Meeting with Mr. Abdallah Chatila

December 4, 2019

It’s not every day you get to meet a bona fide hero. Following our big campaign against the auctioning of Nazi memorabilia, our Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin and our Director of Public Affairs Alex Benjamin travelled to Geneva to meet with Mr Abdallah Chatila.

Mr Chatila decided to buy 600,000Euro worth of this memorabilia when he heard our aggravation at the sale, with the express purpose of taking it out of the marketplace, and entrusting it to the Jewish Community.

We met with Mr Chatila not only to thank him personally and present him with a gift (we planted 18 trees in Israel for him – 18 being the numerical value of Chai the Hebrew word for life), but to explore future areas for co-operation.

Mr Chatila will be joining an EJA trip to Auschwitz in January, along with a 100 parliamentarians, where he will join us in our call for an end to the macabre and disgusting sale in Nazi trinkets, and we will present him with an award for his action.

A humble man, Mr Chatila told us he had no interest in the pieces per-se, but bought them and gave them away to send a message: Hitler and the Nazis are the personification of death, and such items do not belong amongst the population at large.

He said he didn’t want to be remembered as the man who bought the hat, but for the message behind his action. We reassured Mr Chatila that his action is what will be remembered, that it serves as a selfless example to humanity, and that we will work together to ensure that no other like-minded person is forced to do the same – because governments will simply ban such sales.

We thank Mr Chatila again and look forward to fruitful co-operation in making this campaign a reality in the months ahead.

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Additional Articles

EJA Meeting with European Parliament Vice-President Roberta Metsola

The EJA was proud and honoured to welcome European Parliament Vice-President Roberta Metsola to our Headquarters for a meeting.
Vice-President Metsola is responsible for Article 17 matters: Dialogue with churches, and religious and philosophical organisations, and is deeply committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of European Jewry, particularly in light of rising antisemitism due to the pandemic, but more recently the surge in antisemitic sentiment related to the recent Gaza conflict.
The EJA noted with appreciation the Vice-President’s fire and determination on combatting antisemtism and countering ignorance about Jewish life, practice and faith in Europe. In a political environment often marked by platitudes, such an approach was wonderfully refreshing. We agreed to pursue a number of projects and activities together in the months ahead and look forward very much to deepening our relationship with Mrs Metsola and her capable, efficient and dynamic offices.

Germany establishes an anti-Semitism commissioner

Responding to the decision (for the full article please go HERE) , The head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin said in a statement:

“With a worrying rise in anti-Semitism across the European Continent, we can only applaud the German government’s decision to appoint an anti-Semitism monitor. Germany is fully aware of what can happen when anti-Semitism is allowed to ferment and grow. Their decision is therefore timely as well as courageous. It is not an easy thing to acknowledge that the oldest hatred, that many believed to be a defunct ideology never dies but just remains dormant, waiting for populism and nationalism to feed it and breathe new life into it.

‘The EJA has been at forefront of raising awareness of this rising threat across Europe, and we are delighted that the principal drivers of Europe, the German government have taken this initiative. It now falls on other European states to follow this inspiring lead and set up a European wide network of monitors to eradicate the poison that is anti-Semitism directly at its source.”

BERLIN, GERMANY - JANUARY 18: Bundestag President Wolfgang Schaeuble speaks at a memorial ceremony for late former Bundestag President Philipp Jenninger in the Bundestag plenary hall on January 18, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Jenninger served as Bundestag president from 1984 to 1988. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

 

Swedish Prime Minister assures EJA he will step up fight on Swedish anti-Semitism

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has personally written to EJA founder and Director Rabbi Menachem Margolin with an assurance that he has tasked his government to propose “additional measures” to those already in place to combat anti-Semitism in Sweden.
In his letter Prime Minister Lofven expressed that he would continue to “take every possible step to protect the Swedish Jewish communities and to ensure that they can live here in safety and without fear”
Rabbi Margolin had written to the Prime Minister outlining his alarm at the deteriorating situation in Sweden for Jews there, with Neo-Nazis wanting to march past synagogues, hate speech and threats at demonstrations in Malmo, and the fire-bombing of a synagogue in Gothenburg.
Rabbi Margolin welcomed the letter today’
‘It was heartening to receive a letter so full of conviction. We particularly welcome the Prime Minister’s clear and unambiguous words that ‘there is no place for anti-Semitism in Swedish society’ and that ‘The perpetrators will be held to account.’
The hope that the Swedish government will consult with the communities in Sweden to decide on the ‘additional measures’ to be taken. Many members complain of a lack of willingness to prosecute clear those who engage in anti-semitic remarks, paint graffiti, or hold up or publish anti-Semitic imagery to date.
Let us hope that the Prime Minister and his government follow up on his encouraging letter with real and tangible actions. The EJA stands ready to help and advise the Swedish government in this important task. Anti-Semites cannot be allowed to take heart from Sweden and seek to export their hate to other EU member states. That would be a disaster.
Therefore, Sweden must be strong on actions, as much as their words”

EJA/EIPA Meeting, planning for the upcoming year.

This week we dedicated two days for the annual EJA/EIPA meeting with all members of the teams, coming from France, Germany, Israel and of course our local head court's members, here in Brussels.
Bringing together our different experiences, views and ideas we have managed to come up with a list of subjects we would like to deal with this upcoming year and a lot of exiting new ways to do that whether if it is in Politics, the Media world or among the Jewish communities around Europe.
We don't know about you but we are very exited to start this fruitful year. for us, for The Jewish people in Europe and for the state of Israel.

Additional Communities
United Kingdom
Ukraine
Schweiz
Switzerland
Spain
Slovakia
Serbia
Russia
Romania
Portugal
Poland