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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

Mexico’s Ambassador to UNESCO Fired Over Infamous Jerusalem Resolution

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

Andrés Isaac Roemer Slomianski, Mexico’s 52-year-old Jewish ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, was fired over his reluctance to cast a ballot in favor of a resolution that denied the basic reality of his ancestry and that of his countrymen.

“For not having informed diligently and with meticulousness of the context in which the voting process occurred, for reporting to representatives of countries other than Mexico about the sense of his vote, and for making public documents and official correspondence subject to secrecy,” said an official statement released Monday (Oct. 17).

Jewish Mexican news site Enlace Judio took a philosophical tone over the news: “Andrés Roemer lost his job, but the vote of Mexico changed from “for” to “abstain” from the infamous resolution of UNESCO, which ignored the Jewish connection to the Temple Mount and the Wailing Wall.

“For the first time since 2010, Mexico has changed its consistent line of voting in favor of the Palestinian Arab bloc in UNESCO,” the site continued.

“Sadly, the Ambassador to UNESCO was sacrificed, but [he] managed to change a perennial tradition of sticking the Latin American bloc that eventually passed by a majority, an absurd and biased resolution.”

Roemer was poised Tuesday morning to trigger a special clause that would have forced a new vote on the Palestinian Authority’s proposed resolution entitled, “Occupied Palestine.” Mexico eventually settled simply for a statement on its wish to change its vote from “support” to “abstain.” Brazil did the same.

The UNESCO Executive Board went ahead and adopted the resolution, which erases for the world body, at least, the historic link between Jews, Jerusalem and the most sacred sites in Judaism: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. For Christians, it does the same, erasing the root from which their faith grew.

According to UN Watch, the Mexican envoy had received a clear instruction to vote “for the Palestinians,” despite the assurance from Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto that his nation would not support such a resolution.

But Israeli ambassador to UNESCO Carmel Shama-Hacohen said, “As a Jew his conscience would not allow him to vote for ignoring the historic and religious connection with the Temple Mount and the Western Wall…. It’s possible that his conscience-based decision will result in his being sent home and fired,” Shama-Hacohen added.

On Friday, as Roemer visited with his Israeli counterpart in the sukkah of the embassy in Paris, he told him he was thinking of quitting. Shama-Hacohen advised him to wait, and in a formal letter publicly thanked him for his bravery and his courage. Roemer had just arrived in Paris this summer.

The Mexican envoy is the grandson of a Viennese conductor who escaped from the Nazis and a man of many talents. He is a political analyst, an author and playwright, and has served as a consul general for Mexico in San Francisco. Distantly related to the humorist Art Buchwald, Roemer is also an attorney, an economist and the founder of a think tank. Many refer to him as a “Renaissance man.”

The resolution “runs counter to the reasons that justified [Jerusalem’s] inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list,” as the agency’s director-general, Irina Bokova herself pointed out in a statement last week. Bokova is now under double security in the wake of death threats that came in response to her remarks.

“The outstanding universal value of the City, and the reason why it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, lies in this synthesis, which is an appeal for dialogue, not confrontation,” she said. “We have a collective responsibility to strengthen this cultural and religious coexistence, by the power of acts and also by the power of words. This requirement is stronger than ever, to bridge the divisions that harm the multi-faith character of the Old City.

“When these divisions carry over into UNESCO, an Organization dedicated to dialogue and peace, they prevent us from carrying out our mission,” she added.

Even outgoing United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon stepped back from the precipice on this one, saying in a statement via his spokesperson last Friday, “ The Al Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram al Sharif, the sacred shrine of Muslims, is also the Har HaBayit — or Temple Mount — whose Western Wall is the holiest place in Judaism, a few steps away from the Saint Sepulchre church and the Mount of Olives, which is revered by Christians… any perceived undertaking to repudiate the undeniable common reverence for these sites does not serve the interests of peace and will only feed violence and radicalism.”

His spokesperson reiterated in response to a question from a reporter, “The Old City of Jerusalem and its Walls have an undeniable link to three religions: Christian, Jewish, Muslim. It includes holy sites that are revered by the followers of these three religions. Anything that is perceived as an undertaking to repudiate that fact does not serve the cause of peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

Dore Gold Resigns as Director-General of the MFA

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Director-General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Dore Gold has just resigned, citing personal reasons, according to Israeli sources.

Gold said, “I thank the Prime Minister for the trust given to me and I will continue to make myself available for any mission imposed on me in the future.
The Foreign Ministry General-Director role was a personal and professional summit in which I served on the diplomatic front.
I am grateful for the professional and dedicated employees of the Foreign Ministry, together with them we were led to Israel’s diplomatic struggles. During my service as Director-General, we had a boom in foreign relations led by the Prime Minister.
I feel proud of being a partner in this.
I wish great success to my replacement”

PM Netanyahu thanked Gold for his contributions in strengthening Israel’s political position in the world, including in Africa and the Middle East.

Gold is a close associate of Prime Minister Netanyahu and they have worked together for the past 25 years.

From 1997 to 1999, Gold served as the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.

From 2000, he served as the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

In May 2015, Netanyahu appointed him as Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the time Gold agreed to serve a maximum of 6 months.

He was born in 1953 in Hartford, Connecticut, in the United States, and now lives in Jerusalem with his wife and children.

Jewish Press News Briefs

President Rivlin Receives New Ambassadors from India, Chile, Myanmar, Estonia, Lesotho

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

President Rivlin this morning (Wednesday) at his residence received the diplomatic credentials of new ambassadors to Israel from the India, Chile, Myanmar, Estonia, and Lesotho. Each ceremony began with the raising of the flag and the playing of the national anthem of the visiting country, included an honor guard, and – after the presentation of the credentials – the signing of the guest book, before the playing of Israel’s national anthem ‘Hatikva’.

First to present his credentials was Ambassador of India, H.E Mr. Pavan Kapoor. President Rivlin welcomed the Ambassador, his wife, and delegation and said, “The relationship between our two nations and our two states is being spoken about all over, and the cooperation between us is not only about innovation where we are trying our best to tackle problems in agriculture and water, energy, but also cyber and the need for security. I know that we can expand this cooperation and your appointment is an opportunity to look at ways we can do so. I convey my best regards to the President and Prime Minister, and I hope that the Prime Minster will be able to visit Israel and that I will be able to visit India in the coming months.”

Ambassador Kapoor thanked the President and said, “We are working to take our relationship further. We have received Israel’s help in a number of areas including defense, agriculture and water where we suffer a lot – in our country we either have droughts or floods, and we have a lot we can learn from Israel.” The Ambassador added, “We are looking forward to your visit and are working on dates for what I believe will be a landmark visit.”

President Rivlin thanked him and concluded, “The Indian and Israeli people have a lot in common, we know how to respect tradition and to be ready to learn and bring innovation to our lives for the benefit of our people and the whole world.”

Next the newly appointed Ambassador of Chile, H.E Mrs. Monica Jimenez De La Jara presented her credentials. The President welcomed her and showed her a picture of him as Speaker of the Knesset together with former President of the Chilean Senate and daughter of former Chilean president Isabel Allende taken at an international conference in Santiago. The President congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment and said, “I know that coming here from having served as Ambassador to the Vatican, you will feel at home in Jerusalem which is the center of the Holy Land. I welcome you also as a former education minister and we know that everything one can bring to our people begins with education. We are doing all we can in Israel; while 90 years ago we had only one university, now we have more than 6 universities and many colleges that are giving the opportunity to every citizen of Israel to study. We believe that the future of all people is together with education.” The President spoke of the relationship between the two governments and added, “From time to time we have some differences of opinion but we know that the relationship between our two nations and governments is strong. We can accept criticism – we do not accept boycott – but we can accept criticism.”

The Ambassador of Chile thanked the President for his warm welcome and said, “I am honored to have come from the Holy See to the Holy Land. I greatly appreciate being in a country with so much university activity. We have visited the Weizmann Institute, and the Hebrew University and we have plans to visit many more. We would like to have an academic delegation from Chile to reinforce the academic and research relations.”

She added, “I have worked all my life for peace. I know the situation in the Middle East is very difficult but Chile is ready with an open hand to do all it can to advance peace.”

Next, Ambassador of Myanmar, H.E Mr. Maung Maung Lynn arrived to present his credentials. The President welcomed him, his wife and delegation and said, “Mr. Ambassador, I remember as a student in High School when the Prime Minister of your country, U Nu, came to visit Israel, and then as a soldier in the IDF I remember Israel’s first Prime Minister Ben Gurion visited your country and brought back a great appreciation for your people and your culture. We are very proud of our connection and our relationship with your people. The Foreign Ministry started the idea of MASHAV in your country, the idea of connecting with other nations through learning together and sharing our knowledge about water for example. We also know that many Jews found shelter in your country until the outbreak of war. I want to congratulate you on the recent democratic elections in your country, which make Myanmar stronger.”

Ambassador Lynn thanked the President and noted, “It is a great pleasure to be here. I am here with my family and my daughter who will study here, and we have visited much of the country.”

Next, Ambassador of Estonia, H.E Mr. Sulev Kannike presented his credentials. The President congratulated him on his appointment and said, “We appreciate the wonderful relationship between our states and governments, and we appreciate your support for Israel in the international arena on so many issues, as well as the participation of Estonia in peace keeping efforts in the region. We appreciate also the understanding of Estonia on Holocaust education in your schools and among your people. In the field of cyber we are working together, in order to keep safe people in the region, and across Europe and the world.” The President added, “Please send my special wishes to your Foreign Minister who served as Ambassador of Estonia in Israel.”

Ambassador Kannike thanked the President and said, “I am happy to convey the greetings of my President who visited Israel in 2012. Bilateral relations between Israel and Estonia are almost without problems. We understand each other very well, and this is important for us. In July next year Estonia is taking over the Presidency of the European Union and I hope this will help us improve not only our bilateral relations but also our multilateral relations. I also express my appreciation for Israel’s work in cyber security and startups – an area in which Estonia is also working hard.”

Ambassador of Lesotho, H.E Mrs. Lineo Irene Molisa-Mabusela then presented her credentials as non-resident Ambassador to Israel. President Rivlin congratulated the Ambassador on her appointment and stressed, “The relationship between our two nations is very important to us and despite any crises, we have maintained uninterrupted relations.” The President spoke of the important cooperation between the nations in the fields of agriculture and water innovation, he said, “We would like to see more of your students come to study through MASHAV especially here in Israel.” The President added, “Israel would be pleased to return to its observer status at the African Union.”

Ambassador thanked the President and said “Allow me to pass the warmest wishes of His Majesty and the people of Lesotho. We are appreciative of the wonderful relations between our two countries, and we would like to work to open new channels of communication including in the fields of healthcare, agriculture, water and many others.”

Jewish Press Staff

FM Director-General Dore Gold Thanks Norway For Blocking Payments to Jailed Arab Terrorists

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold thanked Norway on Sunday for blocking foreign aid payments that were being used to funnel funds to Arab terrorists by the Palestinian Authority.

Gold spoke with the Norwegian Ambassador Jon Hanssen-Bauer in order to express Israel’s appreciation with the decision taken by Norway’s Foreign Minister Børge Bren regarding Norway’s financial contribution to the Palestinian Authority’s coffers.

Norway has made clear that under no circumstances would it contribute funds that would be transferred to support convicted terrorists and their families.

D-G Gold stated that Israel supports aid to the Palestinian Authority — as long as such aid does not incentivize terrorism.

“It is outrageous that killing Israelis has become a source of income for many in the PA,” Gold said. “This completely contradicts what peace is all about. These payments incentivize terrorism and must be stopped,” he added.

Earlier this month, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende met with PA leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and told him that the “extensive support program” of his government, making payments to security prisoners (terrorists) in Israeli jails, is unacceptable and should stop.

The payment program was first exposed by the Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) watchdog organization in 2011.

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu Reveals Threat That Moved Egypt to Rescue Staff at Israeli Embassy in Cairo

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed Tuesday that only the threat of Israel sending its own commandos to rescue its embassy staff in Cairo moved then-President Mohammed Morsi to send Egyptian forces to save them.

Speaking at a Foreign Ministry ceremony to commemorate Israeli diplomats killed abroad in the line of duty, Netanyahu recalled the night when a mob of Egyptians rampaged unchecked through Israel’s embassy offices.

The six remaining security guards at the time were holed up in a safe room behind a sturdy metal door, on the phone with Prime Minister Netanyahu that night in September 2011. “Yoni, the State of Israel will get you out of there,” the prime minister told the head of security on the phone at the time.

But Israel never publicly revealed its own intervention in the matter, instead giving the credit – and the subsequent kudos on television – to U.S. President Barack Obama.

On Tuesday, the facade came to an end and for the first time, Netanyahu revealed that it was through the threat of sending Israeli commandos the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Egyptian president was persuaded to send in his own crack troops to resolve the problem.

“A mob came to slaughter our people, and we used all the tools at our disposal that night, including the threat of rescue operation by the IDF, which finally tipped the balance and led the Egyptian forces — then under the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood, together with careful coordination from here — that ultimately led to the successful conclusion of this event,” Netanyahu told Foreign Ministry staff.

He acknowledged that the service is no picnic for its staff, noting that 16 foreign service officers have been killed abroad since 1948.

“Our representatives are there to deflect political and propaganda attacks, and precisely because of this they are liable to turn into targets for physical attacks,” he said.

Netanyahu is currently serving both as prime minister and as foreign minister in Israel. He also served as foreign minister from 2002 to 2003 under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and from 2012 to 2013. He served as Israeli ambassador to the United Nations between 1984 and 1988, and as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington DC from 1982 to 1984.

Update: Defusing a potential international crisis, the Prime Minister’s office has issued a clarification stating that Israel’s intention at the time was to run a “coordinated” operation with the Egyptian army, and not to take unilateral action. The Prime Minister thanked the Egyptian army for handling the matter responsibly leading to a resolution to the problem.

Hana Levi Julian

Italy Hopes Netanyahu Will Reconsider Ambassadorial Choice for Rome

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has sent a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, quietly asking him to reconsider his choice for Israel’s ambassador to Rome.

Last week, however, a senior Foreign Ministry official said the appointment of former Italian parliamentarian Fiamma Nirenstein, 71, has passed the Civil Service Commission.

Nirenstein was appointed to the post by Netanyahu last August. Sources in the Italian foreign ministry and Renzi’s office both said they do not wish to create a crisis over the issue, but they have expressed concern, according to a report published in Haaretz.

A right-wing member of the Italian parliament from 2008-2013, Nirenstein served as the deputy head of the foreign affairs committee after a career as a journalist. She moved to Israel three years ago, but her son still serves in a senior position in the Italian intelligence arena.

The Italian government has said it will not strongly oppose the appointment if Netanyahu insists. But the question of Nirenstein’s duality and her knowledge of sensitive Italian government information makes things awkward for Rome. As a former MP, she receives an Italian government pension and will continue to do so, even after becoming an Israeli ambassador.

In addition, there are concerns by the Italian Jewish community about the way her appointment might impact on their own lives. Might their fellow Italian citizens or government officials begin to question their own loyalty as a result of Nirenstein’s new role?

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli FM Director Dore Gold Travels to Turkey in Aftermath of Bombing

Sunday, March 20th, 2016

Senior Foreign Ministry official Dore Gold has cut short his visit to the United States and is traveling to Turkey following the terror attack that killed three Israelis on Saturday morning in Istanbul.

Three Israelis and an Iranian were killed along with the terrorist; 39 people were wounded, including 11 Israelis.

Gold was in the U.S. to attend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference.

Instead, he will visit wounded Israeli citizens who are hospitalized in Istanbul, and then meet with Turkish officials, according to Turkish media.

Numerous foreign consulates are located along Istiklal Street and around the immediate area where the attack took place.

This past Wednesday Germany closed its consulate and school in Istanbul due to credible security threats, according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.

The U.S. State Department condemned the attack in a statement released by spokesperson John Kirby.

“The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack today on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of those killed and our hopes for a quick recovery for those wounded,” the statement read.

“We will remain in close touch with Turkish authorities during the investigation. The United States stands in solidarity with our NATO Ally Turkey in combating the common threat of terrorism.

“This vicious attack is the latest in a series of indefensible violence targeting innocent people throughout Turkey – Turkish citizens and international visitors alike. These acts of terrorism only reinforce our determination to support all those across the region working to promote peace and reconciliation,” the statement said.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also condemned the attack in a written statement saying there can be no justification for terrorism. He said, “NATO allies stand united with Turkey, determined to fight against terrorism.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also condemned the attack.

“I strongly condemn this despicable and cowardly act that has caused the death of several people,” Ayrault said in a statement, adding Paris stands in solidarity with Turkey.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) meanwhile has launched disciplinary proceedings against its media director and women’s bureau chief Irem Aktas, who tweeted on Saturday after the Istanbul suicide bombing, “Let the wounded Israeli citizens be worse, I wish they all died.”

Hatice Yücel, who heads Istanbul’s Eyüp district women’s branch, tweeted that the comments of party member Irem Aktas did not reflect AKP’s viewpoint. The tweet was deleted and Aktas’ social media accounts were shut down. The disciplinary proceedings against Aktas could result in her dismissal from the party, Yücel added.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-fm-director-dore-gold-travels-to-turkey-in-aftermath-of-bombing/2016/03/20/

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