I am happy to share the beauty I find in celebrating Shabbat.
Many of my friends were asking me about my different Shabbat experiences that took place among a verity of communities in Israel. The majority is very similar, but Shabbat in Safed is not like Shabbat in Raanana, and Shabbat in Hebron is not like Shabbat in Sderot.
Getting to know people while visiting their homes during Shabbat is something very pleasant. Everyone is relaxed, eating, talking, walking slowly. I have friends who are not at all familiar with the concept of Shabbat, and have no idea what I’m doing in those twenty-five special hours. But neither the “do not” list nor the “do” list can illustrate the feelings, emotions, thoughts and experiences that are felt, thought and experienced on the Sabbath.
Besides that, Shabbat is a wonderful way to get to know the lovely people who live in our country. And maybe, and that’s the essence of the book – to introduce you to the good people I met along the way wherever I stayed. The willingness of people who know me and also who do not know me, to open their homes and host me for the entire Sabbath and allow me to peek inside into their intimate life, is a magical thing to me.
At an American middle school I visited, a day or two earlier, a pro-Palestinian activist said to the boys, “The reason we are exploding on buses is that we have nothing else we can do. We are the weak, the victim.”
I could not have asked for better preparation for a conversation with them: “I have a question for you,” I said. “Suppose there is a little six-year-old girl, and her father forbade her from playing with a ball at home. One day she played with the ball and accidentally broke the TV screen. The girl’s father comes home and sees the damage and beats the girl until she can barely open her eyes. What do you think? she deserves it?”
“No!”, The children replied.
“Okay, but she not only broke the TV, but also the computer, and the vase that has been in the family for generations. Is it okay to hit?”
“But … let’s say somehow, because of the fall of the screen, a fire broke out and the house caught fire. Is it okay to hit her?”
“No!!!!!”, the children shouted. “Excellent,” I replied. “If so, please explain to me, what did a six-year-old Israeli girl who got on the bus could have done that will justify a suicide bomber to explode and kill her? What did she do that she deserved that?”
The children were silent. Israel wins again.
For half a year I was in the United States on a mission in which I met with hatred and love for Israel, ignorance, lack of understanding and quite a few exciting and inspiring moments. This book is the story of the journey.
This paper examines the United Nations’ and its agencies’ unequal financial allocations, mistreatment of Israel, and breach of its mandates. It covers almost 30 UN institutions:
executive and judicial organs and committees. While it does not cover all misconduct at the UN, it highlights an alarming pattern in the way the UN operates. Analysis of some of the individual bodies demonstrates that the UN treats the State of Israel unfairly and unequally. Subtle bias consisting of inflammatory language in resolutions and excessive spending on certain projects constitute discriminatory practices.
Official UN websites were examined to determine the institutions’ overall function, budget, sources of funding, membership selection criteria, and connection to Israel. Information, however, was of ten difficult to obtain. For example, accessing clear and detailed budget
information proved difficult; this in itself arouses concern, because the UN is funded by taxpayers’ money from various countries — most importantly the United States. For this reason, information was also obtained from reputable NGOs whose goal is to increase transparency and clarify internal proceedings at the UN. The actions of many UN organs and subsidiaries involving Israel were individually analyzed. Aspects examined included the language and terminology used and the institution’s ostensible function, membership, utilization of its financial resources, and agenda.
While problems were found at over thirty other bodies, the institutions showcased in this paper demonstrate a clear bias against Israel in the allocation of funds and breach of their mandates. The paper uses this information and analysis to formulate recommendations for making the UN more transparent, efficient, and fair.