A delegation of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) carried out a mission of solidarity and support to Israel from 21 – 23.5.2024, with the participation of Jewish leaders from 25 countries around the world. On behalf of Greek Jewry, the WJC delegation was attended by G.G. of KISE Victor Is. Eliezer. WJC representatives met and discussed with the President of Israel, the Speaker of the Knesset, members of parliament, relatives of the hostages, and visited kibbutzim in Southern Israel that were the victims of the 7.10/XNUMX terrorist attacks, where they spoke with survivors.

On 21.5.24, the first day of the visit to Israel, the delegation met with the Speaker of the Knesset, Amir Ohana, as well as the Yesh Atid party member of parliament, and former minister, Meirav Cohen. Through these meetings, the WJC delegation learned about how Israeli society, government and individuals were dealing with the day after October 7 and discussed with Israeli leaders critical next steps.

Israeli President Herzog, after his meeting with WJC leaders, commented on suspension of: "Today I met with leaders from all over the Jewish world. Every country and their community is dealing with the continued rise of anti-Semitism: on the internet, on the streets and in universities. We discussed the importance of standing up to hate and the incredible strength and resilience of the Jewish people." The Israeli President added: "Israel stands with Jews around the world and I thank them for their unwavering support of our country as we defend against a cruel enemy and fight to free the hostages brutally held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza".

The WJC Executive Committee also unanimously approved strategic planning resolutions focusing on issues such as: the creation of an executive task force to combat anti-Semitism, strengthening the voice of young leaders, and a strong statement of support for Israel from the world Jewish community . Through the statement of support, the WJC expressed its support for Israel's goal of destroying Hamas while securing the release of the remaining hostages. The WJC statement also condemns the false accusations of genocide leveled at Israel by the South African government and others in the international community.

WJC President Ronald S. Lauder, highlighting the continuing threat to Jewish communities, emphasized the need for unity. “Recent trends on social media and on college campuses have made it clear that we are up against forces that will not budge until we develop a meaningful strategy to address anti-Jewish hatred. We need to push leaders in the United States and elsewhere to send the message that there is absolutely no moral equivalence between Hamas and the Israeli government," he said.
"By pressuring Arab governments to support the de-radicalization of Palestinian society and the reconstruction of post-war Gaza, we can also begin to lay the groundwork for a future where Israelis and Palestinians live side by side in peace," Lauder added.

On Wednesday 22.5.24/7/7, the WJC delegation visited the Kfar Aza kibbutz and held a special ceremony to commemorate Ofir Libstein, a former WJC board member who was killed on October XNUMXth while defending his community from Hamas terrorists. The WJC team was given a tour of Kfar Aza by its resident, Shai Hermesh, a former Knesset member and former president of the WJC Israel chapter, who shared his experiences. Omer's son was killed by Hamas on October XNUMX and the family's home was destroyed when Israeli troops were called in to remove the hiding terrorists.

Along with survivors, the WJC delegation paid tribute to Re'im, the site of the Nova Music Festival, and Tekuma, a "car graveyard" for hundreds of vehicles from the October 7 attacks.

The group was also briefed on Hamas' sexual violence against Israelis. The session was chaired by Dr. Cochav Elkayam Levy, founder and head of the Dvora Institute for Gender and Sustainability Studies.

In a discussion co-hosted by Ambassador Colette Avital, a member of the WJC Executive Committee and a former member of the Knesset, and the Forum of the Central Bureau of Hostages and Missing Families, WJC leaders met with hostage families. Relatives of Omer Neutra and Tal Shoham, still held in Gaza, joined the discussion and called on the WJC delegation members to pressure their respective governments to help free the hostages.

Source: WJC website, 23.5.2024