Get Involved with International Issues
JCRC Partners with Foreign Consulates
The Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s JCRC continues to maintain direct communication with foreign consulates regarding Israel and the United Nations. Some examples of the JCRC’s relevance in international issues and ability to take a stance include:
- JCRC sent a thank-you to the Spanish consulate following the country’s foreign minister’s speech at the United Nations, in which he said a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict should include mutually agreed upon territorial compromises between the Israeli and Palestinians and the recognition of Israel as the state of the Jewish nation.
- JCRC wrote a letter to the French Consul expressing dismay over France’s vote to accept Palestinian membership in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). However, JCRC commended the French government for pointing out that Israel should be the state of the Jewish nation. JCRC also urged the French government to work on persuading other countries to recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
- JCRC also expressed solidarity with the government and people of Great Britain after its embassy in Teheran was attacked by Iranian government supporters.
At the next JCRC board meeting in early January, British Consul to Florida, Kevin McGurgan spoke about British policy towards the Middle East and addressed the current economic crisis in Europe and its effect on Great Britain and the United States.
JCRC Advocacy for Iran Sanctions in the State of Florida
After many efforts led by JCRC in conjunction with the Florida Association of Jewish Federations, the Financial Institutions Act passed the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. The bill, sponsored by Senator Don Gaetz (R- Destin) and Representative Mack Bernard (D -West Palm Beach) is aimed at preventing money laundering and terrorist financing. It would give the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) the authority to mandate that all Florida state-chartered banks certify that their corresponding banks are not engaged in proscribed activities with Iranian linked financial institutions.
UPDATE: The senate version of the bill recently passed a budget subcommittee.
This bill becomes more relevant as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued an unprecedented and detailed report providing the agency’s confirmation that Iran is close to producing nuclear weapons.
The State of Florida has been a leader in passing Iran sanctions legislation. In 2010, Governor Rick Scott signed into law The Scrutinized Companies Act. This law prohibits companies with activities in the Iran’s energy sector from bidding on, submitting a proposal for, or entering into or renewing a contract with an agency or local governmental entity for goods or services.
The sentiment behind this legislation is clear: banks providing financial services to the brutal Iranian regime should not have access to U.S. financial markets and/or U.S. financial institutions.
The Status of the Peace Process
In November 2011, the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s JCRC department joined with the Israel and Overseas division to host a program called “The Status of the Peace Process after the Palestinian U.N. Bid for Statehood and the Impact of New Regional Changes.” The event featured Eliezer Rivlin, brother of the current speaker of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) and Dr. Shlomi Dinar, professor of political science at Florida International University. Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister who was assassinated in 1995 and the man who signed the Oslo accords with the Palestinians in 1993, was honored during a special ceremony.