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NEWS of B'nai B'rith



EP delegation


B’nai B’rith International led several members of the European Parliament on a five-day visit to Israel. This trip promoted the Jewish state as an influential leader in education, technology, agriculture and medicine. The delegation included the following members of the European Parliament Lars Adaktusson (Sweden), Ramona Manescu (Romania) and Davor Stier (Croatia).

“It is necessary for diplomatic leaders to receive accurate information regarding Israel and what it deals with on a near daily basis—such as violent terrorist attacks,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said. “This mission provided an informative and vital experience that permitted members of the European Parliament to recognize that Israel is a dynamic and diverse country with a thriving economy.”

The trip, staffed by B’nai B’rith World Center – Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider and Eric Fusfield, deputy director of the B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy, allowed participants to immerse themselves in Israel’s culture by touring the Old City of Jerusalem, hearing from Israeli military officers at the Gaza border about the country's unique security challenges and visiting Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial. The delegation also visited wounded victims of the Syrian war at Ziv Hospital and met with Knesset members Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), Anat Berko (Likud) and Nachman Shai (Zionist Union). The delegation also toured the Israel Museum, visited Kibbutz Magen (located in the northwestern Negev desert), met with Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro of Ariel and visited a plastics factory in the West Bank, where they learned about Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and job creation. Participants discussed religious pluralism in Israel with Christian and Baha'i faith leaders.

The mission also included a meeting with key officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the diplomats discussed European Union-Israel relations and the labeling of products made in the West Bank and Golan Heights. “B’nai B’rith is responsible for providing influential international leaders with information that demonstrates Israel’s vibrant democratic character,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “There is no better way to accomplish this than by bringing European officials to Israel, so they can experience the Jewish state’s culture and political environment firsthand, as well as its story of success as the ‘start-up nation.’ We will continue to do these missions in the future.” This diplomatic delegation to Israel was made possible by the generous support of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit bnaibrith.org.

Source: BBI press release
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B’nai B’rith International led several members of the European Parliament on a five-day visit to Israel. This trip promoted the Jewish state as an influential leader in education, technology, agriculture and medicine. The delegation included the following members of the European Parliament Lars Adaktusson (Sweden), Ramona Manescu (Romania) and Davor Stier (Croatia).
 
“It is necessary for diplomatic leaders to receive accurate information regarding Israel and what it deals with on a near daily basis—such as violent terrorist attacks,” B’nai B’rith International President Gary P. Saltzman said. “This mission provided an informative and vital experience that permitted members of the European Parliament to recognize that Israel is a dynamic and diverse country with a thriving economy.”
 
The trip, staffed by B’nai B’rith World Center – Jerusalem Director Alan Schneider and Eric Fusfield, deputy director of the B’nai B’rith International Center for Human Rights and Public Policy, allowed participants to immerse themselves in Israel’s culture by touring the Old City of Jerusalem, hearing from Israeli military officers at the Gaza border about the country's unique security challenges and visiting Yad Vashem, Israel’s official Holocaust memorial. The delegation also visited wounded victims of the Syrian war at Ziv Hospital and met with Knesset members Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), Anat Berko (Likud) and Nachman Shai (Zionist Union).

The delegation also toured the Israel Museum, visited Kibbutz Magen (located in the northwestern Negev desert), met with Mayor Eliyahu Shaviro of Ariel and visited a plastics factory in the West Bank, where they learned about Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and job creation. Participants discussed religious pluralism in Israel with Christian and Baha'i faith leaders. The mission also included a meeting with key officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the diplomats discussed European Union-Israel relations and the labeling of products made in the West Bank and Golan Heights.
 
“B’nai B’rith is responsible for providing influential international leaders with information that demonstrates Israel’s vibrant democratic character,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “There is no better way to accomplish this than by bringing European officials to Israel, so they can experience the Jewish state’s culture and political environment firsthand, as well as its story of success as the ‘start-up nation.’ We will continue to do these missions in the future.”
 
This diplomatic delegation to Israel was made possible by the generous support of the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.


Daniel Valerie Benjamin Katarina

B'nai B'rith Europe President Daniel Citone, B'nai B'rith Europe Vice-President Valerie Achache and B'nai B'rith International Director of EU Affairs Benjamin Naegele met with European Commission's Coordinator on combating anti-Semitism Katharina von Schnurbein. Among the issues discussed were the challenges Jewish communities in Europe face as well as ways to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. The recent labelling of Israeli settlement products, the lack of an official definition of anti-Semitism and hate speech online were also discussed.

Pope synagogue 2

B'nai B'rith Europe President Daniel Citone was in attendance when Pope Francis spoke at the Great Synagogue of Rome on Jan. 17. Franics is now the third pope to visit the synagogue. The event included speeches by Ruth Dureghello, the president of the Jewish community of Rome, and Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.

The Pontiff spoke about the Holocaust and strongly urged to "say no to all forms of anti-Semitism, all insults, discrimination and persecution arising therefrom." In October of 1943 the Nazis deported more than 2,000 Jews from Rome. Francis also met with several Italian-Jewish Holocaust survivors and mentioned that his relationships with the Jewish people "are in his heart," and that previous "enemies and strangers" have now become "friends and brothers."

B'nai B'rith is gratified that the Catholic-Jewish friendship continues to grow and hold strong. We are pleased that the pope shares a commitment to create "an authentic relationship of friendship." This visit sends a clear and concise message to the world that the fight to end anti-Semitism cannot stop.

Source: B'nai B'rith International press relase
We are deeply saddened to announce the parting of President of BBE Erika Van Gelder. All our thoughts and our prayers go to David, her husband, her daughters, Natalie and Sara, and her grand children.
She was a strong and determined woman, yet kind and very concerned for other people's well being.
She spent her life fighting against anti-Semitism and building bridges
She had a life live to the fullest.
She is, and will be sorely missed.
The funeral will take place on Sunday.

THE SILENCE
It started with some small incidents
"It's nothing, it's just a rogue",
They thought
Broken windows in Synagogues,
"Kids playing ball"
They thought...
Swastikas on Jewish tombs,
"They'll get those hooligans",
They thought...
Old men were beaten, young girls were raped
"It can't get any worst",
They prayed
Then, in the night the sirens blared
their names...
By dawn they were in Dante's flames.
Yet come the morrow,
Nothing was said and nothing was done...
Only the wind and smoke
Broke the silence
of their sorrow.

Erika van Gelder
Amsterdam, 22/5/2015

eulabeling

B’nai B’rith International and B'nai B'rith Europe are highly disconcerted that the European Union has approved and will soon publish guidelines that European countries can use to label Israeli products produced over the pre-1967 lines. The resolution introducing the guidelines was passed by the European Parliament in September and is an affirmation of the discriminatory goals of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

This latest anti-Israel measure rewards the Palestinians for their refusal to engage in constructive dialogue with Israel and puts off the possibility of resolution on this issue. It also encourages and reinforces the Palestinian narrative at a dire time when anti-Semitic incitement is thriving and there have been more than 60 knife, gun and car attacks on Israeli Jews.

The European Union would better spend its time encouraging Palestinians to get to the negotiating table, as these guidelines only prolong the process, rather than resolve it.

Also at play with this issue are the intellectual dishonesty and highly questionable intentions behind this decision. There are many other disputed regions in the world, but there is no movement to label products—making the double standard of this move apparent.

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