In Bronx, Israeli President Urges Stronger Ties Between Latinos, Jews

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President Reuven Rivlin in New York.Credit: AP

President Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday spoke of the importance of strengthening the relationship between the Latino and Jewish communities and the State of Israel, at a special dialogue event hosted by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Consul General of Israel in New York Ido Aharoni at the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

The event was initially designed to foster stronger ties between the Latino and Jewish communities, both in the United States and abroad.

At the event, Diaz presented Rivlin with the official “Bronx Afghan” and named him an honorary Bronxite.

Rivlin and Diaz discussed the Jewish history of the Bronx, the roots of the state of Israel, Israel’s role in the fight against terrorism, ways the bond between Latino and Jewish communities can be built even stronger and the importance of strengthening the ties between the Jewish and Hispanic community.

“The Latinos in the Bronx are going to become the majority, not as Latinos but as Americans. And we would like that both friends, American and Israeli, be together because we symbolized the way of how to fulfill and act according to the rules of democrats,” Rivlin said during the event.

Fresh off a week-long visit to Israel, Diaz welcomed the Israeli president and thanked home for taking part in this important meeting.

“The Latino and Jewish communities of this city have demonstrated a deep commitment to one another for decades, and this event will help strengthen and expand on those connections,” he remarked.

The borough president’s recent visit to Israel was part of a delegation of Latino business and civic leaders from across the tri-state area, sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. During the visit, the delegation met with Israeli political leaders and toured religious, historic and tactical sites across Israel.

Earlier Wednesday, Rivlin addressed the UN General Assembly, criticizing the accusations of genocide and war crimes that are leveled against Israel at the international body, while others are being ignored.

Rivlin said that the “setting of red lines” for UN intervention on alleged genocide “requires us to stop diluting and cynically exploiting them in the name of pseudo-objectivity, as is done in the rhetoric of human rights with the use of terms such as ‘genocide’ for political purposes.”

Equating the situation in Israel with genocide and war crimes is an “absurd” comparison that “we as Israelis are exposed to constantly,” said Rivlin. The anti-Israel accusations, he said, confuse “the ally with the enemy” and undermine the UN’s “ability to effectively fight the phenomenon of genocide.”

Jacob Kornbluh is a political correspondent for

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