EU Jewish heads warn European Leaders to wake up to San Diego synagogue warning

April 29, 2019

“For goodness sake, open your eyes, this could just as easily have happened here”say Rabbi Margolin and Chief Rabbi Jacobs in joint statement.

EU Jewish Association (EJA) and Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and Head of Governmental relations at the RCE, Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (Netherlands) today expressed their support and deep sadness at the synagogue attack in San Diego, that left one lady dead and others injured, including the community Rabbi.

The heads, representing hundreds of communities and thousands of Jews across Europe, also called on EU Leaders to wake up to the festering threat of antisemitism in Europe, adding that an attack such as San Diego’s could just as easily have happened in Leeuwarden, Luxembourg, Łódź, Lille or London.

In a Joint Statement the Rabbis said,

“It is with deep sadness that we learn of the latest attack against Jews in the United States, a despicable and senseless act that has left one dead, and others injured. We extend, on behalf of the EJA, our love and support to the Rabbi there, himself injured, and to his community who will be left  reeling from the attack.

 “We also take the opportunity, in the strongest terms to tell European Leaders: For goodness sake, open your eyes. Europe is close to a tipping point. There is a festering threat, not seen since the run up to Kristallnacht, that Leaders here must wake up to. Unlike then, leaders have the opportunity to do something now, this very day, to ensure that we avoid attacks in Europe.

 “Make no mistake, this latest spate on antisemitism in America isn’t just happening “over there”, its here too in Europe. And sadly, those who believe in such attacks in Europe will be inspired by events in San Diego. Let us be clear, this attack could just have easily taken place in any European City.

 “Jewish Communities in Europe no longer need platitudes. They need to know in concrete terms, that governments are prepared to do whatever it takes to root out this vile disease that has risen, once again, from the ashes.”

Additional Articles

Germany puts 100-year-old on trial for Nazi crimes

Suspect accused of assisting in murder of 3,518 prisoners at Sachsenhausen camp between 1942 and 1945

A 100-year-old former concentration camp guard will on Thursday become the oldest person yet to be tried for Nazi-era crimes in Germany when he goes before court charged with complicity in mass murder.

The suspect, identified only as Josef S., stands accused of "knowingly and willingly" assisting in the murder of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

Allegations against him include aiding and abetting the "execution by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942" and the murder of prisoners "using the poisonous gas Zyklon B."

Read More :

https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/1633590174-germany-puts-100-year-old-on-trial-for-nazi-crimes

European Commission partners with IHRA

Today, the European Commission is becoming a permanent international partner to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The participation of the EU in this international body will allow closer cooperation on combating Holocaust denial and preventing racism, xenophobia and antisemitism.
This is a direct follow-up to President Juncker’s call for closer international cooperation in his statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day, this 27 January, as well as the European Parliament’s resolution on combating Antisemitism of June 2017.
First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “With a decreasing number of Holocaust survivors and at a time when Antisemitism is on the rise, we need to foster the memory of the darkest chapter in our history. The EU joining the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance will help promote understanding so that future generations will heed the lessons of our past.”
Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Vera Jourová added: “This commitment is part of our wider effort to fight against Antisemitism. Our involvement in the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance has special importance at a time when Holocaust denial is spreading.”
Today, at the plenary meeting of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, the EU Coordinator on Combatting Antisemitism will officially accept the role. As a result, the Commission will represent the EU in this body, which provides expertise on Holocaust denial, distortion or Antisemitism.
It will give the Commission access to the expertise of International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s Working Groups on education, particularly on key challenges like multi-cultural and multi-religious classrooms and inclusive remembrance. More information on the Commission’s work on combatting Antisemitism can be found online here.

AALST CARNIVAL IS NOW BEYOND THE PALE AND UNESCO MUST ACT NOW, SAYS CHAIRMAN OF EJA

Organisers of the Carnival of Aalst are under fire again after they released carnival ribbons making fun of UNESCO and Jews for the 2020 edition of the Carnival, after they were condemned for anti-Semitism in 2019.
European Jewish Association Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said it was now clear that UNESCO - who are due to make a decision in December on whether to keep the carnival on the world heritage list – must remove any association or sponsorship of the carnival.
The Mayor of the city was already summoned to UNESCO headquarters in Paris in September 2019, where they had to argue that their previous carnival procession was not anti-Semitic after it depicted caricatures of orthodox Jews with hooked noses standing on chests of money surrounded by rats.
The Carnival ribbons for the 2020 edition might cause a new problem as it depicts stereotypical anti-semitic caricatures of Jews. The ribbon makers say this is the spirit of the carnival and they make fun of everyone.
Rabbi Margolin said in a statement,
“A one off is a one off and we hoped that this was the case with the disgusting images at last year’s carnival. Instead these ribbons represent a wilful desire to offend.
“The thing about a joke is that it is supposed to make everyone laugh. And we Jews have a fantastic sense of humour. But no Jew anywhere in Europe is laughing.
“Instead we recoil in disgust at the grotesque way that carnival seeks to portray us, money grabbing, greedy and big nosed. Why? Because it is straight out of the Nazi playbook. It is dangerous. It seeks to set apart Jews from mainstream Belgian society. And its offensive. Full stop.
“I will be writing to UNESCO to demand it ceases to fund or associate in anyway with this carnival from now on. The Carnival itself is now beyond the pale and we expect nothing from people who get their humour kicks from kicking Jews. This is supposed to be 2019 not 1939.”

EJA Statment on the Council Declaration on Anti-Semitism

EUROPEAN JEWISH CHIEF WARMLY WELCOMES COUNCIL DECLARATION ON ANTI-SEMITISM BUT SAYS TWO VITAL PIECES ARE MISSING
Brussels 6 December 2018. The Chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA) today welcomed the Council of the European Union unanimous adoption of a declaration in the fight against anti-Semitism as a significant step forward, but said that the document misses two key points and arguably the two most important factors affecting anti-Semitism – ongoing efforts to curb Freedom of Religion and practice, and anti-Zionism as typified by the BDS movement.
Urging Europe’s leaders to sign up to the “Jewish red lines” ratified by the members of the European Jewish Association at their conference in Brussels in November, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, whose EJA represents thousands of Jews across Europe and is headquartered in the Belgian capital, said in a a statement:
“The EJA can only welcome the declaration and the commitment by the Council of the European Union to fighting anti-Semitism and better protect Jewish Communities and Institutions in Europe. I am particularly grateful to First Vice-President Timmermans, Commision Jourova, and Katharina Von Schnurbein, the EU’s special envoy on combatting anti-Semitism, for their on-going commitment to safeguarding European Jewry. This triumvirate is making a real difference and putting our concerns front and centre across the EU. The European Jewish Association and its many thousands of members and supporters is deeply appreciative of their efforts, and those of the council members who adopted this declaration unanimously.
“There are however, two vital and missing pieces in the declaration, and these two pieces form the root of much of the anti-Semitism felt by Jews in Europe: on-going efforts by some European countries to target Jewish freedom of religion and practice through legislation on circumcision and religious slaughter for instance, and Anti-Zionism typified by the BDS movement.
Taken together, and notably absent from the declaration, they represent  to European Jewry the touch-paper issues of anti-Semitism, attacks on Jews and their communities, and their way of life.
“Therefore, it is clear to me as Chairman of the European Jewish Association, that any declaration on tackling and fighting anti-Semitism that doesn’t include these two key factors is a declaration that can never be a complete declaration when it comes to tackling anti-Semitism properly and meaningfully.”

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