40 UN ambassadors visit Israel as nation celebrates 70th anniversary


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Forty ambassadors to the United Nations are visiting Israel as the nation celebrates its 70th Independence Day.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, is leading the five-day visit this week. No ambassadors from Arab countries are participating

The visitors include ambassadors from Serbia, Jamaica, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Liberia, Ukraine, Uganda, Slovenia, Malta, Mozambique and Ethiopia. Not all of the countries represented vote with Israel in the U.N. Security Council.

On Wednesday, the envoys are scheduled to visit the controversial West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, located just miles from Jerusalem.

The ambassadors also will meet with the Israeli president, prime minister, opposition leader and other Israeli officials.

The delegation has viewed Jewish antiquities unearthed near the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem during a visit to the City of David National Park, and has traveled to southern Israel to visit Gaza-border communities. They also have visited the Western Wall, the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum and Tel Aviv.

The visit was organized by the American Zionist Movement in cooperation with Danon.

The visit, which was planned over several months, is the largest to come to Israel so far. There were nine participants in 2016 and 14 in 2017.

Fifteen ambassadors first joined Danon in Poland last week for the March of the Living, which was held on Israel’s Holocaust Remembrance Day. It was the first time that U.N. ambassadors had joined in the March of the Living.

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