I’m proud to claim former Minnesota Senator Rudy Boschwitz as my friend. As a young man he founded a business that’s still going strong. He served with distinction for 12 years in the senate before losing his seat narrowly to Paul Wellstone in 1990. He has devoted himself to philanthropic causes in an exemplary and understated manner. After his 1990 election defeat, he returned to the family business in Minnesota and remained active in public affairs, answering the call from President Bush (41) to assist in negotiations for the initial evacuation of Ethiopia’s Falasha Jews to Israel. The emigration of the Falasha from Ethiopia to Israel continues today.
Rudy has been called to public service once again. On Friday the White House announced that it would nominate him as the United States Ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva: “Bush taps Boschwitz for UN position.”
One of my favorite books by William Buckley is the memoir of his service in the United Nations as U.S public delegate and representative to the third committee (on human rights) in 1973 — United National Journal: A Delegate’s Odyssey (now sadly out of print). If I understand correctly, the position of U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights was created during Buckley’s tenure. Buckley recalled his service in a May 2001 column: “U.N. frolics.”
The U.N. Commission is a cesspool of anti-Semitism of which Israel is of course the primary focus. Anne Bayefsky’s April 2004 NRO column provides a good summary of the commission’s business last year: “Business as usual.”
There are few people in American public life as capable as Rudy Boschwitz of serving America’s interests in this difficult forum. I wonder only if he draws combat pay, or if the posting to Geneva is considered sufficient compensation for the extraordinary difficulty of the position.
HINDROCKET adds: Rudy Boschwitz is a good man who deserves any honors that come to him in what would be, for those who lack his tireless energy and commitment, retirement years. Thinking of Rudy’s new assignment, I can’t help remembering Benjamin Netanyahu once telling me that the Israeli people have never had a better friend in the American government than Rudy Boschwitz. He has his work cut out for him.
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“Arise and take our stand for freedom as in the olden time.” Winston Churchill