Tags: Israel | Religion | Unions | hoffa | labor | rabin

Labor Consistently Stands With Israel

Image: Labor Consistently Stands With Israel

Oct. 28, 2015. Workers hang a billboard with a portrait of late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, in advance of a memorial rally marking the 20th anniversary of his assassination. (Oded Balilty/AP)  

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Wednesday, 01 Feb 2017 02:50 PM Current | Bio | Archive

I recently became aware of a relationship with the Teamsters of America and the State of Israel that is deep, lasting, and meaningful and of which little is known.

In the late 1940’s Jimmy Hoffa, a union official in Detroit, became a supporter of the labor led Zionist efforts to establish a Jewish State. He became aware of Israel’s struggle from Jewish friends in the labor movement. What the Zionist patriots needed in their struggle for independence was arms but there was an embargo. Mr. Hoffa organized efforts to help facilitate the transfer from the U.S. to Jews in Palestine.

Other supporters put arms in new dishwashers, from a U.S. plant in the Midwest.

Then, Teamsters delivered them in trucks to Longshoremen who loaded them on ships, and off they went. As a direct result of his efforts to help Israel in her hour of need the State of Israel was born and thereafter a lifelong relationship was established that still remains strong through Jimmy Hoffa’s son James Hoffa, and his family.

After the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, Jimmy Hoffa sponsored a charity dinner for the purposes of raising funds to build an orphanage in Jerusalem.

The dinner raised $300,000.00 that is over $3,000,000.00 in today’s dollars. A year after the dinner, Jimmy Hoffa traveled to Jerusalem to dedicate the Bet Hoffa Orphanage.

The Hoffa connection to Israel is as strong today as it was back before the creation of the State of Israel through The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation.

David Hoffa the grandson of Jimmy Hoffa, and the son of James P. Hoffa the current general president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, sits on the Board of Directors.

James P. Hoffa is a past recipient of the foundation’s Annual Award.

The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation (YRF) is a U.S. registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in New York — formed to perpetuate the values, vision and legacy of the late prime minister.

It supports programs that reflect Rabin’s intrinsic belief in and his efforts to realize Israel’s democratic values, sustainability, security, peace and reconciliation with its neighbors. It is the only Foundation dedicated solely to continuing Yitzhak Rabin’s Legacy.

Yuval Rabin, Yitzhak Rabin’s son as honorary chair, plays an active role in the foundation.

Yitzhak Rabin was a Nobel Peace Prize-winning political leader who served as prime minister of Israel during the mid-1970s and the mid-1990s.

On Nov. 4, 1995, after speaking at a Tel Aviv peace rally, Rabin was gunned down and killed by Yigal Amir, an Israeli law student and right-wing extremist.

Leah Rabin posthumously published the book Rabin: "Our Life, His Legacy," in 1997.

The Yitzhak Rabin Foundation has received unprecedented support from the American labor community. Through American labor’s commitment and support, the Yitzhak Rabin Center and Museum became a reality in Tel Aviv.

American labor unions have supported programs, and scholarship — funding a Fellowship in Post Graduate Democracy Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem.

As an American Jew, I am grateful for the efforts of Jimmy Hoffa. He answered the call to help establish the State of Israel. That support endures with his son and grandsons continued good works for the benefit of the State of Israel and the labor movement there.

The Hoffa’s may not be Jews by religion, but they are Israeli by word and deed.

They are"Mishpocheh," which is Yiddish for family.

Bradley A. Blakeman served as deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001-2004. He is currently a professor of politics and public policy at Georgetown University and a frequent contributor to Fox News Opinion. Read more reports from Bradley Blakeman — Click Here Now

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As an American Jew, I am grateful for the efforts of Jimmy Hoffa. He answered the call to help establish the State of Israel. That support endures with his son and grandsons continued good works for the benefit of the State of Israel and the labor movement there.
hoffa, labor, rabin
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