Israeli president Reuven Rivlin (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90) (Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90)
Reuven Rivlin

“We in Israel are deeply concerned by the rise in anti-Semitic attacks against [American] Jewish communities,” Rivlin said upon receiving an award at UCLA.

By United with Israel Staff

At an award ceremony on Wednesday in Los Angeles, President Reuven Rivlin condemned the wave of anti-Semitic attacks in the US as well as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activities on college campuses and the United Nations’ recently release blacklist of Israeli businesses.

“We in Israel are deeply concerned by the rise in anti-Semitic attacks against the fifth tribe – you, the Jewish communities,” he said. “For you, rising anti-Semitism is not a theoretical issue. It is a real threat, from the attack on the Nessah synagogue to the terrible shooting in Poway.”

In December, the Nessah synagogue in Beverly HIlls, California was vandalized. In April, a gunman killed a woman and injured three more on the last day of Passover at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in California.

Rivlin received the Younes and Soraya Nazarian Israel Studies Award from the Israel Studies Center at UCLA in Los Angeles, California at an event during which he made the remarks.

The president also referenced BDS activities on college campuses in the US, noting that the recent blacklist by the UN of businesses in Judea and Samaria feeds into anti-Israel activists’ propaganda.

“Fighting anti-Semitism does not mean silencing debate about Israel,” Rivlin said. “However, on many campuses, those promoting academic boycotts seek not to encourage debate, but to shut it down. Along with the challenge of academic boycotts we are now facing the challenge of the UN blacklist which encourages economic boycotts. We thank the United States for standing with us against this shameful political decision.”

The president encouraged unity in the face of divisiveness. “Now it is time to create, together, a shared story and experience of what it is to be an Israeli. We still have a long road ahead of us, but I am truly convinced that we will succeed. We must succeed. This is the key to the prosperity and success of the State of Israel as a state that is both … democratic and Jewish at the same time.”

Calling Israel “a miracle,” Rivlin continued, “We have gone from a developing country, to a world leader in innovation. But if we want to preserve this miracle, we must keep Israeli society united.”

Rivlin emphasized the importance of U.S. bipartisan support for Israel.noting, “The US-Israel alliance is based on our deepest shared values and our most critical shared interests. This partnership has always been above party politics and so it must remain.”

The Younes and Soraya Nazarian Israel Studies Center promotes the study of modern Israel by the tens of thousands of students at UCLA through supporting research in the academic field of Israel Studies. It also organizes frequent public programs, including hosting visiting Israeli academics, conferences, film screenings and other events around life in Israel. and brings leading scholars, policymakers and artists to UCLA.