EU Message for European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism

May 11, 2020

“Today, we remember and honour all victims of terrorist atrocities, and we stand by those who grieve and those who endure the physical and psychological wounds of terrorist acts”. The Commission has issued this statement to mark today’s 16th European Remembrance Day for Victims of Terrorism. The statement reads: “Terrorist attacks such as the ones that have struck at the heart of our Union in recent years are attacks on our values and our way of life. We will continue to stand firm against all who seek to hurt and divide our societies through hatred and violence and we will continue to build the EU’s resilience against attacks of all natures. Everyone in our Union has the right to feel safe in their own streets and their own home”. “It is our common responsibility to make sure no victim is left alone or forgotten and that our communities remain supportive”. The European Union “will continue to support victims and their loved ones, protect their rights and guarantee that their voices are heard. Those who have to live with the scars of terrorist acts need special support and care. Through the newly launched EU Centre of Expertise for Victims of Terrorism, we provide Member States with expertise and guidance so they can assist victims in case of a terrorist attack”. Finally, “on this day of remembrance, we stand united and strong in our commitment to build a Europe that protects”.

Additional Articles

Special briefing with the Israeli ambassador to the EU and NATO H.E. Mr. Haim Regev

Join us for an in-depth discussion on “Israel at War, what’s next?” featuring a special briefing by the Israeli Ambassador to the EU and NATO, H.E. Mr. Haim Regev.

In this critical briefing, we will gain insights into Israel’s current state of affairs and discuss the path forward. It’s a unique opportunity to hear from a distinguished diplomat and gain a deeper understanding of the region’s complex issues.

Stay tuned for further details. This event promises to be informative and thought-provoking.

We look forward to your participation in this important event. Stay connected for updates, and mark your calendars!

Serbia Joins Ranks of Countries Who Have Adopted International Antisemitism Definition

Serbia has become the latest country to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.
The Israeli Embassy in Belgrade tweeted on Monday, “We welcome the decision [of the] @SerbianGov to accept the working definition of anti-Semitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance @IHRA which will help Serbia in recognizing and prosecuting cases of this dangerous phenomenon.”
Before World War II, Serbia had a Jewish population of over 30,000 people. The community was decimated by the Holocaust, with 2/3 of its members murdered by the Nazis.
After the war, most of the survivors emigrated from the country, largely to Israel.
Fewer than 1,000 Jews live in Serbia today.
The IHRA definition says, “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.”
The article was published on the Algemeiner

The EJA is happy to congratulate David Obadia for winning the presidency of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the institution that officially represents Spanish Jews, elected David Obadía as its new president for the next four years, replacing Isaac Benzaquén.
Obadía’s first declarations after being elected focused on pointing out that the axes of his work will be “dialogue, coexistence, diversity and multiculturalism”.

The new president of the Jewish community in Spain is Spanish, son and grandson of Spaniards, and was born in Beer Sheva, Israel, in 1961. During his childhood and adolescence he lived in Melilla and, currently, in Torremolinos, where he has developed his life as a businessman in the real estate sector and also his political career.

In 2015 he entered politics through José Ortiz, former mayor of Torremolinos, who appointed him as his personal advisor. With the Ciudadanos party he held the positions in the Torremolinos Town Hall of Deputy Mayor, Councillor for Development, Urban Planning, Infrastructure, Commercial Activities, Public Roads and Heritage, and served as spokesman for his political group. However, in 2023 Ciudadanos nominated him as candidate for mayor of Torremolinos but he decided to retire from politics.

According to the FCJE, Obadía has extensive community experience that began in 1980 as a collaborator in the Yosef Obadía synagogue in Melilla, founded by his great-grandfather of the same name.

To date he has held various posts, including that of president of the Jewish community of Torremolinos for 8 years, of which he is currently honorary president; vice-president of the FCJE; head of the Spanish Jewish Youth; and current president of the Jewish community of Malaga and of the Association of Jewish communities of Andalusia. He has also received numerous awards for his extensive career in the service of Spanish Jewish life over the last 40 years.

The Flemish parliament voted Wednesday to ban ritual slaughter of animals without stunning from 2019.

BRUSSELS (EJP)—The Flemish parliament voted Wednesday to ban ritual slaughter of animals without stunning from 2019. The animals will be slaughtered after being irreversibly stunned, for example via an electrical anesthesia, the parliament decided. The Jewish community denounced an attack on freedom of religion which is protected by Constitution and by EU rules. 

An exception remains for cattle and calves. Pending a more developed technique, post-cut stunning will remain in effect, a stunning immediately after the slaughter.
Slaughterhouses now have a year and a half to adapt their infrastructure and train their staff in these new practices. Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare Ben Weyts said he is pleased with the vote and called Flanders ”a leader in animal welfare in Europe.”
Another Belgian region, Wallonia, has also voted a similar legislation.
Shechita, the Jewish ritual slaughter, requires that butchers swiftly slaughter the animal by slitting its throat and draining the blood.
The Jewish community in Belgium has slammed the Flemish and Walloon regions given their clear repercussions for the community.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association (EJA), a Brussels-based group representing Jewish communitiers across Europe, has accused lawmakers of targeting Jews and said the decisions ”have a strong stench of populism.” 
”This is a direct attack on Jews and our practice when it comes to slaughtering. When it comes to the mass market slaughterhouses, where mistakes frequently affect up to 10% of all animals, meaning they die in an awful painful death, compared to shechita, the kosher slaughter,  where the suffering of the animal is kept to the most minimum levels possible,” he said. ”It  quickly becomes apparent that this decision is not about health or animal welfare. It simplly represents the politics of division,” Rabbi Margolin added, stressing that ”we will fight this latest decision wih all legal and political means at our disposal.” 
CCOJB, the representative body of Belgian Jewish organisations, regretted the Flemish parliament vote and its consequences on Jewish ritual slaughter. ‘’Wallonia and Flanders are sending a wrong political message to the citizens of our country because these laws do not respect the European rules on this matter,’’ said CCOJB President Yohan Benizri in a statement.  ”This vote intervenes despite numerous juridical and moral objections that have been put forward these last months as this measure indirectly bans ritual slaughter.”

Additional Communities
United Kingdom