Budapest un modello di tolleranza? Ai tempi dell’invasione russa tutto è possibile

July 4, 2022

Budapest un modello di tolleranza? Ai tempi dell’invasione russa tutto è possibile (Di martedì 21 giugno 2022) Zsolt Semjén, vicepremier ungherese, ne è sicuro. Il suo è uno dei Paesi più tolleranti dell’Unione Europea. Un apparente paradosso per una «democrazia illiberale», come lo stesso premier ungherese Viktor Orban ha definito il suo progetto politico e come viene ormai additata la «sua» Ungheria. E tuttavia quest’affermazione si spiega con alcune considerazioni. «Nel mio partito ci concentriamo con una piattaforma sulla protezione dei valori biblici, e delle civiltà cristiana ed ebraica» spiega il braccio destro del leader ai microfoni di Panorama. «Gli ebrei sono da noi supportati tanto quanto i cattolici, non c’è nessun doppio stantard. Non ci piace come fanno altri Paesi europei, che lodano Israele e poi finanziano le ong anti-israeliane. L’Ungheria ha tolleranza zero vero l’antisemitismo. Semmai è l’Islam politico ad alimentare tensioni, ma nel nostro Paese …

https://www.zazoom.it/2022-06-21/budapest-un-modello-di-tolleranza-ai-tempi-dellinvasione-russa-tutto-e-possibile/11109350/

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Words by our board member, Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands

Dear people,
The fact that we are all experiencing a difficult period needs no elucidation. We are all in the same distressing boat.
But the way in which we deal with this quarantine, with the loneliness, with just sitting and filling our time, is something in which we differ.
I mostly fill my time with my phone and behind my computer. Just to call to ask the common question: how are you?
Is such an expression of interest worthwhile?
I think so. I also have been called several times and have received various WhatsApp messages with the question: how are you? Believe me when I say that it really did me good that someone takes the time to also ask how I am doing. I am a human being, too, and nothing that is human is strange to me. The interest did me good. And thus I am convinced that when I call somebody, he or she will also get a nice feeling from my phone call.
But I want to share with you a phone call that I made with an old lady. I don’t know how she experienced my call, but I certainly know how I experienced it.
It concerned an elderly lady, who lives in a town on the Veluwe. This lady has not had an easy life, to express it euphemistically. A multiplicity of complex problems, kilometres away from all that is Jewish. A difficult childhood and a marriage that tragically fell apart. Very poor and consequently living in a small apartment. And now at home all day, with no one to talk to, because she has no family left at all. And then I call her up with the question how are you?
So I don’t know what the phone call meant to her, but to me it was very impressive and educational. How are you? was my somewhat automatic question. Her reply, however, was far from ordinary:
I am doing great. Just came back from the supermarket. It was wonderfully quiet and the few customers that were there radiated friendliness. And on the street it was so impressively quiet. I heard the birds sing. No roar of planes flying overhead, magnificent crocuses in full bloom, a serene feel of quietness and peace… how beautiful, actually.
I immediately had to think about this teacher that gave his students a test. All the students received a piece of paper in front of them with the blank side facing up. They were only allowed to flip over the sheet when the teacher gave them permission. When all the students were properly seated, the teacher told them that they all had to flip over the sheet and write down what they saw on the other side. But they didn’t see anything on that other side. The piece of paper was completely blank with only in the middle a small black dot. So all the students wrote down that they saw a black dot.
After handing in the pieces of paper they were told that they had answered the question incorrectly, because, as the teacher pointed out, the right answer would have been that they saw a blank sheet of paper. That tiny dot in the middle was completely negligible relative to the piece of paper.
The same applies to when we see what the other does wrong; too often, we simply don’t pay attention to the good that he does.
And what about the neighbour’s beautiful car? That is what we see, but we don’t know what takes place at his home.
But also when I look at myself. Am I suffering from my shortcomings and am I perhaps not paying attention to what I am able to do?
That is also the way it is in quarantine at the moment. Am I fixating exclusively on…
I think of that elderly lady, all alone, nobody around her, a less than enviable childhood. And when I ask her how she is doing under the current difficult circumstances, her reply is inspiring. The black dot on the blank sheet of paper did not attract her attention!
Please stay strong and healthy. May G’d bless you for years to come with prosperity and health.
And don’t forget to call someone and ask them How are you?
Binyomin Jacobs, Chief Rabbi of the Netherlands

EJA Chairman awards President of Montenegro with award in front of EU ambassadors, MEPs and senior Jewish Representatives

AS DEEP DARKNESS OF ANTISEMITISM SPREADS ACROSS EU – MONTENEGRIN MODEL IS BADLY NEEDED, EU JEWISH CHIEF TELLS PRESIDENT
Brussels 7 March 2019. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, presenting The President of Montenegro Mr Milo Dukanovic with the European King David Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution in supporting and protecting Jews in Montenegro, said his leadership stands in isolation as “the deep darkness of antisemitism spreads across the continent.”
The President met with with Senior representatives of European Jewry, including the chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, the president of the Belgian League against antisemitism, and the Secretary General of B’nei Brith Europe, amongst others, who reported on the rising levels of antisemitism and hate crimes in their countries.
In stark contrast, the President of the Montenegrin Jewish Community Mr Dorde Raicewic and Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, the Rabbi of Montenegro spoke about how Jews are welcomed, how there is no security needed at Jewish buildings and that it is safe to walk the streets.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chairman of the EJA, prior to presenting the award, said as part of his speech,
“Montenegro may be a relatively small country, but even a small light can burn darkness away.
The deep darkness of antisemitism is spreading across Europe. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and many others, the oldest hatred is finding its voice again in dark corners and spreading like a malignant virus.
Time and time again we hear European leaders saying enough is enough, but little changes and the darkness keeps spreading.
These countries must embrace and enshrine not only the Montenegrin Model of co-existence, but welcome the country into the European Union where it can provide a leading and immensely valuable role in fighting the scourge of antisemitism. It is deeply ironic that Montenegro must knock on the door to get inside when the country itself is miles ahead of the vast majority of EU countries in protecting freedom of religion and supporting minorities.
“We earnestly thank the President for all his hard work, in helping create and supporting the first synagogue in the country, in the example he sets for others to follow and for his humbling and deep convictions and care when it comes to protecting and nurturing this small but flourishing Jewish community.
My message to all EU Leaders is this: take note, act and share the light of Montenegro now before the darkness consumes us all.”

First candle of Chanukah- #LightingEurope

Chanukah is here. It’s the time of the year when we come together with our loved ones to celebrate the miracle of the Maccabees by lightning the menorah.
In many cultures, light symbolizes positivity and hope. We all know this year was not easy, to say the least, for many people around the world and specially here in Europe. This Chanukah we have the opportunity to join our lights together, to share the hope and faith for a better future for all of us.
As the famous Jewish song say: “each of us is a small light and together we are a mighty light”.
We invite you all, Jews and non-Jews to join us this Chanukah in choosing hope, and focussing on the the bright and good. Together we will spread our light throughout Europe!
To join us you simply need to take a picture (or a video) of yourself lighting the candles (or just your Menurah) during the 8 days of Hanukah (10-18 Dec) and post it on social media with the hashtag #LightingEurope.
Happy Chanukah!

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