NEW YORK – Leaders of the American Jewish community gathered in Manhattan on Sunday to thank President Reuven Rivlin for his service as head of state at a farewell ceremony in front of the president’s final visit to the State of Israel and World Jews. served them on behalf of.
The Executive of the Jewish Federations of North America, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the American Zionist Movement and the United Jewish Appeal highlighted Rivlin’s ability to serve as a unified figure during his seven years as president. , brought all the Israelites and the Jews. background together.
“Through an extraordinary global pandemic, through five elections in Israel and three administrations in the United States, you have upheld the dignity of the office that was handed to you seven years ago,” said Diane Lobb, chairman of the Board of Presidents. The conference said.
“You have navigated difficult political decisions with the grace of a dancer, and you have served as president for all Israeli citizens, with both a receptive ear and a voice for the world Jew.”
Rivlin, for his part, said that “building trust and cooperation among all tribes (of Israel) has been one of my goals as president,” a reference to a 2015 speech in which he said that modern Israel is divided into four tribes. Made up of – secular, traditional, ultra-Orthodox Jews and Arabs.
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Rivlin on Sunday referred to Diaspora Jews as Israel’s “fifth tribe,” telling American Jewish community leaders that their “many years of support for the State of Israel … makes you an integral part of Israeli society.”
Rivlin thanked about 75 people in the audience at the Moise Safra Center for their efforts to maintain bipartisan support for Israel in Congress, repeating the word “bipartisan” three times.
Earlier on Sunday, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome, acknowledged that “mistakes had been made” under Israel’s previous government and said: “Israel’s bipartisan position was hurt. We will fix those mistakes together.”
Lapid has argued that former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prioritized his ties with the Republican Party, angering Democrats in the process, and promised to improve those ties as foreign minister.
Rivlin also noted a rise in anti-Semitic sentiment in the US against the backdrop of the Gaza War last month, noting that the US “President [Joe] Biden and his administration are committed to combating this misogynistic hatred, and I promise you that the State of Israel will always stand at the forefront of the fight against anti-Semitism in America and around the world.
Rivlin, along with other speakers, took the opportunity to express grief over last week’s building collapse in Surfside, Florida, where several dozen Jews are among more than 150 people with no trace.
Rivlin, who will travel to Washington DC on Monday to meet with Joe Biden, said he would use the opportunity to present Israel’s opposition to the US withdrawal to the Iran nuclear deal.
Recognizing that there may be disagreements between the parties, “we will always manage them like friends.”
Rivlin highlighted the presence of Leah Goldin, who will join the Israeli delegation for a meeting with senior US officials in Washington.
Goldin is the mother of fallen soldier Haider Goldin, whose body is being kept by the Hamas terrorist group in Gaza along with fellow IDF soldier Oron Shawl. There are also two Israeli nationals in Hamas, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Saeed.
Israel is now pushing for the return of all four as a prerequisite for the post-war reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s ambassador to the US and the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, echoed that point in his speech at Sunday’s event, saying that “all plans to rehabilitate Gaza must include bringing our boys back” to applause from the crowd.
Rivlin landed in New York on Sunday morning and will travel to Washington on Monday where he will meet with senior congressional leadership on Capitol Hill in addition to Biden at the White House. He will return to New York and meet with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations on Tuesday, along with several foreign ambassadors, and will return to Israel that evening.
Rivlin, 81, will be replaced by Jewish Agency chairman Isaac Herzog next month. Biden congratulated Herzog on being selected by the Knesset last month.