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October 7, 2015 / 24 Tishri, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Simon Wiesenthal Center’

Increased Security for US Ambassador to Israel after Death Threats

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro is currently under increased security protection at his home and at the U.S. Embassy which is located in Tel Aviv. The security has been increased because Shapiro apparently received death threats related to the Nuclear Iran deal.

Several threatening letters arrived at the Embassy over the past week, numerous Israeli media outlets reported. In addition, someone posted on the Ambassador’s Facebook page that he is a “kapo.” That term was used to refer to Jews who did the work of the Nazis during the Holocaust. The anonymous Facebook post also claimed the Ambassador had “abandoned Israel.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center issued a press release in response to the incident, in which the Center’s leadership denounced the threats.

“Words have consequences and we denounce death threats made against a great American and a proud and knowledgable Jew,” said rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, founder and dean and associate dean of the leading Jewish Human Rights organization.

“The Wiesenthal Center is opposed to the controversial Iran Nuclear deal and hope that the US Congress will reject it.

“We are also deeply troubled by the the campaigns that have labeled opponents in the United States Congress, ‘warmongers’ akin to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and who put Israel’s concerns before those of America.

“We have urged our political leaders to denounce such language. We also denounce those who would vilify and question the motives of those who back the deal,” they added. “Death threats and demonizing the ambassador of Israel’s closest ally is an outrage that must not go unchallenged,” Hier and Cooper concluded.

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.

PI-INOs (Pro-Israel In Name Only) Continue to Give Cover to Obama

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama held two meetings with American Jews last week. They were the best of meetings, they were the worst of meetings. In reverse order.

The worst part of the worst meeting – from the perspective of Americans who care about regional stability in the Middle East and the continued existence of the Jewish State – was an offer made by J Street-esque Jews who promised to “do the leg work” for Obama if he decides to remove the “veto protection of Israel” at the United Nations, as reported in the Algemeiner.

At the first meeting, the Jewish organization heads represented the concerns of pro-Israel Americans regarding this administration’s recent actions, particularly regarding steps to allow Iran to come out from under the yoke of international sanctions regarding its nuclear program.

Participants in this meeting included representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the World Jewish Congress, The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, AIPAC, B’nai Brith, the ADL, the Jewish Federations, representatives of the three major streams of Judaism, and partisan and leftist groups such as the National Jewish Democratic Council, the Israel Policy Forum, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, J Street and the National Council of Jewish Women, according to the JTA.

At the second meeting, the one with those who claim to be pro-Israel when it suits them, but who are first, last and always pro-Democratic party policies (we’ll call them PI-INOs: Pro-Israel In Name Only), encouraged Obama in his belief that he “is a member of the tribe” because they, like he, understand his far-leftist orientation to be really a form of Social Justice Judaism.

Those present at this meeting included major Jewish Democratic party donors and fundraisers, including ones associated with AIPAC and J Street. They included the Israeli-American Haim Saban, who is believed to be, unlike others present, at least somewhat critical of Obama’s Middle East policies.

But a theme, originally laid out in a lengthy, glowing New York Times magazine about J Street when it was first launched, was played out again at this second meeting. This theme is, at least for those most closely associated with J Street, they serve as Obama’s “blocking back” for American Jews, presenting his adverse position on matters typically of great concern to American Jews, softening up the crowd, and taking the initial body slams.

Obama was encouraged, according to sources present at the meeting who shared what transpired with the Algemeiner, to “take steps against Israel and remain steadfast in his approach to Iran negotiations.” A “J Streeter” went so far as to have “pushed Obama to remove the veto protection of Israel at the UN in the event that a Security Council resolution called for the creation of a Palestinian State.”

This “J Streeter” reportedly said “if you decide to go against Israel at the UN, ‘let us know first, and we’ll do the legwork for you in the community.” The conversation described at least that participant as actively pushing the president to work against Israel’s concerns on the world stage.

Another participant at this second meeting reportedly encouraged Obama to continue with his negotiations with Iran and remain firm against Congress’s efforts to intervene.

The president later changed course on the Congressional initiative known as the Corker bill, fueling speculation that it actually ended up being a net positive for the administration’s efforts. There are conflicting views that the administration caved because it recognized a tidal wave was going to wash over them anyway, but careful analysts such as former U.S. Naval intelligence officer J.E. Dyer suggest that is too optimistic a view.

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).

Nazi Hunter Declares Eichmann Aide Alois Brunner Dead

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

One of the world’s top Nazi hunters has declared that Alois Brunner, a fugitive long sought for his leading role in the Holocaust, is likely dead.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem office, told the Sunday Express magazine in an article published Sunday that the Wiesenthal Center had received a tip in 2010 from a former German intelligence officer that Brunner, a key lieutenant to Adolf Eichmann, had died and was buried in Damascus, Syria.

Zuroff said that the Syrian civil war has made it impossible to verify the death but, given that Brunner would have turned 102 this year and the reliability of the intelligence source, the Wiesenthal Center had concluded that Brunner was most likely dead and thus removed him from this year’s list of wanted fugitives.

Zuroff confirmed the information in an email to JTA.

The Wiesenthal Center did not announce either its receipt of the 2010 tip or its decision to remove Brunner from the list. Zuroff told The New York Times that the issue never came up until the Sunday Express inquired.

Eichmann, the architect of the “Final Solution,” described Brunner as his “best man,” according to the Express. Zuroff told the Times that Brunner supervised the deportation to death camps of 47,000 Jews from Austria, 44,000 from Greece, 23,500 from France and 14,000 from Slovakia.

After World War II, Brunner evaded capture by the Allies, who mistakenly tried and hanged a fellow officer for his crimes, and made his way to Syria. He was tried and sentenced to death by France in absentia. In Syria, he reportedly lived in Damascus and advised Syrian dictator Hafez Assad — some believe on torture methods, according to the BBC.

In a 1985 interview with the West German newsweekly Bunte, Brunner said that his only regret from the war was that he did not kill more Jews. He also reportedly said in the interview that he had rented a room from a Jewish family in Egypt and that they were “quite nice people, really.”


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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-israel-ngo-calls-on-u-s-to-reject-un-gaza-commission/2014/08/27/

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