The Jewish voice of Europe.
Are the Abraham Accords stronger thant the war between Israel and Hamas?
”We want everyone to acknowledge and accept that Israel is there to exist and that the roots of Jews, Christian are not in New York or Paris but here in our region. They are part of our history and they should be part of our future,’’ said Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee of the United Arab Emirates Federal National Council.
‘’From the United Arab Emirates perspective, the Abraham Accords are there to stay,’’ said Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Defense, Interior and Foreign Affairs Committee of the UAE Federal National Council, who played a leading role in the 2020 accords which normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries.
”This the third war in Gaza. Whenever there is something happening in Gaza, people come to us and ask: ‘What do you think of the Abraham Accords. Are you going to change ? ‘’
‘’The Accords are our future. It is not an agreement between two governements but a platform that we believe should transform the region where everyone will enjoy security, stability and prosperity,” he said as reports say that Iran’s main interest was—and remains—to prevent the United States from brokering Saudi-Israel normalization.
‘’This is a people to people engagement. This is what we need. We want everyone to acknowledge and accept that Israel is there to exist and that the roots of Jews, Christian are not in New York or Paris but here in our region. They are part of our history and they should be part of our future,’’ added Dr Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, during a special online briefing organized by the European Jewish Association (EJA) together with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the largest pro-Israel adocacy group in the U.S.
‘’We want to change the educational system and religious narrative. It is very important to understand that there are enemies for what we are doing. Those terrorist organisations don’t respect human life. Don’t let them achieve their goals. No person with a human feeling and common sense will agree with the barbarian terrorist attack that Hamas committed on October 7. No one,’’ he added.
He stressed the need to differenciate between Hamas and the Palestinian people. ‘’Our enemies took advantage of this. We need those who believe in peace in Europe, the US and everywhere to counter the hate narrative that we see in demonstrations in Paris and London.’’
Other speakers included Nicola Beer, Vice-President of the European Parliament who noted that the Abraham Accords ‘’are a good tool to support Israel and peace in the region.’’
‘’We need to make a difference between terrorists and the Palestinian people. The aggressor is Hamas and not Israel. We need to fight against terror everywhere,’’ she said.
‘’We stand strong with Israel and its right to defend itself against Hamas terror. We also understand that in the long run there must be peace for the people of Israel, Palestine and the whole Middle East.’’
On the EU’s position during a vote of a resolution on the war at the United Nations General Assembly last week, the German MEP from the Renew group, criticized those EU countries who voted in favor of a text that didn’t even mention the Hamas massacres committed in south of Israel.
‘’I would like all countries in the EU to vote like the Czech Republic and Austria who voted against,’’ she said.
U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), who is co-chair and co-founder of the Abraham Accords Caucus and a member of the Hiouse of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, said : ‘’ On October 7, Hamas committed a heinous terrorist attack, brutally, barbarically slaughtering 1400 people. They used murder, torture, rape as a strategy, as a goal. This is clearly a war crime. There is no justification for this attack. Hamas is an norganisation dedicated to the genocidal vision of eliminating the state of Israel and killing Jews. What we see now is Israel taking action to secure its borders, protect its citizens and rescue the hostages, as well as elilminating Hamas from control of Gaza and from threatening Israel.’’
Former Israeli Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Idan Roll emphasized the need to have full backing from the moderate Arab states. ‘’We want not Israel but someone else than Hamas to be responsible for the Gaza Strip. When we left Gaza in 2005, Hamas choose not to build and develop it but made it a terrorist hub.We will not go back to the same scenario.’’
‘’When we see the demonstrations in Europe, it is not about the two-state solution but about ‘ Palestine from the river to the sea’ which means no more Israel. Young people are manipulated. Anyone who supports what is going in Europe, supports terror,’’ he said.
by Yossi Lempkowicz
Joint Statement of Special Envoys and Coordinators Combating Antisemitism
EJA Annual Conference SHAPING THE FUTURE OF EUROPEAN JEWRY TOGETHER
EJA DELEGATION TO TEREZIN GHETTO
Prague, Czech Republic
With war in Gaza and Europe-wide Antisemitism peak, Jews bring president Von der Leyen and other friends in Brussels to ‘shine together’ on Channukah
“Defiant and hopeful, just as we have always been,” says organisers of EU event after traumatic few months. Chanukah is first significant Jewish holiday since events on October 7th.
(Brussels 7 December 2023) European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen and other European Dignitaries will be at EuroChannukah 2023, taking place between the European Council and Commission buildings at Schuman in Brussels, Belgium on Sunday evening. The Commission President will light a giant Menorah marking the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah – the festival of light.
The theme of EuroChannukah this year, which takes place in the heart of the European Quarter, is ‘Shining Together’.
Chanukkah this year takes place against the backdrop of huge spikes in antisemitism and is the first major Jewish holiday following the Hamas Massacre in Israel and subsequent war in Gaza. The organisers, the European Jewish Community Center , say that it is a showcase for unity and resilience in difficult times.
Avi Tawil, Director of the European Jewish Community Centre, speaking ahead of the event said,
“We were concerned that this year, we would hear from communities across Europe that they were scaling down Chanukah celebrations, hiding away, keeping their heads down. In fact, the opposite is true, now more than ever, the desire is to come out and celebrate the holiday. To Shine together.
“Chanukah, at its core, is a holiday about light overcoming darkness, that good can and will always prevail. Our friends, like Commission President Vpn Der Leyen, are standing with us in solidarity, in a common bond, and in this spirit of unity and resilience.
“It’s been an awful few months. But Jews are defiant in the face of darkness, and always hopeful in the light, just as we have always been, and especially during Chanukkah.”
In response to the European Commission’s publication of a Communication on “No place for hate: a Europe united against hatred”
In response to the European Commission’s publication of a Communication on “No place for hate: a Europe united against hatred”, Rabbi Menachem Margolin Chairman of the European Jewish Association, which represents hundreds of Jewish Communities across the continent, said:
“We welcome the seriousness and diligence with which the European Commission have approached this communication. It is a serious document.
“In particular, we welcome the bringing forward of the call for proposals under the Internal Security Fund, initially scheduled for 2024, forward to 2023, which puts a focus on Jewish places of worship, with an increased budget. However, as I personally expressed to the Commission in meetings, the process must be expedited as soon as possible. With a clear and present danger to Jewish Communities everywhere in Europe right now, our communities don’t have the time for lengthy form-filling and procedures, we need help with security yesterday, not in months from now on completion of a process.
“Perhaps the biggest part of this communication is the proposal to extend the list of Treaty crimes to include hate speech and hate crime. If this is directly linked with the IHRA definition of antisemitism as it should be, it could be a game changer.
This communication has a lot of good in it. We are still working through the detail, but it is a very welcome communication.”
EUROPEAN COMMISSION VICE-PRESIDENT PROMISE TO EXPEDITE SECURITY TO JEWISH COMMUNITIES WELCOMED AFTER MEETING WITH EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION
“They are tracking flights from Israel and knocking on doors to identify Jewish homes”, “I must wear a bullet proof vest to take my children to school”, “Jew hate that I haven’t witnessed since the Holocaust”, just some of the comments relayed to Commission Vice-President Schinas and the EU Co-ordinator for combatting for antisemitism Katharina Von Schnurbein today.
(Brussels, 8 November) A delegation of Senior Jewish Leaders affiliated to the European Jewish Association (EJA) that represents hundreds of Jewish Communities across the continent held an emergency meeting with the European Commission Vice-President responsible for the portfolio of Combatting antisemitism, Mr Margaritis Schinas in his offices in Brussels today along with the EU’s Co-ordinator for Combatting antisemitism and fostering Jewish life Katharina Von Schnurbein.
At the meeting with Vice-President Schinas and Co-ordinator Von Schnurbein, Mr Schinas gave a commitment to expedite the process of providing emergency security to Jewish Communities left reeling by an unprecedented surge in antisemitism across the continent.
Ms Ellen Van Praagh, Vice-Chaiir of the EJA and Chair of Holland’s interprovincial Rabbinate (IPOR) told the Commission Vice-President,
“We are facing an unbelievable tide of hatred and there is genuine fear for our lives. We have in Holland a situation where some Palestinian supporters are actively tracking flights coming into Schiphol to identify Jews, we have the same people knocking on doors of houses to identify Jewish Households. Our buildings are being vandalised and defaced. This is pure intimidation, and we fear the worst is coming.”
Baroness Regina Suchowolski-Sluszny, Vice-Chair of the EJA and Chair of Forum of Jewish organisations of Antwerp (FJO), who survived the Holocaust as a ‘hidden child’, said
“Vice-President, the levels on antisemitism, in the media, on social media and in the public domain are levels I haven’t seen since I was a child. We are in a very dangerous place right now, and it feels like a tipping point. Jews are once again in the crosshairs of those who hate us, and this time they think they can get away with it using the conflict as cover.”
Mr Gabriel Senderowicz, Member of the Jewish Leader’s board of the EJA, and President of the Jewish Community of Porto gave his personal assessment,
“I am here today only because I received permission from the security services to travel. I have been warned that my life is in danger, and today, in the Europe of the 21st Century, I must wear a bullet proof vest to take my child to school and go about my daily life. My crime? I’m a Jew.”
The delegation was led by Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the chairman of the European Jewish Association who said in a statement after the meeting,
“In the meeting I made it clear to the Vice-President that communities did not have the luxury of time for form-filing and EU bureaucracy to better secure themselves when their very lives are under threat.
“Our communities need support, they need security, and they need it yesterday. We welcome the commitment given by Vice-President Schinas to expedite the process of emergency provisions to secure Jewish communities across the continent.”
EJA Managing Director Georgios Papadakis added,
“We understand that the European Commission must help provide urgent humanitarian aid to Gaza, but surely it is incumbent upon them to provide protection and security for their own citizens who are facing a veritable tidal wave of the oldest hatred – that of antisemitism.” Ends
Joint Statement of Special Envoys and Coordinators Combating Antisemitism
The barbaric attack of Hamas terrorists on Israel on 7th October, resulted in the most lethal assault against the Jewish people since the Holocaust. More than 1400 Jews – women, children, men, and the elderly, including Holocaust survivors – were tortured, raped, and murdered. Over two hundred were taken hostage. These events have an immense impact on Jewish communities worldwide.
Many national leaders and heads of international organizations across the globe have condemned these acts in the strongest terms and expressed their full support and solidarity with the State of Israel. At the same time, there have also been demonstrations in many countries – including in some countries and regions which we represent – in which individuals praised these heinous actions of Hamas, “celebrated” the murder of Jews, and even called for more antisemitic assaults.
Jewish communities are fearful and are being threatened. Synagogues and other Jewish sites have been attacked. Schools have closed since they can no longer guarantee the safety of their students. Shabbat gatherings require the presence of armed guards for protection. In some cities, Jews are being harassed and accosted on the streets. Posters of the captive hostages are defaced and torn down. Antisemitism online has surged in an unprecedented way.
We, the undersigned Special Envoys and Coordinators, have a shared mandate to combat antisemitism and to safeguard Jewish life. We commend the resolute action of many national authorities to protect Jewish communities, as Jews around the world have not faced such challenges since the Holocaust. Mindful of those darkest days, we stand with the Jewish people. We will do everything in our power to see that hatred against Jews is rebuked and that Jewish life flourishes in peace. Antisemitism and all forms of hate are incredibly harmful and unacceptable.
· We call on governments to assess the needs and provide the necessary security assistance that Jewish communities require at this time of crisis.
· We urge police and law enforcement to be vigilant of threats against Jews and to be aware that Jewish people around the world should not be held responsible for the words and actions of the Israeli or any other government, as illustrated by the non-legally binding International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance Working Definition of Antisemitism.
· We denounce antisemitic acts taking place on some campuses and urge university administrators to condemn them and ensure that their Jewish students, like all other students, have the safety and support needed in these difficult times, to enjoy their right to education.
· We urge civil society – including sports federations, religious communities, the cultural sector and academic circles – not to stand by or stay silent, but rather use their influence to effectively counter antisemitism and promote public acts of solidarity.
· We are distressed about the online upsurge of antisemitic messages, disinformation, hate speech, and terrorist content, which instigate real world hate crimes and threaten the very social cohesion that binds our democratic societies together. We decry the social media platforms that amplify and multiply this content and call on them to act in line with the law and their own terms of service.
History has taught us that at times like these, we must speak up and cannot be indifferent.
“Never again” is now!
Ambassador, Special Envoy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Combatting Anti-Semitism and for the Protection of Holocaust Remembrance, Greece
Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism
Head of Delegation to IHRA, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal
Ambassador at Large for Human Rights responsible for inter-national issues relating to the Holocaust, looted property and remembrance, France
Israel’s Special Envoy for Combating Antisemitism
Lithuania’s Ambassador-at-Large for the Holocaust remembrance issues
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and National Coordinator on combating antisemitism
David FERNANDEZ PUYANA
Ambassador, Permanent Observer of the UN University for Peace to the UN Office & intl. organizations in Geneva & Permanent Delegate of UPEACE to UNESCO
Ambassador, Head of Peace and Human Rights Division,
Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
Special Representative of the Secretary General on antisemitic, anti-Muslim and other forms of religious intolerance and hate crimes, Council of Europe
Interministerial Delegate in charge of the coordination of policies to combat racism, anti-Semitism and anti-LGBTIQ+ hatred, Luxembourg
Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Antisemitism
Former Minister, French national Delegate against racism, antisemitism and LGBTI-phobia
Ambassador, Special Representative for Relations with Jewish Organisations, Issues relating to Antisemitism, International Sinti and Roma Affairs, Holocaust Remembrance
Maria Fabiana LOGUZZO
Ambassador, Argentina’s Special Representative for the fight against Antisemitism and Head of Delegation to IHRA
Fernando K. LOTTENBERG
Commissioner to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism, Organization of American States
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Croatia for Holocaust Issues and Combating Antisemitism
Ambassador, US Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism
Ambassador, Canada’s Special Envoy on Preserving Holocaust Remembrance and Combatting Antisemitism
Lord John MANN
UK Government Advisor on Antisemitism
Director, Department for Fostering Austrian-Jewish Cultural Heritage and Combating Antisemitism, Federal Chancellery, Austria
Ambassador, Special Representative of the Government of Romania for the remembrance policies and for the fight against antisemitism and xenophobia
Director, International law and Human rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark
Coordinator of the Spanish National Plan against Antisemitism and Head of Delegation to IHRA
Italian Coordinator on Combating antisemitism, Italian Government
Rt Hon the Lord Eric PICKLES
UK Special Envoy on Post Holocaust Issues
Czech Republic’s Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Interfaith Dialogue and FoRB
Estonia’s National coordinator of measures against anti-Semitism
Deputy State Secretary, Civil and Social Affairs. Prime Minister’s Office, Hungary
Special Envoy to the OIC, Intercultural and Interfaith Dialogue of Sweden
National Coordinator on Combating Antisemitism, The Netherlands
Katharina VON SCHNURBEIN
European Commission Coordinator on combating antisemitism and fostering Jewish life
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It’s a challenging time for Jewish communities in Europe. Anti-Semitism is on the rise as populism and the politics of the lowest common denominator are gaining traction. Our communities often need round the clock protection and our practices and customs such as keeping Kosher are under pressure from increasing political interference.
The European Jewish Association was set up to deal with these and many other challenges.
Acting on your behalf, we are the leading, biggest and widest reaching Associations of Jewish organizations and communities in Europe.
Our associates represent hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across the continent. We believe that there is strength and influence in numbers.