With Israel's elections in the rear-view mirror, the debate over Israel-U.S. relations continues among American Jewish organizations, as noted in the Jerusalem Post on Monday.
B'nai B'rith International has reiterated its support for Israel regardless of its ruling party, and likewise calls upon the United States and Israeli governments to resolve any differences.
Read quotes from Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin in the New York Jewish Week, below:
With tensions between the United States and Israel running at a fever pitch, even the benign, ritually symbolic words of the Passover seder have suddenly become charged with divisiveness and political import.
At the State Department, deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters that the U.S. is now looking to Israel for “actions and policies that demonstrate genuine commitment to a two-state solution, not more words.”
And Obama repeated Tuesday that his dispute with Netanyahu is substantive and not personal.
Dan Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, said the “temperature needs to be turned down” and the U.S.-Israel relationship restored.
B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Marchiaschin was interviewed by The New York Jewish Week in the lead-up to the Israeli elections on Tuesday.
B'nai B'rith International has made multiple public statements since the polls closed, but Mariaschin explained beforehand that the organization was dedicated to Israel's safety and security regardless of the outcome of the elections.
Read highlights from the article, below:
Dan Mariaschin, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, said he is confident that American Jews will remain committed to Israel no matter the outcome of the election.
“At the end of the day, American Jews want a safe and secure Israel, one that will be strong in the face of the tremendous challenges that surround it and that maintains a good relationship with the U.S.,” he said.
“There is no question that those in our community may have a favorite candidate or want a certain outcome, but everyone understands that Israelis will make their choices,” Mariaschin observed. “After the coalition is sealed, there will be one government in Israel … and we will all be working together.
“The threats from ISIS, Islamic extremists, terrorist organizations and Iran will remain the same. … The threats are far more important and the stakes far higher than one issue or another. Whoever winds up leading the coalition will still have to deal with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. And we know that the major parties in Israel — if not all — have the same view of the Iranian threat. So regardless of who wins, the fundamental relationship between us and Israel will remain. We have too many issues in common.”
B'nai B'rith International World Center is excited to announce a first-of-its-kind live, virtual tour of Israel. Friends and members of B'nai B'rith are invited to watch the three-hour tour of the Old City of Jerusalem on March 11, at 10 a.m. (EDT), or catch it archived after the fact.
The announcement was picked up by the New York Jewish Week, which conducted an interview with Alan Schneider, director of the B’nai B’rith World Center.
Read highlights from the article below, and view a mention in a JBS (formerly Shalom TV) broadcast (4:40 mark):
“But we know that many people are not able to visit or have not yet visited, and we thought this would be a good way to expose them to the different sights and sounds of the city. It will be an unedited, live look at Jerusalem using high speed video streaming technology so that it can be done in an affordable way.”
He said the current plan is to use one cameraman/producer, Shmuel Benhamou. And viewers will be instructed in how to text questions about the sites being visited.
“The plan is to go to one site for 45-minutes, then take a 10 or 15-minute break while we travel to another site,” Schneider said. “We’ll take another break before we get to the third site, and so on. And as we go along, we may stop tourists to ask them about their experiences. We might go to the shook [market place] and stop at a shop and bargain for a chatzka [small item]. We also may stop for lunch in the Jewish quarter. It will not be a formal show. It is designed to give people a sense that you are here on a tour.”
As Israel's Operation Protective Edge enters its fifth week in Gaza, non-governmental organizations around the globe continue to chime in with statements.
As noted in an article in the New York Jewish Week, Christians have been split on the issue--often passionately--creating further discussion in the religious community.
B'nai B'rith International is quoted heavily in the article, condemning the letter drafted by several Christian denominations intended to sway the United States' support for Israel.
Read the highlights from the article below:
A total of 32 Christian clergy attended the press conference, along with several rabbis, including Joseph Potasnik, executive vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis.
The press conference came after several other Christian denominations sent a letter to the White House and members of Congress calling for an “investigation” into the security assistance Israel receives from the United States.
Among the groups signing the letter were the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Pax Christi and the United Methodist Church. These same groups made a similar request in 2012 that was rebuffed.
B’nai B’rith International issued a statement decrying the letters and saying the letters make plain the fundamental misapprehensions of its signatories, who see the “underlying causes” of the conflict as Israeli “occupation” and the “siege” of Gaza, as well as the failure to reach a two-state solution.
“Are the denominations who signed this letter aware that Israel completely withdrew from Gaza nine years ago?” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “It even uprooted every single Jewish settlement community there, yet was rewarded with relentless terrorist attacks.”
B’nai B’rith also rejected the letters’ calls for Israel to lift “the Gaza siege.”
“This, however, is clearly not the solution to ending recurring bloodshed because unconditionally ending blockade measures would allow the further, unfettered mobility of armaments and Palestinian terrorists,” the statement said.
“Why would these denominations pin the cause of the conflict on Israel, America’s key democratic ally, yet ignore those complicit in the atrocities carried out by Palestinian terrorists?” asked B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin in the statement. “Repeatedly over the past week, rockets have been uncovered at UN schools in Gaza and cross-border infiltration tunnels were revealed to have been constructed with imported materials, not to mention the indiscriminate firing of rockets putting innocent civilians constantly at risk. Those civilians also include a Christian community that, unlike elsewhere in the region, is free and continuously growing.”
B'nai B'rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin was interviewed for a recent article appearing in The Jewish Week, concerning the recent outbreaks of violence against Jews in the United States and Europe.
The rise in anti-Semitism comes as world headlines continue to feature the escalating violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Read excerpts of his quotes from The Jewish Week.
Such violent and vicious anti-Israel protests are not unique to Europe. In Los Angeles last weekend, four people were arrested for allegedly brandishing sticks and interfering with a pro-Israel demonstration. And in Boston, anti-Israel protestors physically assaulted Jews.
Alarmed that such extremist demonstrations and violence has spread to American shores, senior Homeland Security officials spoke with Jewish leaders in a conference call Monday.
Daniel Mariaschin, international executive vice president of B’nai B’rith International, said the “latest attacks on the French Jewish community remind us that our vigilance in protecting the global Jewish community cannot wane.”
Referring to the scuffles in Los Angeles and Boston, he said, “Perhaps we are importing here the kind of lawless mob-driven way of conducting these so-called demonstrations.”
Mariaschin suggested that one reason for the large demonstrations is the “absolute access people have today to all kinds of media. Anyone can access French TV or media coming out of the Middle East and can see unbridled bias. That has to account for some of this activity.”
Asked about the two violent demonstrations in the U.S. last weekend, he replied: “The level of audacity has risen to a dangerous point. In this country we have been very fortunate that we have not had those kind of European or Middle Eastern-style of demonstration, but one has to be concerned about it.”
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