Israel Updates

Press Coverage
Our Town
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

East side councilmember wants to meet every person in the district

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Press Release

Statement on death of construction worker at 363 East 73rd Street:

"I want to express my condolences to the family and co-workers of the construction worker who died in a fall at 363 East 73rd Street on Tuesday," Council Member Ben Kallos said. "We must do all we can as a city to ensure workers receive the training, mentoring, a living wage, and benefits they need to be safe on the job."

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Press Coverage
The Yeshiva World News
Wednesday, June 18, 2014

“We in New York City stand in solidarity with the people of Israel and the world in demanding the safe return of Eyal Yifrcah, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Naftali Fraenkel. Our global community can and must be a safe one for girls and boys from every corner of the planet, including right here in New York City. Bring back our girls and our boys,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, Vice Chair of the City Council Jewish Caucus.

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Since November 14, 2012 more rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel, than there are days in the year, with more than one thousand fired this year alone.

Prior to Operation Pillar of Defense leaflets were dropped over Gaza warning of the impending air strikes:


“Important announcement for the residents of the Gaza Strip:

For your own safety, take responsibility for yourselves and avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives and facilities and those of other terror organizations that pose a risk to your safety.

Hamas is once again dragging the region to violence and bloodshed. The IDF is determined to defend the residents of the State of Israel. This announcement is valid until quiet is restored to the region.

Israel Defense Forces Command.”

I am the grandson of immigrants who fled Eastern and Western Europe because of anti-Semitism, with family that immigrated to Israel, was educated at Rabbi Arthur Schneier Park East Day School where I learned a strong Jewish identity, speak and understand Hebrew and have been to Israel many times.

I believe that our City, State and Country must stand as a strong partner with the State of Israel, a close ally since its foundation. Israel is the only Democratic and stable country in a historically unstable region of the world where, like it or not, the United States has a dependency for fuel.

I stand with Israel and believe we can support democracy, freedom and peace through our efforts locally including in the City Council.


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The Iran Divestment Act of 2012 should be strengthened and extended to prohibit any investment of the state’s pension fund or a municipality’s pension fund in companies that do business with Iran.  This will codify the existing policies enacted by the city and state comptrollers. 

Divestment must also pertain to any company holding a tie to the Iranian government’s military, as was incorporated in North Carolina’s divestment policy.

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