EJA Delegation Joins AIPAC International Policy Summit in Washington DC to Strengthen Europe-US-Israel Relation

March 19, 2024
It was a pleasure for our EJA team to participate at the AIPAC International Policy Summit in Washington DC, where we held a dedicated joint briefing and policy session together with AIPAC for our delegation of European parliamentarians and US counterparts.
Deepening Europe-US-Israel relations, building inter-parliamentary links and establishing meaningful transatlantic connections is an important part of our work spearheaded by our EJA Director of EU Relations, Ruth Isaac, who led the delegation, and we thank AIPAC for their kind cooperation.

The delegation included Chair of European Parliament Abraham Accords Network, MEP David Lega , Chair of Foreign Affairs Committee of Czech Republic, MP Marek Ženíšek , Deputy Marshal of the Senate of Poland, Mr Michal Kamiński, Chair of Lithuania-Israel Parliamentary Group and Vice-Chair of European Affairs Committee of Lithuania, MP Emanuelis Zingeris , Vice-Chair of Foreign Policy Committee of National Assembly of Bulgaria and f. Minister, MP Daniel Lorer, President of Assembly of European Regions and Member of Foreign Affairs Committee of Sweden, MP Magnus Berntsson, and others.

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European Jewish group honors Adidas for dropping Kanye West

 Meeting at the European Jewish Association conference in Prague and the Theresienstadt Ghetto/Camp in the Czech Republic, legislators and senior European government officials declared war on antisemitic fake news and committed to encouraging educational programs against hatred.

During the conference, the EJA presented Adidas with the prestigious King David Award for its decision to cut all commercial ties with musician Ye, aka Kanye West, following his antisemitic remarks.

Ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day, which falls on Friday, more than 100 members of parliament, government officials, ambassadors and European Jewish leaders gathered to discuss how to deal with fake news and conspiracy theories against Jews in the media and social networks, and rising antisemitism in universities across the continent.

According to EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin: “Even today, fake news poses a tangible danger to the well-being of Jews throughout Europe, a tool of hatred that is unfortunately strengthened by social networks and mixes conspiracy theories against Jews.

“The dozens of European leaders who responded to our call to come to Terezin pledged to fight against fake news that encourages antisemitism and implement educational programs to eradicate it,” he said.

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Des centaines de dirigeants visiteront l'ancien camp de concentration de Theresienstadt

“Ce qui s’est passé à Terezin est le meilleur exemple des conséquences que peuvent entraîner les fake news”

120 dirigeants, parlementaires et diplomates de toute l’Europe se sont réunis à Prague pour visiter l’ancien camp de concentration de Theresienstadt, où ils allumeront des bougies à la mémoire des 80 000 victimes juives, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale dédiée à la mémoire des victimes de la Shoah qui aura lieu vendredi.

L’Union des organisations juives d’Europe, qui organise l’événement, a lancé l’opération d’allumage des bougies pour la Journée internationale de la Shoah, qui sera distribuée à tous les parlements d’Europe.

Le président de l’Union des organisations juives d’Europe, le rabbin Menachem Margolin, a déclaré à l’ouverture de la conférence que ce qui s’est passé à Terezin est le meilleur exemple des conséquences que peuvent entraîner les fake news. Les nazis ont utilisé le camp comme une “vitrine” pour conjurer les critiques internationales sur les mauvais traitements qu’ils infligeaient aux Juifs dans les ghettos et ont présenté des gens apparemment heureux, y compris des enfants qui mangent à leur guise et mènent diverses activités culturelles – alors que la plupart d’entre eux étaient plus tard transféré dans les camps d’extermination.

“Terezin est un camp où les nazis ont tenté de montrer par la manipulation de films et de photographies un ‘ghetto modèle'”, a-t-il déclaré.  “Aujourd’hui, dans le contexte de l’épidémie de Covid-19, de la guerre en Ukraine et de la diffamation d’Israël, les antisémites utilisent exactement les mêmes méthodes. Le Juif est le bouc émissaire. La polarisation en politique contribue à répandre l’antisémitisme. La législation contre l’abattage rituel en Europe s’inscrit dans cette ambiance. De moins en moins de Juifs en Europe se permettent de montrer leur judéité sans crainte. Si les Juifs quittent l’Europe, ce sera un très mauvais signal de l’état du continent”, a-t-il expliqué.

Margolin a appelé à une coopération entre les parlements, les gouvernements européens et les communautés juives pour lutter contre l’antisémitisme.

46% des incidents antisémites en 2022 ont eu lieu en Europe et 39 % en Amérique du Nord. La propagande occupe 39% des actes antisémites, le vandalisme 28%, les violences physiques 14%, les violences verbales 11% et la délégitimation 7%, a indiqué le nouveau rapport de l’Organisation sioniste mondiale pour l’antisémitisme.

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Greek court annuls permit for Greek court annuls permit for kosher, halal slaughter

The Hellenic Council of State, the top administrative court in Greece, ruled to ban kosher and halal slaughter on Tuesday, according to the Panhellenic Animal Welfare and Environmental Federation.
The federation had requested from the court that it annul a ministerial decision that exempted religious slaughter from a Greek law requiring animals killed in slaughterhouses to be anesthetized first.
The Council of State ruled that the ministerial decision violated the Greek law requiring anesthesia and did not set a proper balance between the welfare of animals and the religious freedom of Jews and Muslims. The court ruled that the government should regulate the issue of slaughter in a way that ensures both the protection of the animals and the religious freedom of Jews and Muslims.
European Jewish Association (EJA) chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin expressed outrage at the decision on Wednesday, saying that “Jewish freedom of religion is under direct attack across Europe from the very institutions that have vowed to protect our communities.”
According to the EJA, the ruling came following one by the Court of Justice of the European Union last December that allowed EU nations to ban kosher slaughter in order to promote animal welfare without infringing on the rights of religious groups.
The December ruling encourages member states to find balances between the issues of animal welfare and religious freedom. The EJA stated that “it is now clear” that a number of EU member states are “zealously” implementing bans, while ignoring the issue of religious freedom.
“As early as last December we warned about the dangerous consequences of the European Court of Justice ruling, and now we are seeing the result,” Margolin said. “It started in Belgium, moved to Poland and Cyprus and it is now Greece’s turn. These direct attacks come from many of those governments and institutions that have vowed to defend their Jewish communities.”
“What we are witnessing is first-rate hypocrisy,” he said. “When it comes to antisemitism, governments and institutions rightly stand behind us. But when our beliefs and customs are attacked right and left by laws, they are nowhere to be seen.”
The EJA leader stated that the organization would work immediately to demand answers from the highest levels of the Greek government, adding: “How can Jews live in Europe if you continue to legislate against us?”

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.

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