Sallai Meridor is the Ambassador of Israel to the U.S.. He served as the Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel and the World Zionist Organization from 1999-2005. Prior to this, Mr. Meridor served as the Treasurer of the Jewish Agency and WZO and as the Head of the Settlement Division of the WZO. During the years of his chairmanship, the Jewish Agency underwent a major transformation. The strategy and activities of the Agency were focused on dealing with the Jewish future - the young generation of Jews. Major initiatives included the Masa national effort to bring 20,000 young adults per annum from the Diaspora for a year-long formative experience in Israel, focusing the activities of the Agency in Israel on young Israelis and young Olim, special Aliyah efforts from FSU, Ethiopia, Argentina, and France, and strategic preparations for dealing with the future challenge of Aliyah choice. In response to the war of terror against Israel, a global Jewish mobilization effort and a major emergency campaign was launched. Internally, the budget of the Jewish agency was balanced, agreements to eliminate $700M in debt (which put the agency at risk) were reached, and the Agency took a historic step by restructuring its governing bodies to include significant nonpolitical representation from Israeli society. Finally, with a view towards the Jewish future, the first ever Jewish People Policy Planning Institute was established.
Prior to his work with the Jewish agency, Mr. Meridor served as an advisor to the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Israel. In his governmental service, he was involved in the designing of Israel's foreign and defense policies, played a role in the peace process leading to the Madrid Peace Conference, participated in the negotiations that followed as the representative of the Ministry of Defense, and led Israel's Inter-Agency Steering Committee on Arms Control. Born and educated in Jerusalem, Mr. Meridor earned his B.A. degree at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He served as an Intelligence Officer in the IDF. He lives in Kfar Adumim with his wife No'a. They are the proud parents of three daughters.
Sallai Meridor: Well I painfully have to admit that I cannot understand it. And I don’t have a good explanation to give to you. Take Europe. Europe was saved by America. Europe today is more threatened than America by this very dangerous trend of Muslim extremism. Just a few days ago, we had a terror attack in London in Glasgow. And this was not the first one. You had the ones we had in Madrid. So Europeans are subject to . . . or have been subject not less than Americans. Add to that fact that in Europe, you have significant Muslim minorities that are being incited by those radical Islamists in different ways – through the Internet, through special TV stations operated either with support of Iran or independently. And they are creating a major problem for Europe itself in terms of how their own Muslim population will integrate or not integrate into their own societies. Iran is now developing missiles that would easily hit Europe. So having said all that, you would have expected first Europe to be much more cooperative and responsible in addressing the threats, and much more appreciative of the United States’ behavior and leadership in this context. So I guess that what I did was share with you my frustration; but I’m afraid that I did not give you a good enough explanation to a behavior I fail to understand.