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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ronald Lauder’

Netanyahu to Opposition before Police Interrogation: Too Soon to Start Celebrating

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

A few hours before his interrogation with a warning by police Monday, regarding suspicion of illegally receiving gifts, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction, “We’ve been hearing the celebration on television and in the opposition, and I want to tell them: wait with the celebrations, don’t rush. Nothing’s going to happen, you’ll just keep flying hot air balloons.”

Netanyahu is expected to be interrogated by police in his residence, on suspicion of illegally accepting gifts and benefits. According to Channel 2 News, there’s no time limit on the interrogation.

In early December, Netanyahu’s wife, Sara, was questioned by police for 11 hours over an alleged misuse of public funds.

Police explained their need for a large block of time saying they had to be able to spread before the PM the full body of evidence and suspicions in order to receive concrete answers from him.

Police are likely to confront Netanyahu with the testimony of businessman, art collector, philanthropist, and political activist Ronald Lauder, who confirmed that he gave the PM a few gifts, including a suit, and paid for Netanyahu’s son, Yair’s hospitality abroad. Police believe the overall amount exceeds Lauder’s claim that these were “merely gifts exchanged between friends,” and leans more towards being a bribe, or a “deposit” against a future need for the PM’s good will.

Meanwhile, police have been hinting about “another” scandal connected to the Prime Minister, which, according to Ha’aretz, may be the blow that finally draws blood. The reason, according to Ha’aretz, is the fact that AG Avichai Mandelblit – breaking with normal protocol – has been closely involved with the case, advising police on witnesses, discouraging some, and even becoming involved in preparing questions interrogators should ask witnesses.

David Israel

WJC President Ron Lauder: David Friedman Will Make ‘Outstanding’ Ambassador to Israel

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

World Jewish Congress President Ron Lauder, himself a former U.S. ambassador, met Monday with President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for Ambassador to Israel, attorney David Friedman.

The meeting ended with a strong endorsement for Friedman by Lauder, who expressed confidence that Friedman will make an “outstanding ambassador.”

“During the campaign, it was no surprise to me when Donald Trump boldly declared he would ‘send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the State of Israel‘,” Lauder said.

“I have known President–elect Trump for 50 years and I can personally attest to his heartfelt commitment to the special kinship between the United States and Israel.”

“As president of the World Jewish Congress, I welcomed the opportunity to meet yesterday with Ambassador-designate David Friedman.

“A thoughtful and accomplished individual, David Friedman is both a proud American and a passionate advocate of the benefits that the United States and Israel have enjoyed from a friendship that has spanned decades. I am confident that he will be an outstanding U.S. ambassador to Israel,” Lauder added.

“Having had the privilege of serving the United States as Ambassador to Austria under President [Ronald] Reagan, I fully recognize it is the president, not any ambassador, who sets American foreign policy,” Lauder said.

“I am sure that President-elect Trump has made the appropriate choice in selecting David Friedman to advance the Trump administration’s diplomatic policies.”

Hana Levi Julian

Police Hold Billionaire Lauder for Questioning over Netanyahu Investigation

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

Jewish American billionaire Ronald Lauder was detained briefly for questioning by police last week, when he arrived in Israel to attend former president Shimon Peres’ funeral, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported Tuesday night. Lauder was questioned about his relationship with the Netanyahu family.

The president of the World Jewish Congress was detained by investigators from Police Lahav 433 special unit after arriving in Israel. According to Lauder, he told police the move was “disrespectful.” He said, “I’m arriving here from a memorial service for the massacre in Babi Yar, and going to the funeral of a good friend, with whom I’ve partnered in political endeavors — and you’re detaining me.”

In the end, according to Lauder, he reached an agreement with police that in the coming few days either the Lahav 433 investigators would come to see him in New York, or he would show up in Israel prepared to give a full testimony. Lauder said he promised to answer all the questions honestly and openly, to help police get the truth.

According to Channel 2, the attempt to interrogate Lauder suggests police are sitting on solid suspicions against the prime minister and his family members, most notably his wife, Sara, since the permission to detain a foreign dignitary of Lauder’s stature likely required the consent of AG Avihai Mandelblit.

Back in April 2011, Sara Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 10 about Lauder: “He used to be our friend, he no longer is. He flew us around and hosted us more than anyone who is mentioned in [that year’s investigation], and his name is not even in [that year’s report].”

Lauder has been critical of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s policy regarding the Iran nuclear deal.

Back in September, Channel 2 News ran a report saying Netanyahu is being investigated on an alleged attempt to solicit a bribe. But the individuals police suspected of being the target of the PM’s solicitation, including Israeli born US businessman Ari Harow did not provide incriminating information.


German Culture Minister Promises Reform of Judenfrei Nazi Loot Commission

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

German Culture Minister Monika Grütters is planning to reform the Limbach Commission, established in 2003 to mediate ownership disputes of Nazi-looted art. Ronald Lauder, the founder of the Commission for Art Recovery and president of the World Jewish Congress, has stated that the commission has been “cold and distant” in its treatment of Jews trying to claim their art that was looted by the Nazis.

The cool approach to Jewish rights of ownership of Nazi-looted property could possibly be attributed to the utter absence of Jews from the Limbach Commission.

The non-binding Washington Conference Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art, endorsed by 44 countries in 1998, recommend that governments establish independent commissions with “a balanced membership” to “assist in addressing ownership issues.” But according to The Art Newspaper, Germany’s interpretation of the phrase “balanced membership” has not included appointing a single Jewish panel member.

Grütters told the New York Times last March that the move was intentional, because, as everyone knows, a Jewish member “would be the only voice who would be prejudiced.” Her comment generated a torrent of accusations of anti-Semitism, and the culture minister promised Lauder to appoint a Jewish member. Eventually.

“Thirteen years after it was established it is time to think about the future development of the commission in the interest of improved implementation of the Washington Principles,” Minsiter Grütters said in a recent statement, and culture bureaucrats from the 16 German states and municipal associations are in the process of establishing a committee to recommend reforms, meaning to find a Jewish person they could trust with the process of examining the Nazi-looted art. According to a spokesman for Grütters, proposals should be coming in this year.

To illustrate just how (intentionally) frustrating the recovery process has been, according to the Center for Art Law in January a task force appointed by Grütters released the results of their two-year, $2 million investigation, which found the rightful owners of five of the 1,500 works in the Gurlitt collection. Grütters has admitted her own disappointment, but seems to be taking the slow and steady approach, to avoid “a second seizure” of the art — meaning that some lying Jewish family be improperly awarded one of the stolen masterpieces. Meanwhile, the entire collection continues to be exhibited in Germany this year.

In late February, also according to the Center for Art Law, Germany announced that it will pay for at least another year of research and hire additional staff to establish the provenance of works in the Gurlitt collection. Minister Grütters reaffirmed Germany’s pledge to return any looted art to its rightful owners or their descendants, and awarded the (ostensibly meticulous) research a budget of $6.5 million.


‘Woman in Gold’ Helen Mirren Testifies for Holocaust Art Restitution Bill

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

British actress Helen Mirren testified in Congress Tuesday in support of a bill to make restitution easier for American heirs of Holocaust era victims, The Art Newspaper reported. Mirren starred in the 2015 British drama “Woman in Gold,” about Austrian-born Jewish American Maria Altmann’s court fight to recover her family’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” by Gustav Klimt (her late aunt modeled for the picture), which had been stolen by the Nazis.

Mirren told two Senate judiciary subcommittees in a joint hearing on the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act that “the very act of Nazi expropriation was not only unjust but it was inhumane.” She added, “Greed, cruelty, self-interest and domination will always be with us, it’s an easy option. Justice is so much more difficult, so much more complex. But we all dream of justice. We are incapable of changing the past, but fortunately we have the ability to make change today.”

“Restitution is so much more, much more than … reclaiming a material good,” Mirren said. “It gives Jewish people and other victims of the Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories and, most importantly, their families.”

The legislation is sponsored by Republican senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Other supporters of the bipartisan bill included president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, and senators Al Franken (D, Minnesota), Chuck Grassley, (R, Iowa) and Orrin Hatch, (R, Utah).

Lauder, who purchased the Klimt painting after Altmann had sued the Austrian government to give it back, and won, told the Senators, “What makes this particular crime even more despicable is that this art theft, probably the greatest in history, was continued by governments, museums and many knowing collectors in the decades following the war.”

Today the Klimt painting is part of the permanent collection of the Neue Galerie, a museum of German and Austrian art Lauder co-founded in New York.

David Israel

Anti-Semitic Protesters Demand Kremlin Outlaw Chabad in Russia

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

In the city Perm, about 870 miles east of Moscow, a crowd of 100 people gathered last weekend to demand that Moscow outlaw the Chabad-Lubavitch movement in Russia. It’s not the first time anti-Semites in Perm have tried to rid the city of Chabad, and Jews.

The event that ignited this particular protest was the grant of a plot of land to the local Jewish community, headed by a Chabad emissary, by the government. No fees were charged for the transfer of land.

Last Saturday, the protesters appeared with picket signs that read, “Liberate Us Russians from Chabad” and “Chabad Out!” Another protester held a sign that showed just how deeply ingrained his anti-Semitism really is: “Chabad Settlement Is Over The Line: 1547.”

The reference is to the Grand Prince of Moscow, Ivan the Terrible, who rendered a decision in 1547 to ban all Jews from living and/or even entering his kingdom, because they “bring about great evil.”

In 2013, unidentified vandals hurled a firebomb at the synagogue in Perm in attempt to torch the Chabad-affiliated Jewish house of worship.

That attack came just a day after a popular Russian blogger had written a vicious post slamming a ceremony bringing a new Torah scroll to the local Perm synagogue. “Lubavitcher Chassidim will host a torch parade in Perm and demand to close the streets to traffic,” the blogger wrote, as translated and related by the Shturem website.

“Three hundred guests are expected to attend, including guests from the U.S., Israel and Russia. Economist Mikhail Doliagin stressed that these are Lubavitcher Chassidim who sued Russia in the United States, and managed that the verdict with a monetary fine for holding the Schneerson Library in Russia. Instead of giving Chabad privileges, all Lubavitch activities should be banned throughout Russia.”

The talkbacks on that article reflected the virulent anti-Semitism that is usually masked by politically-correct public diplomacy.

“All pro-Russians must band together. They all the intellectuals out, now they want the books as well.”

“Chassidim are a religio-political sect that worships the dollar, meaning the USA. Their agenda is to destroy Russia, through lies and deceit that they propagate in the media.”

During a meeting in Moscow with World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder this past Tuesday (April 19, 2016) President Vladimir Putin said,“Russian Jewish organizations are making a substantial contribution in the cause of domestic political stability in Russia, for which we are very grateful.”

Putin has been directly and indirectly responsible for the allocation of land grants – free of charge – to numerous Jewish, Christian and Muslim community and faith groups. Some of those grants came as restitution for property stolen during the Soviet era.

Hana Levi Julian

Former Secty of State Schultz Advises US Regain its Credibility

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Former Secretary of State George Schultz was awarded the Theodor Herzl Award by the World Jewish Congress on Tuesday evening, Nov. 11.

Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the WJC, and Henry Kissinger, a former recipient of the WJC Herzl Award, presented Schultz with the award.

During his speech to the star-studded crowd which gathered at New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria, Schultz opined about the most pressing foreign policy issues of the day. It was clear Schultz would not have given shelter to the sentiments emanating from the current State Department.

The speech given by the former Secretary of State, who served between 1982-89, sounded like it could have been scripted as an antidote to the current U.S. position of retreat on a grand scale.

Schultz had this to say about the current security situation in the Middle East:

“What do we need to do? We need to establish the fact that we need the United States. Because when we set out to do something, we do it.” He even admonished the U.S. for “making empty threats,” and stressed that “the U.S. needs to get its credibility back.”   “Iran is the world’s leading sponsor of state terrorism,” continued Shultz. “When you look at Iran, you see a country that obviously wants to get a nuclear weapon. And every other day they say they want to exterminate Israel.”

ISIS was also a subject Schultz broached. He recommended that the U.S. take a strong leadership role and organize a coalition against ISIS including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and America’s European allies. “If the U.S. doesn’t lead, we get chaos,” he added.

The former Secretary of State went further in expressing his views on the Arab-Israeli conflict, and how they differed from this administration.

Schultz made it clear he does not ascribe to the moral equivalency between the parties, and had this to say about 2014’s Operation Protective Edge: “The party that puts weapons in the midst of civilians is the war criminal – not the party that knocks those weapons out.”   Shultz praised the World Jewish Congress in his speech and stressed the importance of the American-Israeli friendship. “In these difficult times, trust is the coin of the realm — and we need to rebuild it,” he said. “And this organization, from all I can see, is helping to do that. It’s something we must do: we have to have a relationship of trust and common interest with our friends in Israel.”

This year’s gala event coincided with the 77th anniversary of Kristallnacht.
“In 1938 the world said nothing, it did nothing – there was utter silence. Adolf Hitler clearly understood that silence,” Lauder said. “In some ways, nothing has changed in 77 years, but tonight we have a voice, and that voice is loud and clear and strong. Unlike in 1936, the World Jewish Congress today has tremendous influence and today our voice will be heard.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-secty-of-state-schultz-advises-us-regain-its-credibility/2015/11/11/

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