Israeli politicians and celebrities who arrive in the US are often welcomed with a warm hug by the local Jewish community, even when pro-Palestinian organizations heavily protest against them. However, as a direct continuation of the protests in Israel, which also spilled over into Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit to Italy, it became known that a large group of 'Jewish-American' demonstrators is planning to protest the visit of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich as he arrives to give a speech in front of the Bonds Conference in Washington DC.
Most of the protests will be led by groups that have notoriously been against the Jewish State, such as the pro-Palestinian group IfNotNow which ignores the indoctrination of children and rise in militant groups, while chastising Israel for defending against terror attacks and arresting Palestinian militants.
In one message that was distributed, it is noted that Susie Gelman, head of the left-wing organization, the Israeli Policy Forum, a body that supports what it calls the "two-state solution" will be the main speaker at the demonstration and she added some messages that seem to have been considered extreme even among those protesting against the reform in Israel: "No one wants to meet you here, we are the only ones waiting for you. Instead of erasing Huwara, we will erase the smile from your face."
ISRAELI-AMERICAN LEADERS TO STAGE RALLY IN WASHINGTON DC AGAINST ISRAEL’S MINISTER OF FINANCE, BEZALEL SMOTRICH, TO PROTEST HIS PARTICIPATION AT THE ISRAEL BONDS CONFERENCE#Savingisraelidemocracy— UnXeptable - Saving the Israeli Democracy (@UnxeptableD) March 12, 2023
@Isrealidefend @OrlyBarlevEng pic.twitter.com/9NOvlPMtf2
Even earlier, the forum signed 120 Jewish leaders against the Minister's visit to the US. According to them, organizers of protests will take action around the US and many are expected to come to the main demonstration.
If you're in DC and want to stand up for these amazing protesters, join the protest against visiting Minister of Ethnic Fascism Smotrich at 6:00 tomorrow at 10th and H NW. Info: https://t.co/QyD7sQb1Sv https://t.co/5VWtzWIFyH— Naomi Paiss (@NaomiPaiss) March 11, 2023
Despite the outrage from left-leaning Jewish organizations, Finance Minister Smotrich said before his departure: "I am going to visit the US, the Bonds conference symbolizes more than anything, the partnership of world Jewry and the State of Israel. The Bonds have raised over 50 billion dollars for the State of Israel since its establishment. With God's help, I will meet with a variety of international investors and economic players who are interested in deepening investment in the State of Israel."
According to him when asked about the backlash surrounding his visit, "the relationship with Diaspora Jewry is important and the message I am leaving with is that, as in Israel, so also in the Diaspora, it is allowed to have differences of opinion and arguments between us, but nothing will break the brotherhood. We are strong together."
Unclear which Jewish leaders Smotrich is set to meet. At least 73 orgs signed a pledge not to meet with him.— Jacob N. Kornbluh (@jacobkornbluh) March 11, 2023
Jewish progressive groups, and other advocacy groups are planning protests outside the venue + group of Israeli tech entrepreneurs and philanthropists holding event there
He also referred to the collapse of the famous Silicon Valley Bank, with strong ties to Israeli high-tech organizations, and said: "In the face of the shock of the collapse of the American investment bank SVP, the Ministry of Finance under my leadership has been working since the evening to formulate a situational picture and solutions. We stand by the Israeli hi-tech companies and will accompany them even in moments of crisis."