Tomorrow our President Shimon Peres will be meeting with President Obama to receive the “Presidential Medal of Freedom. This award will be presented at a gala event (he is evidently not the only one to get it) and we are proud for him. But for us another fact is important. Peres has said he will make personal efforts to persuade President Obama to commute the sentence of Jonathan Pollard who so many years ago gave Israel details of Iraq’s military powers (which did not hurt America or any Americans) and received a life sentence for his “spying”, a sentence much greater than any other American ever received for a similar crime. This time we are all praying that his appeal will be granted.
A few lines now about Israel’s diplomatic service, because lately, especially in an effort to combat growing anti-Israel sentiments in Norway, the Foreign Ministry has appointed a Druze Arab as ambassador to Oslo, and as his deputy an Arab career diplomat (Naim Araudi) and they will be joined by a Christian Arab who is currently deputy ambassador to Nigeria. Hopefully this will give some idea about the real co-existance between Arabs and Jews in Israel.
A Global Counter-terrorism Forum (GCTF) took place in Istanbul in Turkey on Friday, but despite Israel’s having one of the most extensive counter-terrorism experiences in the world, our country was excluded because of fierce objections by the Turkish President Erdogan. The GCTF was established in September 2011 and there are 29 countries participating, 10 of which are Muslim and/or Arab countries, so naturally there weren’t many objections to Israel’s non-participation – strangely enough the U.S.A. agreed (maybe because the forum took place in Turkey?)
Like every year, there is now taking place what we call “The week of the Hebrew book” in Israel. For about 12 days there are stalls in open spaces in most towns where books are sold at very cheap prices, and some Israeli authors even come to sign their own books which are sold. But lately some authors have been complaining about the cheap rices, because their income is seriously lowered. But it is good that so many people and children still read books , and the book stalls are full every day. With that I close my blog today. Shalom from Irene