The Democratic Socialists of America’s Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) working group attempted to link American police violence with Israel in a series of tweets. In response, we noted: "This is an attempt to exploit the tragic and tense situation in Minneapolis to advance the motives of the BDS movement to demean and delegitimize Israel."
JNS quoted B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin in its coverage of U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell stepping down from his role.
(May 26, 2020 / JNS) Pro-Israel Jewish groups expressed appreciation to U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell as he is expected to step down from his role, which he assumed two years ago in May 2018.
The move follows the confirmation last week of former Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) as U.S. director of national intelligence, a position Grenell briefly held on an acting basis in conjunction with his ambassadorship and his role as U.S. special envoy for Serbia-Kosovo negotiations, which he will reportedly keep.
“We appreciate Ambassador Grenell’s service to our country and for standing with our ally Israel on the international stage against the threat posed by the Iranian regime and its proxies,” AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS.
“As ambassador, [he] has been a strong and clear voice against anti-Semitism in Europe, and in calling out the Iranian regime’s hegemonism and sponsorship of terrorist groups,” B’nai B’rith International CEO Dan Mariaschin said to JNS. “We are grateful for his work in Germany, including his successful push for the German government to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.”
The designation occurred last month as police conducted early-morning raids on mosques across Germany linked with the group.
“We have the deepest admiration for Ambassador Grenell and thank him for his tireless work on our country’s behalf. Grenell’s work combating anti-Semitism in Europe, advocating for our ally, Israel, and taking on Russia’s attempts to insinuate itself into Western Europe has been among the most important diplomatic work in decades,” said Republican Jewish Coalition spokesperson Neil Strauss in a statement.
The Jerusalem Post noted our virtual tour of Israel's capital in honor of Jerusalem Day, an Israeli holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the Six Day War.
In light of the coronavirus, Jerusalem Day May 21, a national holiday commemorating the reunification of Jerusalem and the establishment of Israeli control over the Old City after the Six Day War, will be celebrated by way of a virtual tour for those living outside of Israel.
In the past, thousands of tourists arrived in Jerusalem to celebrate the holiday, visiting the city's famous sites such as the Western Wall, the Old City and the Mahane Yehuda market. This year, however, due to the Health Ministry's coronavirus regulations, tourists are unable to come to the city, leading to the World Zionist Organization and B'nai Brith International to set up a virtual live tour of the city.
"As is written in the Talmud, 'Ten cubits of beauty fell upon the world, nine of them on Jerusalem' and on Jerusalem Day we see the beauty of the city in all its glory," said Yaakov Hagoel, vice and acting chairman of the World Zionist Organization.
"In order for those in the Diaspora who are unable to feel Jerusalem physically on this special day, in the re-establishment of the State of Israel, we have designed a unique live tour that will make available,to our viewers, if not to smell Jerusalem and its fragrances and pure air, then at least to see the pastoral views and stories of the heritage of Jerusalem our eternal capital, on this day that we mark the reunification of Jerusalem for eternity as the capital of the Jewish people and those in the Diaspora," he added.
The event will be broadcast on the the World Zionist Organization YouTube and Facebook pages, Yaakov Hagoel and B'nai B'rith International on Thursday May 21, 2020, between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Israel time.
The live broadcast will last three hours and will take viewers on a tour of Jerusalem's most renowned sites, and will also include heritage and interviews with those who fought in the Six Day War of June 1967.
"By way of the tour we wish to provide an opportunity for members of B'nai B'rith around the world and to our brothers and sisters in Jewish communities to experience this exciting city that the Jewish People have prayed for throughout so many generations," said Alan Schneider, Director, B'nai B'rith World Center Jerusalem.
The virtual tour will continue in the neighborhood of Rehavia, Tzahal (IDF) Square, Mamilla Mall, Jaffa Gate, The Jewish Quarter, Mount of Olives, Golden Gate, the Monument of the Injured Bird, Lions Gate, the Photographer's House Observation Point and the Little Kotel. The tour will conclude with singing and the blowing of the shofar in the courtyard of the Western Wall.
Schneider added that, "B'nai B'rith began its activities in Eretz Israel in Jerusalem in 1888 with the purpose of creating a union to promote the concept of Jewish nationalism and countering missionary activities. It is active until today and is among the Zionist Organizations that are members of the World Zionist Organization. Jerusalem Day is a significant watershed that signals the return of the Jewish people to ancestral places and that is celebrated in the shadow of the continuing struggle over Israeli sovereignty in its capital city."
JNS covered B'nai B'rith International successfully pushing – along with other pro-Israel groups – for the regional government in Valencia, Spain to cancel an upcoming teacher-training course sponsored by a Spanish anti-Israel BDS group.
(May 19, 2020 / JNS) The regional government in Valencia, Spain, has canceled an upcoming teacher-training course sponsored by a Spanish anti-Israel BDS group.
“ACOM welcomes the decision of the government of the Region Valencia in Spain to withdraw the teacher-training course on “Solidarity and human rights,” a Spanish pro-Israel group said in a statement.
The organization, BDS Pais Valencia, had been scheduled to start the 20-day online training on June 8. The virtual seminar was advertised on Spain’s Education Ministry on April 27 under the title “Solidarity and human rights. Learning to teach against hatred and racism (Judeophobia, Islamophobia and Palestine-Israel).”
According to ACOM, BDS País Valencià, “promotes hatred and discrimination against Jews and the Jewish community in Spain,” and had enlisted as instructor Jorge Ramos Tolosa, an activist, presently a defendant on a criminal case accused of promotion and incitement to hatred and discrimination against the Jewish singer Matisyahu five years ago.
Several Jewish and pro-Israel groups, including the European Jewish Congress, American Jewish Committee, Anti-Defamation League, B’nai B’rith and Simon Wiesenthal Center, spoke out against the course. Additionally, Spanish politicians such as Toni Cantó, Manuel Valls, Luis Garicano, Hermann Tertsch or Juan Carlos Girauta denounced the BDS campaign.
Numerous courts in Spain, including in Valencia, have deemed BDS as racist or discriminatory.
JTA covered B'nai B'rith International's support of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation pushing for the Department of Veterans Affairs to replace three headstones in military cemeteries that were vandalized with swastikas.
WASHINGTON (JTA) — A leading Jewish congresswoman called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to replace three headstones in military cemeteries bearing swastikas and invoking Hitler.
“It is deeply troubling and terribly offensive that swastika-adorned headstones that include messages honoring Hitler continue to stand in this nation’s Veterans Administration National Cemeteries,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Friday in a statement. “The VA’s decision to leave the swastika’s in place, as well as the messages honoring Hitler, while ignoring calls to take the headstones down is callous, irresponsible and unacceptable – and comes at a time when documented antisemitic incidents in the United States have reached a new high.”
Wasserman Schultz is among the most senior Jewish Democrats in Congress and for a number of years chaired the Democratic National Committee.
Earlier this week, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation called on Veterans Affairs to replace the headstones on the graves of German prisoners of war who died in U.S. internment camps during World War II. Two are in a San Antonio cemetery and another is in Salt Lake City.
In addition to the swastikas, the tombstones include the phrase “He died far from his home for the Führer, people, and fatherland.” Führer was the title Adolf Hitler assumed for himself.
In response, a VA spokesman cited an agency policy “to protect historic resources, including those that recognize divisive historical figures or events.”
“I call on the VA to eliminate this antiquated policy and immediately replace these inappropriate and insensitive headstones,” Wasserman Schultz said.
Organizations backing the Military Religious Freedom Foundation’s call include B’nai B’rith International, the American Jewish Committee and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
CEO Op-ed for Fox News: Europeans Continue Unjustified Criticism of Israel but Ignore Real Middle East Threats
B'nai B'rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin responded to the sharp rise in anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment in Europe on Foxnews.com.
A new coalition government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz is expected to take office in Israel Sunday, soon after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited the Jewish state.
Pompeo met with Netanyahu and Gantz on Wednesday week to discuss Israel’s plan to annex part of the West Bank and the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.
Netanyahu said he was “confident” President Trump will honor his commitment to help Israel carry out the annexation, which will be done in coordination with the U.S.
But while American support for Israel remains strong, the same can’t be said for European nations.
Even as the coronavirus pandemic rages globally and is hitting several European countries fast and hard – and when the global economy is teetering in response – Europe still has time to engage in one of its favorite pastimes: criticizing and opposing Israel.
It is not surprising to see the European Union and some of its member states trying to outrace each other on warning Israel’s new government against annexation of part of the West Bank.
A major provision in the new Israeli coalition’s agreement includes a July 1 green light on annexation of territory in the so-called Area C in the West Bank, an administrative section delineated in the 1993 Oslo Accords. It is administered by Israel, and contains several clearly defined Israeli population centers, most of which are contiguous to Israel.
But while European nations are quick to criticize Israel, they are passive about the real threats to stability in the region.
Just last week, Mohsen Rezaei of Iran’s Expediency Council threatened to “raze Israeli cities to the ground” even in the event there is a U.S. response to Iranian attacks against American forces in Iraq.
These threats – to destroy Israeli cities filled with civilians and wipe out “the Zionist entity” and the “Zionist cancer” – are made on a regular basis by leading Iranian officials like Rezaei. The response in Europe to such genocidal rhetoric is essentially a collective yawn.
It reminds one of similar language used by the Palestine Liberation Organization in the years when it was hijacking airliners, attacking synagogues in Rome and Antwerp, planting bombs in buses in Israeli cities, and calling for Israel’s destruction. At the time, much of this was dismissed by European governments as “Israel’s problem,” or minimized as just being for “home (Palestinian) consumption.”
In other words, don’t take it seriously. That, while Iran continues its malign presence in Syria, attacks American bases in Iraq, re-stocks the arms depots of the terrorist group Hezbollah, counts the terrorist group Hamas as a willing ally, sends a military satellite into space, and marches on in its ultimate goal of developing nuclear weapons.
Indeed, most European states are still not sure whether or not to call the nuclear deal with Iran – the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) – a failed enterprise, even while Iranian efforts to dominate the Middle East proceed apace.
And yet, Europe always has time to express bias against Israel.
Pronouncements out of Brussels from the European Union’s top foreign policy chief, Joseph Borrell, called annexation by Israel “a serious violation of international law” and said the EU “will act accordingly.”
Similar warnings have come from Paris, Berlin and other capitals. Threats of imposing sanctions on Israel and the recall of ambassadors are being made, all in the name of protecting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Europe’s admonitions against Israel ring hollow.
Since the-then European Economic Community (the forerunner of the EU) 1980 Venice Declaration that endorsed Palestinian self-government, Europe has been largely supportive of the Palestinian narrative to the conflict.
When the EU has imposed discipline of voting at the United Nations, member states often abstain on Israeli-Palestinian issues, which to the Palestinian camp is seen as wavering support in Europe for Israel.
When left to vote on their own, some European countries have voted with the Palestinian side on issues concerning Jerusalem, for example, at UNESCO or even at the World Health Organization.
There is also an interesting breakdown when no EU bloc voting is imposed at the U.N. Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe are more inclined to be supportive of Israel. But instances of such “open voting” are few and far between.
If Europe wanted to be helpful it would have been pushing the Palestinians from the time of the 1993 Oslo accords to resolve their conflict with Israel by going to the negotiating table and making reasonable and reciprocal compromises with the Jewish state.
It has been repeated often, but bears saying again: opportunities for the Palestinians to make a deal have been presented numerous times over many years – at Camp David, after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, at Annapolis and with then-Secretary of State John Kerry’s initiative. But the Palestinians have always walked away, because making peace would require their taking less than the zero-sum result they have been promising their people.
The Europeans know full well – as the Palestinians certainly do – that the Israeli population blocs close-in to Israel will not be relinquished in any negotiated settlement. This became clear during the Annapolis conference in 2008 and at all attempts at talks since then. And even if annexation were to occur, that would not preclude the formation of a Palestinian state at some point in the future.
For the past almost four years, the Palestinian Authority has given a cold shoulder to the Trump administration’s efforts to get peace negotiations with Israel started, and then shut down completely on Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan.
The Palestinian Authority made it clear that it would simply wait out the Trump administration. The old line that “the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” has never rung truer.
In the meantime, the world has moved on. Iranian aggression in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen has recalibrated threats and challenges in the region.
Regional strategic alignments are changing, and Israel’s place in the region – in that camp that recognizes the Iranian threat to what we used to call pro-Western countries – has marginalized the decades-long urgency to place the Palestinian issue front and center.
Except in Europe. Its recent threats and bullying of Israel suggest a disconnect from the strategic reality on the ground. A two-state solution today may mean something different than it did 10 or 20 years ago.
The decades-long absence of goodwill on the Palestinian side, and the continued presence of Hamas in Gaza, means Israel must have a security presence in the Jordan Valley. For the same reasons, demilitarization of whatever Palestinian entity that may result from a negotiation is now a given. And a right of return for Palestinians and their descendants who fled the state of Israel when it was created in 1948 will not happen.
Two months out, we still have no clear indication of exactly what “annexation” will actually mean. It might include the Gush Etzion bloc and the city of Maale Adumim only, both large population centers very close to Jerusalem. Other options abound. Or, the whole idea could become moot, with the can being kicked down the proverbial road.
What we do know is that Europe, which has nothing to show for its now four-decade support of Palestinian statehood, has failed in getting any return on its investment by convincing the Palestinian leadership to drop its nihilistic war against the existence of a Jewish state and negotiate an end to the conflict.
As important, Europe seems incapable – or worse, unwilling – to persuade the Palestinians to do what they’ve refused to do until now, which is to finally level with their people about what is do-able and what is fantasy. Only by doing this will Palestinian leaders begin bettering the lives of those they’ve used over decades to advance their own positions of status and power. The way to do this is by ending the conflict with Israel.
Europe has not held the Palestinians accountable, despite protestations to the contrary. As they give a free pass to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank – which continues to glorify and venerate those who have carried out acts of terror not only against Israelis, but Europeans and Americans as well – European governments have retreated into their familiar role of hectoring Israel.
Whatever one might think of annexation, Europe’s sanctimonious threats to Israel of sanctions, recalling ambassadors and worse will not move the conflict one inch closer to resolution. Israel deserves better from Europe, where anti-Semitism is rife.
Much of European anti-Semitism is connected to the steady drumbeat of anti-Israel rhetoric on the Internet and over the public airwaves – and from statements of political figures – that have created a threatening environment for Jewish communities across the continent.
To use a cliché from our times, it’s time for Europe to get real. With all the uncertainty swirling around us, are bluster and threats to a sister democracy – which happens to be sandwiched in the midst of chaos on all sides – a constructive use of its time? Better to level with the Palestinian leadership, rather than indulging it and raising its expectations.
Read CEO Mariaschin's expert analysis on Foxnews.com.
The Jerusalem Post quoted B'nai B'rith International's letter condemning German diplomat Andreas Görgen for defending an academic who promotes the BDS movement, spreads anti-Semitism, and trivializes the Holocaust.
BERLIN – The Jerusalem Post’s exclusive disclosure in April, that a senior German diplomat used his Twitter feed to promote an allegedly antisemitic professor who supports BDS and has minimized the Holocaust, triggered a parliamentary inquiry.
Free Democratic Party MP Frank Müller-Rosentritt filed a formal questionnaire to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration, in which he asked: “How does the federal government assess the public-oriented defense of the invitation to the post-colonial theorist for the Ruhrtriennale 2020 from a person employed by the federal government on social media?”
On Wednesday, the Post obtained Müller-Rosentritt’s inquiry letter and the German federal government’s response.
The post-colonial theorist is South African prof. Achille Mbembe who called for “global isolation” of the Jewish state and promoted two Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) actions against professors from Ben Gurion University.
Müller-Rosentritt’s letter included the web address (URL) of a German-language translation of sections of a Post April article which reported that Andreas Görgen, director of the Foreign Ministry’s department for culture and communication, tweeted a series of articles in support of Mbembe.
The Vienna-based think tank Mena-Watch translated several paragraphs of the article and published them on April 27 under the headline, “Antisemitism: The Embarrassing Silence of the German Foreign Ministry.
”Merkel’s administration wrote Müller-Rosentritt on May 7 that Görgen’s pro-Mbembe tweets, including “liking” an article, merely “forwarded actual voices of the debate.”
Antje Leendertse, a state secretary in the German foreign ministry, answered Müller-Rosentritt 's inquiry letter.
Görgen did not tweet or like any articles either objecting to or criticizing Mbembe’s alleged antisemitism, support of BDS and belittling of the Holocaust.
Since the Post revealed Görgen’s alleged anti-Israel tweets, he has stopped tweeting in favor of Mbembe.
When asked about Görgen’s tweets in support of an academic who allegedly trivialized the Shoah and spreads antisemitism, the Foreign Ministry told the Post in April that “”We ask for your understanding that we won’t comment on the issue mentioned.”
Mbembe wrote that Israel’s control over the disputed West Bank territory is worse than the former racist system in South Africa. Germany’s federal commissioner to combat antisemitism, Felix Klein, urged the cultural and music festival Ruhrtriennale to disinvite Mbembe because of his antisemitic language. The festival was canceled last month due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Post counted at least seven Görgen tweets in support of Mbembe. Görgen has declined to answer numerous Post email and Twitter press queries. The Foreign Ministry has a history of alleged antisemitism and anti-Israel activities.
Last year, director of the German Foreign Ministry’s representation for the Palestinian territories, Christian Clages, was revealed to have liked scores of antisemitic tweets while using his government Twitter feed. Clages liked antisemitic and neo-Nazi/KKK tweets. The Foreign Ministry did not discharge Clages.
The human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center slammed Görgen for stoking Jew-hatred and may include him on its top ten list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism for 2020.
Last year, the Wiesenthal Center included Görgen’s Foreign Ministry colleague, German ambassador to the UN Christoph Heusgen, on its list because the ambassador he compared Israel with the jihadi terrorist entity Hamas and engaged in a spree of anti-Israel votes at the UN.
Jewish organizations, including B’nai B’rith, have issued public rebukes of Görgen.
“On behalf of B’nai B’rith International’s more than 100,000 members and supporters in over 40 countries, we write to express our deep dismay at recent tweets by Andreas Görgen, the Ministry’s director for culture and communication,” the organization wrote in a letter obtained by the Post. “Mr. Görgen has posted multiple times on his official Twitter feed in defense of Achille Mbembe, a Holocaust-minimizer and denier of Israel’s right to exist."
The Foreign Ministry has refused to comment on the B’nai B’rith letter.
B'nai B'rith International has received significant news coverage since announcing the winners of the 2020 B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage.
Since its establishment in 1992, the award has recognized excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media. The award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.
See how the media noted this year’s announcement:
Arutz 7 English
Arutz 7 Hebrew
JNS quoted B'nai B'rith CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin on Gilad Erdan’s appointment as Israel's next ambassador to the United States and the United Nations.
(May 11, 2020 / JNS) Jewish and pro-Israel groups reacted positively to Minister of Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Minister of Information Gilad Erdan’s appointment as the Jewish state’s next ambassador to the United States and the United Nations, succeeding Ron Dermer and Danny Danon, respectively.
“I am proud and excited for the privilege of being able to fight on behalf of the righteousness of our path in the international arena, and to defend Israel in light of the challenges ahead,” said Erdan in a statement.
AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS, “We congratulate Minister Erdan, who brings impressive credentials to these important posts. We look forward to working with him to further strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the two countries at the United Nations.”
“[He] is a committed public servant with deep connections to the American Jewish community,” said the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in a statement. “His most recent postings provide him with extraordinary credentials for representing Israel in the diplomatic arena at the United Nations, and with Israel’s greatest friend and ally, the United States of America.”
B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel Mariaschin told JNS, “With bias and double standards the rule at the United Nations, Erdan’s unique experience in battling BDS and other issues impacting Israel’s security make him a sound choice for these positions. No question these particular assignments will clearly involve multi-tasking, but that is the general rule in diplomatic assignments.”
“We have always enjoyed a close relationship with Israel’s ambassadors in Washington and at the UN. Ambassadors Dermer and Danon have served their country with distinction and honor,” Christians United for Israel founder and chairman John Hagee. “Likewise, we know Minister Erdan well—he too is a dedicated and passionate advocate for Israel. We look forward to working with him as he takes on his new and challenging roles."
Zionist Organization of America national president Mort Klein told JNS that Erdan is “an inspired and brilliant choice.”
Klein said Erdan is “a very hard-working, smart, articulate Zionist who knows how to effectively present Israel’s case and defend Israel from all the propaganda lies against it.” He added that he “was a leader against the Israel-bashing BDS movement and understands all the issues in the Arab/Islamic war against Israel.”
As strategic affairs minister, Erdan carved out a high-profile role in combating the BDS movement. Most notably Erdan’s ministry was behind a two-year campaign aimed at exposing connections between anti-Israel BDS groups and terrorist organizations.
Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) founder and president Sarah Stern said Dermer was “one of Israel’s most sagacious and skilled ambassadors in Israel’s history,” such as challenging the Obama administration over the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334, which condemned Israeli neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria. The resolution passed as the United States did not exercise its automatic veto power and instead abstained.
Regarding Danon, she said he “has been a searing voice of reason and of the truth in the United Nations, who has had to defend Israel on an almost daily basis from unwarranted and viscous attacks, that no one would dare to wage on another country, especially in a similar situation.”
Nonetheless, she said, “What we have read and heard about Minister Erdan leads us to believe that he is every bit the man for the task.”
Reports have circulated for some time that Danon would be stepping down at U.N. ambassador. He was first appointed in 2015 for a three-year term and was extended multiple times.
Like Danon, Dermer has also been reported to be stepping down from his post as well. However, his tenure was also extended due to Israel’s political deadlock. Dermer has served as Israel’s envoy to the United States since 2013.
Erdan has served as a Likud Knesset member since first being elected in 2003; prior to that, he was an adviser to Netanyahu and former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. The longtime Likud lawmaker has served in a variety of ministerial roles over the past decade-and-a-half.
According to Haaretz, Dermer will likely step down as ambassador only after the U.S. presidential election in November.
Erdan will continue to serve as a minister in the government until his official appointment as ambassador and take up the U.N. post once the new government approves his nomination.
Israel set to swear-in its new government on Thursday.
Haaretz journalist Dina Kraft was named one of the winners of the B'nai B'rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage, widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage.
Haaretz journalist Dina Kraft was named Wednesday as one of the winners of the B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Award for Journalism Recognizing Excellence in Diaspora Reportage.
Kraft, 48, received the print media award for her Haaretz articles on Jewish communities in the United States and Great Britain.
The articles cited were two stories written in October 2019: “The Pittsburgh Playbook: How a Community Began to Heal” and “The Status of Anti-Semitism in Contemporary America and Britain.”
In her “Pittsburgh Playbook” story, Kraft returned to the scene of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in American history, a year after 11 worshippers were murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue in October 2018. She heard how the Jewish community rebuilt internally and worked with its Christian and Muslim neighbors to begin the healing process.
Read the Pittsburgh story here
And in her story on contemporary anti-Semitism, she interviewed the likes of Bari Weiss and Keith Kahn-Harris to learn how “the oldest hatred” plays out on the right and left of the political spectrum.
Read the anti-Semitism story here
Maryland-born Dina began her journalism career with The Associated Press, first as a correspondent in Jerusalem and later in Johannesburg, covering southern Africa. As a freelancer she has written for JTA, The New York Times, The Washington Post, among others, and is currently correspondent for Haaretz and the Christian Science Monitor. She also hosts the Hadassah-sponsored podcast The Branch, about ties between Jewish Israelis and Palestinians.
In Boston, after completing the Nieman Fellowship at Harvard, Dina was the director of a digital journalism graduate program at Northeastern University. She was also an Ochberg Fellow at Columbia University's Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma.
The B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism was established in 1992, recognizing excellence in reporting on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations in the Israeli print, broadcast and online media.
The award is widely recognized as the most prestigious prize in the Israeli media industry for Diaspora reportage and was established to help strengthen the relationship between Israel and the Diaspora.
Dina has also written extensively about the Holocaust. Two of her best-read stories in Haaretz related to Hungarian teenager Judit Ornstein and her recently discovered secret diary, which led to her being dubbed “the Anne Frank of Budapest.”
You can read those stories here:
Newly Discovered Diary Chronicles Jewish Girl’s Life in Nazi-occupied Hungary
Unrequited love and close calls with Nazis: The story behind the ‘Anne Frank of Budapest
The Jerusalem Post covered B'nai B'rith International's letter to urging German Foreign Minister Heiko to condemn a German diplomat for defending an academic who promotes the BDS movement, spreads anti-Semitism, and trivializes the Holocaust.
BERLIN— The fallout from an alleged anti-Israel scandal embroiling Germany’s foreign ministry widened this week with B’nai B’rith International blasting a diplomat for defending an academic who promotes the BDS movement, spreads antisemitism, and trivializes the Holocaust.
The Jerusalem Post has exclusively obtained the letter B’nai B’rith sent to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“On behalf of B’nai B’rith International’s more than 100,000 members and supporters in over 40 countries, we write to express our deep dismay at recent tweets by Andreas Görgen, the Ministry’s director for culture and communication. Mr. Görgen has posted multiple times on his official twitter feed in defense of Achille Mbembe, a Holocaust-minimizer and denier of Israel’s right to exist,“ the organization wrote.
BDS is an abbreviation for the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement targeting the Jewish state. The German Bundestag classified BDS last year as an antisemitic campaign.
B’nai B’rith added that “Mbembe has signed an abhorrent BDS petition against scholars from Ben Gurion Univeristy. He has called for the ‘global isolation’ of the Jewish state and has compared apartheid to the Holocaust. Görgen’s pro-Mbembe tweets, meanwhile, include the posting of an article accusing Mbembe’s detractors of conducting a 'witch hunt' against him.”
The Jewish organization said it “is alarmed that a senior Foreign Ministry official would use his official twitter feed to defend the bigoted pronouncements of a demagogue who engages in the sort of malicious behavior encapsulated in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism, such as the denial of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination. We would expect the Ministry to forcefully denounce Mbembe, rather than defend him.”
B’nai B’rith continued “we call on you [Maas] to condemn both the bigotry of Mr. Mbembe and the tweets of Mr. Görgen in Mbembe’s defense. We hope that your Ministry will set an important example in this instance by demonstrating zero-tolerance for antisemitism.”
Maas declined to comment to numerous Post press queries.
A spokesperson for the ministry told the Post last week when asked aboutthe topic that ”We ask for your understanding that we won’t comment on the issue mentioned.”
The international human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Rabbi Abraham Cooper told the Post on Tuesday that the NGO is considering including the senior-level German diplomat Görgen on its top 10 list of worst outbreaks of antisemitism and anti-Israelism for 2020 due to his support of antisemitic positions.
Rabbi Cooper, the associate dean of the Wiesenthal Center, said that “Andreas Görgen would be a candidate, especially because of his rank and the timing his tweets and statement, which were made leading up to Yom Hashoah [Holocaust Remembrance Day].”
“It is past due for the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who said he went into politics because of Auschwitz, to start showing in real terms and real life his commitment to fight antisemitism, especially when it rears its head in his Foreign Ministry,” said Cooper.
“I am worried sick that for the second year in row we have consider naming a top echelon official of the German government in the top 10. We need the German Government to act swiftly against antisemitism expressed from within its own diplomats and gatekeepers.”
Last year, the Simon Wiesenthal included Germany’s ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, on its top ten list for equating Israel with the terrorist entity Hamas at the UN and voting repeatedly against the Jewish state.
Last year, the director of the German Foreign Ministry’s representation for the Palestinian territories, Christian Clages, was revealed to have liked scores of antisemitic tweets while using his government Twitter feed. Clages retained his job. The German paper Bild broke the story about Clages.
The Foreign Ministry disciplined Clages for liking neo-Nazi and KKK tweets. Görgen has refused to answer numerous Post media queries.
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