European Jewish Association to challenge “Holocaust Bill” in Polish Constitutional court

February 9, 2018

European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that his organisation would begin legal proceedings in Poland’s Constitutional Court following Polish President Duda’s decision to sign the contested Holocaust Bill.  

Rabbi Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting Kosher slaughter at the Court.

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said,

“It is with deep regret that the President of Poland, clearly ignoring the concerns of European Jewry and the International Community, has decided to sign this deeply flawed bill. We had urged President Duda to defer any final decision on ratifying the legislation until at least having met with a delegation of Jewish leaders. He has decided, bizarrely, that this is not necessary.

“As a consequence, the EJA will – as we successfully did in the past on efforts to ban Kosher slaughter – challenge this matter in Poland’s Constitutional court.”

“I have also written to the heads of all the EU Institutions asking them to reprimand the Polish government.  It seems inconceivable that an EU Member State can be permitted to whitewash history by imposing draconian legislation that can imprison people for holding an alternative view on what happened during Europe’s darkest days. 

“The bill, as presently worded, represents the worst kind of historical revisionism, is an assault and an insult to the memory of those murdered during the holocaust and is a direct attack on free speech and freedom of opinion. This cannot stand.” concluded Margolin. 


To view a video interview with Rabbi Margolin on the subject please click HERE

Additional Articles

Chief Rabbi Jacobs honours Armenian Genocide victims at dutch service

Why am I present at this commemoration? What does it matter whether or not the murder of innocent people more than 100 years ago is called or recognized as genocide? To answer that question, I self mirrored and questioned myself: How would I react if the existence of the Holocaust was denied or reduced to something small-scale? I would find this unacceptable.
I would consider that a painful and blatant insult to those who were murdered then and to the relatives of today. Recognition is important, as it somewhat relieves the pain of the gaping open traumatic wound.
But, even more importantly: no present without a past. Our youth must know the history and what happened in the past to avoid it from happening again. And could it happen again? I don’t doubt that for a second.
But how could it happen? Were the killers all by definition just evil people? I do not think so. During the Holocaust in Holland the number of people that collaborated with the Nazi’s was only a small percentage. But also, the number of people who resisted and dared to fight evil was miniscule. As the famous historian Prof. Jacques Presser put it in his masterly work Ondergang: “5% were very good and hid Jews, 5% were very bad and sold Jews for Fl.7.50 and 90% turned their head”. The vast majority witnessed and saw it happen, chose the easiest way, even if that road led to the most degrading acts. Whether we talk about the Holocaust, other massacres in our modern history, or about the genocide on Arameans: it has everything to do with the pinnacle of intolerance and looking away.
Could the genocide of then happen again today? Do we learn from history? In my opinion, the only historical law that we can establish with certainty is that people never learn from the past.
Freedom of religion? Yes! Freedom of speech? Yes!
But if freedom of religion is unlimited and calls for the elimination of fellow human beings who think differently or who are different, then that religion or ideology must be strictly banned. And if freedom of expression implies that fellow human beings may be insulted and humiliated to the bone, then we as a society may not accept that, whether it takes place in the Netherlands or anywhere in the world. Extremist ideas are perilous, especially in a climate that is increasingly polarizing globally. And therefore, we as a society must refuse to bury our heads in the sand, have an eye for reality, learn from what happened in 1915. We must point out and teach our youth the dangers of polarization, racial hatred, intolerance, megalomania and genocide.
But is that the purpose of our meeting tonight? Is this meeting an educational project? Are we gathered here primarily to take a lesson from the past and translate it into the present? No!
This meeting started with a minute of silence. Remembering the victims. Men, women and children who were brutally murdered because others believed they should not exist. And I, as a Jew, I’am here to share with you that one minute of silence. I stand next to you, literally and figuratively. I am with you in solidarity!
Speech Binyomin Jacobs, chief rabbi, June 15th 2021, Enschede NL

A delegation from the European Jewish Association met with newly appointed Prime Minister Dritan Abazović and Minister of Justice Marko Marko Kovač

Podgorica, Montenegro.

This morning (17 May), a delegation from the European Jewish Association met with newly appointed Prime Minister Dritan Abazović and Minister of Justice Marko Marko Kovač and representatives of the Prime Minister’s office including his Foreign Policy Adviser Mr Dorde Radulovic.

The EJA Delegation headed by Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, was organised by Chief Rabbi of Montenegro Ari Edelkopf, and included Mrs Ellen Van Praag, Chair of IPOR, Netherlands, Riccardo Pacifici, Senior Board Member of the EJA respresenting the Jewish Community of Rome, and Alex Benjamin, Director of the EJA.

The delegation came to congratulate the Prime Minister on his new government, extend invitations to collaborate and co-operate, and to underline how important Montenegro is to Jewish people across Europe for its support and development of a growing Jewish Community. Montenegro, whilst small in size, is a David when it comes to creating a society where freedom of Religion is not only encouraged, but actively supported. For the EJA Montenegro represents an exemplar for other European countries to emulate and aspire to.

The delegation also witnessed the official handing over of government documents to Chief Rabbi Edelkopf from the Minister of Justice of Montenegro formally recognising the Jewish Community of Montenegro.

CZECH « PERSONALITIES OF THE THIRD REICH » CALENDAR : CONDEMNATION IS MEANINGLESS IF SUCH ITEMS ARE NOT BANNED, SAYS EUROPEAN JEWISH HEAD

«Such items have no place in civil society, especially in a country that suffered so much under the nazi jackboot » – Rabbi Menachem Margolin.
As a storm erupted in Czech Republic diplomatic circles over the publication and sale of a calendar depicting « personalities of the Third Reich, the head of the Brussels based European Jewish Association said that in a time of rising antisemitism, condemnation was not enough and Czech authorities must ban all and any items that glorify the horrendous actions of the Nazis.
In a statement Rabbi Margolin, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association said :
«I find it incredible that a country that suffered massacres under the hard jackboot of the Nazis, and whose soldiers and airmen heroically fought the third reich from exile, would even countenance having such an item to buy in their country.
« The publisher states that there is demand for such items. We heard similar words from an auction house in Munich that was selling Nazi memorabilia in 2019. This is not an excuse.
« Words of condemnation whilst welcome are meaningless. The sale of such items is not only disgusting and an affront to the millions that perished under nazi ideology, but is very, very  dangerous in times of rising antisemitism. It glorifies murder, empowers those who hate the « other », and trivialises each and every abhorrent act undertaken by Hitler and his henchmen.
« I urge the czech government, for the sake of decency, for the honour of their fallen heroes and to send a messgae to Jews in the Czech Republic and across the world, to outlaw and ban the sale of any and all nazi memorabilia. »
you can read more about the story HERE

EJA Congratulate Mr. Iulian- Alexandru Muraru MP

We at the EJA had the pleasure of sending our heartfelt congratulations directly to Mr. Iulian-Alexandru Muraru MP who was recently appointed as the Special Representative of the Romanian Government for Promoting Memory Policies, Combating Antisemitism and Xenophobia.
Mr Muraru joins a growing roster of special representatives in Europe tasked with combatting antisemitism. The EJA have been advocating heavily for as many positions as possible to be filled to this end across the continent and are delighted that Romania has taken such an important step.
We very much look forward to a fruitful cooperation with Mr Muraru and we stand ready to provide assistance. We likewise eagerly look forward to meeting Muraru with when the ongoing conditions allow for it.

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