Greetings for the Upcoming Rosh HaShanah by Prime Minister of Malta, H.E. Mr. Joseph Muscat

September 10, 2019

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Passing Away of Our Dear Board Member- Dr. Emil Avramov Kalo

It is with deep sadness that we learned of the passing of EJA Board Member Dr. Emil Avramov Kalo. A larger than life character, well know and respected in his native Bulgaria and a fierce and proud advocate for his country and for European Jewry as a whole. He was always there for us with valuable and wise counsel. We extend our condolences to his family at this difficult time.
ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

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
Diary October 26, 2020
This is, and sometimes I forget the fact, a diary in corona time. I felt that ‘corona time’ particularly today. It is not only the nagging feeling of uncertainty, but also the media that never stop talking about it and, naturally enough, the discussion within the Jewish community itself.
Incidentally, that discussion taking place both within and outside of the Jewish community will be completely identical.
I think we have roughly three schools of thought on Covid 19. The ultra-orthodoxy, the moderates and the apostates.
Ultra-Orthodoxy almost compulsively adheres to the rules, does not take any risks and tries to convince others to live in isolation.
The apostates think everything is nonsense. Nobody knows anyway and you cannot prevent it, and it is all chronically exaggerated.
I count myself among the second school of thought, the moderates, who try to stay calm, not to exaggerate, but who refuse to downplay reality. But there was a crack this morning in that staying calm. And then what do I do? I WhatsApp’ed my professor. Who is my professor? The husband of a former student with whom I have regular contact about all kinds of things, but especially about legal matters. Just an example of such a contact: that former student of mine, now a middle-aged lawyer, has a bit of the same problem as I do.
She can't say no! And so, when I have something on my mind again, I get her on speed dial.
Years ago, I met an old man who was quite young at heart. He looked like my grandfather in appearance. He was one of the few who survived Auschwitz as a child. He was friendly, easy-going, reliable. The kind of person I wouldn’t think twice about asking to bring € 100,000 in cash from A to B.
However, he had a tricky problem: he had a habit of stealing! Not just because, but only when he needed something. This is how he managed to survive Auschwitz.
After the war, as I have written before, the welcome-home-in-the Netherlands was not always warm (understatement!). His parents had been murdered, he had no family and he had no possessions, no roof over his head and no form of income. And so, if he needed anything, clothing or food, he continued his learned survival technique and had no qualms about stealing.
And now he got caught. He had, if I remember correctly, Fl. 4000 received from the WUV, the Persecution Victims Benefit Act (a fund paid in compensation by Germany for Dutch Jewish citizens who suffered under the Nazis), for the purchase of an electrically adapted disabled car. He had managed to get that car for Fl. 2000 (cash, no receipts) and the remaining Fl. 2000 he had put in his pocket. Busted! And so, a lawsuit. I engaged my former student and there we stood in the courtroom in front of three honourable people in togas.
At the request of the defendant's lawyer, my former student, I was asked to say a few words at the very end of the trial. Your Honour, I can still hear myself say, of course theft is punishable. You have a duty to enforce the law. But do you realize that the same legal system that correctly indicates that the defendant did something against the law, do you realize that the same system sent him to Auschwitz?
And to the representative of the fund, who was present as plaintiff, I said that I refuse to understand how, as the body responsible for making amends, he would take it into his head (I had phrased it a little more sharply) to give this survivor the indignity of standing in court. The judges got it: immediate acquittal.
That former student is now a mother and married to a professor. And that's my professor. We actually only know each other via WhatsApp and telephone, have never had any real contact, but he is now my point of contact for all information about corona. What is nonsensical conspiracy theory and what is correct. Where the boundary between ultra-Orthodox, moderate and apostate actually lies.
And so, this morning, when I was just at a low ebb and contemplating switching from moderate to ultra-orthodox, it just took a WhatsApp to my medical spiritual counsellor the professor, and see, I am one of the moderates again.
I do feel the link to the war strongly. I am beginning to realize that our Lockdown is in no way comparable to the two years and eight months that my father was locked up, without a laptop, without a phone, without any contact with the outside world that was life-threatening. I feel guilty that I never felt that. I now understand very well that my father, like almost all fathers of my generation, never mentioned their Lockdown.
They couldn't and wouldn't talk about it. After the death of my dear and sensible father, I wanted to talk to his niece, Aunt Wies, who was also at the same hiding address, about their period in hiding. Please, she said, don't do this to me. I can't and don't want to think about it!
But because my professor, who is always available for me and regularly calls me back from the operating theatre, had put me back on the right mental track, I was able to quietly answer a number of phone calls from people who sought support from me. And there were more than usual today, unfortunately.

Vendor sells Nazi gear at motorcycle rally

A vendor at a major motorcycle rally in Florida briefly sold hats emblazoned with Nazi symbols, saying she considered them a tribute to World War II veterans who helped defeat the Germans.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that the vendor was selling the hats embroidered with swastikas and a skull-and-bones logo used by the Nazi SS at a stand during Biketoberfest, an ongoing festival that draws thousands of bikers to the Daytona Beach area this month.
The vendor said she had sold the hats at other biker rallies around the country without complaint. The woman also sells rings, wallet chains and hats without Nazi logos.
 Read More:
https://www.ynetnews.com/article/s1jnl4frt

Report: Swedish cities use public money to find anti-Semitism

Research published by Gatestone Institute concludes various municipalities use money to endorse anti-Semitic groups such as Group 194, arrange school lectures by pro-Palestinian movements.
Sweden's municipalities and government are directly and indirectly funding anti-Semitic organizations, according to a research conducted by Gatestone Institute for International Relations.
The research was published by Nima Gholam Ali Pour, a member of the board of education in the Swedish city of Malmö, as well as a participant of several Swedish Middle East teams.
In addition, he is the editor for the social conservative website "Situation Malmö," and has published books.
The research report also concluded that Malmö's municipality is using tax payers' money to endorse Group 194—an organization that posts anti-Semitic content on its Facebook page, such as a caricature of a Jew drinking blood and feeding on a child.
The research argued that anti-Semitism originating in the Middle East is also funded by Swedish public money.
Therefore, when anti-Semitic scandals occur in the Scandinavian country, those tasked with addressing them are often the same officials responsible for distributing the offensive material that led to them.
Moreover, no effective action is currently being taken against the spread of anti-Semitism in Sweden.
Ali Pour concluded that the direct and indirect governmental funding of anti-Semitic organization should be scrutinized and immediately halted.
He adds that as long as the funding continues, Sweden's Jews will continue living in a perpetual state of fear and insecurity.
Big Swedish cities such as Malmö have become known as places in which Jews feel threatened, and the country's increasingly prevalent anti-Semitism has drawn international attention.
In December of 2017, Muslims demonstrated in front of a synagogue in Malmö and a Molotov cocktail was thrown at a prayer room in a Jewish cemetery following US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
"We want our freedom back and we'll shoot the Jews," the anti-Semitic demonstrators shouted in front of the synagogue.
Molotov cocktails were also hurled at a synagogue in the Swedish city of Gothenburg.
Furthermore, representatives of the Youth Against Settlements (YAS) organization based in Hebron are visiting and lecturing in Swedish high schools against Hebron's Jewish residents.
One of the high school students who attended YAS's lectures in February 2018 said that the anti-Semitic organization had argued that there are checkpoints all across Israel and that Arabs are routinely beaten and killed.
It was also said the Palestinians are living in concentration camps similar to those set up by the Nazis in in WWII.
"They talked a lot of nonsense and made us to take pictures with their flag," one of the high school student said.
"The most controversial thing they said was that the Jews control the United States and the media," another student added.
Zelika El Motsev and Anas Amro, YAS's representatives across Sweden, were described in the media as "peace activists," while they praised stabbing attacks, Shahids (martyrs) and Arab uprising on their Facebook pages.
Yes's spokespersons were invited to speak before public institutions in Sweden and country's Foreign Affairs Minister Margot Wallstrom met with them during her visit to Ramallah in December 2016.

The article was published on Ynet
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