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Home English Israel national day at Expo a 'celebration for all'
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Israel national day at Expo a 'celebration for all'

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© ANSA

Milan, June 29 - Israel has celebrated its National
Day at the Milan Expo 2015 world's fair.
With day-long celebrations last Thursday attended by Deputy
Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, Israel paid homage to the
spirit of the food-themed Universal Exposition, which runs
through October 31 under the banner 'Feeding the Planet, Energy
for Life'.
Expo's theme goes straight "to the heart of life" and is
key to the present and future, said Hotovely, 36, in her first
official visit outside Israel since she was appointed deputy
foreign minister last month.
"It intrinsically implies the concept of peace", she added.
And peace was central to Israel's celebrations with the
"entire population of Expo, all of them" invited to attend the
events at the world's fair in Italy's financial capital, which
has registered the record participation of 140 countries,
including Palestinians and Lebanese.
Hotovely also stressed the "great warmth between Italy and
Israel, which can be seen at this extremely beautiful Expo".
"I am thrilled and happy to be here, also because I am a
great fan of pizza and I thank Italy for this - there is no
better place than Italy to start feeding the planet", she joked.
Feeding the planet has always been a fundamental issue for
Israel because, since the 1950s, "innovation has been at the
root of development for us", continued the deputy minister.
Israeli engineers have "always" worked on systems to combat
desertification and the country considers itself a "world
leader" in irrigation-related science.
And this vocation has been celebrated with a special
pavilion, which according to Expo General Commissioner Bruno
Pasquino is one of the fair's icons.
Indeed the Israeli pavilion features a "vertical field"
where rice, corn and wheat fields have been cultivated with a
drip irrigation system over the past two months, ready to be
harvested at the appropriate time - with the peculiarity that
they are growing over a vertical surface.
"This field expresses better than any other concept how we
interpret applied science", said Israel's General Commissioner
Elazar Cohen.
Pasquino noted that the Israeli pavilion is "among the most
relevant of the Exposition, because it goes to the heart of the
theme 'feeding the planet' while expressing the will to share
its knowledge with the world".
"It is no coincidence that Israel is considered the
'breadbasket of knowledge' - I want to note that as many as 20
Nobel laureates over the past 50 years are Israeli", continued
the Italian general commissioner.
"Your fight against desertification is an example for the
world and your position near Palazzo Italia is as significant",
he noted.
The Israeli flag-raising ceremony last week was also
attended by Israel's Ambassador to Italy Naor Gilon and former
Milan Mayor Letizia Moratti, who subsequently had lunch at
Palazzo Italia with Hotovely and Expo President Diana Bracco.
"Israel doesn't only contribute its agriculture and
irrigation-related science, it brings its will to share
knowledge in cooperation projects", she noted.

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