American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter
stands by as Rabbi Arthur Schneier presents award to
Brazil President Lula
APPEAL OF CONSCIENCEBrazil Prez: Respond To Threats
With Dialogue, Not Violence
HE more we speak of globalization the more we become polarized. That’s the pessimistic assessment offered by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, founding president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, at the 41st annual dinner at the Marriott Marquis.
Nevertheless he stressed that the foundation will continue its mission of building bridges between religious groups around the globe.
After 41 years, Rabbi Schneier, "We are an older generation. We are concerned about the future."
To ensure the continuity of the foundation, Rabbi Schneier said he’ll recruit 100 religious leaders below age 40 to convene next year in Vienna to plan for the future.
The 600 dinner guests applauded as Schneier honored Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil.
"We must firmly respond to threats," Lula said, "but never in a way that undermines values we seek to protect. We reject violence. Diplomacy is always our option. Our best weapons are the culture of dialogue solidarity among people."
American Red Cross chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter and Red Apple Group chairman John Catsimatidis were also honored by the foundation.
McElveen-Hunter mentioned how thrilled she was as U.S. ambassador to Finland.
"My father," she said, "was one of the original seven U2 pilots who flew over Russia during the height of the Cold War. Never did I imagine I would serve as ambassador beneath those skies."
She said she’s proud of Israel having been accepted into the International Red Cross. "After 58 years of discrimination against Magen David Adom, a wrong has been righted."