Statements

Monday, December 14, 2015 - 12:33pm

NEW YORK—Today, in response to the new Argentinian government’s decision to effectively void its agreement with Iran regarding the investigation of the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish center, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

"We applaud the Argentinian government’s new direction on this important matter. This decision demonstrates the immediate and positive impact of President Mauricio Macri’s leadership when it comes to revitalizing Argentina’s image at home, within Latin America and around the globe. President Macri is continuing to show why he is such an important partner for both the global Jewish community and the State of Israel.”

Last week, AJCongress President Jack Rosen attended the swearing in ceremony for Argentinian President Macri. Macri, who participated in last year’s International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem, invited Rosen to Buenos Aires as a guest for the ceremony.

Click here for a photo of American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and President Mauricio Macri at today’s ceremony in Buenos Aires. The photo is courtesy of American Jewish Congress.

Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 3:56pm

BUENOS AIRES—Today, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen attended the swearing in ceremony for recently elected Argentinian President Mauricio Macri. Macri, who participated in last year’s International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem, invited Rosen to Buenos Aires as a guest for the ceremony.

Reflecting on the significance of the newly elected Argentinian leader, AJCongress President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

"Today’s ceremonies only served to reaffirm my strong belief that the people of Argentina have elected a true leader—a leader who is prepared to usher in a new era of economic prosperity, increased accountability and restored international diplomacy. I look forward to supporting President Macri as he works to revitalize Argentina’s image at home, within Latin America and around the globe. For the Jewish community especially, President Macri will be an important partner in confronting sponsors of terror and ultimately, creating a safer, more tolerant world.”

Click here for a photo of American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen and President Mauricio Macri at today’s ceremony in Buenos Aires. The photo is courtesy of American Jewish Congress.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 8:30pm

NEW YORK—In response to presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comments that the government should temporarily bar all Muslims from entering the United States in wake of the San Bernardino tragedy, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“The idea of singling out any ethnic or religious group in a condemnatory light is antithetical to both this country’s founding principles and the quintessential values of the American Jewish Congress.

Even amid periods of great tragedy and heartbreak, as the seams of the Middle East have been torn open and anxiety fills the consciences of many Americans, we must be mindful of the way we approach these incredibly sensitive issues.

We must keep in mind that only a tiny sliver of those who practice Islam are extremists or hold ties to extremist groups, and combat a status quo where Muslims are stereotyped or hated by the average American.

The American Jewish Congress has defended the civil rights and liberties of all Americans--as well as hopeful future Americans--since its inception, nearly 100 years ago. We expect our leaders to accept and embody the ideals of America that we hold so dear: tolerance, equality, freedom, and understanding.”

 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 - 5:00pm

NEW YORK—In response to strong comments on Iran and the Boycotts, Sanctions, and Divestment (BDS) movement made over the weekend at both the Saban Forum and the US-Israel Business Initiative, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We appreciate and agree with the sentiments expressed by Hillary Clinton in regards to both Iran and the BDS movement. Her comments overlap almost congruously with the American Jewish Congress’s views on both issues.

"Further, we thank US Trade Representative Michael Froman for reaffirming the U.S. government’s stance against BDS and recommitting to economic ties between the U.S. and Israel at a
crucial juncture.

"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 institution that adopts BDS is another blow to Israel and only aids those who wish to delegitimize the Jewish State, which is the true aim of BDS.

"The United States must also remain vigilant in monitoring Iran to ensure that it never obtains a nuclear weapon.”

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - 5:45pm

NEW YORK—In response to the victory of Argentinian President-elect Mauricio Macri, who participated in last year’s International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

"On behalf of American Jewish Congress, I would like to offer a sincere congratulations to President-elect Macri on his successful campaign. After getting to know Mr. Macri over the past few years, I am confident that the people of Argentina have elected a true leader. I look forward to continuing to work with the Argentinian president as he leads his country into an era of increased accountability and economic prosperity, and a renewed role of influence in Latin America and the world.”

For the past 30 years, the International Mayors Conference has fostered an international dialogue among the world’s local leaders because of the strong belief in their power to change and improve people’s lives. Mr. Macri is the second participating mayor who has recently moved on to become a head of state, the first being Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi who was elected in February 2014.

Click here for a photo of American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen, President-elect Mauricio Macri and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the 2014 International Mayors Conference in Jerusalem. And click here for a photo of American Jewish Congress President Jack Rosen, President-elect Mauricio Macri, and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton from the American Jewish Congress lifetime achievement award ceremony in March 2014.

Monday, November 23, 2015 - 4:00pm

NEW YORK—In response to Argentinian President-elect Mauricio Macri’s announcement that he will cancel his country’s agreement with Iran regarding the 1994 terrorist attack on a Jewish cultural center upon entering office, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We stand with President-elect Macri on his decision to cancel Argentina’s agreement with Iran and investigate the 1994 attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires -- an incident for which Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, have been under suspicion for more than 20 years.

This move is crucial to countering Iran’s toxic global influence, especially as it strives to exert itself in South America. Justice for the 85 victims murdered, and many more gravely injured, is long overdue. Americans should take comfort in knowing that the new president of Argentina is their ally and will not put up with the belligerent behavior of the Iranian regime.”

Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 6:23pm

NEW YORK -- American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen: “We at the American Jewish Congress stand in solidarity with all those affected by the horrendous terror attacks in Paris -- the victims, their families and friends, the French government and everyone in the world who cherishes the tenets of democracy, freedom and tolerance.

Those who oppose our rights to safety must be brought to justice. Those who seek to impose their radical beliefs upon the world -- through destruction, violence and cruelty -- must be brought to justice. We respect and cherish the freedom for all global citizens to formulate their own belief systems, but those ideologies that seek to undermine the security of others must not be allowed to proliferate.

While this heinous act will certainly not go unheeded, we must be sure to educate ourselves on the facts, and those that will come to follow, to rid our minds of malice and steer clear from harsh stereotypes and generalizations -- Islamophobia, xenophobia and racism.

If we let hatred fill our hearts, rather than sympathy and compassion, we will only grant victory to the barbaric actors who have cast such a dark shadow upon the world. So instead, our thoughts and prayers remain with all those affected by violence and hatred across the world and we wish for safe refuge for all those who believe in peace and love.

Je suis Paris; Je suis France."

Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 11:28am

NEW YORK -- In response to the European Commission’s decision to label products produced in east Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and exclude them from the Israeli Free Trade agreement with the European Union (EU), American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We are gravely disappointed that the European Commission has decided to legitimize the BDS movement in the eyes of Europeans and discount historical precedent with this motion.

Anti-Semitism is at a dangerous tipping point in Europe, as radical right-wing parties have taken a larger stake in EU member states given the public’s disillusionment with government following the fiscal crisis. It is scary enough that there are elected officials in Europe who speak openly against Jews, but now it appears that the EU has gone one step further in its failure to recognize this crisis of anti-Semitism amid the continent where the Jew’s darkest days unfolded.

With the recent surge in attacks on Jews across Europe -- from France to Norway -- it is evident that the EU should be moving to educate the public against anti-Semitism, not encouraging it by vilifying Israel.

Jews from Europe, and across the world, must stand up against this ignorant decision by coming together and telling their respective governments that they must support Israel and defend what is right. If this motion goes unheeded, it will be another dangerous step down the slippery slope of European anti-Jewish sentiment. We cannot allow this to continue.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 - 11:12am

NEW YORK -- In response to the Washington Post column by Steven Levitsky and Glen Weyl, published on October 23, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We at the American Jewish Congress were greatly dismayed by the construct set forth by the article, entitled: ‘We are lifelong Zionists. Here’s why we’ve chosen to boycott Israel.’

In this piece, Mr. Levitsky and Mr. Weyl argue that the only way that Israel can secure permanent statehood and universal respect is to remove their presence from Palestinian territory. They do not, however, recognize wrongdoing by Palestinians or mention the historical context of the situation. They do not mention multiple instances in which Palestinian leaders refused to sign peace agreements with Israel, nor do they mention the most recent incitement of violence by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Mr Levitsky and Mr. Weyl go on to assert that the best thing that supporters of Israel, and American Jews in particular, can do to help Israel in the long-run, is to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. They posit that only by cutting off American aid and foreign investment in Israel will the Israeli government withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza, which, they argue, is the in the best interest of everyone. They fail to recognize the real aim of the leaders of the BDS movement, which is to delegitimize the State of Israel.

It seems counterintuitive that supporting this movement will help Israel in any feasible way, or that it could secure peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The BDS movement directly undermines our ability to achieve tolerance and understanding among Israelis and Palestinians.

For self-proclaimed Zionists to encourage other Jews to turn their backs on Israel is a departure from the tenets of Zionism altogether. It is a travesty that such a dangerous conclusion could be built on such false premises.”

Friday, October 23, 2015 - 12:56pm
NEW YORK -- In response to the resolution passed by the Executive Board of UNESCO, claiming the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb as Muslim holy sites, American Jewish Congress (AJCongress) President Jack Rosen issued the following statement:

“We are appalled by the passage of the UNESCO resolution claiming the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb are strictly Muslim holy sites with no connection to the Jewish people. I fear this outrage -- historically false, morally disreputable and politically cynical -- will only incite more violence against innocent Israelis. We applaud the countries that voted against it and thank UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova for her opposition to the resolution and outspoken defense of Jewish holy sites.

It is a travesty that Muslim countries, backed by a majority of the UNESCO Executive Board, would distort and deny history. Politicizing sacred historical religious sites, especially amid a time of escalating violence against Israel citizens, is not what most people around the world have a right to expect.

Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs always have been acknowledged to be Jewish holy sites. It was not until the 1990’s that any opposition to that truth arose as an anti-Israel tactic. The Palestinian Authority gains nothing by attempting to alter history for political purposes. Indeed, it reveals the depths to which it will go to engage in denial of the history and culture of the Jewish people in their historic homeland.

It is deplorable that 26 countries could support a resolution rooted in hatred and so lacking in basic historic facts. The abstention of 25 nations, including Western democracies and supposed supporters of Israel that profess to hold dear truth and tolerance, only adds to the instability endangering Israelis. This resolution emboldens Palestinians committing acts of terror against Israelis.

We call upon global leaders to stand up, do the right thing morally and intellectually, and condemn in the strongest possible terms this blasphemous denial of history that seeks to turn the truth on its head.”
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