Coalition Against Annexation Meets Israeli Diplomats in 18 Cities Worldwide

WASHINGTON – An international coalition of progressive Jewish organizations has reached out in recent weeks to Israeli diplomats in 18 consulates and embassies around the world, in order to present a message of opposition to unilateral Israeli annexation of settlements in the West Bank. Representatives of the group have met with diplomats in large American cities and in European capitals, and are planning more such meetings in the coming days.

The coalition, which includes 50 Jewish organizations in 17 countries, was formed earlier this year. According to Kenneth Bob, president of the liberal North American Zionist organization Ameinu, “this action against annexation has been our first test. We realized a few months ago that this is how things were going to unfold, and that we need to prepare to take action on this issue.”

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Bob explained to Haaretz that in each major city where there are representatives of organizations that took part in the anti-annexation effort, “we had local leaders in the Jewish community reach out to their contacts in the diplomatic missions and ask for meetings to present their case.”

However, the Israeli ambassadors do not always agree to meet the representatives. “Three ambassadors who are political appointees of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and are considered Bibi loyalists, didn’t have time to meet,” Bob told Haaretz. This group included Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer.

Bob noted that one political appointee with right-wing, pro-annexation views who did agree to meet with the group and hear their concerns is Dani Dayan, Israel’s consul general in New York.

“We had a very respectful discussion with him, despite the obvious disagreements between us,” Bob said. “He listened to our warnings and he presented the government’s line. It was a good conversation.”

Meetings like this have also taken place at the Israeli consulates in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, as well as at the Israeli embassies in Berlin, Paris, Madrid and Copenhagen.