- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 11, 2006

Christians and Jews

Israeli Ambassador Daniel Ayalon counts American conservative Christians among the strongest supporters of the Jewish state.

At a recent Israeli Embassy reception, the ambassador hosted Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000; the Rev. Ted Haggard, head of the National Association of Evangelicals; the Rev. Glenn Plummer, chairman of the Fellowship of Israel and Black America; and theRev. John Hagee, chairman of Christians United for Israel.

“When we look into the future, there are still great dangers,” Mr. Ayalon said Friday at the fifth annual Israel Solidarity Event. “But we will defend ourselves against all evil, and we are able to do this because of the help of our greatest friend and ally, the United States.”

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni asked the ambassador last week to stay in Washington for a few more months until the new government can find a replacement for him. Mr. Ayalon has been here for four years, longer than an average term for most ambassadors.

They praised him for his “singular contribution to strengthening Israeli-American ties.”

Former Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom tried to replace Mr. Ayalon more than a year ago, complaining he had served too long in Washington.

“Three years is enough,” he said at the time.

Two likely candidates to replace Mr. Ayalon are Ze’ev Boim, the absorption minister, who is in charge of new immigrants to Israel, and Sali Meridor, former director of the Jewish Agency, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

• Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras; Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller of Jamaica; Juan Pedro Pinochet Becerra of Technology for My Country of Chile; Francois Brikke of the Latin American and Caribbean Water and Sanitation Program of Peru; Vicente Caruz, president of the Development Bank of Chile; Rolf Huppi of Paralife of Switzerland; Enrique Penalosa of Transmillennium of Colombia; Hernando de Soto of the Liberty and Democracy Institute of Peru; Eloisa Ulibarri of the Foundation for Housing Promotion of Costa Rica; and Hector Ureta of Cemex Mexico. They participate in this week’s conference on Latin America at the Inter-American Development Bank.

• Qubad Talabany, representative of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, who discusses the status of Kurds in Iraq in a briefing for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Wednesday

• Eduardo Montealegre, the front-runner in the Nicaraguan presidential race. He addresses the Heritage Foundation. Tomorrow, he speaks at the Center for Latin American Issues at George Washington University.

• Defense Minister Oswaldo Jarrin of Ecuador, who addresses the Inter-American Dialogue.

• Kamal Hossain, president of the National Unity Forum in Bangladesh and a former foreign minister. He addresses the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

• Assar Lindbeck of Stockholm University, who addresses the Institute for International Economics on the Chinese economy.

Thursday

• U.N. ambassadors Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt, Munir Akram of Pakistan, Chitsaka Chipaziwa of Zimbabwe, Andrei Denisov of Russia, Wang Guangya of China, Augustine P. Mahiga of Tanzania, Le Luong Minh of Vietnam and Nirupam Sen of India. They are expected to attend a conference hosted by Georgetown University and the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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