19 August 2010
World Jewish Congress: Wiesel, Aznar, Join Diaspora Jewish Leaders in Jerusalem to Counter Intensifying Assault on Israel
Ronald S. Lauder: “Defending Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is top priority”
NEW YORK / JERUSALEM –
Heads of Jewish communities from around the world will gather in Jerusalem for a meeting of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) Governing Board on 31 August and 1 September 2010. The gathering will focus on ways to fight the growing threats against Israel. It will be addressed by senior statesmen from Israel and abroad.
Writer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Professor Elie Wiesel will be presented with the first WJC „Guardian of Jerusalem‟ award in recognition of his lifetime accomplishments on behalf of the Jewish people. Members of the Israeli Haiti emergency rescue operation will receive a special award for their heroic humanitarian efforts in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, and opposition leader and Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Governor of the Bank of Israel Stanley Fischer and Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau also confirmed their participation.
Former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar will give a keynote address to delegates about the recently launched Friends of Israel Initiative (www.friendsofisraelinitiative.org).
Ahead of the Governing Board, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said:
“Everywhere, we are witnessing concerted efforts to attack the legitimacy of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Boycott, sanctions and divestment campaigns are becoming prevalent; Israeli academics, authors, artists and sportspeople are being banned from participating in events; the media often presents a one-sided view of developments, and Israel is almost always being singled out for blame. We will be developing proactive initiatives to address these issues, and we will underline the need for Diaspora Jewry‟s continued unwavering solidarity with Israel in a global environment that is increasingly hostile to those positions.”
The WJC meeting will be attended by around 150 leaders representing all major Jewish communities in the world and will adopt the future priorities and action plans of the organization. It will also discuss the difficult situation faced by certain Jewish communities, e.g. in Sweden and Venezuela.
Proceedings at the Governing Board will be open to the media, and interviews with WJC representatives can be arranged; please contact one of the contact persons below. Details regarding press accreditation, the precise agenda and the location will be released closer to the event.
The World Jewish Congress (www.worldjewishcongress.org) is the international organization representing Jewish communities in 92 countries around the world. The WJC serves as the diplomatic arm of the Jewish people to governments, parliaments and international organizations.
Michael Thaidigsmann Jeremy Wimpfheimer Natalie Kachan-Behar (Media outside Israel) (English & Israel-based media) (Israeli media) World Jewish Congress, Brussels Lone Star Communications Eden Communications, Israel Tel: +32 485 86 95 84 Tel: +972 54 659 77 95 Tel: +972 52 377 3265 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Email: Natalie@edenpr.co.il