On a trip to Israel Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul & Mary fame) brought his guitar and message to schools in Lod and Petach Tikva. His aim was to bring Jewish and Arab kids together to prevent bullying and intimidation among schoolchildren.
At a recent America-Israel Friendship League dinner in New York, Yarrow performed the song that most resonated with the kids:
Don’t laugh at me, don’t call me names,
Don’t get your pleasure from my pain.
In God’s eyes we’re all the same.
Someday we’ll all have perfect wings
Don’t laugh at me.
The dinner for 400 guests featured a panel discussion on Israel as an incubator of high tech innovations. The speakers included Dan Senor and Saul Singer, authors of “Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle.”
Former Mayor Ed Koch was especially animated when he discussed the rise of anti-Semitism around the world.
“Of course, you can criticize Israel,” Koch said, “but I believe the attacks on Israel are anti-Semitic. You think you can count on the French. They can’t count on themselves. They voted in favor of the Palestinian Authority in Unesco. And that 81-year-old lady on the flotilla who wanted to break the Gaza blockade – why doesn’t she go to Syria if she wants to help persecuted Arabs?”
AIFL, headed by chairman Kenneth Bialkin and run by executive director Dr. Alex Grobman, was founded in 1971 to bring state legislators, attorneys general, business leaders, campus newspaper editors and architects to visit Israel and strengthen the bond between the Jewish state and the U.S. Early on, when Robert Abrams was the New York state attorney general, he brought colleagues from various states on regular visits to Israel.
Dan Gillerman, former Israeli Ambassador to UN and current Israel board chairman of AIFL, and Maled Abdelaziz, Egyptian Ambassador to UN.
Diane S. Abrams, senior vice president of Brown Harris Stevens residential sales and her husband Robert Abrams, former New York State attorney general.