Archive for the ‘World Jewish Congress’ Category
Vatican City, 10 May 2012 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI welcomed a delegation from the Latin American Jewish Congress, “the first group representing Jewish organisations and communities in Latin America which I have met here in the Vatican”, the Pope said. He went on to recall that “dynamic Jewish communities exist throughout Latin America, especially in Argentina and Brazil, living alongside a large Catholic majority. Beginning with the years of Vatican Council II relations between Jews and Catholics have become stronger, also in your own region, and various initiatives are afoot to make our mutual friendship deeper”.The Holy Father reaffirmed that the Vatican Council II Declaration “Nostra aetate” continues “to be the basis and the guide for our efforts towards promoting greater understanding, respect and cooperation between our communities. The Declaration not only took up a clear position against all forms anti-Semitism, but also laid the foundations for a new theological evaluation of the Church’s relationship with Judaism, expressing the confidence that an appreciation of the spiritual heritage that Jews and Christians share will lead to increasing understanding and esteem”.“In considering the progress made in the last fifty years of Jewish-Catholic relations throughout the world, we cannot but give thanks to the Almighty for this evident sign of His goodness and providence. Thanks to the increase of trust, respect and goodwill, groups whose relations were originally characterised by a certain lack of trust, have little by little become faithful partners and friends, even good friends, capable of facing crises together and overcoming conflicts in a positive manner. Of course there is still a great deal to be done to shake off the burdens of the past, to foment better relations between our communities and to respond to the increasing challenges believers have to face in the modern world. Nonetheless, the fact that we are jointly committed to a path of dialogue, reconciliation and cooperation is a reason for thanksgiving”.“In a world increasingly threatened by the loss of spiritual and moral values – the values that can guarantee respect for human dignity and lasting peace – sincere and respectful dialogue among religions and cultures is crucial for the future of our human family. I hope that your visit today will be a source of encouragement and renewed trust when we come to face the challenge of forming stronger ties of friendship and collaboration, and of bearing prophetic witness to the power of God’s truth, justice and love, for the good of all humanity”, the Holy Father concluded.
Continuing on with our analysis of Judaic fanaticism and how it’s transmitted:
“Fanaticism” vs. Fanaticism
World ‘Jewish’ Congress President, Alexander Mashkevich to take time away from predation of Russian and Ukrainian children; strip mining the wealth of East Europe and Africa and buying off Orthodox church leaders to start a ‘news’ network that will ‘tell the truth’ about ‘Israel.’
Coming soon: Jewish ‘al-Jazeera’
Dr. Alexander Mashkevich announces plan to form pro-Israel international news network. ‘It won’t be a propaganda channel, but will simply tell the truth,’ he tells Ynet during Jewish leaders conference
WASHINGTON – Dr. Alexander Mashkevich, president of the United Israel Appeal’s annual conference of Jewish leaders in Washington, has announced his plan to form a pro-Israel international news network, similar to al-Jazeera and the BBC.
This year’s conference focused on attempts to deal with the de-legitimization campaign against Israel, and was attended by some 200 Jewish community leaders and key philanthropists.
An announcement on the creation of the international news network was made at the end of the conference, with the aim of dealing with anti-Israel defamation in the media and influence public opinion.
Mashkevich, who also serves as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, said that the network would offer programs in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, focusing on news only.
“My intention is not to create a propaganda channel,” he told Ynet, “but simply a channel telling the truth.
“Unfortunately, in the current situation most channels simply don’t tell the truth about Israel,” he explained. “Every day that passes we lose the battle for Israel’s image. I am sure that Goldstone is a decent person, who didn’t want to damage Israel consciously and intentionally, but if everything he gets from the media every day is anti-Israel propaganda, I assume it’s hard to make the right decisions.”
On the collapse of the economy of the West, the rabbis see greener pastures in Eastern Europe.
This should be read in tandem with Get to Know Alexander Mashkevich.
… many [Judaic] communities of the Former Soviet Union are rolling in oligarchs, who appear to have more money than they know what to do with.
But, luckily, there are plenty of rabbis around to advise them how to invest in their Jewish identity.
Winds of communal change
Jenni Frazer – JEWISH CHRONICLE
October 29, 2010
If a conference that took place in Berlin last weekend is anything to go by, Jewish leaders in the West need a rapid Russian language induction course — and an equally rapid re-think of how things get done.
Jonathan Joseph, the South African-born, British-based president of the European Council of Jewish Communities, may not have done the Russian Berlitz course yet but he has certainly got to grips with how things get done.
To the clear consternation of some present in Berlin, Mr Joseph, with the quiet but determined air of someone producing a rabbit out of a hat, unveiled his great prize — a Ukrainian billionaire, Igor Kolomoisky.
ECJC president-elect Mr Kolomoisky, a grizzled 48, turns out to be a shy oligarch who collects German and French expressionist art and — more importantly — has showered millions on his home town of Dnepropetrovsk, transforming it into one of the strongest Jewish communities in the eastern bloc.
But he insisted that Mr Kolomoisky had “a very high business reputation”.
He has made his fortune in metals and private banking and, latterly, has bought two Ukrainian TV stations.
The new president, who did not utter a word in public at the Berlin conference, has apparently pledged “millions of euros to strengthen Jewish life in Europe.”
Such life, if last week’s meeting of the European Conference of Presidents is anything to go by, is undergoing a seismic shift.
On stage at a number of sessions and feted by the organisation’s leadership were a variety of people with, shall we say, difficult reputations.
Alexander Mashkevitch, the Kazakhstan-born billionaire who is president of the Euro-Asian Congress, hit the headlines in September when found on board a 450-foot luxury yacht raided by Turkish police investigating alleged prostitution and human trafficking of minors.
He was not arrested, but questions are still being asked in Israel, where he also holds citizenship.
Vadim Rabinovitch, an ECJC vice-president, has also had his fair share of run-ins with authorities in Ukraine and elsewhere.
President of the All-Ukrainian Jewish Congress, Mr Rabinovitch is another oligarch who has been accused of a variety of offences, but has overcome them and is a committed figure at European Jewish events.
For the dawning truth may well be that the tide has turned and that old Europe — cash-poor, still struggling with the legacy of the Holocaust, and reeling from the effects of the global financial crisis — is now going to have to swallow its pride and turn to new Europe.
Restitution money is drying up and the much-relied-upon financial support of the Americans, who often took great delight in telling the European peasants what to do, has also dissipated.
In contrast many communities of the Former Soviet Union are rolling in oligarchs, who appear to have more money than they know what to do with.
But, luckily, there are plenty of rabbis around to advise them how to invest in their Jewish identity.
Porto Alegre first Brazilian city to make Holocaust education mandatory in schools
A new law passed by authorities the city of Porto Alegre, in southern Brazil, will require all public schools to include Holocaust education in their curriculum. The measure will affect an estimated 60,000 students at 96 schools …
updated Oct 15th:
The ‘Russian’ oligarch, Alexander Mashkevich who strips the wealth and resources from Eastern Europe and Africa into his Swiss bank accounts but “wasn’t doing anything amoral” on a boat with ‘underage prostitutes’ in late September 2010, is (who knew?), a heavy hitter in the interfaith dialogue racket. At an October 2009 World Jewish Congress conference, “PHASE II STRATEGIC FORUM: IN DEPTH ANALYSIS” he candidly offered his thoughts on interfaith dialogue:
“… there is a very important topic – dialog … I think that maybe the most primitive, but most effective mechanism how we can do it, we have to find a way, we have to push religious leaders to say some words, which are positive to Jews. And we have transfer, we have to deliver these words to simple people. If, let say, Pope, whoever, or Imam or I don’t know who, has to be top level religious people – they have to say good words about Jews. How we could achieve it? It is our target, our job. I will tell you later what we do in this way. But we have to do it not only in a room, we have to do it through media to deliver it to hundreds millions, so when simple people hear what the leaders are saying, believe me, they follow their leaders.”
Machkevich gives an example of this ‘dialogue’ explaining how he bought off Russian Orthodox Church leaders to such a fantastic degree that Orthodox Church representatives bestowed on him the order of Saint apostle Andrey Pervozvanny, Protector of Russia and publicly proclaimed, “God gave to you, to your people this land [“Israel”]. You have no right to give to the Palestinians even one piece of this land.”
“I will tell you an interesting story. I built myself five Orthodox churches. Five. And they are not small, they are big, big – thousands people could come to one church.”
The nice things that Mashkevich buys as part of his ‘dialogue’ with faith leaders come with strings attached, as you may have guessed. We saw one such example in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 2009 when Mashkevich and his crony, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev hosted a “World Council of Religions ” and brought in Israeli terrorist, Shimon Peres as a surprise keynote speaker. The surprise was not a welcome one. See:
Peres [scheduled to give a] speech … before an inter-faith panel in Kazakhstan in which hundreds of Muslim leaders and religious figures from the Middle East and the world will participate. The chief rabbis of Israel and the minister of religious affairs will also be in attendance.
The forum is being organized by the Kazakh government together with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress.
Also see Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran’s address:
WORKSHOP ON “MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES, WORLD ETHICS” DURING THE THIRD CONGRESS OF LEADERS OF WORLD AND TRADITIONAL RELIGIONS IN ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN, 1-2 JULY 2009
INTERVENTION OF CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN
Astana, Kazakhstan, 2 July 2009
Here’s a little perspective for those who were cajoled by Sasha Baron “Cohen’s” depiction of the people of Kazakhstan as child-raping ‘antisemites.’ Some of us aren’t going along with ancient Khazarian vendettas.
Jewish Leader Arrested in Alleged Sex Trade Scheme
October 8, 2010
JTA Wire Service
A Jewish billionaire who heads a branch of the World Jewish Congress was among 14 businessmen and underage [Russian and Ukrainian] prostitutes arrested on a yacht in Turkey.
Alexander Mashkevitch, born in 1954, heads the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress. He is a citizen of Kazakhstan and Israel.
The arrests came in late September after a tip to Turkish authorities that the luxury boat was being used for illegal purposes, The Los Angeles Times reported. The Turkish government, which had leased out the yacht, has repossessed it.
The yacht once belonged to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.
Turkish authorities say they have documents proving that Mashkevitch paid up front to rent the yacht for five days and that the prostitutes were on board, Ynet reported. The boat reportedly was rented out regularly as part of a sex-trade scheme in which passengers would pay several thousand dollars for one night on board.
Some commentators reportedly are saying that the scandal besmirches Ataturk’s name, which is a punishable offense.
Sasha Baron “Cohen” and Alexander Mashkevitch’s religion, rabbinic Judaism, sanctions child rape (see: Judaism Discovered pp. 422-436).
Middle East Peace Begins in the Classroom
October 8, 2009
Edgar M. Bronfman – Huffington Post
… My predecessor as President of the World Jewish Congress, Nahum Goldmann, negotiated the great papal encyclical “Nostra Aetate” with Pope John XXIII. As important as that document was in starting on the path of reconciliation, it didn’t really change things on the ground. That’s why the International Catholic Jewish Liaison Committee, [and HERE] an organization consisting of Jewish and Catholic communal leaders, was created: to improve interfaith relations, tangibly and from the relationship’s core.
Among its other missions, the committee met regularly and took on the issue of what textbooks used in the classrooms said about the other faith. I was there at some of those meetings, and as difficult as it was in some instances, progress was always made …
As it turns out, this 2005 New York Sun article which a reader called attention to was prophetic. It foretold of Benedict’s 2008 Good Friday prayer for the Jews that he tacked onto the 1962 Missal. According to former World Jewish Congress official and Edgar Bronfman crony, Rabbi Israel Singer, Benedict had told him he would make such a change in 1993 during a visit to his Vatican apartment:
In 1993 … Rabbi Singer … visited Cardinal Ratzinger at home … Cardinal Ratzinger, Rabbi Singer said, listened carefully to concerns about aspects of the Catholic liturgy, “and he said he was going to change that liturgy which was unacceptable because it causes anti-Semitism.”
Rabbi Singer, a man who Norman Finkelstein has fittingly called a “repellent sewer rat,” was recently kicked out of the WJC. As it turns out, he’s too corrupt even for the Judaic mafia. How interesting that such a character would influence the Catholic liturgy. More on Rabbi Singer:
There are many other points of interest in this article. Searches of this blog for the rabbis mentioned below will turn up much information.
How Future Pope Won the Respect of Jewish Leaders
By MEGHAN CLYNE, Staff Reporter of the Sun
April 22, 2005
In the days since Pope Benedict XVI’s election, many critics have tarred him as an intolerant ideologue, insensitive to people of other faiths. Several New York Jewish leaders, however, while recounting their personal experiences with Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, described the future pope as a gentle, humble, learned man, a brilliant theological mind, and a devoted ecclesiastical leader in whom Jews will find an important ally.
The chairman of the World Jewish Congress, Rabbi Israel Singer, remembered a trip to Rome in which he visited the then-cardinal’s personal apartment, which he said illustrated Benedict’s personality.
In 1993, Rabbi Singer said, he was at the Vatican in anticipation of Pope John Paul II’s historic declaration that the Holy See would officially recognize and maintain diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. On the eve of the announcement, Rabbi Singer said, he visited Cardinal Ratzinger at home to discuss the theological implications of the decision, of which the cardinal was a staunch supporter.
Although his residence was nestled amidst the elaborate Baroque architecture of the Vatican, Rabbi Singer said, the interior of the cardinal’s quarters was extraordinarily spare, with a German simplicity in its appointments and furnishings.
“You got the impression you were in the home of a very, very modest person,” Rabbi Singer said. “All you saw in that apartment were books – books, and books, and books, all with yellow slips with markings on them, which showed these books had all been read.”
The expansiveness of the future pope’s personal library, and the orderliness with which it was arranged, reflected the breadth, depth, and discipline of the pontiff’s intellect, Rabbi Singer said.
“He’s very fair … very thoughtful, very deep-thinking,” Rabbi Singer said of Benedict. Contrary to depictions of him as a fierce, unreflective dogmatist, the pontiff “doesn’t come to a conclusion until he’s solved all the problems and questions,” Rabbi Singer said.
Benedict’s contemplative sensitivity, the New York rabbi added, manifested itself in his responsiveness to Jewish leaders’ anxieties. Cardinal Ratzinger, Rabbi Singer said, listened carefully to concerns about aspects of the Catholic liturgy, “and he said he was going to change that liturgy which was unacceptable because it causes anti-Semitism.”
On another occasion, Rabbi Singer said, he discussed a Jewish-Catholic relief operation in Argentina with the cardinal, wondering whether – given that it was unusual for the church to suggest such collaboration with Jews – the undertaking was theologically sound.
“He listened carefully,” Rabbi Singer said, “and then said, ‘This is a very important task, bless you.’ “
“He smiled, and he said he felt this is what religion should be known for – that this is the most important aspect of the dialogue,” Rabbi Singer added.
Sometimes, Benedict’s dialogue with Jews has been conducted quietly, not in his capacity as the guardian of Catholic orthodoxy, but as a private citizen and inquisitive theologian.
A theology professor at Bard College, Rabbi Jacob Neusner, has been a regular correspondent with Benedict for the past 15 years.
Rabbi Neusner is the author of several books on Jewish theology, including translations into English of rabbinic texts. While working on a volume about the historical Jesus in 1989, he said, he came across some of Cardinal Ratzinger’s writings on the subject. Rabbi Neusner sent him a letter praising his work, and the cardinal’s response initiated a continuing communication on matters of theological scholarship.
In the course of their epistolary dialogue, Rabbi Neusner said, Cardinal Ratzinger proved himself “a very fine scholar, very smart, and very sensitive.”
When Rabbi Neusner wrote “A Rabbi Talks With Jesus” in 1994 – a book in which Rabbi Neusner says that, had he been present for the Sermon on the Mount, he would not have followed Jesus – Cardinal Ratzinger, whose English is described as excellent, sent him a blurb for the jacket.
Despite its rejection of Christian teachings, Benedict wrote of Rabbi Neusner’s work: “The absolute honesty, the precision of analysis, the union of respect for the other party with carefully grounded loyalty to one’s own position characterize the book and make it a challenge especially to Christians, who will have to ponder the analysis of the conflict between Moses and Jesus.”
Rabbi Neusner and several other Jewish leaders said Benedict’s unflinching conviction in his own faith was hardly a liability, but was precisely what made him such a valuable interlocutor – because he could appreciate Jewish leaders’ staunch belief in the truth of their own religion.
The basis of interfaith dialogue with Benedict, they said, was mutual respect and a celebration of common convictions, rather than a push to evangelize or demand alterations to doctrine. That attitude, the head of inter-religious affairs for the American Jewish Committee, Rabbi David Rosen, said, would “develop a very healthy, productive relationship.”
“I think that generally within the Jewish community, they’ll recognize that in Pope Benedict XVI we have a friend,” Rabbi Rosen said by phone from Israel yesterday.
Indeed, much of the perception of Benedict as intolerant toward other faiths was the result of a misinterpretation of his 2000 encyclical “Dominus Iesus,” the director of interfaith affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, Rabbi Gary Bretton-Granatoor, said. In the encyclical, Cardinal Ratzinger reasserted the fundamental church doctrine that salvation is attainable only through Roman Catholicism.
Of the document, Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor said: “I don’t believe it really has anything to do with his understanding of Jews and Judaism.”
“Dominus Iesus” was directed more at the problems of orthodoxy within Christendom, including deviations by Protestant sects, Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor said. It was also issued as a directive to errant factions within the Catholic Church, particularly those embracing syncretism – the attempt to blend doctrine with local customs in places where Catholicism is growing.
The encyclical, Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor said, should not be read as hostility toward Jews on Benedict’s part. “In his mind … Judaism exists on an entirely different plane than any other religion,” he said.
And because Cardinal Ratzinger, as head of the church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, helped provide the theological underpinnings of the conciliatory overtures to Judaism during John Paul II’s papacy, there was no reason to suspect any ill will toward Jews on Benedict’s part, the director of the Anti-Defamation League, Abraham Foxman, said. “I’m convinced he will carry on that tradition,” Mr. Foxman said.
Indeed, further indications that Benedict intends to continue John Paul’s legacy emerged from Rome yesterday, where the new pontiff reconfirmed all of the heads of the Vatican Curia who had served under his predecessor, the Daily Telegraph reported.
If Benedict’s ecclesiastical past boded well for the church’s future relations with Judaism, at first glance his personal history – particularly his coerced membership in the Hitler Youth as a teenager in Germany – might not. There seems to be a consensus, however, that Benedict’s biography is not cause for concern among the Jewish community.
To the contrary, in the view of the Park East Synagogue’s Rabbi Arthur Schneier, “Because Benedict grew up in a country that inflicted tyranny,” the rabbi said, “he has a greater appreciation of freedom and liberty.”
Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor, too, saw some advantage in Benedict being a German. “It’s not like I have to explain anti-Semitism to somebody who’s never experienced it,” he said.
Indeed, a founding member of the Interfaith Theological Forum of the Pope John Paul II Center at Washington, Rabbi Leon Klenicki, said Benedict expressed great sensitivity to Jewish theological questions arising from the Holocaust.
Rabbi Klenicki, who met several times with Cardinal Ratzinger, recounted a discussion with the prelate on the question: “How could God be silent when 1 million children went to the gas chambers?” That inquiry, Rabbi Klenicki said, presents a “very serious problem” in the Jewish community, “and not so much in the Christian community.” Yet Cardinal Ratzinger, Rabbi Klenicki said, “listened with total attention and fervor, realizing the pain of what I was talking about.”
In Cardinal Ratzinger, Rabbi Klenicki said, he found an empathetic man who seeks and appreciates the presence of God in every person, regardless of creed. “He was very attentive … listening to you with all his heart,” he said.
That thoughtful aspect of Benedict would be well-received by Jews, Rabbi Neusner said, because of the honor Judaism accords serious religious study. “I think the people will really appreciate him, because they appreciate intellect … and they honor learning,” he said.
Rabbi Neusner congratulated Benedict on his new post. “I wrote him a letter saying that, as he knows … Benedict means ‘blessed’ – and that’s my hope for his pontificate,” Rabbi Neusner said. “Somewhere within a few months, there’ll be a very gracious reply,” the rabbi predicted.