Rivlin to US Jewish leaders: Israel ‘will never let go’ of Diaspora Jewry


Israeli President Reuven Rivlin during a meeting with NYPD Comissioner William Bratton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio at the Park Lane Hotel in New York City, Jan. 28, 2015. (Bryan Pace-Pool/Getty Images)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel “will never let go” of Diaspora Jewry, President Reuven Rivlin told Jewish American leaders.

Rivlin held a conference call Wednesday in honor of the new Jewish year with leaders of the American Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and discussed a wide range of subjects, according to a statement from the President’s Office.

Rivlin noted during the conversation that there had been several low points om the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora in the last year.

“Many of them were deep disappointments when expectations were not met, some people are quick to let go. They talk of separation, of a growing gap, of a crisis that cannot be stopped. That is not our way,” Rivlin said.

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“We will never let go of you. We will never turn away from our family, outside of Israel. It is time we listen and learn. It is time we learn to really understand each other better. It is time to face, not only what ties us together, but also what makes us different,” he also said.

Rivlin also stressed the importance of the Trump administration’s approach to the Middle East. “With the election of President Trump we have new hope for peace and reconciliation with our neighbors. Never before, has our cooperation with regional powers been so close and open. There is much to thank the American administration for this positive development. We hope of course that this is just the beginning, of much warmer connections.”

He noted that Israel remains concerned about the situation in Syria. We continue to help the injured who arrive at our gates. But, we are concerned. We are concerned by the growing Iranian presence near our northern border. Israel will not tolerate, any such threats to come too close. If we have to, we will act to prevent this. We have red lines that are very clear.”

He said that Interpol’s decision to include the Palestinians as a full member “will harm Interpol’s ability to fight international terror” and called it a “political decision.”  He added: “It is very sad, that the Palestinians have been able to politicize another professional body, as part of their campaign to undermine peace talks and delegitimize Israel.” He also expressed concern about a blacklist of companies that do business in Israel that is being compiled by the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Rivlin also wished all members of the American Jewish Community a happy and healthy new year.

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