Conference of Presidents: American-Israeli Unity Strong As Ever

February 14, 2013 1:09 am 1 comment

Malcolm Hoenlein and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency

‘Unity’ was one word that often came up during the 39th annual mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations held at Jerusalem’s Inbal Hotel, where 110 American Jewish leaders gathered together for meetings and conferences with Israeli figures throughout the week.

The annual mission, whose primary aim is to strengthen ties between the US Jewish community and Israeli leaders and policy makers, emphasized the close ties between American Jewish leaders and Israel.  “This Conference is designed to allow us to hear Israel’s political, military and social leaders so we can devise specific ways to proactively work together to strengthen Israel…” said Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the conference.

“There are 52 major Jewish organizations represented here. Our umbrella organization, which was established in the 1955, has everyone from the Anti-Defamation League to Peace Now,” Hoenlein told Tazpit News Agency.  “We come from all religious and political spectrums from across the US.”

In light of the upcoming visit of President Barack Obama. and the new Israeli government in formation under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the conference also stressed the unbreakable relationship between the United States and Israel.

Columbia University Professor Richard Stone, Chairman of the Conference of Presidents believes that the relationship between the current US presidency and Israel remains strong. “I reject the idea that there is a strained relationship between Israel and the United States,” he told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday, February 12.

Hoenlein, a veteran observer of Washington policies, believes that Obama’s visit to Israel “can be an opportunity to build between the two sides. I don’t think he [Obama] will propose or impose a plan [on Israel],“ he noted in an exclusive interview with Tazpit News Agency.

“Not a week goes by where, when there isn’t a visit from a key Israeli official to the US. Both countries do so much together and share important goals,” Hoenlein said.

During the conference, key political figures detailed those goals which included preventing Iran enriching uranium for its nuclear weapons program.

US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro told the audience on Monday, February 11, that US-led sanctions against Iran were crippling its economy and that “we will not let up until we achieve our goal of stopping a nuclear armed Iran.” He also added that “no options are off the table including a military option.”

If Iran were to become nuclear, it “would threaten the US and its allies in the region, spark a nuclear arms race in the volatile Middle East and threaten freedom of navigation in the Gulf,” elaborated the ambassador.

Shapiro also noted that President Obama was the fourth-sitting US President to ever visit Israel in office and that the ambassador was “thrilled” of the upcoming visit.

When asked about President Obama’s controversial nomination of Chuck Hagel for Pentagon chief, Shapiro portrayed Hagel as someone “deeply committed to Israeli security and the President’s policy to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.”

Following the US ambassador, Prime Minister Netanyahu also voiced his welcome for President Obama’s visit, stating that “…this is a wonderful opportunity to reaffirm the strategic relationship between Israel and the United States.” The Prime Minister mentioned that there were three main subjects that he would bring up during the president’s visit including “Iran, Syria, and the pursuit of peace.”
Netanyahu emphasized the importance of unity in the face of ongoing global terrorism, as well as in the face of Israel’s “enormous external challenges and great internal challenges.”

“We’ll achieve a government here that maximizes unity, and I know that we’ll work together with you to maximize Jewish unity, in the United States, in the Jewish communities around the world and here in Israel to secure the future of the one and only Jewish state,” Netanyahu told the American Jewish leaders.

To end the evening on a lighter note, Hoenlein presented the Israeli Prime Minister with a newly printed Book of Genesis, Beresheit, and a Baltimore Ravens Super Bowl t-shirt.

1 Comment

  • So, what you’re saying is that all the American Jewish organizations have united in their decision to NOT oppose the nomination of Chuck Hagel?

    Let’s hope that American Jewish leaders do not represent American Jews.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →
  • Analysis Arts and Culture Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    Beyond ‘Klinghoffer’: Opera’s Composer, Librettist Have Broader Jewish Problem

    JNS.org – One of the most controversial operas in recent memory, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” debuted Oct. 20 at New York’s Metropolitan Opera. The Met has scheduled seven more performances through November. The first staging did not occur without protest, as about 400 demonstrators—including Jewish communal and nationally recognized leaders—came to Lincoln Center to denounce the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel opera. “Klinghoffer,” the creation of composer John Adams and librettist Alice Goodman, premiered in 1991—with few additional stagings. The opera is based [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli Actress Gal Gadot in Talks to Star in Ben-Hur Remake

    Israeli actress Gal Gadot is in negotiations to take on the female lead role in the remake of the 1959 classic Ben-Hur, according to The Hollywood Reporter. If the deal is finalized Gadot will play Esther, a slave and Ben-Hur’s love interest. Actor Jack Huston will star as the Jewish prince who is betrayed into slavery by his childhood friend Messala, played by Toby Kebbell. Ben-Hur fights for his freedom and vengeance with the help of Morgan Freeman’s character, who trains Ben-Hur how to win at chariot-racing. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    Young Israelis Try to Crowd-Fund Their Way to Major League Baseball Playoffs

    JNS.org – Baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie are the American dream. So why do two young men who have built their lives in Israel have a GoFundMe crowd-funding webpage with the urgent message that they need $3,000 to travel to the U.S. to watch the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles square off for Major League Baseball’s (MLB) American League championship? Brothers Naftali and Yoni Schwartz, 27 and 25, respectively, are Kansas City natives. Even though they made aliyah with their [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Sports Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Race Cars Speed Through Jerusalem in Amazing Exhibition

    Some 3,000 years ago, King David probably never imagined cars racing at 240 kilometers per hour (150 miles per hour) through the ancient capital of the Jewish people. But on Monday and Tuesday, October 6-7, thousands of Israelis lined the streets to watch Porsche, Audi, and Ferrari race cars fly through the capital against the backdrop of the Tower of David, the Old City Walls, and other city landmarks. The second annual non-competitive Jerusalem Formula One Road Show had been [...]

    Read more →
  • Israel Sports NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    NBA Superstar LeBron James Says He Wants to Visit Israel

    Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James expressed interest in visiting Israel someday, local news site Cleveland.com reported on Sunday. Speaking to Israeli reporters before the Cleveland Cavaliers’ preseason debut against Maccabi Tel Aviv, the NBA star said he had never visited the Jewish state but “I want to look forward to going there if I get an opportunity to.” When asked by an Israeli reporter if there was “any chance that LeBron James and Cleveland comes to Tel Aviv,” the athlete said [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    Florida Rabbi Dominates Former Basketball Star Congressman in Hoops Showdown (VIDEO)

    A Florida-based Chabad rabbi put former basketball star, U.S. Congressman Curt Clawson to shame on the court when the two faced off one-on-one recently. A YouTube video, posted online on Tuesday, shows Rabbi Fishel Zaklos of Chabad of Naples shooting hoops with the Florida politician, who played basketball in high school and at Purdue University in Indiana. The game took place in the parking lot of the Chabad Jewish center run by Zaklos. During the 1-minute clip, Zaklos scores two impressive [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.