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

EJA Open Letter Calling on Polish Government to Scrap Kosher Ban Plans

EJA INITIATED OPEN LETTER FROM DOZENS OF PARLIAMENTARIANS ACROSS EUROPE AND JEWISH LEADERS CALLING ON POLISH GOVERNMENT TO SCRAP KOSHER MEAT BAN PLANS
Dozens of parliamentarians from across Europe and Israel, including Senators, MPs, MKs, MEPs and the UK House of Lords, and Jewish community leaders from all over Europe have joined forces in a letter calling on the Polish Government to scrap part of an animal welfare Bill to be voted on in the Polish Senate on Tuesday 13 October.
The Bill, if passed as currently written, would see a ban on the export of Kosher meat from Poland, a move that would severely impact Jewish communities across the continent who, either by size or limited resources, rely heavily on Poland as a supplier of kosher meat.
The Bill - to the clear concern of the many parliamentarians and Jewish leader signatories – also sets a dangerous precedent: it puts, animal welfare rights clearly ahead of the fundamental European right of freedom of religion.
The signatories also raised the fact that there is no conclusive scientific evidence to support claims that kosher slaughter is any more cruel than the majority of slaughter taking place day-in, day out in Europe.
In their letter to the Polish President H.E. Mr. Andrzej Sebastian Duda , H.E. Madam Elżbieta Barbara Witek, Marshal of the Sejm of the Republic of Poland and H.E. Mr. Tomasz Paweł Grodzki, Marshal of the Senate of the Republic of Poland, the signatories wrote:
“By prohibiting an export of products that represents a central tenet of Jewish faith and practice for many, you are sending a strong message that laws that effectively hinder Jewish life in Europe are acceptable.
“it is for these reasons - and on behalf of the many thousands of Jews that we as Community Leaders and Parliamentarians represent - that we urge the Polish government, its Parliament and its Senators to stop this aspect of the Bill.”
Our Chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin speaking ahead of the vote said,
“What appears to be a national polish political issue is nothing of the sort. The ramifications of this Bill are potentially devastating and profound to Jews eveywhere in Europe, and also to the many who value the liberty to practice freedom of religion.
“The Bill, if passed, will be seen as a declaration that it is open season to anyone who objects to aspects of Jewish law, faith and practice. It must be stopped.
“We are extremely humbled and touched that so many dsitinguished politicians, from the French Senate to the Greek Parliament and everwyhere in between, and so many Jewish community leaders agree and are backing the call for this aspect of the law to be scrapped.”
You can find a copy of the open letters and view its updated list of signatories below

Proposed animal welfare bill in Poland is 'of deep concern to European Jewry'

Rabbi Menachem Margolin: "This draft law puts unproven and unscientific claims about animal welfare above freedom of religion, breaching a central pillar of the EU’s charter of fundamental rights."

A proposed legislation in Poland to ban religious slaughter of animals for export "is of deep concern to European Jewry," said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European  Jewish Association (EJA) on Thursday (1 October), writes Yossi Lempkowicz.
The so-called animal welfare bill, proposed by the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS), has passed the Chamber of deputies or Sjem and now seeks approval in the Senate.
It could have massive ramifications for European Jewish communities as it would see a central and vital part of a Jewish practice, the shechita,  that has taken place for millennia trampled on and effectively wiped out – the access to and supply of kosher meat.
For European Jews, the legislation also carries with it multiple red and flashing alarms. History has repeatedly shown that the opening salvo in attempts to punish, ostracize, marginalize and ultimately destroy Jewish communities always starts with bans on central tenets of Jewish faith such as kosher laws and circumcision, before moving into much darker territory.
Animal welfare activists oppose the slaughter of animals for kosher meat because it precludes stunning before the animals’ throats are cut. Proponents of the practice reject claims it is cruel and say it induces a quick and humane death for the animal.
“This draft law puts unproven and unscientific claims about animal welfare above freedom of religion, breaching a central pillar  of the EU’s charter of fundamental rights,’’ said Rabbi Margolin in his statement.
In its Article 10, the charter states: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion, belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others, and in public or private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance."
 The bill, noted Margolin "so alarmingly seeks to control and put a headcount on Jewish practice by giving the Minister of Agriculture the power to determine the qualifications of persons performing religious slaughter".
The 'schochet', the person who is tasked with performing the slaughter undertakes years of ongoing training and is committed to, under strict Jewish law, ensuring that the animal undergoes the least suffering and stress as possible leading up to and during the slaughter itself, the rabbi explained.
He continued: "The draft law will also require a determination of the quantity of kosher meat needed by the local Jewish community. How is this to be done? by creating and supervising  a list of Jews in Poland”? This law, if passed, carries with it a dark and sinister undertow for Jews, a harking back to occupation, where practice and belief were initially targeted as first steps on the road to our eventual destruction."
Poland is one of the biggest European exporters of kosher meat.
"European Jewry has enjoyed a fruitful and cooperative relationship with Poland as a principal supplier of kosher meat to our communities. Poland, in fact, is a central supplier to our needs. The question has to be asked, why now? To what end?" asked Rabbi Margolin, who urged  the Polish government, its parliament, its Senators and the Polish President to stop this law.
"Not only to uphold the values enshrined in the European Charter of fundamental rights protecting freedom of religion but to give a clear statement of solidarity that it will stand with and support European Jewry as an intrinsic part of Europe’s social fabric, and not sacrifice us, our beliefs and practice on the altar of politics," Rabbi Margolin concluded.
The article was published on eureporter

#NotOnMyWatch: EJA Annual Campaign for the International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2020

On behalf of the hundreds of communities across Europe that we represent, and for European Jewry as a whole, we at the EJA would like to express our deep gratitude to all the Presidents, Prime Ministers, European Commissioners, permanent representatives, MP’s, MEPs and members of the public who took part in our ‘not on my watch’ candle campaign for Holocaust Memorial Day. Together, your important voice showed the world our shared purpose and goal, rooting out and obliterating antisemitism wherever it lies. Thank you.

(to see all pictures click HERE)|

We Demand: Remove hook-nose sign language gesture

Our story about Universiteit Gent's repugnant Sign language dictionary for Jew went viral. From El Pais in Spain, the Guardian in UK, From France to Belgium, the US to Israel, the image of a woman signing a hook-nose to denote Jew is as shocking to the media as it was to us and the family who dioscovered. We are still awaiting a formal explanation from the Rector of the University. They have already captioned them as derogatory but this is not enough. No deaf person should be signing Jew in this way. It is offensive. Full stop. We will keep you updated.
The guargian

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