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By Micah Halpern
The first female US Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, has passed away at the age of 84. Born in 1938 in the city of Prague, she immigrated to the United States in 1949 at the age of 11, together with her parents. The family lived in New York, on Long Island.
Under President Bill Clinton, Madeline Albright served as US ambassador to the United Nations before making history as the first female United States Secretary of State.
Three of Albright’s grandparents were murdered by the Nazis. But her parents converted before she was born and never told Madeline that they were Jewish. They raised her as a Catholic.
On a personal note, I was with Madeline Albright on several occasions. I was at Yad Vashem when she publicly announced and affirmed that she was Jewish. She had just finished her official tour and was holding a press conference outside the Children’s Memorial. It was there that she spoke openly, candidly and I must say, very movingly, about the Holocaust and her family.
Madeline Albright was a powerful force. When she felt it necessary, she did not hesitate to put people in their place. I was there, in Ramallah, with the Secretary of State and Yasser Arafat, when she made the famous statement that “there is no equivalence between bombs and bulldozers”. At the time Albright was responding to justifications for terror and that Palestinian houses were being bulldozed by Israel and so they, the Palestinians, were murdering Israelis.
Throughout her career, Madeline Albright remained a true lady. She telegraphed her intentions through her scarfs and her pins and the colors she chose to wear. When she visited victims of terror in an Israeli hospital she wore white, for her visit at Yad Vashem, it was blue and to reprimand Yasser Arafat, Madeline Albright dressed in black with a pin in the shape of white dove adorning her outfit.
She was one of a kind. May her memory be blessed.
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29 March 2022 09:06 PM in Thoughts
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