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Israel and its people fascinate me since my childhood days. I still remember how I used  to wait for the postman to come and give me the copy of a magazine Israel Today published by the Consulate in Israel in Mumbai.

Reading the magazine I go fascinated by articles on Israel agriculture, culture, scientific innovations and vibrant Jewish communities.

My first opportunity came in 1988 when I visited Israel on our way to London. I was accompanied by a friend Apurva Patel whose Brother-in-law Paris was staying in Lo.

I fell in love with the place at first sight. We went to Kibbutz Sode- Boher and learnt about  Ben-Gurion ( First PM of Israel) love for Gandhi. When I sent picture of Gandhi at Ben-Gurion home the seeds starting friendship society with Israel were planted in my heart.

On my return in 1988 I started the organization Friends of Israel but as these were no diplomatic relationships between India and Israel we had a very small group.

In 1992 PM Narsimha Rao recognized the State of Israel. This was shot in the arm of society and our contact with the Embassy was established.

Since 1992 to 2013  I  must have visited Israel almost 10 times and each time I met new people and I started loving Israel more. My stress is on the word PEOPLE not PLACES. I firmly believe that places though important for building relationship we need PEOPLE.

During these 11 visits to Israel I had the pleasure to meet community members of Kibbutz like Alona ( Kibbutz Yotvata) Luna ( Kibbutz Kfar Harvv), Ronit ( Kibbutz Elrom),  Tamar ( Sade-Boker) Libby, Ariel and Nitzen ( Yahel) Ilan ( Moshav Ein Yahav), Rina Karen, Aya Sagi, and Bella of Kibbutz Program Centre  and scores of others . I was impressed by their straight forwardness and sincerity of purpose towards community living.

I also made some interesting friends like  Chanchal, Rollay, David, Naomi who gave me deep insight into Jewish culture. During these years I also met from the foreign office Arthur Lenk, Danny Zonshine, Orna Sagiv, Dov Steinberg, Eyal Rak, Yarron Mayer they all helped me a lot to organize various programmes so as to strengthen public movement of course during these years of travel I also started visiting places of my food interest.

Two of the best ones are Abu Lafya inTel-Aviv and EMA ( mother) in Jerusalem. I have also had falafel at several road side Arabic restaurants and whatever the media say, I firmly believe that Arab Christian, Muslims can stay side by side with their Jewish brothers.

I would love to see this and pray to God that Israel the country I LOVE has this HARMONY in my life-time.

 

I would like to end with a motivation song of Jewish Actor David from a Raj Kapoor directed film BOOT POLISH

 



 

 

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