Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he met for several hours with Syrian President Bashar Assad during a secret visit to Damascus.
Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. Hoenlein said the meeting Monday was at the invitation of Syria and not, as had been reported originally by the Israeli media, at the behest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "I went to Damascus on an important humanitarian issue to the Jewish people," Hoenlein told Haaretz. "Netanyahu did not ask anything from me, and any attempt to link me to the diplomatic process with Syrian is manipulation."