Jewish People - April 2001
Simon Peres, Israel's new Foreign Minister, was the guest speaker at the Friends of Israel Defense Forces (March 15, 2000) at the Waldorf Astoria. He said the Israeli Army is an army of peace and values. He called on the Palestinians to stop their violence.
Among the guests: Eleanor Alper who lost her son Idan in the army, Tzipi Livny an Israeli new Minister for Regional Cooperation (Peres' job in Ehud Barak's government), Dr. Yehuda Lancry, and Alon Pinkas, Consul General.
Arik Sharon met with the following officials when he recently visited the U.S.: President Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Advisor Dr. Condoleeza, CIA Chief George Tenet, and of course, with Secretary of State, Gen. (Res) Colin Powell who recently expressed a deep understanding of Israel's positions.
Arik Sharon comes to the U.S. as a Prime Minister. It is not a secret that, in the past, official America did not welcome Sharon. The State Department almost declared him to be a 'persona non grata.' Sharon's close friends, the ones who honored him were members of the Orthodox community.
I still remember the fact that Jack Kemp was told not to welcome Sharon in Washington, DC. Kemp and Sharon were then ministers of housing. Kemp, who was always a true friend of Israel, was frustrated but he obeyed the orders. Of course, Sharon was welcomed by the Conference of Presidents as a leader of the opposition in the Knesset. Sharon was welcomed again by the 'Conference' which shared the event with Israel's Bonds.
When I learned that few idiots in Israel refused to honor the legendary Israeli statesman and scholar, Israel's internationally known celebrity, with its official award: "Pras Israel", I was surprised. I was even more surprised to find out that Eban's problem was that he spent too much time abroad. (Did they spy on him?) In Israel it is a 19th century Zionist sin. But we live in the global village, the 'information age,' and the 21st century. When I visited Israel last year, I shared by feeling and concern with Yitzhak Shamir. Shamir, an honest statesmen, immediately supported my concern and said that Eban should be honored with this award. Every Israeli will agree with him. Who were the narrow minded people who ignored Eban? But justice prevails: Limor Livnat, Israel's Minister of Education, informed Abba Eban that he is a winner of "Pras Israel."
Livnat, like Shamir, is a Likud politician but Eban, the 'voice of Israel' is a national hero and a classical 'doves' in politics. Eban, today, is a very sick person. It is a last chance to honor him. Indeed, he spent many years abroad: since 1947-1948, at the U.N., and later as Foreign Minister, Ambassador, and international scholar. Furthermore, our happy end also visited Yitzhak Shamir. Livnat informed him: "You are a winner of Pras Israel." Shamir will meet Eban at the national ceremony in Israel's Independence Day celebrations. Livnat also informed Mordecai Ben-Porat, a leader of the Jews from Muslim countries and a legendary leader of Israel's Aliyah from Iraq.
Tsvi Avni, one of Israel's most original and distinguished composers is Israel's winner of the highest Israeli state award, "Prize of Israel" (Hebrew: Pras Israel). He will receive the great prize in the national ceremony at the official celebration of the 'Independence Day.' His category is music.
Avni, a prolific original composer who is internationally known is very happy. Israel's new minister of education, Limor Livnat, informed Avni about this prize. Avni, who knows how to compose an intellectual, sophisticated, music, works today on a compositions which will express the world of people such as Miro, or philosophers such as Buber. His composition, the "Monster" will be performed soon in Germany and also in Japan. Avni's 'Concerto to Basson' will be performed in Israel. It is also a new original composition. Avni is a famous professor and educator who has cultivated many new young Israeli composers. He immigrated with his family from Germany in 1935. He became famous by composing classical music, electronic music, music for films, and even a few popular songs. Avni won many prestigious awards such as 'Angel Prize,' 'Lieberman Prize,' and a special award from the Prime Minister of Saar State of Germany.
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