Saturday, July 2, 2016 - 9:49am

NEW YORK – In response to the passing of Elie Wiesel, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, author, activist and renowned Holocaust survivor, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:
“The world has suffered the loss of a singular moral voice. Elie Wiesel was a once in a generation figure who courageously used his own personal tragedy in order to make us all more accountable in the fight for justice.
“On behalf of the American Jewish Congress, I want to send my deepest condolences to the Wiesel family. He was an individual who perhaps more than anyone, ensured that learning about the Holocaust remain a priority in our society. We are incredibly saddened by his passing, but doubly resolute in our commitment to honoring his legacy through a continued focus on Holocaust education and in speaking out against human oppression in any form.”

Monday, June 13, 2016 - 1:27pm

NEW YORK – In response to the terror attack in Orlando over the weekend, which left at least 49 killed and 53 wounded, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“This heinous act of terror, which indiscriminately targeted members of Florida’s LGBT community during Pride Month, is one of the most senseless, barbaric and horrifying tragedies our country has witnessed in modern times. We condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and send our deepest condolences to the families affected. As we mourn the innocent victims, our thoughts and prayers will remain with Orlando. We can not afford to give in to terror, fear and hate. We must remain united through the common bonds of freedom we all share as Americans, no matter our religion, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation.”

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.”

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - 12:05pm

NEW YORK -- Last week, former President Bill Clinton defended his record on Israel and that of his wife, presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, during a political rally for her campaign, in response to a heckler. Secretary Clinton also issued a press statement criticizing the BDS movement amid the United Methodist Church’s move to pass a resolution boycotting Israel, which ultimately failed this weekend during their annual General Conference. Today, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“The Clintons have always been a strong ally to Israel, and history will always recall President Clinton’s determined efforts to establish a peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians during his time in the White House. We were very impressed with Mr. Clinton’s candor, responding with substantive and genuine answers to a heckler at Secretary Clinton’s political rally, and reminding the world of the dire tactics used by Hamas in Gaza -- using its own citizens as human shields -- so often forgotten by proponents of BDS.

“Secretary Clinton’s statement could not have come at a more vital juncture, as the United Methodist Church voted on pro-BDS resolutions over the weekend. It was a bold decision for Clinton to critique the parent organization of her own religion in defense of the Jewish State’s right to self-determination. For months, the American Jewish Congress has been appealing the Methodist Church to disavow any BDS resolutions that are put forth by its members, and in one fell swoop Secretary Clinton was able to help put the issue to rest.

“We thank the Clintons for standing up for what is right and defending Israel.”

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - 12:41pm

NEW YORK—Over the weekend, Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova strongly condemned Iran's "Second International Holocaust Cartoon Contest." Bokova stated, "such an initiative which aims at a mockery of the genocide of the Jewish people, a tragic page of humanity's history, can only foster hatred and incite to violence, racism and anger."

Today, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen praised Bokova's condemnation, issuing the following statement:

"We welcome Director-General Bokova's rejection of this heinous contest which is predicated on a state-sponsored anti-Semitism that has no place in modern society. The American Jewish Congress stands with UNESCO in condemning this flagrant denial of human history. We are committed to joining forces with UNESCO in order to educate every generation about the Holocaust and to combat anti-Semitism in Iran and around the world."

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - 11:58am

NEW YORK -- For more than a decade, the American Jewish Congress has strived to provide a platform for Muslims and Jews to have an open dialogue about promoting tolerance and curbing extremism. American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen, who has a track record of personally engaging moderate Muslim leaders in the struggle against global anti-Semitism, issued the following statement today congratulating London's new mayor, Sadiq Khan, on his election and in the hopes of continuing to build that platform:

"Congratulations to Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is making history in becoming the first Muslim mayor in one of the most globally significant cities. The American Jewish Congress works closely with leaders around the world, and we welcome the opportunity to work with Mayor Khan from today forward. We hope that he will follow in the footsteps of such influential leaders as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and Argentinian President Mauricio Macri as a participant in our next International Conference of Mayors in Israel, an annual opportunity for the world's local leaders to come together to change and improve people's lives around the globe.

"Mayor Khan comes to the helm of London's government at a critical moment. It is now his responsibility to defend his city against bigotry, including troubling recent anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment. We applaud his participation in London's recent Yom HaShoah memorial ceremony. Mayor Khan is off to a strong start, and we look forward to seeing him stand alongside British Jews as a friend and ally in the future."

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 - 10:22am

NEW YORK -- In response to a string of anti-Semitic statements made by prominent members of the United Kingdom's Labor Party, and the news that two Labor councillors were suspended yesterday for making such remarks, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

"We at the American Jewish Congress are dumbfounded by this situation, in which four members of the Labor Party, including a former mayor of London, issued remarkably anti-Semitic comments over the span of only a couple of weeks.

"For such highly-visible public officials to issue such inflammatory remarks targeting the Jewish community, and for them to hail from a nation that is considered such a close ally to both Israel and the United States, comes as quite a shock. We hope that politicians in the United Kingdom -- and anywhere, for that matter -- will hold themselves to a higher standard and invoke a degree of political correctness when exercising their right to free expression.

"Clearly, as Israeli Ambassador to the UK Mark Rebev said on Sunday, anti-Semitism is not just a problem of the far-Right in Europe."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 9:54am

NEW YORK -- In response to the pro-BDS resolutions recently passed by the City University of New York (CUNY) Doctoral Students’ Council and the graduate student union at New York University (NYU), American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We at the American Jewish Congress are disheartened by the decision of two university bodies -- both with large populations of Jewish students and deep-seated roots in the Jewish culture of New York City -- to mistakenly enter the wrong side of history.

“For CUNY -- where numerous instances of anti-Semitism have taken place in recent months -- this move is especially troubling, as is the admitted coordination between the CUNY branch of Students for Justice in Palestine and the Doctoral Students’ Council.

“For both schools to hold votes on their respective BDS resolutions on Friday night -- the Sabbath -- seems like an intentional deterrent to Jewish students who would have liked to have been included in the decision-making process. Discriminating against Jews and the Jewish State with pro-BDS resolutions is bad enough, but to intentionally bar Jewish students from having a stake in their university’s own policy towards Israel is both cruel and an obvious affront directed towards supporters of Israel who could have provided the deciding votes, especially at NYU, where the BDS resolution passed by only 3 votes.

“We fully expect both educational institutions’ administrations to reject the tenets of these resolutions, and hope that the United Auto Workers International union (UAW) -- the parent union of the NYU graduate student union -- will strike down their subsidiary’s BDS resolution, as they did with UAW Local 2865 -- the University of California academic union -- in January.”

Monday, April 18, 2016 - 3:17pm

NEW YORK—Last week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) passed a resolution which ignores the Jewish people’s connection to historic areas in Jerusalem’s Old City. In response, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“The United Nations already suffers from a major credibility gap when it comes to impartiality toward Israelis and Palestinians. This resolution only serves to harm the UN and its affiliated bodies’ reputation and their effectiveness in making positive contributions to the already tense climate in Jerusalem. If UNESCO truly seeks to improve the situation on the ground, as opposed to fanning the fires of hatred, then it is critical for them not only to strike a vastly fairer and more balanced approach, but a historically accurate one.”

Monday, April 11, 2016 - 1:17pm

NEW YORK—Last week in a New York Daily News interview, Senator Sanders erroneously stated the number of Palestinian civilians killed during the 2014 Gaza conflict, for which he has since apologized. Today, in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, the Democratic presidential candidate characterized Israel’s actions in the 2014 Gaza War as “disproportionate.” In response, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen expressed concern over Sanders’ statements:

“Senator Sanders’ failure to demonstrate a grasp of the Palestinian terrorism that fueled Israel’s actions to protect its citizens in the summer of 2014 is extremely concerning. Any attempt by a presidential candidate to qualify Israel’s self-defense against indiscriminate attacks without mentioning the nature of the attacks is a worrisome signal.

“The fact is that Hamas and other groups acquired, aimed and fired rockets into Israeli civilian centers, often at the expense of their own people. They built terror tunnels with the sole intent of murdering Israeli citizens. Failing to account for the threats Hamas poses to the lives of innocent Israelis, as well as the shared responsibility of the Palestinian Authority to help alleviate the conditions in Gaza, is a troubling reflection of Senator Sanders’ understanding of the region.

“On behalf of the American Jewish Congress, I hope that moving forward Senator Sanders will adopt a more balanced perspective on the 2014 conflict as well as the current political reality in Gaza.”