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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘B’nai Brith’

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.”

UN Rights Council’s Falk Blames Boston Terror on US and Tel Aviv

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Richard Falk, U.N. Human Rights Council official and the Obama administration’s unofficial pain in the neck, has written that the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings were a cheap price that the United States paid for trying to dominate the world. He also said the government’s supposed “Israel First” policy is also to blame.

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon did not condemn or even hint criticism of Falk’s remarks, explaining through a spokesman that he is “not responsible” for Falk’s “independent views.”

Bitter criticism was fast and furious from other quarters, especially from Jewish groups, but Falk, who has described himself as a Jewish American, never has been bantered by condemnation.

This time around, after years of spitting on Israel, calling it Apartheid and often comparing it with Nazis, Falk castigated the United States and related to the casualties in Boston with a chilling and methodical reasoning of “proportionality” that is shocking coming from anyone, especially a “human rights” activist.

Writing in the Foreign Policy Journal, Falk stated, “The scale and drama of the Boston attack, while great, was not nearly as large or as symbolically resonant as the destruction of the World Trade Center and the shattering of the Pentagon. Also, although each life is sacred, … the Marathon incident has so far produced three deaths as compared to three thousand, that is, 1/1000th of 9/11.”

Of course, 9/11 may actually have been an inside job in Falk’s mind, or whatever makes him tick.

He wrote in 2004 that  the Bush administration may have been complicit in the Al Qaeda- terrorist attacks.

He implied that the U.S. government was involved, writing, “It is possibly true that especially the neoconservatives thought there was a situation in the country and in the world where something had to happen to wake up the American people. Whether they are innocent about the contention that they made that something happen or not, I don’t think we can answer definitively at this point.”

Falk dumbfounded just about anyone who is not anti-American by explaining that the Marathon bombings were to be expected because “the American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world.”

He then went off the deep end altogether, explicitly stating that the United States is darned lucky the attack was not worse, because that is what America deserves.

“In some respects, the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East,: he wrote.

Falk almost never can complain about the state of the world without blaming Israel, and this time was no exception.  ”The war drums are beating at this moment in relation to both North Korea and Iran, and as long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy,” according to him.

“Now at the start of his second presidential term, it seems that Obama has given up altogether, succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel First,” he added.

Not surprisingly, Jewish groups demanded that the Council remove Falk from his position, a request that the U.S. government has previously made to no avail.

His “latest string of inflammatory remarks – whether it be on the Internet or in one of his ‘reports’ to the council – has no place in the United Nations and his continued presence at the UNHRC further undermines the credibility of the system,” said B’nai Brith International.

The American Jewish Committee also denounced Falk.

“Here he goes again,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Given his public record, the question is why Richard Falk still occupies a UN position. Is there no shame?

“Falk’s unhinged diatribes against the U.S. and Israel are well-known….

“His malicious propaganda regarding the U.S. and Israel — and his glaring inability to see the stark truth about extremist violence and terrorism — has no place in any international body that takes itself and its mission seriously.”

Falk has a weird history of seeing terrorists and Muslim radicals through the lenses of “Human Rights.”

Report: ‘Sustained, Ongoing Undercurrent of Anti-Jewish Bias in Canada’

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Canada continues to struggle with record-high levels of antisemitism, according to The League for Human Rights of B’nai Brith Canada’s annual Audit of Antisemitic Incidents.

The audit documented 1,297 reported antisemitic incidents across Canada in 2011. Although this marked a decrease of .7% from the previous year, Frank Dimant, CEO of B’nai Brith Canada, said the organization “can take no consolation from the negligible decrease…when the antisemitism targeting Canadian Jews remains at such all-time high levels.”

Incidents of vandalism – “attacks on synagogues, school and Jewish cemeteries” – rose 14.2%, while violence fell by 20.8% and cases of harassment dropped by 5.1%.

The true gravity of the problem in Canada is better understood, said Diment, by observing long-term trends: antisemitic incidents have grown twenty-fold since B’nai Brith started monitoring antisemitism thirty years ago, “while a five-year view shows a 24.6% rise.” He also noted that “the Jewish community is the most targeted minority in hate crimes motivated by religion.

“Thirty years after the enactment of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, we continue to see rocks being thrown at synagogue and school windows, deaths threats being sent via social media, visible Jews being taunted and physically assaulted on route to their homes and places of worship and even a young Jewish girl’s hair being set on fire.”

Ontario, the most populous province in Canada and home to Canada’s largest Jewish community in Toronto, saw a decrease of 3.7% in incidents from 2010. The province of Manitoba, which has a tight-knit Jewish community in Winnipeg, experienced a 30% increase over the same period. In Montreal, home to Canada’s second-largest Jewish community, the 303 reported incidents represented an increase of 9.4%.

There is little indication that the numbers would drop significantly in 2012, as the Montreal Gazette recently reported that “[i]n mid-April 2012, about 15 of the 50 Jewish owned homes in Val Morin [a town outside Montreal] were vandalized. At least two of the homes were defaced with anti-Jewish hate messages and swastikas.”

The audit seems to echo the conclusions of a similar study in Europe when it states that “a global propaganda movement that attempts to re-cast Jews as ‘oppressors,’ ‘colonialists’ and ‘despoilers’ in the Middle East” has the practical effect of inflaming hatred against Jews in Canada.

Nevertheless, Dimant expressed appreciation that “all levels of government [in Canada] work with B’nai Brith and its League for Human Rights to suppress antisemitism throughout the country.” Indeed, the numbers do not square with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s staunch support for Israel and the Jewish people, nor his unequivocal condemnation of exactly the kind of anti-Israel propaganda that the audit cites as inflaming prejudice against Canadian Jews. What’s more, a February 2012 poll found that nearly half of all Canadians expressed support for his government’s Middle East policy.

Canadian Jews to Start Jewish Security Patrols in Toronto

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Anti-Semitic slogans scrawled in Calgary and an Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents conducted by B’nai Brith Canada showing a steady rise in anti-Jewish incidents has prompted a former Israeli counter-terrorism expert to establish a Jewish guard troop for relevant sites throughout Canada.

Program coordinator Doron Horowitz, Director of National Security Infrastructure for the Toronto-based Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs – and decorated former IDF soldier specializing in counter-terrorism – has announced the formation of a network of professionally-trained volunteers who will patrol Canadian synagogues and Jewish community centers.

The “Community Security Network” will be comprised of individuals aged 25 to 50 who will be subjected to background checks and psychological screenings to determine their fitness for the positions.  Those who are accepted will be trained in counter-surveillance, physical fitness, and observation, and be responsible for guarding no less than 5 hours per month at sensitive Jewish locations.

The program, which is being initiated in Toronto, will initially be comprised of 25 unarmed, ununiformed volunteers.  If successful, it will be launched across Canada.

Horowitz stressed that the program is meant to coordinate with current and ongoing law enforcement security efforts on behalf of the Jewish community, and will act in cooperation with local authorities.  It will not exercise force or violence, according to Horowitz, but maintain vigilance, report to law officials and emphasize prevention.

Bnai Brith Canada reported that 1,306 anti-Semitic incidents took place in Canada in 2010, a rise of 3.3% over 2009.

In the UK, the sizable Community Security Trust unites 3,000 volunteers in defense of 300 British synagogues, with the NY Community Security Service modeled after it.  Brooklyn, New York’s Shomrim (“Guards”) also surveys the security situation in New York City and Brooklyn.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/canadian-jews-to-start-jewish-security-patrols-in-toronto/2012/03/13/

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