The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) quoted B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin and President Charles O. Kaufman on the appearance of an anti-Semitic cartoon in The New York Times.
Jewish and pro-Israel groups have condemned The New York Times for publishing anti-Semitic cartoons in its international edition on April 25 and over the weekend.
Thursday’s cartoon featured U.S. President Donald Trump wearing a yarmulke, sporting dark-tinted glasses and being led by a dog with the face of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with a large blue Star of David hanging from its collar.
The weekend image by Norwegian cartoonist Roar Hagen depicts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with sinister eyes taking a picture of himself with a selfie-stick, carrying in what appears to be an empty desert with a tablet featuring the Israeli flag painted on it.
“Untimely bad move by the The New York Times showing an ominous-looking cartoon featuring the Star of David and Israel’s prime minister again, right after apologizing for the first cartoon and promising to prevent similar cases of anti-Semitism in the future,” StandWithUs CEO Roz Rothstein told JNS. “All of us must hold them accountable to their promises. Enough is enough.”
“The anti-Semitic editorial cartoon in Thursday’s international edition of The New York Times was an outrage. Drawn with great technical skill and conceived with great ignorance, if not hate, this piece was simply a reflection of the Times’ long-standing bias against Israel. The symbolism used was vintage Nazi Germany,”said B’nai B’rith International president Charles Kaufman and CEO Daniel Mariaschin in a statement.
“This cartoon punctuated yet another shocking weekend of hatred toward Jews. How anti-Semitic commentary has made it into the mainstream of public opinion is beyond comprehension in modern times,” they continued. “In this case, this incident is the exclamation point about media today. Editors have virtually disappeared as the marketplace of ideas flourishes with unchecked sources and little, if any, corroboration of information. What seems to matter most is being first to market with a thought rather than exercising discretion, a penchant for accuracy and news judgment.”
The Times apologized on Sunday, and said that “investigated how this happened and learned that, because of a faulty process, a single editor working without adequate oversight downloaded the syndicated cartoon and made the decision to include it on the Opinion page. The matter remains under review, and we are evaluating our internal processes and training. We anticipate significant changes.”
Kaufman and Mariaschin said that “while we acknowledge that the Times has issued apologies for the cartoon, merely apologizing is not enough.”
“We call on the paper to review and revise its editorial processes so that blatantly anti-Semitic and racist content will not be given a platform by one of the most widely read newspapers in the world,” they continued. “The artist who created the cartoon and the editors who approved its publication must be held accountable.”
B’nai B’rith International did not make Mariaschin available to comment on the weekend cartoon.
“Whatever your interpretation of this particular image, we can only conclude that The New York Times is deliberately giving the Jewish community the proverbial finger even while it apologizes for its other cartoon,” tweeted HonestReporting, a non-governmental organization that monitors anti-Israel media bias, regarding the weekend cartoon.
Sarah Stern, founder and president of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, told JNS that “sometimes, a perfunctory ‘apology’ does not really cut it.”
“Obviously, the ‘apology’ for last Thursday’s deeply offensive cartoon, did not penetrate with the editors of The New York Times enough to prevent them from printing yet another, equally vile anti-Semitic cartoon in [the weekend] edition,” she said.
“One must ask why they are so obsessed with Israel and with Prime Minister Netanyahu? The problem is that anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Netanyahu statements have become so acceptable in today’s society that the ‘respectable’ editors of The New York Times do not recognize that they, themselves are guilty of committing, over and over again, classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and offenses.”
Andrea Levin, president and executive director of CAMERA, told JNS that is “striking” that the Times would publish another cartoon that denigrates Netanyahu just days after the latest firestorm.
“In the midst of a firestorm of criticism about the Times publishing an antisemitic cartoon on April 25, it’s striking that three days later editors choose to publish yet another image that caricatures and denigrates Israel’s prime minister and links the message to Judaism [italics intended],” she said.
“The second cartoon may not sink to the same level of Der Stürmer-like bigotry as the first but its publication points to the Times’ obsession with smearing Israel and, in particular, to its continuous expressions of contempt for the nation’s elected leader. It also points to the contempt of the media giant toward public concerns regarding biased depictions of Israel and Jewish issues.”
“At a moment when readers might expect greater sensitivity in coverage of these issues, the message appears to be more in the vein of a crude expletive than a reassurance,” said Levin.
The Cleveland Jewish News covered a speech by B'nai B'rith International President Charles O. Kaufman in Youngstown, Ohio. Kaufman spoke at an event organized by Aaron Grossman Lodge No. 339.
Charles Kaufman, president of B’nai B’rith International, said, “Anti-Semitism cannot be viewed today as left or right. When we do, we only divide ourselves.”
He spoke to about 70 people April 14 at the organization’s 175th anniversary, hosted by the Aaron Grossman Lodge No. 339 at the JCC of Youngstown.
That’s what is happening today in the United States in a politically divisive country, he said.
“What’s important, however, is that the hatred on full public display against Jews work to galvanize our community, not divide us,” Kaufman said. “As we’ve seen with Pittsburgh (Tree of Life Congregation shootings), the political divisions are so deep that the unity tends to be short-lived. That’s where a nonpartisan organization like B’nai B’rith comes into play.”
Alan Samuels, lodge vice president, chaired the brunch.
Lodge president Neil Schor and Dr. Steven Smiga of Pittsburgh, president of the Allegheny Ohio Valley Region and a member of the international executive committee, brought greetings to members and guests, who came from Cleveland, Pittsburgh and elsewhere. Rabbi Frank Muller of Congregation Rodef Sholom in Youngstown gave the invocation.
Kaufman recounted the history of B’nai B’rith from its founding in 1843, when 12 German Jews met at Sinsheimer’s Café and pooled $27 to help Jewish widows and orphans. The service and advocacy organization spread to Germany, France and the rest of Europe in the 1880s.
“Nobody does the Diaspora like B’nai B’rith International,” said Kaufman, who outlined many of B’nai B’rith’s continued efforts to innovate programming to meet the needs of the Jewish people.
He encouraged the audience to “practice your Judaism with pride and without fear; show your love for Israel; teach college students about Zionism and the wars of 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973; remind them Jews were in Judea, the city of David, Jerusalem and Hebron almost 4,000 years ago; a strong Israel means Jews are never going into exile again; and remember, you are your brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. And that is the essence of being a B’nai B’rith and a good Jew.”
The Jerusalem Post covered the conferring of the Jewish Rescuers' Citation to 15 individuals who were involved in efforts to save Jews from the Holocaust in Belgium and Poland. B’nai B’rith World Center-Jersualem and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund have been honoring Jews who saved other Jews during the Holocaust for 17 years.
Despite claims by Polish officials that Poland is the safest place for Jews in Europe and that antisemitism barely exists, recent events suggest that officials are parlaying false information. This past week saw the Easter tradition of the beating of a Judas effigy, which looked like a caricature Orthodox Jew, in the town of Pruchnik in southeastern Poland. Marek Magierowski, Poland’s ambassador to Israel, was quick to tweet that the Catholic Church in Poland condemns the events in Pruchnik.
While antisemitism undoubtedly exists in some Polish circles, it is not official Polish policy, and in some cities and towns, Christians go out of their way to preserve the heritage of Jewish communities that no longer exist. In Warsaw, last Friday, on the Gregorian calendar anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, thousands of non-Jews, by wearing yellow daffodils on their lapels, indicated their empathy with the suffering and heroism of the Jews of the ghetto. Moreover, Magda Lucyan, a reporter for the Polish television channel TVN, ran a series of interviews with elderly survivors of the ghetto who are still living in Poland. The interviews were aired this week on a program called Fact.
Following the German invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, which ignited the outbreak of World War II, many Jews from smaller towns and cities fled to Warsaw, which had the largest and most diverse Jewish population of all the cities in Europe. A month after the German invasion, Poland was annexed and divided between Germany and Russia. The Polish government went into exile and operated out of London. The Warsaw Ghetto was established in November 1940. Here are some of the descriptions the survivors gave on the Polish program:
Krystyna Budnicka was eight years old when she was taken there in 1940. She is the sole survivor of her 10-member family. She spent three and a half years in the ghetto, which was constantly changing before her eyes. As her family was Orthodox, it made no attempt to escape to the Aryan side, because if not betrayed by its appearance, any attempt to speak Polish would be an instant giveaway. Budnicka was saved by hiding in the sewers.
Hanna Wehr came from a small town to Warsaw. “They squeezed a lot of people from small towns and villages into a very limited area,” she said. “These people had absolutely no way to make a living. They were dying of hunger. There was huge congestion. The Germans packed the district to the hilt with relocated families. The hunger was terrible. There were many beggars. People often stole food from each other.”
Wehr shared memories of witnessing deportations to the death camps. She does not recollect the details of how she and her mother escaped, but once on the other side of the wall, they were able to purchase false documents, which helped them to evade capture.
Marian Kalwary, like Budnicka, came to the ghetto in 1940. In the beginning the ghetto didn’t look that bad, he said. People still had resources and were able to maintain their dignity. But as the ghetto became increasingly congested, the situation deteriorated. He has two specific memories that haunt him. The worst was the sight of dead bodies, some reduced to skeletal proportions, that were placed in the street and covered with newspaper.
The other memory that has never left him is that of riding in a train after escaping from the ghetto. The conductor looked at him, and instantly realized that he was Jewish. “You’re a kike aren’t you?” bellowed the conductor. When the train stopped at Jedrzejow Station, the conductor grabbed Kalwary and propelled him onto the platform shouting “I caught a Jew! Call an officer!” Miraculously there was no one at the station to hear him, and the conductor had to board the train again to continue his journey to Kielce. He had no choice but to let the boy go, telling him he was lucky.
After her parents were killed, nine-year-old Katarzyna Meloch was placed in an orphanage in the Bialystok Ghetto. Her mother had drummed into her head that if anything should happen to her parents, she should get in touch with her Uncle Jacek in Warsaw. She duly wrote to him, and he paid a female courier who frequently transported Jewish children to bring Meloch to where he was living.
When she was caught near the umschlagplatz from where people were deported to the Treblinka death camp, she began to cry. Her grandmother heard her, came out of her hiding place and persuaded the policeman on guard to allow her to take the child’s place while she went to fetch her shoes. Meloch did not return, but her grandmother also managed to escape and died a natural death not long afterwards. With the help of Zegota, (the Polish Council to Aid Jews), Meloch escaped to the Aryan side, but was shocked by the German propaganda posters featuring stereotyped images of Jews and stating that they breed lice and typhus.
Agata Boldok was seven when she entered the Warsaw Ghetto in 1940 together with her parents and older sister. When the ghetto was sealed off, she didn’t want to be Jewish because being Jewish was associated with misfortune. One day her father and sister simply disappeared. She never learned what happened to then. She cannot shake the memory of what hunger did to people, such as grabbing the flesh of a dead horse.
She escaped to the Aryan side when her mother pushed her through a hole in the wall. Someone else pulled her from the other side. Her mother also managed to get out and they boarded a train, which was a terrible risk. But her mother was fluent in German and when she heard German spoken in one of the carriages, she asked if she could sit there. The reply was affirmative, and they stayed there till the conductor came and evicted them. Boldok later found herself in another ghetto from where she was put on a transport to Treblinka.
By that time, it was no longer a secret as to what would happen at the end of the journey, and people around her were committing suicide, preferring to take charge of their own destiny rather than give the Germans the satisfaction of murdering them. Her uncle pulled her out of the crowd and told her to run. In the jostling she was pushed in the direction of the door of the train. A railroad worker saw her and exclaimed, “You’ve got blue eyes, just like my daughter.” They were in the last carriage, and he told her to wait for his signal and then jump and run. She obeyed and the train left the station.
She had no place to sleep and nothing to eat. And all of a sudden, she found herself outside a church. She spent the night there, but was picked up the following day by the military police. There is a hazy void about what happened next, but what she does remember is that she found herself sleeping under a bed in a home for senior citizens. One day she ventured outside, and a woman who noticed her in the street screamed: “Look, there’s one left! Police!” This time other women came to her rescue her and pulled her back into the basement.
While Yad Vashem honors non-Jews who saved Jews during the Holocaust, the B’nai B’rith World Center in conjunction with Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael-Jewish National Fund honors Jews who saved Jews and will be doing so for the 17th consecutive year at a morning ceremony at the B’nai B’rith Martyrs’ Forest together with Jewish rescuers and survivors, specifically members of the Belgian Jewish Defense Committee, which was founded in September 1942, in reaction to the deportations of Jews by the Nazis.
CDJ, as it was known, operated clandestinely in Brussels and Antwerp and brought together Jews of every stripe who were committed to a common cause. There were even some non-Jews who joined them, such as the teacher Andrée Geulen. At its peak, the number of CDJ members reached 300. During the ceremony, which is expected to be attended by Belgian Ambassador Olivier Belle, and Michel Werber, the son of CDJ founding members Abusz and Shifra Werber, a Jewish Rescuers Citation is to be conferred on 11 leading members of the CDJ and four other rescuers who were active in Poland: David Ferdman, Hertz Jospa, Hava Jospa, Abraham Manaster, Chaim Pinkus Perelman, Fela Perelman, David Trocki-Muscnicki, Paulina Avstritski Trocki-Muscnicki, Josef Sterngold, Abusz Werber, Shifra Werber, Shraga Dgani, Miriam-Mania Zeidman, Yaacov Segalchik and Bela Yaari-Hazan.
About 66,000 Jews lived in Belgium in mid-1940. Of these only 10% were Belgian citizens. Some 24,906 Jews were deported in 28 transports to Auschwitz beginning in the summer of 1942. Of these, only 1,337 survived. CDJ was, however, able to rescue more than 3,000 Jewish children.
The Algemeiner cited B'nai B'rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin's response to the terror attacks in Sri Lanka that killed almost 300 people.
Jewish groups around the world reacted with shock and grief to the news of Sunday’s Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka in which nearly 300 people were killed.
World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder stated, “World Jewry — in fact all civilized people — denounce this heinous outrage and appeal for zero tolerance of those who use terror to advance their objectives. This truly barbarous assault on peaceful worshippers on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar serves as a painful reminder that the war against terror must be at the top of the international agenda and pursued relentlessly.”
Lauder added, “Sadly, Jews, repeatedly targeted by terrorists, know this pain first hand. We pray for the swift recovery of the survivors and extend our heartfelt condolences to those who have lost loved ones.”
Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) Chairman Arthur Stark and Executive Vice Chairman and CEO Malcolm Hoenlein said, “We are outraged by the horrific attacks on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. We extend our condolences to those who have lost loved ones, and wish a speedy recovery to those who were wounded. Such outrages cannot be tolerated in any civil society, and nobody should be forced to worship in fear. We hope that those who are responsible and those who aided and abetted them will be brought to justice.”
The American Jewish Committee (AJC) said, “Our hearts were broken by the news of the attacks in Sri Lanka. On this Easter Sunday, we reaffirm our solidarity and support for the people of Sri Lanka and Christian friends around the world. We stand with you.”
AJC CEO David Harris tweeted, “Terror in #SriLanka. Many killed, wounded. Among targets were Catholic churches celebrating Easter Sunday. People of good will need to stand as one. Let’s show up at a church in solidarity. Let’s reach out directly to our Catholic friends. Let’s help rebuild the churches.”
The Board of Deputies of British Jews stated, “We condemn the shocking bomb attacks on those murdered innocently at prayer in churches in Sri Lanka for Easter morning and in other hotels. All our sympathies are with the victims and their families at this terrible time.”
B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “The coordinated terror bombings on Easter Sunday against Christian worshippers at church as well as against popular tourist hotels is a devastating assault on religious tolerance in Sri Lanka. Though the country is mostly Buddhist, there is a sizable Christian population, along with Hindus and Muslims.”
“The ability to practice one’s religion in peace and security should be a basic tenant of any society,” they continued. “On this, one of the holiest days of the year on any religious calendar, we send our condolences to the people of Sri Lanka suffering from this terror attack.”
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) urged Muslim religious figures to “take the lead in reforming Islam so that murder and terror attacks in the name of Islam are no longer acceptable.”
“We cannot solve the problem of Islamic terrorism unless we acknowledge it [and] confront it,” the ZOA added.
Top Israeli officials also condemned the bombings.
“On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I express my deep shock over the murderous attacks against innocent civilians in Sri Lanka,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Israel stands ready to assist the authorities in Sri Lanka at this difficult time. The entire world must unite in the battle against the scourge of terrorism.”
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz said, “Our hearts are with those who were murdered and wounded in the grave attacks in Sri Lanka. I’m sending my condolences to the families who lost loved ones and recovery wishes to the injured.”
The Jewish News Syndicate (JNS) interviewed B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin about the election of Ukraine's first Jewish President Volodymyr Zelensky.
In a landslide vote on Sunday, Ukraine elected its first Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky, making the country the first outside of Israel that will have both a Jewish president and prime minister.
Zelensky, 41, a professional comedian with no political experience, defeated incumbent Petro Poroshenko, 53, with 73 percent of the vote in the runoff election, according to national exit polls. He will be sworn in for a five-year term no later than June 3.
And he has a Jewish prime minister as well, Volodymyr Groysman—at least until the country’s parliamentary elections later this year.
In addition to having a conflict with Russia since Moscow’s annexing of Crimea in 2014, Zelensky will lead a country that has, despite being the most friendly Eastern European country towards Jews, been haunted by anti-Semitism with a number of Ukrainian Jews moving to Israel.
“It wouldn’t be correct to speak of Zelensky as a ‘Jewish showman’ or even a Jewish president,” Eduard Dolinsky, executive director of the Ukrainian Jewish Committee, told Haaretz. “He’s a Ukrainian with Jewish ancestry; he’s not a member of the Jewish community, he’s not religious, doesn’t keep Jewish traditions and never speaks of himself as a Jew.”
Mark Levin, executive vice chairman and CEO of National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry, told JNS that Zelensky’s election was “a very significant event,” considering that “there was such great dissatisfaction with the current government that a political novice, let alone a Jewish political novice, received so much support.”
Despite the hatred towards Jews that has plagued the country, Levin said that the notion that Ukraine is inherently anti-Semitic was “put to rest when you have a newly elected president of Jewish heritage and a Jewish prime minister.”
“Given the oftentimes problematic, centuries-old Jewish history in Ukraine, the result of this election is noteworthy,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin told JNS. “We hope that with his election, Ukraine will continue to strengthen its relations with both the United States and with Israel.”
The German Central Welfare Council of Jews magazine included coverage of a panel in which B'nai B'rith International's Director for EU Affairs Benjamin Naegele participated.
Op-Ed by Adriana Camisar in the Times of Israel - 'A New Era in the Relationship Between Brazil and Israel'
In this op-ed for The Times of Israel, International Special Advisor on Latin American Affairs Adriana Camisar discusses the changing relationship between Brazil and Israel.
The recent visit of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to Israel is a very important development.
For years, Brazil’s diplomacy took a rather hostile stance toward Israel. In fact, the government of Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva (2003-2011) got very close to the Iranian regime and, in 2010, even tried to prevent the United States and the European Union from sanctioning Iran for its nuclear development program. Brazil was a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council at the time, and certainly helped Iran evade international sanctions, at least for a period of time.
Dilma Rousseff, Lula’s successor, distanced herself a bit from the Iranian regime but kept the anti-Israel stance of her predecessor, voting against Israel in virtually all international forums.
The traditional anti-Israel posture of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry (Itamaraty) responds in part to a third-worldist worldview, deeply rooted in Latin America, which has sought to keep distance from the United States, and therefore from one of its main allies, the state of Israel. This worldview is based on a somewhat simplistic understanding of Latin American history, according to which the United States is to blame for most of the region’s problems. This ideological position has been disastrous for the region since it generated a culture of victimization and the distancing of many Latin American governments from the democracies of the West in order to get close to obscure regimes such as Iran, Russia and China, among others.
In the case of Brazil, Itamaraty’s anti-Israel posture had also to do with the desire of the Brazilian career diplomats to get Brazil elected as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, in the highly improbable case that the council gets reformed to include new permanent members one day. To achieve this, these diplomats thought it would be necessary to get the votes of the countries that make up the Organization of the Islamic Conference. But the truth is that such a reform of the U.N. Security Council would be impossible to achieve without the agreement of the United States government, which would in turn need to be ratified by the U.S. Congress, something extremely unlikely.
In any case, this anti-American and anti-Israel worldview seems to have received a major blow since Bolsonaro took power. His foreign minister, Ernesto Araujo, said in a recent tweet that the discriminatory treatment of Israel at the U.N. had been a Brazilian foreign policy tradition, and that this government is determined to break with this “spurious and unjust” tradition, in the same way it is breaking with the anti-American and third-worldist tradition that prevailed.
Bolsonaro’s campaign promise to move the Brazilian Embassy to Jerusalem will apparently have to wait. But his recent announcement about the opening of a trade office in Jerusalem and his visit to the Western Wall, in the company of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (an unprecedented gesture), are very strong signs of change.
The recent vote of Brazil at the U.N. Human Rights Council is yet another sign. For the first time in the history of the council, whose anti-Israel bias is both shameful and notorious, Brazil voted against two anti-Israel resolutions.
In November and December this year, Brazil’s new, warmer relationship with Israel will be put to a test. This is so because two important resolutions will be re-introduced at the U.N. General Assembly. As every year, member states will have to decide if they want to renew the funding and mandate authorization of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights, the two entities that make up the most powerful anti-Israel propaganda apparatus that exists under the U.N. roof.
In addition to demonizing the state of Israel in the name of the U.N., these entities promote the most extreme Palestinian positions as they question Israel’s very right to exist and advocate for the right of return of the more than five million people of Palestinian ancestry (who are still wrongly considered “refugees” by the U.N.) to the State of Israel. This radical stance is clearly against the two-state solution that the U.N. claims to support, as the mass migration of these people to Israel would mean the destruction of Israel as a majority-Jewish state, and the eventual creation of one Palestinian state “from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.”
Brazil votes, year after year, in favor of the continued funding of these two entities, creating among the Palestinians the illusion that the U.N. will eventually grant them a state “from the river to the sea,” and directly discouraging genuine peace negotiations with Israel. A change in the way Brazil votes would undoubtedly be a breath of fresh air, and would send a positive message not only to other countries in the region but also to the entire world.
In the News
B'nai B'rith International is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
All rights reserved. Stories are attributed to the original copyright holders.