When my husband Ed became involved in Birthright Israel Foundation, I was less of a participant…
As Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, my role is to defend the Jewish State in the international arena – and this is no trivial task. Each year, the UN condemns Israel more than all other countries in the world combined. Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East, is singled out, held to absurd double standards, and targeted with bias and hypocrisy.
Today, those who seek our destruction know that they cannot defeat us on the conventional battlefield – they do not have a chance! So instead, our enemies target us where they think we are weak.
They not only attack our homefront with terror, but they also target us in another way. They seek to delegitimize and isolate Israel in the international community in order to destroy us. It is my mission to combat these hateful lies and defend Israel on the global stage.
One of the ways I do so is by showcasing Israel’s true face. Israel is a peace-seeking nation and a hub of innovation dedicated to tackling the world’s greatest challenges. At the UN, I initiate events exposing dignitaries from around the world to Israel’s unbelievable contributions. Yet beyond events, among my most impactful initiatives are the UN Ambassador delegations that I lead to Israel.
Israel sells itself. When one visits, one cannot help but fall in love or, at the very least, comprehend the reality we face.
On every delegation, when ambassadors from all over the globe visit Israel, what they experience lights a spark within them. They return to the UN with a deep understanding of Israel, and the change in their attitude is indisputable. While this is the effect that visiting Israel has on non-Jewish diplomats, the impact on Jewish visitors is unquestionably life-changing.
And this is exactly the power of Birthright Israel’s programs.
By bringing young Jews to Israel and igniting a passion for their heritage, Birthright Israel opens a door into their past, connects them with their present, and sets them on a mission for their future.
Thanks to Birthright Israel, an entire generation of Jews, over 800,000, have formed a deep-rooted bond with the Jewish homeland, and for that I cannot be more grateful.
In an era where the demonization and delegitimization of Israel has become the primary tactic of our enemies, my fight as Ambassador has become far more challenging. Yet thanks to Birthright Israel, I know I am not fighting alone. There are now nearly one million more ambassadors of the State of Israel. Hundreds of thousands of young Jews have seen Israel with their own eyes, experienced the diversity of our society, learned of the millennia-old bond between the Jewish people and our homeland, and now have the tools to become defenders of Israel. The impact is profound.
As modern-day Israel celebrates 75 years of Independence on Yom Ha’atzmaut, I know that there is no project of greater importance to the future of the State of Israel and the Jewish people, than Birthright Israel. As Ambassador, I know that the young Jews who partake in the various programs offered by Birthright Israel, will impact Israel and the Jewish world for the better. I thank you deeply for your support in ensuring this mission’s continuity and for standing up for Israel.