News

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 5:04pm

Louis D. Brandeis, the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice who took his seat almost exactly 100 years ago, famously wrote that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” In another illustration of that wisdom, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to delegitimize Israel was unable to survive the scrutiny of the United Methodist Church, which voted last week to reject four resolutions aimed at taking punitive action against Israel.

The 12-million-member Church voted on pro-BDS measures at each of its last three quadrennial policy conferences, culminating this year in another defeat for BDS supporters in what one proponent of the resolutions described as an effort that “pretty much went down in flames.”
 

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 2:42pm

Bernie Sanders’ appointments of Cornel West and James Zogby as his representatives to the Democratic party’s platform drafting committee are drawing strong condemnation from U.S. Jewish leaders...

“Of all the social activists that Senator Sanders could have nominated to help advance his message, we are particularly troubled by the selection of Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen said in a statement. “Ultimately, we will judge the committee based on their actions at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this July, but considering Sanders’ extremely misinformed comments about Israel last month, the American Jewish Congress is especially concerned about West’s policy positions on the Middle East.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 1:57pm

The American Jewish Congress has issued a statement criticizing the announcement of Senator Bernie Sanders’ five nominations for the Democratic Party platform drafting committee, including former Harvard professor and Cornel West, who is a supporter of boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

“Of all the social activists that Senator Sanders could have nominated to help advance his message, we are particularly troubled by the selection of Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen said.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 - 11:55am

American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen issued a statement on Wednesday, praising former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, for their support of Israel.

Former President Clinton defended his and his wife’s record on Israel in response to a heckler at a political rally last week. Secretary Clinton issued a press statement criticizing the boycott, divestment and sanctions‎ movement as the United Methodist Church’s moved to pass a resolution — which ultimately failed — in boycotting Israel.

In his statement, Rosen described the Clintons as a consistently strong ally to Israel.

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.

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