POLISH SENATE KICKS KOSHER MEAT EXPORT BAN UNTIL 2025 – EU JEWISH HEAD VOWS TO KEEP ON FIGHTING “AS WE HAVE FOR GENERATION AFTER GENERATION”

October 14, 2020

Brussels 14 October 2020. After the Polish Senate voted today to postpone the controversial animal rights Bill provisions to ban the export of Kosher meat, European Jewish Association Chairman (EJA) Rabbi Menachem Margolin said he was encouraged by the clear opposition to the Bill but vowed to keep fighting to stop any eventual ban.
The EJA Chief had instigated an open letter signed by dozens of Jewish Leaders and Parliamentarians across Europe and Israel in which signatories voiced their opposition to the provisions on Kosher meat in the Bill and called on the Polish Government to reject them.
In a statement today Rabbi Margolin said,
“The provisions in this Bill relating to Kosher exports have had a very rough ride. It is clear that they enjoy little support from farmers and command little enthusiasm from the Senate itself.
“This is encouraging and we thank all of those Senators who have responded in such a strong way and who have taken what is a principled stand, as well as all the parliamentarians and Jewish leaders from across Europe who made their voices heard.
“But the battle isn’t over. It has merely been postponed. If you kick a can down a road, you will eventually run out of road.
“We will continue to oppose this Bill, today, tomorrow, next week, next month and for the next years. Just as we have from generation after generation whenever our way of life, our very faith is called into question. In the weeks and months ahead we will redouble our efforts to ensure that 2025 becomes permanent instead, starting with the Polish Sejm where this Bill next appears for a vote.”
In closing Rabbi Margolin said,
“The European Jewish Association will never falter in its determination to stand up for Jewish life, tradition, values and practice wherever and whenever they are under threat in Europe”

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“You All Say ‘Never Again’, Make It So”, Urges Rabbi Menachem Margolin

AHEAD OF MUNICH AUCTION TOMORROW, EUROPEAN JEWISH CHIEF CALLS ON GERMAN POLITICAL LEADERS TO BAN SALE OF NAZI MEMORABILIA
AND PUT BUYERS ON WATCH LIST
“You all say ‘Never Again’, make it so”, urges Rabbi Menachem Margolin .
At 10am today morning (CET) a major Munich based auction house Hermann Historica is conducting an online sale of personal items such as cutlery sets, jewellery and signed letters and photographs belonging to the leadership of the Nazi Party – Himmler, Goring and Hitler himself among them.
European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem has written to the leadership of all of Germany’s mainstream political parties to put in place legislation that will ban the public sale of such items and – in the meantime – compel sellers to divulge the names of buyers so that they can be kept on government watch lists in the interests of public safety.
In his letter to all the political leaders, the EJA Chief suggested that the authorities would want to know who was buying the personal items of Osama Bin Laden, Anders Breivik or Stephan Ernst for public safety reasons, and those glorifying, sentimentalising or adulating the Nazis are every bit as dangerous.
Rabbi Margolin wrote,
“Almost every week we at the European Jewish Association are having to respond to attacks on community buildings and more worryingly still, physical or verbal attacks on Jews themselves. Alarmingly, it is Germany that leads Europe in the sheer volume of reported anti-Semitic incidents.
“Selling such items should be no different to selling the personal items belonging to Osama Bin Laden, or Anders Breivik. The argument of historical interest is pure semantics. As political representatives concerned with the wellbeing and safety of your citizens, we cannot help wonder if you would not want to know who was buying Bin Laden’s fruit bowl or Stephan Ernst’s photographs and why they would even want them.
“In waiting for a ban to be put in place, we urge the German authorities to compel auction houses to divulge the names of those who are buying such material, in order to know whose hands they have fallen into. The names should then be put on a government ‘watch’ list, for public safety.
“Six Million Jewish lives were lost during the Nazi regime. Today an increasing number of Jewish lives are being lost and more are threatened because of the “oldest hatred”.
“Politicians are wont to say ‘never again’. We urge you to make it so.”

European Jewish Association welcomes Iceland circumcision bill demise but urges continued vigilance.

The Chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin this morning welcomed the apparent demise Iceland’s controversial circumcision bill, that sought to criminalise the act and threatened imprisonment to adherents, regardless of religious practice or obligation. 

Rabbi Margolin however cautioned that continued vigilance of contagion was a necessity not only in Iceland but across Europe.

On March 1 the Icelandic parliament sent the bill to the committee on Judicial affairs for comment, where it has been stuck since. The committee has now decided not to let the bill go forward for a vote on the floor.

As the legislative session is drawing to a close it is all but guaranteed that the decision to refer the bill to the cabinet kills its chances of becoming law. Whether the bill will then be re-introduced is still an open question

In a statement from Brussels, Rabbi Margolin said, 

“I welcome the apparent demise of what was a discriminatory, unnecessary and fundamentally anti-Jewish bill. The European Jewish Association, along with many other groups, Christian, Muslim and Jewish, made repeated and vociferous representations to the Icelandic government, registering our strong opposition to legislation that sought to criminalise an entire faith.

“Whilst we welcome the news, we must remain vigilant. In our experience bills such as this do not come out in isolation but represent an idea that knows no borders. It is sadly often the case that there is contagion where one bill fails in one country, it gets picked up by another.”

Rabbi Margolin in a meeting with ambassador of Iceland in Brussels, Bergdís Ellertsdóttir, February 2018.

Paris Mayor inaugurates an ‘Alley Mireille Knoll’, the 85-year-old Holocaust survivor killed in an antisemitic attack

Paris Mayor, Anne Hidalgo, has inaugurated an alley bearing the name of Mireille Knoll, a 85-year-old Holocaust survivor who was brutally murdered in her apartment in a antisemitic attack.
The alley is located on the Boulevard de Ménilmontant, in the 11th arrondissement of the French capital.
Knoll was brutally murdered in her apartment in a antisemitic attack on March 23, 2018. Firefighters who arrived at Knoll’s building later that night to answer an emergency call discovered her partially-burned body with 11 stab wounds.
Read more

European Jews face new threat in wake of COVID-related anti-Semitism

Top European rabbi tells Israel Hayom a special center to monitor real-time incidents via remote feeds could be established in order to tackle anti-Jewish attacks.
The recent terrorist attacks in Austria and France, as well as the spike in coronavirus cases in Europe, has created a fear among Jews in the continent that anti-Semitic conspiracy theories blaming Jews for the spread of the pandemic could become mainstream.
 
A recent study in Germany showed that one in three Germans has somewhat of a conspiratorial view of the world.
 
Felix Klein, who is the federal commissioner for Jewish life in Germany and the fight against anti-Semitism, told Israel Hayom that the recent protests against the COVID-19 regulations have become fertile ground for anti-Jewish sentiment.
 
“The current protests against corona-related restrictions serve as a rallying point for antisemites, Holocaust deniers, and believers in conspiracy myths. At “hygiene protests”, participants downplay the Holocaust by, for example, comparing the current requirement to wear a face mask with the obligation to wear a Star of David during the Nazi regime,” he told Israel Hayom. “Portraying themselves as rebels – as do for example the supporters of the new political party Widerstand2020 (Resistance2020) and the Reichsbürger movement – is typical of adherents to anti-Semitic beliefs: Presenting oneself as breaking taboos, as ‘finally’ bringing the truth to light, as showing at last who is pulling the strings behind the scenes – and, as has been done for thousands of years, pointing their fingers once again at Jews,” he added.
 
When asked about the danger posed by such conspiratorial views, he noted that there is a concern verbal statements could eventually morph into action.
 
“Conspiracy myths also prepare the ground for violence, as history has shown. Those who perceive themselves as victims and feel threatened can themselves turn into a threat. Anti-Jewish pogroms throughout history have been the fatal consequence of such obsessive hatred of Jews, as have the antisemitic terrorist attacks worldwide in recent years,” he said. “A recent study has shown that radicalization online takes place four times faster than offline. That is what makes it so important to quickly adjust our laws. This is the thrust of the package of measures put forward by the federal government. I am confident we can achieve a lot through a combination of repression and education. After all, what is ultimately at stake is social cohesion in times of crisis.”

Meanwhile, Jewish groups have scrambled to deal with the threat of rising anti-Semitism in the age of coronavirus. The group “Concert – Together for Israel” strives to bolster Israel’s image and fight modern anti-Semitism, says its job has been made much more difficult in the wake of the pandemic, and many pro-Israel groups are facing potential elimination.
 
“Generally speaking, one can say that small organizations that rely on a small staff expect a slowdown and a long recovery, but the big organizations that need a large operation worry about their long-term viability in light of the added costs,” Nava Edelstein, the group’s program director says.
 
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the head of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association that has led a comprehensive effort to counter anti-Semitism in Europe, told Israel Hayom that he has been overseeing a “virtual command center” that gets daily updates from Jewish communities on online anti-Jewish attacks.
 
“We constantly see how anti-Semitic voices on the web attribute the virus to a Zionist-Jewish conspiracy, on top over other forms of anti-Semitism that involve graffiti and vandalizing of Jewish institutions,” he said, adding the largest volume of reports originates in France, Romania and Belgium.
 
“We are considering setting up a center that would monitor events through Jewish communities’ video feeds in real time, so that we can alert security forces when such incidents happen,” he revealed.
The article was published in Israel Hayaom

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