(JNS.org) Former U.S.
President George W. Bush made a surprise appearance at the 50th anniversary
tribute gala of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish
Organizations on Tuesday in New York, saying Iran cannot be trusted when it
says its nuclear program has peaceful intentions, according to an attendee of
The attendee, speaking anonymously because Bush’s comments were off the record, said Bush quoted from his May 2008 speech to the Israeli Knesset. In that speech, the president said America stands with Israel “in firmly opposing Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions.”
“Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations,” Bush told the Knesset in 2008.
Bush on Tuesday also spoke about his relationship with the Conference of Presidents, the umbrella group of more than 50 national Jewish organizations. The event honored Malcolm Hoenlein, the umbrella’s executive vice chairman since 1986.
Alan Solow, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents, told JNS.org regarding Bush’s appearance, “I was delighted that he joined us at this event.”
The gala also included an opening video message from U.S. President Barack Obama. Hoenlein said the fact that remarks from both Obama and Bush were featured demonstrates the Conference of Presidents’ objective of “unity, with diversity.”
“We brought all kinds of people from different points of view [to the gala],” Hoenlein told JNS.org.