i24news wrote an article on the Ambassadors Against BDS International Summit, the first-ever anti-BDS movement conference held at the U.N. General Assembly Hall. B'nai B'rith International is mentioned as a sponsor.
Click here to read the full story in 124news.tv
Singer Matisyahu, who was dis-invited from a Spanish music festival last summer, gave a special performance
Israel's United Nations Ambassador Danny Danon on Tuesday hosted a conference against the anti-Israeli Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement at the UN headquarters in New York City.
The conference, titled "Building Bridges, Not Boycotts" drew more than 2,000 students, activists, and legal professionals, the Jerusalem Post reports, making it one of the biggest anti-BDS gatherings ever.
"BDS is continuing to spread and seeks to utilize international institutions to implement its ideology of hate," the Jerusalem Post quotes Danon saying ahead of the conference.
"This summit will create practical tools to battle BDS by training students to serve as ‘ambassadors’ against boycotts," he added.
Other guests set to speak at the event are Israeli Supreme Court Justice Elyakim Rubinstein and President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder.
Singer Matisyahu, who spoke out against the anti-Israel movement after being dis-invited from a Spanish music festival last summer, also attended and gave a special performance.
The summit is a joint initiative between Israel's UN delegation and a number of pro-Israel organizations, including the World Jewish Congress, Keren HaYesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B'nai B'rith International, Hillel, and CAMERA, among others.
The Times of Israel ran an op-ed written by Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin on the latest shamelessness by the United Nations as the World Health Organization has called for "an investigation of Israel over 'mental, physical, and health' violations."
Read the full op-ed below or click here to read it on TimesofIsreal.com
The expression “have you no shame?” has been applied so many times to resolutions biased against Israel at the United Nations, that it has simply lost its meaning.
We were reminded again this week of the futility of fairness at the United Nations and its agencies when the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted a measure calling for an investigation of Israel over “mental, physical, and health” violations. It cited “the health conditions in the occupied Palestinian territory,” as well as “the occupied Syrian Golan.”
Voting for the resolution were 107 countries including, shamefully, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Those three countries should be singled out not only for knowing better, but for their continual pandering on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
As Syria burns (and where hospitals are bombed), Yemen implodes and Islamic extremism spreads daily through the Middle East and Africa, the UN system—seemingly impotent to stop any of these crises—is reaching back once again to the tried and true hectoring of Israel. And with frightening threats posed by the Zika virus and by a new strain of an antibiotic-resistant virus, it strains credulity as to why the WHO has chosen to muddy its reputation by politicizing its mission.
It is no secret that Israeli hospitals and doctors not only treat Palestinians in need, but patients from throughout the Arab world. The Israeli organization Save a Child’s Heart has performed thousands of pediatric heart operations on Palestinian children, and hundreds of others from the Arab world and Africa. My synagogue is currently raising funds to support two such operations, for Palestinian and Tanzanian children.
The WHO resolution amounts to nothing less than a 21st century version of a blood libel. In the Middle Ages, blood libels were the common currency of anti-Semitism in Europe, which is why those European countries which voted in support of this measure deserve special opprobrium.
But why should we be surprised by all of this? Last year, the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women singled out Israel—from among all countries—for violations of women’s rights. The commission report distributed at the time served as yet another cover for delegitimizing Israel, by alleging, among other things that Palestinian women were being denied health care services, sanitation and other basic services, in the “West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem.” That Gaza was included is especially instructive: it is under the control of Hamas, not Israel.
That denigration and discrimination against women is still rife in most of the Arab world apparently escaped the Commission’s attention. That honor killings, limited access to education and denial of judicial redress to women are often the order of the day in those places, and were not reported on by the Commission speaks to the endemic hypocrisy of this enterprise, and to the increasing irrelevance of the entire organization.
And that is the point. There can only be three explanations for this unending stream of anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations.
1. Some countries may feel that a drumbeat of criticism of Israel will hasten a two-state solution; that by pushing Israel this way and that, it will eventually force Israel to give in to international demands for a deal—any kind of deal, including proposals that would undercut Israel’s security.
2. But many other countries have bought into the Palestinian narrative, which has led to a steady, decades-long drumbeat of opprobrium, which shouts out, “don’t confuse me with the facts.” If you say Israelis are poisoning the wells long enough, it must be true. And if it is, they are not only “occupiers,” but unworthy of having a place in the international community to call their own.
3. And then there are countries which simply go-along to get-along, nations for which principles and values are secondary to the horse-trading that drives conversations in the corridors off the General Assembly Hall.
At the same time, there is also a fourth group, the one that voted against this venal WHO resolution. It recognized that the double standard and the slights directed at Israel and its dedicated doctors, nurses, researchers and ambulance drivers were politically motivated. It understood that the charges were lies, and they could not bring themselves to go along. On that very short list, besides, of course, Israel: the United States, Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Paraguay.
The promise of those who gathered to create the United Nations in San Francisco in 1945, in the wake of the worst calamities known to mankind, has once again been sundered. Seemingly, all we can do is wring our hands, and hope for better days.
The obsession with Israel is indicative of a deeper decay in an international system that operates not on conflict resolution, but on conflict perpetuation. And on scapegoating one of the world’s exemplary democracies.
Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin was in attendance last night at the Harvard Club in New York City as the World Jewish Congress honored “heroes of the Soviet Jewry movement -- Natan Sharansky and Limmud FSU President Aaron Frankel -- and to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the late Edgar M. Bronfman.”
Mariaschin was “scene” by Jewish Insider.
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Some 40 leaders gathered at the Harvard Club in NYC to honor the heroes of the Soviet Jewry movement -- Natan Sharansky and Limmud FSU President Aaron Frankel -- and to pay tribute to the life and legacy of the late Edgar M. Bronfman. The evening event was hosted by World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder together with the Conference of Presidents' Malcolm Hoenlein who served as emcee. “Without the demonstrations, and without the leaders of the Jewish communities, who were using all of their power to deliver a powerful message with secret diplomacy, the last prisoners of Zion would never have been released from the Soviet Union,” Sharansky said. “This shows how important it is that while we disagree with one another, we Jews agree on the most important things and are responsible for one another.” Spotted: Shoshana Cardin, Matthew Bronfman, Stephen Greenberg, Diane & Howard Wohl, Michael Miller, Eric Fingerhut, Chaim Chesler, Morris Abraham, Ilya Salita, Richard Stone, Susan Green, George Klein, Ken Bialkin, Izzi & Regina Tapoohi, Steve Linde, Danielle Ziri, Daniel Mariaschin, Eli Mandelbaum.
Jewish Insider noted B'nai B'rith International EVP Daniel S. Mariaschin’s presence among those invited to a White House-hosted screening of Aviva Kempner's documentary film "Rosenwald" and subsequent panel discussion to celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month.
You can also read B'nai B'rith Magazine's story on "The Irrepressible Aviva Kempner" from the winter 2015 edition by clicking here.
SCENE YESTERDAY: To celebrate Jewish American Heritage Month, the White House hosted a screening of Aviva Kempner's documentary film Rosenwald about philanthropist Julius Rosenwald's efforts to build over 5,000 schools to help African-Americans in the South. Following the hour and forty minute long film, White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett delivered remarks noting her close family relatives that were positively affected by Julius Rosenwald. The event also marked Chanan Weissman's first public remarks as the new White House Jewish Liaison [Video]. A panel discussion with Kempner, Ambassador David Saperstein, and the NAACP's Hilary Shelton closed out the program after which guests proceeded upstairs to the Indian Treaty Room for an evening reception with light snacks. Many of the usual suspects were in attendance racking up their White House visitor log stats. [PIC]
SPOTTED: Alan Solow, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, NJDC's Greg Rosenbaum, B'nai B'rith's Daniel Mariaschin, Agudath Israel's Abba Cohen, Steve Rabinowitz, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Matt Nosanchuk, Sarah Arkin, Aaron Weinberg, Robert J. Saferstein, OU's Nathan Diament, Joseph Tuchman, and Madeline Peterson.
B'nai B'rith International EVP Daniel Mariaschin was mentioned by Jewish Insider as one of the guests gathered last week for Israel embassy's annual Israel Independence Day celebration at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
Ambassador Ron Dermer addressed the 700 people in attendance and spoke about the strong relationship with Israel and the United States.
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Approximately 700 guests of the Israeli Embassy gathered last night at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in D.C. for the annual Israeli Independence Day celebration. 'Machers, Schnooks and D.C. Cave Dwellers' schmoozed and networked over Israeli wine and Italian fare. Ambassador Ron Dermer thanked White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough for attending noting, "Having worked in a similar position for Prime Minister Netanyahu, I know that it is never easy to get away – so Denis, I appreciate you being with us."
Amb. Dermer on differences with the White House: "Now, ladies and gentlemen, there is no denying that Israel has had differences with the Obama administration over the best way to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and over the best way to advance a secure peace with the Palestinians. But the test of a relationship between two countries is not how strong it is when their two governments see eye-to-eye but rather how strong it is when they don’t – and the relationship between Israel and America has passed that test with flying colors." [Transcript]
Ed note: Apologies in advance if we missed you at last evening's event. Tevi Troy joked that today's Daily Kickoff would simply note "Spotted: Everyone" while Rabbi Jack Moline suggested we only list the few folks who were not at the event.
SPOTTED: Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, new JLOTUS Chanan Weissman, Cruz Chief of Staff Paul Teller sporting his new handmade Lucchese boots [Pic], DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, AIPAC's Howard Kohr and Bob Cohen, Alan & Judy Gross, State Department's Ira Forman, Ambassador Norm Eisen tweeting up a storm, Congressman Ted Deutch, Douglas Feith, Schusterman Foundation's Lisa Eisen and Mary Ann Weiss, State's Matt Nosanchuk, Brookings' Dan Arbell, Phil Rosen, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, MassChallenge's Clara Scheinmann, Rabbi Jonah Pesner, Joshua Landes, OU's Nathan Diament, Victoria Coates, David Milstein, Rabbi Sid Schwarz, William & Heidi Krizer Daroff, Gabriel Scheinmann, Liz Leibowitz, Congressman Eliot Engel, Eli Lake, Noah Pollak, Embassy Chief of Staff Jordana Cutler, Steve Rabinowitz, Jeremy Deutsch, Aaron Weinberg, Yarden Golan, Katie Glueck, Rep. Jerry Nadler, Ambassador David Saperstein, Sarah Arkin, B'nai B'rith's Dan Mariaschin, Jonny Fluger, Jeremy Furchtgott, Ezra Friedlander, AEPi's Andy Borans, Joseph Raskas, Ezra Gontownik, Julia Schulman, Melissa Weiss, and Mira Kogen Resnick.
The B’nai B’rith World Center in Jerusalem and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (KKL-JNF) held, for the 14th consecutive year, a unique joint Holocaust commemoration ceremony on Yom Hashoah (Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day).
This is the only event dedicated annually to commemorating the heroism of Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust. More than 850 people attended the event, including about 200 Border Patrol Cadets who provided an honor guard and 200 high school students, along with Jewish rescuers and survivors. The ceremony was held at the B’nai B’rith Martyr’s Forest “Scroll of Fire” Plaza.
The ceremony honoring Shmuil Markowitz Pevzner, who succeeded in rescuing 300 children from Poland, was covered internationally, with coverage in English, Hebrew, Russian and Spanish.
Scroll down to find a complete round-up of links, an audio clip, magazine spread, a video and photos from the event.
The Jewish press: Honoring the 'Jewish Schindler' You've Never Head of
It’s the Holocaust rescue story that often goes untold—Jews who put their lives on the line to save their fellow Jews.
Shmuil Markowitz Pevzner (1912-1991), a Jew who saved 300 children from the Druskininkai Soviet Pioneers Camp during Operation Barbarossa, was honored by B’nai B’rith World Center and the Jewish National Fund at their 14th annual Holocaust commemoration ceremony on Thursday at the B’nai B’rith Martyr’s Forest Scroll of Fire Plaza in Jerusalem.
“We are unique in the sense that we are the only ceremony that recognizes Jewish rescuers on an annual basis,” said B’nai B’rith Director Alan Schneider in an interview with Tazpit Press Service (TPS). “It’s not an area of strong academic research, though that is something we would like to encourage.”
Born in Belorussia, Pevzner served as director of the Polish troupe at the Druskininkai camp in Lithuania. He brought the 300 children—150 of whom were Jewish—by train to the Soviet Far East while under German aerial attack. Pevzner established a home for the children in the Udmurtia Republic, where he cared for them through extreme weather conditions until the end of the war.
Pevzner was represented by his son, Dr. Mark Pevzner, and grandson, Boris Pevzner.
According to Schneider, while commemorations in previous years have included rescuers from Germany, France, Slovakia, and Eastern Europe, this is the first year the organization is recognizing a Russian.
Israel Radio (Hebrew)
Jerusalem Post Magazine: The man who believed in a bright future during bleak times
RTV1 (Russian) – From the 05:43-07:30 Mark
B'nai B'rith International participated in a World Jewish Restitution Organization (WJRO) social media campaign to call attention to the issue of Holocaust-era property restitution. The Guardian reported on the campaign.
The campaign was supported on Facebook and Twitter (under #HolocaustJustice) by a number of high profile Jewish individuals, including former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Hadassah Lieberman, daughter of Holocaust survivors; jurist and author Professor Alan Dershowitz; and actor Joshua Malina (“Scandal,” “The West Wing”).
B'nai B'rith International is a founding member of WJRO.
Click below to read the article on TheGuardian.com.
Campaigners call on 47 countries to honour pledge made seven years ago to ensure restitution for theft of property
Tens of thousands of Holocaust survivors are spending the final years of their lives in financial hardship while waiting for governments across Europe to compensate them for property stolen during the Nazi era.
Despite a declaration by 47 countries seven years ago to ensure restitution for the theft of Jewish property during the Holocaust, many of the 500,000 survivors still alive are yet to be compensated, according to the World Jewish Restitution Organisation (WJRO).
Timed to coincide with Holocaust Remembrance Day on Thursday, the WJRO has organised a social media campaign under the hashtag #HolocaustJustice to put pressure on those countries to act on their 2009 commitment.
Among those backing the campaign are former UK foreign secretary David Miliband, scientist Robert Winston, former US senator Joe Lieberman and West Wing actor Joshua Malina.
Launching the campaign, survivor Jehuda Evron said he fought for 20 years for the return of property taken by the Nazis that belonged to his wife’s family.
“Now I am in my 80s. Until the day I die, I will not give up. Every day, the few remaining Holocaust survivors are passing away. Sadly, many of these survivors will die in poverty, without benefiting from their property. Our struggle for justice cannot die with us.”
Evron appealed to the children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors to continue the battle for restitution. “Future generations need to continue efforts to recover what the Nazis, their allies and collaborators, as well as subsequent Communist governments, unjustly took from us and our families and Jewish communities.”
Baroness Deech, another supporter of the campaign, said: “Holocaust survivors and their families have waited over seven decades for a small measure of justice for the theft of their property. It is incumbent upon us as members of the next generation to take up this call for justice and urge governments in Europe to act now while the remaining survivors are still with us.”
Thousands of works of art, worth billions of dollars, were looted from Jewish owners in the run-up to and during the Holocaust. Many have been recovered and returned. But the theft and confiscation of Jewish property extended to buildings, furniture, jewellery, clothing, books, cash and other valuables and assets.
In 2009, the Terezin Declaration was approved at a conference in Prague. It pledged that “every effort be made to rectify the consequences of wrongful property seizures, such as confiscations, forced sales and sales under duress of property, which were part of the persecution of these innocent people and groups.”
However, according to the WJRO, many of the signatories have no laws to provide restitution or compensation, and others have laws which may be exclusionary or whose processes are slow or unjust.
The 47 signatories to the Terezin Declaration were Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, , Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States and Uruguay.
The Jerusalem Post Magazine ran a story on Shmuil Markowitz Pevzner (1912-1991), Jewish educator, Leningrad resident and this year's recipient of the Jewish Rescuers Citation. The article details Pevzner's heroic actions as he succeeded in rescuing 300 children, including about 140 Jewish children from Bialystok, Poland, and the surrounding region, and retreating with them by train to the safety of the Soviet Far East. For the 12 day journey, they were under repeated German aerial attack.
In the story, B'nai B'rith World Center Director Alan Schneider is quoted, discussing Pevzner and the 14th consecutive Holocaust commemoration ceremony on Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Day–the only event dedicated annually to commemorating the heroism of Jews who rescued fellow Jews during the Holocaust.
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