by Michael Wilner
At a UN Security Council discussion on the protection of civilians in armed conflict on Tuesday, Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor renewed his call for Hezbollah to be designated as a terrorist organization by the European Union, as it has been categorized by the United States.
“Make no mistake: Hezbollah’s sole purpose is to commit terrorist acts both inside and outside the Middle East,” Prosor said. “Calling Hezbollah a charity is like calling al- Qaida an urban-planning organization because of its desire to level tall buildings.”
The charge came just days after Bulgarian authorities identified Hezbollah as the perpetrator of a terrorist attack in Burgas last July, which killed seven people, including the suicide bomber, and wounded 32.
“Too often members of the EU conveniently ignore the violence of Hezbollah and insist it is merely a political organization,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Hopefully this report will strip Hezbollah of any claim of legitimacy and finally allow people to see it for what it is – a violent and dangerous terrorist organization.” ...more
by Phil Jacobs
Pope Benedict XVI's resignation announcement on Monday brought reaction from many different parts of the Jewish world.
Well it should have.
Jews have every reason to be watchful and concerned by actions from the Vatican that could impact Jewish-Catholic and Israel-Vatican relations.
Benedict, 85, will step down at month's end, citing his "advanced age" and failing health. He is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
"We wish Pope Benedict only good health as he steps down from his position," B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. "He consistently expressed his commitment to Catholic-Jewish relations, and his accessibility to Jewish leaders was significant. We are very grateful for the opportunities we had to meet with him to further the Catholic-Jewish friendship."
B'nai B'rith leaders met with Pope Benedict, as with a line of his predecessors, on multiple occasions. In 2011, Jacobs and Daniel S. Mariaschin, B'nai B'rith International executive vice president, led a B'nai B'rith delegation to the Vatican to meet with Benedict. Jacobs and Mariaschin spoke with him about the Middle East and the challenges facing Jews and Christians in the region.
Representing the American Jewish community, David Michaels, B'nai B'rith director of United Nations and intercommunal affairs, presented a gift to Benedict from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum during the pope's 2008 visit to Washington. Michaels and Alan Schneider, B'nai B'rith World Center director, greeted the pope at the Western Wall in Jerusalem in 2009.
"Pope Benedict deserves appreciation for his contributions to the great cause of Catholic-Jewish engagement," said Mariaschin. "We hope that Benedict's successor will continue to build upon decades of historic progression in Catholic-Jewish relations."
B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs quoted:
Argentina's government rejected the Israeli government's summons of its ambassador in order to explain the memorandum of understanding signed between Argentina and Iran advancing the investigation of 1994 AMIA bombing case.
“The attack was suffered by the people of our country on July 18 and did not involve any Israeli citizen. The victims were mostly Argentines and include six Bolivians, two Poles and one Chilean,” Argentina's Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued late Tuesday.
“We are surprised that the Argentine government would team up with the Iranian government to seek out justice,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said in a statement. “Given Iran’s deplorable judicial track record and its refusal to turn over those previously implicated in the bombings, there’s little reason to believe anything substantial will come out of this commission.” ...more
B'nai B'rith International President Allan J. Jacobs is quoted:
Holocaust survivors, their families and delegates of their cause flooded the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations on Friday, where the international body commemorated the victims of Nazism with a day of remembrance on the 68th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.
The ceremony opened with a moment of silence followed by a taped message from Secretary- General Ban Ki-moon, who promised that the UN, founded out of the principles of humanity highlighted by the Holocaust, would “never again” let such an atrocity occur.
At a breakfast before the ceremony held to mark the day, B’nai B’rith International president Allan J. Jacobs told The Jerusalem Post that denials would continue as more time passes and more witnesses pass on.
“We know that’s going to happen,” Jacobs said. “There is certainly a dichotomy that exists. And we’ll continue to fight that in every venue we can, including at the UN.” ,,,more
by Paul Foer
The nation narrowly has avoided falling off the so-called fiscal cliff, at least for a brief time.
Congress retained most tax cuts and cut some spending but continued to put off deeper cuts. The House of Representatives remains deeply divided and at odds with the president but still passed tax increases for the wealthiest Americans, a cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s campaign.
B’nai B’rith, which also expressed reservations about the work left undone, including potential cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, was specific about its support in one area. “Ensuring seniors have access to doctors by stopping a cut in reimbursements to those who treat the elderly is a vital element of this bill,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs.
“We certainly hoped Social Security would be left out because it is self-funded and doesn’t contribute to the deficit, but we have reason to be concerned about that as well,” said B’nai B’rith International Associate Executive Vice President Mark D. Olshan...more
Las autoridades de B'nai B'rith Internacional felicitaron hoy al presidente de Estados Unidos, Barack Obama, por el triunfo conseguido en las elecciones presidenciales que le permitió acceder a un nuevo período de cuatro años.
“Como organización humanitaria judía centrada en la protección y la seguridad de Israel, los derechos humanos, las cuestiones de la tercera edad, la tolerancia y la diversidad, B'nai B'rith siguió de cerca la campaña de 2012 en los temas importantes para los judíos a nivel nacional y mundial”, transmitió la organización...more
To the Editor:
Your story, “Federal takeover of B’nai B’rith pension raises questions on group’s future,” misrepresented our situation. There are no questions about our future. It is strong, as it has been for nearly 170 years.
Yes, B’nai B’rith International chose to seek assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) in order to fulfill our core mission of helping others. But the ability to meet pension obligations is wholly separate from our capability to fully continue with our programs and projects at home and around the world. With the help of the PBGC, B’nai B’rith is now on sound financial footing to move forward with our mission.
The world economic situation dating to 2008 took a toll on the B’nai B’rith pension plan and countless other non-profit organizations. That, coupled with new Pension Protection Act regulations that inadvertently placed an insurmountable burden on many organizations, meant we had to act. We were relieved when the PBGC accepted our claim, freeing us up to better focus on doing what we do best. Our work in pro-Israel advocacy, human rights, public policy, seniors issues, and disaster and humanitarian assistance continues.
It was not an easy decision to ask the PBGC for help. But the request was made for a greater good: to continue the good works we do and to ensure that former employees and current pension-eligible employees will have their pensions when they need them.
The economy worldwide is still struggling. That has impacted charitable giving across the board, suppressing giving while increasing need. B’nai B’rith, the oldest and most widely known Jewish humanitarian, human rights and advocacy organization, is launching its 170th year of service. We move forward with a strong sense of purpose, and knowing that our tough decision on the pension has led to long-term greater stability.
Allan J. Jacobs, B’nai B’rith International President
Lake Forest, Ill.
by Pauline Dubkin Yearwood
It isn’t his official title, but you could call Allan J. Jacobs a global ambassador for Israel and the Jewish people.
He has played this role in talks with everyone from Pope Benedict XVI to King Abdullah II of Jordan to Israeli President Shimon Peres to CEOs of large American companies, and for the next three years at least, he’ll be doing more of the same.
The Lake Forest man has just been reelected president of B’nai B’rith International, a post he has held since 2011 when the then-president resigned.
For those in the Jewish community who may not have caught up with B’nai B’rith’s recent history, it’s not the organization of fraternal lodges that thousands of Jews knew since its founding in 1843, although some lodges do still exist scattered throughout the country...more