B'nai B'rith International quoted:
by Alina Dain Sharon
As 2013 draws to a close, JNS.org takes a look at the biggest news stories from Israel and the Jewish world that have shaped the outgoing year...
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez died March 5 at age 58 following a two-year battle with cancer. During the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon, Chavez was the first head of state to condemn Israel’s actions. In reaction to the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, Chavez said, “Damn you, State of Israel!”
“Chavez will probably be remembered as the one who made Venezuelan Jews feel that for the first time they were not welcome in their own country, a chilling reminder of past tragedies,” said Sammy Eppel, director of the Human Rights Commission of B’nai B’rith Venezuela...more.
More then 400 people attended a memorial service for Nelson Mandela at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) on Saturday, gathering on lawns where a bronze bust of Mandela is mounted to sing, dance and celebrate.
The event was organised by a number of expat South African Jews – author Joanne Fedler, B’nai B’rith NSW project manager Vivienne Radomsky, social media trainer Elana Bowman, musician Hylton Chilchik and Professor Andrea Durbach from the Australian Human Rights Centre...more.
by J.J. Goldberg
The Capitol Hill debate over authorizing new sanctions on Iran is getting pretty nasty. Administration officials are warning, anonymously so far, that passage of the Robert Menendez-Mark Kirk bill to stiffen the West’s negotiating terms and compel new sanctions will kill the diplomatic effort and make war more likely.
Ynet’s Yitzhak Ben-Horin reports that Joe Biden and John Kerry were on Capitol Hill warning that passage of the bill would be interpreted in Europe as a show of bad faith on Washington’s part and would shatter the existing sanctions regime that Obama managed to stitch together over the past five years.
The bill has been co-sponsored by a total of 26 senators, including 13 Democrats and 13 Republicans. Ten other senators came out against the bill Thursday night, writing in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid that “new sanctions would play into the hands of those in Iran who are most eager to see the negotiations fail.” These aren’t just any 10 Democrats, though—they’re all committee chairs (the Senate has 20 standing committees in all). They asked Reid in effect to help them block the bill, specifically requesting that they “be consulted prior to any proposed unanimous consent or other agreement” to move the sanctions forward. By being warned of unanimous consent, they can be sure to show up and oppose it, which kicks off the long, tedious process of normal Senate rules.
Jewish organizations have come out overwhelmingly in favor of the bill, which will probably go a long way toward deterring a reprise of those 2003-era canards that the Jewish lobby was pushing America toward war. Here are the national Jewish organizations that have come out in favor as of tonight (Thursday 12/19) besides AJC: Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith, Emergency Committee for Israel, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Republican Jewish Coalition, World Jewish Congress. No stampede there...more.
by Emma Silvers
Hannah, 25, looked like many other young women in San Francisco during an unusually cold week this month. Dressed in a purple down jacket, jeans and boots, she jiggled in place to stay warm as she waited in line outside the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Beneath a fuzzy hat, her hair was tidily combed; in her arms was a small terrier.
At a venue where people ordinarily line up for rock shows, Hannah was waiting for something very different. “Let’s see,” she said, pulling a card out of her purse and running down a printed checklist of services. “I want to get my California ID. I’m going to see the dentist. [The dog] needs veterinary care … and, of course, I’m going to talk to employment services.”
Emil Knopf, 80, is a Holocaust survivor, a past president of the Jewish fraternal organization B’nai B’rith, and a repeat PHC volunteer. Working as a client escort on Dec. 11, he greeted everyone he was tasked with showing around — many of them men much taller and more physically able than him — with a warm smile. Earlier in the morning at the Jewish learning session, looking over the three passages of text, participants had been asked to share which resonated with them and why. Knopf had pointed to the words penned by Raphael:
“We Jews know what it means to be homeless. By the end of the Holocaust, 6 million Jews had been exterminated and millions more uprooted from their homes all over Europe … during the 15th to 18th centuries, 15 to 25 percent of the Jewish community were either paupers or unemployed...more.
by Ron Kampeas
For Jewish and pro-Israel groups, the congressional year is ending with an odd reversal: the prospect, however fragile, of bipartisan comity on budget issues coupled with a rare partisan disagreement on Middle Eastern policy.
The groups that deal with social welfare and justice issues are heartened, albeit warily, by the end-of-year budget forged by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee, and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), his Senate counterpart.
Meanwhile, pronounced differences are emerging in the bipartisan coalition that over the last decade has shaped the tough sanctions that helped compel Iran to join talks aimed at ensuring it does not obtain a nuclear weapon.
Democrats are heeding White House pleas to lay low while the talks get underway, while Republicans are eager to advance legislation that would influence any final deal.
“Looking back at the year, to sum it up, it’s been a really bad year that just avoided getting a lot worse,” said Rachel Goldberg, director of aging policy at B’nai B’rith International, which operates 42 homes for the elderly across the United States...more.
CRIF: Le B’nai B’rith France dénonce la décision du Conseil Municipal de Bagnolet qui a adopté une motion décernant le titre « citoyen d'honneur de la ville » à Georges Ibrahim Abdallah (FRENCH)
En déclarant «Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, militant communiste, a fait partie de la résistance lorsque son pays, le Liban, a été envahi par Israël en 1978. Il est un défenseur acharné de la juste cause palestinienne», Monsieur Marc Everbecq, loin d’apaiser les actes antisémites, alimente le discours de ceux qui incitent à la violence contre les Juifs en France.
Georges Ibrahim Abdallah était le chef des Fractions Armées Révolutionnaires Libanaise dont il a dirigé les opérations en France sous les pseudonymes Salih al-Masri et Abdu-Qadir. Le 18 janvier 1982 le FARL assassine l’attaché militaire américain à Paris Monsieur Charles R. Ray, le 3 avril il assassine le diplomate israélien Yacov Barsimentov et blesse gravement le consul américain à Strasbourg Robert Onan Homme. Georges Ibrahim Abdallah a été arrêté à Lyon en 1984 et a été condamné à la prison à vie en 1987.
Le B’nai B’rith France dénonce la décision politique du maire communiste de Bagnolet qui, dans un contexte chargé d'incidents racistes et antisémites, souffle sur les braises de la haine et encourage les actes contre la communauté juive...more.