In a pre-recorded video address broadcast to attendees at the 10th Annual Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said Israel finds itself in a more dangerous position than at any time in its history.
“For decades,” said Lauder, “Israel’s enemies have been trying to defeat it politically. And today, they are succeeding.”
Lauder noted that many people around the world now believe the lies and distortions spread by Israel’s enemies: that Israel is an apartheid state, is involved in ethnic cleansing, and is guilty of crimes against humanity. Referring to condemnation of Israel in its response to Hamas rockets, Lauder said, “Only Israel is criticized for doing what any other country on earth would do – protecting its own people.”
Even in the United States, Lauder noted, some members of Congress sided with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanction movement, and attempted to stop funding the Iron Dome missile-defense system.
“Nancy Pelosi, one of the most powerful politicians in America, cannot control the anti-Israel wing of her party,” he said. Lauder added that antisemitism, in the form of anti-Israel remarks, is rapidly spreading in colleges, universities and the media.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 18, 2020 (credit: AL DRAGO/REUTERS)
Lauder suggested that the State of Israel needs to create a well-funded ministry of public diplomacy (hasbara) to counter the political threats facing the country. He urged Israel to work more closely with the Jews of the Diaspora and reduce political discord within the country itself. A supporter of a two-state solution, Lauder said that only when Israelis and Palestinians can live together as neighbors will the Middle East become truly unified.
“Now is the time,” said Lauder, “to defend our people around the world – to fight the lies and redefine the issues and reach our hands out to our neighbors.”