The highlight of the evening, taking place at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan, was a conversation with the honorees hosted by the newly elected AIFL President, Joel I. Klein.
"The world needs more individuals like Mike Bloomberg and Nir Barkat. Both men are successful businessmen and didn't need the job as mayor of their city, yet they wanted to make life better for others." Joel I. Klein, AIFL President.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said, "It is a great privilege to accept the Partners for Democracy Award from the America-Israel Friendship League alongside my dear friend Michael Bloomberg. The relationship between Israel and the US is based on shared values and is vital to the future of Jerusalem. My close friendship with Michael Bloomberg over the years has resulted in best practices and joint action for Israel and the United States. "
"The support for Israel throughout the world is diminishing; sadly, this is also true within the Jewish community in the U.S. Further, despite recent events, which clearly demonstrate that the war on terror is a worldwide struggle, Israel continues to lose international support and impact, including with its traditional supporters. We thank Michael R. Bloomberg and Mayor Nir Barkat for their outstanding contribution to the world and to the Jewish people." said Kenneth J. Bialkin, AIFL Chairman.
Founded in 1971, the America-Israel Friendship League (AIFL) is dedicated to strengthening ties between the United States and Israel. Through people-to-people programs, advocacy and collaboration with other like-minded organizations, the AIFL is actively engaged in improving perceptions about Israel and developing American support among people of all ages, faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political orientations