of the Ambassador.  He further added that he hopes for third and fourth generation Ambassadors to Israel who will carry the same name.

The Israeli Vice Minisiter mentioned  the black stain on the history of Europe as the cruel Nazi regime destroyed Czechoslovakia in its journey to conquer the world.


Mr. Ayalon ended his words with a toast to the Czech Republic.

As is customary, the guests enjoyed delicious Czech food from "Little Prague" restaurant as they sponsored the event.


Photos Silvia Golan







After 41 years of public service, Chief of Protocol, Ambassador Yizhak Eldan has finished his tenure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A wealth of Ambassadors and friends gathered at the residence of the Korean Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Young Sam Ma, to honor and congratulate Mr. Eldan as he embarks on new ventures and finishes his lengthy career as a public servant.



Ambassador of Cameroon to Israel, Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, spoke on behalf of the diplomatic community expressing his sadness about the departure of Ambassador Eldan from the diplomatic circle as he always made himself available to the Ambassadors regarding any problem that may have arisen. Mr. Eldan is known and recognized for always giving his utmost attention to each request with a smile.



Ambassador Etoundi said that Ambassador Eldan's work made the diplomatic community feel more comfortable and more at home in Israel.
In response to the kudos given, Mr. Eldan explained that he feels like a marathon runner that just crossed the finish line: a feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.



Mr. Eldan thanked Ambassador Young Sam Ma for hosting the event in his honor and praised the Ambassador of Cameroon, Mr. Henri Etoundi Essomba, Dean of the Diplomatic Core in Israel for his words. Ambassador Eldan also thanked the attendees for coming to the event, and said that it was a pleasure to work with each and every one of them. He added that he is starting a new chapter in his life, yet the diplomatic world will still remain close to him and continue to be a driving force in his life.


Ambassador Eldan said that he is forming a new initiative enitled the "Ambassadors Club" in which everyone present at the event will become a member.
Two unexpected surprises also presented themselves. The first was a medal on behalf of the city of Jerusalem, and the second was a birthday cake to mark his upcoming birthday this week.



As Mr. Eldan blew out the candles and cut the cake, all the guest gave a formidable round of 'Happy Birthday'.
After the speeches, the guests enjoyed a plethora of delicious Korean food prepared by Mrs. Young Sam-Ma.  Overall, the evening was one to remember.



Photos Silvia Golan










The beautiful residence of the Hungarian Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Zoltan Szentgyorgyi played host to many guests who gathered in celebration of Hungary's National Day.



Ambassador Szentgyorgyi welcomed guests alongside the Military Attaché and their wives.

Among the guests were diplomats from various Embassies and officials from both the Knesset and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.





In his address, Ambassador Szentgyorgyi spoke about the special relationship between Hungary and Israel as well as the strong cooperation between the two  countries in wide range of areas.  Szentgyorgyi shared his experience and impressions of a recent visit to the Latrun Armoured Corps Memorial and Tank Museum

While visiting the Museum, Mr. Szentgyorgyi found among the Merkavas and Abrahams the type of tank which contributed to the invasion of Budapest in 1956. This unexpected encounter with history made him realize how "desperate and how brave his compatriots must have been fighting practically with their bare hands against those formidable steel monsters".


He added that living without freedom can mean many things, among others, that one must "learn a falsified history and at the end not knowing what is true and what is false."





Ambassador Szentgyorgyi emphasized the excellent political relations between the respective nations. He mentioned that Hungary was delighted to host Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in his visit to Hungary, and added that his country would be delighted to host Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as well. 
The Ambassador also mentioned the recent visit of the Hungarian Defense Minister who left Israel just days before the reception, and that he is already preparing for the visit of the Foreign Minister within the next few weeks.





After the Ambassador’s speech, the Israeli Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Daniel Hershkowitz, took the floor opening his address in fluent Hungarian which he learned from his parents who came to Israel after the Holocaust.

Prof. Hershkowitz spoke of the great strides and development and the way Hungary has shaped itself in recent years and stressing the contribution of the Jewish community in these achievements. He added that Israel is lucky to have such close friend as it does in Hungary.




Prof. Hershkowitz also pointed out the importance of Foreign Minister Liberman's visit to Hungary in January as he joined the Ambassador's wish to see a visit from Prime Minister Netanyahu to Hungary in the near future. Prof. Hershkowitz concluded his words by blessing both of the countries with prosperity, success and friendship.




After the speeches, both of the national anthems were played as guests enjoyed the fine Hungarian cuisine and music.


Photos  Silvia Golan