AJC President's Council to host Asst. Sec of State
Dr. Edith Brimmer, US Asst. of Sec. of State for the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, will address AJC Houston's President's Council on Monday, Oct. 24 to discuss America's engagement with Israel at the UN and multilaterally. The Bureau strives to advance U.S. interests through international organizations in areas including human rights, peacekeeping, food security, humanitarian relief, and climate change.
Dr. Brimmer's previous government service included two years in the State Department's
Office of Policy Planning, where she worked on European Union, Western Europe, UN, and
multilateral security issues. Dr. Brimmer was also a member of the United States delegation
to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in spring 2000. From 1993-1995 she
served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. In that capacity she worked on UN, peacekeeping, human rights and political-military issues.
AJC advocates for Bishops residence permit
Over the past few months, AJC Houston has heard concerns from several religious leaders concerning the matter of the residence permit of the Episcopal bishop of Jerusalem, Suheil Dawani. AJC was actively engaged with the government of Israel to seek a resolution of the issue from the outset and raised it with the Israeli authorities during the special AJC mission in July to learn of the situation of Christian communities in Israel. This week, the matter was resolved and the Bishop received his permit.
AJC's international director of interreligious affairs in Jerusalem, Rabbi David Rosen, was interviewed by media in Israel on the matter and was quoted expressing AJC's satisfaction with this appropriate action none too soon. He stated that " in addition to the important contribution Bishop Dawani makes to understanding and tolerance among the faiths and peoples in the Holy Land, guaranteeing his capacity to fully serve his community is a demonstration of Israel's democratic commitment to guarantee freedom of religion to the different faith communities under its jurisdiction - a principle to which AJC is committed universally."
AJC expresses its disappointment with UNESCO
This week's decision by the UNESCO Executive Board to recommend that Palestine be admitted as a full member of the UN agency was seen as counter-productive by AJC.
The UNESCO Executive Board comprises 58 members, of whom 40 voted in favor of the draft resolution, 14 abstained and four voted against. The votes:
Yes: Algeria, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Chile, China, Congo, Cuba,
DemocraticRepublic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ghana, Grenada, Haiti, India,
Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Niger, Pakistan,
Peru, Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Syria,Tunisia, Tanzania,
Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zambia, Zimbabwe
No: Germany, Latvia, Romania and the U.S.
Abstention: Barbados, Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan,
Monaco, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain and St. Lucia.
The Palestinian request for membership will now be taken up by UNESCO's General Conference, which consists of the organization's 193 members. The General Conference's next session will take place from October 25 to November 10. Admission of new members requires the support of two-thirds of the organization's membership. Admission of new members requires the support of two-thirds of the organization's membership.
AJC Criticizes UN Security Council for Abandoning Syrian People
AJC called the dual veto of a UN Security Council resolution on Syria "a disgraceful abandonment" of the Syrian people.
"With the Chinese and Russian vetoes, the Security Council has turned its back on the Syrian people," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "Tragically, the Assad regime will conclude from this disgraceful abandonment of international responsibility that it has carte blanche to continue its violent campaign." READ
AJC: Keystone Pipeline Key to Strengthening Energy Security
AJC has long advocated for a transition to a clean, renewable energy economy. Until this is accomplished, however, the Keystone pipeline should be part of short- and medium-term measures aimed at meeting U.S. oil demand. In addition, the steady flow of the Keystone supply may help curb gas-price hikes in the country. READ
AJC Urges Congress to Ratify Free Trade Pacts with Colombia, Panama
AJC is urging Congress to act swiftly to pass free trade agreements with key allies Colombia, Panama and South Korea, after President Obama submitted the pacts for final ratification.