Israel Presidents and Head of State visit Bahai Centres
September 1, 2012 Leave a comment
1-President Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi (1954)
The official visit of the President of the State of Israel, Mr. Izhak Ben Zvi, and Mrs. Ben Zvi, to the Guardian in April, 1954 led to a most cordial relationship between them, and Shoghi Effendi later called upon the President and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem. On December 6, 1955 the Mayor of Haifa, Aba Khoushy, visited the Baha’i House of Worship inWilmette, Illinois, and was received by Mrs. Amelia Collins, Vice-President of the International Baha’i Council and Mr. Horace Holley, Secretary of the American National Spiritual Assembly.
(Bahai World Volume 13 Page 250)
2. Hands of the Cause meet wuth President Ben Zvi of Israel (1959)
3-President Zalman Shazar (1964)
Israel’s third President, Zalman Shazar, accepted the invitation of the Universal House of Justice in the spring of 1964 to pay a formal visit to the Shrine of the Bab and the Baha’i gardens on Mount Carmel. Included in the Presidential party on that occasion were Mrs. Shazar and Mayor and Mrs. Aba Khoushy of Haifa. Later a delegation composed of Hands of the Cause and members of the Universal House of Justice returned the visit by calling on President Shazar at Beit Hanassi in Jerusalem.
The cordial relationship which exists between the World Centre and the State of Israel was further enhanced when Mark Tobey and Bernard Leach each presented a piece of their work to the new Israel Museum inJerusalem. The Mayor of Jerusalem, who is also Director of the Museum, expressed great pleasure and gratitude for these gifts from Baha’is of such fame.
(Bahai World Volume 14 , page 92)
4. President Chaim Herzon (21 October 1984)
His Excellency Chaim Herzog, President of the State of Israel, paid an official visit to the Baha’i World Centre on 21 October 1984 at the invitation of the Universal House of Justice.
At 9:40 a.m. the President was formally received in Bahji, at the Collins Gate, by the nine members of the Universal House of Justice and escorted to the Mansion where Baha’u’llah spent His final years. There the President was greeted by the Hand of the Cause of God ‘Ali-Akbar Furutan who conducted him to the room of Baha’u’llah and showed originals of some of Baha’u’llah’s Tablets. Leaving the Mansion, the President paid his respects at the Sacred Tomb.
Proceeding to Haifa by official motorcade, the party alighted at theMount Carmel gardens and visited the Shrine of the Bab. This was followed by a visit to the Seat of the Universal House of Justice which concluded with a formal luncheon in the banquet hall, in the President’s honour. The visit of the first Head of State to call on the House of Justice in its permanent Seat was the occasion for the inaugural use of the splendid dining room, readied for the occasion by the dedicated efforts of dozens of skilled and devoted Baha’is serving at the World Centre.
Among those attending the historic event, in addition to the members of the Universal House of Justice and their wives, were the Hand of the Cause ‘Ali-Akbar Furutan and the Mayor of Haifa, His Worship Arye Gurel, and Mrs. Gurel. An album of colour photographs of the major Baha’i Holy Places in Israel was presented to President Herzog by Mr. Hushmand Fatheazam, on behalf of the Universal House of Justice. The President responded with expressions of sympathy for the suffering Baha’is of Iran and pride in the Baha’i community and its world-famed Holy Places.
The beauty of the Baha’i Holy Places, the splendour of the Faith’s administrative centre, and the warmth of the welcome extended were the subjects of enthusiastic comment on the part of the President, his aide-de-camp and the Mayor of Haifa.
(Bahai World Volume 19 page 26)
5-Two members of the House meets Mr. Chaim Herzog, President of Israel (1986)
During the month that followed most of the governments of the world, including those responsible for the administration of significant territories and islands, had received the Statement. The presence in the Haifa/’Akka area of the World Centre of the Faith made it possible for two members of the Universal House of Justice to join officers of the Baha’i Inter¬national Community in calling on Mr. Chaim Herzog, President of Israel for the presentation that took place on 4 December. By Ridvan 1986 a total of 138 such presentations had occurred. Of these, 62 had been made in meetings between Baha’i delegations and the responsible Head of State, 42 through meetings with representatives of a Head of State, and 21 through the United Nations missions of the countries concerned through the intermediary of the Baha’i International Community. Through force of circumstance 13 were dispatched by mail.
(Bahai World Volume 19, page 377)
6-The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin
The Prime Minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, visited the Baha’i World Centre briefly on 13 June to view models of the Terraces Project underway on Mount Carmel (see also p. 72). He was escorted during his visit by project manager and architect Fariborz Sahba and the Deputy Secretary General of the Baha’i International Community, Albert Lincoln.
(Bahai World 1994-1995)
7-Shimon Peres, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs (1994)
Shimon Peres, Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, made an official visit to the World Centre on 4 August 1994. Following an audio-visual presenta¬tion on the status of theUniversal House of Justice and invited to a lunch on in his honor in the banquet hall of the Seat. The party was joined by the Mayor of Haifa, Amram Mitzna. Mr. Peres ended his visit by viewing the Terrace Projects in progress and paying his respects at the Shrine of the Bab.
Among the other government officials who visited the Baha’i World Centre during 1994-95 were Israel’s Minister of Education and Culture, Professor Amnon Rubinstein, in May 1994.