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Executive Director Zeev Rubinstein speaks out against murders in France

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

The American Council for World Jewry's Executive Director, Zeev Rubinstein:

"I am horrified that in 2012 Jewish children on their way to school in France would be targeted for death. In recent weeks we have witnessed terrorist acts planned and executed against Israelis and Jews in many parts of the world. Those who value life and believe Jews are entitled to the same liberties and protections as everyone else must speak out loudly.  Governments and law enforcement must work with greater urgency to put an end to these outrages. We also must be mindful that the continuing isolation and vilification of Israel -- criticized repeatedly for the crime of engaging in self-defense against terrorists committed to its destruction -- plants the seeds of hatred and violence that can take the lives of innocent children walking to school."

A Private Citizen in North Korea

Wednesday, 04 January 2012

Published in The Huffington Post

By JACK ROSEN

 

As North Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong Il, and the world wonders what the future holds with his 20-something untested youngest son set to take control of a nuclear nation, my thoughts return to a somewhat unlikely visit to a country like no other.

Four years ago, North Korea invited me to bring a small delegation of members of the American Council for World Jewry to Pyongyang. Admittedly, I was not sure what we could accomplish, or even if the trip was such a good idea, given that the small, secretive nation was best known as a proliferator of nuclear weapons and for rampant malnutrition and even starvation of its own citizens.

No one in our delegation had been to North Korea before, and while there was some trepidation about the unknown, we were determined to talk about several important issues, such as the very troubling matter of North Korea's material support for Israel's sworn enemies, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their struggling economy. We were hopeful their leadership had come to the conclusion that at the people-to-people level, something positive could be achieved.

Click here to read more!

 

A Private Citizen in North Korea

Wednesday, 04 January 2012

By JACK ROSEN

As North Koreans mourn the death of Kim Jong Il, and the world wonders what the future holds with his 20-something untested youngest son set to take control of a nuclear nation, my thoughts return to a somewhat unlikely visit to a country like no other.

Four years ago, North Korea invited me to bring a small delegation of members of the American Council for World Jewry to Pyongyang. Admittedly, I was not sure what we could accomplish, or even if the trip was such a good idea, given that the small, secretive nation was best known as a proliferator of nuclear weapons and for rampant malnutrition and even starvation of its own citizens.

No one in our delegation had been to North Korea before, and while there was some trepidation about the unknown, we were determined to talk about several important issues, such as the very troubling matter of North Korea's material support for Israel's sworn enemies, the spread of weapons of mass destruction and their struggling economy. We were hopeful their leadership had come to the conclusion that at the people-to-people level, something positive could be achieved.

Undeniably, there was a surreal quality to our visit. At night, as electricity evidently was cut back, the city was dark and the streets empty. We wanted to move about to see for ourselves what life was like and to get a flavor of the everyday challenges North Koreans face. We also wanted to test our assumption that their support for a host of global bad actors simply reflected Pyongyang's need to do business and find markets for its military industry.

Each side was curious about the other, and the more we talked the more several things became apparent. While they have provided help to Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and other enemies of Israel, none of this appears ideological. When we told them they should not sell missiles and nuclear technology to Israel's neighbors, they made no commitments to end the practice, and they defended it on the grounds that they needed the funds from military sales.

But their leadership seemed eager to discuss how North Korea's agricultural sector could benefit from Israeli know-how. We were all reminded of the old adage that it is better to teach a man to fish than to give him a fish, and in the case of Israel, another small country that finds itself isolated in a dangerous neighborhood, it has many lessons of self-sufficiency to share with North Korea.

Notwithstanding the absence of trust that understandably characterizes U.S.-North Korean relations, what I thought I heard was that a chance existed to improve relations. Two years after the initial trip, I was invited a second time and asked to bring another delegation from the ACWJ.

On this occasion, our discussions took place with higher ranking officials, our meetings were more detailed, and seemed to indicate that substantive dialogue at the top levels of government was being encouraged. This time, we explicitly said that ending arms sales, and no longer providing nuclear know-how to dangerous characters on the world stage, would be a good way to enhance trade opportunities to help improve the lives of millions of North Koreans.

I left thinking that their leadership was not satisfied with the status quo, and that they want to explore, quietly and off-the-record, ways to expand their narrow world. Upon returning to the U.S., we made it known to various elected leaders both in Washington and Jerusalem that an opportunity existed, that a small and exceedingly cautious nation was reaching out.

Our delegation was not political, and we served the purpose of giving North Korea a chance to make a symbolic point at very little cost. We were not sent with any special messages to deliver, nor did we come back with anything concrete to share with U.S. politicians.

Nonetheless, at the personal level, each member of our delegation was convinced that our trip had genuine value. Sometimes, long-time antagonists simply cannot figure out a way to talk with each other; they cling to their narratives and talk past each other. Sadly, we are familiar with a similar dynamic between Israel and the Palestinians.

The passing of Kim Jong Il marks a time of change, an important milestone event that closes one door and opens another. I'd like to think that the time I spent in North Korea reflects a desire on the part of its leaders to build new relationships with the West. I wouldn't bet the house, but this may well be the moment to try to move the U.S. and North Korea toward a new era of engagement that, at the very least, lowers rhetorical flames and explores mutually beneficial opportunities.

To read this article in its original form, click here.

Obama in NY says Israel is most important ally

Friday, 02 December 2011

 

ObamaThe AP reports that President Obama tried to assuage Jewish supporters during a fundraising stop in New York hosted by a prominent Jewish donor, Jack Rosen, who had been billed among prospective fundraisers ahead of time as a chance for a "substantive and candid" discussion about concerns in the Jewish community.

 

Chief among them has been Israel and lingering questions among some Jewish voters about the administration's commitment to Israel.

 

 

 

When the fundraiser's host, American Jewish Congress chairman Jack Rosen, mentioned "concerns" about the ties between Israel and the U.S., Obama declared, "We don't compromise when it comes to Israel's security."

 

 

 

To read full article: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1111/69485.html#ixzz1fPpxjKjT

Jewish Big Will Host O

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Prominent New York Jewish activist Jack Rosen is hosting a fund-raising event tonight for President Obama, who hopes to get as much Jewish support in his 2012 re-election bid as he did in 2008.

Rosen, chairman of both the American Jewish Congress and the American Council on World Jewry, is staging the event at his Upper East Side residence.

He was appointed to the US Holocaust Memorial Council by both former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and was a guest when Clinton signed the Israel-Jordan peace treaty.

He’s also a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.

Born in Germany, he lost his grandparents and other relatives in the Holocaust.

Rosen runs Rosen Partners, a residential and commercial real-estate firm, and has taught at Beijing University.

About 30 honchos are expected to attend the 5 p.m. event, with tickets starting at $10,000 per person.

Click here to view this article in the New York Post

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