After a hiatus of more than 40 years, Israel has returned to the Executive Board of the United Nations Children’s Fund. It will be the third time that the Jewish state has served on the executive board.
Israel has a long history with the organization. UNICEF was established in 1946 by Ludwik Rajchman, a Jewish-Polish pediatrician and Holocaust survivor. Dr. Rajchman’s original idea, to help European children who were victims of the Holocaust, developed into an international organization whose goal was to help children throughout the world.
In recent years UNICEF has developed an anti-Israel reputation among many in the Jewish community, prompting a strong response from the Anti-Defamation League, who defended the organization.
In a statement posted to the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, an MFA spokesperson said:
“Israel has an excellent network of connections with the organization. The Israeli Fund for UNICEF, operating from Tel Aviv, has raised millions of shekels for the organization’s activities for the benefit of children around the world. Israel also cooperates with the organization in various areas of assistance projects in Third World countries.
“Israel’s term on the UNICEF Executive Board is for the duration of one year, 2013, and its representatives, MFA officials, intend to take an active role in discussions and in the management of the organization.”