Envoy Marks Israeli Anniversary Noting Country’s Accomplishments
By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
Despite growing tensions in the Middle East as Palestinian Jihad militants in Gaza continue to launch rockets into Israel and Israeli forces respond by pounding targets inside the Gaza Strip in what has been the worst bout of armed tensions in more than a year, Israeli Ambassador to Mexico Zvi Tal on Friday, May 12, focused on his nation’s social, economic and altruistic development during a reception to mark the Jewish State’s 75th independence anniversary.
During the reception at Mexico City’s Jewish Sports Club, which was attended both by fellow diplomats and members of the Jewish community in Mexico, Tal spoke about how the dream of what is now modern Israel had come to fruition through more than seven decades of dedicated commitment and technological, innovative and humanitarian development that transformed an innate lack of natural resources into a blessing to conquer the desert.
Citing Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, in his declaration of that nation’s independence on May 14, 1948, Tal said that the values expressed by Ben-Gurion regarding respect for human rights “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisioned by the prophets of Israel” are today as valid as when they were first declared.
Tal took the opportunity to condemn the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization for continuing to carry out a violent campaign against Israel, launching hundreds of missiles at civilian targets, adding his condolences to the victims of those attacks.
The envoy also spoke about tikkun olam, a biblical concept at the heart of Israeli foreign policy that focuses on the task of helping to “repair the world.”
He said that this vision is evidenced in Jerusalem’s numerous outreach programs for social and human development worldwide, as well as in the local Jewish community’s Cadena organization and the Katz Jesed Center humanitarian assistance in Villa de Allende, State of Mexico, which benefits 300 families through donations.
Turning to Israel’s bilateral relations with Mexico, now in their 70th year, Tal said that the two countries maintain “intense and plural” ties.
Today, combined bilateral trade amounts to nearly $1 billion annually, and Israel is Mexico’s 18th-largest investor worldwide, with an accumulated foreign direct investment of more than $2 billion.
Tal also said that Israel and Mexico have similar fundamental values rooted in democracy, freedom, family and respect for religious diversity.