- Written by Delegation of the European Union to Israel
On 16 November 2020, the Palestinian Centre for Research and Agricultural Development (PCARD) and the Galilee International Management Institute (GIMI) launched the first of many activities aimed at improving production and trade in key agricultural sectors. The workshop took place in Nahalal, Israel as part of the project ‘Israelis Meet Palestinians in Agriculture and Cross-border Trade’ funded by the European Union under its EU Peacebuilding Initiative.
The 3-year project will bring together agricultural workers, farmers, agronomists, the business sector, students and many other stakeholders to improve the production quality and quantity in key Palestinian and Israeli agricultural sectors - dates, almonds, herbs, honey, olive oil, vegetable and grapes. A number of agricultural communities on both sides will benefit from improved trade capacity. Ultimately, the project will promote and facilitate cross-border trade, by establishing trade contacts, organising exhibitions, trainings and field visits in the priority agricultural-trade sectors.
PCARD Director, Eng. Salah A. Eisheh said: ‘The project targets seven strategic agricultural sectors in Palestine and Israel, namely dates, vegetables, medical herbs, grapes, almonds, honey and olives. The aim is to strengthen economic and technical cooperation between Palestinians and Israelis, and to create commercial relations locally and internationally to the benefit of the targeted sectors.’
GIMI President, Dr. Joseph Shevel said: ‘This is a very good opportunity to make the positive change that we are looking to see for both Palestinians and Israelis. GIMI will work with PCARD to upgrade the trade experience, enhance the marketing knowledge and improve the quality and quantity of agriculture products for all participants in the project. I devote many thanks to the European Union for supporting this initiative.’
EU Ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret said: ‘Cross border cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians that benefits the lives and livelihoods of real people is an EU priority. We must not forget the road to peace always involves keeping dialogue and channels open, as well as building mutual trust. This is one of the building blocks that can help support a political solution to the conflict’.
This project is funded by the EU Peacebuilding Initiative, which aims to support and promote the conditions for a sustainable resolution of the Israeli-Arab conflict through civil society projects and citizens' positive engagement. The programme is divided into two parts, which: 1. aim to promote conditions for a negotiated settlement of the conflict via participatory civil engagement, and via enhanced mutual understanding, confidence and trust; 2. contribute to peacebuilding through joint work supporting socio-economic development and strategic cooperation.
Photo Janine Golan / the Galilee Institute.
- Written by Silvia G. Golan
The Academy for Young Diplomats was inaugurated on Monday October 26, in a virtual ceremony attended by hundreds of students, parents and educators. Later that week the academy held its first major event, a Model UN conference for 50 elementary school students on the topic of Human Rights and Drones.
The Academy for Young Diplomats, an initiative of the the Petah Tiqva municipality and overseen by Mrs. Rachel Amrani, will provide diplomatic training to outstanding elementary school students, including strengthening spoken English skills, MUN simulations, international relations debates and discussions with diplomats. This is believed to be the youngest age MUN and diplomacy training program in Israel. In total, several hundred students from a dozen classes around the city are being trained.
Mrs. Rachel Amrani, director of the Chen Young Ambassadors School and founding director of the Academy for Young Diplomats, opened the evening by welcoming all of the guests. She introduced Mrs. Tali Toledano, the director of the Elementary School division in Petah Tiqva, who then told the students how excited she was to have been part of this important initiative, and how much the teachers and principals were counting on the students. The mayor of Petah Tiqva, Mr. Rami Greenberg, addressed the students and reiterated the dedication of the city to supporting youth empowerment. Mr. Ron Katz, the head of the Education Department in Petah Tiqva also spoke, expressing his own support for this important initiative, and hope that it would continue to grow. Mr. Ohad Hursendi from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told the students about the importance of communication and learning different perspectives in conducting diplomacy.
Following the formal speeches, several alumni of the Young Ambassadors school spoke. The alumni, now university students or in army positions, talked about the skills and invaluable experiences they had gained through their time in the Young Ambassadors program, and wished they had had the opportunity to start in elementary school. Several principals of different schools also talked about their excitement to be able to offer this program to their students.
Just a few days later those diplomatic skills were on full display, as the first MUN conference of the year was held. 50 students from the first few schools to open the program: Bar Lev, Ein Ganim, and Haim Hefer, represented a range of countries as they discussed the merits and humanitarian concerns stemming from military and civilian use of drones. After an intense three hours of speeches, debates and negotiations, the committees were brought to a close with a roll call vote.
During the closing ceremony, Mrs. Amrani expressed her admiration for the hard work and exceptional diplomacy she had witnessed in the committees. She also thanked the dedicated chairs of the committees: Gaia Gol, Rotem Getraide, Maya Jerbi, Ameen Agbaria, Yehonatan Bashi, Itay Rechav, and Yoad Hershkovitz. The chairs of each committee seconded her words, stressing how impressed they were with the high-level debate from students at their very first MUN conference. Finally the award winners were announced: Inbar Levy (Brazil), Yoav Deane (Japan) and Talia Rupin Pinhas (Peru) received Outstanding Delegates and Lia Katsevman (Czech Republic), Yaara Gross (India), and Yonatan Oren (Ireland) received Best Delegate in the first committee. In the second committee, Yehuda Lavi (Australia), Lavi Golan (Estonia), Koren Druker (Poland) and Hadar Englandar (Slovenia) were the Outstanding Delegates, while Bar Swift (France) and Kfir Levita (United Kingdom) were the Best Delegates.
Naomi Fellert, who represented Germany, summarized the feeling for many first time students when she told Diplomacy.co.il that the conference was “a lot of fun...I learned many things and felt like it really helped me understand. I found the topic very interesting and worth studying. In retrospect I can’t believe that I was nervous to first join.”
Mrs. Rachel Amrani, the Director of the Academy for Young Diplomats, said that the academy was opened to start the education of a new generation of Israeli diplomats from an even earlier age, and provide them with the opportunities to learn and experience diplomacy. It offers a wide variety of lectures, programs, workshops, and a wide variety of simulations, and other learning opportunities. These lessons are meant to give students a greater understanding of what is going on in the world, in the UN, an understanding of international politics and the intricacies of the world of diplomacy, as well as improving the ability to discuss, analyze and express oneself, spoken English, debate, negotiation and decision-making.
The next MUN conference will be an international one, held on November 22 and examining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Photo credit: Academy for Young Diplomats
- Written by Silvia G. Golan
- Written by Spokesperson of the President's Office
“I’m running, too – running with you in body, heart and thought. Every woman who deals with breast cancer, every woman who gets better, is a whole world. A world of dreams, desires, loves, fears – of life! And anyone who saves a single life, a single woman like this – saves the entire world.”
“Please, go and get checked. Even now. Convince your partners to get checked. Your mothers, daughters, friends. Don’t let corona beat cancer. It isn’t just a check-up, not just another doctor’s appointment, it is a life-saver!”
President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin today, Monday 26 October / 8 Cheshvan, started the last kilometer of the “Gam Ani Ratza/I’m Running Too” race to mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
The president set the runners on their way – women who have and are recovering from breast cancer, for a run that marks the end of the “Running Around The World” awareness campaign for breast cancer. The runners set of for a celebratory run from the gates of Beit HaNasi with pink shirts to thank the thousands of Israelis who participated and ran over the last month to raise awareness of early screening for the disease.
To mark the occasion, the president wore a pink face mask and greeted the runners with pink ribbon on his lapel. The security guards of Beit HaNasi also wore pink masks and the walls of Beit HaNasi’s reception hall were lit with pink lighting.
“Gam Ani Ratza/I’m Running Too” is a national volunteer initiative of women’s running groups made up of those with and recovering from breast cancer.
Photo credit: Haim Zach (GPO)
- Written by Silvia G. Golan