Wednesday, 27 October 2010
Humanitarian activities are at the heart of Israel's diplomacy
I said to the opening session of the conference:
"A winning combination of civil society in Israel is represented at today’s event – delegates from MASHAV, the business community, the government, and the Third Sector. This combination is important for the effective promotion of issues and projects, especially in a democratic and bureaucratic state such as Israel. It is sometimes difficult to implement important activities; when organizations in the Third Sector work together with government ministries, it becomes possible to act efficiently and quickly.
When we talk about MASHAV, we are talking about something in the Jewish DNA. Jews are commanded to help not only their own communities but the wider world as well. MASHAV activities are at the heart of Israel’s diplomacy. MASHAV connects Israel with other peoples; through MASHAV we make new friends in the world and strengthen cooperation with different countries. Worldwide MASHAV activities bring Israel diplomatic dividends.
Israel today is facing an unprecedented attack of delegitimization. MASHAV is a major tool in the fight against this delegitimization. MASHAV shows the world the beautiful face of Israel as a contributing, productive state. It is important to point out at international fora that our enemies, who have failed to defeat us militarily and economically, are now trying to defeat us diplomatically. Today, as Israel faces a political battle, it is unfortunate that the automatic Arab majority puts us at a quantitative disadvantage in international fora. We are therefore trying to create a moral majority that will stand with us. MASHAV shows the world that Israel is a state that creates and assists others – morally, economically and militarily. MASHAV is a means to reinforce Israel’s foreign policy."