Yesterday was a remarkable day. Fifteen thousand people attended a rally in New York to show support for Israel. Jewish leaders from across North America gathered in Washington to meet with our nation’s top officials. Meanwhile, here in Israel, a delegation from UJA-Federation of New York is wrapping up a solidarity mission, and JFNA’s third national mission is about to begin. These activities top off three weeks during which Federations held more than 70 pro-Israel rallies. I can assure you: Israelis are comforted by your support. I’m sharing with you some of the conversations I've had with them, in the iPhone video above.
Over the past three weeks, a new level of anxiety has swept across Israel. Not only have Hamas terrorists continued to fire rockets at Israeli civilian centers, but also the Israel Defense Forces have discovered an extensive network of terrorist tunnels that reach inside the Jewish State. Of the ten Israeli soldiers who were killed last night, five were ambushed by terrorists emerging from a tunnel. The existence of these tunnels and the threats they pose to Israel’s security cannot be overstated.
Yesterday, with 600 Jewish leaders in attendance, National Security Advisor Susan Rice, House Speaker John Boehner and Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer delivered a powerful message, reaffirming America’s commitment to Israel’s right to defend herself. There was consensus among lawmakers from both parties that they stand firmly with Israel in its battle with Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.
Here in Israel there is a sense of uncertainty about what the future holds. But because of you, Israelis know that the North American Jewish community is standing up for Israel's right to self-defense and joins the call for the demilitarization of Gaza.
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