Portrait: David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founder and first Prime Minister

21 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Portrait Reading Time:  10 minutes

David Ben-Gurion, 1968 © Fritz Cohen - National Photo Collection of Israel

David Ben-Gurion, 1968 © Fritz Cohen – National Photo Collection of Israel

David Ben-Gurion was the primary national founder of the State of Israel and the first Prime Minister of Israel. Adopting the name of Ben-Gurion in 1909, he rose to become the preeminent leader of the Jewish community in British-ruled Mandatory Palestine from 1935 until the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, which he led until 1963 with a short break in 1954–55.   read more…

70 years Luxembourg Agreement

10 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  16 minutes

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

Luxembourg City Hall © Cayambe/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Reparations Agreement between Israel and the Federal Republic of Germany (“Luxembourg Agreement”, “Wiedergutmachungsabkommen” or “Reparations Agreement”) was signed on September 10, 1952, and entered in force on March 27, 1953. According to the Agreement, West Germany was to pay Israel for the costs of “resettling so great a number of uprooted and destitute Jewish refugees” after the war, and to compensate individual Jews, via the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, for losses in Jewish livelihood and property resulting from Nazi persecution.   read more…

Ramat Gan in Israel

7 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

Diamond Exchange Center from Azrieli Center © flickr.com - Ted Eytan/cc-by-sa-2.0

Diamond Exchange Center from Azrieli Center © flickr.com – Ted Eytan/cc-by-sa-2.0

Ramat Gan is a city in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, located east of the municipality of Tel Aviv and part of the Tel Aviv metropolitan area. It is home to one of the world’s major diamond exchanges, and many high-tech industries. Ramat Gan was established in 1921 as a moshav shitufi, a communal farming settlement. In 2022 it had a population of 171,000.   read more…

Basilica of the Annunciation in Nazareth

3 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Catholic Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation (lower church) © Berthold Werner

Catholic Mass in the Grotto of the Annunciation (lower church) © Berthold Werner

The Church of the Annunciation, sometimes also referred to as the Basilica of the Annunciation, is a Catholic church in Nazareth, in northern Israel. It was established over what Catholic tradition holds to be the site of the house of the Virgin Mary, and where the angel Gabriel appeared to her and announced that she would conceive and bear the Son of God, Jesus – an event known as the Annunciation.   read more…

Ben-Gurion House in Tel Aviv

8 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Gideon.shapira/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Gideon.shapira/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Ben-Gurion House is a historic house museum in Tel Aviv, which served as the family home of pre-State Zionist leader and then first Defense and Prime Minister of Israel, David Ben-Gurion, between 1931 and 1953. Until his death in 1973 it continued serving as an additional residence, along with two others, one private – “Ben-Gurion’s hut” at Kibbutz Sde Boker in the Negev (known as his desert home), and the official residence as Prime Minister of Israel during his multiple terms as head of government. The latter, known as Julius Jacobs House, is located in Rehavia, West Jerusalem. Ben-Gurion House is located at 17, Ben-Gurion Boulevard in northern Tel Aviv.   read more…

Port of Haifa

15 July 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  11 minutes

Port of Haifa © flickr.com - Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

Port of Haifa © flickr.com – Morgan Davis/cc-by-2.0

The Port of Haifa is the largest of Israel‘s three major international seaports, the others being the Port of Ashdod, and the Port of Eilat. It has a natural deep-water harbor, which operates all year long, and serves both passenger and merchant ships. It is one of the largest ports in the eastern Mediterranean in terms of freight volume and handles about 30 million tons of cargo per year (not including Israel Shipyards’ port). The port employs over 1,000 people, rising to 5,000 when cruise ships dock in Haifa. The Port of Haifa lies to the north of Haifa‘s downtown quarter on the Mediterranean, and stretches to some three kilometres along the city’s central shore with activities ranging from military, industrial and commercial next to a nowadays-smaller passenger cruising facility.   read more…

Nakba Day

15 May 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  13 minutes

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al Nakba graffiti in Nazareth © PRA/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Nakba (lit.: “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), also known as the Palestinian Catastrophe, was the destruction of Palestinian society and homeland in 1948, and the permanent displacement of a majority of the Palestinian Arabs. The term is also used to describe the ongoing persecution, displacement, and occupation of the Palestinians, both in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, as well as in Palestinian refugee camps throughout the region. The foundational events of the Nakba took place during and shortly after the 1947–1949 Palestine war, including 78% of Mandatory Palestine being declared as Israel, the exodus of 700,000 Palestinians, the related depopulation and destruction of over 500 Palestinian villages and subsequent geographical erasure, the denial of the Palestinian right of return, the creation of permanent Palestinian refugees and the “shattering of Palestinian society”. The most important long-term implications of the Nakba for the Palestinian people were the loss of their homeland, the fragmentation and marginalization of their national community, and their transformation into a stateless people.   read more…

Charles Bronfman Auditorium in Tel Aviv

21 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Opera Houses, Theaters, Libraries, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  4 minutes

© Idan shilon/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Idan shilon/cc-by-sa-3.0

Heichal HaTarbut, also known in English as the Culture Palace, officially the Charles Bronfman Auditorium, until 2013 the Fredric R. Mann Auditorium, is the largest concert hall in Tel Aviv, Israel, and home to the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.   read more…

Sderot in Israel

9 March 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Union for the Mediterranean Reading Time:  9 minutes

Yanchik Hill near Kibbutz Nir Am, view on Sderot and railway Beersheba-Sderot © Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

Yanchik Hill near Kibbutz Nir Am, view on Sderot and railway Beersheba-Sderot © Dr. Avishai Teicher/cc-by-2.5

Sderot is a western Negev city and former development town in the Southern District of Israel. In 2019 it had a population of 27,635. Sderot is located less than a mile from Gaza (the closest point is 840 m), and is notable for having been a major target of Qassam rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Between 2001 and 2008, rocket attacks on the city killed 13 people, wounded dozens, caused millions of dollars in damage and profoundly disrupted daily life. Although rocket fire subsided after the Gaza War, the city has come under rocket attack on occasion since that time.   read more…

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