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Thread: Israeli Embassy Set Up to Withstand Bomb Blasts

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    Senior Member celticviking's Avatar
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    Post Israeli Embassy Set Up to Withstand Bomb Blasts

    With bulletproof windows and strengthened walls to withstand bomb blasts, Wellington's new Israeli embassy is the epitome of high security.

    "We are a target. We have to make sure that, whenever something might happen, the people inside are in no danger," spokeswoman Patricia Deen said as the embassy was officially opened yesterday.

    It will not be used until August when building work is completed. Deputy chief of mission Teddy Poplingen said there had been delays in finding a building that satisfied Israeli security requirements.

    The embassy, on Lambton Quay, was opened by Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith and his Israeli counterpart, Reuven Rivlin.

    A dozen security staff were present at the ceremony, which marked the end of an eight-year period during which Israel had no embassy in New Zealand – the previous one being shut because of Israeli budget cuts.

    Ambassador Shemi Tzur, who took on the job last April, is the first person to hold the post in eight years.

    Dr Smith hoped the new diplomatic presence would boost the "trifling" trade between the nations. Last year, exports to Israel were about $30 million.

    He told The Dominion Post that food and agriculture exports could be boosted, and a new reciprocal working-holiday arrangement with Israel meant there should be an increase from the 7000 or so Israelis visiting New Zealand each year.

    The new arrangement meant Israelis and Kiwis could live and work in each other's countries for up to six months without special visas. Dr Smith said it was hoped the new deal would be in place by November.

    After the United States, Israel had the world's highest number of start-up companies and there would be opportunities for New Zealand in the research and technological innovation sectors, he said.

    Mr Poplingen said the two countries would now strengthen political, economic and cultural ties. "New Zealand is a great friend of Israel."

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    lol, is that really necessary in NZ? The only 'anti-Semites' in NZ are pro-Palestinian hippy types - and they don't know how to make bombs.

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