New President for the Jewish State of Israel

June 2, 2021

Israel has a new President, Mr Isaac Herzog. The Herzog’s have a fine tradition of important positions in Israel: his grandfather was a Chief Rabbi of Israel, and his father, Chaim, a former President of Israel too.

We wish the 11th President of Israel lots of Mazal, lots of strength and lots of courage. Qualities that we know from our many contacts with Mr Herzog, are not in short supply where he is concerned.

Additional Articles

Short video from the EUROPEAN JEWISH ASSOCIATION Annual Policy Conference Budapest: 20-21 June

Polish newspaper runs front page list on ‘how to spot a Jew’

MP says it is ‘absolute scandal’ such ‘filthy texts, as if taken from Nazi newspapers’ sold in parliament
A right-wing newspaper in Poland has published an article on its front page instructing readers on “how to recognise a Jew”.
The Tylko Polska, or “Only Poland”, ran a list of “names, anthropological features, expressions, appearances, character traits, methods of operation” and “disinformation activities” which it said could be used to identify Jewish people.
“How to defeat them? This cannot go on!” the front page also said, according to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
The article was printed alongside a headline reading “Attack on Poland at a conference in Paris”, a reference to a Holocaust studies conference last month whose speakers were accused of being anti-Polish.
The newspaper caused an outcry among Polish politicians when it was distributed in the Sejm, the lower house of the Polish parliament.
Michal Kaminski, an MP for the centre-right Poland Comes First party, said it was an “absolute scandal” such “filthy texts, as if taken from Nazi newspapers” were sold in the Polish parliament, Polsatnews reported.
Mr Kaminski asked for an explanation from parliament speaker Marek Kuchcinski, a member of the ruling right-wing Law and Justice party, for how such an “antisemitic” front page was made available in parliament.
The director of the Sejm Information Centre, Andrzej Grzegrzolka, initially said his office could not take action as the paper was being sold from kiosks inside the Sejm who were responsible for the choice of newspapers.
He also suggested a court could look into the front page and decide whether the title should be suspended under Polish law, which bans hate speech motivated by race or religion.
However, Mr Grzegrzolka later announced his office would request the publication be removed from the Sejm’s press kit.
The newspaper’s front page also featured an image of Jan Gross, a Polish-Jewish academic at Princeton University who has courted controversy for suggesting Polish people were complicit in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.
Mr Gross’ argument that Poles collaborated with the Nazis during the Second World War has made him a regular target of outrage by Polish nationalists.
The article was published by the Independent

UNESCO-listed Flemish festival comes under fire for anti-Semitic floats

A famous Belgian carnival has run into trouble with the authorities because of the way it is said to portray Jewish people.
The annual carnival in the Belgian town of Aalst is a 600-year-old ritual, drawing up to 100,000 spectators each year. The event is described by the local authorities as a symbol of the town’s identity in the region.
One of the floats in the parade, however, entitled “Shabbat Year,” features two giant puppets, depicting Orthodox Jews complete with traditional side-curls, wearing pink suits, and standing amidst bags of money among rats, which the mayor of the Flemish described as “humoristic.”
The portrayal has caused an outcry among Jewish groups who have branded the float as “racist and anti-Semitic”, accusations that have led to the launch of a protest petition which has been signed by over 15,000 people.
In a new development, UNESCO, the Paris-based United Nations body for education and culture, is now considering whether to “de-list” the carnival from its prestigious Convention on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
“UNESCO had to be vigilant and uncompromising” in ensuring that the regulations of its Convention are fully respected, a source for UNESCO said while adding that a decision will be made on the matter later this year.
Earlier in March, the Assistant Director-General for Culture at UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone, was highly critical of the floats, saying, “The satirical spirit of the Aalst Carnival and the freedom of expression cannot serve as a screen for such manifestations of hatred.”
Ottone spoke of the float’s “indecent caricatures” which, he said, are contrary to the “values of respect and dignity embodied by UNESCO”.
The European Commission has also weighed in on the controversy with a spokesman commenting that “it should be obvious to all that portraying such representations in the streets of Europe is absolutely unthinkable…74 years after the Holocaust.”
The three-day folk carnival, arguably the most famous of its kind in Belgium and a favourite of young and old alike, has been on the UNESCO list since 2010.
The article was published on New Europe

EJA Chairman awards President of Montenegro with award in front of EU ambassadors, MEPs and senior Jewish Representatives

AS DEEP DARKNESS OF ANTISEMITISM SPREADS ACROSS EU – MONTENEGRIN MODEL IS BADLY NEEDED, EU JEWISH CHIEF TELLS PRESIDENT
Brussels 7 March 2019. Rabbi Menachem Margolin, presenting The President of Montenegro Mr Milo Dukanovic with the European King David Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution in supporting and protecting Jews in Montenegro, said his leadership stands in isolation as “the deep darkness of antisemitism spreads across the continent.”
The President met with with Senior representatives of European Jewry, including the chief Rabbi of the Netherlands, the president of the Belgian League against antisemitism, and the Secretary General of B’nei Brith Europe, amongst others, who reported on the rising levels of antisemitism and hate crimes in their countries.
In stark contrast, the President of the Montenegrin Jewish Community Mr Dorde Raicewic and Rabbi Ari Edelkopf, the Rabbi of Montenegro spoke about how Jews are welcomed, how there is no security needed at Jewish buildings and that it is safe to walk the streets.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chairman of the EJA, prior to presenting the award, said as part of his speech,
“Montenegro may be a relatively small country, but even a small light can burn darkness away.
The deep darkness of antisemitism is spreading across Europe. France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and many others, the oldest hatred is finding its voice again in dark corners and spreading like a malignant virus.
Time and time again we hear European leaders saying enough is enough, but little changes and the darkness keeps spreading.
These countries must embrace and enshrine not only the Montenegrin Model of co-existence, but welcome the country into the European Union where it can provide a leading and immensely valuable role in fighting the scourge of antisemitism. It is deeply ironic that Montenegro must knock on the door to get inside when the country itself is miles ahead of the vast majority of EU countries in protecting freedom of religion and supporting minorities.
“We earnestly thank the President for all his hard work, in helping create and supporting the first synagogue in the country, in the example he sets for others to follow and for his humbling and deep convictions and care when it comes to protecting and nurturing this small but flourishing Jewish community.
My message to all EU Leaders is this: take note, act and share the light of Montenegro now before the darkness consumes us all.”

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