By Donald H. Harrison
SAN DIEGO, November 6, 2009–Besides the United States and Israel, there are 16 countries that I definitely think that I and my fellow Jews should find a way to thank for sticking by Israel in the recent United Nations General Assembly vote on the Goldstone report.
These are Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
More so than the 16 countries that did not vote and the 44 countries that abstained on the Goldstone Report accusing Israel of “war crimes” during Operation Cast Lead, those 18 countries deserve our gratitude for having voted against yet another gang attack on Israel.
I am a firm believer in the motto that one must divide the world into two categories – “friends” and “potential friends.” So I do not call for any retribution—no declaration of boycotts—against those who misguidedly either abstained or voted in favor of this prejudiced, propagandistic, deeply-flawed Goldstone report.
The leaders and people of these countries need to be educated, persuaded, and given our full intellectual attention so eventually they, too, can join the noble fraternity of 18 righteous nations. Obviously some countries are far more “potential” than others, but let’s not give up on any of them.
Rather let us do what we can to show the countries who stood in the UN General Assembly with Israel against the Goldstone report that their friendship is dear to us, that we wish them well, and that we would like to find ways to deepen our relationships with them.
In that my wife Nancy is a travel agent, I am going to see if it’s possible to arrange a South Pacific tour that might take in some or all of the following countries: Australia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. Or perhaps there’s the possibility of a European tour, during which we’d visit any or all of the following: the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine.
If we remain in the Western Hemisphere, we might be able to schedule ourselves to visit Canada and Panama, and to spend some of our tourist dollars right here in other parts of these United States.
Nancy and I have been to Israel many times, and, of course, a wonderful way to show solidarity with the people of Israel is to take another vacation there, making certain to re-visit San Diego’s partnership region of Sha’ar Hanegev, which along with the neighboring city of Sderot, bore the brunt of Hamas rockets fired from Gaza before Operation Cast Lead.
Members of our community who are looking for outlets for their philanthropic dollars would be wise to invite presentations from representatives of charities within these noble 18 countries.
And, with Chanukah coming up, I hope others will join me in seeking out gifts that were manufactured in any of these Noble 18 countries – these Chai states.
Again, for the record, the countries deserving our appreciation are: Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Macedonia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Netherlands, Palau, Panama, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and our own blessed United States of America.