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President Reuven Rivlin this evening (Sunday) 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 brought together more than 100 leaders from the Conference’s 52 member organizations and National Leadership Council.

President Rivlin welcomed the participants, and thanked them for their support for Israel which he noted was not just in words but in actions. He said, “We are meeting at a very sensitive time – both in Israel, and in the USA, our greatest, and most important ally,” said the President, and added, “It is also, a very sensitive time for the Jewish community, which you represent.”

He noted, “In Israel, 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 US. 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 US. He said, "We cannot allow Israel to be a political football between different sides, between different ideologies." The President added, “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.”

President Rivlin concluded, “Friends, 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.”

Photo credit: Mark Neiman (GPO)