Jewish National Fund - We Only Have ONE ISRAEL

February's People

By Gad Nahshon

Rabbi Michael Melchoir, Israel's Minister of Diaspora, a member of Barak's 'One Israel' party, was the guest speaker of the 'Israeli House,' a club for the Israelis who live abroad. The Israeli consul, Igal Tsarfati, is in charge of this club in New York. He is a veteran diplomat who has the ability to communicate with the Israeli citizens who live in the U.S. Tsarfati introduced Rabbi Melchoir to the many Israelis who came to the meeting which took place in B'nai Zion House (Manhattan). He also thanked Mel Parnes, B'nai Zion's executive director and vice president.

Rabbi Melchoir briefed the guests about the Middle East situation and confessed that Israel has been beaten, severely, in the international field of public relations or the 'War of the Mind.' He understood the 'vacuum' which was used by the Arab propaganda. He remarked that the conflict turned to be a new kind of religious war between Judaism and Muslim. He said that since 1945, we did not face such a revival of anti-Semitism. "You are aware of this country, but you cannot even imagine what is going on in Europe or Latin America," said Melchoir, who also had to challenge many questions and remarks from the audience who told him about the bad record of the Israeli P.R. in this country: "We improved this reality and now our P.R. is much better," answered Rabbi Melchoir.

The Israeli Ambassador in the U.S. Gen. (Res) David Ivry, was the guest speaker of the recent meeting of the J.C.R.C. in Manhattan. Ivry presented the official approach of Barak's government to the new Arafat war of attrition. He said that Israel has no choice but to proceed with the peace process. Ivry, as expected, was 'attacked' by some participants such as Jeff Wiesenfeld for Israel's recent poor P.R. record. Ivry answered that the situation here is not that bad. For example, most of the editorials in the printed media were favorable to Israel. Also, 96 senators came out to support Israel.

CNN, ABC, and channel 13 helped the Palestinian propaganda. To conclude Ivry said: We would like to have Canada as our neighbor." Among the guests were: Gideon Patt, Rabbi Israel Miller, Gendale Horowitz, Hriet Mandel and Michael Miller.

The great Mayor of Ariel, Ron Nachman, came to visit this country. He wanted to mobilize support to his town, a success story, in the West Bank, a defense wall of the central region of Israel. His town is also a model of absorption of Olim from many countries. Recently, the Palestinians attacked the roads to Ariel, shooting on Israeli civilians, women and children alike. Indeed, it is the moment in which American Jews should support Ariel!

No one in the 'Big Apple' can produce such a party as Gloria Kins! She creates, in her beautiful East Side mansion, a special unique 'ambience' not to be found around. She brings people together, guests from all over the world who live in New York or belong to the U.N. community. Kins' altruism means love of humanity, love for tolerance.

The last party was dedicated to Teodor Melescanu, president of the Romanian party: "Alliance for Romania party." This great politician is running in his country for the presidency. He is a professor of international law and came to mobilize support for his country and candidacy as well. He stressed the need to support the economy of Romania. He wants to attract investments as much as possible.

Indeed, with friends such as Gloria Kins, you can achieve your goals. At least she gives you hope that there are people on our globe who want to give and not just take.

"What is the impact of Middle East unrest on the turbulent new economy?" was a long day enriching symposium which was organized by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Many friends and associates of this university came to this event to listen to the many guest speakers: Prof. Avishai Braverman, the president and the dynamo of his university, Major-Gen. Yom Tov Samiah, one of the I.D.F.'s distinguished military leaders, Zvi Alon, chairman and C.E.O. of Netmanage Inc., Abby Cohen, managing director of Goldman, Sachs and Company, Dr. Dorothy Zinberg, Harvard School of Management, and many others. Myra Cohen of Information Media Services contributed to the success of this event.

When the P.L.O. and Arafat launched their attrition war against Israel, the American Jewish Congress organized, in front of the P.L.O.'s mission in N.Y.C., a 'prayer vigil' calling for a stop to the P.L.O.'s violence. Among the participants at the P.L.O.'s office (115 East 65th Street) were: Claire Shulman, Alan Hevesi, Nita Lowey, Peter Vallone, Daniel Hevesi, Gary Ackerman and Anthony Weiner. A.J. Congress organizer Michael Nussbaum participated in this important protest.

Many celebrities attended the recent ADL's National Commission meeting at the Plaza Hotel. Ben-Ami was Israel's guest speaker who called on the P.L.O. to come to the peace table. He said that Israel should continue the discussion which took place at Camp David when Bill Clinton was the President. He also referred to Arafat as a tough partner. Hillary Clinton was also a guest and Rick Lazio refused to come to this annual event. Governor George Pataki called to support Israel.

The emcee was Abe Foxman, ADL's executive director. Among the celebrities who attended were Seymour Rich, Dr. Yehuda Lancry and Ken Jacobson.

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