Rivlin laments polarization, rising anti-Semitism in American society
Gregg Newton (Gregg Newton/AFP)
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin on Sunday extended an invitation to U.S. president Donald Trump to visit Israel, though he lamented deep divisions in American society and rising anti-Semitism in the country.
Speaking at the opening of the annual Israel Leadership Mission of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations, Rivlin said Israel was "very concerned by polarization in society and politics, and we share your concerns for these trends that you have experienced in the U.S."
"When a society is divided, it is not easy to find and maintain the shared vision, and the shared space," he added.
Rivlin also addressed rising anti-Semitism in the United States, telling conference attendees: "It is also, a very sensitive time for the Jewish community, which you represent."
The Israeli president emphasized that divisions in American politics and society must not extend to U.S. support for Israel, saying that "we cannot allow Israel to be a political football between different sides, between different ideologies."
"Support for Israel must and will always remain a bi-partisan issue," he said.
He offered that perhaps Americans would be able to come together, saying that "America’s strength is important and dear to us all."
In recent months, there have been a surge of bomb threats against Jewish Community Centers across the United States.
Responding to a question about the surge of anti-Semitic incidents across the country in recent months, Trump snapped back at the Jewish reporter and said he was "the least anti-Semitic person you’ve ever seen in your entire life,"
"I hate the charge, I find it repulsive, I hate the question," Trump continued, reprimanding the reporter for asking "a very insulting question."
(Staff with agencies)
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