Meeting with H.E. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment of the Republic of Malta.

September 9, 2019

Earlier today a delegation composed of representatives from the European Jewish Association (Alex Benjamin, Director of Public Affairs), our partners from the Action and Protection Foundation /Hungary/ (Ferenc Olti, Board Member of the Hungarian Jewish Cultural Association and Kálmán Szalai, Secretary) as well as Chabad Jewish Centre of Malta (Rabbi Chaim Segal and Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Segal, Co-Directors) has met with H.E. Evarist Bartolo, Minister for Education and Employment of the Republic of Malta, and members of his secretariat.

The main topic of discussion has been the European Curriculum and Textbook Project against Antisemitism, which is based on a successful seven-year-long initiative recently concluded in Hungary. Earlier this year it has also received a “best practice” status from the European Commission. The cornerstone of the initiative is better familiarisation of youth with the history, culture and contributions of the European and local Jewish community, thereby facilitating mutual understanding, social dialogue and, of course, being able to more effectively combat and even prevent expressions of Antisemitism.

The project’s main idea is to adapt some of the Hungarian initiative’s elements in national educational curriculums – with, of course, the utmost consideration to local rules and practices. In order to do that, we approach national and/or regional educational authorities and professionals across the EU with the aim of establishing a dialogue, which might later transform into concrete proposals and potentially implemented items to be studied by the younger generation.

In the course of a productive conversation lasting more than an hour, touching upon the various aspects of the project, H.E. Mr. Minister has reciprocated interest in cooperation. We are most grateful to His Excellency and look forward to a fruitful partnership.

That said, this is just the first of many such meetings prospectively taking place in a number of EU Member States. More shall take place over the coming months.

Additional Articles

Covid: vingt interpellations après la manifestation à Bruxelles et six blessés (photos)

Huit mille personnes ont participé à cette manifestation, selon une estimation de la police. Elle s’est globalement déroulée sans incident mais un petit groupe de perturbateurs a affronté la police lorsque le cortège est arrivé à son point d’arrivée, près de la place Schuman.
Les agents de police ont répondu avec un canon à eau et du gaz lacrymogène. Quatre manifestants et deux policiers ont été blessés. Plusieurs véhicules de police ont été endommagés.
Les protestataires s’étaient rassemblés vers midi à la gare de Bruxelles-Nord et le cortège s’était élancé vers 13h25. À sa tête se trouvait une délégation de pompiers (en uniforme) et du personnel soignant.
Les organisateurs ont éprouvé beaucoup de difficultés à contenir les participants sur le parcours prévu et à éviter les confrontations avec la police. Quelques projectiles avaient été jetés à hauteur de la rue de la Loi sur la police mais les manifestants ont rapidement réussi à ramener le calme.
La manifestation s’est ensuite dirigée vers le parc du Cinquantenaire. Une fois atteint, les premiers intervenants ont déclamé leur discours. Mais un groupe de perturbateurs a commencé à bombarder la police, qui bloquait l’entrée de la place Schuman, avec toutes sortes de projectiles, ainsi qu’avec des feux d’artifices. Le canon à eau et des gaz lacrymogènes ont été utilisés à plusieurs reprises par la police.
La majeure partie des manifestants a quitté les lieux mais un autre groupe est resté sur l’avenue d’Auderghem et est entré dans une nouvelle confrontation avec les forces de police. Des déchets ont été incendiés. Le canon à eau et les gaz lacrymogènes ont à nouveau été utilisés pour repousser les protestataires. Le noyau dur s’est finalement disloqué et le calme est revenu.
La précédente manifestation contre le Covid Safe Ticket, il y a deux semaines, avait rassemblé 35.000 personnes, selon la police.

Une association juive outrée par la représentation de l’étoile jaune à la manifestation

La European Jewish Association a réagi outrée dimanche à l’étoile jaune représentée sur l’une des bannières de manifestants participant à la marche organisée dimanche à Bruxelles contre les mesures sanitaires prises par le gouvernement pour endiguer la propagation du coronavirus. “Il est difficile de dire à quel point c’est une erreur”, a déclaré le rabbin Menachem Margolin, président de l’association.
“J’ai du mal à voir la similitude entre le fait qu’on vous demande de vous faire vacciner pendant une pandémie, -ou d’en assumer les conséquences si vous ne le faites pas- et l’extermination systématique de six millions de Juifs dans des camps de la mort, des chambres à gaz ou dans des fosses communes à ciel ouvert”, a déclaré M. Margolin.
“Cela me rend malade de penser que si peu de gens comprennent la douleur que de telles bannières provoquent, et que si peu de gens réalisent vraiment l’énormité et l’ampleur de l’Holocauste. À ceux qui ont défilé aujourd’hui avec une grande étoile jaune, je dis: ne faites pas ça. Peu importe ce que vous pensez des restrictions sanitaires, personne ne vous tatoue les bras, personne ne vous case dans des camions à bétail et personne ne veut que vous, votre famille et vos proches meurent. Tout d’abord, assurez-vous d’avoir les connaissances et de savoir ce que cette étoile jaune représente réellement”, a encore souligné le président de l’association européenne.
https://m.lavenir.net/cnt/dmf20211205_01642831/covid-des-milliers-de-personnes-a-bruxelles-pour-manifester-contre-les-mesures-sanitaires

Czech parliament and Moldova adopt IHRA definition of anti-Semitism

The Czech parliament’s Speaker Radek Vondracek expressed the hope that this action will help Czech authorities to be able to deal effectively with hate crimes.
PRAGUE—The parliament of the Czech Republic and Moldova this week endorsed the working definition of anti-Semitism from the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA).
The endorsement occurred ahead of International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.
The Czech parliament’s Speaker Radek Vondracek expressed the hope that this action will help Czech authorities to be able to deal effectively with hate crimes.
According to the IHRA, “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”
Anti-Semitism in the Czech Republic is at a relatively low level. Czech President Milos Zeman is a close ally of Israel.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder praised the Czech Parliament.
“Czech lawmakers have taken a principled and important step  in recognizing that antisemitism is a prevailing problem that must be tackled head-on and in a universal fashion.’’
‘’The Czech Republic is certainly on the correct path, for which we are both grateful and encouraged, but there is still much work to be done. The problem of antisemitism cannot be resolved without proper recognition of the issue at hand, encoding of proper methods to contend, and enforcement of this mechanism across the board,’’
Last week, Moldova also endorsed the IHRA definition, while the European Union did it in December.
The Moldovan government has committed itself to fight antisemitism, protect its Jewish community and preserve Holocaust memory, including with the creation of a Museum of Jewish History in the Republic of Moldova.
The article was published on European Jewish Press

Remembrance at Auschwitz

EUROPEAN lawmakers and Jewish communal figures commemorated the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht during a ceremony at Auschwitz on Tuesday, calling for enduring memory and education to counter the forces of hatred.
Capping off a conference on antisemitism organised by the European Jewish Association, the delegation – including representatives of more than two dozen countries – held a short candlelighting ceremony, before laying wreaths at the “death wall” where thousands of inmates were killed by firing squad.
“On this day exactly 83 years ago, hundreds of Jews were murdered, fathers, mothers, children, by my countrymen, in my country,” said Stefanie Hubig, the education minister for the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. “Synagogues and prayer houses were set on fire, Jewish cemeteries were devastated. Countless people were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps.”
Hubig added, “There is still antisemitism in Germany, and I am ashamed of it, deeply”
Igor Zorcic, president of the Slovenian National Assembly, referenced more recent atrocities in his remarks.
“Unfortunately, present times do not always prove that our promises of ‘never again’ are entirely sincere,” he said. “Remember Srebrenica – and don’t underestimate the seriousness of the current political friction over genocide.”
He was referring to the 1992 massacre at Srebrenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where 7000 Bosnian Muslim boys and men were slaughtered by Serbian forces.
Addressing the delegation in Krakow a night earlier, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, chairman of Yad Vashem and a Holocaust survivor, said Kristallnacht underlined how much the world is willing to ignore human suffering.
“[Kristallnacht] was a test to humanity, to all the nations, to all the globe, how would they react,” said the former chief rabbi of Israel. “In my eyes it was a test,” he said, noting how little international outcry followed.
“Ask in your cities, in the archives, for the newspapers of November 10, 11 and 12, 1938: What is written in the newspapers about Kristallnacht? Almost nothing.”
https://www.australianjewishnews.com/remembrance-at-auschwitz/

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