"Israel – Today and Tomorrow"-1.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
"Israel – Today and Tomorrow"
Over 15,000 people attended "Israel – Today and Tomorrow", a gala event hosted by KKL-JNF in Paris, France on Sunday, February 2. The event, one of the largest of its kind in the history of French Jewry, presented various aspects of life in Israel, from agriculture to hi-tech, culture and art. It took place at Brongniart Palace and was attended by KKL-JNF leaders, Israeli government ministers, presidents of the CRIF and the Consistory, mayors and prominent Jewish community leaders.
In expectation of protests by anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations, French police took no chances, closing streets and stationing snipers on nearby rooftops to ensure the participants' safety. However, the demonstrators outside the conference hall could not dampen the warm atmosphere and sense of connection between KKL-JNF, Israel and France that was literally palpable as soon as conference participants walked in the door.
The opening of the conference was emceed by Dr. Robert Zbili, co-chairman of KKL-JNF France. He introduced KKL-JNF World Chairman Efi Stenzler, who said that "KKL-JNF France is an iron bridge between Israel and the French Jewish community. The exhibition here provides an opportunity to see a small part of what KKL-JNF does. Thanks to KKL-JNF, whoever immigrates to Israel today comes to a greener and better country."
Referring to the demonstrations outside the conference hall, Stenzler said, "Whoever wants to see Israel's true face can look at the facts. Whoever wants to boycott can keep yelling slogans outside. Demonstrations and boycotts will not deter us. Quite the contrary – they only serve to reinforce our belief in the path we have chosen."
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