Report of the B’nai B’rith International Leadership Forum October 2018, New York

B’nai B’rith International Leadership Forum October 2018, New York

Report by Jeremy Havardi

B’nai B’rith International held an International Leadership Forum and gala dinner from Sunday 13th to Tuesday 15th October 2018 in New York, the place where B’nai B’rith was founded exactly 175 years ago. Jeremy Havardi (JH), together with Alan and Edna Miller, attended from the UK and there were over 100 other representatives from many countries around the world.

On Sunday evening, following the Menorah lighting, the Label A. Katz awards were made to some outstanding volunteers from the world of B’nai B’rith. International President Gary Saltzman then delivered a ‘State of the Organisation’ speech and this was followed by the President’s reception.

At the main conference on Monday, Dan Mariaschin, Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of BBI, gave a powerful speech explaining the challenges and threats facing the global Jewish community and Israel. He said that BBI had welcomed a number of decisions in the last year, including the US embassy move to Jerusalem, the decision to remove funds from UNHRC and the decision to withdraw from the flawed Iran deal, given the regime’s ongoing threat to regional stability. He also lauded the work done by Nikki Haley at the UN and discussed the Trump administration’s plans for reactivating Middle East peace. He talked about endemic UN bias at all its major organisations but praised its Chief, Antonio Gutteres, for recognising how the organisation had become politicised. Dan also discussed the global menace of antisemitism in the last year, especially in Europe where he cited attacks in Warsaw and Paris and mentioned Poland’s Holocaust law. He also examined left wing anti-Israel hatred in the form of BDS and why it was necessary for governments to adopt the IHRA model. It was an important and enlightening overview.

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