Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

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. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →