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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

(Nov. 29, 2012) - B’nai B’rith International and B’nai B’rith Europe condemn the Nov. 29 vote at the United Nations General Assembly to grant non-member observer “state” status to the Palestinians. The Palestinians’ unilateral effort to upgrade their status is a violation of signed agreements with Israel. Furthermore, it defies insistence by the international Quartet for Middle East peace, of which the U.N. itself is a member, that progress be made through direct negotiations between the parties.

The vote was 138 in favor and 9 against in the 193-seat General Assembly, with 41 abstentions. This could further allow the Palestinians to advance their goal of “internationalizing” the conflict with the Jewish state and initiating judicial scrutiny of Israel’s efforts at self-defense in the face of relentless terrorism. The Palestinians will be accorded the same degree of recognition as the Vatican.

B’nai B’rith especially commends the United States for its consistently strong position on this issue, and the other countries that voted against: Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama. These nations clearly recognized that this is not an appropriate way for the Palestinians to create a new state. In bypassing negotiations the Palestinians are making it clear they have no intention of dealing directly with Israel in good faith.


(Nov. 28, 2012)

B’nai B’rith is outraged over a Hungarian politician’s proposal to compile a list of Hungarians with Jewish ancestry to be evaluated for what he describes as their level of threat to national security. This is a new low for the Jobbik party, a group that is already rife with anti-Semitism. Hungary and the rest of Europe should look at this as a serious matter and take action against this political entity that endorses ultra-nationalist policies.

A leader of the far-right Jobbik party, Marton Gyongyosi, suggested on Nov. 27 to the Hungarian parliament that those of Jewish descent be listed and evaluated as to whether they pose a national security threat. His comments were made during a debate on the Israel-Gaza situation, in which he claimed the Hungarian government was continually siding with Israel.

“This blatant anti-Semitic effort is an unacceptable outrage,” B’nai B’rith International Allan J. Jacobs said. “Gyongyosi must resign from parliament. His actions reveal the bigoted intentions of the Jobbik party. Mainstream politics and responsible political actors in Europe must take this seriously and denounce it.”

The Jobbik party is the third largest party in the Hungarian parliament. It is known for making controversial statements on the Holocaust and displaying vehement anti-Israel hatred.

“It is flatly unacceptable that there are members of the Hungarian parliament who demonize Jews,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “The Jobbik party is an embarrassment to Hungarian politics and should be repudiated.”

During the Holocaust between 500,000 and 600,000 Hungarian Jews were murdered.

BBE Secretary General gives well-presented round-up of European activities

(written by Wally Sacks)

So what’s going on in Europe? B’nai B’rith Europe, that is. Twenty-one miles of water may separate us from the continent but it can seem like an ocean apart when it comes to knowing about the activities of BBE.  All of which made Wednesday 31st October rather special in BBUK terms. That’s the evening  Leo Baeck Lodge had the privilege of welcoming BBE Secretary General Yves-Victor Kamami who, in wide-ranging PowerPoint presentation, managed to detail a most impressive round-up of BBE activities.


“Your help is urgently needed” says Erika van Gelder.

70% of the children of the Athens Jewish community are pupils of the Jewish school.  For 50 years the school has been providing Jewish education and is the community’s central point for disseminating Jewish identity to children between the ages of 2.5 and 12.


Hopes the Terror Group will Fully Comply
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2012) - B'nai B'rith International has issued the following statement:

B'nai B'rith welcomes the cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. We hope that the message to Hamas is clear-the rocket attacks into Israel cannot continue.


(Washington, D.C., Nov. 21, 2012)

B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:

B’nai B’rith International condemns the latest terrorist attack in Tel Aviv.

About noon Israel time, a terrorist bomb blew up a bus just yards from the Israel Defense Forces headquarters, injuring 27. The attack is a clear and provocative escalation of violence against the Jewish state.

Hamas praised the bombing, though at this time no group has claimed full responsibility. This is the first terror strike on the city since 2006, when a suicide bomber killed 11.

No nation should have to endure and constantly defend itself against terrorist attacks. Because it is a government’s primary responsibility to protect its citizens, disrupting terrorist activities is a responsible and called for measure. B’nai B’rith supports the IDF’s Operation Pillar of Defense, aimed at those groups perpetrating attacks against Israel.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the bombing.

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