EU COURT DECISION LABELLING WHEN ISRAEL IS UNDER FIRE IS “WORST KIND OF FIDDLING WHILE ROME BURNS” SAYS EU JEWISH HEAD

November 12, 2019

“The European court quoting Israel for its “breach of the rules of international humanitarian law” whilst Hamas and its acolytes are bombing innocent civilian populations in Israel is one of the most perverse ironies I have witnessed in quite some time,” says Rabbi Menachem Margolin
As Israel was reeling this morning under a barrage of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, the EU’s top court ruled today that EU countries must oblige retailers to identify products made in Israeli settlements with special labels.
The move was sharply criticized by the Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin “as the worst kind of fiddling while Rome literally burns”.
In a long running saga on labelling products originating from settlements in the West Bank, the European Court of Justice said in a statement that "foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin."
Rabbi Margolin said in statement:
“The entire basis of the labelling policy is purely discriminatory against the world’s only Jewish state. Is any other country in the world with disputed territory subjected to such a blatantly one-sided policy? The answer is no. It also goes against the international standard of trade set by the World Trade Organization.
“What is particularly galling is the message this sends to the Israeli public today.
“As shops, schools and businesses are forced to close because of the onslaught of massive indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, as Israelis take shelter and border towns and villages steel themselves against the worst, the EU sends them a signal not of support or solidarity, but of punitive and needless labelling.
“This is the worst kind of fiddling while Rome burns. The European court quoting Israel for its “breach of the rules of international humanitarian law” whilst Hamas and its acolytes are bombing innocent civilian populations in Israel is one of the most perverse ironies I have witnessed in quite some time.”

Additional Articles

Yom Ha’atzmaut message from Chief Rabbi Jacobs

As a rabbi, I prefer not to get involved in politics and my opinion is that a politician should not interfere with religion. But where does politics start and where do rabbinical matters end? Is euthanasia a religious matter or a political problem? And who decides how far freedom of education extends?
That difference is even more unclear in Israel, because: "Israel without Torah is like a body without soul", one can’t separate the State of Israel from Judaism. And therefore, we see in the Knesset politicians with rabbinical opinions and rabbis as politicians.
But even the Jew who is not an Israeli resident has the conviction that he may state his opinion and interfere with Israeli political decisions because, he argues, without centuries of daily prayers in which we asked G'd to allow us to return to Jerusalem, Israel would not be today an Independent State. However, my opinion is that just as the Israeli citizen does not make statements about the Dutch Prime Minister, Rutte, we, not living in Israel, shouldn’t interfere in internal Israeli politics.
However, non-Jewish society sees us as an extension of Israel. Over and over again, I have to explain that I am Dutch and that the compliment that my Dutch is so fluent, is misplaced. You're not going to give that compliment to the bishop or the preacher, do you? But in according with their opinion "the Jew is Israel and Israel is the Jew".
And yet there is a heart of truth in their falsehood, for Jews know themselves interconnected by Jerusalem, our capital, where one day the Third Temple will rise when the ultimate peace will be there "for all inhabitants of Your earth."
And until then? When Netanyahu called upon French Jews to emigrate to Israel because of anti-Semitic violence, I was pushed in front of a journalist's microphone and was asked, "Rabbi, what do you think of Netanyahu's call? Do you really believe that there is no place for Jews in the Netherlands anymore?" Wow, I thought, that's a tricky one. It is not possible to request time for reflection, to say that Jews no longer belong in Europe is unwise and disagree in public with Netanyahu does not seem right. And therefore, my diplomatic, rabbinical and politically coloured answer was: Great we have got Israel for all those who must escape anti-Semitism. My parents had nowhere to go. But if and when I go on aliyah, will not be determined by fear for terrorism. I decide for myself, because I am independent, like the State of Israel!

#LightingEurope Fourth and Fifth Day of Chanukah13-12-2020

As a part of our #LightingEurope canpaign we are happy and honored to have EMIH Unified Hungarian Jewish Congregation Executive Rabbi Slomó Köves for the fourth candle and Dr Leah Floh, Chairperson of the Mönchengladbach Jewish Community for the Fifth candle with some special words for Chanikah
You can read the translation of Dr Floh here:
My dear Jewish friends in the entire world but especially in Israel!
Dear friends and supporters!
The Jewish Community of Möchengladbach [Northrhein-Westphalia, Germany] and all Jews from throughout Germany want to wish all of you a Happy Chanukah – a festival of lights, of love, of hope and of solidarity.
Please stay healthy or return quickly to good health. Remain optimistic and always remember to support each other.
Dear Shoah survivors, dear Child Survivors: you have great capacity for resilience and with it you could infect others with your positive outlook on life.
I’m convinced that we will be able to celebrate together next year.
Am Israel Chai עם ישראל חי [the people of Israel live!], l'shana haba'ah b'Yerushalayim לשנה הבאה בירושלים‎ [next year in Jerusalem!].
Chag Chanukah Sameach חג חנוכה שמח [Happy Chanukah Holiday!]
Amen!

Czech parliament and Moldova adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

The Czech parliament’s Speaker Radek Vondracek expressed the hope that this action will help Czech authorities to be able to deal effectively with hate crimes.
PRAGUE—The parliament of the Czech Republic and Moldova this week endorsed the working definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
The endorsement occurred ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.
The Czech parliament’s Speaker Radek Vondracek expressed the hope that this action will help Czech authorities to be able to deal effectively with hate crimes.
According to the IHRA, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Anti-Semitism in the Czech Republic is at a relatively low level. Czech President Milos Zeman is a close ally of Israel.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder praised the Czech Parliament.
“Czech lawmakers have taken a principled and important step  in recognizing that antisemitism is a prevailing problem that must be tackled head-on and in a universal fashion.’’
‘’The Czech Republic is certainly on the correct path, for which we are both grateful and encouraged, but there is still much work to be done. The problem of antisemitism cannot be resolved without proper recognition of the issue at hand, encoding of proper methods to contend, and enforcement of this mechanism across the board,’’
Last week, Moldova also endorsed the IHRA definition, while the European Union did it in December.
The Moldovan government has committed itself to fight antisemitism, protect its Jewish community and preserve Holocaust memory, including with the creation of a Museum of Jewish History in the Republic of Moldova.
The article was published on European Jewish Press

New Cooperation with The Jewish Community of Rome

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with The Jewish Community of Rome (La Comunità Ebraica di Roma)
We are sure that this cooperation will bring with it beautiful and important accomplishments. We look forward to working for the betterment of Italian Jewish community and the European Jewry as a whole.

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