The Israel pavilion at Expo 2015 in Milan was especially festive on Israel National Day, which came out on June 25, 2015. A variety of events conveying the universal message of hope and happiness were presented throughout the day. Among those attending the festivities were the Israel Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely; the President of Expo 2015, Ms. Diana Bracco; the Commissioner of Expo 2015, Mr. Bruno Pasquino; the Israel Ambassador to Italy, Mr. Naor Gilon; and senior representatives of KKL-JNF.
Among the many impressive events featured at Expo 2015 in Milan, there is also a national day for each of the 145 countries participating in the international exhibition. Israel National Day, which took place on June 25, included a gala ceremony and an exhilarating musical parade.
After raising the flag of Israel at the ceremony, Israel Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely declared, “The issue of food security is a major issue for today and for tomorrow. There are excellent and warm ties between Israel and Italy, and this is also evident at the amazing Expo 2015 exhibition. I am thrilled to be here.
"I have great admiration for pizza, and I am grateful to Italy for it," Hotovely joked. "There is no better place to start feeding the planet."
“We would like to bring the beautiful light of Israel to the world," Hotovely continued. "The challenge of feeding the planet has always been very present in Israeli culture, because the State of Israel realized the importance of innovation for water usage. Two thirds of Israel’s area is arid, and soon after the State of Israel was established, our Prime Minister at the time said that the principle challenge was to utilize water technology to make the desert bloom, and to produce food and water for everyone.
“Italy is our second partner in Europe in research and development. We collaborate with you on many projects all over the world. The combination of Italian production quality and Israeli innovation is the basis for our partnership.”
Hotovely noted that Israel chose to note its significant contribution to the resolution of global problems. She added that the Israel pavilion focuses on the field of advanced water technologies and brilliantly exhibits Israeli innovation in everything connected to desalination, drip irrigation and agriculture in arid regions. “The exhibition is another proof that human capital in Israel and Israeli innovation are something that Israel should be proud of.
The exhibition presents the beautiful face of Israel, and it is no accident that the Israel pavilion is one of the four most popular pavilions at the Expo.”
Mr. Bruno Pasquino
, Commissioner of Expo 2015, opened his greetings at the ceremony by saying that “listening to the national anthem of Israel was very moving for me,” and that he was very impressed by the numerous visitors who came to attend Israel National Day at the Expo. “The Israel pavilion is one of the most significant of the entire exhibition, because it touches the core of the theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life
and also expresses the willingness of Israel to share its knowledge
with the world.”
Pasquino noted that Israel has existed for only 70 years, and 20 Nobel Prize winners have already come out of it.
“It is not by chance that Israel is considered a ‘knowledge barn’ and leads in the field of water reclamation, the creation of water sources, combating desertification and advanced agriculture. Your powerful presence here at the Expo encourages and strengthens the mutual relations between Israel and Italy.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Deputy Minister Hotovely and Commissioner Pasquino, together with the Israeli Ambassador to Italy Mr. Naor Gilon, Italian politician Ms. Leticia Moratti and the President of Expo 2015 Ms. Diana Bracco joined the magnificent musical parade along the decumanus with percussion instruments played by the Circle of Drummers and Horns.
Ms. Yardena Tubul, Director of the KKL-JNF Human Resources Division, who also took part in Israel National Day celebrations, noted that she was very proud to be attending the special event. “The event was the crowning glory at the Israel pavilion at the Expo and aroused great enthusiasm. I met a great and diverse crowd here, including representatives of the government of Italy who all made warn mention of the excellent mutual relations between Israel and Italy, and expressed their great appreciation for Israel's achievements.”
Ms. Tubul said that impressive professional events
were also taking place in the KKL-JNF compound of the Israel pavilion at the Expo, orchestrated by Ms. Karine Bolton-Laor
, Director of the KKL-JNF International Relations and Conferences Department, and the KKL-JNF envoy in Milan, Mr. Shariel Gun. “The Israel pavilion is one of the most remarkable at the Expo,” said Ms. Tubul, “and it emphasizes the achievements of the State of Israel in a way that penetrates the heart and creates positive feelings about Israel.”
After the official visits and the luncheon at Palazzo Italia, there were concerts, musical and acrobatic performances, and a DJ, which entertained people at the Israel pavilion late into the night. It was a wonderful day that truly celebrated the identity of Israel as reflected in the pavilion, which proudly displays Israeli innovation in advanced agriculture, and brings a message of peace for the benefit of humanity.