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Blinken meets US Jewish, Arab, Palestinian communal leaders

The secretary “stressed that no civilian life is worth more than another—whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim,” according to the U.S. State Department.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right middle) meets on Oct. 23, 2023 with Jewish leaders, including William Daroff (left middle), CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Source: X/William Daroff.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken (right middle) meets on Oct. 23, 2023 with Jewish leaders, including William Daroff (left middle), CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Source: X/William Daroff.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met on Monday with “Jewish community leaders and, separately, with representatives of the Arab- and Palestinian-American communities,” according to a readout of the meetings from U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Blinken said the same things to both groups, according to the readout, including condemning Hamas’s “horrific terrorist attacks against Israel,” reaffirming Washington’s “ironclad commitment to Israel’s security” and describing U.S. efforts to ensure that civilians are protected and to prevent the conflict from widening.

“The secretary invited participants to share their perspectives, listened to the ideas put forward and pledged that the department would remain in close contact with their organizations and broader communities,” according to the readout.

Blinken further “stressed that no civilian life is worth more than another—whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim—and emphasized ongoing U.S. efforts to facilitate a steady flow of humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, as we work with partners across the region to secure the release of additional hostages,” Miller added. 

“He made clear that the United States continues to support the Palestinian people and a two-state solution, and reiterated that Hamas does not represent Palestinians,” according to the readout.

“He strongly condemned racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic and anti-Palestinian incidents, including appalling violence in this country and around the world, and underscored that hate has no place in America or anywhere else.”

The State Department readout didn’t name the organizations present.

William Daroff, CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, posted a photo of the meeting on X.

“Jewish leaders today had a meaningful and constructive discourse with Secretary Blinken,” Daroff told JNS.

“We thanked him for his steadfast support for Israel’s right—and obligation—to defend itself. We heralded President Biden’s leadership in condemning the barbarity of the Hamas terrorist army,” he added. “We look forward to continuing the dialogue with Secretary Blinken and his team at the State Department.”

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