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U.S. commitment to Israel ‘not negotiable’ — Ambassador Susan Rice

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice pays tribute to outgoing Ambassador Gabriela Shalev, Permanent Representative of Israel to the UN. Pictured (l to r): Ambassador Susan Rice, Conference of Presidents Past Chairman Mort B. Zuckerman, Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow, Ambassador Gabriela Shalev.

NEW YORK (Press Release)–At a tribute reception Wednesday for outgoing Israeli UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Daniel Carmon as well as Consul General of Israel Asaf Shariv and Deputy Consul General of Israel Benjamin Krasna hosted by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and Israel Bonds, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice reaffirmed the “essential truth” about the special relationship and the unbreakable bond shared by the U.S. and Israel.

“The U.S. remains firmly and fully committed to peace and the security of the state of Israel. That commitment spans generations and political parties. It is not negotiable and never will be,” Ambassador Rice said, adding that the U.S. will continue its efforts to “combat all international attempts to challenge the legitimacy of Israel including, and especially, at the UN.”

The Conference of Presidents and Israel Bonds honored the Israeli diplomats on the completion of their tenures in New York and their imminent return to Israel. The reception was held at the Prime Grill Restaurant in Manhattan and was chaired by Conference of Presidents Chairman Alan Solow with greetings provided by Joshua Matza, President and CEO of Israel Bonds.

Many dignitaries attended the meeting and provided tributes to the outgoing Israeli representatives, including New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and Dr. Jamal Benomar, Chef de Cabinet of the UN General Assembly, as well as French Ambassador to the UN Gerard Araud and Consul General of Germany Dr. Horst Freitag. Ambassadors and Consuls General from many countries joined in the tribute.

Ambassador Shalev and Ambassador Carmon addressed the challenges that Israel faces at the UN and the strong friendship and support Israel enjoys with the U.S. While Ambassador Carmon noted that there is “no better reflection of the challenges that Israel faces than at the UN,” Ambassador Shalev stated that the strong bond between Israel and the U.S. was “greatly enhanced” by Ambassador Susan Rice, whose resolve and leadership led the effort to pass the sanctions against Iran at the UN. “Many obstacles confront Israel in the global arena,” said Ambassador Shalev, but “no other nation supports our right to exist and our right to self-defense as does the U.S.”

Consul General Asaf Shariv and Deputy Consul General Benjamin Krasna spoke of the experiences they gained during their tenure in New York and the importance of the American Jewish community to Israel. Ambassador Shariv noted the dedication of the Conference of Presidents and Israel Bonds to the State of Israel and the impact of the relationship with Ambassadors Shalev and Carmon. Deputy Consul General Krasna added that so much of the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is due to the work of the American Jewish community. “The success and vitality and prosperity of the American Jewish community is a strategic asset and a strategic interest that we remain committed to working with,” he said.

In closing the reception, Conference of Presidents Executive Vice Chairman Malcolm Hoenlein also paid tribute to the outgoing Israel dignitaries, commenting that their service to the Jewish people and the Jewish state made all of the honorees “people of words because they are people of deeds,” noting the Biblical references of Moses. 

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Preceding provided by the C onference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

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