Rudy Boschwitz: A Gillibrand footnote

After his two terms representing Minnesota in the Senate from late 1978 to early 1991, Rudy Boschwitz served as the first President Bush’s Emissary to Ethiopia (1991) and then was appointed by the second President Bush to serve as the United States Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva (2005). Thinking about New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s forthcoming appearance before supporters of the BDS movement against Israel (noted here by Paul), Rudy writes to note that allegations of Israel’s alleged “racism” and “apartheid” are belied by the facts: “Only twice in history have blacks been taken from Africa for love and a better life. The first was Operation Moses in 1985, negotiated by then Vice President Bush. Operations Moses brought over 5,000 black Jews to Israel. The second was Operation Solomon in 1991, where 14,300 black Jews were taken out of harm’s way in 1991 [in an expedited departure negotiated by Rudy]. Other times blacks were taken out of Africa for slavery or exploitation.”

Rudy adds: “Four young black Israeli women visited me recently at my Plymouth office (I’m a regular stop for former Ethiopians when they come out to the prairie). They were three high school juniors and one senior. Two are aiming to become doctors and the other two had equally lofty goals. Like other Israeli youngsters, they feel everything is possible for them!”

Rudy’s work on Operation Solomon was recognized by President Bush with the award of the Presidential Citizen’s Medal in a Rose Garden ceremony on June 4, 1991. President Bush’s remarks at the ceremony honoring Rudy and others are posted online here. The story of the operation itself is recounted in Stephen Spector’s Operation Solomon: The Daring Rescue of the Ethiopian Jews, published in 2005 by Oxford University Press.

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