Congregation Beth El Men's Club
Committee to Defend Against the
Delegitimization of Israel Within the U.N.
Beth El Men’s Club Objectives
After hearing Ambassador Richard Schifter speak at a Men’s Club Sunday breakfast, the Men’s Club decided to form a committee to help the American Jewish International Research Institute (AJIRI) http://ajiri.us/ to change how the “silent majority” in the U.N. vote on matters related to Israel. AJIRI is working with a bipartisan group of more than 40 members of the U.S. Congress in this effort. Because of our unique geographic location (Washington, D.C., where so many foreign embassies are located), we have a responsibility as Jews here to help AJIRI. We are focusing initially on informing smaller countries in the Caribbean and Pacific Island Nations to either support or abstain when voting on issues regarding Israel in the U.N. Some of us may have contacts or relationships with these nations or other governments, especially European, that can be networked to help present AJIRI’s concerns and make a difference in how the “silent majority” votes.
Retired Ambassador Richard Schifter summarizes AJIRI’s efforts as follows:
“Israel faces a great many problems and there are many activities in which our community can engage to be of help. But the problem is that if one takes on a lot of different issues, one fails to do concentrated work and often accomplishes very little to advance the cause. AJIRI is organized on the following very narrow premises: (1) delegtimization of Israel is a serious problem, (2) the UN plays the key role in the delegitimization effort, (3) many UN members that vote for the UN delegitimization program have no policy reason for doing so, (4) these countries need to be identified and messages should be sent to their heads of government through Congress, and, where appropriate, directly from the Jewish community to urge that they come closer to the U.S. position.”
We have undertaken efforts to engage both our members and those in other synagogues around these issues and stimulate grassroots involvement in support of communicating AJIRI’s concerns to their target audiences.
The Issues and Concerns
For more than three decades, countries inimical to the United States and Israel have used the United Nations (UN) to denigrate the United States by delegitimizing Israel. Year after year, nearly 25% of the UN General Assembly resolutions adopted by roll-call are directed against Israel and are opposed by the U.S. More serious than the number of resolutions is the content of these decisions, which establish the foundation and provide the funding for a year-round, worldwide anti-Israel propaganda campaign administered by the UN Secretariat’s Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR).
Opponents of Israel recognize the effective role the UN played in the delegitimization of the government of South Africa, which led to the overturning of its its apartheid regime. They are now using the UN and the DPR in an effort to equate Israel with apartheid South Africa. As part of this strategy, the DPR has mobilized more than 1,000 non-governmental organizations, and encourages them to press for anti-Israel boycotts and divestment programs.
Many Americans, including members of the Jewish community, have given up on the UN. They may not realize that the effort to delegitimize Israel is managed by a small clique of anti-U.S. and anti-Israel operatives at UN headquarters in New York. This group – with Cuba playing a leading role – can round up overwhelming votes in favor of anti-Israel resolutions because a “silent majority” – heads of government of many countries friendly to the U.S. and Israel – are simply not aware of the politics of the UN, and therefore do not instruct their UN representatives to oppose these destructive actions.
Who Is AJIRI
The American Jewish International Relations Institute (AJIRI) was founded to educate the public on the UN’s program to delegitimize Israel, and how that program can be brought to an end.
AJIRI, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, relies exclusively on tax-deductible donations to fund our program. We welcome your support for our efforts.
STOP THE UN PROGRAM TO DELEGITIMIZE ISRAEL
AJIRI has developed a strategy to persuade this “silent majority” to shift their votes at the UN. With information provided by AJIRI, a bipartisan group of more than 40 Members of the U.S. Congress is actively
reaching out to heads of government of friendly nations, urging them to support UN reforms which will shut down destructive anti-Israel activities, which are contrary to the principles of the UN Charter.
Persuading Friendly Nations to Change Their anti-Israel Votes
AJIRI’s analysis of the votes cast in support of anti-Israel resolutions shows that the nations that vote against Israel fall into two categories: (1) UN members that are anti-Israel and/or anti-American; and (2) members that are friends of the U.S., may receive significant aid from the U.S., have good bilateral relations with Israel and have no substantive reason for voting against Israel. Little can be done about the first group. The challenge is to persuade nations in the second group to change their votes so as to defeat the anti-Israel measures.
Among nations in this second group, decisions on UN votes are usually made by the country’s ambassador in New York or by mid-level officials in foreign ministries. Often their government’s leaders are not aware of these UN votes, and in particular, these leaders are not aware that the votes were cast in opposition to U.S. positions. In this situation, it is necessary to reach beyond their ambassadors and foreign ministries, and present the case directly to heads of government of countries which are friends of the United States. As a matter of protocol, this cannot easily be done by our State Department, nor is the White House staffed to deal with more than 50 heads of government regarding detailed UN issues. That is why AJIRI has reached out to sympathetic Members of Congress and has encouraged the formation of a unique and effective program of congressional contacts with the heads of government of nations friendly to the U.S.
A Bipartisan Congressional Task Force Working to Change UN Votes
Many Members of Congress are deeply concerned by the pattern of UN votes against the U.S. and Israel. former
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and former Republican Whip Roy Blunt, recently elected to the Senate, have taken the lead in forming a bipartisan Task Force of more than 40 House Members who are now actively engaged in communicating with Presidents and Prime Ministers of countries which might be receptive to their message: that their UN representatives often vote against U.S. positions, and that those votes raise concerns in Congress. AJIRI provides detailed information to these interested Members of Congress and helps coordinate action with State Department officials, who welcome this congressional effort.
Objectives of AJIRI’s Congressional Effort
In the UN Security Council: We encourage efforts to persuade members friendly to the U.S. not to vote for unbalanced and punitive resolutions directed against Israel which the U.S. opposes and will veto, if necessary.
In the UN General Assembly: We hope UN member states friendly to the U.S. will work with the U.S. on UN reform, including cutting off funds for UN activities whose mandates are outdated, duplicative or contrary to the principles of the UN Charter. The most extreme example of UN Charter violations is the funding of the year-round global campaign to delegitimize Israel.
AJIRI Resources and References
AJIRI Report #33: The UN’s Central Role in the Effort to Delegitimize Israel - October 2010.
AJIRI Report #34: The 2011 UN Program to Undermine Israeli/Palestinian Peace Efforts
AJIRI Report #36: Recanting the Goldstone Report? On the Contrary: The UN Human Rights Council Initiates Act2
Presentation to the Rabbinic Cabinet of the Jewish Federations of North America by Richard Schifter, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, in Washington, DC, on June 16, 2011.
Diplomacy and Politics - Jerusalem Post.
Presentation to the Philadelphia Chapter of Hadassah by Richard Schifter, Chairman, Board of Directors of the American Jewish International Relations Institute.
Sharon Wilkes, Executive Director (email) firstname.lastname@example.org
(phone) 301-915-0132 (cell) 917-826-4811
3465 Macomb Street, NW • Washington, DC 20016
Links to Articles in the Media
“How Palestinians will use the GA to advance statehood” By DAVID HOROVITZ; 03/25/2011; Jerusalem Post
"Return to Sender - A foolish letter from 'wise men' on the Middle East" By Elliot Abrams
"How to get through to the Gaza flotilla: Threaten to prosecute them for abetting Hamas" By Neal Sher
"Israel's UN ambassador tells U.S. Jews: Prepare for September vote on Palestinian state. Ron Prosor urges leaders at closed session of the Conference of Presidents of major Jewish American Organizations to use connections to stop upcoming UN vote." By Shlomo Shamir
"Europe's Mideast Muddle - Endorsing Palestinian statehood will only worsen the prospects for a lasting peace. " By Daniel Schwammenthal
Understanding UN Bias Against Israel -- Invite to Durban 3 Protest, NYC, Sept 21 You Tube Video.
www.truthprovider.com recently posted a video narrated by Danny Ayalon, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Click to see Video.
INTERACTIVE MAP showing each country's relationship with Israel.
What You Can Do to HELP Defend Israel in the U.N.
►If you were at our July 13th event or follow up meeting, we thank you very much for learning and offering to help out further.
►If you weren’t at July 13th event (click for flyer), watch the video and learn the facts and be informed.
►Come to our committee meetings and help out.
► If you have contacts that can help present the issues to embassies and/or consulates, please let AJIRI know (contact: Sharon Wilkes, AJIRI Executive Director – (phone) 301-915-0132 (cell) 917-826-4811 (email) email@example.com
►Tell your friends or family in other D.C. area synagogues or organizations about our efforts and ask them to join in to help AJIRI.
► Check back with us for upcoming events and let us know you want to be kept informed.
► Keep informed by requesting to be on our email distribution by sending us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
► Continue to support AJIRI and go to their website at http://ajiri.us/
Beth El Men’s Club -- AJIRI Meeting Agenda and Notes
February 2, 2012 - Meeting Notes
February 2, 2012 - Meeting Agenda
January 19, 2012 - Meeting Notes
January 5, 2012 - Meeting Notes
December 8, 2011 - Meeting Notes
June 13, 2011 - Meeting Agenda
June 13, 2011 - Meeting Notes
June 1, 2011 - Meeting Agenda
June 1, 2011 - Meeting Notes
May 19, 2011 - Meeting Agenda
May 19, 2011 - Meeting Notes
April 28, 2011 - Meeting Agenda
April 28, 2011 - Meeting Notes
Participating Synagogues and Organizations
• Beth Sholom Congregation and Talmud Torah
• B’nai Israel Congregation
• Congregation B’nai Tzedek
• Congregation Har Shalom
• Ohev Sholom -- The National Synagogue
• Ohr Kodesh Congregation
• Temple Beth Ami
• The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington
Click Here to Read More About These Two Events
Beth El July 13th Event - Panel Discussion: Preventing the Declaration of a Palenstinian State at the UN and the follow up
Beth El July 20th follow up meeting with Ambassador Schifter and Ambassador Denis Antoine, former ambassador of Grenada to the United States attracts many from the community.
WJW article links about the event:
Can we affect U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood? -- c.i. 7/13/2011 8:57:00 AM
When nice could sway U.N. vote -- c.ii. 7/20/2011 11:35:00 AM
Beth El and a grassroots effort to help Israel -- c.iii. Editorial, 7/20/2011 3:00:00 PM
Men’s Club Committee Members
Elliot Dickler • Harvey Gershman • Barry Friedman • Warren Greenberg • Jack Minker • Bernie Rod • Larry Sidman • Jose Sokol
For further information contact: email@example.com