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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations’

Netanyahu Calls Boycotters ‘Anti-Semites’

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Anyone who wants to boycott Israel is an anti-Semite, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday night in comments to the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem.

“In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses, and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb.”

His hard-hitting statements came  in the wake of recent disinvestment of Israeli firms and an outright warning by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel faces boycotts if it does not come to terms with most of the Arab world’s demands. The Obama administration supports nearly all of the Arab conditions for the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country on land where hundreds of thousands of Jews would be expelled from their homes.

The time has come to “delegitimize the delegitimizers,” the Prime Minister asserted.

The Boycott Israel movement has hit some snags lately, with entertainers such as Neil Young refusing to cancel a scheduled gig, actress Scarlett Johansson sticking to her guns as a paid ambassador for the SodaStream company that has a factory at a location in Judea and Samaria, and more than 200 universities disavowing the academic boycott approved by the American Studies Association.

Netanyahu said in his remarks that Israel’s successful high-tech industry is one of the country’s most effective weapons to fight the Boycott Israel movement.

Previous efforts to boycott all Israeli products failed after the supporters realized they would have to do without patented and generic drugs produced by Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals and without computers that use chips produced by Intel’s giant facility in Israel.

Israel Eyeing More Control of Temple Mount, Bennett Says

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Israel may try to assume more control over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett and told leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in the capital on Monday.

He said his office has taken steps to exercise greater Israeli sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.

Among the steps, he said, is providing better services to the Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem.

In addressing the issue of the Temple Mount, Bennett reportedly said, “Unfortunately, the Temple Mount today doesn’t allow for the full exercise of freedom of religion, and there is discrimination against Jews there. But we have to be very careful when dealing with the Temple Mount because of the huge sensitivity of the site.”

The Temple Mount is under the control of the Islamic Wakf.

Bennett’s speech came a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of visiting Israeli students that he would not be willing to share sovereignty over the Temple Mount but would allow Jews to worship at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

On Sunday, lawmakers in Jordan threatened to shut down the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv and expel Israel’s ambassador to Amman if Israeli lawmakers drafted a law to end the Wakf’s authority over Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, calling it a breach of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty.

A Knesset plenum debate on “the loss of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount” is scheduled for Tuesday.

Jewish Frat Joins Conference of Presidents of Jewish Groups

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

The international Jewish fraternity, Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi), located on American campuses across the country, has been accepted as the first frat to be a member of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“AEPi is a remarkable organization with affiliates on campuses across the country and provides an array of educational and advocacy training programs,” said Conference Chairman Robert G. Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO. “The admission of AEPi reflects the commitment to involve the next generation of leaders.

“We look forward to AEPi’s participation as we continue to work with Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life and the Israel on Campus Coalition.”

AEPi’s international president Elan S. Carr and Executive Director Andrew S. Borans said, “Our membership in the Conference means that AEPi will be able to make an even greater impact on Jewish identity, Jewish leadership, and Israel advocacy in the years to come.”

55 US Universities Condemn ASA Boycott of Israel

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

At least 55 American universities and colleges have rejected the American Studies Association membership vote in favor of an academic boycott of Israel.

The number was tracked by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

“This remarkable response is a clear declaration that American academia will not be party to the efforts to promote the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement,” Robert Sugarman, its chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, its executive vice chairman, said in a statement.

The Conference of Presidents said it wrote to each of the institutional members of the ASA outlining why the boycott call is an unjustifiable and blatantly discriminatory act.

“The response is very encouraging and we are grateful that so many took the time during a holiday week to respond,” the group’s leaders said. “We continue to urge the rest of the members to speak out against the action and to disassociate from supporting the ASA.”

At the time of the Dec. 15 vote, only 1,252 ASA members out of 3,853 eligible voters were present, and two-thirds of them, about 825 members, approved the boycott.

White House Talks Iran Deal with Jewish Groups

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

The White House held at least two phone calls with Jewish leaders to explain aspects of the interim sanctions-for-nuclear-rollbacks deal between Iran and major powers.

Among the speakers on the conference calls Monday with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and the Jewish Federations for North America were Tony Blinken, a deputy national security adviser, and David Cohen, the top Treasury official in charge of implementing sanctions.

The off-the-record calls were a signal of the importance that the administration attaches to keeping pro-Israel groups on board for the six-month interim deal achieved over the weekend in Geneva, however skeptical the groups may be of the deal.

Generally, according to participants, questioners pressed the U.S. officials on the degree to which the deal impacts sanctions and whether the concessions to Iran could be reversed should Iran renege.

The officials said the deal’s sanctions relief affected only the “margins” of the Iranian economy, and that the main sanctions, targeting Iran’s energy and financial sectors, would remain in place.

The White House officials acknowledged differences with Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has described the deal as “very bad,” but said the endgame was the same: incapacitating Iran’s nuclear capacity, according to call participants.

Another White House call was held Tuesday for leaders of faith groups; Jewish leaders joined the call.

Separately, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in a memo on Monday expressed concerns about the interim deal. AIPAC noted that the agreement allows Iran to keep enriching uranium, albeit at low levels, even though U.N. Security Council resolutions have called for a suspension of enrichment pending a final deal, and that it appears to preemptively allow Iran an enrichment capacity as part of a final status deal.

Also problematic, AIPAC said in the memo, is that the deal “includes an option to extend the negotiating window beyond an initial six-month period,” which “creates the possibility that the initial agreement will become a de-facto final agreement.”

The memo called on Congress to pass legislation that would impose penalties should Iran renege on the deal.

Kerry Briefs Jewish ‘Leaders’ (Cheerleaders?) on MidEast Talks

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry met with what the Jewish Telegraph Agency described as “Jewish leaders” to “brief” them on the resumption of Israeli-Arab Palestinian talks on Thursday evening, August 8.

Although the briefing was off the record, the JTA quoted unnamed attendants who said several things.

First, that the meeting was dominated by Kerry’s “enthusiam for the resumed talks, and the serious commitment he said [sic] saw from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.”

And second, that Kerry “repeated his appeal to American Jews to endorse and support the peace process, first made in early June”.

Invited participants at the briefing were: leaders from the Conservative movement, the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, the Conservative movement, the Orthodox Union, American Friends of Lubavitch, B’nai B’rith International, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the Jewish Federations of North America, Hadassah, the National Jewish Democratic Council, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Clearly, for this State Department, as well as the JTA, Jewish “leaders” is synonymous with the entire spectrum from center to center left.  Where was the Zionist Organization of America? Where was the Republican Jewish Coalition? Where was Aish HaTorah? Where were any Jewish organizations that might point out the folly of the current talks, or the demand for horrifyingly painful concessions from one side just to start the talks at all, and none from the other side?

Oh, right, those present were the American Jewish CheerLeaders for this Administration and its Middle East efforts all of whom prove an airtight theory usually wrongly attributed to Albert Einstein: the definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

In fact, almost exactly four years ago, during Obama’s first term he had his first major sitdown with roughly the same set of Jewish “leaders.” The meeting was called at a time when American Jews who very uneasy about Obama’s interest in being supportive of Israel. At that meeting, one man actually did square his shoulders and dared to make a sideways suggestion to the president.

According to an account in the Washington Post, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Malcolm Hoenlein said to the president, “If you want Israel to take risks, then its leaders must know that the United States is right next to them.”

The president’s response did not give Jews or Israelis the assurance they had been seeking.  Obama said to Hoenlein, ““Look at the past eight years,” he said, referring to the George W. Bush administration’s relationship with Israel. “During those eight years, there was no space between us and Israel, and what did we get from that? When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines, and that erodes our credibility with the Arab states.”

In other words – being such good friends with Israel did nothing for President Bush’s ability to make progress on the peace process.  It looks like Obama’s Middle East team holds the same view the president expressed right to the faces of the American “Jewish leaders” back in 2009.   And now no one in that group is going to challenge him or his surrogates.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/kerry-briefs-jewish-leaders-cheerleaders-on-mideast-talks/2013/08/09/

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