JNS noted that as part of a special ceremony held at the Holocaust Museum in Oporto, Portugal, honoring the victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, a certificate of tribute was presented to museum director Michael Rothwell. The International Observatory of Human Rights, which sponsored the event, said it would make sure B'nai B'rith International receives a copy of the certificate as "the oldest Jewish organization in defense of human rights."
B'nai B'rith International has consistently supported the Oporto, Portugal Jewish community and the Holocaust Museum of Oporto.
A special ceremony was held in Oporto, Portugal on Friday honoring the victims of the Nazi genocide of the Jews, according to the International Observatory of Human Rights (IOHR), which initiated the event.
The ceremony took place at the Oporto Holocaust Museum—managed by members of the city’s Jewish community whose relatives were murdered by the Nazis—and was attended by 200 teenagers from the city’s schools.
“The event is part of a world cordon of solidarity for universal peace and for a better world for all humanity,” said IOHR president Luis Andrade, adding, “This appalling mass assassination took the lives of millions of Jews, as well as an untold number of other human beings.”
As part of the ceremony, Andrade presented a certificate of tribute to Oporto Holocaust Museum director Michael Rothwell.
“It is a privilege to receive such a tribute, meant for all Holocaust victims, such as my grandparents, Jewish people who were targeted for scientific and industrial annihilation, the likes of which had never before happened in the history of humanity,” said Rothwell upon receiving the certificate.
OIHR said in a statement that “to ensure that the memory of the horrendous massacre remains alive, the Jewish Community of Oporto will make sure that all Holocaust Museums around the world, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International, the oldest Jewish organization in defense of human rights, receive a copy of this certificate.”
Inaugurated early this year by the Jewish Community of Oporto (CIP/CJP), in partnership with the Holocaust Museums of Moscow, Hong Kong, the United States and Europe, the Oporto Holocaust Museum contains a replica of the barracks at Auschwitz, a room of names, photo galleries and more.
B'nai B'rith in The Jerusalem Post: Iran deal: ‘We have to learn from 2015. Don’t free up the sanctions’
In a Jerusalem Post feature article, B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin argues that the world must address Iran's malign activities and human rights abuses, in addition to its aggressive nuclear program, and must not let up on sanctions against Iran.
As the superpowers and Iran gear up for Monday’s seventh round of talks in Vienna, B’nai B’rith International is calling for a united front to make sure that the talks address not only the nuclear program, but also Iran’s malign activities and human rights abuses.
In recent months, the organization has held “many” meetings with EU diplomats both in Europe and at the UN to address these issues.
“We were advocating against the JCPOA even before 2015, and at the time we said that this is not a regime that can be trusted,” says Daniel Mariaschin, CEO of B’nai B’rith International.
“We called for three baskets of negotiations: the nuclear one, which of course is the most threatening, but also for a basket for malign behavior and support for terrorism,” he said. “And then the third basket would be human rights, because the Iranians are among the worst abusers of human rights in the world.”
But the response he got from the Obama administration was “nuclear is front and center,” Mariaschin said. “And I believe it was a naive assumption. Over the past 11 months, our position essentially has not changed. In fact, if anything, it has been reinforced by the behavior of the Iranians from the beginning of this year.
“Three days ago, there was a drone attack on the American base in Syria. I mean, we’re talking about reconvening talks in Vienna at the end of this month, and three days ago they’re still attacking us. They’re attacking our bases in Iraq. They’re attacking the base in Syria.”
Mariaschin said that while the key player is the Biden administration, “the key to presenting a united front on this issue is whether the Europeans are all on the same page. That’s the issue, and I’m not sure we’re there.”
For that reason, B’nai B’rith International has been very active in Europe over the past few months, said Mariaschin.
“In our meetings with European diplomats, and we’ve had many meetings, we have raised all of the issues. My sense is that the Europeans are not as exercised about the Iranian threat as they should be. The Europeans need to be much less equivocal on this issue than they are. I sometimes feel they don’t see Iran’s behavior necessarily as an existential threat for them. I think sometimes they see it as an academic exercise, but not as an existential threat. It’s an existential threat when it comes to the threats against Israel, the threats against the Gulf states. But I think that they are not as exercised. To go back into talks – that’s good [for them] because it’s kicking the can down the road continually, and they would rather kick the can down the road, I believe.
“We’ve also discussed these issues with a couple of Latin American countries because of our concern about the penetration of Iranian influence in the Western Hemisphere.”
Mariaschin said it would be harder to get the Iranians to agree to a “longer and stronger” agreement if the West is signaling eagerness to return to the JCPOA.
“I hope the administration has learned that over the last 11 months, notwithstanding they’re signaling that they want to go back into the JCPOA,” he said. “The Iranians are drawing conclusions based on a sense that the West is desperate.
“If they sense an eagerness, then why would they at any point give up and change their mind about what they’re going to do with the nuclear program? I think ratcheting up your enrichment to 60% is a threat. It’s not a gambit on a negotiating position. So I believe that we have to learn from 2015. Don’t free up the sanctions, don’t allow them to take the extra cash and plow it back in as an investment in their hegemonic activity. Keep sanctions on. Keep it tight. Don’t signal that there’s eagerness.”
Pro-Israel pastor apologizes for hosting event where Michael Flynn called for US to have ‘one religion’
JTA noted our condemnation of Michael Flynn's hateful comment at a far-right rally that "we have to have one religion" in America.
The Christian Zionist pastor of a major church asked forgiveness for allowing the church to host an event where Michael Flynn said that the United States should only have one religion.
“Last week I allowed an event to be held at Cornerstone Church by an outside organization,” Pastor Matt Hagee said in a statement Thursday. “Regrettably, the organization was not properly vetted. It was not appropriate to allow this event at our church. The Church is not associated with this organization and does not endorse their views.”
Hagee’s father is Pastor John Hagee, who founded Christians United For Israel, the powerhouse Christian pro-Israel group.
The event took place on Saturday and was part of ReAwaken America, a Christian-themed speaking tour backed by the Christian news network America Faith. Flynn, former President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, gave a speech at the event calling for a single U.S. religion.
Flynn is also one of the most ardent defenders of Trump’s false claim that he won last year’s presidential election.
“If we are going to have one nation under God, which we must, we have to have one religion,” Flynn said. “One nation under God, and one religion under God.”
The church distanced itself from the rally earlier this week, but video subsequently emerged of Matt Hagee greeting the rally at its outset, which spurred the stronger statement on Thursday. The rally had come under fire from other evangelical Christians because it was political in nature and held in a church, and because it embraced some of the most vituperative themes of the current moment. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Brandon,” a euphemism for an obscene phrase targeting President Joe Biden.
“I was invited to welcome the crowd where I thanked veterans for their service and thanked the crowd for their commitment to their faith,” Hagee said in his statement. “I deeply regret, and ask forgiveness, for what took place in the Cornerstone sanctuary as a result of my oversight. In the future, Cornerstone Church will ensure that organizations using our facility are an appropriate reflection of our mission and vision.”
Hagee’s father founded Cornerstone and launched his signature “Nights to Honor Israel” at the church in the early 1980s. Those rallies and their popularity led the elder Hagee to found CUFI in 2006.
Jewish organizations including the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America and B’nai B’rith International have condemned Flynn’s remarks.
JNS noted our letter, together with 20 other major Jewish organizations, to the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to confirm Deborah Lipstadt as the next U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism.
Some 21 Jewish organizations wrote to the heads of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday urging them to swiftly approve Deborah Lipstadt as the next anti-Semitism envoy.
“As Jewish organizations dedicated to protesting the rights and security of the Jewish people, we believe that the U.S. Special Envoy position is crucial to addressing the global rise in antisemitic violence, harassment, vandalism, attitudes and incitement,” the groups wrote in a letter to Foreign Relations chairman Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and ranking member James Risch (R-Idaho).
The letter adds: “Every day that we delay filling this critical position, we are endangering people’s lives. We cannot let antisemitism become a wedge issue in today’s polarized politics.”
The organizations signing the letter include American Jewish Congress, Anti-Defamation League, Central Conference of American Rabbis, B’nai B’rith International, Hadassah, J Street, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Jewish Labor Committee, Jewish War Veterans, Jewish Women International, National Council of Jewish Women, NCSEJ, ORT America, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructing Judaism, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Jewish Federations of North America, Union for Reform Judaism, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Women’s League for Conservative Judaism and World Jewish Congress.
It is the latest in a series of calls by American Jewish organizations urging the Senate to approve Lipstadt. Last week, the Orthodox Union, Anti-Defamation League and the Jewish Federations of North America also sent a letter to the Senate urging her approval.
Republicans have raised concern over Lipstadt’s past tweets, including calling Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) statements white supremacy when he said during a radio interview that he was not concerned by the mostly white insurgents at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, but would be concerned if former President Donald Trump had won the election and those rioting at the Capitol were Black Lives Matters protesters or members of Antifa. She has also been criticized for appearing in an ad last year where she likened Trump’s rhetoric to Nazi Germany.
The Dorot Professor of Modern Jewish History and Holocaust Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Lipstadt is a Holocaust historian and author known for defeating a libel lawsuit from British Holocaust-denier David Irving in the late 1990s. She was nominated for the envoy position by Biden in July. The position was created in 2004, but upgraded to the rank of ambassador in 2020, requiring the nominee to be confirmed by the Senate.
The Algemeiner and JNS included our statement prominently in coverage of American Jewish organizations calling for the swift confirmation of Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the next U.S. anti-Semitism envoy.
Several US Jewish groups have called for the swift confirmation of Holocaust historian Deborah Lipstadt to serve as the Biden administration’s antisemitism envoy, following reports of delays in her Senate hearing process.
A professor of Jewish history at Emory University in Atlanta, Lipstadt was appointed in Julyas the State Department’s Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. The post will hold the rank of ambassador for the first time due to bipartisan legislation passed in January, thus requiring Senate confirmation.
Jewish Insider reported Wednesday that Republican members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were still in the process of reviewing past tweets by Lipstadt that were harshly critical of committee members, including charges of “white nationalism.”
On Friday, B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin called on the senators to lift any hold on Lipstadt’s confirmation.
“Her distinguished academic background, along with her active engagement in the fight against antisemitism, makes her eminently qualified for the post,” they said in a statement. “The special envoy position is vitally important to the fight against the dramatic rise in antisemitism globally in all of its manifestations.”
In a letter sent Thursday to Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Jim Risch (R-ID), the Jewish Federations of North America, the Orthodox Union, and the Anti-Defamation League called the hearing “overdue.”
“Even for those of our organizations that generally have a policy to neither endorse nor oppose nominees pending before the Senate for confirmation, we are compelled to urge you to hold the Committee’s hearing on Prof. Lipstadt’s nomination without further delay,” the groups said.
“The global Jewish community needs the United States to be a leader in the fight against antisemitism and we must not waste more time leaving our lead official in this fight off the field.”
Lipstadt was the founding director of its Institute for Jewish Studies, and has penned works on the American press during the Holocaust, the trial of Adolf Eichmann, and her own successful court battle against British Holocaust denier David Irving.
If confirmed, she would succeed former Los Angeles prosecutor Elan Carr, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2019.
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