Category Archives: News and Views

It’s the real thing: The one sided right of return

In 2001, Hussam Khader, a Fatah leader, said of Yasser Arafat’s last negotiations with then President Bill Clinton, “If Yasser Arafat or any other Palestinian leader were to relinquish the right of return, I would lead the revolt against him.” This supposed right, one sided as it might be, is the stated reason why the Oslo Accords failed, and is something that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert amazingly offered in a rejected last ditch effort to hand over 97% of Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights in exchange for peace.

The Arabs claim that the the right of return is an individual right, enshrined in international law, which no international or national leader can sign away. This right, however seems only enshrined on a one-way street for Palestinians. For Jews, there is no such right, nor any major calls for justice to be served on the behalf of Jews who were forcibly kicked out of Arab lands after the British and French Mandates created the Arab states of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and so on, following the end of World War I.

Syrian Jews, Iranian Jews, and Iraqi Jews all lost property, assets and other valuables, but no one cries for them. There are no movements or United Nations discussions, and in fact, there is no justice in the American courts either, leading one to believe that the right of return is more of a Palestinian ploy than a real international issue applicable to all.

More recently than the end of WWI, General Abdul Nasser came to power in Egypt and ordered the arrests of Jews and confiscated their property, both personal and commercial. He deported thousands, confiscating all their assets. Most of the deportees were limited to one suitcase apiece. Being so bold, in 1964, Nasser declared that Egypt believed in the Nazi cause, saying, “Our sympathy… was with the Germans.”

Fast forward to today, for a case that few are even paying attention to; it is one that reeks of the hypocrisy of the “treasured” right of return law that Arabs so audaciously cling to. It is the illegal trespass of America’s Coca-Cola on property outside Cairo that was taken from a Jewish family by Nasser in 1962. Coca-Cola built a bottling plant in Egypt in the 1940s when it leased land and buildings from the Egyptian Jewish Bigio family, land it owned since 1929. The Bigios were later expelled from Egypt in 1965, after their property was confiscated. Egypt nationalized their property. After the Begin-Sadat talks and the 1978 Camp David Accords brought a treaty, Bigio returned in 1979 and managed to obtain a decree from the Ministry of Finance that the property “had never been legally sequestered or nationalized and accordingly remained” Bigio property.

Yet, a series of back handed deals between Egyptian insurance companies and the government caused the land to fall into the possession of the Misr Insurance Co., a government-owned entity that refused to turn it over to the family. Then, in 1993, Egypt announced the privatization of the bottling facility and Bigio notified Coca-Cola of his family’s interest in the property, but Coca-Cola closed on a deal to acquire ownership interest in the property anyway. Egypt was not going to offer justice or any right of return to the Jewish Bigio family.

Even so, there was hope that the matter could be settled by the American court system, as Coca-Cola is an American operation. Now, 14 years later and after the United States Court of Appeals has reversed dismissals of the case twice, it was shot down again on the argument that the theft was committed by Coca Cola Egypt and not by the American defendants. Fourteen years through the system; the initial suit was dismissed under the Alien Tort Statute stating that there was no jurisdiction and that the act of state doctrine barred the exercise of jurisdiction. The 2nd Circuit reversed it on appeal. The Bigios filed again in 2009, claiming “unlawful taking and exclusion of plaintiffs,” citing the trespass and civil conspiracy as well as unjust enrichment. However, the case was dismissed indicating that Egyptian law prevails. Remarkably, it also said the Bigios “have not plausibly alleged that defendants enriched themselves without just cause.” This was the same Coca-Cola Company that knowingly entered into a lease with the Bigios in the 1930s then ran to buy the land after it was confiscated from them–which they were well aware of.

This past March, the court found that Coca-Cola and its subsidiary occupied the property under a legitimate claim of right for Egyptian law and therefore their possession is not illegal. Then, in what seemed to be an act of kicking a man when he’s down, Coca-Cola filed a “Bill of Costs” to collect the printing costs of its brief from the truly impoverished Bigios. They took the land and now asked for blood.

Fortunately, Coke’s lawyers attached a bill for a completely different brief that was longer than the one Coca-Cola filed. In addition, it never filed a “Supplemental Appendix,” that they also demanded reimbursement for. Diet Coke — obviously embarrassed — withdrew its request for costs once it was revealed. Minor justice served, while the major offense remains intact.

The family now has until May 2 to request a rehearing.  Their attorney, Nathan Lewin, intends to continue the pursuit of justice all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The final outcome of the case will be interesting, because it speaks volumes of the fraudulent nature of the right of return. What cuts for Arabs, does not appear to cut the same for Jews. If Jews demanded their rights of property, assets and land from Arab countries that threw them out, and the United Nations and world leaders joined in the call for Justice for Jews, how lopsided would this world seem on that day? Perhaps a court can decide once and for all that Israeli Law applies for cases involving Israel and its Arab neighbors.

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency, 5WPR
This article appeared in the Jewish Star

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Filed under anti-Semitism, Crisis Management, Cutting Edge News, Egypt, Islam, Israel, Judasim, News and Views, War against Israel

Jews Must Pass Over their Search for World Approval

Edge of Reality

Tom Lehrer
Tom Lehrer

Oh, the Protestants hate the Catholics, And the Catholics hate the Protestants,

And the Hindus hate the Moslems,

And everybody hates the Jews.

More apt lyrics have yet to be found on the matter than these which comedian, mathematician and lecturer Tom Lehrer wrote in his satirical “National Brotherhood Week” in 1965.

That was before the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973, before Israel was attacked from all sides by its peace-seeking neighbors, and before Israel seized the land near its borders to protect its population and keep her enemies even further away from its larger cities.

Even though Lehrer was being sardonic, his “joke” is only funny because it rings with some truth. Comedy is often inspired by the truths that we have a harder time coping with on a serious level.  Lehrer knew something back then that so many fail to recognize today, and it is that intentional disregard for the facts that help some Jews cope with their guilt for being who they are; it helps the cause of those who would see Israel fall. Read more ..

Juda Engelmayer is an executive at the NY PR Firm, 5W Public Relations

A version of this article also appeared in the Jewish Star

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George Zimmerman Is Casey Anthony – Only Question is will Zimmerman be Convicted?

American Justice

Cutting Edge News Contributor

Martin-Zimmerman

I am sure Iranian madman Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad are enjoying the distraction this week due to potentially the most hated man in America right now, George Zimmerman.  In many high-profile stories there are two courts – the court of law, and the court of public opinion. No matter what transpired recently in that Sanford, Florida gated community where Trayvon Martin was killed by Zimmerman, the self-appointed neighborhood watchman is guilty in the court of public opinion  Now, he is in hiding and under attack by just about everyone.

The facts almost no longer matter, as churches and civil rights activists from coast to coast organize “hoodie” days and marches to show solidarity and empathy for young Trayvon Martin.  If Zimmerman did indeed shoot the teenager for racist or other malicious reasons, when the truth is finally known, he will be properly vilified and sentenced.  If, however, the facts prove that he at the very least acted in accordance with Florida’s probably well intentioned, but poorly planned, “stand your ground” Statute 776.013 (3), Mr. Zimmerman will find himself even more vilified by an even angrier public that cannot understand how a hoodie and a pack of Skittles posed a mortal threat to a seemingly large man at 250 pounds, in comparison to the 140 pound young man. Read more ..

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Sarkozy Wants to Imprison Those Viewing Terrorist Websites

Juda Engelmayer      March 23rd 2012
Online Jihad

In reaction to the recent spate of murders carried out by a Moslem extremist in France, its president, Nicolas Sarkozy unveiled proposed legislation that has stunned both legal experts and journalists.The proposed law would jail those who visit extremist web sites, and is just one plan in a list of new measures under consideration in the wake of Toulouse terrorist Mohamed Merah’s killing spree that took the lives of three French paratroopers, three Jewish schoolchildren and a rabbi.

The opponents of the new measure claim that it can prevent free expression and possibly infringe on an individual’s privacy.  Sarkozy, in defense of the measure, said, “Anyone who regularly consults Internet sites which promote terror or hatred or violence will be sentenced to prison,” suggesting that it was time to consider people who follow extremist websites as we would someone perusing pedophilia and child pornography websites. “What is possible for pedophiles should be possible for trainee terrorists and their supporters, too.” Read more ..

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency 5W Public Relations and a contributor to the Cutting Edge News

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The New York Times Plays Devil’s Advocate to God’s Messenger

Edge of Media Manipulation
The New York Times Plays Devil’s Advocate to God’s Messenger
By: Juda Engelmayer

Who is Greg Smith, and why do we care? He was an employee who quit Goldman Sachs in a public way and posted it in a New York Times op-ed. The better question is why should we care? After all, Goldman Sachs probably has had staff quit before for a whole host of reasons, from better opportunities to being disillusioned, to just not meeting the expectations or needs. Gee, I have had some really good people quit the firm where I work, and quit on me for that matter. Some wrote letters too.  It’s not news; it’s life.

Work is just that, work. Some love it, some hate it, and some find it a calling; others just work because they need to pay the bills. I work because I enjoy what I do, but also because I get bored doing nothing; and I can certainly use the money. So what is Greg Smith’s deal that so many are now paying attention?

He quit one of the biggest financial institutions and lambasted it in perhaps the single most influential media venue still in print. Yet, it’s not news. Goldman has some 30,000 people working for it, and what are the odds that Greg Smith was not the only employee to walk out that door this same week? It begs the question as to why the New York Times printed it in the first place.

(Read More)

Juda Engelmayer is an executive with the NY PR agency 5WPR and a contributor to the Cutting Edge News

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Filed under Career and choices, Crisis Management, Cutting Edge News, New York City, News and Views, Obama, Politics

Life Happens: Manage Crisis Immediately

One of the most challenging parts of crisis communication is reacting.  It needs to have the right message and happen in a timely quick matter.   Problems do not go away on their own, you can’t outwork them.  In PR Book “For Immediate Release” by Ronn Torossian there are many examples of handling crisis PR situations – from the Tiger Woods scandal to Carnival Cruise Line malfunction.

Be prepared for a crisis by thinking about all the possibilities before they happen. Have a crisis plan in place and realize the crisis doesn’t care if it’s your anniversary, birthday or that your busy schedule is full. You need to implement immediately – being prepared counts. Monitor, prevent, avert and minimize as Warren Buffett once said “it takes twenty years to build a reputations and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

Ronn Torossian, CEO 5WPR is president and CEO of 5WPR, one of the 25 largest independent PR firms in the U.S. Named one of the top “40 Under 40″ by PR Week & Advertising Age, Ronn Torossian was a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  His PR Book “For Immediate Release. Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results with Game-Changing Public Relations” is available at bookstores nationwide.

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What Public Relations Means to us Outside of the United States

by: Kenneth Murray, @Kenny_murray

I am a student of Public Relations and Marketing in Scotland, day in and day out I work with Scottish issues and I am heavily involved in the political scene in Scotland – however something I can’t escape is the brand of America.

Now I’ll be clear, when I say “the brand of America” I’m not referring to Jersey Shore and Big Macs. What I refer to is the pull America has as a nation. A nation built on immigration and integration – eventually. Around this time last year I visited one of the top Public Relations firms in America with my Scottish college that firm was 5WPR. Now to say I was impressed is an understatement; I was overwhelmed.

I had never experienced America really in person and only had TV shows to go on, but the design of the offices, the friendly nature of the staff and the knowledge of the impressive character who showed us around. Juda Engelmayer was clearly one of the best in the Public Relations industry and he in the matter of minutes had us all open jawed at his prowess and the popularity of 5WPR as a firm.

Now whilst studying in Scotland it seems we cannot escape PR cases from the states. It seems clear to many of us, that the most exciting PR industry is present in America – now of course our home country has many different clients – but what really gets our blood pumping is America. America has such an array of sectors within PR and is at the frontier, yet again in the Public Relations industry. The key advances are being made in America, the biggest cases develop there and of course – the biggest array of skilled PR professionals is there.

I am now in my 3rd year of study and it is clear to me, I want to work in America – to pursue that American dream, the “dream” that was surely one of the biggest PR scores for a country, ever. Why though? Besides the fact that every day in university we are given case studies of American firms, we are told to look at firms like 5WPR and Weber Shandwick for the right way of doing things? Well to put it quite simply – it’s the brand.

Every PR expert knows about branding and attempts not to be pulled in – but America, you have pulled many of us in. In fact I can assure you almost every PR student I have spoken to looks at America in awe and aspires to make it there.

Sure there would be differences, sure it would be a challenge and sure it would be galling; but surely as someone who works in PR that is qualities that should be there anyway? The willingness to overcome challenges, that sheer passion for your industry – and of course networking and taking advice from professionals like Ronn, buying his book (which is better than most textbooks I’ve read recently) and subscribing to his videos.

Dear America, you have one student here – the most influential PR student in Scotland according to the Behind the Spin blog, run by the Chartered institute of Public Relations in the UK and he has fallen for you.

How have you fallen for the brand of America? How do you think it could be improved?

Articles Source: “The Most Influential PR Student in Scotland”

please contact me at : kennethjosephmurray@gmail.com

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