Weekly News Update 

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 14, 2014



TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Stephen M. Greenberg, Chairman;
Alexander Smukler, NCSEJ President;
Mark B. Levin, NCSEJ Executive Director
Dear Friend,


NCSEJ Deputy Director Lesley Weiss participated this week in the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) conference on combating anti-Semitism. She presented an intervention statement calling for a new approach to fighting anti-Semitism that "incorporates close cooperation with national law enforcement and education officials, media institutions, and civil society." Hundreds of civil society activists, representatives of international organizations, and government officials attended the conference, discussing ways to combat anti-Semitism.


I would like to highlight an opinion piece by NCSEJ Chairman Stephen Greenberg and myself in Roll Call (Congress' newspaper of record) urging the new Congress to support Azerbaijan, a reliable partner of the United States and Israel in a volatile region. A secular Muslim state, Azerbaijan is a remarkable model of ethnic tolerance, where its thriving Jewish community coexists peacefully with other ethnic groups.


In Ukraine, growing reports indicate that Russian troops and arms are crossing the border into Ukraine. Moscow continues to deny its involvement in fueling the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, as concerns multiply. Does a ceasefire agreement that is being continuously violated have a future?


The U.S. and the EU warned Russia of new sanctions if Moscow doesn't change its policy vis-�-vis Ukraine. In a phone conversation on Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov discussed the need to find a solution to the Ukraine crisis. Further discussions of the crisis will take place at the G20 summit in Australia, which starts tomorrow.


Russia has renewed its efforts to paint an inaccurate picture of anti-Semitism in Ukraine, and Ukrainian Jewish leaders are countering these recent accusations, by various Russian officials, of growing anti-Semitism in Ukraine. The update includes several articles on the subject.


As part of its informational campaign, Russia launched a new international information agency called "Sputnik," aimed at countering Western 'propaganda.' Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, Russian media has vigorously promoted a Kremlin interpretation of events, not only to domestic audiences but also internationally.


I want to highlight a New York Times article about Russia's recent decision to reduce its cooperation with the U.S. on nuclear security issues. Efforts to secure nuclear material has been a successful areas of U.S.-Russia bilateral cooperation, and the move to curtail it is troubling.


Finally, I would like to bring to your attention an interesting piece by well-known historian and writer Timothy Snyder about Nazi and Soviet aggression in Eastern Europe during WWII, in light of the recent statement by President Vladimir Putin that there was nothing wrong with the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany.




Mark B. Levin

Executive Director

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Founded in 1971, NCSEJ represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union. 
Phone: 202-898-2500 
NCSEJ is a beneficiary of The Jewish Federations of North America and the National Federation/Agency Alliance through its network of Federations. 
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