International Resolutions

Resolution on Anti-Semitism

by JCPA

Adopted at the 2015 JCPA Town Hall

In 2014 and the first part of 2015, there were three deadly terrorist attacks on European Jewish institutions: the Jewish museum in Brussels, a kosher grocery store in Paris, and a synagogue in Copenhagen. In the United States, while the total number of anti-Semitic incidents remains at historically low levels, there were some particularly violent ones in 2014, most notably the shootings at the JCC in Overland Park, Kansas. In that incident, a gunman killed three people while firing on two Jewish facilities.

These fatal attacks took place against a backdrop of aggression against Jews and Jewish institutions, including vandalism and graffiti, verbal and physical harassment of individuals, and anti-Semitic rhetoric as part of public discourse. Sometimes, attempts are made to justify such behavior by referring to Israel’s ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

While anti-Semitism exists throughout the world, a number of factors have made the situation in Europe increasingly volatile:

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Resolution on Armenian Genocide

by JCPA

Adopted at the 2015 JCPA Town Hall

Historians and scholars tell us that the Armenian people were the victims of the first genocide of the twentieth century at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, the predecessors of modern-day Turkey. Approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed or expelled from their homes and deported. The year 2015 is the 100th anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide. The government of Turkey has, to this day, refused to acknowledge such genocide took place.

The Armenian Genocide is a distant memory in the minds of the children of survivors. However, there is abundant documentation of the atrocities, particularly by former U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau. Nevertheless, Hitler stated in 1939, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The Jewish communities, as the targets of one of the worst genocides of the twentieth century, have a bond with the Armenian people here in the United States and abroad. We have a moral obligation to work toward recognition of the genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people.

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Resolution on Refugee Crisis

by JCPA

Adopted at the 2015 JCPA Town Hall

Guided by our own history as refugees as well as our shared biblical and prophetic mandate to protect and welcome the stranger, the American Jewish community has always been a stakeholder in refugee resettlement and protection, both in the U.S. and in other countries—offering new beginnings, including helping to welcome more than three million refugees who have arrived in the U.S. for resettlement since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980.

By definition, refugees are persons who cannot return to their countries of origin due to a well-founded fear of persecution on the basis of who they are or what they believe. The 1951 UN Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol (the Refugee Convention) prohibits returning a refugee to his or her country of persecution; requires access to fair and humane asylum procedures for all asylum seekers; and states that countries shall not penalize refugees for illegal entry or presence. There are 148 countries that have signed either one or both of these international legal instruments, including the United States, Israel, and all European Union member states.

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Resolution on International LGBT Discrimination

by JCPA

Adopted by the 2014 JCPA Plenum

Throughout the world, persons who are identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, and/or transgender (LGBT) often face pervasive discrimination which sometimes includes state-sanctioned violence and the possibility of execution. Laws that punish people for who they are or are perceived to be create a deep culture of hatred that can place LGBT people and their allies in grave risk.

Russia, the host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games, imposed a series of draconian restrictions prohibiting positive expressions about LGBT people. The new law coincides with brutal treatment by police of those protesting the restrictions and widespread arrest of activists.

Uganda’s laws, made significantly more draconian in late February 2014, criminalize homosexual sex acts, with life sentences imposed for repeat “offenders.” Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has blamed his country’s economic problems on LGBT people and has increased political oppression, beating and arresting LGBT citizens. Nigeria passed a law providing a 10-year prison sentence for anyone who promotes gay rights, associates with LGBT organizations, or publically displays their same-sex relationship. In Iran and Saudi Arabia, a conviction for a non-heterosexual sexual activity frequently results in a swift, public execution. In December of 2011, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights issued a report detailing hate-motivated bias, torture, detention, discrimination and even death suffered by LGBT people across the world, finding that violence against LGBT people tends to be even more severe than other bias-motivated crimes.

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Resolution on Rising Anti-Semitism and Other Threats to Jewish Communities in Europe

by JCPA

Adopted by the 2014 JCPA Plenum

European Jewish communities face increasing threats from anti-Semitism and challenges to religious practices which are basic to Jewish religious identity. The underlying forces driving expressions of anti-Semitism and campaigns against religious freedom vary among countries but can be found across Europe. Anti-Semitic attacks on individuals, synagogues, cemeteries and schools occur with disturbing frequency. Of particular concern is the rise in violent incidents. A recent European Union survey of Jewish communities reflected significant fear of physical assaults and extensive avoidance of wearing kippot or other items that identify one as Jewish out of concerns for personal security.

Ten years after the adoption by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) of its landmark Berlin Declaration on Anti-Semitism, anti-Semitic attitudes remain distressingly high in Europe. The Anti-Defamation League’s 2012 poll found that nearly one-third subscribed to anti-Jewish notions such as Jews having too much power in business or being more loyal to Israel than their own country. Expressions of Anti-Israel hatred remain a concern in Europe, and attempts to demonize and delegitimize the Jewish state using classic anti-Semitic motifs and tactics such as BDS are among the most common manifestations of anti-Semitism today.

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Resolution Archives through 2009