(Photo Credit: Hanoch Grizitzky)
British Ambassador to Israel H.E. Matthew Gould bestowed upon BGU President Prof. Rivka Carmi an honorary Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the name of Queen Elizabeth II on Monday afternoon at the British Ambassador’s Residence in Ramat Gan.
“Rivka is an outstanding leader whom I hold in high esteem. She is also an outstanding and wonderful friend and partner in the mission to build scientific links between the UK and Israel. She has invested huge amounts of time to make it happen, and I could not have hoped for a better partner. It is my enormous pleasure to award you with this medal,” Ambassador Gould said.
Prof. Carmi was presented with the medal and a scroll personally signed by Queen Elizabeth II. “I am truly honored to accept this award,” Carmi said, “In the past weeks since the announcement I have received many messages of congratulations and I have answered them all thus – I accept this not for myself but for Ben-Gurion University and for Israel both of which I am proud and pleased to serve.
“The brainchild of Matthew (Gould), the UK-Israel Life Sciences Council brought together the scientific powers of our two countries in order to increase collaboration and to promote peace through science and it is for my small part in this project that I, an Israeli - today become a Commander of the British Empire! Never in my wildest dreams!”
Carmi thanked her council co-chair Prof. Raymond Dwek. “As co-chairperson of the council I am fortunate to have the most outstanding Israeli scientists in my group and so very fortunate to have as partner Prof. Raymond Dwek of Oxford who co-chairs for the UK and his British group of equally distinguished scientists.
“With Matthew in the driving seat, this project has far exceeded our expectations and is testament to the amazing talent, creativity and innovation as well as sincere wish to collaborate and work together, that abounds in Israel and the UK,” she added.
Turning to a matter of concern, “I cannot gloss over the current BDS campaign against Israel and like many of you I am both disgusted and worried by the seemingly increasing momentum it is gathering – however, I believe absolutely that this is a lot of unpleasant noise made by a few ignorant individuals and that the amazing success of our joint Sciences Council is both proof that I am right, and the best response. At universities across Israel and the UK, including BGU and Oxford, we will not be halted in our endeavors to use the great talent of our scientists to conduct cutting edge research and to bring new solutions to global issues – and to truly improve the life of people regardless of race, color or religion,” she declared.
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