(Washington, D.C., July 22, 2021)--B’nai B’rith President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International, along with the American Zionist Movement (AZM) and the International March of the Living (MOTL), has co-sponsored a visit this week to Israel by a delegation of ambassadors to the United Nations and the United States, led by Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. and U.N.
The week-long visit is particularly notable coming in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic—to which Israel’s robust response has served as a model globally—and soon after the latest barrage of attacks on citizens of the Jewish state by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. It also follows the election of both a new president and prime minister in Israel, testifying to the endurance of the Middle East’s only democracy.
The delegation includes ambassadors from Argentina, Australia, Bhutan, the Czech Republic, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Hungary, Kenya, Tonga and Ukraine.
During their stay in Israel, the group has met Israeli leaders, inspected cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hamas and the Iran-sponsored Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, received briefings from the Israel Defense Forces, visited foremost religious sites and been exposed to the breadth of Israeli technological innovation.
On Tisha B’Av—the saddest day on the Jewish calendar, marking the destruction of the Holy Temples in Jerusalem and the exile of Jews from their homeland—the diplomats also toured Yad Vashem and the national memorial to Israel’s tens of thousands of fallen service members.
AZM immediate past president and B’nai B’rith honorary president Richard D. Heideman and MOTL president Phyllis G. Heideman—who are members of the International Board of Trustees of the B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem—accompanied the group, as did Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center, and David Michaels, B’nai B’rith director of U.N. and intercommunal affairs.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.