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From Rabbi Abraham Cooper, Editor-in-Chief, "eResponse"

Dear Friends,

At the outset of a new decade the Simon Wiesenthal Center is well-positioned to combat the ever-escalating challenges and threats to our people. Our founder and dean, Rabbi Marvin Hier has been in dialogue with leaders from the White House to the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem (see photos) and with Arab leaders in the Gulf. In response to the growing terrorism threat, we are urging the United States, Canada and other nations to greatly expand the terrorist 'No-Fly' lists beyond Al Qaeda to cover members and enablers of all terror groups around the world (see top story).

Meanwhile, senior Wiesenthal officials from three continents participated in the Global Forum on Anti-Semitism in Jerusalem which focused on “Lawfare”, the international campaign—led by the infamous 'Goldstone Report' (see Deccember 2009 eResponse) to abuse the law to demonize and isolate the Jewish state. Iran’s growing impact in South America, especially Venezuela was presented by our Latin American Director, Sergio Widder and other issues included digital terror and hate (a key topic of ongoing discussions with FACEBOOK, which at 300 million+ users, is the world’s largest social networking service (see photo) and the need to better service Jewish students on the frontlines around the world.

We are proud of the Center’s iAct programs that are now reaching out to embattled students in Europe (see Dublin Conference). Among the presentations is our Moriah Films, newly-released, provocative Holocaust-era documentary Against The Tide, narrated by Dustin Hoffman (see photo) which deals with the failure of American Jewish leaders to do all they could during the Shoah and the few unsung heroes who tried to save our brethren during Hitler’s “Final Solution”.

And, we also mourn the loss of two great giants of humanity: Miep Gies, who tried to save Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust and who, after Anne’s arrest saved her writings and gave them to the only survivor of the Frank family, Otto when he returned after the war. “Miep Geis was a shining beacon of light during the dark days of the Holocaust,” Rabbi Hier said at a memorial to her at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles ... without her the world would never have known about Anne Frank and millions of people would never have been inspired by her story.”

The former President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, who died at the age of 69, and led the world’s largest Muslim nation, was a great scholar who was also the spiritual leader of 40 million Muslims, a courageous and outspoken opponent of Islamist terrorism and extremist, and a true friend of the Jewish people who visited Israel and supported normalization with the Jewish state. President Wahid chaired our historic conference of religious leaders against terrorism in Bali, Indonesia; site of one of the bloodiest terrorist attacks and was a recipient of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Medal of Valor in 2008.

Thank you for your continued support which makes all our efforts possible.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper
Editor-in-Chief