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Our Man at the UN

Michal Ish Shalom

The United Nations is not usually considered a friend of the Jewish People. Yet Professor Moishe Zvi Reicher, World Agudath Israel’s representative to the UN from 1995 to 2004, managed to work from within the organization to advocate on behalf of his people. How did this modern-day Mordechai do it, and on a shoestring budget that would make a tyrant laugh? Professor Reicher says he was motivated by Mordechai’s entreaty to Queen Esther.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

man by computerReb Shlomo of Bobov was once traveling by car on Manhattan’s FDR drive. When the car turned onto the exit ramp leading to East 42nd Street, he caught a brief glimpse of the United Nations headquarters, whose towering Secretariat building, standing immediately beside the low, flat-topped building housing the General Assembly of the UN, looks exactly like a gravestone rising from a cemetery. Someone pointed out the building, and the Rebbe remarked, without missing a beat, “This is the place where the truth was buried, and that is the tombstone.”

The teller of this story, Reb Shlomo’s chassid and disciple, Professor Moishe Zvi (Harry) Reicher, can attest to the truth of that statement through personal knowledge. As the World Agudath Yisrael’s liaison to the United Nations for a period of nearly nine years, from 1995 to 2004, he has been witness to the often nefarious workings of that organization when it comes to the State of Israel.

Yet despite the UN’s disappointing track record concerning the Jewish State, the World Agudath Yisrael does have to its credit a long list of accomplishments when it comes to protecting Jewish interests throughout the world. Many of those successes can be traced to Professor Reicher who, like a modern-day Mordechai, has managed to accomplish things behind the scenes that ambassadors of countries armed with budgets in the billions have not succeeded in achieving.



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