Mansour Abbas tells Jewish leaders he wants to expand ties with US Jews

The Knesset speaker apologizes to Jewish leaders for damage to relations with Diaspora.

 Mansour Abbas February 22, 2022. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Mansour Abbas February 22, 2022.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Deepening relations between Arab society and Jewish communities abroad is important, Ra’am (United Arab List) head Mansour Abbas told a delegation from the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the Knesset on Tuesday. 

Abbas said he has met with many groups of American Jews since entering Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s coalition last June and appreciates the willingness of American Jews to help Israeli Arab communities economically.

“We Arabs in Israel are the bridge that can create hope for the two peoples living together in the holy land, based on the vision of Jews and Arabs living together in security, peace and mutual respect,” he said. “This can bring light to the entire world.”

Abbas took credit for the end of political paralysis in Israel and received repeated applause from the Jewish leaders, who also met with Knesset Speaker Mickey Levy.

Levy apologized to the Jewish leaders for what he called the recent deterioration in relations between Israel and American Jews.

 Whether in support or increasingly through criticism, Israel is what connects most American Jews to their Judaism.  (credit: REUTERS) Whether in support or increasingly through criticism, Israel is what connects most American Jews to their Judaism. (credit: REUTERS)

“The political stalemate and the corona pandemic have not only hit us in the country,” Levy said. “Relations between the Knesset and Diaspora Jews were also damaged. There is no doubt that in recent years an unnatural distance was created, and today my goal is to return the Knesset to the center of activity and an address for the Jews of the world.  Therefore, this encounter is so important and symbolic, even more than previously.”