Ambassadors and senior diplomats join Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon at a mock Passover seder.
(photo credit: ISRAEL MISSION TO THE UN)
NEW YORK – More than 60 ambassadors and senior diplomats from around the world joined Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon for a model Seder on Tuesday, three days ahead of Passover.
“While we are preparing to celebrate the festival of freedom and the struggle of the ancient Jews against bondage and slavery, the Iranian regime continues to threaten Israel and to spread terror throughout the Middle East,” Danon said during the event.
“These are fateful days. Now is the time for the countries of the world to join us in standing up to Iran and put an end to their attempts to destabilize the entire region,” he added.
Turkish Ambassador to the UN Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu participated in the ceremony, taking part in the customary rituals of the Seder, including reading from the Haggada and tasting the traditional foods.
Sinirlioglu’s presence at the Seder marked an important diplomatic achievement for Israel – which despite signing a normalization agreement just under two years ago – has struggled to build warmer ties with Ankara.
Relations between Israel and what was once its principal Muslim ally crumbled after Israel Navy commandos stormed the MV Mavi Marmara in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamasrun Gaza Strip, an incident in which 10 activists, including one Turk, died.
The Seder, which was organized by Israel’s Mission to the UN in cooperation with the European Coalition for Israel, was attended by representatives of the United Kingdom, Argentina and Rwanda, among others, and included ambassadors from four continents.
Tomas Sandell, the founding director of the coalition, emphasized the importance of Passover and criticized the UN for minimizing the ties of the Jewish people to the Holy Land.
“The Passover Seder helps explain, among many other things, the long and unbroken connection between the Jewish people and the land of Israel,” said Sandell.
“In a day and age when UN organizations, such as UNESCO, has tried to put into question the Jewish claim to Jerusalem, it is important to know that the history of the Jewish people in the Promised Land dates back not 70 years, but closer to 3,500 years,” the Finnish-born lawyer said.
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