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

July 15, 2010 Leave a comment

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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Netanyahu urges Abbas to begin direct negotiations

July 8, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK, July 7  (Press Release)–In a special address to national Jewish leaders, as well as political, civic and business leaders, sponsored by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “meet me in the coming days” to begin peace talks in order to “fashion a final peace between Israel and its Palestinian neighbors.”

“My idea of peace is that we live next to one another and we talk to each other to achieve peace. The sooner the better. Direct negotiations must start right away,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu. The meeting in New York followed the Prime Minister’s meetings with President Obama in Washington, DC.  
   
Several dignitaries attended the meeting, including New York Governor David Paterson and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who provided greetings at the beginning of the event. Governor Paterson noted that New York shares a bond with Israel because of attacks waged against civilians within the boundaries of both states.

“In this dangerous time, we have no better partner as a state or a country than the state of Israel,” Governor Paterson said. In her remarks, Senator Gillibrand remembered her trip to Israel and specifically to Sderot last year.

“The U.S. must always support Israel’s right to protect her people,” she said, adding that she would use her voice in the U.S. Senate “to bring together bipartisan coalitions in Congress to show the world that our bond is truly unbreakable.” Among the elected officials attending the event were Congressional members Anthony Weiner (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), as well as NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly, and former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.  
   
Prime Minister Netanyahu outlined security, legitimacy and prosperity as the three pillars of successful peace. “Security makes peace possible and makes a realistic peace take hold and endure,” he said. Regarding the challenges to Israel’s legitimacy, the Prime Minister commented that there are two lines of attack against Israel: the denial of the Jewish people’s connection to the land of Israel and the denial of Israel’s right to defend itself. “So much of the world supports Israel’s right to defend itself in theory, but consistently condemns it in practice … but the purpose of the Jewish state is to defend Jewish lives,” said Prime Minister Netanyahu, adding that Israel was recognized and commended by British Colonel Richard Kemp for its efforts to prevent civilian casualties on all sides of battle.   
   
Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that Israel faces three great challenges in the coming months: (1) staying focused on preventing a nuclear Iran, (2) redoubling its efforts to find the path to peace with the Palestinians and to those negotiations as soon as possible, and (3) uniting against any effort to challenge Israel’s rights to defend itself.  

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Preceding provided by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Recent U.S. elections strengthen Netanyahu’s hand, Koch and Charney agree

November 11, 2009 Leave a comment

 

HAIFA (Press Release)–“The big winner is Bibi Netanyahu”, says Leon H. Charney following the re-election of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg last week. Hosting former Mayor of New York City Ed Koch in his “The Charney Report” studio, Mr. Leon H. Charney, American businessman and Chairman of the University of Haifa’s Board of Governors, discussed who could be defined as the “big winner” in the recent United States elections.

Mr. Charney suggests that the Republican mayor’s re-election is another sign of President Barack Obama’s withering support from Congress. President Obama, Mr. Charney says, will “understand very strongly that the Congress may change.” This means that Obama will eventually have to back down on his pressure on Israel, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government will stabilize. As for President Obama’s ratings in Israel, Mr. Charney says that it is as low as four percent today and may go down to two percent.

From this perspective, Mr. Charney asserts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is what he calls “the sub-context winner of this election.” Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch expressed agreement with this opinion.

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Preceding provided by the University of Haifa