New York, NY

In an expression of solidarity with the government, defense forces and people of Israel, a delegation of prominent American Jewish leaders will depart this weekend and arrive in Israel on Monday, July 14th.  They will meet with top government and military officials to gain insights and first-hand knowledge of Operation Protective Edge, as Israel takes the steps necessary to defend its citizens against the barrage of rocket fire from Hamas-controlled Gaza.   They also will travel to areas impacted by the rockets to engage and offer support and unity with Israeli civilians and communities.

“We feel compelled to demonstrate in the most tangible way our deep concern for and solidarity with Israel by being physically present with them.  They must know they are not alone and that the Jewish community as well the vast majority of the American people stand with them and pray for their safety and strive to tell the true story of Israel’s defensive action,” said Robert G. Sugarman, chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO, who will lead the delegation. “We are gratified that so many people responded on a few hours’ notice to sign up for the mission, and we hope that it will be replicated by communities across the US and around the world.”

“We trust that our presence will be a source of strength and support as the people go into the second week of constant bombardment by hundreds of missiles targeting a civilian population. No country would or should tolerate such an assault by terrorist organizations across an internationally recognized border.  Israel has shown great restraint seeking to avoid an all-out war and the casualties that would ensue.  Hamas has exploited this to expand the scope and range of its rocket attacks.  We are awed by resilience and fortitude shown by the citizens of Israel despite the security situation,” they added. 


“We know that we speak for all of the members of the Conference of Presidents and for the friends of Israel from every sector of the American populace, in expressing our solidarity and unity with the people of Israel. We pray for the safety and security of every individual, of every soldier and civilian put in harm’s way, and for the government which carries such tremendous responsibilities. We express our support especially to the families living in Israel south, who have once again come under constant bombardment by rockets from Hamas-controlled Gaza.  This is an intolerable situation and Israel must take whatever steps necessary to protect its citizens under attack and to put an end to these attacks across an international boundary.  We are one with you and will demonstrate that by our presence even if only for a few days.”


Mr. Sugarman and Mr. Hoenlein called on the international community to stand with Israel at this critical time.  “Israel is now on the front line of the battle being waged by terrorist groups throughout the Middle East and around the world and Israel efforts will be a vital test for the region’s battle against violent extremism,” they said. 


The Conference of Presidents is the central coordinating body representing 50 national Jewish organizations on issues of national and international concern

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