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Am Echad weekly update for the week of June 26, 2022

Update summary: In an important move, the Vatican will disclose online the documentation of Jews' pleas for help during World War II. In France, the first ever Jewish woman was elected President of the National Assembly. On the BDS arena: The Boston Mapping project, which targets Jewish institutions has been shunned by the BDS movement itself, and a Federal US court of appeals ruled in favor of anti-BDS laws.


Diaspora Relations

  • The Vatican will publish online Jewish Holocaust time pleas for help

Pope Francis ordered to publish online the 170 volumes of Jewish correspondences with the Vatican with requests to save them from the Nazis before and during World War II. The move comes two years after the Catholic Church made the physical volumes accessible to historians. The correspondence includes 2,700 files recounting Jewish requests for assistance from the Vatican in avoiding deportation or trying to free relatives from concentration camps. The move will help to shed more light on the conduct of Pope Pius XII who has been accused by historians with ignoring Jewish pleas for help and cozying up to Hitler and Mussolini in order to preserve the influence of the Church. According to Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States the move was also intended to help provide closure to the descendants of Jews, who had implored the Vatican for help. (Jewish News)

  • History made: the first female President of the Assemblée Nationale is a Jewish mother of 5

History made in France as Yael Braun-Pivet, the former Minister for Cverseas Territories, was elected President of the Assemblée Nationale, the first female to ever hold this position. Barun-Pivet, a proud Jewish mother of 5, was elected in the second round to the position to the fourth most senior public office in France. She is a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors who immigrated to France, and was educated at the Akiva school in Strasbourg. She is a close friend of Israel, and was a member of the France-Israel friendship group in the Assemblée Nationale for the last 5 years (Le Monde, Israel Hayom)


BDS and Antisemitism

  • Following wide condemnations, the BDS movement disavows the Boston Mapping Project

The world BDS movement announced that they have "no connection to and does not endorse the Mapping Project in Boston, Massachusetts." Their announcement further added that "Endorsement of this project by any group affiliated with the BDS movement conflicts with this affiliation." The Mapping Project website, created by Boston-area Palestinian activists, maps Jewish schools, community funds and synagogue organizations, that it claims are promoting "local institutional support for the colonization of Palestine." The map, perceived as an antisemitic threat on the local Jewish community, was widely condemned across the political spectrum and is being investigated by the FBI. Apparently, even the movement calling to the boycott of Israel understood this is a step too far – and decided to distance itself from it. (Times of Israel, BU Today, Jerusalem Post)

  • Another BDS fail: Appeals court upholds Arkansas law restricting BDS

A federal US court of appeals has ruled that Arkansas law, requiring all public contractors to promise they will not boycott Israel, does not violate the First Amendment. "The Court ruled that the laws only regulate business activity, not expressive conduct, and thus raise no issues under the First Amendment," said Eugene Kontorovich, a George Mason University law professor. The plaintiffs have already announced that they will appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, in what could be a major move on the issue of free speech in the United States. For the time being, the BDS movement has suffered another setback, and has come out strongly against the court ruling (Jerusalem Post).