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...

  • Blogs Sports Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    Gold on the Galilee: Israeli Kayaker Comes of Age, Eyes Olympics (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Three years ago, kayaking coach Roei Lev found aspiring Olympian Ilya Podpolnyy crying on the steps of the Jordan Valley Sprint Kayak Club overlooking the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). Podpolnyy, then 17 years old, had just been disqualified from the Israeli kayaking championship. He couldn’t survive the heats. He didn’t make the start line. He was devastated—and he had no one with whom to share his hopes, his dreams, and his disappointment. His divorced parents still live in [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    Lena Dunham Responds to Charges of Antisemitism: It was Just a Jew Joke

    “Girls” creator Lena Dunham responded on Tuesday to charges of antisemitism over an article she had penned for the New Yorker, saying it was all in good humor. Speaking to Variety, Dunham reflected on her “tight-knit Jewish family, where Jew jokes were part of the essential fiber of our communication.” The article Dunham referred to was called “Dog or Jewish Boyfriend? A Quiz,” with options such as “He doesn’t Tip” and “He’s Crazy for Cream Cheese.” Among Dunham’s critics, Anti-Defamation [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Former NBA Star Tweets Article About Jewish Conspiracy to Control Global Media

    Retired NBA player Keyon Dooling tweeted a link on Wednesday to a wildly antisemitic article that accuses Jews of seizing control of the world’s media and using it to promote their own interests. The article, published by an obscure blog in April 2013, highlights six companies it claims are owned by Jews — such as Time Warner, Inc. and the Walt Disney Company – that allegedly “control 96 percent of the world’s media.”  The post includes allegations of “Jewish control” and says [...]

    Read more →
  • Sports US & Canada Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    Rosh Hashanah Won’t Keep the Giants’ Geoff Schwartz From Season Opener

    New York Giants offensive guard Geoff Schwartz responded to an outcry from Jewish fans on Tuesday, saying he will go ahead and play in the season opener despite the fact that it falls on the first night of Rosh Hashanah. “Keep getting tweets about that being the first night of Rosh Hashanah… Don’t know what I’m supposed to tell you. It’s a tough break,” the Jewish athlete wrote, referring to the Giants’ on-the-road game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. [...]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    Jewish Coach David Blatt Has NBA’s Cavaliers Surging at Playoff Time

    JNS.org – When David Blatt was hired as head coach of the National Basketball Association’s Cleveland Cavaliers last June, he was not often recognized when he walked the streets of downtown Cleveland. What a difference a year makes. Now, Blatt can go few places without being recognized. For good reason. The Jewish coach has the Cavaliers in the mix to win the city of Cleveland’s first championship in a major sport since the Browns won the National Football League title in [...]

    Read more →
  • Europe Sports Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    Croatian Soccer Star’s Hebrew Tattoo Causes a Stir Online

    A Hebrew tattoo sported by Croatian soccer star Mario Mandzukic became an internet sensation in Israel after it was exposed on Tuesday during a Champions League match between Ateltico Madrid and Real Madrid A first glance, the tattoo, on the athlete’s back, might leave one with the impression that it was an unfortunate artistic mistake, since the Hebrew letters do not make sense as they are written. However, a closer look at the tattoo shows that it was actually written [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Theater Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    Why an Algemeiner Editor Wrote a Play About a Mass Shooter

    For the past two years, I have served as Opinion Editor at The Algemeiner. I’m perhaps most proud of the paper’s commitment to publishing diverse and opposing viewpoints on the controversial issues of the day. We pride ourselves on voicing different opinions because we know that most issues are not black and white, and because our community is better served by a public debate. In my life outside of the paper, I am a professional actor and playwright. And similarly, [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Commentary In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    In ‘America in Retreat,’ a Real-Life Risk Board

    JNS.org – “Risk: The Game of Strategic Conquest,” the classic Parker Brothers board game, requires imperial ambitions. Players imagine empires and are pitted against each other, vying for world domination. Amid this fictional world war, beginners learn fast that no matter the superiority of their army, every advance is a gamble determined by a roll of the dice. After a defeat, a player must retreat. Weighted reinforcement cards provide the only opportunity to reverse a player’s fortunes and resume the [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.