(Jerusalem, August 6, 2021)--B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin visited the city of Lod, Israel, with B’nai B’rith World Center-Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider for a meeting with municipal CEO Aharon Attias. The meeting focused on the unprecedented violence directed against Jews and Jewish targets by many Arab residents of the city in a show of support for Hamas during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May.
One Jew and one Arab were killed in the violence, and damage to property is estimated in the tens of millions of Shekels. Attias, who was himself injured in a stone throwing incident, said that the violence which occurred was the worst in the city since it was captured in the War of Independence. Attias described the situation prior to, during and following the violence in the city, during which three synagogues were firebombed and five more were damaged. He expressed regret that outreach by the city to build Jewish-Arab relations had unfortunately failed to quell the violence, which in some cases was neighbor against neighbor.
Following the visit to Lod, the group traveled to the city of Ashdod, founded with critical assistance from former B’nai B’rith President Philip Klutznick. In the presence of Deputy Mayor Avi Amselem, the B’nai B’rith delegation presented delivery of financial assistance to five families who suffered major material damage from incoming rocket fire during Operation Guardian of the Wall and were vetted by the Ashdod Municipality Social Services Department.
Speaking to representatives of the families, Kaufman and Mariaschin stressed that the B’nai B’rith gift—facilitated in part by the B’nai B’rith Frankfurt Lodge—was a show of solidarity and unity with the residents of Ashdod. “Each rocket that hit Ashdod made our hearts miss a beat,” Mariaschin said.
Addressing the group, Kaufman promised that B’nai B’rith would remain engaged with the city and as one people, and took pride in the development of the city, which is today one of Israel’s largest and most beautiful.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.