by Raphael Ahren
Israel has lambasted UNESCO over the passage of a Palestinian-sponsored resolution condemning Israel over its activities in Jerusalem, saying that such moves will eventually destroy the organization.
“This is a dark day for UNESCO, a day the organization will want to erase from its history as it demonstrates that it is acting outside the boundary of reality,” Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“This is just the latest example of the Palestinians exploiting their unilaterally-pursued elevated status within such bodies as UNESCO to push an anti-Israel agenda and to divert the UN from upholding its mission,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said in a statement. “The World Heritage Committee has important business to which it should be attending, rather than singling out Israel and continuing to fuel the Palestinians’ delusional worldview...more.
La Palabra Israelita: Nuevas convenciones de OEA complementar-n Ley Zamudio (SPANISH) - featuring Eduardo Kohn, director of Latin American affairs at B'nai B'rith International
Estas convenciones son una respuesta global al reclamo de la sociedad civil. Como ́de una gran trascendencia calific Eduardo Kohn, Director para AmÈrica Latina de B'nai B'rith Internacional, lo acontecido en la ̇ultima reunion de la OEA...more.
by Susan Gittelman, executive director of B'nai B'rith Housing
Housing ownership is coming back. It's been awhile.
At one point, the homeownership rate in the United States reached almost 70 percent, high even for America. Program after federal program joined forces with private lenders and Wall Street to encourage everyone in the country to own.
But then trouble began. The housing bubble, borrowers overextending themselves, the sloppy securitization of loans, “robosigning” schemes and other sketchy practices designed to defraud the most vulnerable in our society. Thankfully, most of it is behind us, after the crisis that hit in 2008. All that went up in a puff of smoke, and with a lot of personal pain and distress, as values collapsed, homes went unsold and abandoned and foreclosures mounted...more.
A B’nai B’rith esteve presente na quinta-feira, dia 13, na reunião com os representantes de 18 Conferências Regionais da Igualdade Racial que se realizarão entre 6 de julho e 3 de agosto de 2013, abrangendo os mais de 600 municípios paulistas. O evento aconteceu na Secretaria da Justiça e da Defesa da Cidadania do Estado de São Paulo, responsável pela organização da 3ª Conferência Estadual de Promoção de Igualdade Racial, no mês de agosto, preparatória para a etapa nacional, em novembro...more.
Eduardo Kohn, director of Latin American affairs at B'nai B'rith International, interviewed...more.
Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, will be honored for his humanitarianism by B’nai B’rith International.
B’nai B’rith will present its Distinguished Humanitarian Award to Selig on June 27 in New York City for his efforts in youth education and training, diversity and environmental advocacy.
Among those scheduled to speak at the dinner honoring Selig are Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson as well as an author and educator, and Joe Torre, a former player and manager, and now Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations...more.
by Eric Fusfield
Europe's half-solution on Hizbullah is no solution at all.
In a development long awaited and much debated, Europe is finally moving closer to designating Hizbullah a terrorist organisation.
Or is it? Reports of Europe's newfound resolve in stopping the Hizbullah threat, regrettably, may be exaggerated.
The main obstacle in the effort to undercut Hizbullah in Europe has always been France, which has historic ties to Hizbullah's home country of Lebanon. France has long argued that blacklisting Hizbullah would upset the balance of power in Lebanon, where the organisation plays a political role.
In recent weeks, though, French officials have signalled their government's willingness to designate Hizbullah's military wing a terrorist organisation if the latter's role in a bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria last year is confirmed. Germany has also indicated it might favour blacklisting Hizbullah's armed branch, while the United Kingdom already has such a ban in place.
With the European Union's ‘big three' – France, Germany and Great Britain – on board, Europe might finally muster the consensus required to impose an European Union-wide ban on Hizbullah's military wing.
But what would such a move really mean? Unfortunately, not as much as Europeans would like to suggest.
A ban on Hizbullah's military branch would not stop the political wing of the organisation from operating openly in Europe, as it has done for years. Raising funds, recruiting, acquiring technological training and materials – all of these activities would continue with impunity. And no authority could stop the political arm of Hizbullah from using fungible assets to support the organisation's military and criminal activities.
Hizbullah is an organisation with a unified command structure that oversees all of the group's disparate, and often illicit, activities. Many of Hizbullah's leaders, including its current secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah, have been linked to the organisation's terrorist activities; indeed, their terrorist and criminal exploits have been instrumental to their rise within Hizbullah's structure.
What makes Europe's propensity to differentiate between the military and political branches of Hizbullah almost comical is that Hizbullah itself makes no such distinction. “Hizbullah has a single leadership,” Nasrallah's deputy, Naim Qassem, told a reporter in 2009. “The same leadership that directs the parliamentary and government work also leads jihad actions in the struggle against Israel.”
So far the Netherlands is the only EU member-state to blacklist Hizbullah outright, in doing so joining the United States, Israel, Canada, and even Bahrain.
But as the rest of Europe continues to suspend disbelief that Hizbullah is a single entity, the cost of such wilful denial – including the cost to European security – continues to rise. Overwhelming evidence points to Hizbullah's involvement last year not only in the Bulgaria attack, but in a foiled plot in Cyprus, as well.
Hizbullah today is increasingly coming to resemble the Hizbullah of the 1980s and 1990s, when the group routinely attacked civilian targets related to Israeli and other Western interests. Add to this the destructive role Hizbullah is playing in Syria by allying itself with the regime of President Bashar Assad, and the case for Europe blacklisting Hizbullah is more compelling than ever.
Europe's reluctance to ban Hizbullah outright can largely be attributed to fear of armed reprisal at home or abroad, as well as concern for how such a move might stir Europe's own restive Muslim population. However, Europeans cannot continue to mask their fecklessness by embracing the chimera of two separate and discrete Hizbullahs: one political, one military; one good, one bad. The consequences of perpetuating this falsehood are far more frightful than the alternative.
Eric Fusfield is deputy director of the B'nai B'rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy, which describes itself as a global voice of the Jewish community...more.
by Anthony Santigate
Staten Island Technical High School's own Ashley Deng has won this year's Diverse Minds Youth Writing Challenge with her own children's book, "We Are All Atoms." Her winning book, along with the other winners, were celebrated on Monday at an awards ceremony hosted by the New York Stock Exchange.
Diverse Minds is a contest where high school students write and illustrate children's books to help elementary school children celebrate tolerance and diversity, in line with the goals of the contest's creator, the human rights and advocacy organization B'nai B'rith International.
"We Are All Atoms", written and illustrated by Ms. Deng, uses science to explain that because everything in the world is comprised of atoms, everyone should be treated the same, despite their differences...more.
Yesterday, B'nai B'rith International spoke before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva during the anti-Israel "agenda item 7" session. B'nai B'rith addressed UNHRC special rapporteur Richard Falk's appalling recent comments blaming the Boston Marathon bombings on the United States' foreign policy, and urged his removal.
Klaus Netter, B'nai B'rith representative to the U.N. in Geneva, said:
Just a few weeks ago, the entire world was shocked to hear and see the bombing that occurred at the end of the Boston Marathon, resulting in the death of three and the injury of hundreds of innocent bystanders. Yet, there were a few contrary reactions, such as the one expressed by the special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories... In the Foreign Policy Journal dated 21 April 2013, he wrote: 'The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance... the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks.'
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