Senior Coordinator, Communications
October 13, 2023
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly condemns the heinous attacks on Israel. We extend our heartfelt condolences to the people of Israel and stand in solidarity with them as they battle the scourge of terrorism. In response to these attacks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Chamber Foundation are mobilizing support for the victims, in partnership with organizations actively responding to the crisis. We are coordinating with our colleagues at the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce, as well as the U.S. government, Israeli government, and others to explore ways to provide humanitarian assistance during this difficult time.
As part of this effort, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the U.S. Chamber Foundation convened private-public leaders for a briefing on October 12 to share live updates on the ground, what the most immediate needs are, and ways the private sector can help.
“We have seen so many business leaders and CEOs in the U.S. and around the world coming out strongly to condemn these attacks and support our friends in Israel,” said Josh Kram, vice president, international strategy and Executive Director of the U.S.-Israel Business Council at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The next step is to begin putting action behind those words.” There are hundreds of U.S. companies with tens of thousands of employees in Israel, many of whom have been impacted personally by these attacks.
As the humanitarian crisis in Israel unfolds, the business community is mobilizing their expertise, capabilities, and community resources to assist with the humanitarian relief efforts. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Resilience Team is tracking the corporate response as businesses announce the ways in which they are supporting the crisis in Israel.
On the call, representatives from the Embassy of Israel, U.S. State Department, and Israel-America Chamber of Commerce (AmCham Israel) outlined the current, emerging, and future needs to help the business community better understand how they might be able to leverage their unique capabilities and resources to provide support.
Eliav Benjamin, deputy chief of mission for the Embassy of Israel, provided a sobering situational update on the attack and the state of the country as well as how the public and private sectors can partner to support recovery in Israel.
“It’s a time to send a very clear message across the board, to the private sector and the public sector, and to countries around the world in the belief in the Israeli economy, and the Israeli capabilities to come out stronger from this,” Benjamin remarked. Israel, he noted, is known as the “Start-up Nation” and is teeming with entrepreneurs developing cutting-edge technology in a wide range of fields.
“Coming up with new initiatives and new, creative ways of working together is something that is going to help build up our spirit and push our economy in an even stronger way, working together with the U.S. And there is no better message than doing this through the business sector, as well,” Benjamin shared.
Senior Advisor to U.S. Secretary of State Ned Price emphasized Secretary Blinken’s presence in Israel and outlined the four primary lines of humanitarian efforts in progress. This includes sending a clear message of support to the government of Israel ensuring the country has what it needs to defend itself, as well as supporting impacted American citizens and working with the Israeli government to secure the release of hostages.
Monetary assistance will always be the most efficient way to support humanitarian crises. Giving to established, vetted organizations that are already on the ground allows them to support those who need it the most and adapt to changing needs.
“There’s no one size fits all response to any tragedy. But it is our advice that rather than in-kind donations, cash donations are always going to be most efficient,” Price explained. “It avoids the complications of in-kind contributions—getting it there, getting it to those who need it most—but it also allows these organizations who are in the midst of the response to evolve their operations based on the need at the time.”
Oren Sagi, chairman of AmCham Israel and managing director of Cisco Israel, provided valuable insight on the needs on the ground, how Cisco is supporting its Israeli employees during this time through deploying technologies and humanitarian support, and how the AmCham is supporting displaced families through fundraising.
"We’ve already raised $10 million and have sent vouchers to displaced families in order for them to have the ability to buy the necessary things to survive these very tough days,” said Sagi. “We’re also working to provide a platform which will enable fundraising that will go directly through NGOs to the displaced people.”
Sagi emphasized the most immediate humanitarian need is to support the more than 20,000 displaced Israelis, including families without homes and children without access to school.
“What we are trying to do—finding locations, finding hotels, providing people to go and work with the kids,” Sagi shared. “From the civilian front, this is where the business sector can impact the most.”
Over the next few weeks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce will convene the private sector to continue the conversation on how the business community can support Israel and discuss the broader economic implications and policy solutions. While the work has just begun, the partnership between the business community and the Israeli and American government and partners continues to strengthen.
Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our disaster and crisis response efforts
How to Support
If your company is seeking to provide humanitarian support, we have resources available:
- The U.S. Chamber Foundation resource page includes a list of trusted organizations responding to the most immediate needs and is updated frequently.
- We have activated our corporate aid tracker to measure the monetary impact of corporate donations on relief efforts. Share how your company is contributing to humanitarian response efforts via the tracker here.