Photo Credit: Conference of Presidents/Avi Hayun
Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the 44th Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations

Education and Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday addressed the 44th Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations annual leadership mission in Jerusalem, telling them, “Israel has learned to say to other countries, You used to be our friend and we shared intelligence with you, and then you voted against us at the UN. We finally said ‘no.’”

“Our relationship includes everything,” Minister Bennett added, suggesting that Israel’s bilateral relations would no longer allow allies to benefit from the relationship with Israel and not show support for the country in international forums, and noting that, as a result, “our international standing is getting stronger and stronger.”


Speaking of the importance of strengthening Jewish identity around the world, Bennett said, “The Holocaust is no longer the only issue for Jewish identity. We cannot define ourselves by our enemies, we have to define ourselves by who are we.”

“We are losing Jews to assimilation, and one hundred years from now they will ask, you knew about it, but what did you do,” he said, adding that “as Diaspora Minister, I know people think the main problem is the Palestinians, or the Kotel—not that I am ignoring these issues, but our main problem is apathy. That is why we are running projects to help connect the Jews around the world with Israel.” He said he hoped the resources for these initiatives would increase ten-fold.”

Speaking of education in Israel, he said, “As Education Minister, my priority is STEM, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. We are undergoing a huge increase, the likes of which we have not seen in decades, in the quality of science studies for Israeli students, and when I say Israeli students, I mean religious, secular, Jews, Arabs.”

He noted that “there are still difficulties with the Haredi sector, but the situation in the Arab sector is good. I am also optimistic regarding the Haredim, but it will take longer, maybe a generation. But with the Arab community we are almost there, we are nearing an equality.”

Bennett stressed that Israel’s relationship with the Diaspora is one of the top priorities for the Jewish State. “Strengthening the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora – this is what keeps me up at night. For more than seventy years we were your project. Today, Israel is in good shape, and now Israel’s project is the Diaspora, now it is our turn to help and connect to the Jews of the world.”

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