EJA Meeting with PM of of Croatia

June 24, 2021

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.

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Israeli War Correspondent Ron Ben-Yishai Briefs on Hamas-Israel Conflict at Paris Event, Discusses Deadlock, Rafah Situation, Regional Escalation, and Hostages

Is the war in a deadlock, what is the situation in Rafah, is a regional escalation on the way, and what about the hostages? These were some of the many subjects Ron Ben-Yishai touched on during a briefing yesterday on the current status of the war between Hamas and Israel at the French think tank Fondation Jean-Jaures, which organized the event in partnership with EIPA.

The renowned Israeli war correspondent, who is one of the leading experts on Israeli foreign and defense policy, came specifically to Paris to share his extensive and long-standing knowledge and detailed analyses on the subject with journalists from a wide range of top French media outlets, as well as several researchers.

Ron Ben-Yishai, who is currently a Commentator on National Security & International Affairs and Special Assignment Correspondent for the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, has covered all major wars in the Middle East and Africa over the last half-century, as well as many conflicts and revolutions in all corners of the world. He is also one of the few journalists who have embarked in Gaza with the special Israeli forces after the 7th of October—the last time being just a few days before the briefing.

He has an in-depth knowledge of military tactics and history, which was of great interest to the many journalists who attended the briefing in Paris and eagerly asked questions to the experienced reporter, gathering around him when the briefing concluded in the afternoon.

German Nazi war crimes suspect, 96, who went on the run goes on trial

Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, is pictured at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
A 96-year-old German woman who was caught shortly after going on the run ahead of a court hearing last month on charges of committing war crimes during World War Two appeared before a judge on Tuesday in the northern town of Itzehoe, writes Miranda Murray, Reuters.
Irmgard Furchner (pictured), accused of having contributed as an 18-year-old to the murder of 11,412 people when she was a typist at the Stutthof concentration camp between 1943 and 1945, was taken into the sparse courtroom in a wheelchair.
Her face was barely visible behind a white mask and scarf pulled low over her eyes. Security was heavy as the judge and legal staff made their way into the court.
Between 1939 and 1945 some 65,000 people died of starvation and disease or in the gas chamber at the concentration camp near Gdansk, in today’s Poland. They included prisoners of war and Jews caught up in the Nazis’ extermination campaign.
Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, arrives in a wheelchair at the beginning of her trial in a courtroom, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
Judge Dominik Gross arrives in the courtroom for the trial against Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old former secretary to the SS commander of the Stutthof concentration camp, in Itzehoe, Germany, October 19, 2021. Christian Charisius/Pool via REUTERS
The trial was postponed after Furchner left her home early on Sept. 30 and went on the run for several hours before being detained later that day.
Charges could not be read until Furchner, who faces trial in an adolescent court because of her young age at the time of the alleged crimes, was present in court.
She is the latest nonagenarian to have been charged with Holocaust crimes in what is seen as a rush by prosecutors to seize the final opportunity to enact justice for the victims of some of the worst mass killings in history.
Although prosecutors convicted major perpetrators – those who issued orders or pulled triggers – in the 1960s “Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials”, the practice until the 2000s was to leave lower-level suspects alone.

EIPA Colleagues Meet with Moshe Davidovich, Leader of Mate Asher Regional Council and Northern Confrontation Line Forum, Along with Kibbutz Members

Our EIPA colleagues met with Moshe Davidovich, head of the Mate Asher Regional Council and chair of the Confrontation Line Forum of Northern Regional Council Heads, along with members of the Kibbutz


The European Jewish Association is a prominent and influential organisation dedicated to representing, advocating for, and fostering the interests of the Jewish community across Europe. Founded on unity, tolerance, and inclusivity principles, the EJA bridges diverse Jewish communities and European societies.

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President Von der Leyen at Chanukah celebration in Brussels warns of "old evil resurfacing in Europe," announces new Jewish heritage award because Jewish culture is a 'blessing to Europe".

An old evil is resurfacing in Europe,’’ said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in a speech before lighting  the fourth candle of a Chanukah menorah on Sunday evening in front of the European Commission and European Council buildings. 

The EuroChanukah event organized by the European Jewish Community Center (EJCC) together with the European Jewish Association (EJA). Brussels Mayor Philippe Close also addressed the participants who lit candles to remember the hostages still detained in Gaza.

“There should be no place for this hatred, especially here in Europe. And there is no justification to the rise in anti-Semitism. No war, no political argument, can excuse it,” she added.

‘’Freedom of speech and opinion, freedom of worship, and freedom from fear – that must be a reality at all times, in all circumstances, and for all human beings,’’ she said.

She continued, ‘’Chanukah is also the story of the Jewish people regaining their freedom of worship after times of persecution. This moment of celebration must also be one to say that never again will we tolerate hate against the Jewish people. Never again this is now.’’

The president of the European Commission recalled that ‘’for centuries, European Jews have shaped our common heritage. Think of Marc Chagall and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Rahel Hirsch and Hannah Arendt. And you still do shape our common heritage.’’

She announced that the European Commission will create a new award to celebrate Jewish cultural heritage.’’ Because Jewish culture is a blessing to Europe, and we should all know more about it,’’ she said.

EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, in a speech at the event said:

“The huge antisemitic demonstrations across Europe that used the war against a terrorist organization as an excuse to spread hate and violence and caused hundreds of thousands of Jews to be wary of showing their Jewishness outside was entirely predictable. But we don’t give up. And we won’t give up. 

“Millions of Jews around the world are busy spreading good: developing technologies and medicines, we are pioneers in science and agriculture, in the arts, in economics and entertainment  so that the world, as a whole, will be a better world. Indeed, year by year, more and more people in the world live better. This is the Jewish spirit that won the Chanukah holiday. This is what we celebrate today.” 

EJCC Director Avi Tawil, the co-organiser of the event, also addressed the packed event added:

“As we light the Chanukah candles, let us remember that the true miracle lies in our strength not to succumb to fear, and give in to grievances, but quite on the contrary, in our ability to keep the flame of humanity alive.

This year more than ever, as we find ourselves in difficult times, let Chanukah not only be a celebration of a historical miracle but a rekindling of our eternal flame as the light of our unity shines brighter and longer than ever before, a beacon of hope and strength for generations to come.”


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