We can learn from Ulster, says Israel’s Prosor

300 attend NIFI event in Belfast to hear Israel’s Ambassador


From the Jewish Chronicle, London:


By Marcus Dysch, April 14, 2011

Israeli ambassador Ron Prosor tackled university chiefs during a two-day visit to Northern Ireland in which he also met councillors who support anti-Israel activity.

He met Queen’s University vice-chancellor Peter Gregson and other academics in Belfast on Wednesday to discuss how lessons from the Irish peace process could benefit the Middle East.

They agreed that the university should establish links with Israeli institutions to share technological research work and conflict-resolution ideas. A working group is likely to be set up by the university and it is hoped a link may be formalised later this year.

Mr Prosor said: “The agreements reached today will have far-reaching and long-lasting implications for the relationship between our two countries.”

He also raised an incident from last month, when Israeli law lecturer Solon Solomon was rescued by security officers when a seminar he was giving at Queen’s was abandoned following disruption by pro-Palestinian activists.

Professor Gregson said an investigation was continuing and that disciplinary action would be taken against staff or students found to have breached procedural guidelines.

The ambassador later travelled to Coleraine in County Londonderry for a meeting with local elected representatives, community leaders and evangelical groups. A number of anti-Israel initiatives have emanated from the area, and Mr Prosor said he had been keen to meet those involved and explain the realities of Israeli life.

The ambassador also met representatives of Moyle District Council, after which council leaders said they were prepared to rethink a plan to twin their area with Gaza City having heard the argument on behalf of Israel.

Mr Prosor was due to meet First Minister Peter Robinson at Stormont, home of the Northern Ireland Assembly, on Thursday.

The visit concluded with meetings with the Northern Ireland Friends of Israel group (attended by 300 people) and  members of Belfast’s Jewish community. (Belfast Photos: Joe Cohen and Coleraine photos courtesy of Coleraine BC).