European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor’s Conflict of Interest: Iran, Russia, and Turkey Form Axis- A Danger to Israel and Western Europe.

 

Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif  (AFP Photo/Safin Hamed)

I see a new axis of power forming quickly as geopolitical battles rage throughout Europe and the Middle East. Ties between Russia and Iran were cemented by their common economic interests- lifting the weight of Western economic sanctions on their nations; Not to mention Russia’s position regarding nuclear proliferation.

Now Turkey is endeavoring to build stronger bonds with Russia by manipulating the recent trade sanctions to their advantage. Turkish automakers and auto-parts producers are looking to further invest in Russia and expand their existing operations there.

Turkish Weekly reports that “Russia has issued special licenses to three dairy companies in Turkey for turkish exports to the country … After the sanction Russian officials conducted checks in the facilities of 20 turkish dairy companies and approved three big companies that will sell dairy products in Russia. “

They are also in negotiations to import more Turkish fruit, and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Turkey to attend the ceremony inaugurating Recep Tayyip Erdogan as president.

In the past few years Turkey has also strengthened its trade relationship with Iran, while its relationship with Israel has completely degraded.  Between Russia, Iran, and Turkey are we seeing a new axis of power? And as each of those nations have negative relationships with Israel, what will this mean for Israel and the Jewish people?

That’s where the European Jewish Congress comes into the picture, particularly their president, Moshe Kantor. It is their duty to use their diplomatic ties to lobby against the nations and protect Jewish interests- part of which is campaigning and lobbying against the materialization of such an axis.

But Moshe Kantor, who is a Russian oligarch, has a long personal relationship with the Kremlin that holds him back from pressuring Putin to reduce his ties to the countries that threaten Israel. This conflict of interest is extremely dangerous, as it also can influence the rest of the EJC, hindering them from lobbying against Turkey and Russia.

Which leads me to believe that Moshe Kantor is a serious threat to the Jewish people, putting his personal commitment to the Kremlin before that of the Jews he has pledged to protect.

(Source: Daily Sabah)

(Source: Daily Star)

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Did Moshe Kantor fund his way to European Jewish Congress Presidency: Micro-Spending Part 2

Krakow

I’ve had the suspicion for quite some time that Moshe Kantor became president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) through electoral fraud- buying votes.  I suspect that Kantor not so coincidentally created the European Jewish Fund (EJF) in 2006, only a year before his election, with the aim of funding various projects of European community leaders in return for the electoral support of their communities.

Yet Moshe Kantor is not one to generously spend his billions. You can see proof in the projects funded by the EJF. Micro projects such as one-off meetings and summer camps could scarcely be called substantial. I strongly suspect that by “donating” small amounts to art projects and the like he buys individual votes of community leaders.

For example, The Jewish Community Centre of Krakow’s “Young Jewish Artists” project which was planned although it does not appear to have taken place yet.

The EJF site claims “In the coming year The Jewish Community Centre plan to initialize a program, which focuses on promoting young artists who work in the area of Krakow and other parts of Poland – ‘YJA – Young Jewish Artists’. The program would be conducted as a series of four exhibitions and meetings with young artists working in Poland who connect to their Jewish heritage through art.”

(Source: European Jewish Fund)

This is not a serious contribution to communities. This is not building solid Jewish infrastructure. And neither is it pageantry. So why would a billionaire spend these insignificant sums? It appears to me to be the “funding” of individual community leader’s votes.

Though I leave the question open, I would like to stress the consequences of Kantor’s election. His position is one of importance to European Jewish leadership. His voice is the Jewish diplomatic voice, and in the wake of renewed anti-Semitism and Iranian nuclear proliferation….that voice is critically absent.

 

Moshe Kantor, Putin, and the Russia-Iran Alliance: Part II

Dear Moshe Kantor,

Your patron, Putin, is aiding the destruction of the people you have sworn to protect. The Jewish people are justly concerned that as head of the European Jewish Congress you are purposefully avoiding your duty to pressure Putin regarding Iran, due to your long relationship with the Kremlin. This is blatant corruption and breach of duty- it has not gone unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Concerned Jews

KYRGYZSTAN-RUSSIA-IRAN-NUCLEAR-POLITICS-MILITARY

Photo via The Blaze

When it comes to Russian-Iranian relations, nothing much can surprise me anymore. Putin has continuously manipulated Western relations with Russia and Iran with thinly veiled threats, many seeing actualization.

2014 has been a year of constant tensions surrounding the Western powers attempts to negotiate with Iran and halt Russia’s advance on the Crimea. Yet Putin seems to have the upper-hand.

For all of the Kremlin’s various deals with Iran, one remains the most menacing. The S-300 anti-aircraft missiles that Russia signed a contract with Iran to supply in 2007 are the big game-changer.

“Described by the International Assessment and Strategy Center as ‘one of the most lethal, if not the most lethal, all altitude area defense SAM systems in service,’ it can be deployed within minutes, track 100 aircraft approaching from 300 kilometers away, fire two missiles every three seconds and engage up to 36 planes simultaneously.”

(Source:Moscow Times)

Russia postponed their delivery to Iran in 2010 due to interference from the US.

Cliff Kupchan, a Russia specialist at the Eurasia Group, believes that the S-300 “is the one card that they [the Russians] have. … The S-300 can be a game changer; it would reduce Israel’s ability to attack Iran.”

Which would throw the world into turmoil.

While I’m tremendously concerned with Putin’s policy, the issues I write about are Jewish, and so I will turn to Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress and close associate of Vladimir Putin.

Moshe Kantor is Russian. He is a long-time affiliate of the Kremlin and Putin. But his position in the EJC gives him the responsibility of building diplomatic relationships in Europe to aid the protection of the Jewish people and Israel.

Yet he does not do this, whether it is for personal reasons, or due to his relationship with Putin, Kantor has made absolutely no effort to pressure Putin regarding his Iran policy- or to build his own relationship with EU leaders.

Remember that Moshe Kantor owns a massive Russian umbrella organization. A company that he has invested his life in. Akron is also put at risk by Western sanctions, which gives another reason for him to stand by Putin.

Not to mention the fact that he has done nothing to aid Ukrainian Jewish refugees, a member community of the EJC. Most likely also because of his Kremlin relationship.

Moshe Kantor has made it clear that he does not intend to perform his duties as EJC president, and what’s more, that he is a genuine hazard to Israel and European Jewry. As Jews we must ask ourselves, when have we had enough?

 

 

Did Moshe Kantor fund his way to European Jewish Congress Presidency: Micro-Spending PtI

lithuania

I’ve had the suspicion for quite some time that Moshe Kantor became president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) through electoral fraud- buying votes.  I suspect that Kantor not so coincidentally created the European Jewish Fund (EJF) in 2006, only a year before his election, with the aim of funding various projects of European community leaders in return for the electoral support of their communities.

Yet Moshe Kantor is not one to generously spend his billions. You can see proof in the projects funded by the EJF. Micro projects such as one-off meetings and summer camps could scarcely be called substantial. I strongly suspect that by “donating” small amounts to art projects and the like he buys the individual votes of community leaders.

For example, the Mini-Limmud (“festival”) in Lithuania. The EJF website states that “Mini-Limmud is an event for 350 people of all ages from Lithuania that aims to revitalize and re-energize Jewish life in this former center of Jewish innovation, culture, and scholarship.”

(Source: European Jewish Fund)

This is not a serious contribution to communities. This is not building solid Jewish infrastructure. And neither is it pageantry. So why would a billionaire spend these insignificant sums? It appears to me to be the “funding” of individual community leader’s votes.

Though I leave the question open, I would like to stress the consequences of Kantor’s election. His position is one of importance to European Jewish leadership. His voice is the Jewish diplomatic voice, and in the wake of renewed anti-Semitism and Iranian nuclear proliferation….that voice is critically absent.

Moshe Kantor, Putin, and the Russia-Iran Alliance: Part I

Dear Moshe Kantor,

Your patron, Putin, is aiding the destruction of the people you have sworn to protect. The Jewish people are justly concerned that as head of the European Jewish Congress you are purposefully avoiding your duty to pressure Putin regarding Iran, due to your long relationship with the Kremlin. This is blatant corruption and breach of duty- it has not gone unnoticed.

Sincerely,

Concerned Jews

An-Nahar

Photo via An-Nahar

When it comes to Russian-Iranian relations, nothing much can surprise me anymore. Putin has continuously manipulated Western relations with Russia and Iran with thinly veiled threats, many seeing actualization.

2014 has been a year of constant tensions surrounding the Western powers attempts to negotiate with Iran and halt Russia’s advance on the Crimea. Yet Putin seems to have the upper-hand.

He consistently undermines P5-1 negotiations aimed at limiting Iran’s ongoing nuclear program, most recently by countering Western sanctions aimed at deterring Russia’s advance on Ukraine, by signing a $20 billion oil for goods deal with Iran. Which would greatly ease the effects of Western Sanctions for both nations. Furthermore, it would bolster Iran’s confidence in nuclear negotiation talks.

Regarding the P5+1 nuclear negotiations, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov stated in March “We wouldn’t like to use these talks as an element of the game of raising the stakes … but if they force us into that, we will take retaliatory measures here as well.” He later said that the “reunification of Crimea with Russia is incomparable to what we are dealing with in the Iranian issue.” 

(Source: Moscow Times)

A threat that gains traction when you consider that the West’s leverage on Iran was the crippling effect of sanctions, which brought Iranian ayatollahs into nuclear negotiations out of necessity.

While I’m tremendously concerned with Putin’s policy, the issues I write about are Jewish, and so I will turn to Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress and close associate of Vladimir Putin.

Moshe Kantor is Russian. He is a long-time affiliate of the Kremlin and Putin. But his position in the EJC gives him the responsibility of building diplomatic relationships in Europe to aid the protection of the Jewish people and Israel.

Yet he does not do this, whether it is for personal reasons, or due to his relationship with Putin, Kantor has made absolutely no effort to pressure Putin regarding his Iran policy- or to build his own relationship with EU leaders.

Remember that Moshe Kantor owns a massive Russian umbrella organization, Akron. A company that he has invested his life in. Akron is also put at risk by Western sanctions, which gives another reason for him to stand by Putin.

Not to mention the fact that he has done nothing to aid Ukrainian Jewish refugees, a member community of the EJC. Most likely also because of his Kremlin relationship.

Moshe Kantor has made it clear that he does not intend to perform his duties as EJC president, and what’s more, that he is a genuine hazard to Israel and European Jewry. As Jews we must ask ourselves, when have we had enough?

 

 

 

The Vladimir Putin-Moshe Kantor Relationship: Birthday Greetings and Political Influence

It may seem benign, but it genuinely alarms me that Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress (EJC), and Vladimir Putin are on close enough terms for Putin to send Kantor a public birthday greeting.

 After all, as friends and associates, the danger of Putin exerting political influence over Kantor has serious repercussions for the Jewish community. Kantor is tasked with diplomatically protecting Israel from a nuclear Iran, and Putin is set on assisting Iran to achieve that goal.

translationofletter

 

(Source:Eurojewcong)

That’s not to mention that Kantor and the EJC also have a responsibility to aid Ukrainian Jews, who are one of the EJC’s member communities. But as thousands of Ukrainian Jews flee their homes, Kantor still has yet to say a word- much less take action. Could this be due to his Putin connection?

Furthermore, as the head of a primarily diplomatic and political agency for European Jews, Kantor is obligated to form strong ties with European community leaders- something he has sorely neglected, as Putin’s interests deeply oppose the EU.

Kantor and Putin have a long history of collaboration, and have met numerous times privately, on Kantor’s farm. I find this particularly disturbing.

With Iran a prominent threat on Israel’s horizon, it is inherently dangerous for the diplomatic arm of the European Jews to be tied to a Russian oligarch whose government supports Iran.

The EJC has a mission to support Israel’s right to protect itself, which is undermined by Putin’s economic and political interests in Iran, Turkey, Iraq, and additional Middle Eastern States that call for the destruction of Israel.

So I need to ask- why does Kantor not condemn Putin for his meeting with Hamas and Hezbollah leaders in Moscow, though he asks the EU to sanction these organizations?

Why has he not acted to pressure Putin continuously on policy with Iran? Which I might note is his job as president of the EJC.

In fact, the EJC is a political body, as stated by their leaders. So why haven’t we seen political action this tumultuous past year under Kantor’s presidency?

(Source:Haaretz)

To be an oligarch is to spend a lifetime paying debts. Moshe Kantor is paying those debts to Putin, at the expense of the Jewish people.

 

UK Jews tackle anti-Semitism through social media as European Jewish Congress a no-show

everyday3

As the institutions built to protect Europe’s Jews fail to act amidst a vast resurgence of anti-Semitism, Britain’s Jews are taking it upon themselves to lead the fight combating it. And they’re starting with social media.

After countless anti-Semitic incidents these past couple of months, the Jewish community’s outrage was tipped when popular grocery chain Sainsbury’s removed all kosher products from their shelves, claiming fear of protesters. As the products have no relation to politics whatsoever, UK Jews are rightfully claiming this to be an attack on the Jewish community. And that’s not to mention the attacks on synagogues and chants of “Hitler was right!”

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) which is currently under Moshe Kantor’s leadership- created to stand as EU Jew’s diplomatic arm and protector against anti-Semitic acts- has done little to nothing diplomatically. The EJC’s neglect in a time of immense need is an insult to their member communities, but it’s also dangerous. Europe’s Jews need strong, caring representation.

That’s where the social media movement comes in. The twitter hash tag #everydayantisemitism is quickly gaining popularity as UK Jews start a movement to call attention to their plight. The hash tag lists tons of anti-Semitic incidents; experiences of individuals and posts calling out media transgressions or other twitter users. 

(Source: The Guardian)

A few examples of posts include:

everyday

everyday2

The “Everyday Antisemitism Project” on social media sites twitter and tumblr invite “Jews to share their everyday experiences of anti-Semitism to remind people that this *is* a real problem and needs to be addressed urgently.”

(Source: Everydayantisemitism)

It’s a relief to see action being taken to combat this wave of anti-Semitism; be it diplomatic or through social media. I have immense respect for those taking part in the #everydayantisemitism movement.

Still I would like to call to attention the fact that European Jews’ diplomatic connections are missing in all of this furor- and that in itself is a matter of a grave importance.

It feels as if we have dropped into 1939, complete with attempts to destroy synagogues and Jews physically attacked in the streets. But why should we re-live this terror, aren’t we better prepared for it by now? Must Jews immigrate to escape? We have set up diplomatic agencies to protect us in Europe, so what are they doing?

Here’s what I’m getting at: we have spent years creating systems of defense in the case of a renewed anti-Semitic Europe. And now we’re facing that. So where are our systems of protection? Where is our European Jewish Congress?