Antisemitic Notes in Public Transportation, Germany

February 12, 2021

The EJA is disgusted at the resurgence of the 'blood libel' in plain daylight in Germany, with stickers and leaflets alleging Jewish involvement in Covid. We have written to the German Federal Government Commissioner for Jewish Life in Germany and the Fight against Anti-Semitism, Dr Felix Klein, to use the full weight of his office and impress upon the German transport authorities the danger of such activities, to urgently undertake a full review of CCTV footage with a view to prosecuting those responsible and to implement a zero tolerance policy of punitive fines and prosecution for the publication and distribution of antisemitic literature anywhere on their networks.
 

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UNESCO-listed Flemish festival comes under fire for anti-Semitic floats

A famous Belgian carnival has run into trouble with the authorities because of the way it is said to portray Jewish people.
The annual carnival in the Belgian town of Aalst is a 600-year-old ritual, drawing up to 100,000 spectators each year. The event is described by the local authorities as a symbol of the town’s identity in the region.
One of the floats in the parade, however, entitled “Shabbat Year,” features two giant puppets, depicting Orthodox Jews complete with traditional side-curls, wearing pink suits, and standing amidst bags of money among rats, which the mayor of the Flemish described as “humoristic.”
The portrayal has caused an outcry among Jewish groups who have branded the float as “racist and anti-Semitic”, accusations that have led to the launch of a protest petition which has been signed by over 15,000 people.
In a new development, UNESCO, the Paris-based United Nations body for education and culture, is now considering whether to “de-list” the carnival from its prestigious Convention on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
“UNESCO had to be vigilant and uncompromising” in ensuring that the regulations of its Convention are fully respected, a source for UNESCO said while adding that a decision will be made on the matter later this year.
Earlier in March, the Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone, was highly critical of the floats, saying, “The satirical spirit of the Aalst Carnival and the freedom of expression cannot serve as a screen for such manifestations of hatred.”
Ottone spoke of the float’s “indecent caricatures” which, he said, are contrary to the “values of respect and dignity embodied by UNESCO”.
The European Commission has also weighed in on the controversy with a spokesman commenting that “it should be obvious to all that portraying such representations in the streets of Europe is absolutely unthinkable…74 years after the Holocaust.”
The three-day folk carnival, arguably the most famous of its kind in Belgium and a favourite of young and old alike, has been on the UNESCO list since 2010.
The article was published on New Europe

Une association juive outrée par la représentation de l'étoile jaune à la manifestation contre les règles corona

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.

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"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
https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_une-association-juive-outree-par-la-representation-de-l-etoile-jaune-a-la-manifestation-contre-les-regles-corona?id=10892119

“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.”

EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION IN EUROPE-WIDE CAMPAIGN TO HOUSE JEWISH REFUGEES FROM UKRAINE

Initiatives connects fleeing Ukrainian Jews with Jewish homes across the continent for temporary shelter. Association is also providing pick up of clothing.
As the war in Ukraine enters a second week, Europe is witnessing a huge influx of refugees fleeing Ukraine towards the West. Naturally many Ukrainian Jews are included in this surge to safety.
The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of communities across the continent, has launched a Europe-wide campaign to temporarily provide homes, food and clothing to hundreds of Jewish families whose lives have been torn-apart and up-ended by the conflict in Ukraine.
The appeal has gone out to Jewish Communities from Lisbon to Lublin, Bucharest to Bordeaux and everywhere in between.
Speaking after launching the campaign, EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said,
“The history of the Jewish people is one of displacement, either because of pogrom or war. We are only too aware of what it means to be forced to up-and-leave at a moment’s notice. In almost every one of our communities you will hear such stories. From generations ago from Spain or Galicia, from the war, to emigrating to Israel. I say this because we are especially attuned to these catastrophes. And because we are so attuned, we are pre-programmed to help our Jewish neighbours, just as we always have.
“I have faith that this campaign will deliver. Since the war started Jews from all over Europe have been getting in touch with us to see what can be done to help their Ukrainian Jewish brothers and sisters in need. We are providing them with the vehicle to do just that, by offering shelter, food and clothing to those who left in a hurry, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”
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