On Monday evening, they will go to the Old City of Jerusalem to observe the commemoration of Tisha B’Av (the Ninth of Av), a solemn day of mourning for Jews marking the destruction of the biblical First and Second Temples. A packed schedule also features a helicopter ride over the northern and southern borders of Israel, during which the envoys will see some of the country’s strategic defense challenges and security threats.
Entrepreneurs and innovators in alternative energy, agriculture, medicine and environmental services will brief the group which will also visit Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, which, since 1958, has provided development training to more than 200,000 people from around the world. The ambassadors will also learn about Israel’s humanitarian programs that respond to natural disasters around the world and explore opportunities for bilateral trade. Israeli organizations are currently on the ground in Japan dealing with the aftermath of this year’s deadly tsunami.
On August 9, the group—representing nations in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas—will meet with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah as well as Sir Ronald Cohen of the Portland Trust, a British non-profit which promotes Palestinian economic development. A recent poll by The Israel Project showed that job creation is the top priority for Palestinians.
“We are deeply honored that these distinguished ambassadors have joined us on this fact-finding mission,” said TIP Founder and President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. The mission comes in the run-up to important debates about the Middle East expected to take place at the United Nations this fall. U.S. President Barak Obama recently stated there are no alternatives to peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians and that one-sided Palestinian moves will not achieve peace or stability.
The trip is sponsored by The Israel Project, an American non-profit educational organization that provides facts, analysis and background information about Israel and the Middle East to the media, public officials, and the public. The diplomats taking part in the mission are from Albania, Barbados, Belize, Benin, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Domica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Liberia, Macedonia, Mongolia, Montenegro, Slovakia, St. Lucia, Timor-Leste, and Trinidad/Tobago.
Posted on August 8, 2011
Source: (Excerpts of an article by The Israel Project, August 7, 2011)
Photo Credit: www.theisraelproject.org
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