Arutz Sheva covered news of a commemorative event hosted by B'nai B'rith World Center-Jerusalem and the Philippine embassy in Israel on Jewish refugees in the Philippines.
The Philippine Embassy in Israel, in partnership with the B'nai B'rith World Center, will be holding "Safe Haven: Jewish Refugees in the Philippines", a commemorative event held in tandem with an event in New York hosted by the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York, B’nai B’rith International, and the US-Philippine Society, to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January at the Balai Quezon.
The event will take place at the Embassy of the Philippines in Tel Aviv, 18 Bnei Dan Street at 18:00 PM (arrival and registration from 17:30).
The event, which focuses on Philippine President Manuel L. Quezon's landmark "Open Doors Policy" offering safe haven in the Philippines to Jewish people fleeing the Holocaust in Europe, will feature a panel discussion with Professor Robert Rockaway of Tel Aviv University, as well as screenings of excerpts from ABS-CBN iWANT documentary, The Last Manilaners, and Star Cinema's feature film on President Quezon's decision to accept Jewish refugees, Quezon's Game.
Mr. Max Weissler and Ms. Margot Pins Kestenbaum, the two "Manilaners" still living in Israel, will attend the event as special guests.
From 1937 to 1941, President Quezon extended visas to Jewish refugees who sought to escape the growing terror of the Holocaust in Europe. This policy, which came to be known as the "Open Doors Policy", led to the entry of close to 1,300 Jewish refugees to the Philippines, where they settled in Manila - leading them to refer to themselves, fondly, as "Manilaners". This little-known part of the shared history between Filipinos and the Jewish people was first brought to light in Frank Ephraim's book, Escape to Manila, and has since become the foundation of bilateral relations between the Philippines and the State of Israel.
Balai Quezon, the Philippine Embassy's cultural center, was inaugurated in 2019 to build awareness of President Quezon's policy and its impact on Philippine-Israel relations.
The Jewish Broadcasting Service covered testimony B'nai B'rith submitted to the Committee on Homeland Security in advance of a hearing on domestic terrorism. The testimony advocated for anti-Semitism countermeasures, including the appointment of a special coordinator on anti-Semitism based in the Department of Justice.
The National Herald - Mitsotakis Meets with Board of Greek-American and American-Jewish Organisations
The National Herald covered a meeting between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and representatives from B'nai B'rith International, AHEPA, AHI and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. The meeting occurred during the group's biannual trilateral mission to the Eastern Mediterranean.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Thursday with the boards of Greek-American and American-Jewish organisations that are touring Cyprus, Israel and Greece.
Mitsotakis received the delegations at 13:00 at the Maximos Mansion. During the meeting, the organisations reaffirmed their close cooperation for the promotion of stability, peace and prosperity in the Southeastern Mediterranean region via the coordination of actions and of the cooperation between Greece, Israel and Cyprus.
The National Herald covered the second leg of B'nai B'rith International's biannual trilateral conference with AHEPA, the AHI and the Conference of Presidents. This leg of the trip took place in Cyprus.
AHEPA under the leadership of George Horiates along with the American Hellenic Initiative (AHI), the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish American Organizations, and B’nai B’rith continued their joint oversees mission in Cyprus. After a highly successful first leg in Jerusalem, the delegation went to Cyprus.
After their arrival, the delegation had meetings with Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Christodoulidis, Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Cypriots Photis Photiou, House of Representatives President Demetris Syllouris, National Guard Chief of the General Staff Lt. General Ilias Leontaris, and the U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Judith Garber.
AHEPA Supreme President George Horiates met with President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades. Photo: FacebookThe delegation was also received at the Presidential Palace by the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nicos Anastasiades.
The parties discussed many issues including the East Med bill, energy and security issues and the trilateral partnership between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel.
The trilateral conference between these Greek and Jewish organizations was particularly recognized as being of significance. The delegation continues on to Athens for a round of talks in Greece tomorrow.
Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn in Semanario Hebreo Jai - ¿Alguien no sabe dónde están los asesinos?
B'nai B'rith International's Director of Latin American Affairs Eduardo Kohn published this Spanish-language op-ed in Semanario Hebreo Jai about how justice has still not been served in the death of Jewish prosecutor Alberto Nisman.
A casi 5 años del asesinato del Fiscal Alberto Nisman
En pocos días, cuando sea 18 de enero,se cumplirán cinco años desde la muerte del Dr. Alberto Nisman,el Fiscal de la causa AMIA que iba a declarar al día siguiente en el Congreso y denunciar a la Presidenta de Argentina, a su Canciller y a todos los involucrados en la masacre.
Pero Nisman no pudo hablar. Se convirtió en la víctima 86 del atentado a la AMIA.Y su muerte no pudo ser formalmente declarada como homicidio. Así como no se puede, y no se podrá llevar a juicio a los que diseñaron, planificaron y ejecutaron la masacre de la AMIA porque están protegidos en distintas ciudades de Irán,tampoco parece haber forma que Nisman pueda descansar en paz.
Tampoco descansarán en paz las casi 180 víctimas que viajaban en un avión civil de línea ucraniano que Irán derribó de un misilazo y dijo después que "fue un error humano",y culpó del error a Estados Unidos.O sea, como Irán aduce que podría haber habido hostigamiento de parte de Estados Unidos,la culpa de creer que un avión civil era un misil es...de Estados Unidos. Los asesinos,muy tranquilos.
En 1992,volaron la Embajada de Israel en Buenos Aires.
En 1994, volaron la AMIA.
En 2015,callaron a Nisman.
Los aliados de Irán en América Latina hacen silencio, y es lógico. Son cómplices conscientes y fervorosos.
Los demás,¿creen que el silencio puede impedir que el próximo misilazo caiga más cerca?
Obvio que los que pueden hablar, y hacen silencio,saben que es una vía que deja abierta todos los riesgos frente a los que no tienen pudor y piensan que el otro es el enemigo, y matar puede ser "un error".
A cinco años de su muerte,Nisman está por ser asesinado otra vez.
The Jerusalem Post published an op-ed by B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin about the need for allies in the fight against anti-Semitism.
As we are experiencing antisemitism at levels we had hoped were a plague of the past, I have thought back to my earliest recollection of antisemitism in the United States: Hearing my mother talking about the Holocaust, not even 10 years after the great tragedy that befell European Jewry. As I look back, I see that was something that preyed on her mind for the rest of her life. She had lost family members in the round-ups and mass shootings in Lithuania, and I know not being able to bring them over to the United States before the abyss of barbarity that befell them troubled her greatly.
One common thread that has emerged from my recollections of personal experiences with antisemitism is that there are good people who stand up for what is right. It was true back then and it needs to be true today.Read More Related Articles
My mother would also talk about the American antisemites that prospered in the years leading up to our entry into World War II, like Father Coughlin and Gerald L.K. Smith. In our bookcase at home was a copy of Under Cover by John Roy Carlson, who had infiltrated pro-Nazi and far right organizations like the German American Bund, the Gray Shirts, American Patriots and others over a four-year period.
Carlson – a pen name for Arthur Derounian, an Armenian immigrant brought to the United States in the 1920s – dove deep into an underworld populated by antisemites and Nazi sympathizers who attracted a following throughout the country.
My mother often referenced the book, and I would take it off the shelf from time to time, open it randomly, and read about one or another of the organizations profiled by Derounian. As a teenager, I wrote a letter to the ADL office in Boston (we lived in New Hampshire) referencing the book and expressing my concern about antisemitism that I sensed was out there, but really had few details about.
Growing up in small-town New England had many benefits, but as Jews we were the tiniest minority. There were about 25 Jewish families in a 25-mile radius of where we lived. In my town there were just four families, and for a time, I was the only Jewish student in the school district. I occasionally experienced some antisemitism from some schoolmates on the playground or in the hallways right through middle school. This usually came in the form of taunts; two of the most frequently used were “nose” – an allusion to the stereotype of Jews having long noses, or what I would call the fake sneeze: “a-Jew!”But those who engaged in this form of bullying were very few in number. Looking back, I have no doubt that these crude expressions of hatred were passed down in their families, all by people who had actually never encountered Jews before. It hurt to be on the receiving end of these taunts, and if it were not for parents who bolstered my Jewishness and prepared me for this kind of rattling experience, it would have been even more unsettling. Adding balm to the verbal attacks on the playground was the support I received from teachers, and especially my non-Jewish friends and their parents.
IN THE fifth grade – at this point there were several Jewish students in our school – I was called out of class by our teacher, Florence Kellom. She had probably taught school for close to several decades, and I may have been her first Jewish student. Like any kid, I wondered what I had done wrong. On the contrary, Mrs. Kellom told me that a swastika has been found on the wall of the boys’ bathroom, and she wanted me to know that the janitor had washed it off. That she was eager for me to hear this from her, and then assuring me not to worry, told me everything I needed to know about the importance of friends from outside our community in the battle against antisemitism.
In the seventh grade I ran for class office. During recess, someone shouted “Jewboy” at me and I saw red, running at the tormenter and pushing him to the ground, all in full view of other students. With the election imminent, I didn’t know what effect my uncharacteristic schoolyard anger might have on the outcome. In the week that followed I, along with the other candidates, gave my campaign speech, and I recall making a reference to, and identifying with, the 1960 presidential election where John F. Kennedy had been subjected to anti-Catholic rhetoric in the campaign (something that cropped up in our dinner table talk at home that year).
As the years have passed, the outcome of the election itself is not as important as what to me was the nasty experience I had that day on the playground. My seventh-grade home room teacher, Eddie Main – who has remained a friend to this day – recognized the challenges I faced as a minority of one in my class, and was as reassuring to me as Mrs. Kellom had been two years before.
In the time since, I’ve come to believe there are two kinds of antisemitism: one that emerges from ignorance, and one that is intentionally aimed to inflict harm.In the past several decades, the one that emanates from unfamiliarity with things Jewish seems to have diminished somewhat. More is known today about the Holocaust, thanks to TV programs like Winds of War and movies like Schindler’s List. Many Jews have been elected to Congress, and one – Joseph Lieberman – was his party’s nominee for vice president. Jewish actors today go by their real names rather than stage names aimed at hiding their Jewishness. TV news anchors regularly wish Jewish viewers holiday greetings at Rosh Hashanah and Hanukkah. And many fields closed to Jews in an earlier era, like insurance and advertising, are now open.
To borrow a phrase, though, these are the best of times and the worst of times. Who would have thought that a series of physical attacks on Jews in Brooklyn – a borough which has produced so many who have contributed to the building of this country in so many ways – would be the scene of a mini-pogrom during the last couple of months; or that antisemites armed with automatic weapons would prey on Jews who came to daven on Shabbat morning; or that the ideological descendants of the pro-Nazis written about nearly 80 years ago by Arthur Derounian would chant in Charlottesville, the birthplace of Thomas Jefferson, “Jews will not replace us”; or that a surrogate for a major presidential candidate would declare that “Israel is built on the idea of Jewish supremacy”; or that members of Congress would charge us with dual loyalty for expressing our support for the Jewish state?
THE CONUNDRUM we have is not reciting the litany of examples of this epidemic of hate directed at the Jewish community, but at how to push it all back. Defeating it is, of course, a goal, but at the moment the need is to engage in a counter-assault at its purveyors, whom we all need to agree come from the Left, the Right and from Islamic extremists. It takes on all shapes and forms of hate: classic charges of Jewish control of the media, banks and Hollywood, newer charges from anti-Zionists and from the leaders of the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement with comparisons of Israel to Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa – and now physical attacks on the streets of New York.
There is a sense that many are apathetic and indifferent to what is happening to us because we are considered to be in a special category. As a successful ethnic group in America, we should be able to withstand these attacks and see them as only glancing blows in an otherwise very positive picture of our place in American society. Such assumptions and indifference are more than troubling.The antidotes are obvious and yet bear repeating time and again. We need more public officials – not only those in Washington but in city and town halls around the country – to speak up, along with religious figures and community organizers, athletes and celebrities, and others who are seen as role models or who hold important positions in American society, sending the unambiguous message that acts of antisemitism in any form are socially and morally unacceptable. Period.
The media have a responsibility, as well. In the past, there might be an annual story or two about surveys that listed the number of antisemitic incidents that occurred in a particular year, and little else. It took the machete attack in Monsey, New York, to finally bring the problem to the front pages. To those who have access to a bully pulpit – and in today’s world of social media, there are many – the call is to drop everything and join us in this fight against the world’s oldest form of hatred.
I return to my boyhood and the encounters with the taunting I endured. I learned that I had many good friends in my small world who saw the injustice in what was being aimed in my direction and acted in my defense. These were good people and for them, they were doing me no special favors. They spoke up on my behalf or comforted me because they just thought it was right thing to do.
The solidarity march and rally in New York against antisemitism on January 5 was an important event in drawing attention to the problem and in bringing our community together. We are mobilizing to fight the scourge. But as a minority which accounts for less than one-fifth of 2% of the global population, we must look to our non-Jewish friends and allies to join the fight. They are out there in every town and city and on every block and street. We must motivate and activate the many resources that they have, to build the kind of coalitions we’ll need to turn the tide.
I believe there are other Florence Kelloms and Eddie Mainses out there whose voices can add much to our efforts today, especially when we find ourselves so much under attack. There is no time to waste.
JBS - B'nai B'rith International Commends Ukraine for Leaving the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People
JBS News covered B'nai B'rith International's response on Twitter commending Ukraine for leaving the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. Watch below.
Ekathimerini covered B'nai B'rith International's lauding of the recently-signed East Med pipeline agreement between Israel, Cyprus and Greece.
The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), the American Hellenic Institute (AHI), B’nai B’rith International, and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations have welcomed Thursday’s signing of an agreement between Greece, Cyprus and Israel to build the EastMed subsea pipeline to carry natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean’s gas fields to continental Europe.
“The agreement demonstrates the significant progress the trilateral alliance has achieved in energy cooperation and the three countries’ leadership in the region to provide energy security,” the organizations said in a joint statement.
“We applaud the commitment to fostering peace, security, stability, and shared democratic values and ideals, in the region by all parties,” they said.
“We will continue to lend our broad diaspora support and encouragement for advancing the trilateral alliance.”
In its coverage of the newly approved Eastern Mediterranean pipeline agreement between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, the Jerusalem Post cites work by B'nai B'rith International in increasing these trilateral ties.
For Israel, Greece and Cyprus, 2020 is expected to be a year of fruitful cooperation. Their decision to sign an agreement for the construction of the East Med pipeline opens a new chapter in a friendship that has been cemented for over a decade. The success of the partnership lies in the join interests of the three countries in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as in their shared values and common understanding of challenges. The more Jerusalem, Athens and Nicosia talk to each other, the deeper the content of their synergies becomes.
Politics and energy have the lion’s share. The reaction of Turkey to the strengthening of the ‘democratic bloc’ outlines the solid foundations of the latter. The Turkish government takes counter-measures which, inter alia, ignore customary international laws of the sea. This is the case for the MoU signed between Ankara and Tripoli demarcating maritime zones. While Greece and Cyprus take the lead in exposing the illegal, unhelpful and escalatory nature of this agreement, Israel almost immediately expressed its full support and solidarity.
According to Foreign Minister Israel Katz his country’s official position on the Turkish-Libyan maritime deal does not mean it would send ‘battleships to confront Turkey’. But Jerusalem is gradually taking some clear messages about Ankara’s determination to employ a muscular approach to protect its interests in specific maritime zones of the Mediterranean which it believes belong to its own continental shelf. A few weeks ago, for instance, the Turkish navy deported an Israeli research ship from Cypriot waters. This might constitute a precedent for Turkish future actions in areas covered by the aforementioned MoU with Libya.
The Turkish government counts on the UN-backed government of Libya under Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj. It is sending military troops to the war-torn country and forges an alliance with Tunisia and Algeria in its support. President Tayyip Erdogan is playing this card realizing that Israel, Greece and Cyprus are not alone but find additional regional sympathizers such as Egypt. Cairo plays a key role in the recently announced Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum, where Turkey has not yet participated, and favors General Khalifa Haftar – the opponent of al-Sarraj – in the Libyan civil war. Although the conflict in Libya is internationalized and goes beyond regional stakes, the establishment of a foothold by Turkey will certainly empower its position.Israel, Greece and Cyprus work hard to obtain practical US support for their cause. Since the end of 2018, Washington has openly welcomed this tripartite format of collaboration. And now, the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019, already signed by President Donald Trump, enables it to substantially boost the trilateral scheme through energy and defense cooperation initiatives.
Among others, the Act authorizes financial assistance for an International Military Education and Training (IMET) program for Cyprus for the first time. Cyprus significantly matters for Israel to complete training beyond its borders. At the beginning of December, the country hosted an international commando and IAF ‘Game of Thrones’ exercise. IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi visited the exercise area.The ‘democratic bloc’ needs to think creatively and to set the agenda for the future. Initiatives such as the Israel-Hellenic Forum, launched by B’nai B’rith International in Jerusalem last November, will contribute to brainstorming and facilitate the work of political elites. When there is a will, there is a way.Greece and Cyprus are gaining a true friend. Israel is similarly appreciating the sincere friendship. Athens and Nicosia share Jerusalem’s security sensitivities and are able to disseminate them at the European level. The effort needs to be reinforced in 2020. British media reports that Hamas plots attacks on Israel from Turkey cannot any longer be ignored by Europe.
This attempt has to be complemented by the continuous fight against antisemitism. The region of Northern Greece, including Thrace, which underwent the terrible experience of the Holocaust that almost eliminated what was at one time a thriving Jewish community, does not forget. Alexandroupolis has its new Holocaust Memorial. The responsibility to raise awareness is both collective and personal.
The Jewish Broadcasting Service (JBS) interviewed B'nai B'rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin in the aftermath of the stabbing attacks of five Jews at a Hanukkah celebration in Monsey, New York.
In the News
B'nai B'rith International is the Global Voice of the Jewish Community.
All rights reserved. Stories are attributed to the original copyright holders.