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Avi Benlolo
Avi Abraham Benlolo, Founder & Chairman, The Abraham Global Peace Initiative (AGPI)

Mr. UN Rapporteur, Where Were You in Afghanistan?

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Am Yisrael Chai

As I write this, another horrific terrorist attack just happened in Israel. An Arab shooter gunned down another two innocent Israelis and injured an addition six. These murderous attacks cannot continue.

Just a few days ago, The Abraham Global Peace Initiative strongly condemned the heinous murder of Doris Yahbas, Menachem Yechezkel, Moshe Kravitzky and Laura Yitzhak. They were murdered by a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed them to death in Be’ersheva, Israel. At least three other incidents of Palestinian terrorism were reported in Israel this week.

We are holding responsible those who incite hatred and contempt for Israel, including organizations who have been relentlessly focused on attacking Israel.

In fact, even as we write this report, the wheels of hate against Israel are in motion, inciting yet more violence. Today, instead of being focused on helping Ukraine (as Israel is), the UN’s “Special Rapporteur” said: “Apartheid is being practised by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

Despite the fact that most Palestinian territories are not occupied, and are completely run by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and by Hamas in Gaza, once again the UN is joining the Antisemitic campaign against Israel. Yes, Natan Sharansky’s 3D qualifier for Antisemitism is fully applicable here as the UN continues to demonize, delegitimize, and commit double standards against the Jewish State. We ask the Rapporteur, where are you in the case of Afghanistan?

This week we spoke up against the Taliban’s banning of girls and women from going to school, visiting a doctor, catching a taxi, or entering government buildings – did you?

And here is another important fact for anti-Israel campaigners: In its Global Democracy Index, The Economist recently ranked Israel 23rd out of 165 countries! In other words, Israel is more democratic and free than 142 other countries! So, Mr. UN Rapporteur, what will you be accusing Israel of next?

Even while Israel is being attacked by the United Nations, it is the only country that is establishing major field hospitals in Ukraine, Moldova, and other parts of the region to assist Ukrainian refugees. This morning, Jonathan Ornstein, the Executive Director of Krakow’s JCC, briefed AGPI on continued aid developments and thanked its leadership for generously supporting his organization’s assistance programs.

When we returned from our incredible week in Argentina standing with the Jewish community to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Iranian bombing of Israel’s embassy in Buenos Aires, we hit the ground running.

On Monday, we stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) – the province’s largest police force – to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. We were honoured that our presentation will be impacting some 10,000 members both on the front lines and in civil service. Given the critical importance of combating hate crime, our presentation at the OPP headquarters was made more significant on the heels of a shocking new report released by Statistics Canada just a few days prior. While hate against every other religious community declined in 2020, it increased by 5% against the Jewish community – which found itself once again as the leading target of hate crime in this country.

In this week’s column in the National Post, we critiqued our national media for burying this statistical fact beneath the headlines. We commented: “A report from the Canadian Press published in this very paper three paragraphs from the bottom stated: ‘The Jewish and Muslim populations continue to be the most common targets of religion-based hate crimes.’ The same article and statement also appeared on the same date in at least four other mainstream publications, including the CBC.

“For failing to adequately report about Antisemitism, the media is hiding the truth from Canadians. How then can we improve public policy and legislation to combat Jew-hate, if the story is buried? Why then are we surprised when students perform the ‘Heil Hitler’ salute against a Jewish teacher? Recent Antisemitic incidents have shaken our community to the core. Burying critical statistics at the bottom of stories is not the correct path to countering hate and discrimination.”

Still, there are many who are standing up for Israel and against Antisemitism. This week, our organization applauded Iowa Governor Reynolds for signing into law two significant bills meant to restrict companies that boycott Israel from doing business with the state and to combating Antisemitism. Jerusalem’s Marathon, which took place today saw an unlikely winner – Valentyna Veretska, a Ukrainian refugee fled to Israel. She competed in the marathon and won first place! As someone who has run the Jerusalem half, this hill run is no cakewalk! What a great way to end the week.

Even as we stand in shock and the murderous crimes happening all around us, we must have faith in a better world. We must act to counter hate and intolerance. We must push out the darkness and illuminate our world with light.  I know you will join me in this effort.

Shavua Tov,

Avi

About the Author
Avi Abraham Benlolo is the Founder and Chairman of The Abraham Global Peace Initiative (AGPI) He has been described as the nation's most prominent and noted expert in Holocaust studies, in countering Antisemitism and promoting human rights.
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