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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘B’nai Brith’

BiPartisan US House Comm. Squarely Points at PA as Source of Incitement

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Late last week the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed H.Res. 293, a bipartisan resolution that strongly condemns the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic incitement emanating from the Palestinian Authority, including from its acting head, Mahmoud Abbas.

The resolution was introduced in the spring by Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL-27) and Ted Deutch (D-FL-21).

At that time the resolution was directed at the PA incitement against Israelis which “has continued unabated for many years,” including the “glorification of terrorists who have murdered Israeli civilians,” and “the demonization of Jews and Israelis,” and the “denial of Israel’s existence and its demonization as evidenced by the absence of Israel on official maps used in Palestinian Authority institutions,” – this will be discussed further, below – and “false claims that Israel or the Jews are endangering Muslim holy sites, such as the Al-Aqsa mosque/Temple Mount in Jerusalem.”

The Anti-Incitement Resolution was recently amended to reflect the current wave of terrorism unleashed against Israeli citizens by Palestinian Arab terrorists. It singles out for condemnation the statement made last month by acting president of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas, “we welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA-39), unanimously voted out the Resolution, sending it to the full House for consideration.

This Committee, Republican and Democrats alike, approved the strong wording which specifically states that the current violence in Israel has been “inflamed” both by statements made by Abbas, as well as “other Palestinian officials, clerics, and official Palestinian Authority media.”

Compare that language to the words uttered by U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, each of whom have been painstakingly careful “not to place blame” on “one side or the other,” as if it is better to blame both the victim and attacker (or pretend that both are victims or both are attackers), rather than dare condemn the attacker.

The resolution approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee also put the lie to the malicious claims by the Palestinian Authority and its supporters that Israel is to blame for seeking to change the “status quo” on Har Habayit.

The resolution repeatedly refers to such claims as false. Secretary of State Kerry, on the other hand, has repeatedly suggested that Israel needs to clarify its position about the Temple Mount, as if Israeli authorities invited the PA to make the false claims by some wrongdoing.

The resolution also directs the Department of State to regularly monitor and publish information on all official PA incitement against Jews and Israel.

There were 57 co-sponsors of this resolution, 36 Republicans and 21 Democrats.

In addition to Deutch, the other Democratic co-sponsors are Reps. Alan Grayson (D-FL-09), Steve Israel (D-NY-03), Brendan Boyle (D-PA-13), Albio Sires (D-NJ-08), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Lois Frankel (D-FL-22), Alcee Hastings (D-FL-20), Grace Meng (D-NY-06), Brad Sherman (D-CA-30), Juan Vargas (D-CA-51), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Brian Higgins (D-NY-26), Kathleen Rice (D-NY-04), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Karen Bass (D-CA-37), Eliot Engel (D-NY-16), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Bob Brady (D-PA-01), Ted Lieu (D-CA-33), Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1).

Not everyone was happy with the resolution calling for an end to anti-Israel incitement by the PA, however.

Americans for Peace Now was agitated by the lopsidedness of the blame. They found it particularly galling that the resolution condemns the PA for failing to include Israel on any of its maps because – get this – official Israeli maps do not include the state of Palestine on their maps.

Lara Friedman scorched the bipartisan anti-incitement resolution for APN:

They cite the issue of PA maps that do not show Israel, but ignore the fact that the Israeli government is guilty of the same offense, and to what appears to be a far greater and more systematic degree.  Indeed, a quick scan of Israeli government ministry websites conducted on 6/5 finds that every single site examined that displays maps of Israel includes maps of this kind:  The Israel Lands Authority; The Weather Service; The Israel Meteorological Service; the Tourism ministry (an “external site” accessed through the Israeli Government portal – see map of Israel with the Green Line erased here, page with links to the “Regions of Israel,” with the Palestinians erased and the West Bank broken down into several of these “regions of Israel,” here); the Ministry of Environmental Protection (which in addition to the Green Line-less map describes the Dead Sea – located mostly in the West Bank – as one of the three bodies of water bordering Israel); and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which compounds the map issue with text explicitly defining “Israel” to erase the Palestinians and any claims they may have – “The total area of the State of Israel is 8,630 sq. miles (22,145 sq.km.), of which 8,367 sq. miles (21,671 sq. km.) is land area. Israel is some 470 km. (290 miles) in length and about 85 miles (135 km.) across at the widest point. The country is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest and the Mediterranean Sea to the west.”

Imagine that. No fictional state of Palestine on the official Israeli maps. Oh, also the resolution didn’t condemn Netanyahu for blame-shifting the Holocaust from Hitler to the mufti of Jerusalem.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Why is Antisemitism in Canada Soaring?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

The League for Human Rights of B’nai B’rith in Canada just released a report on antisemitism, and the results are disturbing.

While antisemitism had remained fairly constant between the years 2010 and 2013, it spiked to an all-time high in 2014, with a 28 percent increase over 2013.

There were 1627 reported incidents of antisemitism in Canada in 2014. Here are a few examples provided in the executive summary of the report:

In Laurentians, Canada, several Chassidic homes were vandalized, and one was completely destroyed by arson.

In Penticton, Canada, a mattress was set on fire, with the words ‘burnt Jew’ written across the top.

In Montreal, there was an arson attack against Jews. Also, two cars were vandalized and spray painted with swastikas. Also in Montreal, a Chassidic woman sitting on a park bench was slapped in the face by a man on a bicycle riding past.

In Calgary and Toronto, multiple Jews were attacked and injured at Palestinian and Israel support rallies. At these rallies, chants of “kill the Jews” and “Hitler was right” were also reported.

Also in Toronto, dog feces was rubbed on the door of a synagogue. According to the Toronto Police Service annual Hate Crime Report, in 2014, Toronto’s Jewish community was the single most victimized group. In nearly one in every three reported hate crime incidents in Toronto, Jews were the victims, with similar results seen in other Canadian cities.

So why the huge increase in such incidents in Canada in 2014? Actually, the increase is consistent with the rise of reported antisemitism globally, especially in Europe, where some countries reported a doubling of anti-Semitism.

The B’nai B’rith conclusion points to anti-Zionism being treated as a legitimate source of political debate, with attacks on the Jewish State quickly oozing into raw Jew hatred.

On college and university campuses across Canada, on the streets in protests and in the media, one drum-beat is being pounded again and again: Jews, via the state of Israel, are responsible for some of the worst types of human rights violations and the genocide of the Palestinian people. Criticism of Israeli policy has become a condemnation of the Jewish people as a whole,

What is said about the Canadian campuses is equally true for American, British and European campuses.

Those organizations working so earnestly to “love Israel” into being “better” appear to be primarily responsible for the huge increase in anti-Zionism, which is, as the Pope recently noted, another term for antisemitism.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Jewish Organizations Raise Relief Funds after Houston Flood

Friday, May 29th, 2015

Jewish organizations are raising disaster-relief funds following the devastating flooding in Texas earlier this week, during which Houston’s Jewish community sat at the center of the damage experienced by that city.

Countless Jewish homes and multiple synagogues were among the structures damaged following rain that exceeded 11 inches in some areas on Monday and Tuesday.

The Orthodox Union, which is raising flood-relief funds, sent its senior managing director, Rabbi Steven Weil, to help assess the damage on site in Houston.

B’nai B’rith International opened its Flood, Tornado and Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund in the city following the Houston flood.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Houston is raising flood-relief funds in Houston, noting that “many in our community have lost everything” in the hardest-hit neighborhood. Other Jewish Federations around the country are raising relief funds for Houston.

At the same time, local Jewish community is trying to focus on the positive, and Rabbi Barry Gelman, the leader of a heavily flood-damaged Orthodox synagogue, wrote to his congregants:

Let us focus on repairing what was ruined and rededicating ourselves to what makes UOS (United Orthodox Synagogues of Houston) so special, the community. After all, what is really special about us are the people that make up our community. That is what is indispensable—the building can always be fixed.

JNS News Service

Anti-BDS Bill Advances In Illinois State Legislature

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The 10-0 committee vote follows the 49-0 passage of the measure in the Illinois State Senate and precedes a vote among the full Illinois House, after which point the bill would go to the desk of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for a signature into law.

B’nai B’rith International said in a statement that it “applauds Illinois citizens and their representatives for taking such a strong stance against a movement rooted in anti-Semitism that ultimately impedes the peace process by opposing constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians.”

State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee last month passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois legislation’s concrete economic action against BDS.

JNS News Service

Kosovo Official Presses US Jews on Israel Recognition

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Kosovo’s deputy foreign minister, citing his country’s record of ethnic Albanians protecting Jews during the Holocaust, urged American Jewish groups to press Israel for recognition of the country.

In a meeting with Jewish officials in Washington, Petrit Selimi also noted that Kozovo’s pro-American tilt made relations between the two countries a natural.

“With such a deep, historic link, it’s only natural to have Israeli recognition,” Selimi told JTA. “Israel is not just a country; it is an important country, influential in the community of nations.”

Also present at the meeting were representatives of B’nai B’rith International, the Anti-Defamation League and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Selimi also met with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, who over the years has spearheaded congressional support for Kosovo.

Israel has resisted recognizing Kosovo in part because of fierce Russian resistance to its independence in 2008 and because of close Israeli ties to Serbia. Nonetheless, there have been signs in recent months that Israel may be more open to ties with Kosovo.

JTA

B’nai Brith Disavows Anti-Shalit Article in Newspaper It Founded

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

B’nai B’rith International has disassociated itself from a news story critical of former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit published in a Canadian Jewish newspaper it founded and still is closely associated with B’nai Brith Canada.

In anticipation of a four-city visit to Canada by Gilad Shalit, The Jewish Tribune, Canada’s largest Jewish newspaper, criticized the former Hamas hostage who was the only member of a three-man crew who survived a terrorist attack on their position at a Gaza crossing in 2006.

The Jewish Tribune story in no way represents the views of B’nai B’rith International or its members and supporters around the world,” the organization said in a statement. “B’nai B’rith International has the deepest respect for Shalit and the horrors he endured as a Hamas captive.”

“While his story is intriguing and his return heartwarming, some have expressed concern that by appearing worldwide as an invited guest speaker, Shalit – who showed no resistance during his abduction nor made any attempt to protect his fellow IDF soldiers – could now become a new Israeli icon,” the Tribune’s Israel correspondent Atara Beck wrote last week.

The article did not cite any sources critical of Shalit’s visit. He is to appear in Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

The newspaper also published a letter referring to Shalit as a “stumblebum” and calling his visit a “dubious honor.”

The head of the Jewish National Fund of Canada, Shalit’s host for his Canada visit, told the Tribune that Shalit was not being honored by the JNF, but rather his visit was a way of thanking those in Canada who supported him during his captivity.

JTA

B’nai B’rith to Honor Baseball’s Bud Selig

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Bud Selig, the commissioner of Major League Baseball, will be honored B’nai B’rith International ,which will award him its Distinguished Humanitarian Award on June 27 in New York City for his efforts in youth education and training, diversity and environmental advocacy.

Among those scheduled to speak at the dinner honoring Selig are Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson as well as an author and educator, and Joe Torre, a former player and manager, and now Major League Baseball’s executive vice president for baseball operations.

Selig, who is Jewish, has been the commissioner officially since 1993.

We are so pleased to recognize Bud Selig for all he does in the community,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin said. “As a lifelong baseball fan, it’s heartening to know that the game I love and follow has such a dedicated and compassionate sense of civic responsibility.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bnai-brith-to-honor-baseballs-bud-selig/2013/06/20/

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