Polizia italiana premiata per il contrasto agli antisemiti

November 15, 2021

Si è conclusa con un applauso alla polizia italiana la conferenza della European Jewish Association (Eja) nell’83° anniversario della Notte dei Cristalli. Per ricordare la distruzione di 1.400 sinagoghe in Germania e Austria e l’uccisione di alcune centinaia di ebrei, la Eja ha raccolto decine di responsabili dei ministeri dell’Istruzione d’Europa per fare il punto sul contrasto all’antisemitismo a scuola. Al capo della polizia Lamberto Giannini, la Eja ha tributato il King David Award per l’opera di protezione delle comunità ebraiche. È stato l’ex vicepresidente della comunità ebraica di Roma Riccardo Pacifici a ricordare che «in Italia non c’è una scuola ebraica o una sinagoga che non goda di una protezione costante». Al Giornale, il prefetto Giannini ha ricordato che «l’antisemitismo è un fenomeno al quale prestare la massima attenzione: anche l’emergenza sanitaria ha dato vita a rigurgiti antiebraici sul web».
Cosa succede in rete?

«In molti fanno circolare dichiarazioni di odio che noi perseguiamo come reato, spesso senza neppure rendersi conto della gravità delle loro frasi, magari scritte per fare un commento o per emulazione».

Si tratta solo di privati disattenti?
«No, l’associazione Stormfront (24 condanne nel 2020, ndr) aveva addentellati con il suprematismo americano e si spendeva anche in maniera contraddittoria per il negazionismo da un lato, giustificando dall’altro lo sterminio degli ebrei».
Perché la Eja ha premiato la polizia italiana?
«Perché da noi tutte le forze dell’ordine prestano grande attenzione alla protezione di una comunità colpita nel 1982 (con l’attentato alla sinagoga di Roma, ndr). Oggi esiste un rapporto stretto con le comunità ebraiche, che ci segnalano eventi potenzialmente pericolosi: questo coordinamento la differenza».
Qual è la situazione della sicurezza dopo due anni di pandemia?
«Ci dobbiamo preparare alle riaperture già iniziate con serenità ed equilibrio. Io penso all’Italia come a una molla che è stata compressa e adesso si muove per tornare alla sua estensione: serve fare attenzione. Oggi occorre evitare infiltrazione della criminalità nei fondi che stanno arrivando. Sul fronte manifestazioni cerchiamo di contemperare il diritto a manifestare con il dovere di farlo in maniera pacifica. I fatti internazionali ci ricordano poi che esiste un rischio terrorismo: senza dubbio stiamo vivendo un periodo che non ha precedenti».
 
https://www.ilgiornale.it/news/politica/polizia-italiana-premiata-contrasto-agli-antisemiti-1988059.html

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COVID Diary- Reflections from Our Advisory Board Member Rabbi Binyomin Jacobs

Every Day during the Corona crisis our Advisory Board Member Chief Rabbi Jacobs (NL) writes a diary, on request of the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, which is published on the website of the NIW, the only Jewish Dutch Magazine. Rabbi Jacobs is the head of Inter Governmental Relationships at the Rabbinical Centre of Europe. We will be regularly publishing a selection of his informative, sometimes light hearted, but always wise pieces.
Here, the Rabbi offers his unique and refreshing take on the portion. For our Dutch readers you can follow the diary every day at NIW home page: https://niw.nl and then: scroll down.
Caught with a cap!
It’s hard to find the right balance between exaggeration and naivety. The happy medium is the right way to walk, that should be clear. But where does that sweet spot lie?
I had not heard from an older intelligent lady, a brave woman, for several weeks. And so I called her up and it turned out that she had been struggling a bit with her health for a while.
Good that I called her, but I do feel guilty that I had only noticed her absence now, after a few weeks. In the meantime, since I called her, she has started reading some of my diaries and sends me the following response:
“Dear Rabbi Jacobs. I read in your diary pieces that you meet many people with personal problems and are very concerned about the rising anti-Semitism. That seems very difficult. I find it terrible to read those experiences. It’s too much for me. And after the war I had to hear in technicolour stereo about all the horrors of survivors of the camps. For me, the war started after May ‘45. I’d rather not read all that misery you have to hear and deal with. ”
And so, after this response, I wonder what the happy medium is. I try to warn against  rising anti-Semitism, but I absolutely must. Conversely I do not want to cause more pain to anyone who is already in pain.
I received a lot of WhatsApps to make “the Jewish voice” heard about the riot around Forum for Democracy. But what is “the Jewish voice”? And am I then “the Jewish  voice”? But keep silent? I presented my problem to a good friend of mine, a non-Jewish psychiatrist. When I open my mouth, some of them start to scream or I, for example hurt this brave woman unnecessarily. And when I remain silent, I get complaints that I am not speaking. His response was very clear:
“If you don’t open your mouth now, you’re no longer a rabbi to me. And if your comments make people sad, help them. That is your primary task as a rabbi. ”
But in addition to concerns about rising anti-Semitism and all the tensions associated with it, Hanukkah is getting very close. Today a phone call from Jerusalem to make a video while lighting the menorah at my house, without guests, with a call to light the menorah outside even if it is not possible outside due to corona, especially to do it indoors.
The call must be in Dutch after lighting the third light. A second phone call, also today, from Brussels to, even after the third light has been lit, a message in English about a non-religious subject, but about Hanukkah.
And the third assignment, a request came from South America to give a speech in Dutch of 25 minutes. That will be asked of another seven Chief Rabbis. Every evening a rabbi from another country will speak and subtitles will be provided. Apart from this I also have three TV recordings about… Chanukah next week! After all those telephone requests for TV, zoom, videos, Whatsapps and YouTube, I wonder if I could become a better director.
But in the meantime I will have to work very hard on the preparations for the coming week. I have already found a volunteer professional to record the videos. But the words are on me. That is a nice bit of creative tension.
Yet all these problems create tension, sadness and disappointment. It got a bit too much for me. And so I skipped schul tonight. My wife and I took the car to the beach.
Of course I didn’t wear my hat, but a cap. Just incognito. Get some fresh air. Delicious! We walk on the boulevard for less than twenty minutes, smell the water, feel the wind or suddenly someone behind me shouts: Rabbi Jacobs! Why don’t you wear a hat? You always say that we should not give in to anti-Semitism and keep our Jewish clothing like our ancestors in Egypt. You always say you are not willing to exchange your hat for a baseball cap! I didn’t know what to answer for a moment, I felt caught with my cap, but the walk was very refreshing…
 

Belgium Government to Remove Army Protection at Jewish Institutions on 1st Sep Despite On-Going Threat Status

Head of European Jewish Association rails against decision, saying it makes ‘Zero sense’ and adding that in absence of providing alternative security arrangements, it leaves Jews “wide open with a target sign on our backs”.
Brussels 23 June 2021. In Belgium the security threat is currently medium according to the metrics provided by governments own Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis (CUTA). But for Jewish Communities, as well as the American and Israeli embassies, the threat remains “serious and probable”.
It was therefore with great alarm that the European Jewish Association, through its partner organisation the Jewish Forum of Antwerp and Belgian MP Michael Freilich, learned that the Belgian government was removing army protection from Jewish buildings and institutions starting on 1st September. The decision was taken without consultation with Jewish communities and without a suitable alternative being proposed.
Army presence at Jewish Buildings has been in place since the Brussels terror attacks and Jewish Museum murders.
In a statement today, the Chairman of the European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin said,
“The Belgian Government has up until now been exemplary in its protection of Jewish Communities. In fact, we at the European Jewish Association have held up the Belgian example as one to be emulated by other Member States. For this dedication to keeping us safe and secure we have always expressed out utmost gratitude and appreciation.
Is it also because of this dedication that the decision to remove the army on September 1st makes Zero sense. Unlike the US and Israeli embassies, Jewish communities do not have access to any State security apparatus. Not only that but while the threat may be medium for Belgium, for Jews the threat is both serious and probable according to the data provided to the government by their own agency, the Coordination Unit for Threat Analysis.
It is alarming too that Jewish communities have not even been properly consulted about this move. Nor is the government presently proposing any alternatives. As of now, it leaves Jews wide open and with a target on our backs.
Anti-semitism is increasing in Europe, not decreasing. Belgium, sadly is not immune to this. The pandemic, the recent Gaza operation and its fallout are worrying Jews enough as it is, without this even added to the equation. Worse, it sends a signal to other European countries to do likewise. I am urging the Belgian government to reconsider this decision or at the very least offer a solution in its stead.”
 
Rabbi Margolin has written to the Belgium Minister of the Interior, Annelies Verlinden, seeking an urgent meeting and asking for the move to be reconsidered:m v 23_6

GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL VISITS YAD VASHEM

With a busy schedule ahead of her, Merkel is expected to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel went to visit Yad Vashem, the official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, in Jerusalem on Thursday morning.
“Jews in Germany suffered from hatred and violence they had never known before,” Merkel somberly noted at Yad Vashem. “Since then, Germany is always responsible for remembering this crime and for fighting violence, xenophobia and hatred in general.”
Merkel was additionally given the honor of lighting the Eternal Flame and laying a wreath, part of a ceremony to commemorate those passed in the Holocaust, in the name of the German government.
Merkel landed in Israel on Wednesday evening, beginning a two-day visit to Israel. The government-to-government visit was delayed by a year and a half due to disagreements regarding Israel’s settlement policies and approach to the Palestinians.
With a busy schedule ahead of her, Merkel is expected to visit the Israel Museum, visit President Reuven Rivlin and receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.
The article was published on JPost

Mazal Tov to our affiliated friend Max Lowenstein

The EJA sends a big Mazal Tov and a heartfelt Kol Hakavod to our affiliated friend Max Lowenstein, Chairman of the NIHS Brabant community in Eindhoven, Holland. Today, to mark King’s day in the Netherlands, Mr Lowenstein received a medal on becoming a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau. A well deserved recognition for his years of dedicated service to the community in Eindhoven and to the wider community in general.

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