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B'NAI B'RITH DELEGATION TO U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADVOCATES FOR ISRAEL AND GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS

B'NAI B'RITH DELEGATION TO U.N. HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL ADVOCATES FOR ISRAEL AND GLOBAL HUMAN RIGHTS



B'nai B'rith concluded its annual leadership delegation to the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, where top staff and volunteer leaders advocated on important human rights issues and challenged the body's relentless bias against Israel.

From March 13 to March 16, more than 25 B'nai B'rith leaders and supporters, met with senior diplomats from some 40 countries, including the United States, Brazil, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. B'nai B'rith International President Gary P. Saltzman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin led the delegation.

"We meet in Geneva every year to stand up for global human rights and for Israel, and let the United Nations Human Rights Council—let the world—know that the nation-state of the Jewish people is a vibrant and remarkable democracy that does not warrant the slew of shameful condemnatory resolutions the UNHRC passes every year," Saltzman and Mariaschin said from Geneva.

During the trip, the delegation held meetings with Council officials and discussed serial human rights abusers such as Syria and Iran, as well as the UNHRC's obsessive criticism of Israel under "Item 7"—a permanent agenda item aimed only at Israel.

In addition to Saltzman and Mariaschin, B'nai B'rith was represented by other senior figures from the America Continent as well as by a number of European B'nai B'rith leaders, namely Daniel Citone of Rome, President of B'nai B'rith Europe, Stéphane Teicher of Paris, Senior Vice President Eric Engelmayer of Luxembourg, Director of the London Bureau of International Affairs Jeremy Havardi, President of the Mordecai Lodge Grenoble Ada Sadoun, Azaria Acher, Nurit Braun and Richard Sadoune all of Geneva and Anita Winter of Zürich.

Michaels coordinated the meetings in Geneva together with U.N. Affairs Program Officer Oren Drori, from New York.

Part of the delegation will continue on to Paris to meet with key government officials including United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova.

Holocaust awareness raising: BBE Secretary General Ernest Simon visits a British School


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(source of the Article: Strode's college website)

On Monday 30th January, students heard a testimony from Holocaust survivor, Ernest Simon, as part of a visit organised by the Holocaust Educational Trust (HET).

Ernest was born in May 1930 in Eisenstadt, Austria. Following the Anschluss in March 1938, Ernest and his family moved from Eisenstadt to Vienna, where they settled in a small flat in the Jewish quarter. As soon as they moved, Ernest's father began making desperate efforts for the family to leave the country.

The engaging students listened to Ernest's encounter and testimony and gained a better understanding of the nature of the Holocaust.

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Bernadette Joslin, Assistant Principal Student Services commented, "It was a privilege for us to welcome Ernest Simon to Strode's and his testimony will remain a powerful reminder of the horrors so many experienced. We are grateful to the Holocaust Educational Trust for co-ordinating the visit and we hope that by hearing Ernest's testimony, it will encourage our students to learn from the lessons of the Holocaust and make a positive difference in their own lives."

Karen Pollock MBE, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust added:

"The Holocaust Educational Trust educates and engages students from across the UK, from all communities about the Holocaust and there can be no better way than through the first-hand testimony of a survivor. Ernest's story is one of tremendous courage during horrific circumstances and by hearing his testimony, students will have the opportunity to learn where prejudice and racism can ultimately lead.

"At the Trust, we impart the history of the Holocaust to young people, to ensure that we honour the memory of those whose lives were lost and take forward the lessons taught by those who survived."






B'NAI B'RITH COMMENDS GERMANY'S CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC UNION FOR OPPOSING BDS

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B'nai B'rith strongly commends German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party for passing a resolution opposing the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. BDS only furthers Palestinian attempts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state, in turn harming the peace process by discouraging direct negotiations between the parties.

The CDU, in a statement, said: "Who today under the flag of the BDS movement calls to boycott Israeli goods and services speaks the same language in which people were called to not buy from Jews. That is nothing other than coarse anti-Semitism...The CDU will decisively oppose every hostile action that Israel faces."

We applaud the CDU's forceful rejection of an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel movement that seeks to destabilize the Jewish state's economy and ultimately end Israel's existence. We further welcome the potent symbolism of such a message from Germany's governing party. B'nai B'rith hopes that the CDU's exemplary action will prompt other political actors throughout Europe to condemn BDS and denounce anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred.

Analysis: What can be done about Europe’s listless pursuit of Hezbollah terrorists? Solomon Bali (B'nai B'rith Bulgaria) talks to the Jerusalem Post

Note: The following Jerusalem Post article refers to the terrorist attack, bus bombing, that was carried out by a suicide bomber on a passenger bus transporting Israeli tourists at the Burgas Airport in Burgas, Bulgaria on 18 July 2012. The bus was carrying forty-two Israelis, mainly youths, from the airport to their hotels, after arriving on a flight from Tel Aviv. The explosion killed the Bulgarian bus driver and five Israelis and injured thirty-two Israelis, resulting in international condemnation of the bombing.




Analysis: What can be done about Europe's listless pursuit of Hezbollah terrorists?
Source: Jerusalem Post,Benjamin Weinthal fellow of the Foundation of Defense of Democracies.


After murdering five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver in 2012, two Hezbollah operatives who were put on trial in absentia on Thursday at a Sofia court remain secure in Lebanon. The lethargy surrounding the efforts to capture the two mirrors the glacial-like pace of the trial.


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Procedural difficulties in serving legal notification to all of the Israeli victims, including 32 wounded in the terrorist attack in Burgas, caused a second postponement until December 12.

"Iran and Hezbollah were behind the Burgas bombing, just as they were responsible for the atrocities in Argentina. But in Europe, the fear of confronting both are daunting, as they have been for many years," Prof. Gerald Steinberg, founder and president of NGO Monitor and lecturer in political science at Bar-Ilan University, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

The former head of Bulgaria's counter-terrorism unit and the US government believe both suspects – Lebanese-Canadian Hassan el-Hajj Hassan and Lebanese-Australian Meliad Farah – are in Lebanon. In a sign of waning enthusiasm, there has been no significant action to compel the Lebanese government to extradite the Hezbollah operatives.

Bulgaria asked the Lebanese to cooperate in 2013, but was swiftly rebuffed. Bulgarian officials have been tight-lipped about their plan to arrest the men.

Bulgaria has not publicly summoned the Iranian and Lebanese ambassadors to demand that their countries aggressively pursue the capture of the terrorists. Bulgaria has not replicated diplomatic action like that of the Netherlands in 2011, following the execution of Zahra Bahrami, a dual Iranian-Dutch national.

She was most likely executed for her participation in the pro-democracy Green movement in 2009 against Iran's clerical regime.

As a result of the execution, the Netherlands suspended diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Netherlands labels Hezbollah's entire organization as a terrorist militia.

Why hasn't Bulgaria cut diplomatic relations with Lebanon over the harboring of suspects who murdered Mustafa Kyosev, a 36-year-old Bulgarian Muslim whose widow and daughter are struggling to survive.

In sharp contrast to the vigorous pursuit of jihadists who executed scores of people in Paris and Bremen, political inertia, wittingly or unwittingly, has taken over Europe's desire to capture the Hezbollah operatives believed to be responsible for Burgas.

Solomon Bali, who serves as a mentor for the B'nai B'rith lodge in Sofia, told the Post, "Unfortunately, when it comes to terrorist acts in poor countries, these attacks are easily forgotten.

The international attention to them is limited. The case in Burgas had a very important impact on the international treatment of Hezbollah." He cited the EU's decision to designate Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist organization in 2013.

"They [Bulgaria and EU authorities] should do more, but I am skeptical of their willingness and their capacity to do so," said Bali, adding they can "use the decision [2013 EU terrorist listing] as a reason to act. If someone wants to make the life of terrorists difficult, they can."

Bali said the distinction of Hezbollah into political and military wings is bogus. Steinberg, on a similar note, said, "Instead of isolating Hezbollah, the EU maintains the fiction of a 'military wing,' which is classified as a terrorist organization, and a separate 'political wing,' which continues to raise funds and build terrorist infrastructure. This is absurd.

"And regarding the Iranian regime, European hopes for lucrative business contracts take precedence over the 'moral principles' that ostensibly guide foreign policy. Until these fictions are confronted, the victims of terrorism and their families, including from the Burgas attack, will not see justice done," added Steinberg.

The US Senate and Congress have passed resolutions this year calling on Europe to outlaw all of Hezbollah. In a March speech at AIPA C's policy conference, Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton said, "And we must work closely with Israel and other partners to cut off the flow of money and arms from Iran to Hezbollah. If the Arab League can designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, surely it is time for our friends in Europe and the rest of the international community to do so as well and to do that now."

US President-elect Donald Trump recognized the role of the troika of Islamic terrorism: Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran. In an early November statement from Jason Dov Greenblatt and David Friedman, co-chairmen of the Israel Advisory Committee to Donald J. Trump, wrote: "Despite the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, the US State Department recently designated Iran, yet again, as the leading state sponsor of terrorism, putting the Middle East particularly, but the whole world at risk by financing, arming, and training terrorist groups operating around the world, including Hamas, Hezbollah."

To judge by the 2013 classification of Hezbollah's military wing as a terrorist entity – and the role of the US government in twisting the EU's arm – the Trump administration will be the decisive factor in pushing the EU to outlaw all of the Iranian-backed Shi'ite Lebanese militia within its territory.


Carmel lodge receives US ambassador to Bulgaria

On October 30, Sofia lodge Carmel had the pleasure to welcome the ambassador of USA to Bulgaria - H.E. Eric Rubin.

He gave a remarkable speech praising the B'nai B'rith legacy in promoting charity and tolerance, not only in the American society but also around the world.
Mr Rubin pointed out how important B'nai B'rith is with its leading role in the fight against the global Anti-Semitism and its new emerging forms.

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After his speech Mr. Rubin answered the questions and comments raised by the audience.

Being himself raised in a family deep connected with B'nai B'rith ambassador Rubin expressed his willingness to deepen the cooperation between the embassy and the lodge for bringing more tolerance in the Bulgarian society.
The meeting was special also due to the fact that it was joint meeting of a Carmel lodge and sisters and brothers from the neighboring countries. The success of the meeting inspired many ideas for future cooperation between the lodges on the Balkan peninsula.

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PRESS REVIEW N°494 BY GILBERTTE JACARET

PRESS REVIEW N°494

By Gilberte JACARET



This week we enter the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration. This document, signed on November 2, 1917 by the British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour, was the first recognition by one of the world's great powers -- in fact at the time the greatest power in the world -- of the right of the Jewish people to their national homeland in Palestine.


Clinton Versus TrumpThe Script of a Real-Life Tragedy

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Trump versus Clinton will go down in American history as the dirtiest campaign of all time. It seemed at times as though script writers had let their imaginations run wild. But the consequences for democracy in the United States will be long lasting. By SPIEGEL Staff


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Kotel Tensions Demonstrate Need to Ensure Right of Every Jew to Pray in His Or Her Own Way, ADL Says

New York, NY, November 2, 2016

Reacting to tensions today at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called for the implementation of the January 2016 agreement by the Israeli cabinet to establish a permanent and official space for mixed gender prayer at Judaism's holiest site.
"The tension demonstrates yet again the urgent need to establish the egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, to which the Israeli government is committed," said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, and Carole Nuriel, Director of ADL's Israel Office. "The cabinet's decision earlier this year was an important milestone in ensuring that every Jews has a place to pray in his or her own way."
The leaders of the Reform and Conservative movements from around the world and Israel, along with the Women of the Wall and others, marched on the first day (Rosh Chodesh) of the Hebrew month of Cheshvan, to the Kotel carrying Torah scrolls, in protest against the failure to implement the government decision to allocate a special space for egalitarian prayer.
For the first time, the groups entered the area with the Torah scrolls without being arrested by the police. During the march and prayer, clashes took place between this group and members of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community.


French Protestants slam UNESCO decision on Jerusalem

The National Council of Evangelicals in France (CNEF) has strongly condemned the recent UNESCO decisions denying the Jewish history of Jerusalem.
"What could be regarded as a regrettable error appears in fact to be a repeated wish of UNESCO to rewrite history," the group said in a statement last week.

The CNEF cited the words of the Chief Rabbi of Brussels, Albert Guigui, who wrote: "This vote denies and wipes out the ethnic, religious, historic and geographic character of the Jewish people and of Judaism towards the city of Jerusalem. If the world accepts that there is no link between the Jews and the Temple Mount, then Jesus is nothing but an invented legend."

Concluding its statement, the CNEF reaffirmed its "support and affection for the Jewish people, once again attacked at the heart of its faith and its history."

EU declares Israel boycott protected as free speech

Palestinians hail Federica Mogherini's statement, but she stresses that the union 'rejects the BDS campaign's attempts to isolate Israel'

BY RAPHAEL AHREN October 31, 2016

The European Union's foreign policy chief recently affirmed the right of EU citizens to boycott Israel, citing freedom of expression and rebuffing claims by Jerusalem that such measures amount to banned anti-Semitic activity.
While upholding the right of the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) movement to blacklist the Jewish state, Federica Mogherini also noted that the EU itself opposes efforts to boycott Israel.
"The EU stands firm in protecting freedom of expression and freedom of association in line with the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which is applicable on EU Member States' territory, including with regard to BDS actions carried out on this territory," Mogherini said in a written reply to a query by an Irish member of the European Parliament last month.

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European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmud Abbas (L) address the media after a meeting at the European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels on June 22, 2016.(AFP PHOTO / THIERRY CHARLIER)

"Freedom of expression, as underlined by the case law of the European Court of Human Rights, is also applicable to information or ideas 'that offend, shock or disturb the State or any sector of the population,'" Mogherini said.

She continued: "The EU rejects the BDS campaign's attempts to isolate Israel and is opposed to any boycott of Israel."

Despite the EU's outspoken rejection of BDS, the Palestinians celebrated Mogherini's statement.

"We welcome the EU's belated defense of the right of European and other citizens to stand in solidarity with Palestinian rights, including through BDS tactics," said Riya Hassan, a senior member of the Palestinian BDS National Committee, which bills itself as the the "largest coalition in Palestinian civil society" promoting the anti-Israel boycott movement.

Hassan went on to state that the Palestinians expect the EU to take steps against Israel, including, "at the very least, imposing a military embargo on Israel, banning products of companies that do business in Israel's illegal colonies."

The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem declined to comment on Mogherini's statement, which came on September 15 but was only published recently.

The statement came in response to a parliamentary question posed on June 24 by Sinn Fein politician Martina Anderson.

Anderson, a longtime supporter of the Palestinian cause and strident critic of Israel, had asked the European Commission whether it would "commit to defending BDS activists' right to exercise their democratic freedom of expression."

In her query, Anderson — who heads the European Parliament's "Delegation for relations with Palestine" — also asked the EU Commission to comment on a speech made in March by Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, in which he called for "pinpoint civil eliminations" against the heads of the BDS movement. (The phrase he used, sikul ezrahi memukad, has also been translated as "targeted civic prevention effort," though sikul usually means assassination.)

Mogherini replied by saying that the EU "firmly condemns threats and violence against human rights defenders under all circumstances." The union regularly discusses with Jerusalem questions regarding the the "protection of human rights and human rights defenders," she added. The EU "calls on both Israel and the Palestinians to refrain from provocation and to resolutely fight incitement and hate speech."
Israel's relationship with the EU has been fraught over the last few years, due to what Jerusalem perceives as a persistent pro-Palestinian bias in the union's statements and policies.

Last week, for instance, Jerusalem was displeased over a group of senior EU diplomats visiting Palestinian villages in the West Bank that face demolition at the hands of Israeli authorities.

The EU delegation to the Palestinian Authority said the trip's objective was to learn about "the coercive environment these communities find themselves in, to be informed of recent developments, to demonstrate concern at the humanitarian impact of any demolitions and forced transfer of population, and to express the EU's commitment to a sustainable future for the Palestinian communities in Area C."

Area C is the part of the West Bank in which Israel exercises administrative and military control, and in which the Israeli settlements are located.

Israel, which argues that the structures slated for demolition were built illegally, reacted "with irritation to the initiative and the statement," a senior official in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel.
"We can only wish that the EU would show the same amount of empathy and interest toward the Israeli victims of Palestinian violence and incitement. The root cause of the conflict is the persistent refusal of the Palestinian leadership to recognize the legitimacy of our existence as the state of the Jewish people."

Despite ongoing tension over Israel's repeated destruction of illegal structures, many of which were funded by the union, a senior EU official dealing with the Middle East last week hailed overall stable bilateral ties.

"Yes, there is a difference of views on issues concerning the Palestinians but at the same time there is no other country in the region the EU has a stronger relationship with than Israel," said Christian Berger, the outgoing director of the EU foreign ministry's Middle East and Northern Africa department.
Berger, who over the years has been blamed by Israeli officials for many of the EU's perceived pro-Palestinian policies, made the comment in a statement he provided to Israel's diplomatic mission in Brussels on the occasion of his leaving the post.
"I wish the country well," said Berger. "Israel will continue to prosper but I also hope she will find peace in a troubled region during troubled times. And, I hope Israel will remain a strong friend and partner of Europe."



Red tape, blunders keep Balfour Declaration away from the homeland it promised

Years after prime minister announced seminal Zionist document, issued 99 years ago today, would be displayed in Tel Aviv, dream of bringing it to Israel mired in renovations and bureaucratic snafus

By RAPHAEL AHREN


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Netanyahu: Abbas won't recognize Jewish state 'in any borders'


PM tells Italian president Israel was 'gravely disappointed' by Rome's abstention in UNESCO vote on Jerusalem, pleased by pledge it won't happen again.

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USA

Names Campaigning for Hillary Clinton Underscore Donald Trump's Isolation

New York Times. By ALEXANDER BURNS and GARDINER HARRISNOV. 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaigned Friday in the company of friends and celebrities, first flanked by the billionaire businessman Mark Cuban in Pittsburgh and Detroit, and then at a concert in Cleveland with Jay Z and Beyoncé. High-wattage political leaders fanned out for her around the country: Her husband, Bill, stumped in Colorado, as President Obama rallied voters in North Carolina.

By comparison, Donald J. Trump was a lonely figure.

In the final days of the presidential race, Mr. Trump's political isolation has made for an unusual spectacle on the campaign trail — and perhaps a limiting factor in his dogged comeback bid.
When it comes to bolstering Mr. Trump, the Republican Party is not sending its best: As party leaders have disavowed him or declined to back his candidacy, Mr. Trump has been left instead with an eclectic group of backup players to aid him in his last dash for votes. Though polls show Mr. Trump drawing closer to Mrs. Clinton, the most prominent Republicans in key swing states still fear that his unpopularity may taint them by association.
Mr. Trump acknowledged the relative bareness of his events at a rally on Friday night: In defiant language, Mr. Trump hailed the size of the crowd packed into an arena in Hershey, Pa.

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Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Friday. Credit Doug Mills/The New York Times


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The Mundane Origins of Germany's Huge Turkish Population

by Daniel Pipes
Oct 30, 2016

Cross-posted from National Review Online
In 1961, the German post-war "economic miracle" (Wirtschaftswunder) was in full bloom, with a seemingly insatiable thirst for unskilled workers. After signing government-to-government bilateral agreements with Italy (in 1955), Greece (1960), and Spain (1960), Bonn turned to Ankara and on this day, Oct. 30, in 1961 signed a "Recruitment Agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and Turkey" (Anwerbeabkommen zwischen der Bundesrepublik Deutschland und der Türkei). Little did either side realize the implications of this seemingly minor accord.

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Turkish Labor Minister Ali Naili Erdem visited Turkish "guest workers" (Gastarbeitern) in Germany in 1966.

The German government set up a liaison office in Istanbul to urge unmarried male candidates to apply, which they enthusiastically did in large numbers. The agreement permitted Turks to go to work in Germany for two years, then return home. But German industry lobbied for longer residencies – the constant training to replace workers every two years took its toll – so this limitation was lifted already in 1964. Still, no one expected the Turks to stay long and their jobs did not require them to learn German, so the overwhelmingly male population lived in its own dormitories, quite isolated from the larger society. Of the 750,000 Turks who arrived under this program, about half did return to Turkey, half did not.
The boom years ended with the oil crisis of 1973-74, which closed down guest worker recruitment. Ironically, this change led to an increase in the Turkish population as workers imported wives, moved to apartments, families burgeoned, and today's heavily Turkish districts throughout (former West) Germany came into being.

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A blend of the German and Turkish flags that symbolizes what has too rarely occurred.

Fifty-five years later, with unskilled laborers hardly needed and the cultural isolation proving a deep problem, the Turkish population numbers an estimated 4-5 million, making up more than 5 percent of the country's total population and by far the largest immigrant group. The 1961 agreement seems from another age entirely, yet its legacy lives on and grows unceasingly. (October 30, 2016)


The Attack on Mosul

The Spiegel ,Nov.4th 2016-11-04

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On the Ground in Mosul A Precarious Alliance Takes on Islamic State

The battle for Mosul, a key city for Islamic State, has begun. On one side, a fragile alliance with conflicting political goals, and on the other, a ruthless enemy who might go to extreme lengths to defend the Iraqi metropolis -- incluing chemical weapons.

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