The Jewish people are facing a "gathering storm" in the form of threats posed by a genocidal Iran, Hizbullah, al-Qaeda, Hamas, and local terror cells which target Diaspora Jews, former Canadian Justice Minister and Jewish activist Irwin Cotler told a conference on the future of Jewish people in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
The conference, organized by the Jewish People Policy Planning Institute (JPPPI) attracted Jewish leaders and representatives from around the world who came to discuss strategies for ensuring Jewish continuity.
During his address, Cotler described the current threat level to the Jewish people as being "without parallel or precedent since 1938."
He added, however, that "2007 is not 1938. There is a Jewish State, an antidote to vulnerabilities. There are non-Jews prepared to join the Jewish people. Israel has diplomatic relations with the two emerging super powers, India and China."
"Ahmadinejad's Iran is threat not only to Israel but to international stability, peace and security as a whole," Cotler added.
"I do believe there is a gathering storm, but there is no inevitability about the negatives," Cotler said. "We have some powerful historical assets at our disposal," he added.
Dennis Ross, the former US ambassador to Israel said that "Iran is led today by a regime that believes in the destruction of Israel, and they're developing the means to actually do it."
"Radical Islam expresses hatred, hostility... there is an onslaught there against the Jewish people," he said. Responding to claims that Hamas should be negotiated with, Ross stated: "Look at the charter of the Hamas. (It says) Jews are responsible for everything from the French Revolution to World War One."
Ross also emphasized the growing challenges faced by the American-Jewish community. "There is an onslaught on the positions of Jews in the US," he said. He called for a redefinition of the issues in order to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the Jewish people.