“The European court quoting Israel for its “breach of the rules of international humanitarian law” whilst Hamas and its acolytes are bombing innocent civilian populations in Israel is one of the most perverse ironies I have witnessed in quite some time,” says Rabbi Menachem Margolin
As Israel was reeling this morning under a barrage of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, the EU’s top court ruled today that EU countries must oblige retailers to identify products made in Israeli settlements with special labels.
The move was sharply criticized by the Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin “as the worst kind of fiddling while Rome literally burns”.
In a long running saga on labelling products originating from settlements in the West Bank, the European Court of Justice said in a statement that "foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin."
Rabbi Margolin said in statement:
“The entire basis of the labelling policy is purely discriminatory against the world’s only Jewish state. Is any other country in the world with disputed territory subjected to such a blatantly one-sided policy? The answer is no. It also goes against the international standard of trade set by the World Trade Organization.
“What is particularly galling is the message this sends to the Israeli public today.
“As shops, schools and businesses are forced to close because of the onslaught of massive indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza, as Israelis take shelter and border towns and villages steel themselves against the worst, the EU sends them a signal not of support or solidarity, but of punitive and needless labelling.
“This is the worst kind of fiddling while Rome burns. The European court quoting Israel for its “breach of the rules of international humanitarian law” whilst Hamas and its acolytes are bombing innocent civilian populations in Israel is one of the most perverse ironies I have witnessed in quite some time.”
Der Londoner Fussballverein Chelsea FC ist mit dem diesjährigen King David Award gegen Antisemitismus ausgezeichnet worden. Der Club erhielt den Preis bereits am Dienstagabend im Vorfeld des Champions League Spiels gegen Juventus Turin im Londoner Stadion Stamford Bridge, wie die European Jewish Association (EJA) am Mittwoch mitteilte.
Massgeblich für die Auszeichnung war demnach die Kampagne „Nein zu Antisemitismus“, mit der der Verein seit 2018 für ein besseres Bewusstsein für Antisemitismus bei Spielern, Mitarbeitern und Fans beitrage. Das beinhalte auch die Zusammenarbeit mit internationalen und nationalen jüdischen Organisationen. Die Initiative geht auf den Clubeigentümer, den russisch-jüdischen Oligarchen Roman Abramowitsch, zurück.
Oberrabbiner Benjamin Jacobs, Oberrabbiner in den Niederlanden und Vorsitzender des Ausschusses zur Bekämpfung des Antisemitismus bei der European Jewish Association, sagte: „Das Chelsea-Modell sollte überall nachgeahmt werden. Wir wollen Ihnen Danke sagen. König David ist ein jüdischer Held. Chelsea ist jetzt ein Held für die jüdische Gemeinschaft. Wir sind stolz und erfreut, den König-David-Preis für das Jahr 2021 an den Fussballverein Chelsea zu verleihen, und wir danken Ihnen von ganzem Herzen für alles, was Sie getan haben.“
Die schlimmsten Beispiele antisemitischer Hetze fänden sich nicht selten in Fussballstadien, erklärte der EJA-Vorsitzende, Rabbi Menachem Margolin. Dagegen gehe Chelsea anders als viele andere jedoch aktiv vor. „Es ist wirklich beeindruckend, nicht nur die grosse Mühe zu sehen, die der Verein hier investiert, sondern auch den aufrichtigen Einsatz dafür, zuzuhören, zu handeln und so einen Unterschied zu machen“, so Margolin. Chelsea sei damit ein Vorbild „nicht nur für andere Fussballclubs, sondern für alle“.
Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl
Holocaust Memorial Day, Yom Hashoah. I didn't intend to pay attention to it, I didn't even really want to think about it, but I was suddenly, as it were, overpowered by recognition, anger and great concern. I am often accused of paying too much attention to the war and to anti-Semitism. Catherine Keyl has recently written a book entitled "War Father". Her father, a Jewish resistance fighter, had and at the same time had not survived Sacksenhausen.
And then, at the end of his life, when his leg needs to be amputated and Catherine asks a psychiatrist to tell her father that his leg is going to be taken off, the young psychiatrist shows no empathy whatsoever in the world of a man who is in hell. Who had to carry the concentration camps with him all his life and now, demented, thinks that 'they will still get him' because his leg has to be taken off and he will therefore not be able to flee. And at the same time, I get a wonderful email from Holocaust survivor Nechamah Mayer after reading my diary. I quote her:
“Dear Binyomin. I read your diary in one go during the Passover season. I noticed that in the last chapters you talked more and more about anti-Semitism. As if it keeps getting worse. Or did you simply get more courage to point out to the reader how bad it has become? I thought the black pages with quotes were a nice layout. I am going to pass on the book, because it must be widely read. Wishing you many readers. Nechamah.”
By her encouraging words and having seen a video about the position of the HH doctors in Nazi Germany, I feel obliged to completely ignore the criticism of a younger colleague. He is of the opinion that I should not talk about anti-Semitism. He probably does not realize that much too much was kept silent before the war. It would be okay, the Allies were coming, a bit of work in the East… But it didn't work out!
Fifty percent of the doctors in Germany cooperated in the destruction. Psychiatrists judged who could and could not live and convinced the large crowd that the Final Solution was ethically wholly justified! Germans, non-Jews, with a physical defect and a psychiatric disorder were eliminated for causing damage to the beautiful Aryan race and an economic burden. Last night I was on a zoom run by a pastor in Dokkum.
I was interviewed for ten minutes. I was not informed about what, but the subject became anti-Semitism and Yom Hashoah. I was asked at the end of the interview whether I had a message for all participants. My message became a request. An urgent request: I ask all participants to become my ambassadors and to announce to everyone they see or speak what happened then.
In fact, I don't see any evidence that anti-Semitism has been eradicated. Light shines at the end of the corona tunnel. But the virus called anti-Semitism has an endless tunnel. Is there no light then? Yes, the coming of the Moshiach. We long for that, we have been eagerly looking forward to it for centuries. But in the meantime we need to realize the current reality. Beppie Caneel lived not far from us. Beppie had survived the Auschwitz experiment barracks. She was always cheerful. Couldn't have any more children, of course, but she really survived with her sister. My wife took her to the hospital for some examinations. She had to roll up her sleeve. The doctor then asked her in surprise what those numbers were on her arm. Thank God Beppie was hard of hearing… A doctor who I assume not only studied medicine but also had general training. "What are those numbers on your arm?"
And that younger colleague of mine complains that I should especially not talk about the war and anti-Semitism. No, above all we must remain silent about the then, about the now and of course about tomorrow. I receive a video, you have to click it because "Am Yisrael Chai - the Jewish People are alive!" in spite of everything, but alertness is required. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OOWCgKVQE5M
Yes, today I also taught Jewish (zoom) to a regular weekly group. And yes, I also placed my signature on a rabbinical statement. And yes, I held a pastoral conversation and listened to someone for almost two hours about his difficult engagement with the topic. But Holocaust Memorial Day - Yom Hashoah reigns. I thought of all those family members of mine that I have not known at all and of which I know nothing because my parents wanted to spare me grief. I look at those two silver cups in our glass case. It has the names: Bernhard and Siegmund engraved on them. They were my father's cousins.
Only those two cups are left of themselves, their wives. their children ... And anti-Semitism is on the rise again.
In a rare plea, the PA delegation asks for “slack” from the UN committee. Several of the UN experts pressed the PA on its failure to implement anti-discrimination policies, requesting proof that textbook materials had been reviewed for anti-Semitic material, and asking for explanations for Palestinian officials’ documented incitement to terrorism.
The United Nations’ anti-racism committee began a mandatory two-day review on Tuesday of the policies and practices of the Palestinian Authority, whose delegation responded by criticizing experts of the 18-member panel for asking about anti-Semitic incitement based on evidence provided by the international human rights group UN Watch, whose 32-page shadow report on Palestinian discrimination was labeled by the Palestinian Authority as “propaganda.”
Prior to their questioning of the PA, members of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination were addressed by UN Watch legal adviser Dina Rovner in a meeting with non-governmental organizations, as well as in a private briefing. Rovner highlighted the gross and systematic anti-Semitism by the PA and Hamas, as documented in a written submission by UN Watch.
It also called attention to the failure of the Palestinian delegation – headed by Ammar Hijazi, deputy foreign minister for multilateral affairs – to acknowledge any of this in its submissions to the world body.
“Our shadow report and presentations today exposed how the PA’s submissions to the committee completely ignored racist and discriminatory Palestinian practices, and how they tried to evade responsibility by shifting the focus of the review onto Israel,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.
Notably, groups like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which lobbied for the Palestinians to be recognized as a state for the purpose of signing human-rights treaties saying that this would hold them to account, did not make a submission or statement for this first-ever review of the Palestinians by the UN's anti-racism committee.
Out of the nearly 40 Palestinian human-rights groups that appeared in the same UN building when Israel was reviewed earlier this year, only one, Al-Haq, attended the Palestinian Authority's review. This raised questions as to whether their primary focus is on improving Palestinian human rights said Neuer.
UN Watch’s detailed submission revealed that the PA and Hamas routinely violate international commitments to combating racism, through laws, policies, and statements aimed at denying any Jewish rights in Israel or the Palestinian-controlled territories.
By contrast, in its own report, the PA sought to minimize its obligations as a party to the anti-racism convention by failing to address the problem of racism in Palestinian law and society and, as the UN experts realized, instead repeatedly tried to blame Israel.
"The PA exploits the reporting process of the anti-racism committee as yet another UN vehicle to attack Israel. This is a waste of the committee’s time and resources, as Israel is subject to its own review later this year,” said Neuer.
In nearly two hours of presenting before the committee, the PA blamed Israel for its problems related to discrimination, devoting only a few minutes to its own policies and practices.
The Palestinian delegates told the committee of their life “under Israel’s racist occupation” and “the presence of apartheid,” contrasted with the PA’s alleged “commitment to work towards harmonizing legislation with the UN conventions.”
In a rare plea, the PA delegation asked for “slack” from the committee for its first-ever review. Several of the UN experts pressed the PA on its failure to implement anti-discrimination policies, requesting proof that textbook materials had been reviewed for anti-Semitic material, and asking for explanations for Palestinian officials’ documented incitement to terrorism.
The UN panel’s review of the Palestinians continued through Wednesday morning.
“We trust that the committee will continue its work to hold the PA and Hamas accountable for their flagrant violations of the UN’s convention against racism and the principles of international human rights law,” said Neuer.
The article was taken from JNS and was published on Israel Hayom