Herzog to US Jews: elections are ‘evidence of vibrant democracy’

President Isaac Herzog visited the United States last week where he met with US President Joe Biden.

 Israeli President Isaac Herzog looks on during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2022. (photo credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Israeli President Isaac Herzog looks on during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, not pictured, in Washington, DC, on October 25, 2022.
(photo credit: STEFANI REYNOLDS/POOL VIA REUTERS)

CHICAGO – President Isaac Herzog told representatives of the Jewish Federations of North America that even if they do not agree with the results of the upcoming Knesset election, they are “evidence of a vibrant, dynamic democracy.”

“Tomorrow, Israelis will go out to vote,” Herzog told the organization’s General Assembly in Chicago on Monday. “I know the frequency of elections in Israel is somewhat unnerving. I’m aware of the questions posed in many Jewish communities around the world about the outcome of the elections. At the same time, frequent elections are clearly not ideal.

“They are also evidence of a vibrant, dynamic democracy,” he said. “We must all recognize that the Israeli people, abundant with diversity and varying opinions, are correctly exercising their fundamental democratic right to vote.

"The results may or may not be to your liking, but the vote of the Israeli people should be respected."

President Isaac Herzog

“I say to each and every one of you that the firm vital connection between the State of Israel and North American Jewry will not, and should not be compromised, whatever the results. I never shy away from the fact that there are gaps between Israel and Jewish communities abroad and there is a lot of work to be done indeed.”

 President Isaac Herzog and US President Joe Biden at the White House, 26 October, 2022. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO) President Isaac Herzog and US President Joe Biden at the White House, 26 October, 2022. (credit: KOBI GIDEON/GPO)

Herzog visits the US

Herzog spoke of his visit to the US last week, where he met President Joe Biden.

“President Biden’s love of Israel and deep affinity toward the American Jewish community could not have been clearer, warmer or more sincere,” he said. “I can say with certainty that he is an ally and a partner who cares deeply about American Jewry and about the State of Israel. He is genuinely disturbed by the appalling rise of antisemitism and is adamant about combating this violent hatred as a true, true friend.”

Herzog stressed, “In Israel, we are also deeply alarmed by the very existence and the volume of the antisemitism in North America. The vile incidents on college campuses serve as ongoing wake-up calls, but I know that for some of you, antisemitic assaults and delegitimization have shockingly become an almost daily reality.

"It is indeed inconceivable that Jews are being targeted anywhere in the world, and of course in North America."

President Isaac Herzog

“Four years ago, 11 women and men were killed inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The time I spent with the grieving families getting up from the shiva [mourning period], and the shocked [community members] will remain with me always. There are no words too strong to condemn antisemitism, and there are no excuses for disregarding the safety and well-being of Jewish communities. The State of Israel stands 100% at your side, ready to assist in any way, shape or form.”