Mayors from around the world visit Israel, focus on innovation

Josefin Dolsten

(JTA) — Two American Jewish groups are hosting mayors from around the world in Israel, as part of a conference highlighting Israeli innovation.

Twenty-six mayors from countries around the world — including in North and South America, Europe and Africa — are visiting the Jewish state as part of a conference organized by the American Jewish Congress and the American Council for World Jewry. The event, which ends November 18, focuses on Israeli innovation.

The mayors will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, local municipalities and Israeli technology entrepreneurs in the fields of health, security, water and the environment as well as visit the telecommunications group Bezeq Telecom and a Tel Aviv start up.

“We expect that as a result of this visit, we will create a better understanding of the political environment and greater longer term cooperation between Israel and the mayors’ home countries,” AJC President and ACWJ Chairman Jack Rosen said in a statement.

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On Thursday, 20 of the mayors signed a statement criticizing the recent adoption by two UNESCO committees of proposals that deny Jewish connections to Jerusalem, the Temple Mount and other holy sites in Israel. The statement was to be presented to Netanyahu during their meeting with the prime minister on Thursday afternoon.

The mayors resolved “to work to end politically inspired falsehood and distortions, and to speak the truth about all relevant history.”

The statement also called on UNESCO to “cease repeatedly exacerbating tensions, as evidenced by the most recent news of disputing Israeli heritage of the Dead Sea Scrolls, one of the major archaeological discoveries of the 20th century that sheds light on the biblical era.”

 

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