Conference of Presidents Commends Recent Declaration of the Arab Council for Regional Integration

New York, NY

 . . . Arthur Stark, Chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, issued the following statement:

“We welcome the declaration from the newly formed Arab Council for Regional Integration, a gathering of Arab journalists, artists, diplomats, and religious scholars, which promoted engagement with Israel for the benefit of the Arab and Muslim countries from which they come. At their inaugural gathering in London, the prominent participants, made up of 32 civic figures from 15 Arab countries, courageously confronted the corrosive impact of the decades of delegitimization, boycotts, and attacks against Israel. They also felt that these measures have run counter to the development of Palestinian public institutions and economy.

We appreciate Secretary of State Pompeo’s message of support to the participants on Twitter recognizing the security risk taken by those who spoke out to 'bravely advocate a regional vision of peace and coexistence' in supporting the call for Arab countries to end the boycotts and engage with Israel.

We hope that their message of reconciliation will find support on their return to their native countries. While there have been various indications of openness and a change on the part of some governments in the region, overall public opinion remains hostile to recognition and even engagement with Israel. The leadership of these opinion molders will be very important in changing the climate of hostility and opening opportunities which will benefit everyone in the region.”

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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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