Rivlin at Conference of Presidents Israel mission
Rivlin at Conference of Presidents Israel mission Mark Neiman/GPO

President Reuven Rivlin on Sunday stressed the importance of the United States’ support for Israel always being bi-partisan.

Rivlin’s comments came as he addressed the opening dinner of the Annual Israel Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations led by Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg, and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein.

The mission brings together more than 100 leaders from the Conference’s 52 member organizations and National Leadership Council.

Rivlin welcomed the participants, and thanked them for their support for Israel which he noted was not just in words but in actions.

“We are meeting at a very sensitive time – both in Israel, and in the U.S., our greatest, and most important ally,” said the President, adding, “It is also, a very sensitive time for the Jewish community, which you represent.”

“In Israel,” continued Rivlin, “we are very concerned by polarization in society, and in politics. And we share your concerns, for these trends – the polarization of society – that you have experienced in the U.S. When a society is divided, it is not easy to find and maintain the shared vision, and the shared space. Sometimes, it is only at times of tragedy that we are able to come together. America’s strength is important and dear to us all.”

The President went on to speak of the importance of the relationship between Israel and the United States.

"We cannot allow Israel to be a political football between different sides, between different ideologies," he said, adding, “Support for Israel must and will always remain a bi-partisan issue. I also want to send from here, my warm wishes to President Trump, and I hope he is able to visit us soon.”

“Friends,” concluded Rivlin, “we respect all the Jews in North America, and we know that Israel is important to you. We appreciate your concern, and we have no doubt that whatever your politics, you care for the safety for the prosperity and for the well-being of the State of Israel. I assure you all that we will continue to build this country, as a light unto the nations, a Jewish democratic state.”