Israel impresses at Shanghai’s Expo 2010

"Visitors can learn Israel's success story."

By JERUSALEM POST STAFF
May 2, 2010 03:47
2 minute read.
Herzog stands outside the Israel stand at Expo 201

Herzog china 311. (photo credit: Consulate General of Israel in Shanghai)

Visitors flocked to the Israeli stand in the Expo 2010 Shanghai China exhibition that opened on Saturday.

Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog was the Israeli government representative at the exhibition, which will be open through October 31.

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The Israeli stand roused great interest from both media outlets and the large crowds of visitors. There were long lines of people eager to see Israel’s trailblazing technological achievements, and learn about its history and culture. The organizers estimated that about 3.5 million people would visit the Israeli stand during the coming months.

Herzog said the government’s decision to take part in Expo 2010 was a first-rate strategic success. The costs of Israel’s participation amounted to $40 million.

“The increased interest people take in the Israeli stand allows many of the exhibition’s visitors to learn that Israel is a success story on many levels and to be impressed by the country’s achievements,” he said. After each time a video clip was shown at the stand, there was thunderous applause, Herzog’s spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.

Herzog was invited to visit the Palestinian stand, where he was warmly greeted by the organizer.

He also visited the Moroccan stand, which highlighted items such as mezuzot and Jewish religious texts as part of Morocco’s cultural heritage.

Herzog also visited the US stand, where the opening video clip included a message from President Barack Obama to the Chinese people.

Expo 2010 has as it slogan “Better City – Better Life” and focuses on urban living in the 21st century. More than 240 participants, including countries and various global organizations, are taking part. Israel decided in 2007 that it would participate.

The Israeli stand was designed by leading Tel Aviv architect Haim Dotan, whose mother was born in Shanghai. Chinese media outlets took great interest in Dotan’s life story, according to Herzog’s spokeswoman.

She told the Post that Herzog was impressed that the Chinese government was very interested in strengthening ties with Israel in many fields, including technology, agriculture and welfare, and wanted to learn from Israel’s experience in sending assistance to disaster sites.

The Chinese deputy prime minister told Herzog that the Chinese and Jewish peoples shared ancient cultures and he hoped that mutual cooperation would only increase with time.

Herzog was also warmly greeted by students at the Beijing University, when he gave a speech.


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