When Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, as president of Iran, would invite leaders of the Iranian Jewish community in the U.S. to meet with him when he was in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, the answer was a definitive “no.”
After all, he was a Holocaust denier whose stated goal was to wipe Israel off the map.
But in recent days, when the new Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, issued a similar invitation, there was considerable discussion among the leadership of the Iranian Jewish community here and in Los Angeles as to the appropriate response. Unlike his predecessor, Rouhani has been on a one-man public relations campaign, seeking to soften his country’s image in the hopes of easing tough economic sanctions and countering talk of military action against Iran.
In a move that had apparently been carefully choreographed by the White House, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu picked up the phone today and called Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with an apology for the 2010 Israeli raid on a Turkish flotilla that killed nine Turkish citizens. Erdogan accepted.
Gilad Shalit, the 25-year-old Israeli soldier freed by Hamas terrorists in a prisoner exchange in October, thanked the Jewish community here today for their support during his more than five years of captivity.
“I want to thank everybody for their efforts – here in the U.S. and all over the world,” he said in Hebrew at a special meeting of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
After the judge’s surprise mea culpa, Israel advocates hurry to undo the damage.
In the Book of Esther read on Purim, King Ahasuerus tells Queen Esther that he cannot revoke his edict calling for the destruction of the Jews but that he would issue a new decree allowing the Jews to defend themselves.
Israel’s consul for media affairs in New York, Joel Lion, offered similar advice this week to the American Jewish community following the surprise mea culpa by Richard Goldstone.
NEW YORK (JTA) -- Malcolm Hoenlein, speaking for the foreign policy umbrella for U.S. Jewish groups, denounced governments including the Obama administration for lacking outrage after parents and three children were slaughtered in a West Bank settlement.
"If governments, even our own, do not stand up" then the Jewish people must "shriek and condemn and take action," Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Thursday at a memorial service for the Fogels.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The director of the U.S. Jewish foreign policy umbrella called Mohammed ElBaradei, the opposition leader emerging from the Egyptian ferment, a "stooge of Iran."
Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice-president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, accused ElBaradei of covering up Iran's true nuclear weaponization capacities while he directed the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
Demonstrations in neighboring Egypt and Lebanon have Israel watching nervously.
Israel is watching with concern the street demonstrations that erupted this week in neighboring Egypt and Lebanon. The fear is that an Iranian proxy-state could emerge in Lebanon and that in Egypt the autocratic rule of aging President Hosni Mubarak could be overthrown.