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International

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s stance on Israeli Settlements

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases | No Comments

 

CWA Supports the Trump Administration’s

stance on Israeli Settlements

 

Today Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the U.S. agrees with President Reagan’s administration that Israeli settlements are not inconsistent with international law.

Penny Nance, CEO and President, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for Concerned Women for America released this statement:

“We applaud Sec. Pompeo and the Trump administration for their right stance in declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights, and East Jerusalem consistent with international law. The U.S. will no longer view Israeli settlements as illegal, cancelling a legal position adopted by the U.S. State Department in 1978 by the Carter administration. We stand with Israel, our closest ally in the Middle East, who most closely shares our democratic values.”

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Ivanka Trump Is Right about Empowering Women

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, International, News and Events | No Comments

CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Shea Garrison writes an op-ed featured in National Review examining Ivanka Trump’s initiatives to cultivate women’s full economic potential.

“A  recent article in the Los Angeles Times criticizes Advisor to the President Ivanka Trump for working to empower women in the global economy. Trump, a 37-year old businesswoman and entrepreneur (with a degree from the Wharton School of Business), leads the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP), the first comprehensive “all of government” initiative to help women and girls in developing countries overcome barriers to economic participation and maximize their potential.

Filled with uninformed condescension and sexist statements, the article questions Trump’s role as an advisor and a leader of U.S. development assistance. In actuality, the biased article fails to acknowledge that Ivanka Trump is the first leader within a U.S. administration to effectively focus on what she calls the “most underutilized resource” in the developing world — the power and genius of women. For those of us who have worked in the world of women’s economic empowerment and have seen the dynamic and lasting change it can bring to families and communities, her efforts in this arena are greatly appreciated.

In light of pervasive global poverty and income inequality, Trump’s desire to cultivate women’s full economic potential hits on two excellent points: First, that sustainable development uses a holistic approach to increase the capability and participation of all people in the community — instead of just focusing on the “end goal” of economic growth; and second, that development aid has historically included what Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen called the “extensive neglect of the interests and agency of women.””

Read Dr. Garrison’s Entire Piece Here in National Review:

How China ‘Is Home to the Worst Human Rights Crises of our Time’: It’s Why the US Commission on Unalienable Rights is so Necessary

By | International, News and Events, Religious Liberty, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA

CWA’s Dr. Shea Garrison, the organization’s Vice President of International Affairs, writes a new opinion piece featured this week in The Washington Times.

“The Trump administration led the fight for human rights at the U.N. General Assembly last week, calling out China for forced internment of more than 1 million Uighurs in “training camps” to be “re-educated” and “saved” from their culture, language and faith.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, China is the perpetrator of “the worst human rights crises of our time.” China denies this, touting itself a defender of human rights by providing “development, health, nutrition, and housing” — its own “approach” to human rights that has nothing to do with individual freedoms.

China’s approach is not surprising given that international human rights advocacy is so “watered down” by political agenda that it’s hard to tell the difference between protecting God-given natural rights and government entitlements.

To help rectify this, Mr. Pompeo recently announced the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedom. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, as well as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), are guides for the commission.”

Click to read the entire article here:

Click here for additional articles from Shea Garrison:

 

CWA Represents Your Voice at the United Nations General Assembly 2019: Religious Freedom, the Value of Family and Life, and Women’s Empowerment

By | International, News and Events, United Nations, United Nations | No Comments

Last week the 74th meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) met in New York City.  President Trump, Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Pompeo and HHS Secretary Azar gave magnificent speeches, including on the issues of religious freedom, the value of family and life, the importance of nationalism, and economic empowerment.

CWA was at UNGA representing your voice through the media, at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, and with foreign delegations. Our CEO and President Penny Nance was honored to meet with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, as part of a small group of evangelical leaders, to discuss religious freedom in Egypt as well as the important issue of women’s rights and wellbeing.

The group thanked President el-Sisi for his work in Egypt to improve religious tolerance and equality for Christians, such as building Nativity of the Christ Cathedral (the largest cathedral in the region, and it is next to a mosque of equal size to symbolize tolerance and equality), rebuilding Christian churches demolished by the Muslim Brotherhood, and reforming religion textbooks for schools to increase tolerance and understanding between Muslims and Christians, as well as remove any extremist sections.

In addition, Penny thanked him for highlighting the necessity of education and training for women and girls in Egypt, as well as reducing barriers to their wellbeing such as domestic violence and harmful cultural practices.

President el-Sisi’s speech in March for this year’s Egyptian Women’s Day outlined seven points of engagement his administration plans to take on behalf of women. He has committed to address issues including women’s access to the marketplace, education, the problem of illegal underage marriage, gender-based violence and harassment, and to improve divorce laws so they do not put women and children in an “inadequate” situation.

CWA is grateful for increased leadership roles in Egypt for women; however, as women struggle for equal justice and opportunities in Egypt, there is still more work to be done.  President el-Sisi appointed the first two female governors ever in Egypt, the second one being a Christian. Manal Awad Mikhail is the first Christian woman in Egypt ever to be governor. Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, appointed by Sisi in June 2018, has selected a historic number of eight women to his cabinet. There is also an effort to increase women’s position and rank in the judicial system with 16 female judges being promoted to higher level positions.

President el-Sisi has also strived to decrease female genital mutilation and cutting (FGM/C). While FGM/C has been illegal in Egypt for over 10 years, since 2008, it is still widely practiced. This is a stubborn cultural issue with over half of Egyptians, both men and women, in support of the practice. Egypt’s National Council of Women, religious leaders, Islamic scholars, and the government are working with President el-Sisi to delink FGM/C from religious practices saying it is religiously forbidden.

President el-Sisi made FGM/C a criminal act in 2016, going a step further than the 2008 law, prior to his coming to power, that made it illegal. His criminalizing FGM/C is a bold move on a sensitive issue with deep cultural roots.

The number of girls in Egypt undergoing FGM has declined some over the last 12-15 years, but the number who experience this harmful cultural practice is still shocking:

  1. The number decreased from 97% cut in 2005 to 92% in 2015 of ever-married women ages 15-49 (a woman qualifies as “ever-married” if she has been married at any time in her life, even if she currently is not married)
  2. There was more improvement in girls ages 0 to 17 , according to a secondary analysis (analysis of data already collected for a different purpose) of the data, with a drop from 69% in 2005 to 55% in 2015(14% decrease) of girls who go through or are likely to go through FGM/C before turning 18.

In his Egyptians Women’s Day speech, President el-Sisi acknowledged that underage marriage is an act of violence towards girls and hinders their education. The legal age of marriage in Egypt is 18; however, 22% of girls are married before 18, and 15% are married before the age of 16. Some of these are “temporary marriages” to visiting foreigners, mostly from the Gulf states. These temporary marriages are often a cover for prostitution.

CWA also thanked President el-Sisi for Egypt joining the U.S. and 19 other nations in a joint statement calling on the UN to stop using abortion-related terms in UN resolutions, negotiations, and other documents. Terms like “sexual reproductive health” (SRH) or “sexual reproductive rights” are ambiguous abortion-related terms which mask the promotion of legalized abortion.  Here is an excerpt from the joint statement read by Secretary Azar:

We believe that health of women, men, children and adolescents supports and improves the overall health of our families and communities, and that the family is the foundational institution of society and thus should be supported and strengthened…

We do not support references to ambiguous terms and expressions, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights in U.N. documents, because they can undermine the critical role of the family and promote practices, like abortion, in circumstances that do not enjoy international consensus and which can be misinterpreted by U.N. agencies.

Such terms do not adequately take into account the key role of the family in health and education, nor the sovereign right of nations to implement health policies according to their national context. There is no international right to an abortion and these terms should not be used to promote pro-abortion policies and measures.

CWA was glad to be your voice as Penny met with President el-Sisi of Egypt. She thanked him for his steps to increase opportunities and rights for women and girls, as well as religious freedom for Christians. We encouraged him to continue his progress on these issues and hope to be helpful in the future.

Dr. Shea Garrison presents on the Role of Women in Society, Economics, Peace, and Security

By | Family Issues, International, News and Events, Uncategorized | No Comments

Dr. Shea Garrison, CWA’s Vice President of International Affairs, was recently invited to Hungary to present at the Budapest Demographic Summit III, September 5-6. Hosted by the Hungarian government, the conference brought together leaders from all over the world to share their ideas and experiences in strengthening families and promoting effective family policies.

Among those presenting were Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Minister of State for Family and Youth Affairs Katalin Novak, as well as other senior officials from Serbia, Australia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Brazil. Religious representatives included leaders from both Christian and Jewish congregations.

Dr. Garrison spoke about CWA’s commitment to both family and life and how research and practice demonstrate that women’s full and “meaningful” participation in other areas of society—such as within the economy and in peace and security processes—greatly contributes to stable societies, sustainable economic growth, and family development.  She was quoted as saying, “We believe the best way to preserve the family is to defend the sanctity of life, particularly the life of an unborn child. In addition, we value motherhood and strong, cohesive families. Women have a unique role in building strong societies that goes beyond the care and nurturing of a family.”

Dr. Garrison discussed two U.S. strategies–the Women’s Global and Development Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) and the U.S. Women, Peace, and Security Strategy (WPS)–as examples for how governments and civil organizations can support stronger families and communities by taking significant steps to ensure women’s full participation in all areas of society.

Other U.S. representatives included Valerie Huber, Senior Policy Advisor for the Office of Global Affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Emilie Kao, Director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, the Heritage Foundation.

Additional Photos of Dr. Garrison’s visit to Hungary:

Concerned Women for America Celebration Luncheon with Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases, Religious Issues, Social / Cultural Issues, United Nations | No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        CONTACT:   Toni DeLancey, Ph.D.
September 13, 2019                                                                                            [email protected]     202-527-3434

Washington, D.C. – For 40 years, Concerned Women for America (CWA), the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization, has promoted Biblical values, constitutional principles and pro-women policies across America and around the world. As a part of CWA’s 40th year anniversary celebration, CWA’s founder Dr. Beverly LaHaye, CEO and President Penny Nance, and CWA’s Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison welcomed Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo, who delivered a keynote address to CWA and its supporters during a luncheon at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

“We are so pleased to have Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan with us today,” Penny Nance said. “CWA’s involvement in the International arena is increasingly significant and has intensified with our staff addition of Dr. Shea Garrison. Secretary Pompeo has approached his job in a way that demonstrates a shared vision with CWA and our founder, Mrs. Beverly LaHaye, to expand pro-woman and pro-liberty policies at home and Internationally.”

In his remarks, Secretary Pompeo discussed religious liberty as the first American freedom enshrined in the U.S. Constitution as an unalienable right for all people. He also discussed his experiences leading the U.S. Department of State to fight for that freedom as a U.S. foreign policy priority for millions of people around the world, including through the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom and the Commission on Unalienable Rights.

“Concerned Women for America’s work in the International arena is not new. With God’s guidance and direction, we made our first foray 23 years ago at the U.N. World Conference for Women in Beijing,” said Mrs. Beverly LaHaye. “Impacting international women for Christ’s work has always been a vision for CWA, and I am pleased and gratified at  how much progress CWA has made internationally under Penny’s leadership along with the expertise of Dr. Shea Garrison.”

CWA’s work internationally has focused on family and life, empowering women, and advocating for religious freedom around the world. To see more about CWA’s international department and its work, click here to see a video.

Read Secretary Pompeo’s Speech and Q and A With Penny Nance Here.

See the Speech and Q and A on Facebook Here (begins around 13:20).

See News Report from the Event from The Washington Examiner.

Groups Unite to Support the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights

By | International, Press Releases, Religious Liberty | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently announced the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedom. A letter, signed by forty-six of the most influential human rights, women’s, and religious freedom organizations and leaders applauds Sec. Pompeo for his leadership in creating the Commission.

Concerned Women for America’s CEO and President, Penny Nance, and Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Shea Garrison, had this to say:

“We applaud Secretary Pompeo for creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. This is a significant moment in our history as we refocus U.S. foreign policy on the
principles of America’s founding—that all people are created with unalienable rights such as “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Many activists today promote their objectives as “human rights,” confusing government-given social and economic goals with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights. This
waters-down the essence of human rights, leading to less individual freedom, not more. Dilution of human rights takes the focus off of real victims of abuse and gives
authoritarian governments cover to promote economic or social benefits as fundamental human rights, all while oppressing religious liberty, censoring the press, or
imprisoning political dissidents.

But, when our fundamental or unalienable human rights are protected, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.

We are grateful for Sec. Pompeo’s leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights. We believe the Commission can do more than secure unalienable rights and
remedy human rights abuse, it can reassert the right kind of American leadership in our world today.

The world is freer when America leads.”

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Groups Unite to Support the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights

By | International, News and Events, Religious Liberty | No Comments

WASHINGTON, DC – Concerned Women for America, Family Research Council, The Heritage Foundation, American Values, Independent Women’s Forum, Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF), and many more joined together to send a clear message of support to Secretary of State Pompeo on his announcement of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights.  Click here to read the official letter sent to Secretary Pompeo (pdf version).

August 6, 2019

The Honorable Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC, 20520

Dear Secretary Pompeo:

So many people advocate today in the name of “human rights” that social goals are often confused with God-given fundamental or unalienable rights, a problem leading to less individual freedom, not more. Clarification of human rights is the first step in an effective strategy to protect human rights around the world. For this reason, we welcome your announcement of the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights which will ground U.S. foreign policy on human rights in America’s founding principles of individual dignity and freedoms, later reflected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

As America’s founders state in the Declaration of Independence, unalienable rights are based in natural law and include “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Rights like freedom of conscience, speech, and belief are “natural” or “God-given” because they’re inherent to all human beings—we are born with them. These rights are to be protected by the government, not given by the government, as demonstrated in the U.S. Bill of Rights.

In like manner, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) recognizes man’s inherent dignity and that “the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.” Human rights are the foundation of our common dignity, and when we protect this foundation, we then have the freedom to advocate for our goals, ideologies, and political preferences.

However, the foundation of human rights is being watered-down by activists around the world promoting political ideology and identity group goals as “human rights.” Examples of this type of activism include:  the right to a clean environment, the right to free university education, the right to internet access, the right of access to abortion as healthcare, and even the right to not be offended (in direct conflict with the clear right to freedom of expression). This dilution undermines fundamental principles, including the fact that all people are equal and have common dignity. While many such activists are busy furthering their policy preferences as “rights,” they ignore clear and expressed human rights like that protected by Article 18 of the UDHR—the right to choose and change one’s faith—which is still heavily suppressed in far too many countries around the world.

Ideological activism presented as “rights” distracts from the fundamental purposes of protecting human rights. This critically undercuts the focus on the real victims of human rights abuse such as—a pregnant Sudanese woman imprisoned for her Christian faith and forced to give birth with her legs in shackles, men in Syria and Iraq being thrown off buildings to their death, a girl being shot in the head for simply wanting to go to school, and the millions of Uyghur Muslims detained, imprisoned, and oppressed because of their faith.

A diluted human rights narrative allows totalitarian and authoritarian governments the guise of promoting social or economic benefits as “human rights,” while simultaneously becoming egregious violators of fundamental human rights themselves as they censor freedom of the press, oppress religious minorities, or imprison political dissidents. The UDHR called for “the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear…”

Fundamental human rights are for all people—regardless of their background, socio-economic status, or beliefs, and we believe the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can bring focus back to protecting needful victims of human rights abuse. For these reasons everyone—including the most prominent human rights organizations—should get squarely behind this commission.

We applaud you and your staff for your “fresh thinking” approach to U.S. foreign policy. Thank you for committing the time, resources, and effort to protecting the fundamental human rights of all people.

The U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights can do more than clarify and help remedy human rights abuses; it has the potential to reassert the right kind of American leadership on the world stage. We have seen this before: Eleanor Roosevelt led and chaired the Universal Declaration of Human Rights drafting committee. We are grateful for your leadership in creating the U.S. Commission on Unalienable Rights to continue America’s legacy in defending universal human rights around the world.

The world is better and freer when America leads.

Sincerely,

Penny Nance
CEO and President
Concerned Women for America

Tony Perkins
President
Family Research Council

Carrie Lukas
President
Independent Women’s Forum

The Honorable J. Kenneth Blackwell
Former, U.S. Ambassador
United Nations Human Rights Commission

Kay Coles James
President
The Heritage Foundation

Gary L. Bauer
President
American Values

Ralph Reed
Founder and Chairman
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Anne Schlafly Cori
Chairman
Eagle Forum

William L. Walton
President
Council for National Policy

Peter Zoehrer
Executive Director
Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF)

Mr. Kelly Shackelford, Esq.
President, CEO & Chief Counsel
First Liberty

Mark Tooley
President
Institute on Religion and Democracy

Heather R. Higgins
CEO
Independent Women’s Voice

Wendy Wright
President
Christian Freedom International

Gary Marx
Former E.D.
Faith & Freedom Coalition

Rabbi Pesach Lerner
President
Coalition for Jewish Values

Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director
Priests for Life

Art Ally
President
Timothy Partners, Ltd.

John Stemberger
President & General Counsel
Florida Family Policy Council

Frank Wright, Ph.D.
President & CEO
D. James Kennedy Ministries

Catherine Glenn Foster
President and CEO
Americans United for Life

James Bopp, Jr.
General Counsel
James Madison Center for Free Speech

Austin Ruse
President
C-Fam

David Nammo
CEO & Executive Director
Christian Legal Society

Eunie Smith
President
Eagle Forum

Mark Fitzgibbons
President of Corporate Affairs
American Target Advertising, Inc.

Janet Morana
Co-Founder
Silent No More Awareness Campaign

Dran Reese
President
The Salt & Light Council

Steve Berger
Sr. Pastor
Grace Chapel

Marlo Tucker
State Director, California
Concerned Women for America

Ruth Smith
Area Director, California
Concerned Women for America

Terri Johannessen
State Director, Florida
Concerned Women for America

Barbara Ferraro
State Director, Hawaii
Concerned Women for America

Tanya Ditty
State Director, Georgia
Concerned Women for America

Deborah Leininger
State Director, Illinois
Concerned Women for America

Tamara Scott
State Director, Iowa
Concerned Women for America

Barbara Saldivar
State Director, Kansas
Concerned Women for America

Penny Morrell
State Director, Maine
Concerned Women for America

Haven Howard
Area Director, Missouri
Concerned Women for America

Jill Coward
State Director, North Carolina
Concerned Women for America

Linda Thorson
State Director, North Dakota
Concerned Women for America

Linda Schauer
State Director, South Dakota
Concerned Women for America

Kori Peterson
Area Director, Texas
Concerned Women for America

Beverly Roberts
Area Director, Texas
Concerned Women for America

Toni DeLancey
State Director, Virginia
Concerned Women for America

Maureen Richardson
State Director, Washington
Concerned Women for America

 

cc:    Senate Foreign Relations Committee
House Foreign Affairs Committee

 

Click here for a printer-friendly version (PDF) of the letter

Promoting Women in Peace Processes

By | Feminist / Women's Issues, International, News and Events | No Comments

CWA’s Dr. Shea Garrison, the organization’s Vice President of International Affairs, writes a new opinion piece featured this week in The Washington Times.

“There are many issues Democrats and Republicans disagree on, but elevating women in peace negotiations should certainly not be one of them.

Just a few weeks ago, the United States under the Trump administration became the first country in the world with a Women, Peace and Security (WPS) comprehensive law (2017) and strategy (2019) bringing women to the negotiating table in global peace efforts. This is something to be widely celebrated.

I have proudly worked with women across the aisle to train, support and empower women around the world — because ending poverty and violence against women, and increasing their participation and agency in all spheres of life should be a bipartisan issue everyone can get solidly behind.”

Click here to read the entire article here:

Click here for additional articles from Shea Garrison:

Global Rise of Anti-Semitism

By | International, News and Events, Support for Israel, United Nations | No Comments

Europe is facing a resurgence of anti-Semitism less than 75 years after the Holocaust. Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry cites a 13 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks worldwide in 2018, with the U.S., United Kingdom, France, and Germany having the highest number of occurrences.[1]

According to a CNN survey, forty-four percent of Europeans believe anti-Semitism is a growing problem in their countries with about 20 percent saying it is the result of the everyday behavior of Jewish people. This means they believe that in some way the Jews are responsible for the increase in anti-Semitism.[2] Furthermore, more than one-third of the Europeans polled had no or very little knowledge of the Holocaust, with 20% of ages 18 to 34 saying they’ve never even heard of it. Unfortunately, the same statistic is true of American millennials.

When history is forgotten, the sins of the past are repeated.

The UK, Anti-Semitism, and Labour

The United Kingdom experienced a record number of anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, the third calendar year in a row that the Community Safety Trust (CST), similar to the Anti-Defamation League, has reported a record-breaking year in anti-Semitic acts.[3]

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and the party itself have come under fire for inappropriate handling of anti-Semitism within the party and have been accused of participating, whether inadvertent or not, in anti-Semitism on and offline. The concern about Jeremy Corbyn is so significant that three rival Jewish British newspapers took unprecedented action in July of 2018 and published a joint editorial on the front page of their respective papers titled, “United We Stand”. This editorial declared, “The stain and shame of anti-Semitism has coursed through Her Majesty’s Opposition since Jeremy Corbyn became leader in 2015.”[4]

Much of their argument centered on the fact that the Labour Party, under Corbyn, has refused to fully accept the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s definition of anti-Semitism. Labour accepted the definition with very significant exceptions such as “accusing Jewish people of being more loyal to the state of Israel than their home country and requiring higher standards of behavior from Israel than other nations.”[5] Both exceptions are central to the definition of anti-Semitism. Excluding them is to undermine the very definition of anti-Semitism recognized internationally.

Nine Labour MPs (Members of Parliament) left the party in February due to Labour’s weak handling of anti-Semitism and partly due to its stance on Brexit. One of these MP’s, Luciana Berger, a British Jew, has received death threats and been the target of anti-Semitism online.[6]

Last September, while still a Labour MP, Berger needed a police escort to attend the Labour Party’s Annual conference. The Atlantic reports it was discovered six weeks later that Labour had known about a specific threat made against her by a fellow party member for six months and covered it up—keeping it from both Berger and the police. It was only revealed by a leak to the press.[7] Five months later when Berger announced her exit from the Labour Party in February 2019 at a press conference, she stated, “I cannot remain in a party that I today have come to the sickening conclusion is institutionally anti-Semitic.”[8]

France and Violent Anti-Semitism

Just across the English Channel, France is also seeing a rise in anti-Semitism, though in a different manifestation. Joshua Safran, an American Jew and board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Portland, shared his experiences writing:

The last time I was in France, in the fall of 2001, I was routinely confronted by strangers yelling, “Juif, Juif!” (Jew, Jew!). On Yom Kippur, a man hurled a piece of rebar through the stained glass window of the little stone synagogue in Bastia, Corsica. The hunk of metal just missed my wife’s head. And when the services were over, we were forced to walk a gauntlet of shoving, spitting men shouting racist anti-Jewish slurs.

The anti-Semitism Safran experienced in the early 2000’s has only worsened. In 2018, France saw a staggering 89 percent increase in violent anti-Semitism and 74 percent increase in anti-Semitism overall, according to the Kantor Center report.[9]

CNN’s survey showed half of the people in France did not think they had ever socialized with a Jew. It also revealed 20 percent of people in France and Germany believe Jews have too much influence in the media, and twenty-five percent of people from those countries think Jews have too much influence on wars and conflicts.

This is not new anti-Semitism; these are the same lies and tropes resurrected.

Germany, Anti-Semitism, and BDS

The Kantor Center report also shows Germany has had a 70 percent increase in violent anti-Semitism since 2017. [10] Germany’s increase in anti-Semitism is so significant, the German anti-Semitism commissioner Felix Klein warned Jews that it may not be safe to wear a kippa (skullcap) everywhere in Germany. He has also called for additional training for police and other officials on how to specifically deal with anti-Semitic crime.[11]

During a CNN interview, Klein spoke of the history of anti-Semitism in Germany and how it is resurfacing. He said, “The word ‘Jew’ as an insult was not common in my time when I went to school. Now it is…”[12]

The German parliament stepped in a few weeks ago and passed “Decisively Oppose the BDS Movement and Fight Anti-Semitism” resolution. BDS stands for Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions. The BDS Movement is international economic warfare against Israel veiled in an argument of equal rights for Palestinians. The movement’s goal is the economic isolation of Israel by encouraging institutions, individuals, colleges, private companies, and even countries to stop investing in, trading or doing business with Israel and Israeli corporations or products.

The resolution by the German parliament strongly condemned the BDS Movement as anti-Semitic and accused the movement of using methods similar to Nazi propaganda and economic disenfranchisement of Jewish businesses.[13]One of the tactics of the BDS Movement in Germany is activists placing “Don’t Buy” stickers on Israeli products. German legislators argue this is reminiscent of the Nazi slogan “Don’t Buy From Jews!”[14]

The BDS movement is gaining traction as anti-Semitism, supported by both those on the far left and far right, seeps more and more into the mainstream both in Europe and in the United States.[15]

Closer to Home: The Threat in the U.S.

The BDS Movement that forced the German parliament to take action is spreading in the United States, especially on college campuses. And anti-Semitism is also emerging in the media both domestically and internationally.

Assaults on American Jews more than doubled in 2018 according to a recent report by the Anti-Defamation League.[16] The number of anti-Semitic incidents are 48 percent higher than they were in 2015, and 99 percent higher than in 2015.[17] And all but four states had anti-Semitic incidents.[18]

When Joshua Safran wrote of his experiences of anti-Semitism while traveling in Europe as a practicing Jew, he was painting a picture of what he fears could be America’s future. He described how America has been a haven for Jews to worship freely and without fear.

Yet in light of the Tree of Life and Chobad of Poway synagogue shootings, Safran laments the potential loss of this exceptional and historic freedom of worship for Jews in the United States.  He fears the rise of anti-Semitism in the United States puts America on the path of Europe writing:

I was used to being harassed, abused and put in danger when I prayed in synagogues abroad. Never did I think America would become just as dangerous.[19]

The editorial board of The New York Times recently called itself to account for the anti-Semitic cartoon published in its international edition. In a piece titled, “A Rising Tide of Anti-Semitism” the board addressed their concern that The New York Times had not learned lessons from its own history, confessing “In the 1930’s and 1940’s, The Times was largely silent as anti-Semitism rose up and bathed the world in blood”. They went on to warn the cartoon “is evidence of profound danger—not only of anti-Semitism but of numbness to its creep, to the insidious way this ancient, enduring prejudice is once again working itself into public view and common conversation.”[20]

There is nothing new under the sun– Europe is traversing down the dangerous road of anti-Semitism with America not far behind. Holocaust survivors still living, now bear witness to the reincarnation of the rhetoric and hate that precipitated historic bloodshed and plunged the world into war less than a century ago.

Some may argue the data presented represents a minority, albeit a large one, rather than majority opinion. But without education and action, that minority will grow. One in five millennials in both Europe and the United States have little to no knowledge of the Holocaust. Two generations from World War II and memories are fading.

Therein lies the point– we forget our history. It is the hateful few, unchallenged and unchecked by society, who infect the heart of a nation.  We must not stand idly by.

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-antisemitism/anti-semitic-attacks-rise-worldwide-in-2018-led-by-us-west-europe-study-idUSKCN1S73M1

[2] https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2018/11/europe/antisemitism-poll-2018-intl/

[3] https://cst.org.uk/news/blog/2019/02/07/antisemitic-incidents-report-2018

[4] https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/voice-of-the-jewish-news-united-we-stand/

[5] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45030552

[6] https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-45030552

[7] https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/corbyn-and-anti-semitism-files/586990/

[8] https://www.vox.com/world/2019/3/8/18249953/uk-labour-party-anti-semitism-jeremy-corbyn-juliana-berger

[9] http://www.kantorcenter.tau.ac.il/sites/default/files/Antisemitism%20Worldwide%202018.pdf

[10] http://www.kantorcenter.tau.ac.il/sites/default/files/Antisemitism%20Worldwide%202018.pdf

[11] https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/26/europe/germany-antisemitism-kippah-intl-scli-ger/index.html

[12] Ibid.

[13] https://www.wsj.com/articles/growing-international-movement-to-boycott-israel-is-condemned-by-germany-11558108099?mod=searchresults&page=1&pos=1

[14] Ibid.

[15] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-antisemitism/anti-semitic-attacks-rise-worldwide-in-2018-led-by-us-west-europe-study-idUSKCN1S73M1

[16] https://www.adl.org/news/press-releases/anti-semitic-incidents-remained-at-near-historic-levels-in-2018-assaults

[17] Ibid.

[18] Ibid.

[19] https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2019/05/03/poway-synagogue-anti-semitic-jewish-shooting-column/3649866002/

[20] https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/30/opinion/cartoon-nytimes.html

Why doesn’t every persecuted group get a flag at US embassies?

By | International, National Sovereignty, News and Events, Politics/National Sovereignty, Religious Issues, Religious Liberty | No Comments

June is designated LGBT Pride Month, and rainbows are displayed on everywhere from T-shirts to restaurant chains to the Uber app. Even with all the gay pride flags, parades, and recognition the LGBT community receives in the U.S. during June, the Left is still not satisfied. They demand that the rainbow flag be flown over U.S. embassies abroad.

Look at this practice that’s been in place since the Obama administration — President Barack Obama actively promoted the LGBT community not just domestically but also internationally through the U.N., State Department, and U.S. Agency for International Development.

First, we should recognize that the LGBT community does have reasons for fear. Their human rights are violated around the world through harassment, killings, beatings, and imprisonment, and homosexuality is criminalized in at least 73 countries. In Tanzania, laws against homosexuality carry a sentence of up to 30 years, and authorities have been accused by human rights groups of subjecting suspected homosexuals to “forced anal exams.” And who could forget the horrific 2015 images of ISIS pushing gay men off buildings to their death? There are other incidents equally as evil, and the U.S. must stand firmly against these insidious abuses.

We should all agree that addressing human rights abuses around the world must be a central tenet of U.S. foreign policy. But why is one group singled out and others ignored?

Click here to read the rest of this op-ed as featured in the Washington Examiner.

Anti-Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) Language Fails to Pass in the House

By | International, News and Events, Press Releases, Support for Israel | No Comments

This afternoon an attempt to add anti-BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) language to H.R. 1994, a retirement enhancement act, was narrowly defeated in the U.S. House with a vote of 200 to 222. Though bipartisan, the vote was largely along party lines with only 12 Democrats joining the Republicans in support. Anti-BDS language within this legislation would end foreign tax breaks for companies who boycott Israel. Shea Garrison, Concerned Women for America’s Vice President of International Affairs had this to say:

“At a time when anti-Semitism is on the rise all around the world, it is a travesty that the U.S. House is unable to unite to support Israel, our most critical ally in the Middle East. Make no mistake, BDS is anti-Semitic. The founders of the BDS Movement have been explicitly clear: The BDS Movement opposes the very existence of Israel, or any Jewish state.

Although H.R. 1994 passed without the anti-BDS language, 12 Democrats and the majority of Republicans chose to stand with Israel, voting to send H.R. 1994 back to committee to ensure American’s don’t pay for foreign tax breaks of companies who engage in anti-Israel activity. However, those same 12 Democrats have yet to sign the petition to release the Strengthening America’s Security in the Middle East (SASME) Act of 2019, which contains the Combatting BDS Bill of 2019, to the House floor for a vote. An identical bill passed in the Senate with strong, bi-partisan support; yet Speaker Pelosi has blocked this legislation from getting a vote on the House floor.

Concerned Women for America calls on those same members who supported the anti-BDS motion today to immediately sign the discharge petition and get SASME to the House floor for a vote.

It is in America’s national interest to stand strong against anti-Semitic BDS. Support for Israel should be a non-partisan issue with complete bi-partisan cooperation. We ask the House to come together and condemn anti-Semitism in all forms.”

Abortion is Not an International Right

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Sanctity of Life, United Nations | No Comments

The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW 63) came to an end this week at the United Nations in New York City. News reports warn that the U.S. seeks to decrease the rights of women and girls by taking away an international “right” to abortion in UN resolutions. Based mainly on propaganda from far-left political interest groups, this information is inaccurate and misleading.

The U.S. has long been a leader in policies and aid supporting the expansion of women’s rights around the world. Under the Trump administration alone, major initiatives have been launched in three sectors where the advancement of female equality is sorely needed increasing economic empowerment and entrepreneurship, increasing diplomatic and security participation and decreasing the technological or “digital divide” of women and girls. Research shows that women and girls face inequalities in all of these areas and initiatives like this can elevate women by targeting the main challenges they face. In addition, these initiatives reflect the strategic objectives of gender empowerment goals.

In contrast, the promotion of a so-called “right to abortion” that dominates liberal narratives at the UN does none of these. … [Read More Online at The Hill]

Secretary Pompeo Continues to Remove U.S. Taxpayer Funds Used for Abortion Overseas

By | Blog, International, News and Events, Planned Parenthood, Press Releases, Sanctity of Life | No Comments

Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced further implementation of the Mexico City Policy to protect “more unborn babies around the world than ever before” and enforce President Trump’s commitment to stop U.S. taxpayers from funding abortion overseas.

In January 2017, President Trump’s executive action restored and extended the original 1984 Mexico City Policy to prohibit any organization which promotes or performs abortions in other countries from receiving U.S. global health funds. Today, Sec. Pompeo announced that the U.S. will also no longer fund organizations who subcontract with or provide financial assistance to other organizations in the global abortion industry. In addition, he announced the State Department will enforce the Siljander amendment to the 1982 Foreign Assistance and Related Programs Appropriations Act which prohibits tax dollars from being used to lobby for or against abortion. This announcement will directly reduce funding to the Organization of American States (OAS) in proportion to its expenditures on abortion-related activities.

Penny Nance, President and CEO of Concerned Women for America, and Dr. Shea Garrison, Vice President of International Affairs for CWA, responded to Sec. Pompeo’s announcement:

“Secretary Pompeo’s announcement confirms the proud pro-life stance of this administration and their commitment to ensuring that U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to promote or subsidize the killing of unborn children around the world. Today’s announcement closes two gaping backdoor loopholes that organizations continue to use to get around the funding limitations of President Trump’s expansion of the Mexico City Policy.
“The U.S. has shown we can continue to meet the most critical health care needs for women while refusing to pay for the killing of unborn babies. This is consistent with the moral beliefs of most governments around the world and strengthens U.S.-foreign relations. In addition, women’s rights and health care can be better served through more focused assistance to alleviate the main challenges women face around the world — including in maternal health and mortality.
“We are thankful for Sec. Pompeo’s continued actions to implement the administration’s pro-life policies to the broadest extent possible. As Sec. Pompeo said: ‘This is a policy that is designed fundamentally to protect human beings … this is decent, this is right.’ We are proud to stand behind an administration that protects the most vulnerable among us.”

Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee is the legislative arm of Concerned Women for America, the nation’s largest public policy women’s organization with members across the country, over 450 Prayer/Action Chapters and Home Teams, 600 trained leaders, and over 30 years of service to our nation. For more information visit www.concernedwomen.org 

CWA at the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women

By | Blog, Defense of Family, International, United Nations | No Comments

This week, government delegates and non-governmental organizations from all over the world met in NYC at the United Nations for the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63).

Concerned Women for America (CWA) sponsored a side-event panel on Friday, March 15, with the Center for Family and Human Rights (C-Fam) titled, “Putting Women and Girls Back at the Center of Gender Equality Policies.” The event focused on the importance of promoting the empowerment of women and girls with effective and holistic, culturally appropriate, family-centered measurements.

Our Dr. Shea Garrison, VP of International Affairs at CWA, spoke about “Focused Economic Empowerment” and used her own research and experience training women entrepreneurs around the world to recommend well-rounded strategies and measurements that most effectively empower women and their families.

Also on the panel was Dr. Rebecca Oas from C-Fam, Emilie Kao from the Heritage Foundation, and Sharon Slater from Family Watch International.