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March 2009 The great hall at Stormont was packed to over capacity at our launch. Our keynote speaker was the deputy ambassador of Israel to the UK, Talya Lador-Fresher. Entertainment was provided by Israeli singer Hadar
NIFI’s mission statement was formally launched at a meeting at the Park Avenue Hotel, Belfast. A packed room listened to Israeli ambassador to the UK, HE Ron Prosor.
Anti-Semitism in modern guise – renowned academic and lawyer Anthony Julius spoke to over 300 NIFI supporters on Anti-Semitism in the UK
The Israeli ambassador to the Irish Republic, HE Zion Evrony, was guest of honour at our first meeting outside Belfast – in Coleraine, another packed house.
“The Case for Israel”, a film, was shown to large and receptive audiences in Bangor and Coleraine.
NIFI’s football XI took on and beat the Northern Ireland Supporters’ Club in a hard fought match at Clandeboye Park, Bangor. NIFI supporters attended the international match at Windsor Park between the two countries. A few weeks earlier a party of NIFI supporters also attended the Glentoran Maccabi Haifa fixture at the Oval where we made a presentation to both clubs.
Well over 200 people registered their opposition to the trade union boycott of Israel. Speakers included Eric Lee of Trade Union Links with Israel and Palestine.
Cartoons in conflict – NIFI supporters enjoyed a sneak preview of the exhibition supported by the Bereaved Families Circle. Guests included Culture Minister Nelson McCausland MLA and Diane Dodds MEP.
Not even one of the coldest days of the year kept the crowds away to celebrate the centenary of the Kibbutz movement – with two speakers from the Kibbutz movement in Israel. Ex kibbutz volunteer, Alban Maginness MLA, gave the vote of thanks.
Hundreds attend NIFI’s photograph exhibition on Memories of the Jewish refugee farm in Millisle to mark Holocaust Memorial day. The exhibition was hosted by two local councils in Northern Ireland.
Jerusalem-based lawyer Solon Solomon, who was in Belfast as a guest of Queen’s University Law Department, was one of a number of speakers at a NIFI event on the evening before his lecture at Queen’s, along with the deputy ambassador of Israel to the Irish Republic. Sadly, Solon’s address at Queen’s the next day was disrupted and he was harassed by anti-Israel elements at the university.
NIFI’s summer reception welcomed the Anne Frank exhibition to Newtownabbey. Gillian Wallnes of the Anne Frank Trust spoke to a packed house. Culture Minister, Nelson McCausland MLA, was also among the speakers.
300 people attended our meeting with the Ambassador of Israel, HE Ron Prosor – his second visit to Northern Ireland as our guest. The previous day 80 people attended the Ambassador’s briefing in Coleraine, kindly hosted at the offices of Coleraine Borough Council.
Over 100 attended our Case for Israel event at the Braid in Ballymena. Guest speakers included Michael Brodsky of the Israeli embassy in London and local MP, Ian Paisley Jnr.
A similar number enjoyed a party celebrating Israel’s birthday jointly supported by NIFI, the Belfast Jewish community and the Belfast branch of the Council of Christians and Jews.
NIFI’s summer reception was attended by 200+ people who were enlightened and entertained by Colin Nevin, who spoke on the subject of a Christian living in the Jewish state.
The deputy ambassador of Israel in the UK, Alon Roth-Snir, addressed over 80 community leaders at an event promoted jointly by NIFI and the East Belfast Mission, as well as speaking at universities and colleges.
Faces of Israel, a group of young Israelis from diverse religious and ethnic backgrounds, visited Belfast as guests of NIFI – meeting elected representatives at Stormont and various community groups in Belfast.
Over 170 people attended NIFI’s presentation on the Forgotten Refugees, the Jews from Arab lands, venue courtesy of Newtownabbey Borough council. Guest speaker was Lyn Julius of Harif.
160 heard the shocking story of the decline of the Christian community who live under the Palestinian Authority. Our speaker, a Palestinian from Bethlehem, also spoke to a gathering of over 600 at a north Belfast church.
Over 300 people attended NIFI’s meeting with Israel’s ambassador to the UK, HE Daniel Taub.
350 + people welcomed two Israeli students in Belfast. The 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht was also commemorated. The students from Israel also visited churches, youth groups and schools.
Solidarity with the people of Sderot – over 160 supporters hear ex Sderot Mayor, David Buskila, talk about everyday life in a city which has taken the brunt of thousands of missile and rocket attacks. The event took place at the East Belfast Mission.
Approx 200 people attended an event featuring former Knesset member Einat Wilf. Einat also spoke to NGOs and local think tanks at a breakfast briefing hosted by NIFI.
Israeli diplomat, Rony Yedidia-Clein, leads a NIFI breakfast briefing on the forthcoming Israeli elections
Over 100 supporters attended an evening with Ishmael Khaldi, Israeli diplomat who spoke about his career from Bedouin shepherd boy to Bedouin diplomat for the state of Israel. Ishmael also led two round table discussions with churchmen, academics and senior community leaders.
NIFI was proud to host Israeli press attaché Yiftah Curiel at a breakfast briefing in Belfast. During his visit Yiftah was guest of honour at an evening to celebrate Israel at Stormont and spoke at a packed Great Hall. He met with senior journalists and briefed community leaders and elected representatives at our NIFI event.
Over 150 heard Noam Bedein speak about life in southern Israel under bombardment from Hamas and other Islamist terror groups in Gaza.
On the eve of the Labour Party conference over 100 NIFI supporters heard director of We Believe in Israel, and lifelong Labour Party activist, Luke Akehurst, talk about the problem of anti-Semitism on the Left. Nigel Goodrich, convenor of the Confederation of Friends of Israel in Scotland, also spoke.
NIFI held events outside Belfast, at churches in Bangor and Carryduff, where the guest speaker was Simon Barrett, presenter of the Middle East Report. Simon spoke to large and attentive audiences.
Over 200 celebrated the centenary of the Balfour Declaration at a packed Great Hall Stormont. Guest of honour was deputy ambassador of Israel to the UK, Sharon Bar-li. Speakers included historian, Roy Thurley, David Parsons of the International Christian Embassy of Jerusalem, Rabbi David Singer and Steven Jaffe. Israeli singer, Tally Koren, enthralled the audience with a rendition of Jerusalem the Gold. The event was organised jointly between NIFI and ICEJ. Peter Weir MLA was host.
A packed NIFI reception at the Linen Hall Library launched a year of marking the centenary of Israeli President Chaim Herzog’s birth in Belfast. The Ambasador of Israel, HE Mark Regev, was amongst the speakers.
Our Exhibition on the Herzog family in Belfast was hosted at the Linen Hall Library.