Board letter to Ministers of Interior of the United Kingdom, Austria, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary, and the Netherlands

October 27, 2023

United Kingdom:

Dear Rt. Hon. Secretary of State Ms Braverman,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Austria:

Your Excellency Minister of Interior Dr. Karner,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Poland:

Your Excellency Minister of the Interior Dr. Kamiński,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Czech Republic:

Your Excellency Minister of Interior Dr. Rakušan,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Germany:

Your Excellency Minister of the Interior Dr. Faeser,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

Her Excellency Madam Nancy Faeser Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Federal Republic of Germany

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

France:

Your Excellency Minister of the Interior Mr. Darmanin,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Hungary:

Your Excellency Minister of Interior Dr. Pintér,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

_________________________________________________________________________________________The Netherlands:

Your Excellency Minister of the Interior Dr. de Jonge,

Re: Granting Citizenship to Hostages held by Hamas in Gaza

H.E. Mr Hugo de Jonge Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations The Netherlands

We, Jewish Leaders, write with an urgent request that could – quite literally – save the lives of the hostages being held by Hamas.

You are doubtless aware that Hamas has released a trickle of hostages from the over 200 abducted following their inhuman massacre in Israel on October 7th. The taken include babies, toddlers, children, the elderly and the infirm.

We ask you, as part of a European wide effort with fellow Ministers in other Member States, to take responsibility for a number of hostages by granting them citizenship, even if temporary.

We would be happy to provide you with a list of names and details.

The granting of citizenship and the protections afforded by such citizenship would undoubtedly save lives and avoid a despicable spectacle last witnessed in the death camps: a selection of Jews.

We cannot allow this to happen. We implore you to do all that you can to free the hostages by granting them citizenship of your country.

We stand ready to help, day or night.

Thanking you in advance for your urgent consideration and attention and very much look forward to hearing from your office.

With most respectful regards

Yours sincerely,

 

Additional Articles

RELIGIOUS LEADERS PLEAD FOR TOLERANCE IN BELGIUM AMID ISRAEL-GAZA WAR

Under the auspices of Belgian MP Michael Freilich, leaders of the 3 major religions came together today in a moment of unity to promote peace and tolerance. (Photos: Michael Freilich/ BELGA)

Jewish MP Michael Freilich: “Given the tensions in our streets, the attack in Brussels, the attack on Jewish targets in Europe and the terrible suffering of war in the Middle East, I decided to take this step and invite Chief Rabbi Pinchas Padwa, Imam Nordine Taouil and priest Rik Hoet to the heart of our democracy, the Parliament in Brussels.”

The press was present in large numbers to attend the reading of a joint statement.

Rabbi Padwa: “We extend a warm call to all people of goodwill in our communities and beyond: Let us join hands, join positive forces and show unity for building a warm society – across our different ideas and beliefs. As this meeting today makes clear, this is absolutely possible.”

Imam Taouil: “There is so much more that unites us than what divides us. Let us not import conflicts from elsewhere and let our lives be guided by extreme ideas and views.
In this country, we are all fellow citizens, neighbours, friends and/or trading partners. Our fragile social fabric, especially in these anxious times, deserves to be nurtured and strengthened. The recent Abraham Accords are an encouraging step in the right direction.

Priest Hoet: “Bringing together different cultures and faiths, sharing joyful moments and building a common future are positive steps that we warmly welcome and encourage.”
Freilich concluded, “Let us strive for peace, warm citizenship and closeness, pause to remember every innocent victim, and resolutely reject and condemn terrorism.”

Rabbi Padwa asked for a moment of prayer, each in their own distinct way, to promote peace.

The EJA Delegation to Auschwitz (First day)

The EJA was pleased to conclude the first half of our delegation to Auschwitz. Prominent presenters facilitated thought-provoking conversations regarding the concerning rise in antisemitism, communal encounters, and improved security measures. The assembly held importance as we united to tackle this unsettling pattern. Key moments included a debate between Elon Musk and Ben Shapiro

Esteemed speakers and influential stakeholders convened to explore these crucial issues.

hashtagNeverAgainWasNow hashtagNotOnMyWatch hashtagEJAuschwitz2024

Rabbis and Community Honour Victims at Oporto Cemetery Memorial

Renowned European and Israeli Rabbis, along with members of the Jewish community, gathered at the Oporto cemetery in Portugal to inaugurate a memorial for the victims of the 7th October tragedy. The event, organised by various Jewish associations, included prayers led by Rabbi Simcha Steinberg and speeches by Rabbi Binyamin Jacobs and Rabbi Netanel Lev, who shared the story of his son, a fallen soldier. Rabbi Jacobs highlighted the contradiction of condemning Israel while accepting antisemitism. Rabbi Eli Rosenfeld emphasised the resilience of the Jewish people. The cemetery, named “Isaac Aboab Field of Equality,” symbolises Jewish life in Oporto after centuries of persecution. The ceremony concluded with gratitude to the Oporto Jewish community for honouring the memory of the victims.

Nearly 60% increase in antisemitic incidents in 2023 - Combat Antisemitism

Combat Antisemitism Movement’s (CAM) report documented 3,046 reported incidents globally, a 58.2% increase from 1,925 the previous year and 2,215 in 2021.

Jpost: https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/article-787273Combat Antisemitism Movement’s (CAM) report documented 3,046 reported incidents globally, compared to 1,925 the previous year and 2,215 in 2021 – another year when antisemitism increased globally amid Israeli conflict with Hamas.

Antisemitic incidents caused by far-left (1,019 reported incidents) and far-right (1,021) perpetrators were almost identical and accounted for 67% of all recorded incidents. Islamic extremists accounted for 18.7% of all recorded antisemitic events (571), while 14.3% were categorized as unattributable (435).

The CAM report analyzed antisemitism trends in the USA, United Kingdom, Germany, the Middle East, and the rest of the world as a separate category. The report analyzed 1,174 incidents in the USA, 292 in the United Kingdom, 134 in Germany, 334 in the Middle East, and 776 in other countries around the world.

Israeli Americans and supporters of Israel gather in solidarity with Israel and protest against antisemitism, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, during a rally on the National Mall in Washington, U.S, November 14, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/Elizabeth Franz)

Antisemitism takes on different forms, yet persists

The antisemitic behavior analyzed in the report took on different shapes depending on the geographic location in question. For example, 49.5% of incidents in the USA were committed by right-wing perpetrators compared to 29.7% from far-left antisemites. However, the UK had 40.4% of their incidents perpetrated by supporters of left-wing ideology in comparison to 20.2% from the right-wing.

Further, only 5.2% of US-based incidents were Islamic, whereas that figure stood at 15.8% in the UK, 14.2% in Germany, and 94.3% in the Middle East.

The antisemitic incidents also differed in nature based on geography: 76.9% of Middle East incidents included hateful conduct and speech, 20.7% included use or threats of violence, and 2.4% were acts of vandalism. While the UK had a similar profile for hate speech (75.7% of incidents), vandalism was prevalent nearly six times more than in the Middle East (13.7%) and violence was nearly half (10.6%).

American antisemites were far less likely to utilize hate speech (52%) and had by far the highest rate of vandalism (39.7%) among the areas surveyed.

The report further identified four concerning trends based on their data: the rise of left-wing antisemitism, the increase on US college campuses, the persistence of right-wing antisemitism, and the significant year-over-year spike in 2023.

The CAM report said 2024 was the first year since they began tracking antisemitic incidents that the frequency of left-wing incidents was nearly the same as right-wing incidents. The report also highlighted the spike in campus antisemitism, with a notable 34.9% increase in reported antisemitic incidents on US campuses in 2023.

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