The annual Israeli American Council conference currently taking place in Washington was originally meant to focus on the battle against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. But instead, the ongoing wave of Palestinian terrorism in Israel has taken center stage.
Speaking at the conference, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer blamed the Palestinians for the recent violence. He also took an implicit swipe at the Obama administration, saying, “When it comes to the Middle East, you find very smart people believing in very foolish things. There are some people who believe that these attacks are happening because of the territories that Israel captured in the Six-Day War or because of the peace process.”
Other Israeli government officials attending the conference included Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog.
Shaked criticized the Obama administration for statements that have not differentiated between Israeli and Palestinian violence. Shaked called such statements a “distortion of reality.”
“Any comparisons made between Israel and the Palestinians... are unacceptable to us,” Shaked said.
Steinitz harshly condemned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, comparing Abbas’ incitement against Israel to Nazi Germany’s incitement against Jews.
“[Abbas is] the number-one inciter in the world against Israel and the Jewish people,” Steinitz said. “The blood spilled during the latest outbreak of violence is on Abbas’ hands.”
Steinitz also called out the U.S. and other world powers for “ignoring” Palestinian incitement against Israel.
Herzog said, “We must move toward separating from the Palestinians in a responsible manner.”
Shoham Nicolet, the chief executive officer of the IAC, said the conference, which will last until Monday, has been a great success. “This conference symbolizes our transition from an organization into a movement. The fact that leaders from both ends of the political spectrum came here from Israel to deliver a message to us shows that we are a hasbara asset.”
Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson are the largest contributors to the IAC and they have been instrumental in increasing the IAC’s activities in the U.S. in recent years. At an event at the Chabad House in Washington on Sunday, Sheldon Adelson said, “If we Jews do not defend ourselves, no one will do it for us. The world has always been against the Jews. Also today—who will defend Israel? Only the Jews. The situation of the Jews in Israel determines the situation of Jews throughout the world.”
By Israel Hayom