(April 17, 2018 / JNS) Forty ambassadors to the United Nations, representing a quarter of the countries with diplomatic ties to Israel, are visiting the Jewish state this week as the country celebrates its 70th anniversary.
Organized by the American Zionist Movement, the delegation of diplomats hail from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Europe and Latin America. They are meeting government officials, touring historical, religious and strategic sites, and participating in events to commemorate Israel’s Independence Day.
“Seventy years after the United Nations played a key role in the founding of the State of Israel, it is significant that so many foreign Ambassadors to U.N. are visiting Israel to see firsthand the history and accomplishments of the country,” said Richard D. Heideman, president of the American Zionist Movement, in a statement.
Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon, who has accompanied the ambassadors on the trip, said: “As we celebrate 70 years of our independence, it is heartening to be joined by senior representatives of so many countries from around the world.”
“While Israel faces many challenges at the U.N., we also know that we have many friends, and that this number continues to grow as more and more countries come to appreciate our beautiful thriving country and the contributions that we make to the international community,” he added.
So far, the delegation has met with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Labor Party Opposition leader Isaac Herzog and Israeli Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi. They have visited the Western Wall, City of David and Masada. The group is also scheduled to travel to Yad Vashem, Christian holy sites and the Israeli border with Gaza, as well as meet with other senior Israeli officials.
Some members of the delegation participated last week in the “March of the Living” in Poland, visiting Krakow and the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp.