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Vietnamese in Israel promote solidarity, bravery in Middle East 'fire pan'

Valerie Mai Valerie Mai

mnghonganh@gmail.com

May 18, 2021 | 07:56

Living in Israeli-Palestinian tension, the Vietnamese community in Israel maintains solidarity and resilience despite difficult circumstances

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Vietnamese in Israel promote solidarity, bravery in Middle East 'fire pan'
Vietnam embassy staff visit students in Israel. (Photo: TG&VN)

The Vietnamese community in Israel currently includes more than 400 students pursuing agricultural traineeships in four major training centers, forming a small number of Vietnamese in Tel Aviv, Bat Yam, Beersheba and Haifa. Living in Israeli-Palestinian tension, the Vietnamese community in Israel still maintains solidarity and resilience despite the difficult circumstances.

Appreciating community work

Vietnam Ambassador to Israel Do Minh Hung said that in previous years, the number of Vietnamese students in Israel reached more than 600. However, due to the pandemic and citizens' desire to repatriate, in 2020, the Vietnam Embassy to Israel coordinated with authorities to organize two flights to bring Vietnamese citizens home. The embassy attaches great importance to community work and assigned Second Secretary Nguyen Hoang Tuan to take charge of the issue.

The embassy created a Facebook page named "Vietnam in Israel" to promote the country and people's image to international friends. The page also serves as a communication channel, providing quick and useful information for Vietnamese living, studying and working in Israel.

Vietnamese in Israel promote solidarity, bravery in Middle East 'fire pan'
Vietnamese in Israel sent aids to citizens suffering flooding in the central region. (Photo: TG&VN)

Every year, the ambassador and the embassy staff visit agricultural centers where Vietnamese students study. Tuan also keeps regular contact with the centers' class monitors in order to understand the students' situation and thoughts.

This year, due to the pandemic, it was impossible for the embassy to hold a community Tet celebration. Instead, it held an online year-end meeting with the Vietnamese community to wish each other a peaceful and successful new year.

Recently, as the embassy was planning to visit international agricultural training centers, conflict suddenly broke out in the country.

Vietnamese in Israel promote solidarity, bravery in Middle East 'fire pan'
Ambassador Do Minh Hung visited Vietnamese students in AICAT center. (Photo: TG&VN)

Solidarity, resilience, proactive response

These days, the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza has seen some of its worst violence ever. Vietnamese students in Sderod Negev, a center near Gaza, are at the highest risk. As soon as he realized the security situation in Israel worsening, Ambassador Hung directed Tuan to contact the Vietnamese every hour to understand their situation.

Tuan said that the students' work and study areas were equipped with shelters, and they also underwent training on emergency response. Currently, studying and working hours have been changed by the host authorities. "In the context of tense security, everyone remains united, optimistic. They constantly exchange information with the embassy and with each other to update the latest developments," he added.

The embassy also posted a notice on the "Vietnam in Israel" page, emphasizing that the most important priority was to ensure security and safety. The embassy has instructed the Vietnamese community in Israel to follow set recommendations, including to strictly comply with local authorities' regulations and instructions, be responsible for protecting themselves and other people, and to keep regular contact with the embassy, especially in emergencies.

Vietnamese in Israel promote solidarity, bravery in Middle East 'fire pan'
Students in Sderod Negev center, close to the Gaza strip. (Photo: TG&VN)

The embassy also keeps close contact with the training center directors, emphasizing the need to ensure security and safety for Vietnamese students. It was proposed that the ambassador would visit students, especially those in Sderod Negev, as soon as the local security stabilized.

On May 12, during an online meeting between the Israeli foreign minister and the Vietnam ambassador, Hung raised a question about measures to ensure security and safety for the Vietnamese community in Israel. The Israeli minister said that it had implemented measures to ensure protection of Vietnamese students and was ready to coordinate with the embassy in case of an emergency.

"This is the period when we must promote Vietnamese people's solidarity and resilience, proactively responding to any difficulties circumstances," Ambassador Do Minh Hung said.

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Valerie Mai