September 20, 2023
New York, NY – September 20, 2023 – American Jewish Committee (AJC) was joined Tuesday evening by diplomats and dignitaries from around the world for its annual Global Jewish Diplomacy Reception.
Featured speakers included Ambassador Dan Shapiro, Senior Advisor for Regional Integration, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State; His Excellency Michael Herzog, Ambassador of Israel to the United States; Ambassador Deborah Lipstadt, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism; and the Honorable Robert Silvers, Undersecretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
As the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, AJC experts from around the world are leading the Jewish community’s diplomatic outreach to global leaders during the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, with the reception serving as the main Jewish event during the opening days of this year’s meeting.
Throughout the UN General Assembly, AJC will hold meetings with more than 60 world leaders to develop new friendships for Israel in furtherance of expanding peace in the Middle East, confronting the UN’s anti-Israel bias, mobilizing world leaders to counter rising antisemitism, urging the international community to unite to stop Iran’s human rights abuses and its nuclear, terror, and weapons advancement, and strengthening and reinforcing support for Ukraine as it fights against Russia’s invasion and its threats to democracy.
“We have a unique opportunity and responsibility to engage with world leaders at the UN General Assembly to advance the well-being of the Jewish people,” said AJC CEO Ted Deutch. “That’s why, in 1991, AJC launched our Diplomatic Marathon, a first-of-its-kind outreach operation to advance issues of mutual concern to the Jewish community and Israel with leaders from around the globe.”
In addition to meeting with top officials attending the General Assembly, AJC engages with presidents, prime ministers, and foreign ministers in their own capitals as part of AJC’s year-round diplomatic activity.
“Through our global advocacy, AJC has promoted a greater understanding of the Jewish people, combated antisemitism, and cultivated relationships. This diplomacy has helped lay the foundation for transformative opportunities, including the Abraham Accords,” said Jason Isaacson, AJC Chief Policy and Political Affairs Officer. “We continue to advocate for the expansion of the Abraham Accords and additional normalization agreements as a key step toward a more peaceful, prosperous, and stable Middle East.”
In conversation with CEO Ted Deutch, Ambassador Lipstadt spoke on the UN’s history with antisemitism and praised AJC for its advocacy at the UN combating antisemitism and promoting human rights.
“The UN is drafting an action plan on antisemitism and I hope it will be a gamechanger,” said Ambassador Lipstadt. “I hope it will be something that many people who have lost faith with the UN on this issue will regain some of that faith.”
Tuesday’s reception was held shortly after Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi addressed the General Assembly.
Following President Raisi’s speech, CEO Ted Deutch said, “President Raisi – who has been called the ‘Butcher of Tehran’ – reinforced in his address why Iran remains a dangerous and destabilizing force throughout the world. As a state sponsor of terrorist groups, such as Hezbollah and Hamas, Iran provides direct aid and political support to the enemies of Israel and acts to undermine regional and global security. As Iran continues to grow its uranium stockpile, we must prevent the further development of its ballistic missile program that can, in turn, provide nuclear weapons capabilities that would directly threaten Israel and her people. Iran seeks to inflict its reign of terror beyond its borders. The world cannot allow that to happen. The time to act is now.”
Ambassador Herzog shared similar thoughts at Tuesday’s event, noting that while President Raisi views the UN as a place where he can be legitimized and accepted, the international community must ensure that he and the regime face accountability.
“We regard Iran as our number-one threat to [Israel’s] national security,” Ambassador Herzog said. “We need to face them with consequences for what they are doing. They will not enjoy impunity and Israel is determined to not allow them to become a nuclear-capable state.”
AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 offices across the United States, 14 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC's mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel, and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. More at AJC.org.