Bootcamp in Madrid - Day 1

April 12, 2021

This afternoon the EJA, and our partners the ECJS and Concert started our latest 3 day ‘bootcamp’ in Madrid for young activists from all over Europe. Respected Arab Israeli journalistic Khaled Abu Toameh kicked off proceedings with an engaging opening session on normalisation, followed by a lengthy q&a session and discussion for participants, later for dinner we were proud to have a visit from the president of the Madrid Jewish community, Mrs Estrella Bengio who welcomed us warmly to her city and gave us all a great motivational speech about all working together for the betterment of European Jewry and the state of Israel.

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Labour councillor under investigation over pictures of him in an Adolf Hitler costume for children's hospice fancy dress fundraiser

Labour has launched an inquiry into a councillor pictured at a fundraiser dressed as Adolf Hitler.

Photographs of Seve Gomez-Aspron show him wearing a German Army uniform, complete with swastika, and a fake moustache.

They were taken at a fancy dress dinner in aid of Claire House Hospice, which supports seriously and terminally ill children, in 2009 – around three years before he was elected to St Helens Council in Merseyside.

Mr Gomez-Aspron, 33, who represents the Newton-le-Willows ward, said the outfit was inspired by Mel Brooks' satirical comedy The Producers. He described the decision to wear it as 'clumsy'.

The councillor told the Liverpool Echothe photos were taken in his early twenties, before he was a Labour Party member, adding: 'I have matured and learnt a lot since then, and it goes without saying that I would not do this now.

'I know how this could be seen as insensitive and how it could cause hurt and offence.

'That was not at all my intention and I sincerely apologise.

'I have part-Jewish ancestry and I recently visited Israel to commemorate those killed in the Holocaust and the war.'

Labour confirmed it had launched an inquiry but said it was unable to comment on individual cases due to data protection issues.

The scandal is not Mr Gomez-Aspron's first.

Earlier this month, Merseyside Police confirmed they had received a complaint about a tweet he posted referring to the 'Aryan race'.

Officers concluded no offence had been committed.

In December 2017, he was censured by the council's standards committee after insinuating residents were 'halfwits' on Facebook.


The article was published on mail online

Greece: Kosher slaughter 'under direct attack'

Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack across Europe from the very institutions that have vowed to protect our communities, says European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, after the Greek Supreme Court ruled that slaughter without stunning violates EU law.
The move comes as a consequence of the European Court of Justice Ruling last December that member countries may ban the practice of ritual slaughter in order to promote animal welfare, without infringing the rights of religious groups.
The December ruling said that the EU’s animal slaughter regulation “does not preclude member states from imposing an obligation to stun animals prior to killing which also applies in the case of slaughter prescribed by religious rites”, but encouraged member states to find a balance.
It is now clear that a number of member states are zealously applying the former whilst ignoring the latter.
In a statement this evening, the Chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, which represents hundreds of communities across the continent, said: “We warned in December about the downstream consequences that the European Court of Justice ruling carried with it, and now we see the outcome. Jewish Freedom of Religion is under direct attack. It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus and now it is Greece’s turn.
“These direct attacks are coming from many of the same governments and institutions who have sworn to protect their Jewish Communities. What we are witnessing is rank hypocrisy. When it comes to antisemitism, governments and institutions rightly stand behind us. But when our faith and practice is assailed left and right by laws, they are nowhere to be seen, nowhere to be found. What use is it to protect Jews while legislating fundamental pillars of our religion out of existence?
"We will be urgently making representations to the highest levels of the Greek government to get direct answers to this simple but fundamental question: How can there be Jews in Europe if you keep bringing in laws against us?"

https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/315829

ABOUT CORBYN, an Op-Ed by our Director of Public Affairs

“Israel is a racist endeavour.” So, read the posters put up around bus shelters around London yesterday, and most prominently facing the Houses of parliament.

When the genie is out of the bottle, as anyone knows, it’s hard to get it back in. And when the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn spent weeks prevaricating, ducking and weaving to avoid signing up to the full IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism, fuelling his base of cocksure cult-like Palestinian sympathisers on the hard left, when the Labour Party eventually adopted the IHRA definition (with the underlined caveat that they can call out Israel), the base posted their response. 

From a self-proclaimed man of peace (despite his penchant for engaging and sympathising with the IRA, Hamas and who called Bin Laden’s death a tragedy) there’s a strong whiff of cordite around Corbyn and his acolytes. We British Jews knew it all along. The Labour leader has a track record of being outside the pale of political norms. It is precisely for his disgusting penchants that the hard left embraced him as their saviour and formed a messianic cult around him as the man to save Britain and the man to save the left.

What they really mean of course, is that he gave voice and credibility to their non-mainstream views, the type that had no place in any rational political discourse, and which hitherto put most of his support in the same political bin as the communists or St.George’s flag waving, shaven headed racists on the right.

The results are clear to see. “Nothing to see here” is the refrain from Labour as British Jews look on in horror. “He’s wrong and doesn’t get it” is the spin retort to Lord Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi and hugely respected voice of reason who pulled the alarm cord last week. 

“When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat,” Sacks told the BBC. “Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews – the majority of our community – are asking ‘is this country safe to bring up our children?'” he added. “Now, this is very, very worrying.” Worrying indeed. Almost 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll conducted for The Jewish Chronicle published on Wednesday.

Mr Corbyn made things personal. He stoked up his rabid base in ways that President Trump can only fantasize about, insults Jews day in day out by suggesting that we feel nobody can critique Israel (when most Jews have daily conversations about government and politics in the Jewish State), claims we lack of sense of humour and despite having lived there for generations, don’t get English Irony, then feigns mock indignation when there’s a backlash from the community. 

It’s sickening and reminds me of a scene I witnessed in Belfast, when a couple were arguing in front of a relative. The man struck the woman and she fell to the floor, and the lady with her started, quite understandably, screaming and crying. The man then turned to the woman who he had just struck who was still on the floor and exclaimed while pointing to the upset woman: “see what you’ve just done? You’ve upset your mother.” I can’t think of a better comparison for the odious leader of the Labour Party and his treatment of the Jewish Community in the UK when it comes to Israel. And doubtless just like the struck woman and her mother, Jews will not forget, nor forgive. Nor should we.  

Because “Israel is a racist endeavour” is but the veneer on the table of how British Labour sees Jews under Corbyn. The wood itself underneath is - make no mistake - riddled and rotten with anti-Semitism. And Corbyn is the carpenter to blame.

The Op-Ed was written by our director of public affairs, Alex Benjamin and was published on The JPost

#YouAreNotAlone – Supportive Messages for Israelis Under Fire

“You are not alone” is a European Jewish Association initiative that encourages the public across Europe to write short messages of support to families in Israel suffering under hundreds of indiscriminate rocket attacks on towns and villages. Families who feel isolated and unsupported as the world looks on passively.
By writing a short personal message you can show you care. That you stand with them, that “you are not alone”.
Each and every message sent through the portal on our dedicated webpage will be translated into Hebrew, then delivered and shared to the areas most under fire, offering comfort and support to those taking shelter with their families.
It only takes a minute to show you care. And it’s a minute that means so much.
To send a message klick HERE

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