Diplomacy is an art that is spread over many fields of endeavor, often in areas
of which the general public is largely unaware, but it is a vital tool in
cementing relations between different countries.
Diplomats do not always
receive the recognition due to them, although in Israel this lacuna is being
amended via various organizations and institutions that are dedicated to
providing activities for diplomats.
The Jerusalem Post has joined in this
effort, and on December 12, a few days after the paper celebrates its 80th
anniversary, will under the auspices of The Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Club host
a convention at the Daniel Hotel, Herzliya, in which speakers will include
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro, former foreign
minister Tzipi Livni (who will have decided by then whether she is running for
the Knesset) and former Israel Air Force commander Ido Nehushtan.
ENGLAND, an organization known as the Grassroot Diplomat Initiative rewards
diplomats and local politicians for outstanding work done for and support given
to civil society within the context of bridging the gap between civil society,
government officials and diplomatic activities. Awards are given out in three
categories: Policy Driver Award, Social Driver Award and Business Driver Award.
Thirty-eight politicians and diplomats have been nominated for these awards, and
on the short list in the Business Driver category is Israel’s ambassador to the
Court of St. James Daniel Taub, who has been nominated for supporting young
startups and entrepreneurs in the Bizcamp Tel Aviv competition organized by the
City of Tel Aviv and Israel’s Foreign Affairs Ministry. Bizcamp’s 10- day
itinerary is formed around a series of business meetings and workshops with
Israel’s most successful start-up entrepreneurs, tech investors and leading
multinational tech firms. The awards ceremony will be held in January.
IN ADDITION to accompanying Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle to meetings with
Israeli dignitaries this week, German Ambassador Andreas Michaelis also made a
point of going to Kiryat Malachi on Tuesday to meet with Orly Gal, the CEO of
Natal, the Israeli Trauma Center for Victims of Terror and War, and to present
her with a check for NIS 250,000 which been pledged by Germany’s Ministry for
Foreign Affairs for the treatment of children and youth suffering the traumatic
effects of constant rocket fire.
Michaelis met with several Natal
therapists and inspected the damage caused to buildings that had been struck by
■ EVEN DURING a period of hostilities, “protekzia”
(connections), Israel’s perennial dooropener, is at the forefront. On the night
that United Nation’s Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon came to the President’s
Residence to meet with President Shimon Peres, several members of his entourage
wondered who the little boy was that was sitting in the front row in the
reception hall. The child was Aharon Meir, the son of Channel 2’s Sivan Rahav
Meir, who had been brought by his father, journalist Yedidya Meir, to see how
In many work places staff is not allowed to bring children
to VIP events, but given Rahav Meir’s standing, Aharon was not only permitted
attend, but given a front row seat, although his father, who sat behind him,
commanded him to go to the end of the row so he would be out of range of TV
camera crews. Presidential staff members treated little Aharon like
Included in Ban’s entourage was Terje Larsen, who 20 years ago
paved the way for the Oslo Accords and who currently serves as UN
under-secretary general, and Israel’s permanent representative to the UN
Ambassador Ron Prosor. The group stayed to have dinner with Peres and the room
was decorated in blue and white, not just in deference to national sentiments
but because the UN flag is also blue and white – albeit a different shade of
■ MANY INDIVIDUALS and organizations have gone to great lengths to
help people of the South by distributing toys, food and furnishings; making
cultural and leisure institutions in other parts of the country available to
them free of charge; and arranging accommodation for those who need to get away.
In some places, residents of southern communities could also have free travel on
public transportation so long as they could prove they were from the
As commendable as all these actions are, too many of the
do-gooders were also interested in getting mileage out of their good deeds.
Media outlets and individual journalists have been flooded with press releases
with follow-up phone calls from PR agencies about what this or that organization
is doing to bring some happiness and relief to the traumatized residents of the
South. Likewise, academic institutions have been quick to release names and
contact details of experts who could talk to the media about Gaza and the
hostilities – as if they could say more than members of the government who are
regularly briefed by Israeli Intelligence.
■ SIGNS OF economic recovery
in the US, Hurricane Sandy not withstanding, were reflected in the $1 million
raised this week for the Rabin Medical Center at the $1,000-aplate gala dinner
held at Cipriani on New York City’s 42nd Street, where the gourmet fare was
kosher and the entertainment included the Alvin Ailey American Dance
One of the highlights of the evening was a discussion on
security featuring Ami Ayalon, former commander in chief of the Israel Navy, who
was subsequently head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and more recently
a former Labor MK; and New York City Police commissioner Raymond
Kelly. The two were interviewed by acclaimed interviewer and broadcast
journalist Charlie Rose, who was master of ceremonies.
The event in aid
of the trauma center currently under construction at RMC was attended by more
than 600 Friends of the Rabin Medical Center as well as RMC CEO Dr.
Halpern and president of the Friends of RMC Nava Barak. Given the situation at
the beginning of the week, the dinner guests were more than eager to year
Ayalon’s assessment of Operation Defensive Shield.
■ WOMEN HAVE long
struggled to find their place in a man’s world, but now men are trying to find
their place in a woman’s world.
Beauty contests have until now been the
domain of the fairer sex. But at the annual Girl of the Year Beauty Contest
taking place at the Haifa Grand Canyon this coming Monday, there will also be a
contest for the Boy of the Year, with eight young male finalists competing for
the title as compared to 16 females. Grand Canyon CEO Michael Savyon says that
for the 13 years in which the contest has been going, the idea was to promote
beauty and modeling in the northern region of the country. But this year, in
view of the fact that so many companies in the center of the country are using
male models, it was decided to give the boys a chance
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