Israels new ambassador to UK praises ORT


15 February 2008 Israels new ambassador to UK praises ORT Israels new Ambassador to the UK, Ron Prosor, has praised ORTs amazing work in Israel and around the world. Addressing a joint World ORT-British ORT event at ORT House, London, Ambassador Prosor presented an overview of the serious challenges facing Israel. But among the positive points he raised was the huge contribution World ORT was making to his country through Kadima Mada (Science Journey), our programme to raise the level of science and technology education in the Jewish State. Excellence begins and ends with education. What ORT is doing with Kadima Mada and across the world with non-Jewish, as well as Jewish, communities is amazing. It falls under the category of ohr lgoyim (light unto the nations) and tikkun olam (repairing the world) and beyond kol Yisrael areivim zeh lzeh (all Israel is responsible for one another). ORTs work makes a huge contribution to Israel. Thank you for that, said Mr Prosor (pictured with World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter, left, and British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman, right). Since it was launched in January last year, Kadima Mada has brought high-tech laboratories and fully equipped staff rooms, teacher training and support for needy students to more than 30 marginalised, under-resourced campuses in partnership with local municipalities and the Ministry of Education. Introducing the Ambassador, British ORT Chairman Alan Goldman said: ORT is going strong in Israel as well as in 57 other countries. But there is no doubt that Israel is very much at the heart of our activities. Given the centrality of Israel in our operations it is therefore very fitting to welcome His Excellency here tonight. Some 100 people, including guests from 10 organisations based at ORT House such as the Bnai Brith and Weizmann UK, attended the event. Ambassador Prosor told them that Israels predicament as a democracy under fire was not conveyed in the UK or Europe even though it was writing the guide book on how to deal with terrorism. As an example of the extraordinary situation that Israel faces every day, the ambassador described the life-saving treatment given at Soroka University Medical Centre in Beer Sheva to a woman who had tried to perpetrate a suicide bombing at that very hospital. Coincidentally, World ORT last year launched the SMILE project at Soroka through which students from nearby Makif Aleph Junior High School, which participates in Kadima Mada, join volunteers from Israel elite cadre of trainee air force pilots to bring friendship and scholarship support to bedridden children. Ambassador Prosor went on to stress the grave threat that Irans nuclear weapons programme was posing to Israel and the Middle East. And he warned that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejads repeated statements relating to the liquidation, extermination and erasing of the Jewish People from the map should be taken seriously. However, he said the Iranian threat had galvanised more moderate Muslim countries in the Middle East to take a more constructive approach to the peace process as seen by their attendance at the Annapolis summit last year. Regarding the peace process with the Palestinians, Mr Prosor said the path was not easy but that to do nothing would allow Hamas to prevail. The risks are enormous and the margins of error are very small. We have to be very sure before we do anything with regard to territorial concessions, he said. Closing the proceedings, World ORT President Sir Maurice Hatter said: ORT is proud to be so closely associated with Israel. Our Kadima Mada project will enrich thousands of students who otherwise would not be able to access high quality education. In the coming decades these students will be able to make their own contribution and help the State of Israel go from strength to strength. We wish the new ambassador much success in his mission and ORT will be on hand to help in whatever way we can. World ORT Director General Robert Singer added: The feeling among the audience was that this was one of the best presentations they had seen by a representative of the State of Israel. Ambassador Prosor is the right man in the right place at the right time.