Completing his last term on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), AAI President Jim Zogby has gone public with his frustration with the work of the commission. In a dissent he wrote to the 2017 international religious freedom report issued by the commission, Jim noted that religious freedom has gotten worse all around the world, bringing into question the effectiveness of the commission’s work. “Instead of using our limited resources to produce opinion pieces, press releases, and a lengthy and duplicative annual report,” he wrote, “USCIRF should consider new and constructive approaches to its work in order to more effectively promote international religious freedom.” Jim also had another major problem, namely the commission’s insistent refusal to look at Israel’s discriminatory treatment of Christians, Muslims and non-orthodox Jews, both in the country and in the occupied Palestinian territories. Accused of seeking to single Israel out for criticism, Jim responded by saying: “I wasn't singling Israel out for criticism, I simply could not accept that Israel be singled out as the one country that could not be criticized.” Want to learn more about this? Check out this video.

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