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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘World Zionist Organization’

Ipsos Survey: One Third of American Students Support Boycotting Israel

Monday, May 30th, 2016

One third of American students believe boycotting Israel is justified and constitutes a legitimate means of applying political pressure on the Jewish State, according to a yet to be released Ipsos survey, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported. Ipsos is one of the world’s leading market research firms for hire, managed and controlled by research professionals, offering comprehensive global research programs in 87 countries.

The original Channel 2 story mistakenly assigned those statistics to the US population at large. It was later corrected.

The survey, which will be officially released in advance of an International conference on the struggle against BDS to open on Tuesday, polled a sample of 1,100 American students. It suggests that 33% find a boycott against Israel to be justified. A similar survey conducted in the UK found that 40% of the students there agree that boycotting Israel is legitimate.

The good news is that a 62% majority of US respondents believe that the BDS movement is a form of modern anti-Semitism. About 50% of Briton students also condemn the BDS as being anti-Semitic.

The anti-BDS international conference, titled, “Building Bridges and Fighting Boycotts,” is organized by Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress, Keren Hayesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, and CAMERA. More than 1,500 are expected to participate, including students, representatives of anti-BDS organizations, Jewish American organizations, and opinion makers.

JNi.Media

Knesset Passes Law Making Judea and Samaria Division Part of WZO

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) After hours of overnight deliberations, the Knesset approved Thursday morning a bill to regulate the legal status of the Settlement Division as part of the World Zionist Organization. The bill, submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) passed its second and third readings in a 53-48 vote. One Knesset member, Eitan Broshi of the Zionist Camp, abstained.

The bill will enshrine into law the WZO Settlement Division’s role in funding and developing rural Jewish communities in the Golan, Binyamin and Judea Hills, Jordan Valley, Hebron Hills and the Galilee and the Negev, subject, however, to the government’s approval.

The notes accompanying the proposal read, ”The purpose of the bill is anchored in legalizing the longstanding engagement between the Israeli government and the WZO Settlement Division, which for decades has served as the singular body for settlement development in Israel, and the realization of the Zionist mission of the State of Israel.”

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) presented the proposal. ”This is something that should have taken place 67 years ago, with the establishment of the State,” he said.

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said, ”This appears to be a technical debate, but we just saw the video showing youngsters repeatedly stabbing the photo of a baby who was murdered — this is the general topic we are discussing today. My Judaism is not the Judaism of those who danced at the wedding with knives. My Judaism is not Judaism of hatred or burning or dancing on the blood of babies.” Livni was referring to a Channel 10 report which showed a video of Jewish extremists dancing at a wedding while cheering the murder of a Palestinian family in Duma and calling for more killings.

”This Settlement Division Law is part of that same group. This proposal is meant to fool the Americans,” she added. ”In essence, the government is transferring to the Settlement Division the powers, but not the obligations. I would have been prepared to accept this law had one sentence been added to it – that everything that applies to the government also applies to the Settlement Division. But of course this was not accepted.”

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, ”The freedom of information clause does not include all the activity of the Settlement Division because they want to continue to rob the land of the Palestinian people and continue to build in the settlements. Many segments of the settler population carry out acts of terror. The solution is to dismantle the settlement enterprise, which is a war crime, and establish a Palestinian state.”

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said ”perhaps [the law] is meant to deceive the European Union, but it makes room for lying to the state and lying to the court. [Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development] Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), you are a dishonest and inciting man, and it cannot be that funds allotted by you will go to incitement and deception.”

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said the Settlement Division ”is trying to create a political reality that will come at the expense of the settlement blocs. Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel are being held hostage by the illegal outposts. We are protecting the settlement blocs. Earlier we saw footage from the blood wedding. These people are not Jews, and we must fight them just like we fight Hamas and Hezbollah. They did not grow in a void – they have rabbis and an ideology. It is time that we come out against the extremism of the blood wedding, which was born in those same outposts which people are trying to fund through this bill.”

JNi.Media

Why Vote for Torah?

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Martin Oliner

In the current climate, it is almost impossible to enter an Orthodox synagogue in America that has not undertaken security measures on behalf of the institution. Time, money, and efforts of all types are expended. Members are passionately recruited to protect and ensure the physical welfare and safety of congregants and members.

Yet, even as Orthodox Jews throughout the nation firmly adhere to the mantra, “If you see something, say something,” they have, until recently, been blind to, and silent about, a different type of threat. Th is is a spiritual threat from within that is arguably as insidious and challenging to Orthodox Jewish survival as any physical threat.

In October 2015, the 37th World Zionist Congress (WZC), the “parliament” of the Jewish people, will convene in Israel. At that time, the slate of leaders and policy stewards of the World Zionist Organization (WZO) that the Jewish people had voted for before April 30th, will assume their mantle of leadership. The WZO and its constituent and affiliate organizations are empowered to distribute more than one billion dollars to support programs throughout Israel and the Diaspora.

Vying for dominance in this election, are movements within our nation which seek to undermine and subvert Orthodox Judaism. These groups are using the WZC election to facilitate that attack.

These other streams are attempting to first hijack and usurp the financial resources that fuel Orthodox educational programs and materials. They are seeking to subvert the funding of the Hesder yeshivot, the subsidization and financing of services to Orthodox communities in Israel, and the grants and funding of Orthodox Shlichim and emissaries that are so effective in so many schools and institutions throughout America.

With an agenda far beyond merely derailing Orthodoxy financially, these streams also seek to undermine the ideals, convictions and beliefs that are the life-blood of Torah-committed Jews and which these programs both sustain and perpetuate.

The unabashedly stated goals of these other streams are diametrically opposed to fundamental Orthodox religious values, which include Religious Zionist outreach, Torah inspired education, the sanctity of a united Yerushalayim, intra-marriage, and advancing Aliyah. They decry the idea of hallachically performed conversions and the preservation of Shabbat in Israel. Undermining all of this and more are the stated positions and goals of the other streams.

Shockingly, many of their positions are not only anathema to those who are Torah-motivated, but create an existential danger to the Jewish State itself.

How so?

Some of the pronouncements of these streams include the advocacy of the nascent and growing BDS movement – “Boycott, Divestiture and Sanctions.” They view support of BDS as necessary “tough love” – as they view other criticisms of Israel, the support and validation of intermarriage, and the undermining of Yehuda and Shomron.

It is imperative that Orthodox supporters of Israel recognize the current challenge. This is no mere theoretical point. It is not just another academic debate between theologians or a mere battle over funding.

It is an existential threat to Orthodoxy.

It is a threat driven by a blind selfi sh refusal to admit that, following the Pew Reports highlighting of Orthodox Judaism’s viability and vitality, it appears that adherence to a Torah way of life holds the key to Jewish survival.

In contrast to the war being waged against them, the Orthodox community is not seeking to dominate nor aggressively confront any other stream nor to be proselytizing. It is simply striving to preserve its own priorities and fundamental Orthodox religious beliefs. Th e Orthodox community is attempting to make clear, through successful presentation in the WZC election, that it is the presumptive voice of the Jewish people on the world stage.

Martin Oliner

World Zionist Congress Elections: Time is Running Out

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Have you voted yet in the World Zionist Congress elections? Did you know there is an election happening now, and it ends on April 30?

Okay; step back. What is the World Zionist Congress, why is there an election for it now, and who is running? And then, don’t forget to vote.

WORLD ZIONIST CONGRESS

The WZC was founded by Theodore Herzl in 1897. His idea was to create a legislative body of informed and interested Jewish organizations to make determinations for the Jewish people with the hope of helping to re-establish the Jewish State.

Now that there is, once again, a Jewish State, the WZC meets every five years to discuss and debate issues vital to the Jewish people, such as Jewish identity, security, civil society in Israel, anti-Semitism, and the Jewish State enterprise.

In addition to general policy discussions, the WZC exerts substantial control over significant assets owned by the three major Jewish institutions. It is in this way that parties with a strong voice in the WZC are able to have some control over how the substantial funds of these organizations are spent.

The Jewish National Fund, which controls approximately 13 percent of Israel’s land is one branch over which the WZC has influence.

The Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI), which is currently headed by Natan Scharansky, is also under the purview of the WZC. JAFI deals with immigration to Israel and absorption of new olim, and influences education about Zionism.

The third institution over which the WZC has some level of control is the World Zionist Organization. The WZC helps the WZO decide how to allocate funds and assists in the formulation of WZO policies.

PARTIES RUNNING

The WZC has a total of 500 members. The majority – 190 members – comes from Israel. The United States is entitled to 145 WZC members and the remainder of the diaspora is permitted 165 representatives.

There are currently 11 parties running slates for the WZC in the U.S.

Those parties run the spectrum, from those who believe Israel was given by God and every inch of the biblical homeland belongs to the Jewish people, to those who support the immediate creation of a Palestinian State regardless of the harm to the current Jewish State.

It is essential that anyone voting reads the platform and looks at the slate of individuals running for each slate. Some of the party names do not necessarily correspond with the true nature of the parties.

WHO CAN VOTE AND HOW?

In order to vote in the U.S. elections for the WZC, you first have to register. If you are 18 years old, live in the United States and accept what is called the “Jerusalem Program,” chances are you are entitled to vote in the U.S. WZC election, which is run by the American Zionist Movement.

The Jerusalem Program encapsulates the belief that Zionism is the national liberation movement of the Jewish people, that Zionism led to the (re)establishment of Israel, which is understood to be a Jewish, Zionist, democratic and secure state and is the expression of the common responsibilities of the Jewish people for its continuity and future. Zionism assumes the centrality of the State of Israel and of Jerusalem, its capital.

According to the Jerusalem Program, Zionism asserts that Israel is rooted in the vision of the prophets, and that it strives for peace and to contribute to the betterment of the world. Zionism seeks to foster Jewish spiritual and cultural values and nourishes mutual Jewish responsibility, where the rights of Jews as individuals and as a nation are defended, and where everyone strives to erase all forms of anti-Semitism. “Finally, settling the country is an expression of practical Zionism.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

ZOA: Anti-Zionists Should Not Be Allowed in World Zionist Congress

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The Zionist Organization of America has filed a formal objection with the World Zionist Organization against a coalition of what ZOA calls anti-Zionist organizations running a slate to have an increased presence in the World Zionist Congress.

ZOA points out that the World Zionist Organization’s Constitution does not permit members to be organizations that discriminate against Jewish and Israeli businesses, or against other Jews. In addition to violating the WZO’s own constitution, boycotts of Jewish or Israeli businesses also violate New York State Human Rights Law.

If that is the case, then the organizations which named their slate “Hatikvah,” Partners for a Progressive Israel, Ameinu, Hashomer Hatzair and Habonim Dror, should be booted.

But there’s a catch, one that the anti-Zionists hope is a permanent life raft. The same organizations ZOA is calling to have tossed from the WZC’s fall 2015 election have all belonged to the WZO for years.

The organizations seeking to join the World Zionist Congress reads like a Who’s Who of the Jewish organizations who love to hate Zionism, and who claim to criticize Israel first, last and only, “out of love” for the Jewish State. Love like that kills.

The groups joining together in a united front include: Partners for a Progressive Israel (formerly MeretzUSA), Ameinu, Habonim Dror North America, and Hashomer Hatzair. The groups share various essentials, according to ZOA, including New York office space, various directors and ideology.

The PPI brazenly supports consumer boycotts against such Israeli companies as Ahava, SodaStream and a list of others.

While Ameinu calls itself an “American Zionist organization” and insists it opposes boycotts of Israeli products, the ZOA points out that Ameinu began a special unit in its organization which lobbies the American and European governments to impose severe financial and travel restrictions on Israel’s Finance Minister and other Israeli leaders.

Yet another objection ZOA raises to the HaTikvah slate is what ZOA describes as close involvement between PPI, Ameinu and the J Street organization. J Street has long hosted and supported many of the leading Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel groups and individuals. Despite claims of not being BDS advocates, their history and associations make clear the opposite is true.

The ZOA wants both the American Zionist Movement and the World Zionist Organization to expel PPI and Ameinu from membership, and to prevent HaTikvah from running for the World Zionist Congress. ZOA is currently a member of the AZM and the WZC, and so believes it has standing to bring this claim.

Should ZOA fail in its bid to bar the ani-Zionist slate from running, ZOA wants, at a minimum, for that group of organizations to be prevented from using the name HaTikvah. The basis for that move is that such a name, which of course evokes the Israeli national anthem, is confusing and will mislead uninformed voters who think the slate actually stands for what the words to the Israeli anthem mean, the essence of which is for Jews to be able to live freely in their ancient land.

As pointed out in ZOA’s  formal complaint filed first with the American Zionist Movement, and then with the Central Election Board, Ameinu’s  longtime director Leonard Fein called the words of the anthem HaTikvah “an insult” in a 2000 speech.

Judge Abraham Gafni of the American Zionist Movement rejected ZOA’s complaint. Gafni said that PPI, Ameinu and the HaTikvah slate were all entitled to participate in the 2015 World Zionist Congress election because they ran before and won at least one seat in the 2006 and 2010 World Zionist Congress elections.

The ZOA, however, said that fact should be irrelevant for several reasons. First of all, the BDS movement had barely gotten off the ground in 2010, and certainly in 2006. Furthermore, Ameinu’s new council seeking severe sanctions on Israeli leaders only began very recently.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

“Think Israel Summit” – Strengthening Israel Identity for Young Professionals and Singles

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

When studying the recent trends in Aliyah, it emerges that more and more young singles are realizing that their future is in Israel. However it appears that a staggering number of young Diaspora Jews have little to no knowledge or even a slight connection with Israel.

Recognizing the vital need to help maintain awareness of Israel identity and Jewish peoplehood among the Diaspora communities, a wide array of organizations are working together with Nefesh B’Nefesh to produce and promote ‘Think Israel’ – a special summit addressing future trends of Israel and Aliyah. Geared for Jewish students and young professionals, this day of interactive workshops, panels, and presentations is scheduled to take place at the UJA-Federation of New York in Manhattan on Sunday, November 20th.

The initiative comes on the heels of “Innovation Israel – Shaping Israel’s Future Today” – a recent week-long road trip that was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh and PresenTense to engage Israel-conscious members of the Diaspora community in discussion about social change in Israel through innovative entrepreneurship. The program’s success, incorporating live events in five cities, remote live webcast, and an active twitter discussion, obviated the need to continue to generate programs of this nature.

The ‘Think Israel’ summit, which is expected to draw hundreds of attendees and many more via a  live webcast, will open with a special panel on ‘Our Visions for Israel’ with David Breakstone, Vice-Chairman of the World Zionist Organization and William Darroff, Vice President for Public Policy Jewish Federations of North America. It will also feature interactive workshops, panels and presentations designed to engage participants in discussion about Israeli identity, Aliyah and trends in Jewish peoplehood. Topics to be addressed in the various breakout sessions will include social justice, Israel advocacy, careers in Israel and Aliyah.

A wide array of organizations are working together with Nefesh B’Nefesh to create and promote the initiative, including: the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, the American Zionist Movement, the World Zionist Organization, MASA, The Israel Project, Stand With Us, Yeshiva University, the Torah Activities Council, Bnei Akiva, ROI and Habonim Dror of North America.

Laura Ben-David

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/aliya/think-israel-summit-strengthening-israel-identity-for-young-professionals-and-singles/2011/11/16/

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