Mariaschin: Israel “Takes a Pounding” in Today’s Media

Mariaschin: Israel “Takes a Pounding” in Today’s Media

By Chuck Kaufman

Dan Mariaschin, CEO of B'nai B'rith International, told more than 125 guests at Congregation Tiferet Israel’s Spring Gala in May that "Israel takes a pounding every day" in the media.

He said every week, sometimes daily, Israel is subject to a drubbing by editorial cartoonists, talk show hosts and "expert" panels on evening news programs. Mariaschin emphasized that now "social media platforms . . . light up with the worst possible anti-Semitic/anti-Israel drivel one can imagine."

Mariaschin and wife Michal were in Austin at an event honoring Chuck and Vonne Kaufman of Austin, benefactors to Congregation Tiferet Israel. Mariaschin covered the dangerous atmosphere that Jews face not only within global capitals, but within their own communities, including a general disunity relative to Israel's security.

He asked rhetorically whether Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority was serious about a two-state solution or "are you simply . . . gaming the international community on the issue of delegitimizing Israel, enjoying international 'pity' and largess, but are not really interested in an end of conflict and renunciation of claims against Israel?"

The 30-year veteran executive of B'nai B'rith International commended Texas for becoming the 18th state in the United States to pass into law anti-BDS legislation and commended State Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford, for introducing the legislation. Mariaschin also recognized Kaufman for being "a central part" of the effort and for testifying before the State Affairs Committee of the Texas House of Representatives.

Mariaschin called for the defeat the efforts of those who engage in "this pernicious" brand of anti-Semitism.

"The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement has been sprouting for the past dozen years like mushrooms in a dark forest," Mariaschin said. "In academic circles, on campuses, among celebrities and entertainers, city governments, and in the international diplomatic community, calls for boycotting Israel in one form or another are rampant."

In summing up, Mariaschin said of Jews around the world, "small in numbers, but strong in our beliefs and in our mission, we persevere. Persevere in the hope for a better world around us, and in the confidence of our continuity as a people that has brought so much to civilization over the millennia. We have suffered greatly, been exiled, persecuted, and marginalized. But here we are, having just celebrated Israel 69th Independence Day, and the 50th anniversary of the re-unification of our ancient, present and future capital, Jerusalem."

Mariaschin also spoke earlier in the day at a B'nai B'rith Austin gathering of community leaders in a parlor meeting.

Kaufman, BBI's chair for the Center of Human Rights of Public Policy, said Mariaschin is a "consummate advocate, blending diplomacy with toughness. No one short of Alan Dershowitz or Dennis Prager quite connects the dots about global Jewish issues quite as well as Dan. Everyone would do well to gain an understanding of today's political chaos by listening to him."

He also announced that the local group would fill a community need by serving as a "foreign relations council" of sorts. B'nai B'rith Austin recently has held community programs about the Holocaust with survivor Max Glauben and Stanley Falkenstein a long-time advocate on behalf of Cuban Jewry.

For more information, contact Chuck Kaufman at charlesok@cs.com.

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