When UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres addressed a closed audience at the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv University last month, 8 Debate for Peace youth leaders had the opportunity to be part of the audience. We thank the staff of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) for helping to ensure that the leaders of the future get to hear from today’s global leaders.
As their comments after the event show, students were appreciative of this special opportunity, and especially impressed by how the UN Secretary General addressed the difficult history of Jews in Portugal head-on, acknowledging travesties and tribulations, and taking responsibility for part iniquities.
Yuval (Ort Rabin in Gan Yavne)
Meeting the Secretary General was truly an experience. His speech was very interesting and meeting such an important diplomat is truly an honor. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to attend the event.
Sana (Al-Qasemi High School in Baqa al-Gharabiya)
The UNSG was very warm and thankful to be there, and I am very happy I got to be a part of something like this, something that doesn’t happen often. It was a great opportunity and a wonderful experience
Alon (Ben Gurion High School in Petah Tiqva)
The experience of hearing Mr. Guteress’s speech was very interesting. It was a huge honor for me to attend the speech of such an important person. I learned from the speech that Portugal had an unfortunate history with its own Jews.
Ben (Yachad High School in Modi’in)
It was such an interesting environment to be in, and it really puts you in perspective where you will you be if you’ll work hard enough. Hearing the Secretary General talking about problems relevant to this day and apologizing for his native country’s crimes against the Jewish community back in the 15th century was extremely moving.
Zohar (Wizo Hadasim High School in Even Yehuda)
The UN Secretary General spoke truthfully about his country [Portugal], about its mistakes during the Second World War and has apologized. It showed that he has taken responsibility of their past and that he truly strives to improve the situation.
Yafa (Bashaer High School in Sakhnin)
It was an honor to meet the Secretary General of the United Nations. I felt a wonderful feeling: everything was perfect and exciting. It was an unforgettable experience that I would like to repeat again.