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October 10, 2015 / 27 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Abraham Cooper’

Wiesenthal Center: ‘P5+1 Must Denounce Iran’s Latest Threat to Destroy Israel’

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

A senior official of the Simon Wiesenthal Center attending an international conference in Israel, demanded that the world powers negotiating a deal that will remove sanctions against Iran, denounce the Iranian regime’s continuous threats to destroy Israel.

“Over 1,000 people have converged on Jerusalem for the Global Forum For Combating Anti-Semitism, but our efforts to turn back the escalating threats to world Jewry won’t mean much if the leaders of the civilized world maintain their silence as Tehran’s threats to destroy the Jewish state continue unabated and unchallenged,” charged Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the leading Jewish human rights NGO.

“Now is the time for the United States, Germany, France, and England to finally demand that Iran drop its genocidal threats against Israel.”

Rabbi Cooper was talking about the latest threat from Mojtaba Zolnour, the advisor to Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.

The “government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has divine permission to destroy Israel,” Zolnour was quoted by the semi-official state news agency Fars, adding that, “the Noble Koran permits the Islamic Republic of Iran to destroy Israel.” On the eve of a deal with world powers that will lift all economic sanctions in return for a delay Iran becoming an immediate nuclear power, Zolnour insisted that “Even if Iran gives up its nuclear program, it will not weaken this country’s determination to destroy Israel.”

Zolnour is fond of making such hyperbolic threats. He’s been doing it for nearly a decade, using nearly identical language. And yet the negotiations and appeasements continue.

As recently as February, Zolnour threatened “Our missiles can arrive into the heart of Tel Aviv and destroy it in 6 or 7 minutes before the dust and smoke of the Zionists missiles arrive to us,” noting that, “Israelis are cowards; they cannot fight Hamas, while the strength of Hamas and Hezbollah is equal to a small part of Iran’s military power,” according to Iraqi News.

And if you go back as far as 2008, Zolnour was spouting the same doomsday threats. Back then, before President Obama started sending love notes and New Year’s messages as part of his campaign to woo the Persians back into the civilized community of nations, the violent threats included the U.S.

“In case the United States and Israel dare to shoot a bullet, Iran will target the heart of Israel and 32 U.S. bases in the region imminently,” Fars reported back before Obama took office.

But dares against the United States continued into this administration’s tenure as well, with Zolnour making stating in 2009, “Even if one American or Zionist missile hits our country, before the dust settles, Iranian missiles will blow up the heart of Israel,” Mojtaba Zolnour said, according to IRNA news agency.

This tone is de rigeur for Zolnour, whose 2009 threats were made as talks were taking place between the P5+1 and Iran about its nuclear program. Just before those meetings commenced, Iran test-fired missiles with ranges that could put Israel and regional U.S. bases within reach.

While present at the Israeli MFA’s Combating Anti-Semitism conference, Rabbi Marvin Hier, SWC founder and Dean called on world powers, led by the United States, to denounce threats to “annihilate” Israel by the Ayatollah and other senior figures of Iranian regime during a recent meeting with President Obama and Jewish leaders at the White House.

A look at the program for the MFA’s “combating anti-Semitism” event reveals the presence of representatives from most of the parties the SWC was taking to task.

Wiesenthal Center Urges US to Reconsider PA Funding After ICC Move

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

A day after the Palestinians failed to gain the support of the UN Security Council to set a date for Israeli withdrawal and Palestinian Statehood, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing another path to gain recognition as a state without negotiating with the Jewish state by seeking to make itself a party to the International Criminal Court.

“Once again President Abbas has signaled the world that he refuses to do any of the heavy lifting of a true peace builder,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Founder and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights NGO. “Court Israel, not the ICC to get a Palestinian State,” they added.

“Further, Mr. Abbas and his cronies, in the Palestinian Authority as well as Hamas and its leadership are in for a surprise,” the Rabbis said, adding, “While they pursue phony charges of war crimes against Israel, they themselves will have to wait behind a long line of thousands of bereaved families whose lives were destroyed by Palestinian terrorists as well as face charges of incitement to genocide.”

“The Wiesenthal Center urges the appropriate U.S. Committees in the Senate and House to convene hearings as soon as possible to discuss the impact on U.S. funding of the PA in light of Abbas’ move,” Hier and Cooper concluded.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

Human Rights NGO Denounces Abbas for Incendiary Incitement

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

One of the leading pro-Israel non-governmental organizations is denouncing acting Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for his incendiary incitement against the Jewish people’s rights to their own religious sites. That NGO is urging the U.S., the EU and interfaith leaders to join it in the denunciation before Abbas’s false claims lead to further violence.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center denounced what it called Mahmoud Abbas’s “assault on the religious freedom of the Jewish people” for stating that Jews visiting Jerusalem’s Temple Mount are desecrating the Al Aqsa Mosque.

“Mr. Abbas sounds no different than Hamas when he labels Jews visiting the Temple Mount—Judaism’s holiest site—a ‘desecration’ and calls upon Muslims to defend the Al-Aqsa Mosque against a non-existent threat,” charged Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate Dean of the major international Jewish human rights group.

The NGO asserts that the action of the PA’s acting leader is consistent with Palestinian leadership’s efforts to deny the Jewish people’s historic connection to the Holy Land.

One example they gave was the PA’s effort to rebrand Rachel’s Tomb, which is  the burial place of the matriarch of the Jewish nation, as a mosque. Another example the SWC offered is the repeated attempts of the Palestinian Arabs to torch Joseph’s Tomb, located near Nablus, and having made it virtually impossible for Jews to worship there safely. A third example is the repeated denial by Palestinian Arab leaders that King Solomon’s Temple stood atop the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

The leadership of the SWC castigated the PA leadership both for trying to disassociate the Jewish connection to the Holy Land and for fomenting hatred amongst their people against the Jews by pretending that Jews are trying to destroy what the Muslims have been taught are their own religious sites.

The SWC explained Abbas’s “outrageous campaign”is a relatively new phenomenon. Historically,”Muslims often revered and protected Jewish Holy sites.” They cited a pamphlet published by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem between 1924 through 1953, “A Brief Guide to Al-Haram Al-Sharif,” an English language guide to the Temple Mount.

That pamphlet states on its opening page, referring to the Temple Mount: “Its identity with the site of Solomon’s Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to the universal belief, on which [quoting Hebrew scripture] ‘David built there an alter unto the Lord.'”

The SWC leaders said:

We live in a time when Muslims, Christians and Jews are beheaded by a so-called Islamic State, when Christians have been ethnically cleansed from historic communities in Iraq and threatened throughout the Middle East. Israel is the only country where the religious rights of all faiths are protected and respected. Indeed, people of all faiths—including Muslims– are welcome to visit the Western Wall; Jews should be equally welcomed to visit the Temple Mount.

The SWC called on U.S. President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry and other political and religious leaders to “tell President Abbas to stop the canards,” and to finally acknowledge that the Temple Mount is, indisputably, Holy to the Jewish people. Unless Abbas is confronted by those international leaders, the SWC warned, “Abbas’s lies will surely incite to violence.”


Pro-Israel NGO Calls on US to Reject UN Gaza Commission

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

The leading officials of the Simon Wiesenthal Center told  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to reject the United Nation’s Human Rights Council’s “independent” Commission on Gaza.

Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Dean and Associate Dean of the SWC took the unusual step of sending a letter to Kerry and Holder because, they wrote, the Commission’s Chair, William Schabas, has already outed himself as biased against Israel.

Schabes publicly stated that the UN should not be prosecuting the president of Sudan, but it should prosecute then-Israeli President Shimon Peres. He also said that his first choice for person to put in the dock at the International Criminal Court to be tried for war crimes is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

In addition to Schabas being unfit to head the Commission, Hier and Cooper also pointed out that the Commission itself is fatally flawed: “The text of the [UNHRC] resolution unequivocally affirms that, in the Council’s view, Israel has been judged guilty and only Israel’s actions in defending its citizens from relentless rocket attacks are to be investigated.”

There is no inclination to look into any violations of human rights or commission of war crimes on the part of Hamas.

“There is little doubt that the Commission’s statements will in fact be incorporated in various legal proceedings and entities in an attempt to vilify isolate and even prosecute Israeli leaders. Of course, the unrelenting terrorist crimes of Hamas are not part of the mandate of this commission,” the NGO’s letter asserts.

B ut the appointment of Schabas Was beyond the pale. In 2009, Schabas made clear that as far as he was concerned, any wrong done by Hamas was understandable and forgivable.

“Maybe Hamas didn’t behave properly… but it doesn’t challenge in any significant way the conclusion that Israel violated International Law,” Schabas wrote.

It is the strongly held position of the Simon Wiesenthal Center that the U.S.  must denounce the biased Commission and Commissioner and make public that it will not accept any of the Commission’s findings.

“To do otherwise and to wait for Professor Schabas and his commission to conclude its investigation would only validate his appointment and set a dangerous precedent for future judicial biases, which would mock and weaken the global efforts against terrorism and the right of democracies to defend themselves against naked aggressions by non-state actors,” Hier and Cooper concluded.

US decision to work with PA-Hamas Government Victory for Terrorism

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish Human Rights organization, expressed its shock and deep disappointment that the Obama Administration declared it will work with the new hybrid PA-Hamas government.

“The mirage of technocrats in charge of the economy cannot disguise the reality that terrorists remain in charge of the rockets. Today, no one in the Middle East believes this is anything but a victory for Hamas, a terrorist organization that has consistently shown through words and deadly actions that it has not backed away from its founding charter seeking the Jewish State’s destruction,” said Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and founder and associate dean of the human rights NGO.

“There is no fig leaf large enough to cover Hamas’ blood-drenched legacy. No Israeli leader, left, right, or center, would ever agree to a Palestinian State as its immediate neighbor that includes lackeys of the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran, who have lobbed thousands of rockets at Israeli population centers and unleashed suicide bombers murdering and maiming innocent men women and children in Israel,” they added.

“We applaud US Secretary of State John Kerry’s tenacity in trying to bring Israeli and Palestinians closer to peace. Unfortunately, the decision to defacto legitimize an unrepentant Hamas empowers not the peacemakers but the bomb throwers,” Hier and Cooper added.

“The table for peace in the Middle East will be set when the US and the European Union hold President Abbas’ PA accountable for the billions in aid they received, foreswear violence and introduce a curriculum of peace instead of one that demonizes and delegitimizes its Jewish neighbors,” they concluded.

Wiesenthal Center: European Leaders Must Act Following Belgian Attack

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

A gunman walked into the Jewish Museum of Belgium on Saturday, May 24. He opened fire and shot four people. Three died almost immediately; a fourth died later, at the hospital. The police arrested one man in connection with the shooting, and a second is being sought.

“The Simon Wiesenthal Center condemns the murderous terrorist attack today at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that left four innocents dead and a community in shock,” said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate Dean of the leading Jewish human rights NGO, who will be addressing an international Conference on Anti-Semitism starting this Sunday at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University.

“While Belgian authorities have raised the terror alert to level 4 ( highest), the fact is that a terrorist—who shot—to kill—all too accurately, remains on the loose, leaving a shocked Jewish community deeply shaken,” Cooper said.

“At this point, it is not known if the terrorist is tied to an organized group, or like the Toulouse French Jewish School murders or the Passover Eve attack on the Jewish Community Center in Kansas City, carried out by a lone-wolf who may have honed his skills in the Middle East or online. Either way, this clinical, cold-blooded attack takes place against the backdrop of a massive spike in anti-Semitic attitudes and acts across much of Europe.”

“Of course we expect Belgian authorities to take all necessary measures to protect Jewish lives and Jewish Life in their nation but is all time for them and all the European leaders to also take measures to reverse the extreme anti-Israel and anti-Jewish attitudes held by as many as 150 million European citizens,” Rabbi Cooper concluded.

Rabbi Cooper spoke tonight with Joel Rubinfeld, who heads up the Belgian League Against Anti-Semitism and asked him to express condolences to the victims’ families and the Jewish community on behalf of the 400,000 members of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Approximately 40,000 Jews live in Belgium, about half of whom live in or near Brussels.

California School District Cancels Lesson on Holocaust Denial

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Students at a school in California who were given an assignment to compare propaganda with actual evidence on the Holocaust have instead been told to abandon the project.

The order came following a firestorm of criticism and at least one death threat aimed at Southern California’s Rialto Unified School District, which assigned the homework.

According to a report published in The Daily Bulletin newspaper, the project was assigned in April to 2,000 13-and-14 year old eighth grade students, as follows:

Shen tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain.  Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”

It had first been reviewed by a committee of eighth grade teachers, and sent to middle school sites in February for comment prior to distribution to the students. No objections were raised at the time, according to the spokesperson.

But the district found itself under siege on Monday, with the switchboard lines ringing off the hook.

At least one person called police repeatedly threatening death to a district spokeswoman Syeda Jafri and the interim school superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam. The incident is under investigation.

But also among the critics was Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, who slammed the assignment as inappropriate.

Rabbi Cooper told FoxNews.com on Monday, “Whatever the motivation, it ends up elevating hate and history to the same level… We should train our kids to have critical thinking, but the problem here is the teacher confused teaching critical thinking with common sense, because common sense dictates you don’t comingle propaganda with common truth.”

The rabbi advised the district to instead assign students to research the issue of Holocaust denial and meet with local survivors of the Nazis.

The school district responded in a statement saying the interim superintendent will speak with its educational services department to “assure that any reference to the Holocaust ‘not occurring’ will be stricken from any current or future argumentative research assignments. The Holocaust is and should be taught in classrooms with sensitivity and profound consideration to the victims who endured the atrocities committed,” the statement continues. “We believe in the words of George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot learn from history are bound to repeat it.”

The Los Angeles office of the Anti-Defamation League said it was satisfied with the district’s actions by Monday. “It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust denial,” Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman was quoted as saying, after having spoken with the interim superintendent on Friday.

“ADL does not have any evidence that the assignment was given as part of a larger, insidious, agenda,” a blog post quoting Friedman continues. “Rather, the district seems to have given the assignment with an intent, although misguided, to meet Common Core standards relating to critical learning skills.”

In a number of European countries today — including Germany — Holocaust denial is a criminal offense for which one can be sentenced to prison. The Nazis exterminated six million Jews out of a total of some 11 million victims murdered between 1933 and 1945, in the Holocaust that took place prior to and during World War II. Some two-thirds of European Jewry was wiped out in the slaughter, which ended with the defeat of Nazi Germany by the U.S., UK and their Allies.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/california-school-district-cancels-lesson-on-holocaust-denial/2014/05/06/

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