“An anti-Semite will never love Israel”

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May 17, 2023

Anti-Semitism is the radicalisation of racism

The European Jewish Association (EJA) kicked off a new annual conference on Monday, this time in Porto, Portugal, as part of the 75th anniversary of Israel’s independence and the centenary of the Portuguese city’s Jewish community. Security, the fight against anti-Semitism and the dissemination of Jewish life gained momentum in the face of a worrying rise in hate speech, prejudice and misinformation.
In the face of rising anti-Semitism and hate speech, leaders of Europe’s Jewish communities are preparing to take the discussion to the European Parliament in Brussels.
While the civilian population in Israel was under attack and acts of terrorist violence were increasing on national territory, in Barcelona the Maimonides synagogue was vandalised with a macabre inscription: Free Palestine from the river to the sea. The rising tide of violence against Jews is even worse in northern countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Alarmed also by the words of the representative of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, the Jewish community is preparing to fight on all fronts against anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, which are two sides of the same coin, as Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs has bluntly summed up: “never will an anti-Semite love Israel”. 

The importance of the definition of anti-Semitism
One of the most worrying points has been the increase in aggressive content against Israel and the Jewish community on social media, something that is growing exponentially amidst the spread of misinformation and stereotypes. On this point, representatives of the Jewish university community in France and the Fighting Online Antisemitism (OFA) agree.
It is not anachronistic to speak of anti-Semitism, quite the contrary. As the most radical expression of racism, European governments must broaden their perspective on the premise that we do not live in a world surrounded by islands, but in a world where the problems of the Middle East and the enemies Israel fights against will also impact, sooner rather than later, on European countries. Under anti-Zionism a further radicalisation of racism is achieved and also includes non-Jews who defend Israel.

Pretending to inform with disinformation and hoaxes

Technological evolution has made it possible to broaden voices and sources, but it has also taken away the rigour and reliability of information sources, which are often self-interested cuttings of a reality. In this sense, social networks have become a hotbed of conspiracy theories represented in multimedia content, such as images or videos, which point to the Jews as responsible for all evils. If social media had existed in 1929 during the Hebron pogrom, it would probably have immortalised many comments that would be little different from the comments made by an anti-Semite in the year 2023. There might be different words or spellings, but the content would be the same.

Anti-Semitism on the rise and Jewish communities prepare to take the discussion to the European Parliament
During the pandemic of 2020, conspiracy theories also turned to pointing the finger at Jews as having been responsible for the spread of the virus. At the same time, many European media picked up the false information that Israel was preventing the vaccination of Palestinians. Again, anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism were shown as equals.
It is also the networks where Palestinian groups, via Telegram, spread videos where they teach how to prepare homemade explosives as if it were a cooking show. We cannot leave aside the thousands of accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram that spread false content, stirring up prejudice or calling for the exclusion of Jewish communities.
Personally, I am grateful for the EJA’s invitation to these days in Porto, a city that is home to a thriving Jewish community that is preparing in a forceful way. However, there is a wake-up call also for non-Jews who believe not only in Israel’s right to exist, something so obvious and yet so little understood, but also for those of us who know the danger of the enemies who seek to destroy Israel.
I doubt that many of those who choose to be anti-Semites out of ignorance rather than vocation imagine what would be involved if Europe became the backyard of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Jihad that threatens the entire world.

Additional Articles

Babi Yar, le premier grand massacre de la Shoah par balles

e 27 janvier, c’est la journée internationale dédiée à la mémoire des victimes de l’Holocauste. Cette date coïncide avec le jour de la libération du camp d’extermination d’Auschwitz-Birkenau. Entre 1941 et 1945, environ 6 millions de personnes, principalement des juifs, seront tuées par les nazis. La plupart de ces victimes sont décédées dans les camps d’extermination. Mais, une grande partie ont aussi été tuées lors de ce qu’on appelle ” la Shoah par balles “.

Babi Yar, symbole de la Shoah par balles

En 1941, l’Allemagne nazie envahit l’Union soviétique. La Wehrmacht entre dans la ville de Kiev en septembre. Le 29, les occupants nazis ordonnent aux juifs de Kiev de se rassembler, avec leurs affaires personnelles. Ils sont emmenés près de ravins sur le site de Babi Yar. C’est là que le massacre commence. Les nazis les tuent avec des fusils. Babi Yar reste l’un des massacres les plus emblématiques de cette ” Shoah par balles “. En deux jours, les nazis exécutent près de 34.000 juifs. Leurs corps sont jetés dans les ravins.

Site de Babi Yar, Ukraine
Site de Babi Yar, Ukraine Aurélie Didier
Entre 1941 et 1944, entre 120.000 et 150.000 personnes, des juifs mais aussi des Tsiganes et des prisonniers sont fusillés dans le pays.
” En Ukraine, il y a eu plusieurs centaines de Babi Yar, des petits Babi Yar dans beaucoup de petites villes. Pourquoi est-ce si important de s’en souvenir ? Parce que maintenant les nouvelles générations ne savent pas ce qu’il s’est passé. Et si on ne sait pas, si on ne s’en souvient pas, cela peut se reproduire à nouveau. “, insiste le plus grand Rabin d’Ukraine, Moshé Reuven Azman.

80 ans après, la liste des noms de dizaine de soldats nazis

Après la Seconde Guerre mondiale, les autorités soviétiques occultent les massacres des juifs de Babi Yar. La situation n’évolue qu’après l’éclatement de l’URSS en 1991. Progressivement, des recherches sont menées en Ukraine avec des universitaires occidentaux et des associations juives.
Des monuments sont érigés à la mémoire des victimes. Et cette année, pour les 80 ans du massacre en septembre 2021, le nouveau centre de commémoration de la Shoah a publié une liste de noms de dizaines de soldats nazis qui ont participé à la tuerie.

Site de Babi Yar, Ukraine
Site de Babi Yar, Ukraine Aurélie Didier
Sur le site de Babi Yar, un mur des lamentations a été érigé afin de se souvenir. Pour ces juifs d’Ukraine et d’Europe, les mouvements militaires russes, occidentaux et américains font craindre le pire.
 Aujourd’hui à la frontière ukrainienne, il y a des soldats, des armes qui veulent prendre la liberté des gens. Babi Yar, c’est bien sûr le passé mais c’est aussi une alarme pour le futur“, prévient Alexander Benjamin, directeur de l’Association Juive Européenne (EJA) en Belgique.
L’Ukraine qui se souvient du passé, c’est aussi important stratégiquement et politiquement. Cela permet au pays de se rapprocher encore plus de l’Europe et de sa mémoire collective de la Shoah. Les Ukrainiens font en effet tout pour renforcer leurs liens avec les alliés occidentaux face à la Russie.
https://www.rtbf.be/article/babi-yar-le-premier-grand-massacre-de-la-shoah-par-balles-10921989

“FOLLOWING DESECRATION OF 80 HEADSTONES IN DENMARK, EUROPEAN JEWISH HEAD SAYS EU LEADERS MUST STEP UP NOT ONLY SECURITY BUT EDUCATION.

“If people are willing to attack the graves of the dead, we shudder to think what they would do to the living given the chance” add Rabbi Menachem Margolin.

Following the attack on 80 gravestones in Randers, Denmark, on Sunday, European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin called on EU Leaders to step up security arrangements at Jewish sites and buildings and to double their efforts in education when it comes to rising antisemitism across the continent.

“We must generate a vehement and strong societal action against antisemitism, because if people are willing to attack the graves of the dead, we shudder to think what they would do to the living given the chance”, said Margolin.  

He continued:  

“The attack at the weekend represents another episode in the rising trend of antisemitic attacks across the continent as a whole.

“I want to be clear. Governments can only do so much. The fight against antisemitism needs to be ‘ground up’, as well as ‘top down’. And that comes through education. Initiatives and activities in schools must be prioritised that clearly delineate antisemitism as a malignant symptom that must be urgently eradicated today.

“Following this latest attack, and taking into account the rising figures in Denmark and across the continent as a whole, now is also the time for Leaders across the EU to step up their security support for communities across Europe.

“We must ensure that the widespread silence and shoulder shrugging following attacks within society are replaced with concern and a vocalisation of it’s unaceptability in modern society. To this end, we are asking all EU leaders to double their efforts today.”

COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl
Diary March 18
Concerns about politics.
One of the prominent figures of the Jewish Netherlands, who is apparently occasionally tormented by the disease called jealousy, approached me with the comment that he had heard that I will be speaking next Sunday for the NIK on Zoom because of Pesach and expressed the hope that I would not speak about anti-Semitism again and would not have my message / lecture included with those Christians
Of course I don’t have to justify myself and I can do whatever I want, but it bothered me anyway. Because with “those Christians” professional recording equipment was available and “those Christians” were willing to make a good recording completely free of charge, I had made my NIK Hanukkah presentation with and by “those Christians”. Some years ago I had received a similar comment, from that same person, about “those Christians” I needed to have less contact with them. I understand that setup. What I did not fully understand, however, was that the same critic then went to “those Christians” to ask for financial support for his, otherwise fine, projects.
Nothing new under the sun. I remember speaking to an eminent physician some time ago. This ‘eminence’, he told me personally, was not so much down to his expertise in his field, but as a much about his political qualities. No, he was not in politics, he was referring to politics at the top of his university hospital. When I heard a little bit of that politics I immediately thought of the rabbinic world! (Just kidding, because rabbis don’t do politics!)
Because there is politics everywhere. Especially in the real and necessary democratic politics: The elections!
I haven’t been able to sleep all night. When I looked at the new composition of the House of Representatives, I was overcome with concern. I hope and pray that I misjudge it completely, but I fear it. Of course, there can be criticism of Israeli Politics, that does not have to be a sign of anti-Semitism.
But if there is only talk about Israel and not a word is mentioned about the feudal dictatorships of the countries around Israel, then I do not understand. I understand and accept that one of our prominent mayors in a speech at #MayorsAgainstAntisemtism claims that criticism of Netanyahu is allowed, as well as criticism of Rutte. But that’s not the problem. Criticism of Netanyahu is allowed, 50% of Israel criticizes him and that does not degrade them to anti-Semites. The problem is that there is almost exclusively criticism of Israel. That Israel is by far at the top of the list for UN Resolutions. The role of a mayor should be in trying to connect his townspeople, and that does not happen by importing sensitive foreign conflicts. Do I think this mayor is anti-Semitic? Absolutely not! Do I think this mayor should be allowed to criticize Netanyahu? Sure! But what I regret is that criticism of Israel unfortunately and often unintentionally leads to anti-Semitism.
How often am I not allowed to explain that I speak Dutch, although I am a Jew but not born in Israel. The superficial one-sidedness in the experience, however nuanced a mayor may present it, causes anti-Semitism here in our country. And so: if the mayor believes we should keep the Middle East problem out of the city, then criticize Israel, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, North Korea, China, on… and on…. But even better: let the mayor try to bind the various population groups within the city limits and call them to develop activities that unite together. And then, if connections and friendships have arisen, then, despite the diversity, the friendship itself can look at bottlenecks and differences of opinion that seemed unmentionable. Do you think that can succeed? Often not, but sometimes it does.
And sometimes I cherish that, because I have sometimes been able to experience this often!
And to the prominent Jewish Dutchman I would like to say: next week it is Pesach and Jews all over the world read the Hagadah, which describes the Exodus from Egypt at that time.And what do we read there about the present and now? “Because in every generation we are rebelled against us to destroy us” literally. And then the text continues and says that G-d will save us in the end. The Jewish people live and survive, but all kinds of things happen along the way. We must know, prevent and combat that, but not deny it! I hope that the new House of Representatives will want to fight that battle with us and will want to exercise vigilance.

The EJA is delighted to announce the official conclusion of our 2024 delegation to Auschwitz

Over two days, we hosted diverse speakers addressing the rise in antisemitism, communal encounters, and improved security measures. This assembly held paramount importance as we united to confront this unsettling pattern. One of the key moments we included was a thought-provoking debate between Elon Musk and Ben Shapiro.

The latter part of our delegation focused on a visit to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. A memorial ceremony and the recital of the Kaddish prayer marked this solemn trip.

These poignant moments underscored the European Jewish Association’s unwavering dedication to commemorating the profound tragedy of the Holocaust and battle against antisemitism.

#NeverAgainWasNow #NotOnMyWatch #EJAAuschwitz2024

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