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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘EMET’

Grass Roots Jewish Groups Condemn NYC Jewish Leadership for Condoning BDS

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

For the second time in as many years, grass roots pro-Israel New Yorkers held a rally outside the NYC UJA Federation building and blasted their shofars to bring attention to what they are describing as a deficiency of leadership.

More than a hundred people showed up to hear speeches criticizing the NYC UJA-Federation, especially its president, Alison Doctoroff, for giving their hecksher to organizations that seek to financially harm Israel, and to join in the 100-strong Shofar blowing intended to focus attention on the problem.

The pro-Israel activists were protesting the decision made by the UJA-Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council leadership to allow groups which support boycotts of such iconic Israeli products as SodaStream and Ahava to once again march in the NYC Celebrate Israel Parade.

Beth Gilinsky, the president of the National Conference of Jewish Affairs, one of the organizational supporters, has been trying for many years to galvanize what passes for institutional Jewish leadership in the United States to take strong affirmative positions on behalf of Jews and the Jewish State. She sees the BDS (Boycott of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel) campaign as the latest anti-Semitic strategy, one for which too many Jews have fallen.

“Through heavily-funded tsunamis of lies, disinformation, and agitprop, BDS seeks to malign what is beautiful and positive and strong about Israel. BDS is evil and essentially anti-Semitic, passing off as expressions of ‘justice’ false accusations against Israel and Jews. Israel is not an ‘apartheid’ state, as the BDSers propound, but in so many ways is the one beacon of light and progress in a neighborhood teeming with brutality and oppression.

“Skyrocketing BDS has led to increased threats and violence against Jewish people, Jewish institutions, and property. Even our young Jews are not free of it, as BDS has provoked a widespread climate of aggression against Jewish students on American campuses. I urge every Jew, and every Jewish organization across the globe, to step forward as a united front at this time in history to challenge those — be they Palestinian Arab agitators or hard Leftist Israel-bashers — working overtime to ignite anti-Semitism and destroy Israel.”

Richard Allen, the force behind JCC Watch, served as the master of ceremonies for Monday’s rally. Allen explained why so much of the focus of the rally this year was on UJA-Federation president Alisa Doctoroff. Doctoroff is a major supporter of the New Israel Fund, which funds entities that advocate boycotts of Israeli products. The NIF was permitted once again to march in the Celebrate Israel parade, which the UJA Federation and the NYC JCRC oversee.

Allen made the point: “Some of these groups are marching in the Celebrate Israel Parade when their purpose is NOT to celebrate Israel, but to denigrate it.”

Participant at 101 Shofar rally in NYC to protest BDS advocates in Celebrate Israel Parade. May 11, 2015

Participant at 101 Shofar rally in NYC to protest BDS advocates in Celebrate Israel Parade. May 11, 2015

New Yorker Lauri Regan, representing the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), also spoke at Monday night’s rally. Regan spoke about the growing delegitimization of Israel across the globe, and in particular how it manifests on U.S. campuses.

Grass Roots Rally Against NYC Jewish Bigwigs for Providing Cover to Anti-Israel Groups

Monday, May 11th, 2015

On Monday, May 11, several NYC-based pro-Israel grass roots organizations will hold a rally outside of the UFA Federation building. The groups are protesting the continued tacit (and even overt) approval of certain Jewish organizations that cloak themselves with a pro-Israel patina but are, in fact, supporters of economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

The UJA Federation and the Jewish Community Relations Council are the focus of the rally. Groups such as JCC Watch, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET), the National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Americans for a Safe Israel, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, ZOA and others are behind the event at which they intend to blow 101 shofars (ram’s horns), hoping the New York City Jewish establishment will “Hear O Israel,” and come to their senses.

The problem, as these grass roots organizations have pointed out so many times, is that the major institutional Jewish organizations continue to allow groups who promote harm against the Jewish state to march in the annual Celebrate Israel Day parade.

The primary target of this coalition has been groups, such as the New Israel Fund, which financially support organizations which advocate economic warfare against Israel, such as boycotts against such iconic Israeli companies as SodaStream and Ahava.

The parade this year will take place on Sunday, May 31. And this year, just like last year and ones before, organizations like the New Israel Fund and others will be participating, right alongside all the freshly-scrubbed Jewish day school students.

If you were to ask those students whether they think it is right for anyone to boycott Israeli goods or products, they would undoubtedly answer “no.” And if you were to ask those students whether people who support such activity are pro-Israel, they would also answer “no.” Finally, if one were to ask those students whether anyone who tries to harm Israel either through economic or legal measures, should march in the Celebrate Israel parade, they would, undoubtedly, answer “no.”

But the executives at the New York UJA-Federation and the NYC Jewish Community Relations Council don’t appear to understand what is so plainly obvious to most Jewish day school students.

Richard Allen, the engine behind JCC Watch and one of the main supporters of Monday’s rally, explained to the JewishPress.com one of the saddest ironies behind the BDS infiltration into what should be an event by pro-Israel supporters, for Israel.

“We call on the UJA-Federation to stop their promotion and support for groups that call for a boycott of Israeli companies Iike SodaStream and Ahava Cosmetics. The President of the UJA-Federation, Alisa Doctoroff is a major funder of the New Israel Fund, a group that finances the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel on a worldwide basis,” Allen said.

“The UJA-Federation protects and promotes the BDS groups in the Israel Day Parade and we insist this be stopped immediately.”

Sadly, this year there is perhaps even more stunning news than that ostensibly Jewish “leaders” are protecting and promoting those who engage in economic and legal warfare against the Jewish State.

As Allen shared with the JewishPress.com, “the Israel Consul General in New York is being used by the BDS forces in the UJA-Federation to protect the New Israel Fund.  The head of the UJA-Federation, Eric Goldstein, is now hiding behind the Consul General. He said in a radio interview that the Israeli Government supports BDS in the Israel Day Parade. We are here today to demand that Jewish Charitable dollars and institutions not be used by the BDS forces to push their agenda.”

The rally is taking place today, May 11, from 5 – 7:30 p.m., outside the UJA Federation building, 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. If you cannot bring your own shofar, they will have extras to hand out.

Christians United Launch ‘Attend Bibi’s Speech’ Campaign, What about Jewish Groups?

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

The Christians United for Israel organization posted the message on its website and sent emails to its two million members, urging its followers to send e-letters imploring their elected representatives to attend Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress on March 3.

The short sample letter explains that Netanyahu was invited by Speaker of the House John Boehner, and the issue about which Netanyahu will speak, Iran, is of critical importance. CUFI seeks to reach all congressional members, and hopes to persuade even those members who disagree with Netanyahu’s position to consider their constituents’ views.

The text of CUFI’s short sample letter is clear: “I can think of no issue more important for America, Israel and the West than our response to Iran’s nuclear efforts. And I can think of no voice on this issue more important than the Prime Minister of our front-line ally, Israel.”

The CUFI sample letter ends with a poignant plea: “Please don’t let partisan politics and petty excuses keep you from fulfilling the most basic of responsibilities of your office.”

The website links to the email accounts, by zip code, of letter writers’ congressional representatives.


What about the Jewish organizations?

The head of the Anti-Defamation League, Abe Foxman, and the head of the Union for Reform Judaism, Rick Jacobs, said it was a bad idea for Netanyahu to speak before Congress in March.

The American Jewish Committee has nothing on its website about the speech, nor does the Jewish Federations of North America, or the Conference of Presidents.

Mort Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America. blasted the ADL and Reform Judaism leadership for criticizing Netanyahu’s acceptance of Speaker Boehner’s invitation to address Congress. He also called out the leadership of the American Israeli Public Affairs Council and the American Jewish Committee for remaining silent on the speech issue.

The ZOA is pleading with its colleagues to support Israeli PM Netanyahu, Democratic Senator Menendez, Majority Leader John Boehner, Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer, Democratic Ranking member of the House Foreign Relations Committee Elliot Engel, and so many others to provide PM Netanyahu with this major forum to move us, to edify us, to inspire us to do more to stop this Nazi-like radical Islamic Republic of Iran from achieving weapons that could murder millions of Jews, Christians, Americans,  Europeans and others.

By not supporting Israel’s Prime Minister and Congress, we are sending a terrible message to Iran that we are not unified and strong in our resolve against this deadly enemy.

The ZOA’s Klein was focused on the leadership of other organizations; his group did not send out an action alert on the topic or call on its members to make their views known to Congress.

It appears that of the Jewish pro-Israel organizations, only two have done what CUFI has. The Washington, D.C.-based Endowment for Middle East Truth sent out action alert emails and placed on its website a request for members to call their congressional representatives to ensure they attend Netanyahu’s March 3 speech.

The New York-based Americans For a Safe Israel not only called on its members to urge their representatives in Congress to attend Netanyahu’s speech, but also to contact representatives who have said they will boycott the speech to express their outrage.

That’s a pretty short list.

UPDATE: The Republican Jewish Coalition also had a petition calling on its members to join in supporting “Bibi and Boehner to stand up to Iran.”

Jump For Our Boys: Skydive for Eyal, Gilad and Naftali

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

Within Israel, and beyond, especially in Jewish and other pro-Israel communities, people have begun referring to the three teenagers, Naftali, Eyal and Gilad, who were kidnapped on June 12 as “Our Boys.” But as the level of anxiety continues to rise, one of the frustrations is that other than saying tehillim, there doesn’t seem to be many things people can do to help resolve the situation.

A few enterprising souls, however, have come up with a unique and creative way to both raise funds and awareness.

Tamara Gavrilov had been anxiously following what was happening with the search for the boys. She was particularly touched by hearing and reading about the public statements made by the mothers of the kidnapped boys.

To hear and read the desperate call of a mother, who wants nothing more than for her son to be safely returned into her arms, is incredibly heartbreaking. Her belief, that ‘[a]ny decent person would do anything they can to get them back,’ made me ashamedly aware that I have not contributed all I possibly could to help bring her son and his friends home.

Gavrilov lives in America and knows she cannot drop onto the streets of Judea and Samaria to physically search for the boys, nor does she know any public figures who she can convince to help. She also does not have experience organizing public rallies and protests, as others have done in several cities across the United States. But she realized that with every day that goes by there is a growing risk of losing the sense of urgency needed in advancing the campaign to #BringBackOurBoys.

Gavrilov is an avid skydiver, so it occurred to her that she could tap into that world and that activity to do her part in the effort.

So with the support of her local skydiving community (known as a “dropzone,” who knew?), Skydive Cross Keys, and working with the  Israel Forever Foundation, and in partnership with the Endowment for Middle East Truth, Roots NY and The Zionist Organization of America, she created a unique event: “Jump for Our Boys,” which is both a fundraiser and awareness raiser.

Jump For Our Boys will be held on Sunday, June 29, in Williamstown, New Jersey.

Jump For Our Boys will be held on Sunday, June 29, in Williamstown, New Jersey.

Jump for Our Boys” will be held on June 29, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. at the SkyDive Cross Keys, 300 Dahlia Avenue, in Williamstown, New Jersey. People can register to jump (that is, jump out of an airplane, but with a parachute!) or, if that’s not for you, sponsorship of the jumpers is the way to go.

The registration page for Jump for Our Boys gives all the details.

A portion of the funds raised will be sent directly to purchase supplies badly needed for the troops who are searching for the kidnapped boys.

But another goal of the fundraiser is to raise awareness about the kidnapping. Gavrilov told The Jewish Press, “It’s shocking how many people, especially those outside of the Jewish community, still have not heard about the kidnapping!”

As further evidence of the importance of bringing attention to a broader audience, Gavrilov explained that when she spoke with people in her dropzone as recently as Sunday, June 23, not one person had heard about the kidnapping. “But when they did hear, they were happy to try and help out by hosting this fundraiser for us.”

Gavrilov was quick to note that “of course my deepest hope and desire is that the boys are back home before Sunday and that we can jump in celebration of their safe return.”

It is great to learn of the creative responses to the current situation at the center of the heart of the Jewish people.

The Jewish Press welcomes hearing about and sharing other efforts on behalf of the cause to #BringBackOurBoys!

DC Think Tank: PA Merger With Hamas Should End US Funding

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

On Friday, April 25, the Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) called on the United States to suspend funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA), following the announcement on Wednesday by PA President Mahmoud Abbas that they will be joining a national unity government with the Gaza-based terrorist organization, Hamas.

The reconciliation agreement between the PA and Hamas exposes the duplicity of the supposedly moderate PA and Mahmoud Abbas, EMET explained. The PA cloaks its true nature from the Western world with Abbas’ words of “peace,” yet both Hamas and the PA advocate for the Palestinian right of return and the destruction of the State of Israel.

Abbas and the PA have been supporting Palestinian terrorism against Israel for the last two decades since its formation, with Palestinian state media regularly applauding suicide bombers, and calling on children to become martyrs, and the PA’s Fatah engaging in acts of terrorism.

“Since September 13, 1993, the Palestinian Authority has been playing a double, duplicitous and highly dangerous game of “Good Cop/Bad Cop,” Sarah Stern, the Founder and President of EMET said. “While the Palestinian Authority ended their diplomatic isolation in the community of nations by signing Oslo, Wye, the Roadmap for Middle East Peace, and all subsequent agreements, they have used their enhanced diplomatic status to wage a nonphysical war against Israel through systematic campaigns of distortion and dehumanization of Israel and the Jew in the international court of public opinion.”

EMET is a DC-based think tank. Its mission is to educate policymakers in Washington and the general public about the importance of Israel to the United States in their common struggle against radical Islam.

According to Emet, it is time to stop giving American’s tax payer dollars, to the tune of $600 million a year, to the PA. In addition to supporting terrorism and Palestinian incitement to violence, giving the money now contravenes United States Law.

Hamas was designated as a U.S. foreign terrorist organization in 1997, making it illegal for any person in the U.S. or under U.S. jurisdiction to provide material support or resources to the entity.

Tuesday Rally: No Israel Boycotters in Celebrate Israel Parade

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

A coalition of concerned pro-Israel New Yorkers will be gathering Tuesday evening outside of the UJA-Federation building at 130 East 59th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues, between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m.

The organizers say they are having the rally because every other effort the group has made over the past several years has failed to convince the UJA-Federation and the JCRC that people affiliated with organizations which support the boycott of Jews in Israel – anywhere in Israel – should not be given an official hecksher of “pro-Israel” bona fides by being welcomed to march in the Israel Day Parade in New York.

The theme of the group coalesced over time and became “It starts with boycotts.” That’s because the people whom the group does not want to be granted acceptance support boycotting Jews as a legitimate tool the pressure Israel to accede to their – not the voters of Israel, but their wishes in resolving the Arab Israeli conflict.

“It starts with boycotts of Jewish products, and ends with violence against Jews,” said Beth Gilinsky, one of the main speakers at Tuesday’s rally. Gilinsky emailed The Jewish Press Monday evening. She is a long-time Jewish and pro-Israel activist and is the founder and president of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.

“At this time, perhaps more than any other time since the beginning of the Holocaust, when anti-Israel hatred, and anti-Semitic and jihadist violence, are surging across the globe, it is time for the Jewish community to demand that Jewish leaders show some backbone,” Gilinsky explained.

As two New Yorkers put it in a letter they sent to the head of the UJA-Federation, their objection to the inclusion of people who intentionally harm Israel in the Israel Day Parade is not a matter of restricting free speech.

“Please do not confuse our opposition to the inclusion of BDS groups in the parade with any attempt to stifle free speech. On the contrary, we have no objection to the right of people to state their positions,” wrote Benjamin S. Klapper, of Manhattan. “As Jews and supporters of the state of Israel we do not have to furnish the platform.”

All of the rally organizers repeatedly made clear that they support the good work that the UJA-Federation and the JCRC do, especially their services for indigent and elderly Jews. But they all felt very strongly that it is wrong to permit those who willingly harm fellow Jews, or give support to those who do, to march with those whose love for Israel means they will fight for it, not against it.

“We stand with Israel, against the anti-Israel, Arab-supported BDS movement which dehumanizes Jews, demonizes Israel and which, sadly, some dishonorable Jewish groups support,” said Beth Gilinsky, one of the main speakers at Tuesday’s rally. Gilinsky is a long-time Jewish and pro-Israel activist and is the founder and president of the National Conference on Jewish Affairs.

The BDS movement promotes economic and legal warfare against Israel by promoting the implementation of Boycotts of, Divestment from and Sanctions against Israel and Israeli leaders.

The sorest point between the rally organizers and the gatekeepers for the parade is in the definition of boycott. For the pro-Israel group, anyone prepared to support those who do, or who themselves use economic warfare against Jews are supporters of anti-Israel boycotts, whether the support is for a boycott of all of Israel or only of Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

For those who make the eligibility determination, groups like J Street and the New Israel Fund and even the Partners for Progressive Israel, which consistently partner with or who fund groups that promote Israel boycotts or who promote boycotts themselves, their pro-Israel bona fides comes from their claim to “support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.”

Richard Allen, is the founder of JCCWatch. Allen is the main catalyst for the rally and the sustained effort to ensure the Celebrate Israel Parade includes only actual lovers of Israel. He explained to The Jewish Press that the UJA-Federation has been telling concerned donors that no BDS supporters will be marching in the parade.

“But that’s simply not true and they know that. Partners for a Progressive Israel march in the parade. That is a pro-BDS group,” Allen said.

A quick skip over to the Partners for a Progressive Israel website reveals that oh yes indeed, the group most certainly promotes the boycott of all kinds of Israeli products, including SodaStream (what would Scarlett say?), Ahava and, all told, more than a dozen products including wines, salads and spices made by Jewish companies. Most of which, by the way, employ Arabs at salaries far higher than the salaries at Arab-owned companies.

Take a look:

Partners for a Progressive Israel very proudly support the boycotting of more than a dozen Israeli products

Partners for a Progressive Israel very proudly support the boycotting of more than a dozen Israeli products 

Joe Rapaport is a New Yorker who took the time to speak with John Ruskay, executive director of the UJA-Federation. Ruskay told Rapaport, that all the “groups marching in the parade have signed off that they are NOT in favor of BDS.” How to explain that position with the Partners for Progressive Israel’s proud affirmation of their boycott is difficult to understand.

But there is no need to attempt to reconcile those two contradictory positions, because the official  “2014 CELEBRATE ISRAEL PARADE – June 1, 2014 RULES AND REGULATIONS” makes no reference toBDS. The only requirement imposed on parade marchers is not even that they “support” Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, but that they “identify” with Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. No pledge is required, the statement just appears in the rule book.

Rapaport said that Ruskay also tried various hedges, like “the Federation does not decide who is in the parade, the JCRC does.” Ruskay conceded, however, according to Rapaport, that the Federation had the ability to influence the decision. Finally, Rapaport explained that Ruskay “jumped to the argument that to eliminate these [BDS supporting groups] would alienate big donors, specifically Bronfman.”

It always comes down to money, doesn’t it?

“I have received calls this week from members of the Jewish establishment accusing us of trying to stop the parade altogether,” Gilinsky said.

“Neither could be farther from the truth. We certainly want the Celebrate Israel event to succeed — just without promoters of the anti-Jewish, Hamas-backed BDS movement parading down Fifth Avenue!”

Groups participating in the rally include JCC Watch, Americans for a Safe Israel, National Conference on Jewish Affairs, Coalition for Israel, Young Israel of Kew Gardens, Jewish Action Alliance, Never Again is Now and the Jewish Political Education. Foundation

This Purim, Jewish Think Tank Warning America About Iran

Friday, March 14th, 2014

It is not unusual for Jewish or pro-Israel groups to use the holiday of Purim to warn their constituents about the dangers of the modern Persian threat to the Jewish State.

This year, the organization Endowment for Middle East Truth (EMET) is warning America of that danger.

On Wednesday, March 12, EMET released a video warning Americans of the history of the Iranian build-up of nuclear weapons and of its concomitant willingness to misrepresent the truth of its activities to national and international representatives seeking to dissuade the modern Persian leaders from fulfilling what those leaders see as their right.

Sarah Stern, EMET’s founder and president, spoke with The Jewish Press by telephone on Friday morning.

“Purim is very much a holiday in which we look at the masks, but we have to appreciate what lurks behind those masks,” Stern said. “We are drunk on moral relativism all year, but our lives depend on distinguishing between Mordechai and Haman. This Purim we at EMET strip away the mask and help reveal to everyone the true face of Hassan Rouhani.”

EMET wants Americans to be aware of what it calls “the disastrous nature” of the deal with Iran signed this January by the P5+1 nations, including the United States, Russia, China, France, Great Britain and Germany.

“Unfortunately, the six-month interim deal, whose text will not be publicly released by the Obama Administration, will provide Iran with sanctions relief amounting to ‘well more than $20 billion dollars,’ but in return gives little of any real value to the West.”

EMET claims that recent analysis reveals that even if Iran fully complies with its responsibilities under that deal, “its ability to build a nuclear weapon will be delayed for just one month.”

Americans need to take their obligations as citizens of this democratic country and inform their elected representatives in Washington, D.C. that they were elected to protect and defend and respond to their constituents, not to any particular political party or its leader, according to EMET. It is recommending that anyone concerned about the safety of their country contact their representatives in Washington and insist they ensure that Iran is prevented from developing nuclear weapons.

EMET is a Jewish, pro-Israel, non-partisan think tank and policy shop located in Washington, D.C. It is headed by Sarah Stern, who authored an article also released on March 12, “We are Still in the Iranian Crosshairs.”

Here is EMET’s video, “What’s it going to take.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/this-purim-jewish-think-tank-warning-america-about-iran/2014/03/14/

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