La European Jewish Association a réagi outrée dimanche à l’étoile jaune représentée sur l’une des bannières de manifestants participant à la marche organisée dimanche à Bruxelles contre les mesures sanitaires prises par le gouvernement pour endiguer la propagation du coronavirus. “Il est difficile de dire à quel point c’est une erreur“, a déclaré le rabbin Menachem Margolin, président de l’association.
“J’ai du mal à voir la similitude entre le fait qu’on vous demande de vous faire vacciner pendant une pandémie, -ou d’en assumer les conséquences si vous ne le faites pas- et l’extermination systématique de six millions de Juifs dans des camps de la mort, des chambres à gaz ou dans des fosses communes à ciel ouvert“, a déclaré M. Margolin.
“Cela me rend malade de penser que si peu de gens comprennent la douleur que de telles bannières provoquent, et que si peu de gens réalisent vraiment l’énormité et l’ampleur de l’Holocauste. À ceux qui ont défilé aujourd’hui avec une grande étoile jaune, je dis: ne faites pas ça. Peu importe ce que vous pensez des restrictions sanitaires, personne ne vous tatoue les bras, personne ne vous case dans des camions à bétail et personne ne veut que vous, votre famille et vos proches meurent. Tout d’abord, assurez-vous d’avoir les connaissances et de savoir ce que cette étoile jaune représente réellement“, a encore souligné le président de l’association
A very special event marking Jewish life in the Netherlands took place on Tuesday 25th June in the prestigious Ridderzaal (Hall of the Knights) in the Dutch parliament, The Hague. The Hall is usually only used for state Royal and very special other events.
The Ridderzaal also has a more chequered past. The last time it was used outside of state events was in 1940 when the Reichscommisssar Seyss-Inquart held his inauguration speech.
75 years later the Jewish community was well represented by both the Israeli Ambassador Aviv Shir-On and a few very distinguished Rabbis, along with many Christian religious and political leaders who spoke on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.
State Secretary Paul Blokhuis, the Minister responsible for commemoration:
“We do not accept anti-Semitism in this country. That is the constitution.
Personally: as a Christian and a pastor’s son, my parents helped people go into hiding. Our democracy can only function if we draw a line where discrimination and anti-Semitism arise. World War II and the Holocaust are also our history.
Rabbi Shmuel Katzman, the rabbi of The Hague, elaborated on the rich Jewish history of The Hague, the political capital of The Netherlands.
Jack van der Tang, a Christian advocate and friend of the Jewish people who organised the event said:
“Of the 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands, 102,000 were killed. We want to recognize the crimes, and write history. There are still echoes from the Ridderzaal in 1940, we must ensure that that it may never happen again”.
Aviv Shir-On, Ambassador of Israel to the Netherlands added:
“I am thankful that the Netherlands says about anti-Semitism: not here! And if everyone says so, we will eradicate it”.
Chief Rabbi Jacobs (Netherlands) gave his take:
“Is it realistic to talk about emerging anti-Semitism? It is not new after all.
We used to have the wrong belief. In the Middle Ages we were a virus. And for that we had to be eliminated. My parents were the wrong breed. And we, the Jews of today, are all Zionists.
In 1945 my father returned home. The neighbors were not happy. It took a few weeks to get permission to go back to his own house. His windows were smashed. Like my windows were smashed a few years ago.
Minister van Schaik (just after the war) gave compliments and thanked the conductors of the Dutch railways to continue driving trains to the camps, and thus protect the Dutch economy. He said this just a few months after the liberation.
We must not exaggerate about anti-Semitism. But we must be vigilant for the danger. Anti-Semitism is increasing.
Thank God, the government protects us. I am grateful for that. But it is bizarre and unacceptable that this protection is needed. The generation of survivors is slowly disappearing.
I will tell you a small story: In deep darkness there are small candles that spread light. In the concentration camp of Westerbork, life was more or less normal: there was a hospital, a theatre and a school. A little boy stood in front of the open door of the classroom. He sang a song: “How happy we are that we are Jewish”. The teacher heard him. She picked him up and started dancing with all the children. So that little boy; in the gate to the hell of Auschwitz, on the way to the chimneys of the crematoria, brought light into the darkness.
That boy is here today…”
Rabbi Itzhak Vorst continued:
“Yes I was there. I was for eight months in Westerbork and afterwards in Bergen-Belsen. There was hardly any food in Bergen Belsen, my mother gave everything to us, so that there might be a new Jewish generation.
It is hard for me to go back.
I saw the agents of the Marechaussee again in Westerbork. My memories came back to the camp agents. The fact that security is needed today is worrying.
We want to live. Tomorrow I will attend the wedding of my granddaughter, here in the Hague. Then I will sing my song again. “
Gert Jan Segers, the leader of the ChistenUnie in Parliament concluded:
“Israel is the last safe haven for Jews in the world. I am proud to stand here for a Holocaust survivor and for the Jewish community. I wonder why it exists; anti-Semitism. This was this place where the killing of Jews began.
There are historical reasons for fighting anti-Semitism. The signals are coming up again. There is only one correct response: get up and speak. Don’t shut up.
There are also selfish reasons: if we are unable to protect our Jewish community, then we are lost as a country and society. I don’t want that, so I’ll fight.
Is there a rational explanation why people hate Jews? We have dark pages in the history of the church and society. There is no rational explanation. I can only think: hatred of the Jews is hatred of the God of the Jews.
So it is not just a fight against flesh and blood. It is a spiritual battle. That can be difficult.
“Let this be the place where the blessing of Israel begins.”
This morning the EJA had the pleasure to welcome a delegation led by the Mr. Sam Grundwerg, World Chairman of Keren Hayesod -UIA
We discussed in length about the different ideas and options for growth and divelopment of Jewish lives in Europe, about the chalenges Jews are facing and the rise of antisemitism.
We concluded with our shared hope of working together on all of these challenges in the upcoming year.
LONDON: More than 250 Jewish and Muslim women have made a commitment to being #ActiveAllies and take firm and united action against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, after declaring that “the time for talking is over” and “we are in this together”.
The women, of all ages and backgrounds and from all parts of the UK, launched the campaign at the Nisa-Nashim Annual Conference — Europe’s only such gathering of Jewish and Muslim women, which took place at the University of Westminster on Sunday, according to a press release issued here on Monday.
Nisa-Nashim’s co-chairs Laura Marks OBE and Julie Siddiqi said: “For too long in both of our faiths communities we have seen insular thinking when it comes to tackling hatred. The time for talking is over, now it’s time for us to take united action together.
“We know that both our communities are the targets of hatred and, largely, by the same type of people — people who are intolerant and despise difference. We need to face this challenge together and by standing up for each other.
“We recognise, as women in Nisa-Nashim, that both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism are on the rise. The devastating attacks on innocent people in both Pittsburgh and Christchurch have strengthened our resolve and we commit to be #ActiveAllies. It’s not enough, nor is it right, to only stand for ourselves. We are in this together, as Jewish and Muslim sisters — especially when the hatred is targeted at women.”
Over 250 delegates at the conference, along with other Nisa-Nashim members around the UK, have signed up to the #ActiveAllies charter vowing to call upon every political party in Britain to review their processes for preventing, exposing and dealing with both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism within their party.
The conference — titled Faith and Friendship, Shaping the Future Together — also featured a number of keynote speeches, on stage interviews, sessions and workshops. Speakers and presenters included Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, Countdown star and anti-Semitism campaigner Rachel Riley, London Deputy Mayor Debbie Weekes-Bernard and the Deputy Director of Hope Not Hate Jemma Levene.
The article was published on The News