Israel’s outgoing Ambassador to the United Nations Prof. Gabriella Shalev received an enthusiastic sending off in New York from of a friendly crowd, as she delivered the 5th Annual Gershon Jacobson Memorial Lecture, hosted by the GJCF and the Algemeiner Journal.
This historic lecture, entitled Representing Israel at the UN: Challenge or Opportunity?” took place on Tuesday August 24th at the Park East Synagogue. The Ambassador took the opportunity to share the various hardships facing Israel at the UN, and also shared details of positive growth and development.
Shalev harshly criticized the UN saying:
“Sadly, there are countless human tragedies and immeasurable human suffering around the globe. Yet the United Nations reserves the overwhelming majority of its condemnation only for Israel. This can only be interpreted as the “politically correct” modern anti-Semitism. “
More after the jump.
“We cannot stop the witch-hunt against Israel that regularly takes place at the United Nations today.”
She insisted that despite the challenges, Israel must not walk away from the UN, quoting President Woodrow Wilson who said:
“I would rather lose in a cause that will someday win, than win in a cause that will someday lose.”
Shalev also spoke of the dangers of rhetoric saying:
“Some may simply dismiss all of this — all these meetings, resolutions and letters (at the UN) — as purposeless diplomacy, or as mere rhetoric.”
But, she said;
“We must also acknowledge the danger of words. The horrific genocide of the Holocaust did not begin in the gas chambers — it began with the inciting words of Nazi leaders.”
The Ambassador also acknowledged the positive power of words, stating:
“Words, indeed, may have a powerful force. Think, for instance, of the words of the United States’ Constitution or Israel’s declaration of independence; or the words of great leaders such as Washington, Lincoln, Herzl or Ben Gurion”
She also expressed gratitude for America support and the support of the American Jewish community:
“This hypocrisy, this double standard, this double talk, which is unleashed inside the United Nations, is checked only by one country, Israel’s best and closest ally: the United States of America.”
On the upcoming peace talks she said:
“The pursuit of peace will inevitably be a complicated and uncertain venture; but with the security of Israel we will never gamble. A request that Israel recognize a Palestinian state, as the nation-state of the Palestinian people, must be met with an acknowledgement that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.”
This annual lecture is one of many programs of the Gershon Jacobson Jewish Continuity Foundation (GJCF), established in 2005 after the death of Gershon Jacobson, the long-time editor and publisher of the largest Yiddish-English weekly, The Algemeiner Journal, Jacobson, one of the most respected and influential Jewish journalists of our time was described by Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel as “a warrior for truth.” Gershon served as a courageous, independent advocate for the most important issues facing the Jewish people and the state of Israel.
The GJCF, which bears Jacobson’s name, is dedicated to perpetuate his pioneering spirit by serving as a valiant media voice addressing the most compelling issues of our time, with vision, integrity and moral clarity, fighting for Jews and Israel in the media. The GJCF is directed by Simon Jacobson and Dovid Efune, and is overseen by a highly prestigious tribute committee. The GJCF is now responsible for publishing the weekly Algemeiner. For a comprehensive description of the GJCF’s activities, please visit the organization’s website.
1. Ambassador Shalev delivers the 5th annual Gershon Jacobson Memorial Lecture. (Photo credit: David Karp)
2. GJCF and Algemeiner director Dovid Efune thanks Ambassador Shalev. (Photo credit: David Karp)