Jack Rosen with Jewish
to Address Jewish Congress in Historic September Event
August 25: General Pervez Musharraf will become the first Pakistani
leader to address the American Jewish Congress at a historic event
in New York on September 17, which the Congress has announced
“may mark a turning point in the relations between our peoples.”
address would coincide with his visit to New York for the UN Summit
which begins on Sept 14.
am pleased to announce that President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan
has accepted an invitation I extended to him last May in his Islamabad
office to address the most pressing global problem – the
need for Moslems to embrace modernity with openness and tolerance,”
the Chairman of the American Jewish Congress-Council for World
Jewry, Jack Rosen, said in a Memo circulated to the top leaders
of the Jewish community.
Memo also disclosed that Musharraf had indicated that he had tested
the domestic Pakistani waters over the Israel issue, and felt
that diplomatic ties could only follow an Israeli-Palestinian
gave details of how this invitation was accepted by Musharraf
and disclosed that before requesting Musharraf to speak to the
Jewish community, he even consulted President Bush at his Texas
ranch, who gave his approval.
the process started when Musharraf himself invited the Jewish
leaders to Islamabad, Rosen’s Memo revealed.
President Musharraf's invitation, I went to Islamabad last May
with AJCongress-Council for World Jewry Vice Chairman Phil Baum
and Director David Twersky. During our discussions, which addressed
the Israeli-Palestinian situation, terrorism, and relations between
the Islamic world and the West, we proposed that he publicly address
a broad sector of the American Jewish community in New York. I
am pleased to announce that President Musharraf has accepted our
Memo said: “Given the sensitivities involved, we chose to
first consult with officials in the White House and State Department
and with senior officials in Jerusalem. Several weeks ago, I spoke
with President Bush about it at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.”
Bush said he saw it as an important opportunity and understood
the significance of this step by President Musharraf. President
Bush was enthusiastic about the opportunity that was presented
and expressed support for our efforts. I suggested he send a high
level representative and he made an initial suggestion and said
he would consider who he might send.”
said: “Since it inception, AJCongress-Council for World
Jewry, working with Jewish communities around the world, has set
before it the task of building bridges to the Moslem world by
pursuing contacts with authoritative Moslem political and religious
figures in America and around the world.
“We have approached this mission with sobriety and a hard
headedness about the Jewish cause, about current conflicts and
impending threats. But we have also been informed by the compelling
and urgent necessity to look for significant figures in the Moslem
world who, by meeting us at least halfway, would help accelerate
the process by which the Moslem world finds its way into a healthy
and productive relationship with modernity.”
revealed that the years of contacts and meetings have now begun
to bear fruit. “President Musharraf has repeatedly spoken
out against extremism in the Moslem world. His doctrine of "Enlightened
Moderation" encourages Moslems to embrace pluralism, openness,
and tolerance. This will be the first public meeting between President
Musharraf and representatives of the Jewish community. It is a
departure which may mark a turning point in the relations between
His Memo said: “I need not underscore President Musharraf's
crucial role in world affairs, especially at this moment in history.
He is a key ally on the war against Islamic terrorism, and leads
a large Moslem country that is the only Moslem nation with nuclear
weapons. It is hard to overestimate his significance to America
or to the cause of Moslem moderation.”
the head of a sovereign Moslem state with a large and devout constituency,
his public presentation to an American Jewish audience will inevitably
resonate far beyond ourselves and our immediate community. Assuredly
it will be an event which will be carefully scrutinized and assessed
in many parts of the world. Assuredly, it will have consequences.
In our discussions with him last May, I acknowledged President
Musharraf's support for America in the war against Islamic terrorism;
his publicly raising the possibility of establishing normal relations
with Israel; and his doctrine of "Enlightened Moderation,"
encouraging Moslems to embrace pluralism, openness, and tolerance.
"President Musharraf indicated that he had tested the domestic
waters over the Israel issue, and felt that diplomatic ties could
only follow an Israeli-Palestinian agreement."
"President Musharraf reacted positively to our suggestion
that during his September visit to New York for the summit of
international leaders at the United Nations, he should present
his "Enlightened Moderation," doctrine to an American
Jewish audience, speaking from an explicitly American Jewish platform."
am therefore pleased to announce that President Musharraf has
formally accepted our invitation to address the American Jewish
leadership gathered under AJCongress-Council for World Jewry auspices."
unprecedented event will take place on the evening of September
17 in New York City at the Marriott Hotel. This major leader from
a Moslem powerful nation will publicly deliver a major policy
address to American Jews, hoping that his message will be heard
by Americans as well as by his fellow Moslems everywhere."
the short term, reaching out to authentic Moslem leaders may carry
some risk. But the greater risk would be to forgo the long term
benefits derived from finding a leader – especially one
of the magnitude of President Musharraf – who is willing
to be a voice of moderation and reason."