News

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.”

The Huffington Post
Wednesday, December 30, 2015 - 4:56pm

Of all the criticism Donald Trump has taken in recent weeks for making provocative statements, the most interesting was uttered by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia. Following Trump’s call for banning Muslims from entering the United States, the Prince, a member of the Saudi royal family, said of the Republican presidential candidate, “You are a disgrace not only to the GOP but to all America.”

Hearing that message from Prince Alwaleed is like the pot calling the kettle black. If intolerance to other religions is the criteria for a disgraceful policy, he ought to direct equal attention to his own government’s long-standing positions. Is it necessary for the “custodian of Islam” — by virtue of Saudi Arabia being the location of the Haj — to prohibit the practice of all other religions? Is it right that barriers to citizenship and even entry into the Kingdom can be enforced on the basis of religion?

The Hill
Friday, December 18, 2015 - 11:13am

The election of Mauricio Macri as Argentina’s new president is a promising development, not just for his long-suffering nation, but for the prospects that Latin America can move successfully into a post-Chavez period of reintegration with the West. As Argentina works to reinvigorate its economy, abandon a provocative and failed foreign policy and assure citizens that rule of law and an independent judiciary will be respected, the U.S. has a rare opportunity to make a real difference by supporting the fresh wind blowing through the Western Hemisphere.

Having personally gotten to know Macri over the past few years, I believe he has the leadership qualities to fulfill his vision of leading Argentina into a new era of economic prosperity. Renewing strong economic relations with the United States and other western nations will be part of Macri’s effort to repair the damage of Buenos Aires’ default on its debt and exit from the dollar in 2002 amid the Argentine Great Depression. Reversing his predecessor’s isolationist trade policies will be applauded in Washington and most other western capitals, and contribute to jump starting Argentina’s stalled economy.

The Jewish Chronicle
Tuesday, December 15, 2015 - 3:00pm

Argentina’s new government was set this week to quash a pact with Iran under which the countries had agreed to jointly investigate the 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires. Upending what had been a pillar of the country’s foreign policy, Germán Garavano, Argentina’s justice minister, said in an interview that the ministry would nullify an appeal, lodged by the administration of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, against a court’s decision declaring the pact unconstitutional.

 

...“We applaud the Argentinian government’s new direction on this important matter,” said Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, in a statement.

JP Updates
Monday, December 14, 2015 - 4:00pm
On Dec. 10, American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen attended the inauguration ceremony of Argentinian President-Elect Mauricio Macri in Buenos Aires. Rosen was invited to attend the ceremony by Macri. Macri is on good terms with the Jewish community of Argentina, and his administration is expected to improve ties with Israel, unlike his predecessor, Cristina Kirchner. In 2013, Kirchner signed a “memo of understanding” with Iran, a country responsible for an Islamic suicide attack in 1994 which left 114 dead and over 500 injured.
 
“We will propose to Congress to cancel [Kirchner’s] pact with Iran as we promised in the campaign,” Macri stated following his election.
Fairport-East Rochester Post
Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 4:30pm

Last month, I had the opportunity to travel to Israel to attend the 30th International Conference of Mayors, organized by the Jewish American Congress, the Council on World Jewry, and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was one of just four mayors from the United States invited to join about 25 other municipal leaders from around the world to discuss urban innovation.

During my visit, I was impressed how Israeli cities place a strong emphasis on future generations in their decision-making process, and I intend to do the same in Rochester.

i24 News
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 5:30pm

As the results of Argentina’s pivotal presidential elections started pouring in, a sigh of relief echoed in Israeli diplomatic circles. Ending the era of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, defined by tensions and animosity between Jerusalem and Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri’s election as president was widely hailed in Jerusalem as a double victory, good tidings for both Israel and Argentina's 180,000-strong Jewish community.

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