BRUSSELS PARLIAMENT WON’T BAN KOSHER SLAUGHTER – EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION CHAIRMAN APPLAUDS DECISION

June 18, 2022

“Where Brussels has led, others must follow”, says EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, adds “thank goodness for 3 Parliaments in Belgium.”

 

(Brussels 17 June). In a closely contested vote (42 against, 38 for) the Brussels Parliament has just voted not to ban Kosher slaughter in the Capital Region.

 

The move represents a victory for Jews in the Belgian Capital and stands in contrast to both Flanders and Wallonia (Belgium’s other regions) where bans on Kosher slaughter are in place.

 

Welcoming the vote, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association that represents hundreds of communities across the Continent, and whose offices are headquartered in Brussels said in a statement:

 

“After a steady stream of bans across Europe that has left many communities bereft of local Kosher meat and having to shoulder the increased expenses of importing meat, we applaud this vote by Belgium’s Capital Parliament.

 

“The expense of course is of secondary concern to the overwhelming feeling from communities across the continent that their faith and traditions are constantly under threat by ill-though out , or malign legislation. 

 

“It is not said too often, but thank goodness for 3 parliaments in Belgium. There are few bastions left where Freedom of Religion is still considered a fundamental right. As a citizen of Brussels, I am proud that the capital is such a bastion. Where Brussels has led, others must now follow”.

Additional Articles

EJA Meeting with PM of of Croatia

Despite the hectic EU Summit schedule, the EJA was honoured that the Prime Minister of Croatia, His Excelency Mr Andrey Plenkovic, took the time to meet today with a delegation from the European Jewish Associa
The wide-ranging meeting covered a lot of ground, including the eventual adoption of the IHRA definition of antisemitism by Croatia, security concerns for the community in Zagreb, a briefing on the Zagreb opening of the Chesed centre for the loaning of medical equipment to all in need, an initiative to provide holocaust education via gentle and innovative means to younger schoolchildren as well as a fruitful discussion regarding involvement to the EJA’s Delegation to Auschwitz in November.
The EJA thanks Prime Minister Plenkovic for the care and attention he and his government shows to Jews in Croatia and across Europe, and notes that Jews feel safe and secure living and visiting the Country.

האיחוד האירופי הודיע: לא נתמוך בפרויקטים המעודדים טרור נגד ישראל

חברי ממשלה ממדינות אירופה ועשרות פרלמנטרים בכירים מרחבי היבשת סיימו אתמול, לצד מנהיגי הקהילות היהודיות, את הכנס למאבק באנטישמיות, שהתקיים בימי הזיכרון לליל הבדולח. הכנס החל באתר מחנה ההשמדה אושוויץ־בירקנאו ונמשך בקרקוב שבפולין, והוא אורגן על ידי איגוד הארגונים היהודיים באירופה.

בין המשתתפים והנואמים הבולטים הפעם נשיאת הפרלמנט האירופי רוברטה מצולה ממלטה, נשיאת הפרלמנט הצ’כי מרקטה פקרובה, ראש ממשלת מונטנגרו דרידאן אבאזוביץ’, נציגות בכירות מבתי המחוקקים הצרפתיים ואחרים. ישראל יוצגה על ידי ראש המשלחת לאיחוד האירופי, השגריר חיים רגב.

יו”ר איגוד הארגונים היהודיים באירופה, הרב מנחם מרגולין, סיפר בתחילת הטקס בבירקנאו על החוויה האנטישמית שעברה בימים אלה על ילדיו בבריסל מצדה של אישה שהעליבה אותם במהלך נסיעה בתחבורה הציבורית.

Concerns about politics

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.

ARUTZ 7

EU Parliament President: We're not doing enough to fight antisemitism

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, European Commissioner for neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli, Secretary of the National Assembly of France, MP Caroline Janvier, President of Parliament of Czech Republic, Markéta Pekarová, Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović joined Ministers and Members of Parliaments from 23 European countries gathered at the Auschwitz extermination camp as part of the annual European Jewish Association’s Leaders Delegation to fight anti-Semitism. The delegation included a Gala Dinner where the President of the European Parliament and Commissioner received awards for services to the Jewish People and Israel respectively.

 

During her first visit to Auschwitz, President of European Parliament, Roberta Metsola stated that: “It is my duty and responsibility to protect people in Europe from antisemitism, we will not forget and will not let this happen again. we must fight propaganda and antisemitic narratives and we don’t only need a strategy against antisemitism, we need action to bring Judaism again to Europe. ”

 

European Commissioner for neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli affirmed that it is his duty to come to Auschwitz and stated that: I really fear thar what happened here can happen again. The best way to combat antisemitism is to promote Jewish life. It is not enough to say never again, we must do something. My message to the Europeans: There is only one victory over death, that is life”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association stated that: “Times of war and economic crisis always serve as a platform for a serious escalation of anti-Semitism. Therefore, especially these days – more than any period since World War II, European leaders are required to act with greater determination to eradicate anti-Semitism both in the field of education and in the field of legislation. Defaming the Jewish people and the Jewish state is the definition of incitement and not freedom of expression and attacks on the Jewish way of life is an infringement of freedom of religion and worship. we expect each and every one of the heads of parliament, ministers and officials who accepted our invitation to return tomorrow to their country and to implement educational programs on the obligatory lessons from the Holocaust as well as essential changes in legislation against anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

 

As part of the special gathering, the European leaders placed wreaths at the “Death Wall” compound in Auschwitz and lit memorial candles on the ruins of the gas chambers in Birkenau. Members of the delegation heard chilling testimonies from Holocaust survivor and President of Antwerp Jewish Forum, Baroness Regina Suchowolski-Sluzny, and Keren Knoll, granddaughter of Mireille knoll, Holocaust survivor who was murdered in antisemitic attack in Paris in 2018.

 

Alexander Machkevitch, Founder of Euro Asian Jewish Congress and philanthropist for intercommunal religious dialogue and projects was honored with the Sir Montefiore Award for his tireless multi-decade work in safeguarding and promoting European Jewry. Accepting the award, Machkevitch said: “It’s a great honor for me to be here. My mother survived because she took the last train. Otherwise she would go to Auschwitz and I wouldn’t be here. I admire you for you contribution of time and energy to make this world a better place. I wish you never get tired nor exhausted to make the world a better place. God will reward you and your children.”

 

Secretary of the National Assembly of France, MP Caroline Janvier said: “Every political leader should visit Auschwitz to remember that man is capable of the worst, and that modernity doesn’t prevent the worst from happening.”

 

President of Parliament of Czech Republic, Markéta Pekarová said: “It is Very important to show to young generations what happened in Auschwitz and throughout the Holocaust to keep the memory. Seeing with our own eyes is important. Violations of human rights are unacceptable. It is the responsibility of all European politicians to eradicate antisemitism – Let us not repeat the tragic mistakes of our ancestors. These evils must be stopped.”

 

Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović said: “We must be careful about what happened here. we should educate young generations that this shouldn’t and must not be repeated. This visit is a contribution to promote a culture of memory and anti-discrimination and is the duty of every EU leader is to visit Auschwitz.”

ARUTZ 7
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