President Shimon Peres Conference of Presidents [file] 311.
(photo credit:Moshe Milner / GPO)
Like several other concerned American Jewish organizations, the Conference of
Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations decided to forgo Thanksgiving
celebrations in the US and to come to Israel in a demonstration of
“We felt that we were in the middle of a war ourselves,”
Conference chairman Richard Stone told President Shimon Peres on Thursday night
at the President’s Residence, and made it clear that he and his colleagues had
delivered the message about Israel’s right to defend herself to the American
people, to the government, to the administration and to Congress.
before the meeting, between Peres and the delegation, The Jerusalem Post asked
Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents, what
his organization was doing with regard to Jonathan Pollard.
working on it all the time,” said Hoenlein. “We support all efforts for
clemency for Pollard.”
Peres who has had countless meetings with
Conference delegations over the years declared how moving it was for Israel that
members of the delegation had come at their own initiative on such an important
day for Americans. He expressed appreciation to the American people for standing
morally and courageously with Israel, and particularly US President Barack Obama
“for what he said and what he did.”
The main question now, said Peres is
what happens next. “The army chapter is over and now there’s a new political
chapter with new players.”
In this respect he singled out Egyptian
President Mohamed Morsi, who he credited with showing great statesmanship and
making a significant contribution to the cease-fire.
“He’s a new player
in the Middle East and he’s started off on the right foot,” said
The support that Israel received from so many different quarters
during the conflict indicated that contrary to widely held belief, Israel is not
alone. “We have a lot of friends,” said Peres.
He also noted that Israel
had not initiated the hostilities, and that it was wrong for people to make
comparisons about the number of casualties on each side.
important he said, was that Hamas was firing on Israeli children every day as
they went to school.“We didn’t look for a confrontation,” he said. “They started
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