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Rivlin: Israel shouldn’t be partisan issue in American election

President Rivlin addresses Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations delegation feb 2016

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Thursday welcomed a delegation of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, led by Stephen Greenberg, and Malcolm Hoenlein. The delegation is visiting Israel during their 42nd Annual Leadership Mission to Israel.

“Each of you represent organizations and communities which are proud to be Jewish, proud to be American, and proud to stand with Israel, ” said the President as he welcomed the delegation, and added, “Your communities are an important bridge between Israel, and the largest Jewish community in the Diaspora.”

The President stressed the importance of bi-partisan support for Israel in the United States, especially during the election season. He said, “Many of you have different political views, support different candidates, and possibly vote for different political parties. But whichever party or candidate you support, there are important issues on which everyone must agree. Support for Israel in the United States has never been, and must not become, a party political issue. During the elections season,  it is my deep hope that the close relationship between Israel and the United States remains beyond debate. American friends of Israel should be able to feel free to express their democratic right and vote as they want, and know that whatever happens the bonds between Israel and the US are strong.”

The President also noted the importance of facing the rising threat of anti-Semitism. He said, “We must also stand united in the fight against anti-Semitism. Across the world we are seeing a rise in this old, and new disease, and there is more and more pressure to boycott the world’s only Jewish state. We must stand firm against these threats; Israel is your partner in this fight.”

The delegation met with a range of Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, opposition leader Isaac Herzog, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Before arriving in Israel, the group also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

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