(CPMAJO release) Asserting the Jewish claim to Judea and Samaria, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’ Leadership Mission on Tuesday that a two-state solution is “impossible.” “The Palestinians are not interested in a state, they want Israel not to exist and that is their main goal,” she said. Hotovely went on to say, “We need to delete the word ‘occupation’ and we need to redefine the term ‘refugee’; they are the fourth generation but their parents are handing them keys to refugee camps.”
The deputy minister began her remarks by praising the new U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley’s recent speech in which she asked why the U.N. obsesses over Israel. “This is the spirit the prime minister hopes from Washington,” said Hotovely.
Pointing to Israel’s housing crisis, the deputy minister said the young generation needs to build homes in Judea and Samaria. Definitely, in the era of Trump, we should be able to build in these regions; this is not an obstacle to peace.”
When asked about moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, she said there is nothing that would make her happier. On the issue of UNRWA schools and teaching a culture of hate on the “east side of Jerusalem,” she said, “It is important for us to put the issue on the table.” She also said we need to give the Palestinians a better education: “They need the ability to be Nobel Prize winners. This is a long-term goal.”
In addition to the meeting with Deputy Minister Hotovely, Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ senior experts and policy makers provided in-depth off-the-record briefings to the delegation of top American Jewish leaders on several issues critical to Israel and world Jewry. The briefings focused on emerging regional strategic challenges and opportunities, the U.S.-Israel strategic relationship, Israel’s bilateral and multilateral relationships around the globe, maintaining the security of Jewish communities in Europe and elsewhere, the shifting interests and relationships in the contemporary Middle East, and digital diplomacy.
The group also had an off-the-record report from Israel’s Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh who spoke on Israel’s internal security.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat provided the more than 100 Leadership Mission participants with an update on the many improvements underway in Jerusalem: infrastructure, transportation, jobs creation and a cultural renaissance. He thanked the conference, calling it “a bridge between our two nations.”
In an interactive exercise on the challenges facing the city of Jerusalem, the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) launched its 2017 Global Structured Dialogue involving Jewish communities throughout the world in discussions on their hopes for the city.
Experiencing the archaeological excavation in Jerusalem, the group visited the Tzurim Valley and participated in the dig, which is uncovering ancient Jewish artifacts.
The proven and effective voice of organized American Jewry for six decades, the Conference of Presidents of American Jewish Organizations advances the interests of the American Jewish community, promotes broad-based support for Israel, and addresses critical concerns facing Israel and world Jewry.