Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog has a message for Baltimore … and to Jewish individuals throughout the United States. Speaking in Boston to a room of 1,000 people at the annual Jewish National Fund conference — the first in three years — he spoke briefly but forthrightly, even urgently, noting two major threats in the world right now: antisemitism and Iran.
Not in that order.
He noted the unrest prompted following the death of Iranian Kurdish Mahsa Amini, 22, in September at the hands of the country’s Morality Police, which prompted waves of public protests and that has led to the death of as many as 200 people, including women and young girls.
“Look at Iran, the brave young people. Look at the women leading this revolution,” said Herzog. “Who can stop the power of strong women?”
He stressed that “we, the Jewish people, know exactly what this means,” and “we support the women standing up in Iran.”
He called the country “the most destabilizing actor in the region,” noting it doesn’t stop there and has an effect on world events.
After a shoutout to all the young people gathered at the opening plenary, Herzog also noted the spate of antisemitism in the United States and around the world. (It wasn’t lost on the room that the statement followed the actions of Iran.)
As for the uptick, he reassured the crowd that as for “antisemitism, they will not tear us down. We will fight back.”
He concluded his address by noting that Israel is in its 75th year of existence as “an independent, sovereign state,” with a nod to recent elections there, noting they were free and fair, and the outcome of a democratic society. “An imperfect democracy, yes, but we are an amazing success story.”
“Thank you all for standing with Israel,” he said. “The impact is felt and deeply appreciated. May we continue to go from strength to strength.”