For the first time, a delegation of leaders of local authorities, led by the chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, Haim Bibas, participated in a series of unique workshops in New York. The delegation met with senior officials from the New York Police Department, representatives of the United Nations, and leaders of the Jewish Community. The focus of the visit was preventing terrorism, violence, and hate in Israeli cities.
Haim Bibas, chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and also the Mayor of Modi’in-Maccabim-Reut said: "Our meetings in New York were critical and will help make Israeli cities safer against threats of violence and terrorism. We learned so much during our visit but we also shared our knowledge and experiences.
The Federation of Local Authorities in Israel is making the issue of city safety and security a top priority. We will be investing more resources and plan to strengthen collaborations with experts from around the world. We have invited some leading security experts to this year’s Muni Expo in October in Tel Aviv.”
The workshop, initiated by the UN Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee, the Israeli Consulate in New York and the Foreign Affairs Division at the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel, included meetings with senior NYPD officers in which they discussed with the Israeli Mayors the topics of urban space security, terrorism, and identifying and understanding threats. The Mayors have the abilities to restrain tensions within the cities and to lower the flames. The knowledge and the tools they received during the different meetings will help them to do so.
In addition, the Israeli Mayors met with leaders of the Jewish Community and heard about their recent efforts in protecting the Jewish Community and combatting Antisemitism.
Chairman Bibas added: “With attacks on Jews rising in the United States it is important for Israel and Diaspora communities to coordinate this global threat. We are full partners in protecting Jewish communities and will use available resources to ensure the safety and security of Jews in the United States. We had very high levels of coordination during the COVID-19 pandemic and were in constant contact with Diaspora Jewry. We shared our knowledge and experience. It is that level of cooperation that we intend to implement to fight Antisemitism.”
In another meeting held at the Israeli Consulate in New York with Consul Asaf Zamir, the Israeli Mayors were briefed on the impact of Israel in the United States including innovation, technology, business, culture, and their assistance in providing security for Jews in the United States.
At the end of the meeting, Bibas said: “Israel, its leaders, and all of the citizens must do everything to strengthen ties with Diaspora Jewry and help ensure their security in the United States.”
During a tour of the United Nations General Assembly, the delegation met with Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. They received a briefing on the challenges Israel faces from the world community. The Mayors saw an exciting exhibition called "Historic Moments in Israel’s Knesset" which is currently on display at the UN.
The delegation of Israeli Mayors included Zvika Brodt from Bat Yam, Lizzie Delrichie from Ganei Tikva, Firas Badichi from Kfar Qara, Moshe Davidovich from Asher Regional Council, Oded Ravivi from Efrat, Nissim Gozlan from Beer Yaakov, and Alon Davidi from Sderot. Liron Doron Levi, Deputy CEO of the Federation of Local Authorities and Shiri Steinhardt Sela, the head of the Foreign Affairs Division at the Federation was also part of the delegation.
This article was written in cooperation with the Federation of Local Authorities