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- The establishment of the Israeli state was a heroic deed, after centuries and milennia of struggles that had created the woirld that we can see in Israel today, – László Papp, Mayor of Debrecen, stressed in his welcome speech. He added: Israel, the epitomy of a talented and tolerant nation which, if necessary, is ready to protect its own interests with arms, is the most important pillar of stability and European partnership in the Middle East. The Mayor underlined: he is proud of the fact that Hungary fosters exemplary relations with Israel, and that a strong cooperation has been forged between allies: the states of the Visegrad Group and Israel.
- Debrecen plays an active part in this cooperation as it is home to the country’s second largest and most cohesive Jewish population, which acts as a catalyst for the development of our relationship with Israel. The renewed Jewish quarter, the resurgent urban Jewish traditions, the Israeli students studying at the University of Debrecen, and the vision for the future of the Debrecen Synagogue all show that Debrecen gladly and respectfully fosters its Jewish values and relations with Israel, the Mayor said
- Hungary and Israel are close friends, building bridges between the two nations, the two cultures and the two countries. Magyarország és Izrael közeli barátok, hidakat építünk a két nép, a két kultúra, a két ország között. This is what is meant to be confirmed by today’s conference, which presents, among other things, Israel’s achievements, - said Yossi Amrani, Israel’s Ambassador to Hungary in his speech. Yossi Amrani said that Israel is a country of extremes, an inspiring, fighting country and nation, which wishes to become part of the world’s community with its identity preserved.
In his welcome speech, vice-rector for education reminded those present that an important role is played in the city’s relations with Israel and the Jews by the University of Debrecen, where there is a siginificant number of Jewish students with Jewish culture who represent significant intellectual potential.
- At present the university has 203 Israely students , the majority studying medicine and health science. Over the past couple of years we have issued at least a thousand university degrees to Israeli students. The relationship between the university and Israel and the Jews is not restrected to this. In almost all fields of science at the University of Debrecen we can find Israeli colleagues, scientific institutions, and universities with whom we foster close relations – the vice rector said.
The academic conference on the past, present and culture of Israel was organised by the Faculty of Arts of the University of Debrecen.
- When compiling the topics of the lectures it was our intention to organise a wide-spectrum, comprehensive conference. The participants could gain an insight into Israel’s history, the past decade of the Israeli-Arab conflicts, the birth of Israeli drama, the linguistic and cultural diversity but could also hear a lecture on the Jewish community living in Hungary- said Péter Forisek, vice dean for education of the faculty of Arts.
The event Israel 70 was mainly attended by the students and teachers of the University of Debrecen in the Kölcsey Culture centre last Tuesday.