In the same session, Dr. Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, praised Israeli high-tech and discussed how the nation’s innovations can contribute to Israel’s place in the world.
Ambassadors Dennis Ross, Stuart Eizenstat and JPPI President Avinoam Bar-Yosef convened the gathering which brought together 60 American and Israeli leaders and academics from both countries.
The conference focused on two main themes: the Changing Relationships in the Jerusalem-Washington-US Jewry Triangle in Times of Increasing Polarization, and Jewish Values and the Use of Force in Armed Conflict, the subject of JPPI’s 2015 structured dialogue process, conducted in Jewish communities around the world.
According to JPPI President Avinoam Bar Yosef, "A number of internal polarization processes have surfaced in Israel and the Diaspora over the past year, influenced in different ways by parallel political schisms taking place in American and Israeli society.
"Conference participants examined strategies on how to best mitigate and neutralize the danger threatening the internal cohesion of the Jewish people and its pluralistic spirit in Israel and the Diaspora at a time when ideological and value-based disputes are becoming more prominent.
"The participants also examined the major issues informing US-Israel relations at this critical juncture, noting that Israel is facing key foreign policy challenges in the coming months, including a pending Iran agreement, UN Security Council resolutions and inquiries into Israeli actions during last summer’s Gaza war."
A number of JPPI Senior Fellows, including Brig Gen (ret.) Michael Herzog, Einat Wilf, and Shmuel Rosner, gave presentations and led discussions on international BDS movements and trends within Israeli society and the Jewish Diaspora which are threatening to strain ties. For example, the more liberal and Democratic communities in the US may find it difficult to come to terms with right-leaning Israeli groups.
According to JPPI, the political system in Israel and the Jewish communal system in the Diaspora are supposed to facilitate frameworks that can contain a variety of opinions. Traditionally, this has been accomplished through mutual respect and a sense of unity, and through a commitment to mutual responsibility.
Recommendations made at the gathering will be presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the full Israeli cabinet in late June as part of JPPI’s Annual Assessment briefing with Israeli leaders.