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Israel Affairs Committee

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The mission of the Beth El Synagogue Israel Affairs Committee is to provide education about the thriving economy in Israel, the various accomplishments of Israel and to address threats to the existence and security of the State of Israel.  We do not have a political agenda, and our programming strives to avoid being labeled as pro-Democratic or pro-Republican, or left or right wing.  Rather, we are pro-Israel Zionists.

To see our upcoming events, go to the calendar page and select “Israel Affairs Committee”” under the event category menu.

The Israel Affairs Committee welcomes new members and invites you to join us and share your knowledge and thoughts on future programming.  Please contact Rita Millner at rrmillner@gmail.com.

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AJC CEO David Harris Statement on U.S. Settlement Policy

November 18, 2019 (New York) –

Reacting to the statement by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Israeli settlements in theWest Bank, American Jewish Committee (AJC) CEO David Harris said:

“The revised U.S. position announced today by Secretary Pompeo relates to a question of international law, which has been repeatedly used as a weapon against Israel on the world stage.
We hope the policy shift will prompt a long overdue correction in international perceptions. At the same time, we trust it will not serve as a predicate for increased settlement activity beyond the established blocs widely expected to be recognized as part of Israel in any conceivable two-state compromise.

“The Secretary’s statement that ‘this is a complex political problem that can only be solved by negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians’ has long been AJC’s position regarding the status of the Palestinian territories and of Israeli settlements. In that regard, we continue to look to the U.S. to play a facilitating role in the quest for resumed negotiations.”

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Translate Hate Aims to End Antisemitic Missteps
(excerpted from a digital resource with links on www.ajc.org)

November 14, 2019 –

When renowned antisemite and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Jews as termites in a 2018 tweet, he was trafficking a well-known antisemitic trope comparing Jews to vermin or other creatures. But not everyone recognized the termite as a symbolic antisemitic term.

Knowing the history of antisemitic tropes and how to avoid them is the first step to fighting the increasing hatred of Jews, which is why AJC this week published a glossary of two dozen antisemitic terms and tropes, with definitions and explanations of why they are antisemitic when used in a certain context. Titled Translate Hate, the glossary’s publication coincided with the FBI’s release of data showing Jews and Jewish institutions represented the overwhelming majority of targets of religion-based hate crimes in the United States last year.

Of the 7,120 total hate crimes reported in 2018, 1,550 were motivated by religious bias, and the majority of those — 57.8% — were anti-Jewish.

In addition to blatant Jew hatred such as denying the Holocaust or engaging in blood libels – accusing Jews of using the blood of children to make ritual bread – here are three seemingly innocuous terms or concepts that seekto disparage Jews.

  1. Control

One of the most enduring conspiracy theories about Jews is the infamous tale of a Jewish cabal that controls the media, financial institutions, and governments. Its origins can be traced to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a fabricated series of reports from fictional meetings of Jewish leaders supposedly held in Basel, Switzerland in 1897. The anti-Jewish propaganda reflected the paranoia of tsarist Russia and propagated the belief that Jews had devised a secret plot to overthrow Christian civilization and rule the world.

According to conspiracy theorists who blame Jews for all the world’s ills, including the Black Death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the “elders’ protocols” are now in motion. With the help of money, guile, and influence, they say Jews still pull the strings of the world’s economies and governments to further their own global agenda for total domination of the so-called “New World Order.”

See the full glossary

Translate Hate

  1. Dual Loyalty

Not to be confused with dual citizenship, dual loyalty is just plain offensive. Often used in the context of Jews’ love for Israel, it implies that American Jews who support the existence of the Jewish state have a conflict of interest and therefore can’t be trusted.

That said, the trope long predates the modern State of Israel. First century Romans accused Jews of dual loyalty. In the late 19th century, French Jews were accused of dual loyalty during the notorious Dreyfus Affair, the wrongful conviction of a French army captain of Jewish descent for treason.

Accusations of disloyalty have been close cousins to dual loyalty ever since World War I, when Jews were accused of dodging military service and their allegiance was questioned.

Questions of allegiance have come up several times this year during heated debate among politicians in Washington, D.C., including suggestions that Jews who vote for Democrats show “great disloyalty” and questions about whether politicians should “push for allegiance to a foreign country,” referring to Israel.

  1. Globalist

globalist refers to someone who approaches foreign policy and the economy through an international lens and sees the advantages of countries and corporations connecting beyond national borders and around the globe.

It’s often actually just another form of the dual loyalty accusation, used to argue that Jewish people have more allegiance to a global economy or international political system than their own country. It’s employed to discredit the motivations of Jews who are wrongly accused of attempting to enhance their control (yes, there’s that word again) over the world’s banks, governments, and media.

Hitler often portrayed Jews as “international elements” who “conduct their business everywhere,” posing a threat to all people who are “bounded to their soil, to the Fatherland.”

Today, globalist is code for cosmopolitan Jewish elites who are allegedly using their international connections and supposed control over big corporations to dismantle Western society. The term has been leveled frequently at George Soros, a Hungarian-born Jewish billionaire who funds progressive initiatives around the world.

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THE RIGHT OF RETURN:  Did you know that the twisted 1950s mandate from the U.N. has perpetuated the plight of Palestinian “refugees” for generations? The mandate prohibits UNRWA (UN Relief and Work Agency) from resettling those “refugees” and finding them a permanent home, ensuring that they keep entertaining the idea that one day they will get the “right of return.” There is no parallel and no precedent, even in protracted conflict situations, for the manner in which UNRWA transfers the “registered refugee” status, automatically, through the generations, while refusing to take any actions that would end this status.

BDS is a global campaign to boycott, divest from, and sanction Israel. The purpose of BDS is not to protest Israeli policies as some claim, but to isolate and pressure Israel until it collapses as a Jewish and democratic state. Furthermore, BDS dehumanizes Israelis and actively harms peace efforts by opposing Israeli-Palestinian cooperation.        https://www.standwithus.com/bds

Portraying the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement as a civil rights movement for the Middle East is not comparable. Omar Barghouti, founder and theoretician of the BDS movement, explicitly calls for the elimination of Israel. If people are interested in coexistence and peace, they should join other movements.

Background information plus quote sources are in www.AJC.org.  Another excellent source is www.aipac.org.

Click Here for a September 2019 community endorsement of a congressional resolution passed by the United States House of Representatives opposing the Global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) Movement which targets Israel and which seeks to delegitimize Israel’s right to exist.

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Anti-Semitism defined:

In the spirit of the Stockholm Declaration that states: “With humanity still scarred by …antisemitism and xenophobia the international community shares a solemn responsibility to fight those evils” the committee on Antisemitism and Holocaust Denial called the IHRA Plenary in Budapest 2015 to adopt the following working definition of antisemitism. On 26 May 2016, the Plenary in Bucharest decided to:

Adopt the following non-legally binding working definition of antisemitism:

“Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

To guide IHRA in its work, examples were provided. This list is found via a search on The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Anti-Semitism.

Re “U.S. Revives Rutgers Bias Case in New Tack on Anti-Semitism” (The New York Times, front page, Sept. 12):

Assistant Secretary of Education Kenneth L. Marcus has taken action that you say “put the weight of the federal government” behind a definition of anti-Semitism. It is known as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, and 14 years ago, the American Jewish Committee played a role in drafting it.

The definition offers a clear and comprehensive description of anti-Semitism in its various forms, including hatred and discrimination against Jews, Holocaust denial and, of particular note, anti-Semitism as it can at times relate to Israel.

The American Jewish Committee considers the working definition a powerful tool for determining issues arising out of Title VI, prohibiting discrimination, and creating a welcoming educational environment for all students.

We welcome the decision to use this definition, which recognizes that some anti-Israel conduct crosses the line into anti-Semitism and is one of several factors that may be considered in determining if an act was anti-Semitic.

Our organization appreciates the Rutgers University administration’s commitment to cooperate with any review of this case by the Education Department. As a public university with one of the largest Jewish student bodie­­­s in the country, Rutgers can be a model for fighting campus anti-Semitism.

Reply written by Rabbi David Levy, NJ regional director for the American Jewish Committee.

COLLEGE STUDENTS OR INTERESTED OTHERS:

If you want to receive (at no cost) Know Your Rights: A student’s Guide to Pro-Israel Activism, please email rrmillner@gmail.com your request for this comprehensive AJC publication.

Links of Interest

Click here for “The Six Day War, Causes and Consequences”, by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.
Click here for the New York Times article “Tunnels Lead Right to the Heart of Israeli Fear.
Click here for the CNN World article “How the Iron Dome Blocks Rockets from Gaza, Protects Israelis.”
Click here for Elder of Ziyon – Israel News: EoZ Posters for “Apartheid Week.”
Click here for IDF “combat cameraman” deployed to combat propaganda.
Click here for Door Breech Weapon.
Click here for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summarizes the good, the bad and the beautiful.
Click here for Ambassador Nikki Haley discusses standing up for Israel at the United Nations.
Click here for Senator Charles Schumer addresses the critical threats facing Israel.
Click here for Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay calls for two-state solution, but stresses both sides must take steps to rebuild trust.
Click here for AJC Statement on Gaza Violence.
Click here for Evangelical Support of Israel Topic from October 28, 2018 program.