Statements

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 1:54pm

NEW YORK – Following British Prime Minister David Cameron’s resignation, Theresa May, the British Conservative Party leader who currently serves as the country’s home secretary, is expected to succeed Mr. Cameron. In response to these developments, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen and Vice President Dr. Munr Kazmir issued the following joint statement:

“On behalf of the American Jewish Congress, we are grateful that such a strong friend of Israel and the Jewish community will be leading Britain during this important time. Britain is a critical ally for Israel. May, through her actions protecting Jewish institutions in the UK and standing up for Israel’s right to live in security, has shown time and time again that she is a true friend of the community. Under May’s leadership, we look forward to continuing to work together with our partners in Britain to combat anti-Semitism, address radicalization and protect Israel’s security.”
 

Friday, July 8, 2016 - 3:23pm

NEW YORK – This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to Africa to commemorate the 40 th  anniversary of the raid on Entebbe, to meet with leaders, and to strengthen the diplomatic and economic ties between Israel and Africa. American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President and American Council for World Jewry (ACWJ) Chairman Jack Rosen, who has personal relationships with several African leaders, praised the Prime Minister’s visit:

“Prime Minister Netanyahu’s efforts to enhance cooperation between Israel and Africa is an important step in building diplomatic and economic partners in a critically strategic region. His visit this week represents the untapped potential for Israel and the nations in Africa to make each other stronger. By investing in binational working relationships in Africa, Israel has a major opportunity to enhance and expand its security and economic engagement on the world’s second most populous continent.

“For many years, we have worked to position Israeli science and innovation as a foundation for bringing together elected officials and business leaders from around the world and creating new channels of communication that are mutually beneficial. Through our Science Diplomacy Initiative, we have facilitated expanded opportunities between Israel’s thriving high tech community and municipalities around the globe, leading to greater dialogue and goodwill between Israel and the international community. Our approach, which the Prime Minister supported this week, initiates the conversations with African leaders that ultimately yield real advantages for fighting terrorism, boosting security, and developing opportunities for economic exchange. The American Jewish Congress welcomes these efforts, and looks forward to continuing to further its own partnerships with African leaders on the local and national level to help advance this promising initiative.”
 

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.”
 

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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.”

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