Jerusalem, Israel - Jan. 11, 2018 - Jerusalem, Israel's new Orient Hotel was the venue for the Government Press Office's annual civil New Year toast with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Originally to be held in December, on Hanukkah, the reception was postponed until the evening of January 10.

After cocktails and buffet which included salmon, pastas and beef, the invited guests, which included Ambassadors and diplomats from overseas, and foreign journalists sat for an artistic program.

Music for Social Change "Sulamot" began the entertainment, followed by "Sand Paintings" by Ilana Yahav. Using sand and English and Hebrew recorded music Yahav illustrated thousands of years of history of Eretz Yisrael, until the upcoming 70th year celebration of State of Israel.

Government Press Office Director Nitzan Chen acted as master of ceremonies for the event "Marking the 70th anniversary of Israel." Master Mentalist Lior Suchard was the featured entertainment. Suchard selected members of the audience to join him on stage, The Ambassador of Hungary participated in one trick with a Rubik's cube. Chen, also was asked to participants on stage. Audience members were impressed with the use of numbers and words, resulting in correct answers to questions such as the name of a first love.

The Prime Minister entered surrounded by his security team and began his remarks, "I want to congratulate Ambassador Friedman, the American ambassador to Israel, who tweeted the truth, unvarnished, straight forward,” that funding and inciting does not lead to peace. The Prime Minister spoke of the Palestinian Authority paying terrorists after they murder Israelis and encouraged journalists to report to their news outlets. 

After a brief question and answer session, Netanyahu asked the mentalist to describe the drawing in his pocket. Adding the words, Am Yisrael Chai to his paper. the Prime Minister showed his art work to the audience. 

Dessert and hot drinks were served at the end of the official program, providing more time for guests to mingle. For some guests it was a once a year chance to catch up and talk.