In his introductory remarks, B’nai B’rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin noted: “Jamaica’s Jewish community is one of the oldest in the western hemisphere, dating back to the 15th century.” And he described Jamaica’s growing relationship with Israel, which recently “welcomed Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, the first holder of his office to visit the Jewish state.”
Finally, he concluded: “We see tremendous prospects in this deep bilateral relationship, and B’nai B’rith follows developments on this, and Jamaica’s relationship with United States, with great interest. We look forward to learning of new diplomatic developments, and working together to support these efforts.”
Marks recounted that the recent trip by the Jamaican prime minister to Israel was in the interest of expanding and deepening bilateral relations between the two countries. “Jamaica is very strongly supporting the peace process Israel is pursuing.” The ambassador talked about shared technological interests and partnerships, and commended Israel’s ingenuity: “There is so much Jamaica can learn from Israel.”
During a question and answer session, Jamaica was praised for refusing to support an anti-Israel resolution at UNESCO (the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) last year, which denied Jewish historical claims to the Temple Mount.
The diplomatic encounter series enables ambassadors and other Washington officials to directly address the most pressing diplomatic issues of the day. The series is made possible through a generous grant from the B'nai B'rith Jess and Mildred Fisher Memorial Endowment Fund.