For many years I have wondered why so many officials all over the world do not like Israel. It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism - they just don't like us. True, often when heads of state arrive here, they are not greeted by hundreds of flag-waving children, like in other modern countries. Drivers don't move aside to clear the way for their official limousines, like in Moscow or London, for example. Not to speak of the local press, which usually skips the guests (unless it is the US president) and at press conferences ask the Israeli participants tough questions of local interest only. But still, we're not such bad people. Jerusalem residents, who suffer so much from their city being one of the most visited by foreign officials, deserve some credit. After all, what do we ask from them? Nothing - just to look at the city's breathtaking sights, sympathize with the Israeli cause, ignore the security fence and - how should we put it - ignore the outrageously different level of services between east and west Jerusalem. And all this in less than three minutes, right after the compulsory visit to Yad Vashem. This week it was the new UN secretary-general's turn to go through this initiation course, and perhaps it was his public support of our country and our people that earned him "special treatment": right after the Yad Vashem visit, and before he even had time to recuperate, Ban Ki-moon was taken by our energetic mayor for a tour in the Jerusalem Forest. But his distinguished guest was not invited to enjoy the trees, but rather to do some gardening. The pictures sent by the municipal spokesman's office show a rather unusual scene: The man charged with supervising the behavior of some 190 states around the world wielding a hoe, still in his suit, to improve the Judean woods. Straight afterwards, Mayor Uri Lupolianski whisked Ban off to Yad Sarah to teach him how to fix medical equipment for the needy. True, Yad Sarah has - rightly - earned a special observer status at the UN, but I doubt that its admission into the international organization was meant to end up in a workshop. Thank God it ended there, and nobody at City Hall thought of asking Ban to do some Pessah cleaning. Who knows? Maybe next year.

Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Think others should know about this? Please share