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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on January 30th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

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The Best at the UN ends up reflecting also on the worst: The UN Headquarters have many people of value – of compassion and of hope for a better future – this besides of some in the bureaucracy that might be innocents with no vision, others might be plants from Member States that want no part of human rights, dignity, or even of plain truth – so be it.

The good people under the leadership of Eric Falt and Kimberly Mann came up with a very interesting program that we posted earlier so people from outside the UN could know how to find their way in order to participate at these events. The list is in our following link:

 www.sustainabilitank.info/2010/01…

Later we found out that the information about these events was sent to parties outside the UN, was made available to the Press accredited to the UN, but as it turned out – from the 6 events listed by UN Outreach – only two events were printed in the Daily Journal of the UN. That journal is not made available now to NGOs – only to the diplomats – but then NGOs get their information from reading the Journal on the internet – so you can say that the UN Department of Information – the source of the Journal – even though it can contend that it made the information available to the PRESS – can in no way justify why it did not make available the information to the in-house members of the UN – except may-be say that some of those were not interested in the Holocaust as more pressing issues are at hand. But what about the educational aspects that were so important to the good people of the UN Outreach Division?

The day after the main event of Wednesday, a head of an NGO Committee that is daily at the UN, asked me – how did you know about the concert? I did not see it listed anywhere. And trust me – that was neither a question of space nor of security. Then what?

The UN In-House events numbered six, and participation was being granted by various sources – some of them outside the UN.

Let us start with the two events that appeared continuously in the Journal announcements:

These were the Wednesday January 27, 2010 event organized by the Jewish B’nai Brith International NGO in cooperation with the UN Permanent Mission of the Czech Republic. It dealt with the “Inter religious responses to the Holocaust – 65 years after liberation.” Tickets to this event were sent out by the B’nai Brith organization. There was no problem obtaining them after the appropriate phone call.

The other event was on Thursday January 28, 2010 – titled “The Moroccan Jews and Their legacy of survival.” The Journal does not mention that it was organized by the Moroccan Government but directed those interested to contact the DPI/NGO section as it was booked as a regular, weekly, DPI briefing to the NGOs. When approached – the appropriate UN officials said – send us a letter on NGO letterhead. So – this event was being treated as a regular NGO event – not as the important message that the Moroccan Government intended to put forward before members of the UN, and others who actually had no knowledge that during the terrible days of the Holocaust – there was indeed one Arab King – H.M. King Muhammad V of Morocco – who told the Nazis – the Jews of Morocco are my subjects and I do not discriminate between Jews and other Moroccans. Now that was a powerful message that deserved to be heard at the UN – and if not – the organization does not deserve the funds the world sends its way. I had no doubt that I had to take a stand on this issue – and I did.

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The other four events of the week, none of them listed in the Journal, included two quentesential exhibits organized by Non-Governmental factors outside the UN.

On Monday, January 25, 2010,¬† there was a show of hope – it was actually called “Generations: Survival and Legacy of Hope,” for which entrance was obtained from the Shoa Foundation Institute in Los Angeles. This organization, funded initially by Mr. Steven Spielberg from Schindler’s list funds, has documented on video the stories of survivors and their descendants. Two families were present at the showing of material. Despite the terrible material it is the hope that shows through in the success of having picked up their lives again – this is what gives a reason for having hope in institutions that were established under the “Never Again” logo. This event – paired up with the following day opening – together form the raison d’etre for the UN institution – but you would not know this from the way the UN kept these two events of its Journal.

On Tuesday. January 26, 2010, the Exhibit – “Architecture of Murder: Auschwitz-Birkenau,” for which entrance was obtained from the Yad Vashem – Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority. At this event participated also the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, The Israeli Minister for Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, and US Ambassador Rick Barton.

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The other two events that were not listed in the Journal are:

– The main Holocaust Memorial Ceremony and Concert in the General Assembly Hall for which one needed special tickets – so it was clearly a more controlled participation, and that was the event that the lady I mentioned earlier asked me about as she would have wanted to come had she known about it.

– The Thursday January 28, 2010 screening of the film “Defiance” that was co-sponsored by the Permanent Mission of the US and had present the lady that wrote the book, Nehama Tec, and her son who made the movie. The great thing about this movie is that it depicts the true story of the Bielski brothers – a story of Jewish fighters in the forests of Belarus – as the UN release says correctly – it depicts¬† “the struggle of a group of brave Jews who fought against overwhelming odds thus providing a sharp contrast to the countless WWII movies that portray Jews just as victims.” The two Bielski Brigades – the one under one brother that fought with the Russian partisans, and the other – under another brother that guarded the Jewish families in the forest. When the two groups fought together – they turned around the Nazi effort to clear the forest. 1200 people survived thanks to the Bielskis’ leadership. Two of the three Bielskis survived and eventually owned a small trucking business in the US.

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