by Bryan Edward Stone, Ph.D.
There is a painting in the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Calif., called “Éxodo” (“Exodus”). Produced in Mexico in 1951, it depicts an undulating line of dark, cloaked figures stretching into the distance. Surrounding them is the barrenness of the desert. A turbulent sky roils overhead in dramatic colors and bold, expressionistic brush strokes. In the foreground, at the head of the endless procession, a Mexican couple walks barefoot, struggling into the wind, the hardship of long travel plain on their faces. He wears tattered clothes, a fist pressed anxiously to his forehead. She is wrapped in a flowing blanket, whose folds suggest the form of an infant in her arms beneath it. Her small, pretty face is the very picture of worry.
This image is striking and powerful. By presenting the migration of Latinos in a way so reminiscent of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt, the artist identifies their migration with an ancient, universal experience. These aren’t “illegals,” but just another multitude on a desperate flight to freedom...
Rabbi Zielonka resolved that the best course was to encourage the immigrants who arrived in Mexico to settle there permanently. He estimated Mexico’s entire native Jewish population at just 75 families, and the influx could strengthen and diversify that small community, while providing refuge for European Jews unable to gain entry to the United States.
The rabbi enlisted the help of B’nai B’rith, the international fraternal society in which he was an active member, and the organization committed $20,000 to establish a bureau in Mexico City to provide the immigrants with emergency relief, Spanish language instruction, and loans to start businesses and to bring their families to Mexico.
Hollace Ava Weiner, whose book, “Jewish Stars in Texas,” describes Rabbi Zielonka’s Mexican project in depth, summarized the new community’s eventual success. “As Jews became self-sufficient, they repaid B’nai B’rith more than $230,000. They formed their own loan societies, as well as Jewish clubs, Yiddish schools and kosher delicatessens. They spawned a flourishing Jewish community and a network of 20th-century synagogues...more.
Citing a B'nai B'rith International and European Jewish Congress program at the European Parliament - http://youtu.be/-NGe17ApMGQ?t=6m23s
Most French Jewish parents enroll their children in private schools because of anti-Semitism, a leader of France’s Jewish community said.
Anti-Semitism “affects Jewish families very seriously and is the main reason there are so few Jewish children in public schools,” Roger Cukierman, president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said Tuesday during a symposium on anti-Semitism at the European Parliament. “Most of them go to Jewish or Christian private schools.”
Cukierman spoke at a symposium organized by the European Jewish Congress and B’nai B’rith International with European lawmakers on the findings of a recent survey undertaken last year by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency among 5,847 self-identified Jews from nine European countries...more.
Treinta y cinco años después se abre una puerta para Irán. Tras 3 rondas de conversaciones, Teherán y el Grupo 5+1 - los cinco miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU (Estados Unidos, Rusia, China, Francia y Reino Unido) más Alemania- han llegado a un acuerdo inicial sobre el programa nuclear iraní, que puede dar un gran vuelco a la situación geopolítica de Oriente Medio.
El objetivo, en los próximos 6 meses, es frenar el programa atómico a cambio del levantamiento paulatino de las sanciones que han ahogado la economía iraní. Muchas de esas sanciones afectan a los recursos energéticos de Irán, y es que el país tiene las segundas mayores reservas de gas y las cuartas de petróleo en el mundo.
El cambio de estilo del presidente iraní, Hassan Rohaní, y, sobre todo, las duras sanciones económicas impuestas por Naciones Unidas al régimen de los ayatolás han dado su fruto. Sin embargo, el camino a recorrer todavía es muy largo y se enfrenta con obstáculos por parte de los más extremistas en Irán. Además, hay que esperar para ver si el Congreso de EE UU acepta levantar el castigo. Tanto saudíes como israelíes presionarán a los congresistas estadounidenses para imponer nuevas sanciones a Teherán, lo que obligaría a Barack Obama a ejercer su derecho a veto para evitar la ruptura del pacto de Ginebra. Sin embargo, el presidente tarde o temprano necesitará al Capitolio para llegar a un acuerdo conjunto sobre Irán.
Israel podría contar con el apoyo de gran parte de los países árabes de la región, sobre todo, con Arabia Saudí. Para expertos en la zona como Eduardo Kohn, el diálogo entre ambos países, sin relaciones diplomáticas, no es un cambio sin importancia en la geopolítica de la región; aunque sean una suerte de socios circunstanciales. Para el ex ministro israelí de Energía Atómica, Dan Meridor, no sólo son posibles nuevas alianzas sino que ya se buscan. Arabia Saudí, los países del Golfo Pérsico, Jordania y Egipto están en el radar israelí. Si la distensión con EE UU se convierte en el futuro en un restablecimiento de relaciones con Irán, las consecuencias regionales e internacionales serían muy profundas. Arabia Saudí e Israel, a pesar de que no coincidan exactamente en sus intereses, verían amenazada su posición hegemónica en la zona: Tel Aviv pretende abortar el programa nuclear iraní, mientras que Riad vería peligrar su supremacía regional y religiosa. Pese a que los saudíes han dicho que un acuerdo provisional sobre el programa nuclear iraní sería un paso hacia una solución integral, que podría llevar a la eliminación de las armas de destrucción masiva en Oriente Medio (en clara referencia a Israel), sus pasos se dirigen a conseguir también el arma atómica con la ayuda de Pakistán. Una escalada atómica en una zona tan volátil no sería deseable ni política ni económicamente en la escena global...more.
by Marissa Higdon
The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith International said they do not think the nuclear deal with Iran is enough.
“The agreement announced Nov. 23 in Geneva does not go far enough in reversing Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon,” the group said in a press release on Monday.
B’nai B’rith warned that more needs to be done to discourage Iran from building nuclear weapons.
“The diminution of sanctions—that were years in the making—which this deal permits will weaken the international community’s ability to impose serious economic consequences in the future,” the group said. “What is needed now is additional economic pressure to finally force the Iranians to verifiably abandon their nuclear weapons program...more.
Jewish groups are anxious about the $7 billion in sanctions relief Iran is receiving in the deal it reached with the P5+1 powers in Geneva over the weekend, citing Iran’s past behavior.
“The diminution of sanctions—that were years in the making—which this deal permits will weaken the international community’s ability to impose serious economic consequences in the future. What is needed now is additional economic pressure to finally force the Iranians to verifiably abandon their nuclear weapons program,” stated B’nai B’rith International...more.
the algemeiner: American Jewish Leaders Censure Nuclear Deal; Lauder Says No Way Iran Will Honor Agreement
by Dovid Efune
American Jewish leaders reacted with deep skepticism on Sunday to details of a deal reached overnight between Iran and world powers in Geneva. The deal calls for Iran to halt key parts of its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief of approximately $7 billion dollars. But the interim agreement allows Iran to retain its nuclear production line, against the wishes of many Jewish groups who sought the dismantling of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.
Daniel S. Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of the B’nai B’rith, said, “The deal signed in Geneva does not go far enough in reversing Iran’s ability to produce a nuclear weapon,” in an email to The Algemeiner. “The high speed centrifuges will still remain in place, and it remains unclear whether Tehran will permit full or only ‘managed’ access to all of its nuclear facilities. Its long history of deception on inspections is cause for much skepticism on this point...more.
Retrouvez la première émission du Bar des fleurs en podcast, une émission présentée par Nuno Wahnon Martins avec le Bn’ai B’rith France et le B’nai B’rith International avec pour invitée Veronica Lope Fontagné
by Steven Chaitman
Israel and the United States have a little-known ally in an equally little-known region of the world – Azerbaijan.
“Azerbaijan stands as a friend of the United States and a friend of Israel in a very difficult neighborhood,” said Elin Suleymanov, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States. Suleymanov was the guest speaker at a lunch meeting of the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago on Nov. 21.
Azerbaijan, which gained independence from the former Soviet Union in 1991, is a secular-run country bordering Iran and Russia with a majority population of Shia Muslims. It has also supported a longstanding Jewish community, today numbering about 20,000. Suleymanov said that Ashkenazi Jews live in major urban centers such as the capital, Baku, and a Sephardic community has existed in Quba since before record.
Dan Mariaschin, Executive Vice President of B’nai B’rith, which has long worked closely with Suleymanov and Azerbaijan, introduced the ambassador and later said that the American Jewish community has long seen the country as a potential friend in the Middle East, as it was one of few safe havens for Soviet Jews...more.
On Sept. 14, I stopped at Walgreens at the corner of McClure and Knoxville. As I was getting out of my car the door started closing and the bottom corner of the door hit my right leg above the ankle and made a gash in my leg and blood was running all over. I had a package of tissues in my purse and removed them to pat the wound and absorb some of the blood. I walk with a cane and I knew I had to get help, so I proceeded into Walgreens Pharmacy department telling the woman there that I needed help with my bleeding leg. She came to my aid almost immediately, but when she saw my leg, she said she had to get some supplies, returning with a box of antiseptic wet wipes and proceeded to clean and care for my wound. I asked if they could take my insurance card and she said, “No, we are here to help.”
When finished cleaning the wound and putting on a large bandage, she asked if I had bandages like that at home. I told her I didn’t think so and would buy a box. She went to the shelf where they were and brought a box to me. Later I was told her name is Yen.
Walgreens is so lucky to have such a wonderful, caring and knowledgeable person working for them. My thanks to Yen and Walgreens.
A grateful senior citizen at B’nai B’rith
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