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Friday, November 17, 2017 - 11:02am
Trump’s uncompromising rhetoric has earned him a considerable fan base in Israel, where his approval rating is healthier than on his home turf. They say a week is a long time in politics. Well, this past year has seen enough action in the US and around the world to last a lifetime. Looking back over the 12 months since US President Donald Trump gained arguably the most improbable election victory in American history, it is a good time to reflect on what his administration has meant for Jews there and around the world. Trump came into office in the immediate aftermath of predecessor Barack Obama’s parting gift to Israel at the UN Security Council, where for the first time in US history Israel’s closest ally on the global stage abstained from a vote on Israeli settlement activity. This move caused considerable consternation among American Jewry, for Obama had turned his back on years of American foreign policy and set the tone for an agenda that threatened to derail America’s bond with Israel. Trump had been vocal in his commitments to Israel on the campaign trail, pledging to overturn his predecessor’s veto of the anti-settlement resolution at the UNSC, as well as to moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. His new appointee to the role of US ambassador to the UN similarly heralded the start of a new era in the relationship of the US. In her maiden speech, Nikki Haley insisted the Trump administration would “have the backs of our allies and make sure our allies have our backs as well.” Furthermore, the US would in future abstain from any UN vote on a resolution which sought to “encourage boycotts of Israel.” Trump himself seized on the UN’s weakness, choosing his own maiden speech at the General Assembly in September to condemn the UN’s culture of “bureaucracy and mismanagement,” which he argued prevented the body from restoring its once great reputation as a global influencer in promoting universal human rights and the peaceful coexistence of nations. The Trump administration has similarly been clear in vocalizing its commitment to securing peace between Israel and the Palestinians, suggesting that his own negotiating power offers the US “maybe the best shot ever” of achieving elusive peace. However, there has been little concrete progress in the process. If he is to realize his lofty ambitions for achieving a strong, stable and secure Israel and the best environment for peace in the region, Trump now has to match strong rhetoric with action. He should begin by taking decisive steps against those questioning Israel’s rights to exist and who advocate a series of unjustified sanctions and boycotts. Trump’s uncompromising rhetoric has earned him a considerable fan base in Israel, where his approval rating is healthier than on his home turf. A largely disillusioned American Jewry is looking for more demonstrable signs of a commitment to action on the Middle East peace process. Meanwhile, an increasingly isolationist agenda on matters of wider foreign policy inhibits American influence on the world stage. The US would better serve its closest ally Israel by preserving its reputation as a global power player. America could repair its somewhat damaged diplomatic prestige to lead a coordinated effort by international nations to secure Israel’s borders and pave the way to achieving peace in the region. Another area of concern is the growing alt-right in the US and the forces of hatred that the new climate is unleashing. Charlottesville was a debacle that must never recur. Antisemitism must be stamped out wherever it rears its ugly head. In decertifying the Iran deal – an ill-conceived strategy that went against the interests of Israel, America and all those opposed to terrorism – Trump sent a clear message that dangerous regimes looking to spread terrorism on our doorsteps and throughout the Middle East alike would not be tolerated. In turning his back on the once-lauded deal, without the support of much of the international community, Trump once again displayed a strong sense of moral courage. Persisting with an ineffective and an unenforceable agreement only risks further instability at what is a key transitional time in the development of Iran’s dangerous plans for the region and the safety of its neighbors and the world. President Trump has adopted an uncompromising policy on ISIS, which has undoubtedly brought success, declaring only last month that the reason for the US concluding major military operations in Raqqa was as a result of his overhaul of the rules of engagement in the fight against the terrorist group. In the Trump administration’s most buoyant declaration of victory in the fight against ISIS, he added: “ISIS is now giving up, they are giving up, they are raising their hands, they are walking off. Nobody has ever seen that before.” While the military is cautious on whether victory has been won in Iraq, Trump still faces myriad foreign policy challenges elsewhere in the region that need addressing urgently. In Lebanon, western powers and moderate alike were alarmed by the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri last week, citing fears over the growing influence of Iranian proxy, Hezbollah. The announcement came amid mounting fears over the consolidation of Iranian influence in Lebanon and was perhaps the most worrying sign to date of the internationally designated terrorist group Hezbollah’s dangerous intentions. America must now look to cooperate with its allies in the region to counter the combined force of Iran and Hezbollah, or else the situation is certain to spiral, increasing the likelihood of a clash with Israel as well as the spread of terrorism throughout the Middle East. Twelve months on, Trump has been true to his word and been a real friend to Israel and taken the fight to the terrorists around the world. While this is deeply encouraging, we cannot avoid the dangers of the increasing alt-right and populist rhetoric. Trump must now condemn unequivocally the forces of bigotry and hatred at home, as staunchly as he has been defending Israel’s interests abroad. The writer is president of the American Jewish Congress.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 3:02pm
Sen. Bernie Sanders has for too long been allowed to attack Israel unchecked. His constant attacks are disproportionate and risk damaging the Democratic Party’s image in the U.S. and abroad. Sanders’ recent claim that the U.S. was “complicit” in Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank was a case in point. I did not hear one Democratic voice publically challenge this point of view. When will Israel’s supporters within the Party stand up against Sanders and stand up for Israel? Will the new cohort of Democrats elected to office this week stand up for Israel? Sanders’ obsession with bashing Israel is biased, myopic and imbalanced. Is it reasonable to single out Israel while turning a relative blind eye to the terror and hatred tearing through every other Middle Eastern country? Is it reasonable to dedicate so much time and energy to highlighting Israel’s flaws when there are so many countries around the world facing complex challenges? This hypocrisy needs to be highlighted. Sen. Bernie Sanders has for too long been allowed to attack Israel unchecked. His constant attacks are disproportionate and risk damaging the Democratic Party’s image in the U.S. and abroad. Sanders’ recent claim that the U.S. was “complicit” in Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank was a case in point. I did not hear one Democratic voice publically challenge this point of view. When will Israel’s supporters within the Party stand up against Sanders and stand up for Israel? Will the new cohort of Democrats elected to office this week stand up for Israel? Sanders’ obsession with bashing Israel is biased, myopic and imbalanced. Is it reasonable to single out Israel while turning a relative blind eye to the terror and hatred tearing through every other Middle Eastern country? Is it reasonable to dedicate so much time and energy to highlighting Israel’s flaws when there are so many countries around the world facing complex challenges? This hypocrisy needs to be highlighted. It goes without saying that Sanders plays a leading role amongst the left-leaning progressives within the Democratic Party, and he influences a significant voting bloc. We all witnessed the way he was able to grow his support during his bid to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Despite losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton, the progressive movement he leads gained momentum during the election. This means that Sanders is able to get real traction on the issues that matter to him, one of which is Israel. Sanders’ opinions on Israel are damaging and consistent. He seems to regularly put out anti-Israel material, have high-profile meetings with anti-Israel campaigners and make sweeping and negative statements aimed at the Jewish state. This fall, following headlines about Israel’s occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, he met with Issa Amro, a Palestinian activist visiting America who has been arrested and prosecuted by Israeli and Palestinian Authority officials. At J-Street in the spring, he condemned “Israel’s continued occupation of Palestinian territories” as being “contrary to fundamental American values.” Sanders’ actions mean that the anti-Israel argument is now becoming more legitimate. True allies of Israel cannot just sit by without responding, especially given Sanders’ outsized role within the Democratic Party. While he is free to have his own views, if the party wants to be seen as pro-Israel, then elected officials need to stand up and counter these opinions head on. By staying silent, Democrats are feeding the perception that the Democratic Party is increasingly becoming an anti-Israel party. This is of course not the case. I have spoken to decision makers and privately, they are very critical of Sanders. But talking privately is no longer enough. If you are pro-Israel then you need to defend her publically. We do not want to mimic center-left parties in Europe where, for example, the once staunchly pro-Israel U.K. Labour Party is now led by a man who once extended an open-armed invitation to Hezbollah and Hamas to visit Parliament. Changes are afoot within the Democratic Party, with new governors coming into power in New Jersey and Virginia, and a string of state legislative election victories last week. The resurgence of the Democrats on a local level, on the heels of four successive defeats in special congressional elections during the Trump administration’s first year in office, could place President Trump under considerable pressure. What is happening is a slow anti-Israel erosion within some quarters of the Democratic Party. There are prominent voices that could turn the tide, but they need to mobilize before more damage is done. They could move the barometer on Israel and combat Sanders with one statement, but they don’t. They are silent when Israel and the Democratic Party need them most. Rosen is president of the American Jewish Congress
AJCongress President Rosen offers condolences to Argentinian President Macri for loss of lives in New York terror attack, as he insists “Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone” share universal values of freedom and tolerance
Monday, November 13, 2017 - 10:56am
Jack Rosen hosted a private dinner at his New York home in the presence of Robert De Niro and Len Balvatnik Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, hosted Argentinian President Mauricio Macri for a dinner in his honour at his New York home last night in the aftermath of last week’s deadly terror attack in New York, which claimed the lives of five Argentinian nationals, one of whom was Jewish. Following on from Macri’s decisive victory in the mid-term Argentinian elections last month, the leaders expressed their mutual solidarity with all victims of terror, the Argentinian people and the citizens of New York, as they committed to further promoting universal values of freedom and tolerance as an antidote to the scourge of radical Islamic terror. “All of us share these kinds of values,” Mr. Rosen told the President at their meeting, “Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone”. Speaking at the meeting of the two leaders, Mr. Rosen offered his “condolences and sorrow for the Argentinians who came here as tourists and lost their lives”, as he expressed his hopes for renewed cooperation between Americans and Argentinians in the areas of investment and diplomacy. Commending President Macri’s achievements for Argentina and Latin America as a whole, Mr. Rosen added that America “was rooting” for Argentinian success. Looking to a new future of mutual cooperation between Argentina and global leaders, President Macri said there was “no sense in trying to build walls” as he heralded the opportunities presented by globalisation and rapidly advancing technology to “invite the world to be part of the best opportunity of the next 20 years: Argentina”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heralded “a new era” in Israel’s relations with Argentina on an official state visit to Argentina in September, having first been introduced to President Macri at the American Jewish Congress’s Mayor’s conference. The American Jewish Congress is committed to ensuring the survival and security of Israel, and protecting Jewish communities around the world http://www.diplomacy.co.il/announcements/3927-ajcongress-president-rosen-offers-condolences-to-argentinian-president-macri-for-loss-of-lives-in-new-york-terror-attack-as-he-insists-christians-muslims-jews-and-everyone-share-universal-values-of-freedom-and-tolerance
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 4:39pm
AJCongress President Rosen offers condolences to Argentinian President Macri for loss of lives in New York terror attack, as he insists “Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone” share universal values of freedom and tolerance
Wednesday, November 8, 2017 - 11:08am

Jack Rosen, President of the American Jewish Congress, hosted Argentinian President Mauricio Macri for a dinner in his honor in New York last night in the aftermath of last week’s deadly terror attack in New York which claimed the lives of five Argentinian nationals, one of whom was Jewish. Mr. Rosen and President Macri expressed their mutual solidarity with all victims of terror, the Argentinian people and the citizens of New York, as they committed to further promoting universal values of freedom and tolerance as an antidote to the scourge of radical Islamic terror. “All of us share these kinds of values,” Mr. Rosen told the President at their meeting, “Christians, Muslims, Jews and everyone”.

Speaking at the meeting of the two leaders, Mr. Rosen offered his “condolences and sorrow for the Argentinians who came here as tourists and lost their lives”, as he expressed his hopes for renewed cooperation between Americans and Argentinians in the areas of investment and diplomacy. Commending President Macri’s achievements for Argentina and Latin America as a whole, Mr. Rosen added that America “was rooting” for Argentinian success.

Looking to a new future of mutual cooperation between Argentina and global leaders, President Macri said there was “no sense in trying to build walls” as he heralded the opportunities presented by globalisation and rapidly advancing technology to “invite the world to be part of the best opportunity of the next 20 years: Argentina”.

American Jewish Congress Names Dr. Munr Kazmir as Vice President
Friday, July 8, 2016 - 3:17pm

Dr. Kazmir will bring decades of experience in Jewish and international affairs to AJCongress
 

NEW YORK – American Jewish Congress is thrilled to announce today the addition of Dr. Munr Kazmir as the new vice president of the organization. Born in Pakistan, Kazmir is a doctor, businessman, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. His accomplishments range from dedicated CEO to avid supporter of human rights and education throughout the world. He comes to AJCongress having served on its board of directors and several other boards in the Jewish community including the American Council for World Jewry, the Board of Governors for the Republican Jewish Coalition, the Anti-Defamation League regional board and Chabad House. As vice president, Kazmir will bolster AJCongress’ efforts engaging leaders on a global scale and working to advance Israel’s security and ensure the vitality of the American Jewish community.

In announcing the news, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“In addition to being a decorated and accomplished doctor, Dr. Kazmir has dedicated his life to being involved in the Jewish community. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to his new role within the American Jewish Congress family, and look forward to working closely together on our organization’s core causes.

“Dr. Kazmir’s track record of leadership will help us carry on our proud legacy as we seek to fulfill our shared vision for the future. Whether it’s lending his hand in the fight against BDS or promoting a strong U.S.-Israel relationship, we are honored for Dr. Kazmir to be joining us.”

More on Dr. Munr Kazmir

Dr. Munr Kazmir was born in Pakistan in 1957. He graduated from the University of Punjab where he received his M.B.B.S./M.D. He then went on to complete a one-year internship at the Mayo Hospital in Lahore, as well as a two-year residency at the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. In 1984, Dr. Kazmir arrived in the United States where he successfully completed his Internal Medicine internship at the White Plains Hospital/Montefiore Medical Center in 1986.

Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Kazmir has founded the American International School System (AISS)-the most modern state-of- the-art school in the history of Pakistan. AISS brings top-quality American based education to the underprivileged children in neglected regions. Dr. Kazmir maintains cooperative, bipartisan relationships with many members of the United States Congress and is very active in promoting the concept of democratic government in third world countries and the Middle East. He remains committed to fostering and supporting women’s rights, as well as human rights causes throughout the world.

Accomplishments & Awards

1993: Dr. Kazmir was one of the founders of the New Synagogue of Fort Lee where he still serves today as one of two Shomrim, the highest honor in the synagogue. 1995: Dr. Kazmir received first Humanitarian award from the State of New Jersey’s Child Protection Commission and Children’s Trust Fund for his fundraising efforts to combat juvenile diabetes.

1997: The Prime Minister of Israel and the Mayor of Jerusalem presented Dr. Kazmir with the Theodor Herzl Award in recognition for his exceptional humanitarian efforts.

2001: Dr. Kazmir was appointed to be on the Board of Trustees of the Rabbinical College of America.

2001: Dr. Kazmir was honored at the Congressional Meeting of the House of Representatives by Congressman Steve Rothman of the 9 th  District of New Jersey for his continued benevolence and support.

2003: Dr. Kazmir was appointed to serve on the United States Medicare Coverage Advisory Committee.

2005: United States Secretary of Health and Human Services appointed Dr. Kazmir to serve a three-year term on the National Advisory Committee for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

2006: Dr. Kazmir was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by DEA Special Agent in Charge in New York, John Gilbride, for outstanding contributions in the field of drug and law enforcement.

2007: Founded the American International School System Foundation—501(c) (3) that provides scholarships to underprivileged children throughout Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.     

2010: Dr. Kazmir was selected to become a board member of the Non-Partisan Political Action Committee (NORPAC), whose primary purpose is to support candidates and sitting members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who demonstrate a genuine commitment to the strength, security, and survival of Israel.

2010: Dr. Kazmir became a member of the Board of Governors for the Republican Jewish Coalition in Washington, D.C.

2011: Dr. Kazmir joined the ranks of six former Presidents and Nobel Prize winners by being awarded the Distinguished Ellis Island Medal of Honor by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) for his outstanding citizenship, individual achievements and encouragements of cultural unity. The Ellis Island Medal of Honor is sanctioned by the U.S. Congress and entered into the Congressional Record.

2011: Dr. Kazmir was appointed by Governor Chris Christie to serve a four-year term as a member of the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority, which is the primary issuer of municipal bonds for New Jersey’s Health Care Organizations.

2011: Dr. Kazmir was presented the Campeones Award in appreciation for his continued support and dedication to the Hispanic Leadership Program.

2012: Dr. Kazmir was elected unanimously to serve as a member of the Governing Board of the American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) and the Executive Committee of the AJCongress.

2014: Dr. Kazmir was presented with the Denise Shea Memorial Award by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) at their annual dinner.

2014: Dr. Kazmir was presented with the “Never Forgotten” Award by the Associate Special Agent in Charge of NY Division for the DEAs Survivor’s Benefit Fund, which was formed to assist the families left behind by our fallen heroes.

2016: Dr. Kazmir was honored by Chabad of Greater Somerset, Hunterdon, and Union Counties. He was presented this honor for his unflagging dedication to the welfare of the Jewish Community, and for his tireless work to help people of all faiths across the Globe. Dr. Kazmir also received a Senate Resolution from State Senator Joseph Kyrillos (R-NJ 13th District), as well as a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from Congressman Blake Farenthold (R-TX 27th District).
 

American Jewish Congress Praises Governor Cuomo for Action Against BDS
Tuesday, June 7, 2016 - 1:29pm

NEW YORK – In response to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s executive action to cease business dealings with organizations and companies that support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement (BDS), American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the American Jewish Congress, I want to thank Governor Cuomo for sending a clear message to those who seek to delegitimize the State of Israel: New York will not allow the BDS movement and its supporters to continue unabated. I’ve seen first hand over the years how Governor Cuomo’s friendship with Israel extends beyond words and into real leadership like he displayed yesterday. We hope more elected officials and business leaders will follow his example.”

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 - 5:04pm

Louis D. Brandeis, the great U.S. Supreme Court Justice who took his seat almost exactly 100 years ago, famously wrote that “sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants.” In another illustration of that wisdom, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that seeks to delegitimize Israel was unable to survive the scrutiny of the United Methodist Church, which voted last week to reject four resolutions aimed at taking punitive action against Israel.

The 12-million-member Church voted on pro-BDS measures at each of its last three quadrennial policy conferences, culminating this year in another defeat for BDS supporters in what one proponent of the resolutions described as an effort that “pretty much went down in flames.”
 

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 2:42pm

Bernie Sanders’ appointments of Cornel West and James Zogby as his representatives to the Democratic party’s platform drafting committee are drawing strong condemnation from U.S. Jewish leaders...

“Of all the social activists that Senator Sanders could have nominated to help advance his message, we are particularly troubled by the selection of Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen said in a statement. “Ultimately, we will judge the committee based on their actions at the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this July, but considering Sanders’ extremely misinformed comments about Israel last month, the American Jewish Congress is especially concerned about West’s policy positions on the Middle East.”

Thursday, May 26, 2016 - 1:57pm

The American Jewish Congress has issued a statement criticizing the announcement of Senator Bernie Sanders’ five nominations for the Democratic Party platform drafting committee, including former Harvard professor and Cornel West, who is a supporter of boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.

“Of all the social activists that Senator Sanders could have nominated to help advance his message, we are particularly troubled by the selection of Cornel West, a prominent supporter of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement,” American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen said.

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