Fair Observer
Monday, April 4, 2016 - 9:22am

Argentina is the only major player in Latin America with a forward looking agenda that offers hope to its people.

In the crush of events that always weigh down a US president, and the daily eruptions of the 2016 election campaign, it would be a monumental mistake to underestimate the importance of President Barack Obama’s recent meeting with newly elected Argentine President Mauricio Macri. US outreach to Latin America never seems to garner sufficient priority, and the personal attention by Obama to one of the most interesting new leaders in a hugely influential country south of the border should not go unremarked.

Macri’s electoral victory in 2015 represents a long awaited change from the path taken by many of Argentina’s neighbors, where corruption and ineptitude seem pervasive in places like Venezuela, Bolivia and Brazil. Succeeding Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whose fame, or infamy, rested on her accommodations with neighborhood thugs—not to mention her various deals with Iran’s ayatollahs—Macri brings to Casa Rosada the promise of a new day for his people and a new model for Latin America.

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 12:02pm

Even in the midst of an astounding 2016 presidential campaign that is gripping the attention of most Americans, the U.S. - Iran nuclear deal is back in the news. The IAEA says that, so far, Iran appears to be in compliance. But that is not the whole story.

Now we learn that the regime of the Ayatollahs has a new program to support Palestinian murderers of Israelis. Iran has committed to give $7,000 to families of attackers who have used knives, hammers, scissors and other crude implements to kill and maim. For families that have their homes destroyed by Israel as a form of deterrence against future would-be murderers, Iran will provide $30,000.

None of this can come as a surprise, as Iran has increased financial support of both Hamas and Hezbollah, its two best-known proxies devoted to Israel’s destruction. Nor was any this unanticipated at the time the nuclear agreement was signed.

Thursday, March 3, 2016 - 1:59pm

The American Jewish Congress lauded the state of Indiana on Thursday for passing in its Senate an bill against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The Indiana Senate overwhelmingly approved the measure 47-3 on Tuesday.

"We thank Indiana for being a friend to Israel and for making a wise decision -- both economically and politically -- to stand up against detractors of the Jewish State," said AJC President Jack Rosen. "We expect Indiana’s Governor Mike Spence to sign the bill into law, making Indiana the sixth state to adopt an anti-BDS provision in recent months."


JD Updates
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 10:09am

The American Jewish Congress is urging the United Methodist Church to end its divestment in five Israeli banks that it blacklisted last month for what was described as humanitarian reasons, on concern that Israel’s production of innovative medical technology will be hindered by such divestiture.

“In the 21st century, it is impossible to talk about quality health care without acknowledging the outsized contribution made by dozens of Israeli firms that are at the forefront of medical research and innovation,” said AJCongress President Jack Rosen, in a letter released Monday. “Much of the world relies on Israel to produce the indispensable medical technology that is used in every hospital.”

The advocacy group’s letter was addressed to the presidents of 83 Methodist healthcare associations and hospitals.

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.