EU Parliament President: We’re not doing enough to fight antisemitism

ARUTZ 7
November 10, 2022
ARUTZ 7

The President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, European Commissioner for neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli, Secretary of the National Assembly of France, MP Caroline Janvier, President of Parliament of Czech Republic, Markéta Pekarová, Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović joined Ministers and Members of Parliaments from 23 European countries gathered at the Auschwitz extermination camp as part of the annual European Jewish Association’s Leaders Delegation to fight anti-Semitism. The delegation included a Gala Dinner where the President of the European Parliament and Commissioner received awards for services to the Jewish People and Israel respectively.

 

During her first visit to Auschwitz, President of European Parliament, Roberta Metsola stated that: “It is my duty and responsibility to protect people in Europe from antisemitism, we will not forget and will not let this happen again. we must fight propaganda and antisemitic narratives and we don’t only need a strategy against antisemitism, we need action to bring Judaism again to Europe. ”

 

European Commissioner for neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varheyli affirmed that it is his duty to come to Auschwitz and stated that: I really fear thar what happened here can happen again. The best way to combat antisemitism is to promote Jewish life. It is not enough to say never again, we must do something. My message to the Europeans: There is only one victory over death, that is life”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association stated that: “Times of war and economic crisis always serve as a platform for a serious escalation of anti-Semitism. Therefore, especially these days – more than any period since World War II, European leaders are required to act with greater determination to eradicate anti-Semitism both in the field of education and in the field of legislation. Defaming the Jewish people and the Jewish state is the definition of incitement and not freedom of expression and attacks on the Jewish way of life is an infringement of freedom of religion and worship. we expect each and every one of the heads of parliament, ministers and officials who accepted our invitation to return tomorrow to their country and to implement educational programs on the obligatory lessons from the Holocaust as well as essential changes in legislation against anti-Semitism and xenophobia.”

 

As part of the special gathering, the European leaders placed wreaths at the “Death Wall” compound in Auschwitz and lit memorial candles on the ruins of the gas chambers in Birkenau. Members of the delegation heard chilling testimonies from Holocaust survivor and President of Antwerp Jewish Forum, Baroness Regina Suchowolski-Sluzny, and Keren Knoll, granddaughter of Mireille knoll, Holocaust survivor who was murdered in antisemitic attack in Paris in 2018.

 

Alexander Machkevitch, Founder of Euro Asian Jewish Congress and philanthropist for intercommunal religious dialogue and projects was honored with the Sir Montefiore Award for his tireless multi-decade work in safeguarding and promoting European Jewry. Accepting the award, Machkevitch said: “It’s a great honor for me to be here. My mother survived because she took the last train. Otherwise she would go to Auschwitz and I wouldn’t be here. I admire you for you contribution of time and energy to make this world a better place. I wish you never get tired nor exhausted to make the world a better place. God will reward you and your children.”

 

Secretary of the National Assembly of France, MP Caroline Janvier said: “Every political leader should visit Auschwitz to remember that man is capable of the worst, and that modernity doesn’t prevent the worst from happening.”

 

President of Parliament of Czech Republic, Markéta Pekarová said: “It is Very important to show to young generations what happened in Auschwitz and throughout the Holocaust to keep the memory. Seeing with our own eyes is important. Violations of human rights are unacceptable. It is the responsibility of all European politicians to eradicate antisemitism – Let us not repeat the tragic mistakes of our ancestors. These evils must be stopped.”

 

Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dritan Abazović said: “We must be careful about what happened here. we should educate young generations that this shouldn’t and must not be repeated. This visit is a contribution to promote a culture of memory and anti-discrimination and is the duty of every EU leader is to visit Auschwitz.”

Additional Articles

New Jewish European campaign seeks to house Jewish refugees from Ukraine

As the war in Ukraine enters a second week, Europe is witnessing a huge influx of refugees fleeing Ukraine toward the West, including many Ukrainian Jews in this surge to safety.The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of communities across the continent, has launched a Europe-wide campaign to temporarily provide homes, food and clothing to hundreds of Jewish families whose lives have been torn apart and upended by the conflict in Ukraine.

The appeal has gone out to Jewish communities from Lisbon to Lublin, Bucharest to Bordeaux, and everywhere in between.

“The history of the Jewish people is one of displacement, either because of pogrom or war,” said Rabbi Menachem Margolin, EJA chairman. “We are only too aware of what it means to be forced to up and leave at a moment’s notice. In almost every one of our communities you will hear such stories. We, the Jewish people, are especially attuned to these catastrophes. And because we are so attuned, we are pre-programmed to help our Jewish neighbors, just as we always have.

“I have faith that this campaign will deliver. Since the war started, Jews from all over Europe have been getting in touch with us to see what can be done to help their Ukrainian Jewish brothers and sisters in need. We are providing them with the vehicle to do just that, by offering shelter, food and clothing to those who left in a hurry, often with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”

Another European Jewish organization very active on the ground is the Conference of European Rabbis, which announced this week that Israeli technology investor Yuri Milner has donated $3 million to the CER to help Jewish refugees from Ukraine.

“As we witness the terrible human suffering in Ukraine, the Conference of European Rabbis would like to announce a special donation of $3m. from the foundation established by Yuri and Julia Milner,” said the conference. “Yuri is an Israeli technology investor and science philanthropist.”

“The CER is grateful to Yuri and Julia Milner for their long-standing support and for this latest commitment to the Jewish community at this perilous time,” said CER President Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt.

Bootcamp- Madrid day 2&3

Day two of our bootcamp started with two special guests: Berlin’s combatting anti-semitism representative Mr Sigmount Konigsborg, and ACOM’s Mr Angel Mas who took our participants on an intensive session into modern manifestations of anti-semitism, the challenges of social media and how to fight back on campus and in public discourse. Both are heroes of ours and it was great to have them share their experience and tips.
We had a brief tour of Madrid before getting straight back into it with Attorney at the Paris Bar and leading French Jewish and Israel advocate Pascal Markowicz who gave us his take and counter arguments to the ICC’s announcement to investigate Israel, then we dove straight into an EJA team seminar on two threats to Jewish life in Europe: Shechitah and Brit Milah. Day 2 concluded with a great dinner where special guests from the Israeli embassy and Spanish MP and friend of the EJA José Ignacio Echániz. Then, well, we let our hair down a bit…
Day 3 coincided with Yom Hazikaron, and it was fitting on a day that Israel mourns its dead in defence of the country that we spoke about the positive impact that Israel has played in embedding normalisation in the hearts and minds of the Emiratis. Two masterminds of the the social media strategy Strategic Mr Yonatan Gonen who heads up the Arab language social media section at the MFA and Mr Ido Daniel who directs public diplomacy and social media at the Ministry of Strategic Affairs shared their remarkable and inspiring works as well providing tips and insights on how to manage social media relations.
We then went straight into a panel of leading Spanish Journalists for an exchange of views on Israel and how the media covers the region, before concluding with former ACOM President and former President of the Madrid community Mr David Hatchwell, who shared his incredible and inspiring story of how he got engaged in advocacy and the challenges and opportunities in advocacy work going forward. Finally, as we drew our bootcamp to a close, we talked about our Jewish Diplomatic Corps, which is the next step for many of our bootcampers….intense, fun, enlightening and constructive. The EJA, our partners the
ECJS (European Center for Jewish Students) and Concert – Together for Israel are building the next generation of Jewish leaders. Leaders with the right skills and tenacity to lead from the front. We are proud of them.

EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION CONGRATULATES VIKTOR ORBAN ON REELECTION

“You have been a stalwart defender of Israel on the world stage, recently going against the prevailing EU winds and supporting the move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel…As long as you continue to show the right way ahead when it comes to defending and upholding Jewish rights, you will continue to enjoy our support”, says EJA Chairman Rabbi Margolin
European Jewish Association has written to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban to congratulate him on his reelection, and to seek assurances that he will continue to defend and uphold Hungarian Jewry under his new mandate, as well as continue his vocal support, diplomatic and political support for the State of Israel.
In his letter to Hungary’s Premier, EJA Chairman and founder Rabbi Menachem Margolin wrote,
‘You have been a stalwart defender of Israel on the world stage, recently going against the prevailing EU winds and supporting the move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. As European Jewry and the State of Israel are inextricably linked, your support for the Jewish State means a lot to us and we thank you for it.
“During your previous term in office your steadfast assurances and commitments to protect Hungarian Jewry and their heritage were warmly welcomed and were an anchor to us in these turbulent political times.
“With great power comes great responsibility – so the saying goes. We earnestly trust that your previous positive and embracing stance to your Jewish citizens will be carried over into your new term and across your government.
“Europe stands at a crossroads. As long as you continue to show the right way ahead when it comes to defending and upholding Jewish rights and standing up for the State of Israel you will continue to enjoy our support.”

Nehammer: Synagoge perpetrator with Islamist motives arrested, around the clock protection for synagogues and Jewish institutions

During a press conference in Vienna on the 24th of August 2020, Karl Nehammer, Minister of the Interior, Karoline Edtstadler, Minister for the EU and Constitutional Affairs, Susanne Raab, Minister for Women and Integration, and Oskar Deutsch, President of the Jewish Community in Vienna, as well as Elie Rosen, President of the Jewish Community Graz, commented on last week’s attacks on a Synagogue and a LGBT rights advocacy center in Graz.
“Last week’s incidents in Graz are shocking and not acceptable. It is not solely a matter of  criminal law with property damage and attempted personal injury, but first and foremost an absolutely unacceptable attack on fundamental rights and freedoms.  It was an attack on the freedom of religion and the diversity of lifestyles in our society”, the Minister of Interior said. “In Austria, there is no place for Antisemitism!”  Nehammer stressed that it was of importance to act quickly. “Yesterday evening, after comprehensive investigations led by the Federal Agency for State Protection and Counter Terrorism and the Styrian police, the offender could quickly be arrested. The offender is a 31 years old Syrian citizen, who lives and holds a refugee status in Austria since the year 2013. I want to thank all the police officers who were involved in the arrest for their efforts.” The Minister added that according to the current investigations the attacks were due to Islamist motives. The man was questioned until early morning and admitted the crimes. “Corresponding evidence was found and secured In the perpetrator’s flat.”
Uniformed and civil police officers protect all Jewish institutions in Austria
“Austria stands for freedom as well as a diverse society and is aware of its historic responsibility”, the Minister of Interior stressed. “The security of the Jewish community in Austria is especially important to us. Our police work in close collaboration with the security staff of the Jewish community to ensure their safety. I have in the meantime ordered further measures so that synagogues and other Jewish institutions will be protected by uniformed and civil police officers around the clock in the coming weeks.” Nehammer stressed that it is our joint concern that Jewish people can live in peace and security in Austria: “The Austrian Government will do everything in order to guarantee the safety of our Jewish citizens.”
 

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