Only Israelis and Arabs can solve their conflict, Likud lawmaker warns American audience


(JTA) — Five Israeli lawmakers met members of the Boston Jewish community during a town hall-style discussion.

The lawmakers are visiting Israel as part of the Ruderman Family Foundation’s Knesset Mission, which brings Israeli political leaders to the United States to learn about the American Jewish community.

The March 30 meeting took place against the backdrop of a perceived rise in anti-Semitic incidents across the U.S., including threats against three Jewish institutions in Boston.

Amir Ohana from the ruling Likud party said the Trump administration is “totally committed to fighting anti-Semitism and standing alongside Israel.”

“The Arab-Israeli conflict will not be solved in Washington, or Paris, or New York,” he added, saying that the Trump administration understands this. “The Israelis and the Arabs will only solve this conflict, as we are the ones that have to either live and die with the consequences.”

Rachel Azaria of Kulanu was part of a discussion on how the U.S. Jewish community’s voice can be more impactful in the Israeli government and to the Israeli people.

“It’s always upsetting to see how little Israelis know about the support we get from the U.S. Jewish community, and that’s something we need to work on,” said Azaria. “We need to have this relationship and I don’t think we say it enough as Israelis — but thank you.”

Ayelet Nahmias Verbin of the Zionist Union said that things often are much more complicated in Israel than they seem in America.

“We truly rely on [American Jews] in so many ways. And you are sitting here with members of Knesset who have the utmost appreciation for the U.S. Jewish community,” Verbin said. “I know that you need to rely on us to give you answers but the situation in Israel is not easy, obvious, and never one-dimensional.”

During the weeklong mission, the Knesset members have met with Jewish communities and leaders in New York and Washington, D.C., at the national AIPAC policy conference before concluding their trip in Boston.

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