Israel #YouAreNotAlone

May 14, 2021

Please share far and wide. And take a minute yourselves to write a message.
#YouAreNotAlone – Supportive messages for Israelis under fire.
“You are not alone” is a European Jewish Association initiative that encourages the public across Europe to write short messages of support to families in Israel suffering under hundreds of indiscriminate rocket attacks on towns and villages. Families who feel isolated and unsupported as the world looks on passively.
By writing a short personal message you can show you care. That you stand with them, that “you are not alone”.
Each and every message sent through the portal on our dedicated webpage will be translated into Hebrew, then delivered and shared to the areas most under fire, offering comfort and support to those taking shelter with their families.
It only takes a minute to show you care. And it’s a minute that means so much.
www.ejassociation.eu/you-are-not-alone/

Additional Articles

Swiss Government Neglects Security of Country’s Jews

After the recent terrorist murders of Jews in France, Belgium and Denmark, other Western European governments are beginning to understand that it is their legal and moral duty to protect the institutions of their Jewish minority.
Yet on this issue, Switzerland lags far behind other countries. This is particularly worrying in light of the deadly shooting in 2001 in a Zurich street, where an Israeli rabbi (recognizable as a Jew by his clothing) was murdered. The case has never been solved.
Switzerland has a population of 8.4 million; less than 18,000 are Jews.
The largest Jewish organization is the nominally orthodox Federation of Jewish communities (SIG). It has, at most, 12,000 members. Assessments by Swiss intelligence agencies and police over the past two years have shown that there are substantial threats against Jewish institutions there.
Because Switzerland is a federal state, it is sometimes unclear when security is the responsibility of the national government, the canton (province), or the municipality in which an institution is located. Overall, Jewish community security costs are estimated to be from $5 -7 million dollars a year, a large amount for such a small group.
The discussion on who is responsible for security (and paying for it) has been going on for several years. Only in October 2017 did the Swiss government admit for the first time that it has a duty to protect the Jewish minority –without saying how it would provide or pay for this security.
At the end of 2016, for example, it was scandalously suggested that Jews should create a fund with their own money in order to take care of their security. Some funds have been made available for one Jewish community in Zurich by the cantonthough these are not destined for security. For the other communities and synagogues in the town, no funds are provided.
The situation is particularly problematic in the third largest — and 212 year old — Jewish community of Basel, which faces a huge deficit and ultimately perhaps bankruptcy. It currently has the choice between reducing activities or having less security. First the government of the canton — and then the parliament (Grosser Rat) — voted down subsidizing security measures. The parliament has also refused to increase financing of the police force, despite the general terror threat in Europe and Switzerland.
But after the lethal Christmas market attack by a Muslim terrorist in Berlin in December 2016, measures were taken in Switzerland last year to protect Christmas markets. A heavily armed police presence was introduced, and several Christmas markets were fortified. Funding for these security measures was provided by the state.
One might recall some other elements of the unfriendly past attitudes of Switzerland to its Jews.
Switzerland only reluctantly granted its Jews full emancipation under US and French economic pressure. Switzerland was also the first European country to outlaw Jewish ritual slaughter in 1894; this was part of a desire to stop Jewish immigration from Eastern Europe.
During the Second World War, some of the Jews who fled from the Nazis were allowed in, but many others were returned to Nazi-occupied countries, where they faced lethal risks. After the war, a concentrated effort was made to force almost all of the 22,500 refugee Jews in the country to leave.
In the 1990s, it became known that Swiss banks had been systematically stalling efforts of Holocaust survivors to obtain money that their murdered relatives had placed there. In 1997, a case where a leading Swiss bank was caught destroying documents on dormant Jewish accounts shook the country to the core.
Ultimately the World Jewish Congress brought two American political adversaries together — US President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, and New York Republican Senator Al D’Amato. They took an interest in the dormant bank accounts issue, which led to pressure on Switzerland.
A commission led by the former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, Paul Volcker, investigated the dormant bank accounts issue. One scandal it discovered was that the deposits in many such accounts had been eaten away by annual bank fees and service charges — or had simply been transferred to the banks’ profits.
The then-president of Switzerland, Jean-Pascal Delamuraz, claimed that Jewish organizations were trying to “blackmail Switzerland into paying them large sums of money to destabilize Switzerland and destroy its banking industry.” This made the scandal even bigger. His apology was considered insufficient.
In recent months, several American Jewish organizations and even US politicians have started to take an interest in Switzerland’s discriminatory attitude toward the security of Jewish institutions. If the Swiss authorities do not act in the near future in a substantial way on this issue, they may risk yet another scandal abroad.
But it would be far worse if a terrorist attack on a Jewish institution would happen before then.
The article was published in The Algemeiner

Fussballclub Chelsea mit Preis gegen Antisemitismus geehrt

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“.
https://www.audiatur-online.ch/2021/11/24/fussballclub-chelsea-mit-preis-gegen-antisemitismus-geehrt/

Bulgarian Synagogue and Halle Memorial Targeted in Anti-Semitic Attacks in Europe

Vandals struck a synagogue gate in Bulgaria and a monument to the victims of the shooting attack last Yom Kippur near a synagogue in Halle, Germany, in a spate of unrelated incidents last week in Europe, the JTA reported.
In Bulgaria, the words “Free Palestine Israel=Nazis Antifa Bulgaria” were spray-painted Wednesday on the gate to the synagogue of Plovdiv, a city situated about 100 miles southeast of the capital Sofia.
While in Germany, in Halle, a plexiglas panel on the monument of the shooting was smashed. The vandals also tried to set fire to a flag of Israel under the Plexiglas, the Jewish Community of Halle wrote Tuesday on their social media page.
Also in Germany, in a third incident, a structure inside the Jewish cemetery of the town of Krumbach, in southern Germany, was damaged. Police are treating the vandalism as an anti-Semitic case because earlier this year, a nearby picnic table was dismantled and the wooden polls comprising it rearranged on the floor in the shape of a swastika, the website AllgaeuRechtsaussen reported Monday.
Also Monday, metal thieves removed dozens of fences and railings from around tombstones at the Jewish cemetery of Babruysk in Belarus, the news Bobruisk.ru reported.
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ABOUT CORBYN, an Op-Ed by our Director of Public Affairs

“Israel is a racist endeavour.” So, read the posters put up around bus shelters around London yesterday, and most prominently facing the Houses of parliament.

When the genie is out of the bottle, as anyone knows, it’s hard to get it back in. And when the Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn spent weeks prevaricating, ducking and weaving to avoid signing up to the full IHRA definition of Anti-Semitism, fuelling his base of cocksure cult-like Palestinian sympathisers on the hard left, when the Labour Party eventually adopted the IHRA definition (with the underlined caveat that they can call out Israel), the base posted their response. 

From a self-proclaimed man of peace (despite his penchant for engaging and sympathising with the IRA, Hamas and who called Bin Laden’s death a tragedy) there’s a strong whiff of cordite around Corbyn and his acolytes. We British Jews knew it all along. The Labour leader has a track record of being outside the pale of political norms. It is precisely for his disgusting penchants that the hard left embraced him as their saviour and formed a messianic cult around him as the man to save Britain and the man to save the left.

What they really mean of course, is that he gave voice and credibility to their non-mainstream views, the type that had no place in any rational political discourse, and which hitherto put most of his support in the same political bin as the communists or St.George’s flag waving, shaven headed racists on the right.

The results are clear to see. “Nothing to see here” is the refrain from Labour as British Jews look on in horror. “He’s wrong and doesn’t get it” is the spin retort to Lord Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi and hugely respected voice of reason who pulled the alarm cord last week. 

“When people hear the kind of language that has been coming out of Labour, that’s been brought to the surface among Jeremy Corbyn’s earlier speeches, they cannot but feel an existential threat,” Sacks told the BBC. “Jews have been in Britain since 1656, I know of no other occasion in these 362 years when Jews – the majority of our community – are asking ‘is this country safe to bring up our children?'” he added. “Now, this is very, very worrying.” Worrying indeed. Almost 40 percent of British Jews would “seriously consider emigrating” if Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn became prime minister, according to a poll conducted for The Jewish Chronicle published on Wednesday.

Mr Corbyn made things personal. He stoked up his rabid base in ways that President Trump can only fantasize about, insults Jews day in day out by suggesting that we feel nobody can critique Israel (when most Jews have daily conversations about government and politics in the Jewish State), claims we lack of sense of humour and despite having lived there for generations, don’t get English Irony, then feigns mock indignation when there’s a backlash from the community. 

It’s sickening and reminds me of a scene I witnessed in Belfast, when a couple were arguing in front of a relative. The man struck the woman and she fell to the floor, and the lady with her started, quite understandably, screaming and crying. The man then turned to the woman who he had just struck who was still on the floor and exclaimed while pointing to the upset woman: “see what you’ve just done? You’ve upset your mother.” I can’t think of a better comparison for the odious leader of the Labour Party and his treatment of the Jewish Community in the UK when it comes to Israel. And doubtless just like the struck woman and her mother, Jews will not forget, nor forgive. Nor should we.  

Because “Israel is a racist endeavour” is but the veneer on the table of how British Labour sees Jews under Corbyn. The wood itself underneath is - make no mistake - riddled and rotten with anti-Semitism. And Corbyn is the carpenter to blame.

The Op-Ed was written by our director of public affairs, Alex Benjamin and was published on The JPost

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