News

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 - 10:46am

For most of the 2016 Presidential campaign, foreign policy issues have played a secondary role, but Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders’ response to questions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has generated considerable attention on the eve of the New York primary.

Recently, Sanders threw around random numbers with respect to civilians killed in the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling over the Gaza Strip. Confusion about the precise figures is not disqualifying, but even more troubling than having only a distant familiarity with one of the most high profile issues a sitting US Senator confronts is the language Sanders chose to criticize Israeli conduct in its war of self-defense.

Sanders is among those who argue for a “proportional response” to terrorists. This is a notion many find baffling, as the merciless attacks by terror groups focus overwhelmingly on their attempts to murder as many innocent civilians as possible. In such a political and military context, one wonders what the advocates of proportionality really mean given Webster’s definition of “having a size, number or amount that is directly related to or appropriate for something.”

Monday, April 18, 2016 - 3:19pm

"In a resolution last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) passed a resolution branding Israel as “an occupying power,” denying Israel’s historic and religious connection to holy sites such as the Temple Mount and the Western Wall in Jerusalem...

In a responding statement, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen expressed concern over the resolution, saying that the United Nations already suffers from “a major credibility gap” in its bias against Israel. According to Rosen, the resolution “only serves to harm” the reputation of the U.N. and affiliated bodies, along with their effectiveness in making contributions to Jerusalem’s already tense atmosphere.

“If UNESCO truly seeks to improve the situation on the ground,” Rosen said, “as opposed to fanning the fires of hatred, then it is critical for them not only to strike a vastly fairer and more balanced approach, but a historically accurate one.”

Fair Observer
Monday, April 4, 2016 - 9:22am

Argentina is the only major player in Latin America with a forward looking agenda that offers hope to its people.

In the crush of events that always weigh down a US president, and the daily eruptions of the 2016 election campaign, it would be a monumental mistake to underestimate the importance of President Barack Obama’s recent meeting with newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri. US outreach to Latin America never seems to garner sufficient priority, and the personal attention by Obama to one of the most interesting new leaders in a hugely influential country south of the border should not go unremarked.

Macri’s electoral victory in 2015 represents a long awaited change from the path taken by many of Argentina’s neighbors, where corruption and ineptitude seem pervasive in places like Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil. Succeeding Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whose fame, or infamy, rested on her accommodations with neighborhood thugs—not to mention her various deals with Iran’s ayatollahs—Macri brings to Casa Rosada the promise of a new day for his people and a new model for Latin America.

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 12:02pm

Even in the midst of an astounding 2016 presidential campaign that is gripping the attention of most Americans, the U.S. - Iran nuclear deal is back in the news. The IAEA says that, so far, Iran appears to be in compliance. But that is not the whole story.

Now we learn that the regime of the Ayatollahs has a new program to support Palestinian murderers of Israelis. Iran has committed to give $7,000 to families of attackers who have used knives, hammers, scissors and other crude implements to kill and maim. For families that have their homes destroyed by Israel as a form of deterrence against future would-be murderers, Iran will provide $30,000.

None of this can come as a surprise, as Iran has increased financial support of both Hamas and Hezbollah, its two best-known proxies devoted to Israel’s destruction. Nor was any this unanticipated at the time the nuclear agreement was signed.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 1:59pm

The American Jewish Congress lauded the state of Indiana on Thursday for passing in its Senate an bill against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure 47-3 on Tuesday.

"We thank Indiana for being a friend to Israel and for making a wise decision -- both economically and politically -- to stand up against detractors of the Jewish State," said AJC President Jack Rosen. "We expect Indiana’s Governor Mike Spence to sign the bill into law, making Indiana the sixth state to adopt an anti-BDS provision in recent months."

 

JD Updates
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:09am

The American Jewish Congress is urging the United Methodist Church to end its divestment in five Israeli banks that it blacklisted last month for what was described as humanitarian reasons, on concern that Israel’s production of innovative medical technology will be hindered by such divestiture.

“In the 21st century, it is impossible to talk about quality health care without acknowledging the outsized contribution made by dozens of Israeli firms that are at the forefront of medical research and innovation,” said AJCongress President Jack Rosen, in a letter released Monday. “Much of the world relies on Israel to produce the indispensable medical technology that is used in every hospital.”

The advocacy group’s letter was addressed to the presidents of 83 Methodist healthcare associations and hospitals.

The Huffington Post
Tuesday, February 2, 2016 - 1:22pm

At a time when European nations are turning their backs on Israel, Italy has held steadfast in support of both the Jewish state and its own Jewish citizens. Polls consistently show Italians with the lowest percentage of anti-Semitic views compared to other Europeans, even as anti-Semitism is making a resurgence throughout the continent.

Last week, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, as the world paid formal tribute to one of the darkest periods in modern history, Italy took it a step further when a local newspaper distributed skullcaps to all of its subscribers in a show of solidarity with Jews. 

The daily paper, Foglio, emphasized the move was in response to a French Jewish leader who recently advised Jews to hide their religious identities in public after a French Jew was assaulted with a machete for donning a yarmulke.

In an article that accompanied the free token, the paper asserted that “the West should not obscure its roots and its religious symbols,” and that in response to the surge in anti-Semitism across Europe, “this year we must do more.”

JD Updates
Monday, February 1, 2016 - 9:53am

As part of Wednesday’s International Holocaust Memorial Day, Italian ambassador to Israel Francesco Maria Talo stressed Italy’s responsibility to remember the Holocaust...

In the words of AJCongress President Jack Rosen, “At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise across Europe, Italy serves as a model for the positive effect nations can make when they take it upon themselves to remember critical historical events such as the Holocaust,”

According to a 2015 report from the London-based Institute for Jewish Policy Research, “About one-third of respondents thought that hostility towards Jews in public places had increased in the past five years, and a similar proportion thought that there had been an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings and institutions and anti-Semitism in political life.”

JD Updates
Wednesday, January 20, 2016 - 12:53pm

 American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen has voiced concern in response to a recent European Union resolution that arrangements between Israel and EU member countries will not apply to Israeli settlements.

“It is deeply unsettling that the European Union and EU member states have proposed a number of measures aimed at sanctioning Israel,” Rosen said, “all the while the Israeli government has made historic accords in strengthening its bond to various European countries, some of which think they can have it both ways.”
Rosen described the resolution as “a slap in the face to the Israeli people, who continue to fear for their lives amid the recent wave of violence that has now loomed over them for nearly four months. Meanwhile, French Jews are being attacked in the streets, and instead of condemning anti-Semitism, officials tell them not to wear yarmulkes in public and support punitive actions against Israel.”

According to Rosen, “The continued accusations against and condemnation of Israel by European officials is unwarranted and unprecedented, as is the degree of rhetorical malice expressed by various European officials.”

“Something must be done to prevent any further damage–whether physical or diplomatic—to Jews in Europe and their countries’ relationships with the Jewish State.”

JD Updates
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 - 9:50am

On Monday, California Assemblyman Travis Allen introduced legislation to prohibit California from investing in companies that boycott Israel. On Dec. 21, Florida legislators passed a similar resolution condemning BDS as well. In response, American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen has issued a statement praising the the Florida and California State Legislatures for their decision.

“We at the American Jewish Congress are very proud of the state representatives of Florida and California for taking the initiative to pass measures aimed at curtailing the BDS movement,” Rosen said in a statement.

“Now more than ever, we must work to counteract the corrosive nature of the BDS movement,  properly educate the American populous on the true aims of BDS, and undermine the toxic form that the movement has taken on college campuses and in academic circles. Each state or institution that adopts anti-BDS legislation is aiding Israel and Jews worldwide in their mission to stand up against those who seek to delegitimize the Jewish State, which is the true aim of BDS.”

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