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Mission Press Releases

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    ISRAELI FOOD WEEK
     
    Celebrating Israel's 65th Independence Day, the Embassy of Israel and the Hyatt Regency Hotel, are proud to present an Israeli Food Week, a special culinary presentation by celebrity Chef Zachi Bukshester.
     
    Chef Zachi Bukshester, one of the pioneers of haute cuisine in Israel and a host of numerous popular cooking shows, is considered an authority on the modern Israeli palate. Chef Bukshester, together with Chef and Food Stylist Eran Zino and the Hyatt Hotel Chef, will be preparing various delicacies from the land of Milk and Honey, to be served throughout the Israeli Food Week at the Hyatt Regency Café Restaurant, from 15-21st April, 2013.
     
    Click here for more information and hi-res pics.
     
    *****
     

    For the show's clip click here
    For hi-res pics click here
     
    Actors and performers Nir Landa and Renana Lotem-Ophir will be in Delhi from Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
     
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    Foundation Stone laid for an Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Pomegranates In Bassi
     
    New Delhi, 7th March 2013: During a two day visit to Jaipur by Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Alon Ushpiz, a foundation stone for an Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Pomegranates was laid in Bassi, Rajasthan. Hundreds of farmers as well as senior officials of the Government of Rajasthan attended the ceremony, led by Rajasthan's Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Haraji Ram Burdak, and the Ambassador. 
     
    Earlier today, Ambassador Ushpiz met with the honourable Chief Minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot, and discussed with him cooperation between Israel and Rajasthan, namely in the fields of agriculture and water. 
     
    In agriculture, three Indo-Israel CoEs are in various stages of development in Rajasthan, for transfer and adaptation of Israeli technologies and know-how to farmers in the state. In addition to Bassi, a centre dedicated for citrus is in the works in Kota, and in Jaislamer, Israeli experts are working together with local counterparts on prototypes of palm trees, in an aim to develop a date growing industry in the state. In addition to these Government initiatives, a private sector venture of Israeli olive plantations has started to bear fruit in various sites across the state. 
     
    As both Israel and Rajasthan have similar climate conditions and suffer from water scarcity, Israeli companies have been working in the state to utilize Israel's world renowned expertise in the field to tackle one of Rajasthan's major challenges. In his meetings in Jaipur, Israel's Ambassador discussed ways to further enhance tie-ups and collaboration in this field. 
     
    During his visit to Jaipur, Ambassador Ushpiz also met Rajasthan's Governor, Ms. Margaret Alva, Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Haraji Ram Burdak, and Minister of Revenue and Water Resources, Mr. Hemaram Choudhary. Ambassador Ushpiz also hosted a cocktail together with FICCI for business leaders in the city. He also spoke at Step by Step high school and played a match with the school basketball team.
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    Israel to Display Innovative Aero-Space, Defence and Security Technologies at Aero-India 2013
     
    New Delhi, 4 January, 2013: Israel's National Pavilion at Aero-India 2013 in Bangalore will display an exciting array of some of Israel's most innovative defence companies. The Pavilion, one of the largest in Aero-India 2013, is hosted by SIBAT, Israel's Defence Cooperation Authority, a branch of the Ministry of Defence.
     
    Representing one of the world's most advanced air powers, the State of Israel entrusts much of its security to its indigenously grown and developed aerospace and defence systems. The unique advantages of Israel's aerospace and defence industries are based on rapid development cycles, implementing innovative and practical solutions. These innovations are marked by cutting edge technologies, ongoing investments in research and development and the unique talents of a skilled workforce, the majority having gained combat experience during their military service.
     
    Exceptional systems developed by Israel's aerospace and defence industries, including the airborne early warning radar, currently being installed on Israel Air Force special mission jets, Medium Altitude Long Endurance (MALE) Unmanned aerial systems, pursuing persistent surveillance over a wide area, and advanced air defence missile systems, are only few of the strategic systems developed for Israel's Defence Forces, which are currently released for export.
     
    Further developments include tactical systems such as the most advanced precision guided weapons and missiles, avionics equipment, state-of-the-art command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance equipment, and highly sophisticated protection systems, ranging from active electronic countermeasures, electronic warfare systems, decoys and passive armor system.
     
    Among the systems which will be on display in Bangalore are some that have been used successfully under highly challenging combat operations, proving the effectiveness and reliability of Israel's defence systems. One of the highlights that will be displayed for the first time in India, is the 'Iron Dome' system, the indigenously developed, game-changing – first of its type – missile interception system. The 'Iron Dome' recently performed with notable distinction protecting over half of Israel's population from a barrage of over 1500 rockets and missiles.
     
    The Director General of Israel's Ministry of Defence, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Udi Shani, who will lead the Israeli delegation at Aero-India 2013, noted: "In our region, necessity has been the mother of creativity and Israel's defence industries are the living embodiment of this statement. With hard work, years of intense investment in R&D and creativity which stems from our unique situation here; our defence industries lead the way in an array of fields. We look forward to sharing these resourceful ideas and innovative systems with our Indian friends once again in Bangalore".
     
    The Ambassador of Israel, H.E. Mr. Alon Ushpiz, stated: "Israel and India share a wide array of security challenges. The cooperation in these fields between Israel and India has been an integral part of our ever-growing multifaceted relationship. The Israeli defence industries participating in Aero-India 2013 are no-doubt the best in the world, and we are extremely proud to showcase them in Bangalore".
     
    *****
     
     
    9 States Attend Indo-Israel Vegetable Seminar in Karnal
     
    New Delhi, 5 December, 2012: Horticulture experts from 9 States across India are  participating in the first Seminar on vegetable cultivation at the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Karnal, Haryana. The seminar, led by the Haryana Department of Horticulture and the Embassy of Israel, is hosting 30 experts from 9 States in which similar Indo-Israel Centres of Excellence (CoE’s) are in progress. These include Haryana, UP, Karnataka, Punjab, Rajasthan, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and West Bengal. 
     
    One of Israel’s leading specialists in vegetable cultivation, Ms. Shelly Gantz, as well as the Embassy Agriculture Attaché, Mr. Uri Rubinstein, are on the ground sharing and exchanging knowledge with their Indian counterparts, on implementation of Israeli technology and knowhow related to protected cultivation of tomatoes, cucumbers, capsicum and chilly, with an emphasis on out-of-season vegetable production.
     
    At the opening ceremony, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of Israel, Mr. Yahel Vilan, referred to the CoE in Karnal as “the jewel in the crown” of the agriculture cooperation between Israel and India. “The participants, who came to the seminar from 9 States, are taking part in the unprecedented effort to establish 30 Indo-Israel CoE’s across India in the next 3 years”, Mr. Vilan added.
     
     *****
    Famous Israeli Jaffa orange variety to be presented in Haryana
     
    20 experts from across India will learn Israeli citrus growing technologies in a first-of-its-kind seminar
    New Delhi, 26 October, 2012: The Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Fruits in Mangiana, near Sirsa, Haryana, will host the first citrus cluster seminar on Sunday for 20 representatives from CoEs from four states across India. As part of the Indo-Israel cooperation in Agriculture Agreement, citrus experts from Maharashtra, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, will come together in Mangiana to share interstate knowledge and experience, along with acquiring Israeli knowhow and technologies in citrus growing. These include modern nursery procedures, modern production of seedlings, young plant pruning and shaping, fertigation, tree spacing regime and ridge planting.
     
    The seminar participants will also observe first-hand citrus varieties from Israel which were introduced and planted in the Mangiana Centre, such as the world famous Jaffa orange, the Michal easy peeler, the late harvested Valencia and the early harvested Newhall oranges. These proven varieties have been successfully grown in Israel and exported around the world, and have become a symbol of Israeli agricultural excellence. They are expected to diversify the citrus varieties grown in India, significantly expand the orange harvest period in India from October to May and thereby substantially increase the farmers’ income and decrease the need to import citrus fruits from abroad.
     
    The citrus Seminar will be hosted by Dr. Satyavir Singh, Director General Horticulture & Dr. Arjun Singh Saini, Additional Director Horticulture, Dept. Of Horticulture, Government of Haryana. The workshops will be lead by one of Israel’s leading citrus experts, Mr. Dov Rabber, together with the Indo-Israel citrus cluster head, Dr. Dewanand Panchbhai, Professor of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, Nagpur University.
     
    Mr. Uri Rubinstein, Agriculture Counselor in the Embassy of Israel in New Delhi, a citrus grower himself who will also take part in the seminar, said that this is a promising start for cooperation between agriculture experts from different states across India who are involved in the Indo-Israel agriculture cooperation program. “Our purpose is not only to share Israeli knowledge with our counterparts in India, but also to make sure that this knowledge is shared and discussed between experts from the different States, and successfully implemented by farmers across India”, Rubinstein added.
    *****
    Israel to cooperate with Punjab on crop diversification and water management
     
    New Delhi, 19 October, 2012: Israel will take part in Punjab’s efforts to diversify its agricultural crops and to improve production. These issues were discussed between the Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr. Prakash Singh Badal, and the Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Alon Ushpiz, in their meeting in Chandigarh on Thursday evening.
     
    The cooperation between Israel and Punjab in agriculture, part of the Indo-Israel joint work plan, will be implemented in two Centres of Excellence that are being set up in the State, one for vegetables in Khatarpur, and one for fruits in Khanaura. Both sides are expecting to inaugurate these Centres in March 2013. In addition, Chief Minister Badal and Ambassador Ushpiz discussed the transfer of Israeli knowhow and expertise to Punjab in the fields of post-harvest and grain storage technologies, fishery and dairy farming. This will be done on both the Government and the private sector level.
     
    Furthermore, the Chief Minister and the Ambassador discussed utilizing Israeli private sector expertise in fields which are critical to Punjab such as water management, sewage treatment, groundwater treatment and urban water challenges. Ambassador Ushpiz invited Chief Minister Badal to visit Israel to attend Watec, one of the world’s largest water technology conferences, in October 2013.
    During his visit to Chandigarh, Ambassador Ushpiz called on the Governor of Punjab, Mr. Shivraj Patil, and discussed with him the strengthening of economic and trade ties between Israel and India. Governer Patil said that India and Israel have long standing bilateral relations based on shared democratic and social values, and stressed upon the need to join hands to cooperate in various fields, such as science, technology and renewable energy.
     
    Ambassador Ushpiz also paid a visit to the Khalsa Heritage Centre in Anandpur Sahib, which was designed by Israeli born architect, Moshe Safdie. The Ambassador expressed his admiration for the lucid and compelling manner with which the museum showcases the glorious Sikh heritage.  
     
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    India and Israel Launch Joint Academic Research Program
     
    New Delhi, 2 August, 2012: In yet another academic boost to Indo-Israeli ties, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed today between the University Grants Commission of India (UGC) and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), launching the “India-Israel Joint Research Program”. This three year program aims to bring together Indian and Israeli scientists and researchers to carry forward together academic research in areas of mutual interest. The program was initiated during the recent visit of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to Israel, during his meeting with Israel's Minister of Finance, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Israel's Minister of Education, Mr. Gideon Sa'ar and Israel's Chairman of the Planning and Budgeting Committee, Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg. Both sides perceive this program as one of the key components of the 20 years celebration of full diplomatic relations between the two countries.
     
    The India-Israel Joint Research Program will support collaborative academic research projects between Indian and Israeli researchers, focusing on a broad disciplinary scope, including life sciences and medicine, technologies, social sciences, humanities and arts. The program will also advance joint scientific conventions on various fields. Israeli and Indian academic teams that wish to conduct joint research should submit a joint application to their respective funding agencies. Support would be up to USD 100,000 per research for a period of three years.
     
    The signing of the MoU concluded a two day seminar that took place in New Delhi, in which delegations of senior academic leaders from India and Israel participated. UGC Chairman, Prof. Ved Prakash, headed the Indian Delegation, while ISF Chairman, Prof. Benjamin Geiger, led a 5 member delegation from Israel. The forum provided a platform for leading institutes from both countries to exhibit their academic skills and to forge new ties by entering into strategic partnership with their counterparts.
     
    After the signing ceremony, Ambassador of Israel to India, Mr. Alon Ushpiz said: “Both Israel and India host some of the most cutting edge academic institutions in the world, and the linking of our researchers together comes only naturally. Joint academic research between Israeli and Indian scientists serves as the core platform of our intensive cooperation in agriculture technologies, high tech, clean tech and much more. This is an indispensable layer in keeping Israel and India at the forefront of the world’s scientific and technological R&D and innovation”.
     
    *****
    India ‘Likes’ Israel
     
    Israel’s Facebook page in India ranks in top 3 foreign country pages
     
    New Delhi, 14 June, 2012: The ISRAEL in INDIA Facebook page, launched by the Embassy of Israel in August 2010, has received almost 20,000 ‘likes’, a figure surpassed only by the pages of the US and the UK. Two decades after India and Israel established full diplomatic relations, ties between the two nations are extending far beyond traditional diplomacy. Less than two years after the Israeli Embassy in New Delhi launched its activity on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and other virtual platforms, Israel managed to gain exceptional popularity in the Indian social media arena.
     
    The Embassy of Israel has recently also launched a new dynamic website, which provides frequent updates on Israeli activities in India as well as a fresh and young look at Israel’s vibrant and pluralistic society, history, culture and economy. Thousands have visited the new website, as well as the ISRAEL in INDIA Facebook page, to learn about Indo-Israel agriculture cooperation, economic and business ties, various Israeli cultural events taking place across India, education opportunities, tourism information and more. These platforms also enable direct and informal interaction between Indians and Israelis. The Embassy also operates specialized websites in Hindi and in Urdu.
     
    “These results are impressive”, said Alon Ushpiz, Israel’s Ambassador to India. “They mirror the warmth and friendship that we Israelis feel across India, and they are yet another indication of the immense potential that lies in our relationship”, he added.
     
    Check out the Embassy’s website at http://delhi.mfa.gov.il/.
     
    *****
     
    Israel and India Celebrate 20 Years of Diplomatic Relations
    Jerusalem, January 29, 2012: Israel and India celebrate today 20 years of diplomatic relations. In the background of these young and dynamic relations stand the ancient ties between the Jewish and Indian peoples, dating back over 2000 years. In the course of history, Jewish communities throughout India received the warmest hospitality and played an integral role in their surrounding societies.
     
    Today, Israel and India share an intimately close and special relationship encompassing virtually every field of human endeavor. From trade to education, from agriculture to science and technology, from energy and water to homeland security – Israel and India today work together in a vast variety of fields, some of which are no less than existential to them both.
     
    At the core of these multifaceted relations lie the values, the interests and the challenges that Israel and India share. Both countries are open and free democracies that embrace modernity and progress whilst preserving their ancient heritage and history. Both countries strive to achieve stability, human development and economic growth for the well-being of all their citizens. Both countries also face a large number of threats and difficulties ranging from the scourge of terrorism to water and energy scarcity. It is these commonalities that make the connection and collaboration between Israel and India so natural and fertile.
     
    The remarkable development of bilateral trade in the past 20 years is an unequivocal example of the vector of Indo-Israel ties. In 1992, the annual trade between Israel and India stood at a mere $180 million. By 2011, the annual civilian trade between the two countries, diversified and well balanced, had expanded almost thirty fold to surpass $5 billion. Both countries have expressed their intention to finalize a Free Trade Agreement by the end of this year, a development which is expected to further invigorate and diversify bilateral trade.
     
    One of the key pillars of the relationship is the cooperation in the field of agriculture. Food security is more than ever a critical concern for both countries. In cooperation projects across India, Israeli technology and knowhow is being demonstrated and shared with Indian farmers, and joint Indian and Israeli agricultural R&D is conducted on the ground. The recently finalized three-year action plan sets the path for the establishment of 27 projects across seven states in India in various fields.  This cooperation will no doubt benefit the Indian farmer and consumer and is already playing a significant role in India’s efforts to ensure food security to all its citizens.
     
    Both Israel and India have excelled in the research and development of science and technology. At present, new platforms are being created for both government and private sectors to jointly enhance scientific innovation in crucial fields such as clean-tech and life sciences.
    Unfortunately, Israel and India both suffer from the scourge of terrorism. Both societies have shown remarkable resilience and determination to ensure that life and freedom will prevail. The horrendous attacks in Mumbai in November 2008, in which Indians and Israelis alike were targeted, only strengthened the bond between the two nations and the understanding that only through concerted efforts, can terrorism be defeated.
     
    Last month, the Minister of External Affairs of India, Mr. SM Krishna, conducted a historical visit to Israel and met with the Israeli leadership in Jerusalem. During the visit, President Shimon Peres referred to India as “the greatest democracy on earth". Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “India and Israel are two ancient peoples seizing the future”. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman appreciated India’s approval of the opening of an Israeli Consulate General in Bangalore, a preeminent hub of high tech in India. This will be Israel’s third mission in India after New Delhi and Mumbai.
     
    The 20th anniversary of relations between Israel and India will be marked throughout the year, in Israel and in India, with an elaborate array of cultural events. We stay committed to building upon the remarkable achievements of the last two decades, to further develop this promising relationship in the decades to come, for the benefit of both nations.
     
    *****
    Israel-India Bilateral Trade Hits New Record of $5 Billion in 2011   
             
    New Delhi, January 27, 2012: Figures recently released by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, indicate that the bilateral civilian trade between Israel and India continues to grow and reach new heights. During the year 2011, the civilian trade between the two countries reached $5.08 billion, an increase of almost 6% from $4.81 billion in 2010.
     
    The main sections of the Israeli export to India, which altogether stands at $2.97 billion, include diamonds and precious stones ($1.56 billion, 52%), chemical products ($578 Million, 19%), machinery ($458 Million, 15.4%) and optical, medical & other equipment ($149 Million, 5%).
     
    Indian export to Israel, which remarkably grew by 10.5% to $2.1 billion, includes diamonds and precious stones ($1.24 billion, 59%), chemical products ($287 million, 14%), transport equipment ($119 million, 6%) and textiles & textile articles ($113 million, 5%).
     
    These figures do not include services.
     
    The fourth round of Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations between Israel and India is scheduled to take place at the end of March in Jerusalem. Both countries have recently expressed their strong will to finalize this agreement by the end of 2012. In a recent meeting in Jerusalem with External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the FTA is expected to multiply the trade and increase the economic cooperation between India and Israel.
     
    In light of these figures, Ambassador of Israel to India, Mr. Alon Ushpiz, said: “In the last 20 years of full diplomatic relations, trade has been a strong engine driving the ties between our two countries and peoples to unprecedented heights. Trade has also played an important part in identifying new sectors of promising joint innovation”.
     
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    Israeli Finance Minister Here to Further Joint Pursuit of Knowledge & Innovation
     
     
    New Delhi, 13th December, 2011
     
    On his first day of visit to India, Israeli Finance Minister, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, said "education and R&D are the comparative advantage of both Israel and India. Collaboration in these fields is the key to our shared future and a crucial part of our burgeoning relationship".
     
    Minister Steinitz arrived in Delhi to attend the Delhi Economic Conclave  organized by CII and the Ministry of Finance, and to further strengthen the economic pillar of the growing ties between Israel and India.
     
    During his stay in Delhi, Minister Steinitz will meet his counter
     
    part, Mr. Pranab Mukherjee, and discuss platforms for promoting mutual R&D in top-end technology and collaboration in academic research. The senior Israeli Minister is also set to meet an array of prominent leaders including Minister of Human Resources and Development, Mr. Kapil Sibal, Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mr. Ashwani Kumar, National Security Advisor, Mr. Shivshankar Menon and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
     
    *****
     
    NOA & MIRA AWAD IN NEW DELHI
     
     NOA & MIRA AWAD IN NEW DELHI
    New Delhi, Nov. 2011
     
    Celebrating 20 years of diplomatic relations between Israel and India, the Embassy of Israel is pleased to present to Delhi two of Israel’s most renowned singers, Noa & Mira Awad.
     
    Following their successful Indian debut concerts at the Goa Think Festival, Noa & Mira will perform in the Delhi International Arts Festival:
     
    8th Nov. 2011 – Duet Concert by Noa & Mira Awad, Bahai’ House of Worship, Kalkaji, 7:00 pm
    9th Nov. 2011 – Vocal Solo by Mira Awad at the Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre, 7:00 pm
    10th Nov. 2011 - Vocal Solo by Noa at the Amphitheatre, India Habitat Centre, 7:00 pm
    11th Nov. 2011 – Jewish Fusion Music- Duet by Noa & Mira, Siri Fort Auditorium, 7:00 pm
     
    Bios:
     
    NOA
    Known in Israel by her given name Achinoam Nini, Noa is Israel's leading international concert and recording artist. Born in Tel- Aviv in 1969, to a family originally from Yemen, Noa studied music at the Rimon School where she met her long-time partner and collaborator Gil Dor.
     
    Noa's strongest influences come from the singer-songwriters of the 60s like Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen. These musical and lyrical sensibilities, combined with Noa's Yemenite roots and Gil Dor's strong background in Jazz, Classical and Rock, have created Noa and Gil's unique sound, manifested in hundreds of songs written and performed together.
     
    Noa has toured and sang with rock superstar Sting, performed with Stevie Wonder and shared the stage and microphone with many great artists, including Andrea Bocelli, Carlos Santana, Sheryl Crow, George Benson, Johnny Clegg, Zucchero and many others. In 2009, she represented Israel together with Israeli-Arab singer, Mira Awad, in the Eurovision song contest with the song "There must be another way".
     
    Noa plays percussion, guitar and piano.
     
    MIRA AWAD
    Mira Awad is an Israeli-Arab singer, songwriter and actress. Born in Rama village in northern Israel, to a Palestinian father and a Bulgarian mother, currently living in Tel-Aviv. She studied at the Rimon School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.
     
    Mira has collaborated with a wide range of world-famous musicians: Noa, Idan Raichel, George Dalaras, Guy Mar and world famous opera star Andrea Bocelli. Mira also worked as an actress with the Tel-Aviv Cameri Theatre and stars on the Israeli comedy TV series "Arab Labor". She featured in the movie "The Bubble", directed by Eytan Fox and recorded the theme songs for the films "Forgiveness" by director Udi Aloni, and "Lemon tree" by Eran Riklis. She participated in the 5th season of the Israeli version of "Dancing with the stars". She represented Israel in the 2009 Eurovision song contest alongside Noa with the song "There must be another way" from their duet album carrying the same name, released by Universal Music. Her debut solo album "Bahlawan-Acrobat" was released in May 2009, and was produced by Israeli famous guitarist Amos Ever-Hadani. She was signed as a Sony Spain artist last year and has just released her second album "All my faces" with Spanish musical producer Carlos Jean.
     
    Mira is very much identified with the agenda of dialogue and co-existence between the Jewish and the Palestinian people, and has dedicated most of her career for raising a call for peace.
     
     
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    Visiting Israeli Minister Condemns Delhi Attack
     
     
     
    Sep. 7, 2011

    Following the terror attack in the Delhi High Court this morning, Mr. Stas Misezhnikov, Israel’s Minister of Tourism, currently in Delhi on an official visit, said: “I am shocked and dismayed after watching and hearing the pictures and sounds of the vicious terrorist action at the Delhi High Court. Only a twisted mind can perpetuate a murderous attack against a shrine of justice and democracy, a house in which all men are equal and peace loving.”
     
    He further added: “Israel and India are close partners. We are brothers in times of joy and happiness and in times of sorrow and grief. After spending the last couple of days in New Delhi, I know that the Indian people and the Government of India will prevail and I wish to extend official and personal condolences to the bereaved families and send our wishes for quick recovery to the injured.”
     
    *****
    Israeli Minister of Tourism Visiting India
     
    Israeli Minister of Tourism Visiting India
     
    New Delhi, Sep. 5, 2011: Mr. Stas Misezhnikov, Israel’s Minister of Tourism, is on his first official visit to India between September 5th and 9th, 2011. During his stay to Delhi, he will call upon his Indian counterpart, Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, and Minister of Civil Aviation, Mr. Vayalar Ravi. Mr. Misezhnikov, accompanied by senior officials from his Ministry and a business delegation, will also conduct meetings and seminars with tourism and aviation business leaders in Mumbai.
     
    The year 2010 saw India emerging as the number 1 source country of tourism from Asia to Israel. The number of Indian tourists to Israel almost doubled from the previous year’s figure and reached over 40,000. In addition, Israel was awarded “Most promising destination” in Outbound Travel Mart Fair in Mumbai in February 2011. Seeing the huge potential of Indian tourists, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism decided to put India at the forefront of its promotional activity in Asia, and is cooperating with leading tour companies in India to further promote Indian tourism to the country.
     
    “Israel is a fascinating country, an open and democratic society with a mesmerizing blend of cultures, religions, beliefs, traditions and ways of life” said Minister Misezhnikov upon his visit to India. “The Indian tourist in Israel is offered a unique, exciting and diverse experience, with an array of options to choose from. Indeed, Israel is a true undiscovered gem to most Indians”, he said.
     
    *****
     
    Israel’s Ambassador meets West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee
     
     
    New Delhi, 12/09/11: Israel’s Ambassador to India, Mr. Alon Ushpiz, arrived in Kolkata,

    West Bengal, today on his first official state-level visit. Upon his arrival, the Ambassador emphasized that Israel and West Bengal share deep sentiments of friendship and that West Bengal is a priority state for cooperation.
     
    Ambassador Ushpiz called upon the Chief Minister of West Bengal, Ms. Mamta Banerjee, and discussed a number of fields for potential cooperation between Israel and the state of West Bengal, including: agriculture, water technologies, hi-tech, alternative energy, R&D, Christian pilgrimage to Israel and more. In this context, it was agreed that a delegation of officials from West Bengal will participate in WATEC, an exhibition of water technologies which will take place in Israel in November 2011.
     
    Ambassador Ushpiz also met West Bengal Governor Mr. M.K. Narayanan, Commerce & Industry Minister Mr. Partha Chatterjee, Minister of Finance and Excise Mr. Amit Mitra and Director General of Police Mr. Naparajit Mukherjee. To further augment trade relations between Israel and West Bengal, Ambassador Ushpiz, hosted by the Honorary Consul of Israel in West Bengal, Mr. Harshavardhan Neotia, inaugurated the Israel - West Bengal Business Promotion Centre in Kolkata, to facilitate connections between companies in the region and their Israeli counterparts. In addition, he also interacted with the members of the Indian Chambers of Commerce, media establishments and the Jewish community.
     
    *****
    Israeli and Indian Agriculture Ministers discuss bilateral cooperation 
     
     Israeli and Indian Agriculture Ministers discuss bilateral cooperation
    New Delhi, 3rd May 2011: Israeli Minister of Agriculture, Ms. Orit Noked, concluded her visit to India today by meeting her Indian counterpart Mr. Sharad Pawar. During the meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to further strengthen and widen the scope of bilateral cooperation in agriculture between the two countries.
     
    The two ministers issued a Joint Statement, in which they emphasized that the Indo-Israel cooperation in the field of agriculture has become one of the pillars of the bilateral relations and serves as a successful model of international agricultural cooperation. Both ministers discussed a number of topics for potential cooperation including: dairy production, post-harvest technologies, protected cultivation, micro irrigation and fertigation, food processing and poultry. In addition, both ministers agreed to enhance the cooperation in the field of agriculture research. The Ministers established a joint working team in order to finalize a bilateral agricultural action plan.
     
    While addressing the media Israeli Agriculture Minister Noked said, “We place Israeli technologies entirely at the disposal of India – which is today a true friend of the State of Israel. The implementation of these technologies will surely benefit the Indian farmers by enhancing their income, and improve the welfare of the general public by helping to counteract the rise in the price of food. The agricultural cooperation with Israel can and will propel India to become a superpower in food production and supply, strengthen this great country as a whole and will place it at the forefront of world agriculture.”
     
    Minister Noked, on her first visit to India, was accompanied by senior officials from her office and a delegation of agro-business companies from Israel. During her stay, she paid a working visit to the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for Vegetables in Karnal, Haryana, where she was hosted by the Chief Minister, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, who had just returned from a productive visit to Israel. She also toured the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) and conducted business seminars with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) and Confederation of Indian Industries (CII).
     
    *****
    Israel’s new Ambassador to India presents his credentials to the President
     
     Israel’s new Ambassador to India presents his credentials to the President
    New Delhi, 12th August 2011: The newly appointed Ambassador of Israel to India, Mr. Alon Ushpiz, presented a Letter of Credence to Mrs. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, President of the Republic of India, at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.
     
    Mr. Alon Ushpiz studied International Relations and Japan Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Before arriving in Delhi, Mr. Ushpiz served as Head of Bureau for Coordination at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem. Prior to that he was Minister for Congressional Affairs at the Embassy of Israel in Washington. He also served at the Embassy of Israel in Tokyo and as Policy Advisor to a number of Israeli Foreign Ministers.
     
    After presenting his letter of Credence to the President, Ambassador Ushpiz said: “I am extremely excited to serve as the Sixth Ambassador of Israel to the Republic of India. Next year we will be celebrating 20 years of a burgeoning and multi-faceted Diplomatic Relationship. Israel and India share a wide range of values, interests and challenges. Our cooperation in agriculture, high tech, science, education and much more has proven to be tremendously beneficial to the people of both nations and I look forward to further develop this important relationship”.
     
    *****
    “INDIA CAN BECOME AN AGRICULTURE SUPERPOWER” SAYS ISRAELI MINISTER
     
     “INDIA CAN BECOME AN AGRICULTURE SUPERPOWER” SAYS ISRAELI MINISTER
    New Delhi, 2nd May 2011: Taking the agricultural cooperation between Israel and India a step ahead, Israel’s Minister of Agriculture, Ms. Orit Noked, together with the Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, visited the Indo-Israel Centre of Excellence for vegetables in Karnal, Haryana, today.
     
    The Haryana Centre of Excellence was inaugurated in January 2011 by Union Agriculture Minister, Mr. Sharad Pawar, Chief Minister of Haryana, Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda, and Ambassador of Israel, Mr. Mark Sofer. Its objective is to demonstrate the latest Israeli agricultural technology and know-how to the local farmers. Under the project, the two sides share technologies and jointly undertake protected cultivation of various vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers and capsicum. Similar Indo-Israel agriculture cooperation projects are also on the way across India, including Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu.
     
    During the visit, Chief Minister Hooda, who had just returned from a productive visit to Israel, said, “Israel has done wonders in agro-technologies and water management and these wonders are being implemented in Haryana.”
     
    Israeli Agriculture Minister Noked said, “We place Israeli technologies entirely at the disposal of India – which is today a true friend of the State of Israel. The implementation of these technologies will surely benefit the Indian farmers by enhancing their income, and improve the welfare of the general public by helping to counteract the rise in the price of food. The agricultural cooperation with Israel can and will propel India to become a superpower in food production and supply, strengthen this great country as a whole and will place it at the forefront of world agriculture.”
     
    Minister Noked, on her first visit to India, is accompanied by senior officials from her office and a delegation of agro-business companies from Israel. The Israeli Minister is planned to meet her Indian counterpart Mr. Sharad Pawar and will conduct business seminars with FICCI and CII.
     
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    Israel Condemns Mumbai Terror Attacks
      
    July 14, 2011: Israel strongly condemns the shocking terrorist attack which claimed 21 lives and injured over 140 innocent people in the heart of Mumbai.
     
    The city of Mumbai has once again faced an assault aimed at breaking the spirit of its courageous citizens. Israel stands side-by side with India in its relentless struggle against terror and is convinced that the resilience of the Indian people will prevail. These events are once again a reminder to all forward-looking nations that the scourge of terror must be combatted and overcome.
    Israel expresses its solidarity with India and extends its deepest condolences to the victims and their families and offers its full support and assistance to the Government of India.
     
    FIRST INDO-ISRAEL CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE FOR VEGETABLES INAUGURATED
     
     
    New Delhi, 17th January 2011: Taking the Indo-Israeli agricultural cooperation a step ahead, Honourable Union Agriculture Minister Mr. Sharad Pawar, Honourable Chief Minister of Haryana Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Ambassador of Israel H.E. Mr. Mark Sofer today inaugurated the first Centre of Excellence of Vegetables at Gharaunda in district Karnal, Haryana.
     
    While addressing the audience during the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Sharad Pawar said “Indo-Israel relations are historical. Israel is a world leader in developing agriculture techniques, of which this centre is a live example.” He added, “Through this centre, the farmers will be made aware of the new and modern techniques, which will help them increase their production to the optimum level thereby increasing their income.”
     
    Mr. Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, “India and Israel share common problems of scarcity of irrigation water for crops and this centre of excellence will be a great source of teaching Indian farmers to combat the problems of scarcities of land and water supply. The centre aims at increasing the production of vegetables in India by using the Israeli expertise of minimum water usage.”
     
    Israel’s Ambassador Mr. Mark Sofer stressed during his address that “the results of this Centre of Excellence in Haryana will not only benefit the farmers of India, introduce them to new technologies and improve their world, but also, this cooperation will work to strengthen this great country of India as a whole and will place it at the forefront of world agriculture – not as a recipient, but as a supplier and a donor.”
     
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    The Jerusalem Saxophone Quartet” to perform in Delhi to celebrate Israel’s 62nd Independence Day
     
    New Delhi, 27th April 2010: To mark the celebrations of the 62nd anniversary of the independence of the State of Israel, the Embassy of Israel brings to Delhi a unique phenomenon in Israel’s musical life “The Jerusalem Saxophone Quartet”, who will present a series of performances between April 29th and May 1st 2010.
     
    “The Jerusalem Saxophone Quartet” comprises of four teenaged saxophonists - Nimrod Katz (Soprano & Alto Sax), Maayan James (Alto Sax), Alon Oz (Tenor Sax) and Omer Ben-Israel (Bariton Sax), who will play under the guidance of Prof. Gersh Geller, renowned music director and teacher. The city will witness 3 performances by the group and their repertoire will include a wide range of styles, combining the music of the baroque, classical, romantic American and Israeli music.
     
    The Jerusalem Saxophone Ensemble performs under the auspices of the Jerusalem Music Centre in cooperation with the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. All the members of the ensemble began playing at an early age and practice and play under the guidance of Prof. Gersh Geller. All the members of the ensemble are winners of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships.
     
    Prof. Gersh Geller- CV
    Prof. Gersh Geller was born in Alma Ata, Kazakhstan, in former USSR. A graduate of the Kazakh National Academy of Music in Alma Ata, he later joined the staff of the Academy and taught clarinet, saxophone and chamber music. Many of his students won prizes and awards at national competitions in the USSR. Some of them later left the Soviet Union and joined other ensembles all over the world.
     
    In May 1990 he immigrated to Israel and almost immediately began teaching clarinet and saxophone at the Conservatory of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. He later joined the staff of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and is currently teaching in both institutes.
    Geller has founded several ensembles of young saxophone students and under his guidance they learn to play in various styles, ranging from baroque to classical to modern style and Jazz. They perform frequently in Israel and have also toured in Russia, Belorussia, England, France, Scandinavia, India, Asia and the USA.
     
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    Israel condemns terrorist attack in Pune
     
    Israel condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous terrorist attack in Pune which claimed innocent lives and leaving many injured.
     
    Global terrorism is a major threat that must be combated without let-up. Israel, as a country that has suffered so much at the hands of unbridled terror, understands to the full the enormity of the tragedy.
     
    Israel extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and its wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.
     
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    Condolence message from President Peres to the President of India (Nov. 2008)
     
    Dear Madam President,
    I was deeply shocked an saddened by the murderous terrorist attack in Mumbai, which claimed the lives of so many innocent people, among them citizens of India, Israel, and many western countries.
     
    Global terrorism is a major threat that must be combated without let-up. The terrorists are the fanatical enemies of peace and stability to which we aspire and the values that we hold dear. Therefore, it is essential that all of us unite in this vital battle for freedom and human dignity. You can be sure, Madam President, that Israel stands together with India in this crucially important fight to eradicate terrorism. Israel very much appreciates the heroic efforts of India’s security forces, despite the adverse conditions and the casualties, to rescue the hostages and defeat the terrorists who carried out the atrocity in Mumbai.
     
    Please allow me to extend to Your Excellency, on behalf of the people of Israel and myself, our heartfelt sympathy and, through you, our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and our wishes for a speedy recovery for the injured.
     
    Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.
    Sincerely,
    Shimon Peres
    Her Excellency
    Mrs. Pratibha Patil
    President of the Republic of India
     
    *****
     
    ISRAEL CONDEMNS TERRORIST ATTACKS IN JAIPUR- May 2008
     
    Israel condemns in the strongest possible terms the heinous terrorist attack, which claimed so many innocent lives in Jaipur.
     
    As a country that has suffered so much at the hands of unbridled terror, Israel understands to the full the enormity of the tragedy. Israel extends its deepest condolences to the families of the victims and its wishes for the speedy recovery of those injured.
     
    Terrorist acts can never be justified under any circumstances and it is incumbent on the civilized international community to act in a concerted and unified manner to stamp out the scourge of terror whenever it rears its head.
     
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    Israeli Agriculture Minister on a visit to India (15 – 23 January 2008)
     
    New Delhi, 16th January 2008: The Honourable Minister of Agriculture of Israel, H.E. Mr. Shalom Simhon is presently on a working visit to India with a large delegation of department heads and businessmen. This is a reciprocal visit to the visit of the Honourable Minister of Agriculture of India, H.E. Mr. Sharad Pawar, to Israel in the summer of 2006 during the Agritech. The delegation is scheduled to visit three Indian states - Mumbai, Rajasthan (Jaipur, Jodhpur & Jaisalmer) and Delhi. Minister Simhon will meet Minister Sharad Pawar in Delhi.
     
    The visit is expected to enhance the good cooperation between the two sides in the field of agriculture. During the visit, an Action Plan for the period of 2008-2010 will be discussed between Israel and India. The Action Plan incorporates implementation in three key areas – irrigation, protected horticulture and agricultural technologies – on three levels – Central Government, States and PPP (Public Private Partnership). The two sides intend to cooperate in the reuse of treated urban waste water for agriculture, use of groundwater and saline water for efficient irrigation and appropriate agricultural production.
     
    The Israeli Minister is accompanied by senior officials and prominent businessmen that represents the complete spectrum of Israeli agro-business; including among others irrigation, dairy production, engineers, fruit and vegetable production.
     
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    Israeli Deputy Prime Minister & Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour visiting India with a Business Delegation
     
     
    New Delhi, 30th November 2006: Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Industry, Trade and Labour, Hon. Mr. Eliyahu Yishai, will be arriving in Delhi with a delegation of 50 prominent Israeli entrepreneurs from 4th to 7th December 2006. Apart from Delhi, he will also visit Mumbai, Goa and Vadodara.
     
    Mr. Yishai will be holding meetings with his Indian counterpart, Hon. Mr. Kamal Nath and other dignitaries. He will attend a business seminar titled “India-Israel Synergies” in Delhi (in collaboration with FICCI), an interactive session in Mumbai (in collaboration with CII) and a business seminar in Vadodara (in collaboration with EXIM Club) to further promote trade and industrial collaboration between the two countries.
     
    The Minister will be accompanied by the Director General of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labour, Mr. Gavriel Maimon, the Chairman of the Israel Export & International Cooperation Institute, Mr. David Arzi, who will be heading the Business Delegation, and 50 prominent business delegates from diverse fields including IT, logistics, irrigation, infrastructure, agro technology, defence and security, medical etc.
     
    The visit is at the invitation of the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Kamal Nath, and follows on Mr. Nath’s visit to Israel in November 2005 during which a Joint Study Group (JSG) was established in order to boost bilateral trade to US $ 5 billion by 2008. During this visit, the Israeli Minister will propose to his counterpart further practical steps to enhance the bilateral ties between the two sides.
     
    The bilateral trade touched $2.4 billion mark in the year 2005, showing a 10% increase in the figures from the year 2004. During the first nine months of 2006, bilateral trade of $1.9 billion has been recorded between the two sides. The two nations enjoy MFN status and have a wide array of economic agreements and MOUs.
     
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    ISRAEL: ARCHAEOLOGY FROM THE AIR An Exhibition
     
    Hyderabad, 11th October 2006: The Embassy of Israel in collaboration with the Friends of Israel Society of Pragna Bharathi, Andhra Pradesh present the ‘Israel: Archaeology from the Air’ Exhibition, a collection of the best known and most interesting archaeological sites in Israel as seen from the air. The exhibition has already traveled 9 Indian states and received an immense public response.
     
    Israel is a small country, with the highest density of known archaeological sites per square kilometer. The land of Israel is the birth place of two of the greatest monotheistic faiths of the world: Judaism and Christianity. Traces of the ancient towns, religious monuments, battle fields and vast secular and literary heritage of both religions and of the Muslim communities that have lived there, attracted scholars from all over the world and archaeological study has been continuously conducted in the region. This exhibition would offer a unique opportunity to look into the setting and geographical significance of the area.
    The exhibition will be open to the public from 14th to 20th October 2006 (10:30 am to 8:00 pm).
     
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    ISRAEL: ARCHAEOLOGY FROM THE AIR - An Exhibition
     
    New Delhi, 18th September 2006: The Embassy of Israel in collaboration with the Delhi Bible Institute present the ‘Israel: Archaeology from the Air’ Exhibition, a collection of the best known and most interesting archaeological sites in Israel as seen from the air.
     
    Israel is a small country, with the highest density of known archaeological sites per square kilometer. The land of Israel is the birth place of two of the greatest monotheistic faiths of the world: Judaism and Christianity. Traces of the ancient towns, religious monuments, battle fields and vast secular and literary heritage of both religions and of the Muslim communities that have lived there, attracted scholars from all over the world and archaeological study has been continuously conducted in the region. This exhibition would offer a unique opportunity to look into the setting and geographical significance of the area.
     
    The exhibition will be inaugurated by the Israeli Ambassador, H.E. Mr. David Danieli and the Executive Director of the Delhi Bible Institute, Pastor Isaac J. Shaw, on 21st September 2006 at the Delhi Bible Bhavan, 50 Amrita Shergill Marg, New Delhi. It will be open to the public from 22nd to 30th September 2006 (9:00 am to 5:00 pm).
     
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    Embassy of Israel presents two faces of Performing Arts
     
    New Delhi, 21st September 2006: The Embassy of Israel brings to Delhi two artists who perform two very diverse forms of art – one is a vocal artist, Ms. Victoria Hanna, and the other a theatre director and expert, Mr. Guy Biran.
     
    Victoria Hanna will be performing at 6:30 pm on Monday, 25th September 2006 in the Main Auditorium, India International Center and will also be conducting workshops for students of Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and other institutions. Guy Biran is here to conduct a 10 days long workshop for the students of the National School of Drama on the topic “Use of abstract elements in the performing art” from 25th September to 6th October 2006.
     
    VICTORIA HANNA enacts in her work a unique presentation of sacred Hebrew texts, prayers and spirituals, in an entirely modern context that integrates theatre, music, spoken word and video, revealing an astonishing vocal range and timbre. Victoria, who is from a religious and spiritual community in Jerusalem where language and elocution of prayer are valued above all other arts, says… “Much of the inspiration for my current work comes from Jerusalem itself, where the overlapping of past and present, ancient and modern is at its very core.”
     
    According to the mass-selling Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahranot, "Victoria Hanna is one of the rarest and most unique creators in the area of vocal performance in Israel...a talented artist with a mature sense of direction”.
     
    GUY BIRAN, an expert in location theatre and stage movement, has been associated with the field of theatre directing and teaching for over one and a half decades and has successfully directed over 20 plays. His fascination for India goes back to 1995 when he started coming here to study meditation and philosophy. In 2004 he conducted a workshop for the first time with the students of the National School of Drama (NSD). On his experience with NSD students, Biran says “NSD offers a great mix of talented students, who are similar in terms of their desire and openness to learn, yet so different from each other since they come from different backgrounds from all over India”. The topics that would be covered in the workshop include: the performer's work with the conscious and physical aspects of space and time, exploring the principals of human action, and transforming them into stage action, the complementary clash between performers and space, location theatre - outside the theater hall, and transformation of personal themes into stage images.  
     
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