EJA calls on Split mayor to condemn antisemitism and adopt IHRA definition

June 15, 2021

In an open letter to the media in Croatia, the EJA called on the newly elected leaders of the city of Split – Mayor Ivica Puljko and his deputy Bojan Ivosevic – both of whom recently used anti-semitic references during their election campaign, to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in order to draw a line under the incident.
Our Chairman Rabbi Margolin wrote “At a time of growing anti-Semitism in Europe, it is concerning that in the second largest city of an EU member state two people who made anti-Semitic outbursts or pro-Nazi excesses are elected to two leading positions,” the letter said.
“We welcome the courageous and quick condemnation of such behavior sent by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, as well as the condemnation of Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović both (Puljko and Ivošević) on election night…in many cases, such behavior would result in the immediate withdrawal of that person from public life… the European Jewish Association believes that the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti- Semitism in Split would be appropriate to draw a line under this incident.”

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European Jews are breathing a sigh of relief after Corbyn lost'

Chief of European Jewish Association celebrates Corbyn’s election defeat. ‘This election wasn’t about right vs left, it was right vs wrong.’
With the results of the UK’s general election Thursday pointing to a decisive victory for the Conservative Party and Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Chairman of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association said that Jews across the continent would be breathing a collective sigh of relief at the defeat of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chief of the European Jewish Association, which represents hundreds of Jewish communities across the continent, said Jewish opposition to Corbyn was not partisan.
“I want to be clear that we are a non-partisan organisation. We have no political affiliation. Nor do we endorse or advocate for the UK Conservative Party,” said Rabbi Margolin.
“The potential election of Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister for us and the vast majority of Jews was not a story of left or right, but about what is right and what is wrong.”
“The election to the highest elected office in the United Kingdom of an avowed Israel hater whose approach to eradicating antisemitism was anodyne and recalcitrant at best, would have been a devastating signal not only to British Jewry, but to Jews everywhere.”
“We fully agree with the Chief Rabbi’s assessment that he is wholly unfit for office. It appears that a majority of the British electorate are of a similar opinion.”
“This morning – as Jews across Europe wake up to the news coming out of the United Kingdom – we will be collectively breathing a sigh of relief.”
With 648 out of 650 races called for Britain’s Parliament, the Conservatives have won 363 seats, compared to just 203 for Labour, giving the Conservatives a wide majority.
Labour chairman Jeremy Corbyn announced that following his party’s defeat, he would be stepping down as party leader before the next general election.
The article was published on Arutz 7

“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.”

Paris Mayor inaugurates an ‘Alley Mireille Knoll’, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor killed in an antisemitic attack

Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has inaugurated an alley bearing the name of Mireille Knoll, a 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was brutally murdered in her apartment in a antisemitic attack.
The alley is located on the Boulevard de Ménilmontant, in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital.
Knoll was brutally murdered in her apartment in a antisemitic attack on March 23, 2018. Firefighters who arrived at Knoll’s building later that night to answer an emergency call discovered her partially-burned body with 11 stab wounds.
Read more

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

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