Hellenic News of America ran a story on the recent groundbreaking for a Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Thessaloniki, Greece. The museum and educational center will commemorate the 55,000 Greek Jews who were sent to Nazi concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The site of the museum is in the area of the old railway station from where the death trains departed.
B'nai B'rith International is mentioned as lauding the project in the story.
Scroll down to read the article or click below to read it on Hellenic News of America.
WASHINGTON (January 25, 2017) — The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA) and B’nai B’rith International commend the recent groundbreaking for a Holocaust Museum and Educational Center in Thessaloniki, Greece.
The museum and educational center will commemorate the 55,000 Greek Jews who were sent to Nazi concentration camps such as Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland. The site of the museum is in the area of the old railway station from where the death trains departed.
AHEPA and B’nai B’rith also laud the persistence and collaborative efforts of Mayor Yiannis Boutaris and the Jewish Community of Thessaloniki (JCT), led by David Saltiel, which has brought the project to this important point.
Our organizations look forward to visiting the site on a future joint mission. It is expected that the museum will be inaugurated at the end of 2019.
B'nai B'rith Special Advisor on Latin America Affairs Adriana Camisar wrote about how there is hope for Argentine Federal Prosecutor Alberto Nisman's complaint against former Argentina President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and her Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman to see the light of day.
Nisman charged that they secretly negotiated a pact with Iran in order to get impunity for the Iranians accused of plotting and executing the AMIA attack. Nisman's complaint will finally be investigated. He “mysteriously” died days after making extremely these serious allegations.
The blog was published by The Times of Israel. Click the button below to read it on their website or scroll down.
Camisar's blog was also published in Spanish by the Argentine news outlet El Tribuno. Click below to read the Spanish version.
Jan. 18 will mark the second anniversary of the “mysterious” death of Argentine Federal Prosecutor Alberto Nisman. For more than ten years, Nisman had been in charge of the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA) building in Buenos Aires.
He was found dead in his apartment four days after making extremely serious allegations against then President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, her Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other people close to the government. Nisman stated he had extensive evidence that the government had secretly negotiated a pact with Iran in order to get impunity for the Iranians accused of plotting and executing the AMIA attack.
The pact the prosecutor was referring to—known as the Memorandum of Understanding—was signed in January 2013. Through this agreement, both governments pledged to create a "truth commission" to jointly investigate the AMIA bombing, something as absurd as creating a Nazi commission to investigate the Holocaust. At the time, the government justified the signing of this pact on the need to discover the truth. However, it seemed clear to most people who knew the case, that the signing of this pact represented a major shift in Argentina’s foreign policy, as it attempted to improve relations with Teheran at the expense of the bombing’s many victims.
The pact never came into force because the Iranian Parliament did not ratify it, and also because it was ultimately declared unconstitutional by an Argentine Federal Court. But it would have given the Iranians access to all the documentation of the case, and made it easier for them to get rid of the Interpol red alerts that Nisman had secured against the accused.
Nisman’s death left the country in shock and there are still no clear answers as to what exactly happened to him. However, there is now some hope that his complaint will finally be investigated.
Right after Nisman’s death, a brave prosecutor tried to get the courts to open a serious investigation into his allegations. But Daniel Rafecas, the judge assigned to the case, dismissed his complaint in a very expedited way and with questionable legal arguments. His ruling was appealed but the Federal Court quickly dismissed it as well. A federal prosecutor subsequently appealed this decision before the Court of Cassation—the last resort that the Argentine criminal system admits before resorting to the Supreme Court. But the prosecutor who needed to allow the case to get to the Court of Cassation failed to do it (probably because of his known ties with the former government) and therefore, all doors seemed to get closed and most Argentineans believed that a proper investigation would never take place.
However, several things changed since then. On Dec. 10, 2016, Mauricio Macri took office as the new president of Argentina, and one of the first things he did was to let the pact with Iran die. He did this by not appealing the ruling that had declared it unconstitutional. Macri also said that he expected the judiciary to act with independence and to get to the truth.
Several months ago, the Delegation of Argentine Israelite Associations (DAIA), which is the Jewish umbrella organization in Argentina, made a new presentation alleging that the case should be re-opened because of “newly found evidence,” and requested to be admitted as a plaintiff. The new pieces of evidence submitted were a recording that was found in which Timerman—in a conversation with the former head of the AMIA—conceded that he was negotiating with the ones that “placed the bomb,” and the ruling that declared that the pact with Iran was unconstitutional.
Rafecas, the original judge of the case dismissed the request and so did the Federal Court, but when the issue got to the Court of Cassation once again, they finally decided to re-open the investigation. The Court of Cassation accepted the DAIA as a plaintiff and ordered Rafecas and the other judges that had intervened to withdraw from the case.
For the first time in two years the possibility to get to the truth seems real. And, of course, this case could shed light on what really happened to Nisman, as his death is undoubtedly linked to his complaint.
It is still too early to know if the investigation will go as far as it needs to go, but the re-opening of the case is certainly a promising sign
There are many definitions of the Yiddish word “chutzpah”: temerity, audacity, nerve, are chief among them.
Any of these definitions aptly fit the upcoming, and grandly-named, Paris Conference on Middle East Peace. Seventy countries will soon gather in the French capital to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and more likely than not, will propose—or perhaps will try to impose a solution to it.
Israel will not be in attendance, and for good reason.
French authorities, in introducing the idea for this conference seven months ago, said that they were “compelled to act” on the issue, which they presumptuously profess was necessary to bring the parties together. The conference spokesman says that discussions will center within three working groups, dealing with civil society, institution building and economic assistance.
This all may have been another exercise in “international conference futility,” as the Geneva peace conferences of decades past attest, had it not been for the passage of Resolution 2334 in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and the speech of Secretary of State John Kerry outlining his “six principles” late last month.
Huge assemblages of diplomats from dozens of countries, some of which don’t even have relations with Israel, normally wind up letting off steam at these gatherings, and close with presumptuous declarations that either raise Palestinian expectations or frustrate Israel because they have never dealt with the rejectionism of the Palestinian camp.
But this time may be different.
Protestations coming out of Paris about not seeking to impose a settlement on the parties ring hollow. Armed with both the resolution and the Kerry declaration, the Palestinians, who will be attending the gathering, will seek to use the meeting to further isolate Israel. With friends like Sweden, which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, mischief-making could very well be the order of the day.
The conventional wisdom is that the conference will endorse the Kerry principles, which placed the blame and onus on Israel for an absence of progress on a two-state solution, and send it on to the Swedish-chaired UNSC, for adoption. At that point, with the parameters not only enunciated by Kerry, but then backed by both the Paris Conference and the Security Council (how could the U.S. veto its own policy?), what would be left to negotiate?
It defies understanding how the French organizers, or any other parties, can still speak both of prejudging an outcome, as well as a serious return to direct negotiations.
Indeed, some Palestinian leaders rejected out of hand the Kerry parameters and called for negotiations within hours of the speech. Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member Mustafa Barghouti dismissed three of Kerry’s points, saying that the refugee issue must still include the right of return, that the Palestinians would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and that Kerry’s proposal for Jerusalem being the capitol of two states did not go far enough—presumably meaning that Israeli neighborhoods like Gilo and Har Homa would need to be evacuated in a final agreement.
In showing his hand, Barghouti underscores not just Palestinian rejectionism, but the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) incessant desire to wear down the international community and insist that it continue to attempt to marginalize and weaken Israel, both diplomatically and economically, until there is nothing left to talk about. Full diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state could very well follow this conference. With that in hand, there would be no need for the PA to make any concessions. What next? A PA invitation for Iran to send Revolutionary Guards to set up an operation in Ramallah or Hebron?
So is it any wonder that Israel has decided not to appear before this latest version of an international kangaroo court?
Where have the 70 countries joining this gathering been over the past decades, failing to strongly insist that the PA enter negotiations with Israel following offers made by a succession of Israeli governments of concessions ranging from custodianship of Islamic religious sites in Jerusalem (2000), evacuating settlements in Gaza (2005), further concessions on settlements in Judea and Samaria (2008) and most recently, a 10 month settlement freeze (2014).
The responses to these opportunities are well known: intifadas, rockets, incitement and utilizing the United Nations agencies to circumvent the very idea of a negotiated peace, at the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and now, the Security Council.
The massive amounts of time and energy the international community has wasted on these gatherings cannot be regained. Castigating Israel—and by all accounts that will be the end result of the Paris conference, notwithstanding whatever diplomatic language is used—is a non-starter. This is especially so now, when on every one of Israel’s borders there is chaos and uncertainly, ascribable not to the Palestinian issue, but to intra-Arab and intra-Islamic rivalries, mistrust and shifting ideological and strategic currents.
Security Council resolution 2334, and the Kerry speech, have already set back the notion—adhered to by many who back a two-state solution to the conflict—of directly negotiating its end.
Already, some diplomatic scholars and Middle East experts are suggesting ways to, if not rescind the resolution, then to at least mitigate its fallout.
As that unfolds, on into the new Trump administration in Washington, the PA should understand that its zero-sum strategy is also a non-starter.
The Paris conference could send that message to the PA, but it won’t. Those countries participating in these deliberations should do no more harm to this process.
The Miami Herald mentioned B'nai B'rith International in a story on Miami’s Cuban Jews.
B’nai B’rith has run the B'nai B'rith Cuban Jewish Relief Project for more than 20 years, providing desperately needed goods such as medicine and medical equipment to the island’s small Jewish population.
Click below to read it on MiamiHerald.com or scroll down.
WASHINGTON – To Marcos Kerbel, knowing that a devout Jew will have the ear of the president-elect of the United States to help shape Cuba policy is an encouraging sign.President-elect Donald Trump named Jason Greenblatt, a top Trump Organization executive and Orthodox Jew, to a new role as special representative for international negotiations. His portfolio is expected to include Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and the American relationship with Cuba.
While proponents of President Barack Obama’s outreach to Cuba see the choice of one of Trump’s business partners as a hopeful sign that the real estate mogul’s business instincts are kicking in, Cuban Jews in Miami see a potential ally who will look out for the island’s vulnerable Jewish community, which has shrunk to a few hundred after 50 years of communist rule and restrictions on religious freedoms.
“We want to make sure that whatever is done – or undone – does not affect the livelihood of the Cuban Jewish community,” said Kerbel, a leader in Miami’s Cuban Jewish community. “Basically, the people are extremely poor.”
Kerbel, the 70-year-old immediate past president of the Cuban Hebrew Congregation in Miami, hopes Greenblatt will visit Havana’s three synagogues, including the Orthodox Adath Israel in Old Havana, where Kerbel’s parents were married and he was bar mitzvahed. He also urged Greenblatt to visit the Jewish cemetery southeast of Havana where his uncle, the first of the family to migrate to Cuba from Poland, and many other first-generation Cuban Jews are buried.
He suggested Greenblatt have a conversation with the butcher shop where his mother bought kosher chicken for holiday meals.
“He’ll find a group of people who are trying to maintain the traditions,” Kerbel said
Little is known about Greenblatt, who has never held public office but has spent 20 years negotiating on behalf of Trump and his real estate projects. Trump called Greenblatt one of his “closest and most trusted advisers” and described Greenblatt’s responsibilities as assisting him with international negotiations and trade deals around the world.
Greenblatt served as the co-chair of the Trump campaign’s Israel Advisory Committee and has spoken out about the Trump administration’s support for Israel. But he hasn’t discussed Cuba publicly, and his views on the easing of U.S.-Cuba relations are unknown.
He has traveled to the island on Trump’s behalf before, including in 2013 to explore investing in a golf course there. In October, the Cuban Tourism Ministry invited the Trump Organization and Greenblatt, along with other hotel operators, to an international fair to promote tourism. Greenblatt apparently did not attend.
But his background has raised the hopes of some in the business community that Trump will not roll back trade openings and instead allow engagement to continue.
“Both Jason and the president-elect are businessmen, so you would hope their business instincts would kick in and solidify rather than turn back the Cuba opening,” said Jake Colvin, vice president of the National Foreign Trade Council.
Cubans in Miami are watching Greenblatt closely, according to Sebastián Arcos, the associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University.
There are questions about his experience. Based on his background, it’s clear his priority is Israel, Arcos said. But Arcos said he hoped Greenblatt would lean heavily on others on the Trump transition team who were more versed on Cuba, such as Mauricio Claver-Carone, executive director of the U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC, who has been critical of Obama’s approach to Cuba.
Many in Miami who oppose the Obama administration’s easing of travel and trade restrictions with the island feel they helped Trump carry Florida, and they’re expecting something in return.
“Trump has said a number of things about Cuba and things he’ll do,” Arcos said. “And those Cubans are excited about reversing a policy that they believe was flawed from the beginning. And Trump said, ‘I’m going to fix it.’ And they’re excited to see how he’s going to fix it.”
Trump has sent mixed signals about how he intends to approach American policy toward Cuba. During the campaign, he said he supported the idea of restoring diplomatic relations with Cuba, but he also vowed to reverse Obama’s opening unless the communist government releases political prisoners and restores religious and political freedoms.
Neither the Trump transition team nor Greenblatt responded to interview requests.
“My philosophy, in both business and in life, is that bringing people together and working to unite, rather than to divide, is the strongest path to success,” Greenblatt said in a statement released by the Trump transition team.
Nearly 95 percent of Cuba’s Jewish population left the island for the United States after Fidel Castro seized power and established a communist government in 1959. Most settled in Miami, though several hundred also immigrated to Israel.
Anywhere from 500 to 1,500 Jews remain on the island, primarily in Havana, where they support, in addition to the Orthodox Adath Israel synagogue, a Sephardic synagogue and the conservative Temple Beth Shalom, which was built in 1957, when there were about 15,000 Cuban Jews, according to B’nai B’rith International, which has provided religious and humanitarian aid to the Cuban Jewish community for 20 years, since the government allowed greater religious freedoms.
Each provides meals and operates a pharmacy that distributes free medicine not only to the local Jewish community but also to others in the neighborhood with the help of a local pharmacist.
Alan Gross, who spent five years in a Cuban prison accused of being an American spy for his work trying to set up internet connections for Cuba’s Jewish community, worries that any Trump rollback of eased travel and remittance rules would harm the island’s Jewish community.
“We’re talking some serious things from an economic standpoint, from a health standpoint and from a religious standpoint and, most importantly, from a psychosocial standpoint,” Gross said. “How will the people of Cuba respond?”
Jaime Suchlicki, a Jew who directs the Institute for Cuban and Cuban American Studies at the University of Miami, thinks appointing an Orthodox Jew is a sign that Trump intends to undo Obama’s Cuba opening. He points out that Cuba is aligned with Venezuela and Iran, two nations whose foreign policies staunchly oppose Israel.
“The fact that Trump has appointed an Orthodox Jew is an indication that he’s not interested in relations with Cuba,” Suchlicki said. “This is an indication that the U.S. will stand with Israel and with countries that support Israel and not countries that oppose Israel.”
Talking about politics is difficult for some Cuban Jews. They prefer to remain apolitical and keep friendships on both sides of the Florida Straits. But views on the rapprochement follow a generational divide.
Sergio Grobler, 75, said his son had talked to him about wanting to visit Cuba. Grobler has encouraged him to go, but he said he could not go himself until the communist leadership is gone.
“I will not go to visit the kings of Cuba. The day there is going to be an election I’ll go to vote as a free man,” Grobler said. “In the meantime, I cannot sit in a hotel having a great steak, and my brothers and sisters starving to death.”
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) ran a story on the National Museum of American Jewish History's pop-up baseball exhibition “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American” that debuted last weekend in Fort Worth, Tex., at Congregation Ahavath Sholom.
President of B’nai B’rith in Tarrant County Rich Hollander spearheaded the effort to bring the travelling exhibit to Texas, where it will run until March 2. He is quoted extensively in the article.
FORT WORTH – Being a young, sports-obsessed Jewish boy in America in the 1950s meant one thing.You dreamed of being Sandy Koufax.
“If you were a Jewish kid, then you lived and breathed every time Sandy pitched,” said Rich Hollander, 68, who was born in Manhattan in 1948, lived much of his childhood in the San Francisco area and in 1981 made his final move with Tandy Corp. to Fort Worth. “For my bar mitzvah, I sent him a letter, and he sent me a signed photograph.”
Koufax was born in Brooklyn, and pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers for three seasons before the franchise moved west to Los Angeles. The legendary southpaw became just as renowned for his stance not to pitch on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur as he was for mesmerizing performances that made him one of two Jewish ballplayers inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Sandy was one of us,” Hollander said. “We could be more than doctors, teachers and lawyers …we could be ballplayers.”
Hollander currently serves as president of the Tarrant County chapter of B’nai B’rith, the oldest Jewish service organization in the world. He also remains a huge baseball fan. When he saw a segment on NBC’s Today show about a baseball exhibition in Milwaukee called “Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American,” he knew he wanted to bring the traveling exhibit to Fort Worth.
Aided by financial support from 15 members of Fort Worth’s Jewish community, a pop-up version of the “Chasing Dreams” exhibit will kick off a two-month run Sunday at Congregation Ahavath Sholom. Saturday evening, three local baseball titans will speak at the opening gala — former Texas Rangers President Tom Schieffer, longtime Fort Worth cardiologist and former New York Yankees great and American League President Bobby Brown and U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), a former TCU baseball standout who in 2015, along with Brown, was awarded the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.
The exhibition celebrates the role baseball has played in the lives of minority communities as they sought to assimilate into American culture. For many in these communities — whether Jews, African-Americans, European immigrants in the earlier days or Dominicans, Puerto Ricans or Japanese more recently — baseball, as the exhibition explains, “represents a shared American identity, melding immigrants and natives. Yet it also sometimes highlights our differences. It is, in short, a mirror of America.”
The nationally acclaimed exhibit, organized by the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia, features historical films and photographs, and interactive experiences celebrating such well-known baseball heroes as Hank Greenberg, the original Jewish baseball hero, Koufax, Jackie Robinson and Joe DiMaggio.
Remembering RobinsonOne iconic photograph among the many gloriously presented on 8-foot-by-16-foot displays is an overhead shot from the 1949 World Series featuring the New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. Brown had just smacked a shot that would wind up being a triple. The photograph captures Brown sprinting to first base, with the Dodgers’ Robinson positioned between first and second base and Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese.
Brown, the last living member of the Yankees’ 1947 championship team — he also won World Series titles with the Yankees in 1949, 1950 and 1951 before being called to service as a doctor in the Korean War — said what he remembers most about Robinson’s presence as Major League Baseball’s first black player wasn’t the discrimination Robinson faced in big-league cities across America or the epithets fans spewed toward him at ballparks.
“What I did notice was the tremendous black population that came to the ballgames,” Brown said. “The first thing that happened that we all noted was finally Brooklyn said there’s no reason Jackie should be living with some guy in the neighborhood when they went on the road, and they insisted he stay at the hotel with them.”
Just as blacks rallied around Robinson during the repressive Jim Crow era, Jews, many of whom desperately arrived in the United States as refugees during and following World War II, clung to players like Greenberg and later Koufax as a means to feel connected to America.
A ‘sense of pride’In 1984 when Brown, who is not Jewish, took over as president of the American League, a post that no longer exists, he selected Greenberg, who played from 1930-47 with a three-year interruption to serve in World War II, to be the honorary captain of the American League All-Star team.
“I knew all about him. I knew he played in the Series in the ’30s against Dizzy and Paul Dean, and I knew that — once I got into professional baseball — he had a tremendous war record,” Brown said. “He was in the peacetime draft. Pearl Harbor was Dec. 7, 1941, and I think he was drafted in ’40. He did a whole year’s worth of service in the peacetime draft, got out a week before Pearl Harbor and then re-upped right as soon as Pearl Harbor occurred. He was a real patriot and a terrific guy.”
For generations, Jews have passed down baseball tradition and take particular pride in following Jewish ballplayers throughout the last century, from Harry “The Horse” Danning, Greenberg, Sid Gordon, Ken Holtzman and Al Rosen to Steve Stone, Kevin Youkilis, Shawn Green, Gabe Kapler and Brad Ausmus, the current manager of the Tigers.
These days, there are a number of Jews playing in the big leagues, including former Texas Rangers Ian Kinsler and Scott Feldman, Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun, Houston Astros rising star Alex Bregman, Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson and Toronto Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar.
“Part of the idea [of the exhibit] is to have parents take their kids,” Hollander said, as he reflected back on his memories following Koufax as a kid. “I was very aware that he was Jewish and that there were not many other Jewish ballplayers.
“The sense of pride it gave me being Jewish was incredible.”
Algemeiner: Israeli Leaders, US Jewish Groups Praise House of Representatives’ Condemnation of Anti-Settlement UN Security Council Resolution
The Algemeiner ran a story on the passage of a bipartisan, House of Representatives resolution repudiating the anti-Israel United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution passed in December.
B'nai B'rith International President Gary P. Saltzman was quoted in the article saying, "We commend the U.S. House of Representatives for its unwavering support of the Jewish state. The United Nations’ bias toward Israel is both unfounded and incessant, and this resolution was yet another example of that. The American abstention on the U.N. vote, which enabled the resolution to pass, was simply unacceptable."
Scroll down to read the full story or click the button to read it on Algemeiner.com.
Israeli leaders and US Jewish groups warmly welcomed the passage of a motion by the House of Representatives on Thursday that expressed the legislative body’s opposition to the anti-settlement resolution that was recently passed by the UN Security Council due to the abstention of the outgoing Obama administration.
The non-binding House resolution was approved by an overall 342-80 total. Among Republican House members, the vote was 233-4, while Democrats backed the motion by a 109-76 margin.
“Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement posted on his Facebook page. “They voted to either repeal the resolution at the UN or change it — and that’s exactly what we intend to do. I want to thank the US House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people. Thank you, America. Thank you, Congress.”
The Jewish state’s UN envoy Danny Danon said in a statement that the House’s move was a “testament to the bipartisan support for the State of Israel in the United States. Leaders from both parties proved once again that the US-Israel alliance is based not only on shared interests, but also on shared values.”
“I look forward to working with the new American administration to end the bias against Israel at the UN and to usher in a new era of accountability in the parliament of nations,” Danon went on to say.
The World Jewish Congress (WJC) said it “applauded” the House for its adoption of the motion, as did the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).
Rabbi Joel Meyers — chair of the US branch of the WJC — stated, “We thank Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) for introducing H.Res.11 and the US House of Representatives for passing it. H. Res. 11 calls for UNSC 2334 to be repealed or significantly changed. Peace cannot be made via UN resolutions, especially those that ignore the responsibility of the Palestinians for continuing to engage in violence and incitement to hatred of Israel, or those that delegitimize the Jewish people’s ancient and historic connection to the land of Israel.”
Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein stated, “We appreciate every single congressperson who condemned UNSC Res. 2334 and [US Secretary of State John] Kerry’s speech, and who has committed to action to reverse the horrendous anti-Israel resolution.”
Nathan Diament — the Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy — welcomed the House’s “clear bipartisan rejection of the UN Security Council’s latest calumny against Israel.”
Furthermore, Diament called the House’s move a “repudiation of the Obama administration’s failure to veto UNSC Resolution 2334 as it should have.”
Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks stated that the House vote was “an important first step to reversing the damage caused by President [Barack] Obama’s actions toward Israel, most recently by not defending Israel at the United Nations. Now, President-elect [Donald] Trump and the GOP majorities in Congress mark a new direction, one of rebuilding the important bonds between the two countries.”
“The time has come to reevaluate US funding of the UN and let them know we will not stand by their anti-Israel policies,” Brooks declared.
In a statement, Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Chair Marvin D. Nathan and CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt hailed the House for rejecting “the biased UN Security Council Resolution and for affirming its commitment to ensure that all final status Israeli-Palestinian issues, including settlements, are resolved through direct negotiations between the parties.”
Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper — the dean and associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center — stated, “We hope that this overwhelming bipartisan vote will send a message to the organizers of next week’s conference on the Middle East in Paris, not to build on the UN, dangerous, one-sided, anti-Israel fiasco. We look forward to January 20th when the new president, Donald Trump, can begin to undo the damage done by his predecessor by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.”
B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman stated, “We commend the US House of Representatives for its unwavering support of the Jewish state. The United Nations’ bias toward Israel is both unfounded and incessant, and this resolution was yet another example of that. The American abstention on the UN vote, which enabled the resolution to pass, was simply unacceptable.”
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statement on Wednesday, “We applaud Congress’ efforts to denounce this one-sided, anti-Israel resolution that will only push the prospects of peace further from realization. A strong message from the leaders and members of the United States Congress will show the world that the American people stand with Israel and support direct negotiations as the only path to true peace…We welcome the fact that key Republican and Democratic leaders in both [the House and Senate] have endorsed the legislation. It again demonstrates that support for Israel is strongly bipartisan and will remain so in the new Congress.”
A similar motion to the one backed by the House on Thursday was introduced earlier this week in the Senate by Republicans Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida and Democrats Chuck Schumer of New York and Ben Cardin of Maryland.
The Israel National News (Arutz Sheva) quoted a B'nai B'rith International statement in a story on the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Paris, where some 70 countries are expected to attend. B'nai B'rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Dan Mariaschin are both quoted in the story.
B'nai B'rith spoke out about the conference in this week, as it figures to be a one-sided farce and an impediment to peace.
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on IsraelNationalNews.com
B’nai B’rith International protested plans for an upcoming Middle East peace conference at which 70 countries are expected to attend.
In a press release issued Wednesday morning, the organization said that the summit, scheduled to occur in Paris on Jan. 15, "figures to be a one-sided farce and an impediment to peace."
“This conference will provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said.
According to the statement issued by the B’nai B’rith, the organization "has long-maintained that peace can be achieved only by direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Gatherings like the Paris conference effectively negate Israel’s role in discussions about its own security. This feeds the Palestinian strategy of hindering the peace process by hiding behind the international community and using the United Nations system to advance the Palestinians’ goal of demonizing and isolating Israel.
“The Paris summit may set the stage for yet another one-sided U.N. Security Council resolution, which would continue to cloud the prospect of a negotiated peace. By prejudging the outcome of future negotiations, repeatedly castigating Israel, and pressuring the Jewish state to make unilateral concessions, the international community continues to encourage Palestinian rejectionism,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said.
The Algemeiner quoted B'nai B'rith International President Gary Saltzman in a story on the upcoming Middle East peace conference in Paris, where some 70 countries are expected to attend.
B'nai B'rith spoke out about the conference in statement saying: "Gatherings like the Paris conference effectively negate Israel’s role in discussions about its own security. This feeds the Palestinian strategy of hindering the peace process by hiding behind the international community and using the United Nations system to advance the Palestinians’ goal of demonizing and isolating Israel."
Scroll down to read the story or click below to read it on Algemeiner.com
A France-hosted international diplomatic conference set to be held on Jan. 15 could lead to further action against the Jewish state at the United Nations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday.
In remarks delivered to a group of Israeli ambassadors at a Foreign Ministry conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu stated, “The Paris conference is a futile conference, but there are signs that they will try to take decisions reached there and have them become another decision at the UN Security Council. We are entering a big diplomatic effort in order to succeed in avoiding this.”
Last Friday, as reported by The Algemeiner, the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations urged French President Francois Hollande to cancel the planned summit.
“In the aftermath of the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which was a significant step backward in achieving direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and Secretary [of State John] Kerry’s speech on Middle East peace earlier this week, the international community should not plunge forward with the ill-conceived and poorly timed Paris conference,” CPMAJO Chairman Stephen M. Greenberg and Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said in a statment. “Now is a time for serious reflection on how peace can best be achieved, not for another sham forum in which the usual one-sided outcomes against Israel are the likeliest result. Given the significant issues that were raised in the past week which have long-term implications for the prospects for peace, proper preparation after serious consultation is essential.”
In an interview with The Algemeiner last week, Hoenlein cautioned it was possible the Obama administration could — following the recent passage of the anti-Israeli settlement Security Council resolution last Friday — take a “further damaging step” against the Jewish state before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.
“We need to prepare for every option,” Hoenlein said.
Expressing concern about the upcoming Paris conference, Hoenlein argued that it “could produce a document that could then be brought to the Security Council for an immediate vote.”
On Tuesday, B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said in a statement that the Paris conference would “provide the international community an opportunity to gratuitously gang up on Israel. The past two weeks have already seen Secretary of State John Kerry deliver a speech unfairly blaming Israel for the current impasse and the United Nations Security Council pass a resolution broadly condemning the Jewish state. The Paris summit should not take place, as it will only further embolden the Palestinians and disincentivize them to negotiate.”
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