Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appealed to all of the delegates at the Jewish Federation General Assembly in Baltimore to attend next year’s convention in Jerusalem, where it will take place in 2013.
He said in a video speech crafted for American Jewry, “Israel faces enormous challenges. We must prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. We must try to forge a path to a durable peace with our Palestinian neighbors.”
He added, “We know that all of you stand by Israel’s side, and we know that the United States and Canada stand by Israel’s side.”
The Prime Minister did not spare praise for President Barack Obama, for whom 70 percent of American Jews voted, as opposed to Mitt Romney, according to exit polls.
“I congratulated President Barack Obama, noting that he received a “vote of confidence.”
He said that in his post-election phone conversation, the president “reiterated that the bonds between American and Israel are unbreakable, and we spoke about our mutual commitment to work together to advance peace and security in the Middle East.
“I have no doubt of the rock-solid security cooperation with Israel.
“As I will do everything in my power to protect Israel’s security, I will be no less vigilant in preserving Israel’s democracy…
“Israel has faced and overcome difficult challenges before. Despite the stormy seas around us, our unique partnership will once again help bring Israel to safe shores.”
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren, who was born and raised in America, has harsh words for some American Jewish leaders who claim “we're not doing enough for peace. We're just startled, sometimes, when the criticism is ill-informed and overwhelming."
He added, "More and more, Israel is in danger of being seen not as a real country with real people confronting real-life problems, but as an issue; as a society either to be idealized or demonized or simply ignored."