This past Monday, The Israel-American Jewish Knesset Caucus, headed by MK Ronit Tirosh, convened for a special session with guest speaker Abraham Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League. Foxman, who addressed MK’s on issues of anti-Semitism in America, the Jewish vote and Israel-American Jewish relations, said that “Israel is not an overwhelming concern to the majority of America Jews.” Foxman went on to inform those present that American Jews perceive Israeli policy and legislation through the prism of their value system and their liberal and democratic sensibilities. In a theme being heard in more and more forums of late, Foxman urged the MK’s to consider how their remarks and actions will play out abroad. “Jews all over the world identify with Israel, but Israelis do not always see themselves as an integral part of World Jewry.”
Speaking on the upcoming U.S. elections, Foxman noted that contrary to what Israelis may think, Jewish voters are mainly focused on the economy, and not on Israel. “Israel is not the central issue of these elections and we shouldn’t make it so,” he added.
MK Ronit Tirosh, who founded the caucus after participating in the Ruderman Program that educates MK’s on the American Jewish community, said that the caucus plays an important role in facilitating dialogue between Israeli legislators and American Jewish leaders, and contributes to greater understanding. “At the end of the day we need each other to ensure the future existence of the State of Israel,” she added.