PARIS – Prince Albert II of Monaco celebrated Israel’s 70th Independence Day in a lavish event last week, ahead of his receiving of an honorary doctorate from Tel Aviv University planned for June 12.Prince Albert arrived Wednesday evening to an Independence Day reception, organized by the Israel-Monaco Friendship Association. Some 300 guests, including local businesspeople, government officials and representatives of the Jewish community also attended the event, which took place at the luxurious Monaco Yacht Club, situated on the principality’s beautiful port beach. Israeli Nobel Laureate Prof. Dan Shechtman also traveled to Monaco for the reception.Ambassador to France and Monaco Aliza Bin-Noun told The Jerusalem Post: “The reception was very moving. Prince Albert stayed throughout the evening and made an extremely Israel-friendly speech where he commented on the two countries’ warm relations, emphasizing his engagement to reinforce bilateral ties. He also spoke about his commitment to continue battling antisemitism in Europe – a subject which is apparently of great importance to him. In fact, the prince has made several statements in recent years to that effect.“I, myself, felt very welcome in Monaco, and this welcoming atmosphere continued during the performance of [Israeli singer] Idan Raichel, much applauded by the people present. Monegasque decision- makers, important businesspeople and, of course, representatives of the local Jewish community here all arrived in support of Israel.”Bin-Noun added that the Israel-Monaco Friendship Association, established last February, already includes some 400 members, many of whom participated at the reception. “The association offers a deeper dimension of the relationship between Israel and Monaco, mostly based on common environmental and economic interests. Monaco appreciates Israel’s ecological, green technologies – this is a topic that definitely brings us closer,” she said.Indeed, Prince Albert has been engaged for many years in campaigns geared toward protecting the environment, and particularly protecting marine ecosystems.In December, Tel Aviv University held in Monaco – in collaboration with the Prince Albert II Foundation – a symposium titled “World Changing Solutions to Environmental Challenges,” dedicated to smart cities, biodiversity and ecology. The symposium brought together TAU friends, governors, senior officials and academics from Israel and Europe.Prince Albert is expected to receive an honorary doctorate from the university on June 12 for his commitment to protecting the environment.In March, the Brussels-based European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation bestowed its European Medal of Tolerance on Prince Albert for his apology for his country’s treatment of Jews during the Holocaust, among other actions.Similar apologies were made over the years by France, Italy and Belgium, but diplomatic sources stress that the prince made his apology though little public pressure was applied to him on the topic. In 2015, the prince acknowledged Monaco’s role in rounding up and deporting 66 Jews in 1942.