Dinner at the embassy

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02/13/2008
So I lied a bit in my last post. I was under the impression we were attending dinner last night at the ambassador's house. Apparently, he was busy. Instead, we attended a reception at the Deputy Chief's house (he's the second in command). It was a very nice affair, with lots of diplomats who are very good at making small talk. The Deputy's name is Luis Moreno and you can see here that we've become fast friends. Deputy Moreno gave a nice short talk on the embassy's support of a two-state solution, and emphasized his security background, noting that his embassy is one of only four in the world that employ a full-time security staff and don't just hire a local private firm to do security. Speaking with some of the local consulate members (people who give the thumbs up or down to visa applications, for example), I found that they very much enjoy it here, but are asked to obey some simple security rules. They can't ride the bus or train, and there are a few cities they're asked not visit. They can't go into the Old City after dark. In terms of industry types, perhaps the most relevant person I met was Guy Zuri, the business development manager for security, safety and Homeland Security at the Israeli Export & International Cooperation Institute. He works with the likes of NICE, Verint, Mate, and other Israeli firms, looking to export Israeli technology to the rest of the world. He'll be hosting a technology demonstration/mini trade show for us on Thursday. He's a good salesman, too. By the end of the reception, he had convinced the Deputy to attend.