Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein, spoke to Arutz Sheva, reflecting on this year’s 39th annual mission to Israel.
The central coordinating body representing 50 American Jewish organizations began its annual leadership mission to Israel with a trip to France, where the Jewish leaders met with the French officials and the Jews of Toulouse in an expression of solidarity with the city’s Jewish community, who witnessed the brutal murder of three Jewish children and a rabbi outside a Jewish day school in March 2012.
The conference, taking place in Jerusalem, Hoenlein said, underscores the rise of anti-Semitism, extremism and the delegtimization campaign against the State of Israel.
Jewish leaders have focused on the external as well as internal problems facing the Jewish State, including Iran, Syria, the threat of nuclear and chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands, but also of the various social issues with which the Jewish State contends.
While politics stress the differences among groups and factions of society, Hoenlein said, it is important to stress our commonality and unity as a people.
Speculating on President Barack Obama’s upcoming visit to Israel, the Jewish leader noted that while the media highlights the points of contention between the two countries, the relationship between Israel and the United States remains vital and healthy.
While there may be policy differences between the two countries, there are no fundamental differences between them regarding their hopes for the direction of the Middle East.
It is important to show the world that the State of Israel and the United States remain united, he said, highlighting the ongoing, and often overlooked, cooperation between the two countries, strategically, militarily, economically and agriculturally.