June 29, 2013
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An AJC leadership delegation met privately for over an hour with French Interior Minister
Minister Valls was in
the United States
for a series of meetings with security officials, including Secretary of Homeland Security
, Attorney General
, and FBI Director
is home to
largest Jewish community. A recent report, released by
Jewish community, documented a 58% rise in anti-Semitic incidents in 2012 over the previous year. The data also revealed an alarming uptick in the number of incidents that occurred in the aftermath of the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in
in March of that year.
"Once again, we were profoundly impressed by our meeting with Minister Valls, the point person for combating anti-Semitism, racism, extremism, and terrorism in his country," said AJC Executive Director
"Minister Valls' clarity of vision and steely determination are to be admired," Harris added. "We welcomed the opportunity to continue our important dialogue with him. He reaffirmed that he will leave no stone unturned in the struggle against anti-Semitism. He also reiterated his government's position that
supports the European Union's designation of the military wing of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, and is optimistic that the EU will formally adopt this stance."
Minister Valls is an alumnus of AJC's Project Interchange, which conducts educational seminars in
for current and emerging leaders around the world.
The five-person AJC delegation included
, who became the organization's president earlier this month. Also present for the meeting were French Ambassador to the United States
and Consul General of
in New York Bertrand Lortholary.
AJC last met with Minister Valls in
in February. During that same visit, both the AJC delegation and Minister Valls were guests of honor at a special interfaith dinner hosted by the Imam of Drancy, and attended by 150 Imams, the Israeli Ambassador to
, and leaders of
AJC maintains regular contact with
Interior Ministry via its
office, directed by