APRIL 6, 2008
ISRAELI AMBASSADOR MERIDOR KEYNOTES OU NATIONAL DINNER
Addressing the nearly 1000 attendees at the Orthodox Union’s 110th anniversary National Dinner, Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Sallai Meridor expressed his appreciation for the work the OU does to promote Jewish life, Judaism and a deep connection to the State of Israel. Amb. Meridor particulalrly noted the strength of the Orthodox Union constituency’s role in advocacy for Israel and aliyah to Israel.
Amb. Meridor then briefly, but passionately talked about three issues Israel is currently confronting.
1. Iran’s threat of obtaining nuclear weapons remains real and must be confronted with the entire community working to increase economic pressure on Iran so that its pursuit of nuclear weapons will be thwarted.
2. Israel’s war on terror – particularly the daily rocket attacks from Gaza. Amb. Meridor stressed that Israel will confront Hamas and protect innocent Israelis as any free and democratic nation would.
3. Amb. Meridor also addressed the ongoing effort by Israel to negotiate a peace settlement with the Palestinians. Amb. Meridor said: “Some will say ‘haven’t we tried enough? Haven’t we learned from the failures after Oslo through Gaza?’ But we cannot only be led by our frustration. We are trying to move toward peace. Why?
Because of Jewish values which include the pursuit of peace; because peace is Israel’s strategic interest; and to spare our children – to save them from wars.
We will make heartbreaking compromise,” continued the Ambassador, “but so must the other side…. They will not be able to return to Israel….And they will have to respect the special connection that we have to Jerusalem…. They must realize that we do not have Mecca as they do. And we must commit ourselves, when at the Passover Seder in two weeks we speak of Jerusalem, to say “this year and forever in Jerusalem….”