Aviva Klompas began her career working within the genteel halls of her national government. The author, incidentally holds a Masters in biology (not exactly an indication of what was to come in her career trajectory), embraces her Jewish heritage and has a love of her country of Canada. And while she enjoyed leading Birthright trips and engaging with the pro-Israel community, she never thought that she would end up the chief speech writer for the Israeli UN ambassador. But sometimes life offers you unexpected opportunities, and it is important to grab that brass ring.
Klompas’ book, Speaking for Israel, is an engaging thrill ride of UN politics, coupled with that well-known Israeli acerbic nature, and the reality of expectations. Along the way the author gifts the reader with a lesson into modern history, conjoined with an explanation of how past is prologue to our own engagement with the world around us. For anyone interested in the international arena of hyperbole and hypocrisy aimed at the Jewish State this book is a must read. (Hint: Simply because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean the world is not out to get you.)
This book is a first hand account of what Israel truly faces at the UN. In fact, it’s an overall lesson in how well-intentioned international efforts to right past wrongs, the creation of the UN itself, can be hijacked by those with nefarious purposes. This is a look at the inside of political meanderings, and an eye-opening account of just what it takes to be keep up with the ever changing daily reality of international politics. The reader learns that it is more than being able to think on your feet. It’s being able to withstand tsunamis and hurricanes as you channel the best of Emily Post, while keeping a smile on your face, your ego in check, and your writer’s tools at the ready.
Two thoughts come quickly to mind while reading this book:
The first is the age old questions- “What is a nice Jewish girl like you doing in a place like this?”
The second is a psalm- “Lo though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…”
This book is definitely for anyone interested in studying, and understanding, international politics and organizations. Moreover, the reader is also provided with the added bonus of modern Israeli and Jewish history. These lessons all come together in a confluence of events not to be ignored. Without a doubt this book is well written, and engaging.
Additionally, and an important aspect of this book not to be overlooked, is that it is also a study in what it actually takes to do a job well done.
This book is available May 7.