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August 4, 2015 / 19 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘B’nai Brith’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ambassador Oren: Samantha Really, Really Cares about Israel

Monday, June 10th, 2013

Samantha Power, President Obama’s nominee to replace Susan Rice as Ambassador to the United Nations, “cares deeply” about Israel’s security needs, Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren recently told The New York Times.

“Samantha Power and I have worked closely over the last four years on issues vital to Israel’s security,” he said. “She thoroughly understands those issues and cares deeply about them.”

Oren is as much a politician as he is a diplomat. He admitted he usually does not comment on presidential nominees until they are confirmed by the Senate.

So why did he have to go out of his way and tell The New York Times, Obama’s unofficial press agent, that Power is such a great fan of Israel, where 11 years ago she advocated calling for US troops to act as policemen?

Oren saw the need to defend the President and score points if she is confirmed by the Senate, even though the nomination of Power has left many Jewish groups and leaders on different sides of the fence.

The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) did not surprise anyone by strongly opposing her nomination, while the Conservative Jewish movement came out in favor of her, as did the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

The American Jewish Committee had no comment, and B’nai Brith said it was withholding approval of Power’s nomination until she addressed her earlier remarks under oath during Senate confirmation hearings.

“Israel has few real friends at the United Nations and at the top of the list is the United States, and it is really incumbent on the representative to be prepared, willing and able to rebuff and repel that kind of language,” said the group’s executive vice president, Daniel Mariaschin.

Power’s supporters have pointed out that she was on the front lines to work against anti-Israel resolutions in the United Nations, particularly the Palestinian Authority attempt to win United Nations Security Council approval for becoming a full-fledged member of the United Nations. The Obama administration threatened to cast a veto, which in the end was not necessary because the PA was lacking one vote to win the necessary two-thirds approval for the motion to move to the floor of the General Assembly.

Power may “deeply care” about Israel. Every US political leader is “Pro-Israel” because every one of them knows what is good for Israel, much better than the dumb Israelis. The American government also knows what is good for Iraq, Egypt, Syria and almost every other place in the universe, including the moon.

Being “pro-Israel” is not a condition to be the American Ambassador to the United Nations. First and foremost, the Ambassador must be pro-United States.

But that is like being pro-Israel. Every one has his or her own meaning of what is good for America.

Samantha Power obviously thinks Obama is good for America, as did most of the electorate. She was one of his strongest supporters even before anyone heard of his becoming a presidential candidate in 2008.

She also thinks “engaging enemies’ is good for the United States. It is the “engagement” policy that helped bring then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to declare, two months after the beginning of the Arab Spring protests in Syria, that Assad is a “reformer.”

By the way, it was the same Clinton, when she campaigned against Obama for the Democratic party’s nomination for its presidential candidate, whom Power called a “monster.”

Power also has mouthed off at people whom she thinks are violating human rights.

She once not only called Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon violators of human rights, she also put them on the same level in her declaration against “Sharafat.”

When Power hears of human rights violations, she goes bonkers and always assumes the “other side” is to blame. That is why she backed the Muslims against the Buddhists in Burma.

The Canada Free Press wrote, “In her 2004 review of a book by the radical leftist Noam Chomsky, Ms. Power agreed with many of his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy and expressed her own concerns about what she called the ‘sins of our allies in the war on terror,’ lumping Israel with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, Russia, and Uzbekistan.

In 2007, she stated, the American government’s relationship with Israel “has often led foreign policy decision-makers to defer reflexively to Israeli security assessments, and to replicate Israeli tactics….”

Anti-Semitic Incidents Doubled in Last Decade in Canada

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

Anti-Semitic incidents in Canada rose last year by nearly four percent, continuing a 10-year-old trend that has sewn anti-Semitics acts double, according to B’nai Brith Canada’s annual review.

The number of anti-Semitic incidents in the country increased from 1,297 incidents in 2011, to 1,345 cases in 2012. Holocaust denial has soared.

The average increase for the three most western provinces combined was 25 percent, while in the Quebec region outside of Montreal, there was close to a four-fold increase.

Just over half the incidents took place in the province of Ontario, with the next largest number in Quebec, at 337 incidents.

From a ten-year perspective, incidents have more than doubled from the 584 cases in 2003. Since 2008, incidents have increased by 19 percent.

“We are particularly concerned about this year’s findings of increased participation in these incidents by perpetrators self-identifying as Muslims who are apparently supportive of Islamist ideologies of hate and violence,” said Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada.

“But we are encouraged by the many Muslims with whom we work closely, who are prepared to expose anti-Semitism in their community,” he added.

Dimant added the audit shows an overall decrease in vandalism and violence, but an increase of 10.6 percent in incidents of harassment. “Jews were targeted in their homes and at their workplaces, on their way to synagogue or returning from school,” according to the report.

The study found Holocaust denial “soaring” by 77 percent, and threats “becoming more ugly, explicit and open.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/anti-semitic-incidents-doubled-in-last-decade-in-canada/2013/04/25/

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