May 17, 2022
Diplochat: A Conversation on US-Israel Relations
The Council’s “Diplochat” series provides attendees the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with diplomats from around the world. This conversation was facilitated by the Council’s President & CEO, Lauren Swartz and featured remarks by Ambassador Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York.
About the Event
For nearly three-quarters of a century, the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia has provided its members, supporters, and the Greater Philadelphia community with access to domestic and foreign policymakers, global leaders, and influential thinkers.
The Satell Family Foundation “Diplochat” series provides meeting attendees with the opportunity to have an in-depth conversation with diplomats from around the world. Audience members had the opportunity to ask questions and engage with those appointed by their governments to represent their country, skillfully negotiate, and use soft power to maintain political, economic, and social relations on the global stage.
The Council hosted a discussion about U.S.-Israel relations, featuring remarks from Ambassador Asaf Zamir, Consul General of Israel in New York. Ambassador Zamir spoke about his background as the Tourism Minister of Israel and as Deputy Mayor of Tel Aviv. Ambassador Zamir also expressed the Israeli government’s view on the death of Palestinian-American reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, explaining the context of the raid, the violent disruption of her funeral, and the following investigation. The Ambassador remarked upon the new business and travel opportunities developing because of the Abraham Accords.
Time for Q&A provided the audience with the chance to dive deeper into the topics of their choosing. These topics included the changing perception of Israel among young Americans, Israel’s efforts to combat climate change, and the increasing partisan divide within America over support to Israel. Ambassador Zamir also answered why Israel has taken a less dramatic stance on the war in Ukraine than many other countries, citing the Russian military presence in Syria, and Israel’s desire to protect the interests of Jews living in both Ukraine and Russia. Additionally, the Ambassador communicated why he disagrees with Amnesty International’s report that Israel runs an apartheid system in favor of Jewish Israelis.
The conversation was facilitated by Lauren Swartz, President & CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia.