Even as the Goldstone Commission Report has cast a cloud over Israel's relations with the UN, the world body is sending a delegation here this week to recruit Israelis to work in one of any number of UN agencies.
Currently, some 30 Israelis work for various UN agencies, and this recruitment drive is an indication that the UN sees in Israel a resource of high-level, qualified employees, said Meirav Eilon Shahar, director of the Foreign Ministry's department for UN political affairs.
Israel, she said, also has an interest in having more Israelis work for the UN.
"This is a good way to show the world our potential," she said.
"If you send Israelis to Cambodia or Azerbaijan as part of a UN team, true - they will be doing development work for the UN, but they will also be showing Israel's potential."
Shahar said the recruitment drive was also an indication that the UN was beginning to view Israel as a member country with a great deal to contribute. She said that the UN should not be seen as a monolithic, anti-Israeli organization, and that there are a number of different agencies inside the organization whose doors are wide open to Israelis.
Among the agencies that will be looking for workers are the UN peacekeeping forces looking for support staffers, the UN's secretariat, UNICEF, and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The seminars, which all start at 10 a.m., will be held at Tel Aviv University's Bar Shira Hall on Tuesday and Haifa University's Hecht Auditorium on Wednesday. A seminar for students and staff only will be held at Hebrew University's Truman Center on Monday.
More information can be found in Hebrew at the Foreign Ministry's Web site at http://www.mfa.gov.il.