B’nai B’rith International praises U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-mMoon for reiterating his stance opposing the current Palestinian plan of action in the world body.
The Palestinians are now aiming to gain a foothold in 16 U.N. agencies, but Ban, in an Associated Press interview, noted this route is “not beneficial for Palestine and not beneficial for anybody” as all U.N. agencies need to be both financially and politically sustainable.
“Once again, the world body’s chief has restated his apprehension about the direction the Palestinians are taking,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs. “Hopefully, through Ban’s leadership, the international community can encourage the Palestinians to realize that circumventing direct talks is harmful to peace negotiations.”
The secretary-general reiterated the world body’s support for an independent Palestinian state but cautioned the Palestinian Authority not to rush to join U.N. affiliates. Instead, he hopes they would wait until the U.N. Security Council has made a decision on whether to admit the Palestinians as a member state.
“The only route to two states living next to each other in peace will be through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Gaining international recognition without first defining the parameters of statehood will only exacerbate tensions in the Middle East,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin.
B’nai B’rith decries the reprehensible remarks made on Venezuelan state television Oct. 26, in which a guest denied the Holocaust and repudiated Zionism.
On the show “Contragolpe” (in English: “Counter-Strike”) host Vanessa Davies interviewed Argentine professor Saad Chedid, who was reportedly in Venezuela to give a lecture titled “Philosophic and Semantic Analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
While giving a preview of his lecture, Chedid stated among other things that Theodor Herzl, the father of Zionism, was a “sick and paranoid person,” even implying that there was close collaboration between the Nazis and the Jews to create the “implanted” State of Israel.
Referring to the Holocaust, Chedid denied its existence, saying: “Holocaust is a word that means strictly the total burning of an animal—from a pigeon to a bull—so there’s no Jewish Holocaust. The Jewish ideologues have a weird ability to hide things through the use of another word. For example the Yahweh, which is the god of the Jews, cannot be named…”
“This kind of raw anti-Semitic material can unfortunately be found regularly in the state-owned Venezuelan media and in direct violation of a promise Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made last year to curtail such rhetoric,” said B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs. “In May 2011 B’nai B’rith passed a resolution calling on Chavez to immediately end anti-Semitic expressions. We continue to call for such action now.”
Chedid went on to talk about a 1907 report that purports to prove that Great Britain was planning the establishment of a Jewish state more than 100 years ago, with the intention of preventing Arabs from uniting to win their independence.
“The content of this and other programs on the state-owned media clearly underscores that the government freely allows anti-Semitism in Venezuela,” said B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin. “These remarks made on state-sponsored television clearly lead to the conclusion that these vitriolic anti-Semitic and anti-Israel sentiments are given approbation at the highest levels of the Venezuelan government and must not go unchallenged. We call on the international community to denounce these outrageous claims.”
This is not an isolated incident. The Venezuelan public is frequently subject to this kind of anti-Jewish and anti-Israel propaganda. A few months ago, the director of the Venezuelan National Radio recommended that people read the Protocols of the Elders of Zion [a fraudulent, anti-Semitic text that described a Jewish plan for achieving global domination]. By allowing this type of furiously anti-Semitic material to go unchallenged in the media outlets that they control, the government is directly sponsoring anti-Semitism and hate.
B’nai B’rith International has offices in Latin America and will continue to monitor these developments.
You can view the original video in Spanish here.
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel B. Shapiro delivered the keynote address at the B’nai B’rith ceremony in Jerusalem for the 2011 Award for Journalism Recognizing Diaspora Reportaģe. There, he addressed issues such as the ongoing rocket attacks on southern Israeli cities from Gaza, the U.S.-Israel alliance and the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership.
Referring to the rocket attacks, the ambassador said, “The United States condemns these terror attacks from Gaza. There is no excuse for firing rockets at innocent civilians. The United States supports the right of Israel to defend itself and its citizens.” Shapiro stressed the strong alliance between the two countries and America’s commitment to Israel’s security, noting “it is a profoundly important interest of the United States for Israel to succeed and thrive in the future as a strong, secure Jewish democratic state here in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.”
Addressing the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership, Shapiro said that “the United States has made crystal clear that the core issues of the conflict can only be resolved through direct negotiations.”
In closing, he added: “I have been proud to work closely with B’nai B’rith in Washington and consider myself a partner in its important work for Klal Yisrael (the Jewish People). I commend all of you who support and work for this organization, for fighting anti-Semitism and against anti-Israel bias, your work to ensure the dignity of our community’s older citizens and your help for communities in crisis wherever they are found.”
This year’s reporting awards were presented to Bambi Sheleg, editor of Eretz Acheret; film director Meni Elias; and Noah Klieger of Yedioth Ahronot.
Since its establishment in 1992, the B’nai B’rith World Center Award for Journalism has recognized excellence in reportaģe on contemporary Diaspora Jewish communities and on the state of Israel-Diaspora relations today in Israeli print, electronic and online media. The B’nai B’rith World Center Award is widely acknowledged by the media industry as the most prestigious prize in Israel recognizing excellence in Diaspora reportaģe.
Sheleg, founder and editor-in-chief of the bi-monthly magazine Eretz Acheret (“A Different Israel”), received the Award in Memory of Wolf and Hilda Matsdorf for print media for the November-December 2010 issue of the magazine dedicated to U.S. Jewry. The edition, entitled “Two States for Two Nations? American Jews and Us” included more than a dozen insightful articles about the connection between Israel and U.S. Jewry.
Director/photographer Elias took home the electronic media prize for his captivating documentary “Betzet Israel,” in which he follows three Israeli-Ethiopians on a journey to Ethiopia during which they relive the hardships they endured during their initial journey to Israel via Sudan. The film was produced by Sheba Communications and broadcast on Israel’s Channel 1.
This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award in memory of Luis and Trudi Schydlowsky was conferred upon veteran journalist Klieger.
“Through their professional work the three winners made a significant contribution in exposing the varied image of the Jewish communities in the Diaspora. The award is one of the B’nai B’rith World Center’s main goals in strengthening the bonds between the State of Israel and the Diaspora—bonds which we should nurture and strengthen,” said B’nai B’rith World Center Chairman Haim V. Katz, who moderated the event.
Members of the distinguished award jury were: Dan Pattir, political analyst and media advisor to prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Menachem Begin (Chairman); Yehudith Auerbach, head of the Communication and Journalism Studies Division, Bar Ilan University; Sara Frenkel, Diaspora reporter, Broadcast Authority and Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2002; Shlomo Nakdimon, journalist and columnist; and Asher Weill, publisher and editor of “Ariel,” The Israel Review of Arts and Letters (1981-2003).
The award is named for the late Wolf Matsdorf, former editor of the B’nai B’rith World Center publication “Leadership Briefing” and a journalist in Israel and Australia, and his wife, the late Hilda Matsdorf, a social work pioneer in both Israel and Australia. The award is made possible through donations from Daniel Schydlowsky, a member of the B’nai B’rith World Center International Board of Governors (Lima, Peru and Washington D.C.), and the Matsdorf family.