27 June 2011
Fifty-five Jewish lawmakers from 22 countries gathered in Jerusalem in June 2011 for the International Consultation of Jewish Parliamentarians.
The meeting was co-organized by the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians and the World Jewish Congress (WJC).
The meeting focused on developing common strategies to combat anti-Semitism and the assault on Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. In a hearing in the Knesset, moderated by outgoing ICJP Chairman Gary Ackerman from the United States, numerous parliamentarians spoke about the growing challenges felt by politicians across the world.
WJC Secretary General Dan Diker said that creating a common voice among Jewish parliamentarians was one of the most important public diplomacy objectives for Israel and the Jewish world. “The coming months will be ones of unprecedented challenge for all those looking to defend the interests of the Jewish state,” he said.
The lawmakers met with their Israeli counterparts in the Knesset and with senior Israeli government officials. The group also paid a visit to the tent for captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, whose captivity in Gaza entered its fifth year earlier this week. Speaking with Gilad’s father Noam Shalit, Chairman Ackerman said: “It is wholly unacceptable that Gilad is being held as a political ploy in a world which should be peace-loving and just.”
At the end of the gathering, Fiamma Nirenstein, a member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, was unanimously elected as new ICJP chairwoman, succeeding Congressman Ackerman.