EJA/EIPA Meeting, planning for the upcoming year.

July 13, 2018

This week we dedicated two days for the annual EJA/EIPA meeting with all members of the teams, coming from France, Germany, Israel and of course our local head court’s members, here in Brussels.
Bringing together our different experiences, views and ideas we have managed to come up with a list of subjects we would like to deal with this upcoming year and a lot of exiting new ways to do that whether if it is in Politics, the Media world or among the Jewish communities around Europe.
We don’t know about you but we are very exited to start this fruitful year. for us, for The Jewish people in Europe and for the state of Israel.

Additional Articles

‘Game of Thrones’ Star Cancels Belgian TV Appearance Over ‘Anti-Semitic’ Parade Float

Dutch actor Carice van Houten has canceled an upcoming television appearance in Belgium after the country’s city of Aalst featured a parade float that UNESCO has branded “racist and anti-Semitic.”
While the Aalst Carnival was celebrated back in March, the event continues to have a present-day impact on Belgian relations after the city’s mayor, Christoph D’Haese, renounced the event’s UNESCO “World Intangible Cultural Heritage” title on Sunday.
“We have had it a bit with the grotesque complaints and Aalst will renounce its UNESCO recognition,” D’Haese announced before doubling down on the float’s legitimacy within the parade’s context. “We are neither anti-Semitic nor racist. All those who support this are acting in bad faith. Aalst will always remain the capital of mockery and satire.”
As a response to the decision, van Houten – popularly known for her portrayal of Melisandre in HBO’s “Game of Thrones” – joined colleague Halina Reijn, an actor and writer, in solidarity after she nixed her scheduled appearance on the Belgian talk show “The Appointment.”
“The Appointment” presenter Phara de Aguirre revealed that Reijn – who is married to a Jewish soccer player – labeled D’Haese “an anti-Semite” and refused to appear on the show due to its decision to also host the Aalst mayor, reported the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on Tuesday.
“No Halina Reijn and Carice Van Houten as advertised,” de Aguirre wrote in a since-deleted tweet on Monday, according to the JTA. “Reijn is married to a Jewish man and doesn’t want to share a table with Aalst’s mayor.”
The notorious float made its appearance during the Aalst Carnival on March 3 and immediately drew ire from the global Jewish community for its caricatured representation of Orthodox Jews with rats on their shoulders surrounded by gold coins and money bags.
The carnival also featured individuals in Ku Klux Klan garb and others donning blackface.
Weeks after the float’s appearance, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay labeled the display “racist and anti-Semitic,” adding that the agency would remain “vigilant and uncompromising regarding such occurrences” at the carnival, which was added to the list in 2010. The motion was then tabled until UNESCO’s December committee meeting in Bogotá, Colombia.
However, a draft resolution concerning the festival’s removal became public knowledge last month.
“These acts, whether or not intentional, contradict the requirements of mutual respect among communities, groups and individuals,” the committee document read.
Despite whispers about the fate of the Aalst Carnival’s standing with UNESCO, European Jewish Association President Rabbi Menachem Margolin said D’Haese and other town officials were “jumping before they were pushed” in their decision to withdraw from the list, according to a statement obtained by the JTA.
The article was published on Sputnik

Chief Rabbi Jacobs- Our New Head of Committe for combatting Antisemitism

We at the EJA are proud to announce that Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs has accepted our invitation to head up our Committee for Combatting Antisemitism.
As Chairman of the Committee, Rabbi Jacobs will be our roving ambassador, working with other local EJA committee co-ordinators across the continent, identifying the local issues and the challenges relating to antisemitism faced by communities and advocating at the highest levels of government, both at a bilateral and EU institutional level, to find solutions and enact changes to safeguard Jewish life and practice in Europe.
The EJA places this fight at the top of our agenda. Such an important issue requires a person who is respected, who has gravitas, and who understands the mechanisms and personalities involved in the political process, as well having a forensic and thorough knowledge of the Jewish issues at hand.
So, when we envisaged the creation of this Committee, the natural and obvious choice was Rabbi Jacobs to Chair it.  We have long admired his skill in advocacy in his native Holland at Eerste and Tweede Kamer’s in the Hague and at local Dutch administrative level.
We are delighted to share this important appointment with you and we look forward to sharing news with you about the Committees actions and outcomes in the near future.

European Jewish Association to challenge “Holocaust Bill” in Polish Constitutional court

European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that his organisation would begin legal proceedings in Poland’s Constitutional Court following Polish President Duda’s decision to sign the contested Holocaust Bill.  

Rabbi Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting Kosher slaughter at the Court.

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said,

“It is with deep regret that the President of Poland, clearly ignoring the concerns of European Jewry and the International Community, has decided to sign this deeply flawed bill. We had urged President Duda to defer any final decision on ratifying the legislation until at least having met with a delegation of Jewish leaders. He has decided, bizarrely, that this is not necessary.

“As a consequence, the EJA will – as we successfully did in the past on efforts to ban Kosher slaughter – challenge this matter in Poland’s Constitutional court.”

“I have also written to the heads of all the EU Institutions asking them to reprimand the Polish government.  It seems inconceivable that an EU Member State can be permitted to whitewash history by imposing draconian legislation that can imprison people for holding an alternative view on what happened during Europe’s darkest days. 

“The bill, as presently worded, represents the worst kind of historical revisionism, is an assault and an insult to the memory of those murdered during the holocaust and is a direct attack on free speech and freedom of opinion. This cannot stand.” concluded Margolin. 


To view a video interview with Rabbi Margolin on the subject please click HERE

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.”

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