Rivlin: Interpol decision harms fight against terrorism

Israeli president speaks with Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations about range of issues facing Jewish world.

Gary Willig ,

President Rivlin
President Rivlin
Photo: Eliran Aharon

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin held a telephone conference call this evening (Wednesday) with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CPMAJO). CPMAJO chairman Steve M. Greenberg and vice chairman Malcolm Hoenlein participated in the call and discussed a wide range of issues with the president, including the disturbing decision by Interpol to allow the Palestinian Authority to join the organization, the regional security developments, and the issue of rising anti-Semitism around the world.

During the call, Rivlin condemned Interpol's decision to allow the Palestinian Authority to join the international police organization.

"This decision will harm Interpol's ability to fight international terrorism," Rivlin said. "It is a political decision that is not based on a professional need. It is very sad that the Palestinians have used another professional body for a political purpose, as part of their campaign to undermine peace negotiations and delegitimize the State of Israel."

He criticized the UN Human Rights Council for seeking to create a blacklist of companies which do business in Judea, Smaria, eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

"We are very concerned about the black list promoted by the UN Human Rights Council, which has the potential to cause damage to American and Israeli companies and to hurt Palestinians as well," he said. The president urged the heads of the organizations to take every possible step to help Israel fight this blacklist and stressed that it was an American interest no less than an Israeli one.

Turning to regional developments, Rivlin addressed Israel's concerns over the growing Iranian and Hezbollah presence in Syria. "Israel has acted cautiously and has not supported any element in the tragic war in Syria, and we continue to help the wounded who come to our gates, but at the same time we are concerned. Our red lines are very clear."

Rivlin praised US President Donald Trump's peacemaking efforts in the Middle East. "With President Trump's election, we have a new hope for peace and reconciliation with our neighbors, and our cooperation with regional powers has never been closer and more open. We appreciate this positive development and hope that these ties will become closer. "

On the German elections this week, Rivlin said: "We appreciate the firm stance of Chancellor Angela Merkel against the "Alternative for Germany" (AFD) party, and her struggle against the neo-fascist trend that is raising its head around the world. There is no room for these anti-Semitic and racist voices under any circumstances."

The president also addressed Israel-Diaspora relations. "We experienced moments of disappointment, I know. There were expectations that did not materialize, and there were many who were quick to give in. They talked about the separation, the growing gap, the crisis that can not be stopped."

"We will never give up on you, we will never turn our backs on our families living outside the State of Israel." he stressed.