Israel’s deputy ambassador to the UK met with elected representatives and community leaders during a recent visit to Northern Ireland.
Alon Roth-Snir, who previously served as an Israeli diplomat in Jordan, expressed his gratitude for the strong support which exists for Israel in Northern Ireland. Equally the deputy ambassador demonstrated his determination not to dodge questions posed by Israel’s critics.
At a Q and A session jointly promoted by NIFI and the East Belfast Mission, Alon took questions from members of the main political parties as well as NGO leaders at an event chaired by Rev Gary Mason, superintendant of the Mission. Over 80 attended this early evening event.
Earlier Alon met government minister, Jonathan Bell MLA, at Stormont Castle along with Jonathan’s party colleague, David McIlveen MLA, who voiced their warm support for Israel.
Alon had a chance to see at first hand the cutting edge work of the East Belfast Mission and its development plans. He also met with Evelyn Collins, chief executive of the Equality Commission in Northern Ireland, to discuss that organisation’s twinning with its Israeli counterpart. His busy visit was rounded off with a roundtable discussion with leading academics.
Alon said that as an Israeli engaged in the peace process in the Middle East he felt all parties there had much to learn from people in Northern Ireland regarding community reconciliation.
Steven Jaffe, co chair of NIFI, said: “It was a great pleasure to help arrange and come over with Alon for this visit. We were particularly pleased to co host the evening event with the East Belfast Mission, which has repeatedly shown its commitment to inclusivity and dialogue. Like every visiting Israeli diplomat, Alon was impressed by the extent of support for and interest in Israel that exists in Northern Ireland and looks forward to strengthening the connections between the two countries”.