Press Release: European Jewish Association head calls on European Parliament president to suspend chair for relations with palestine for ‘blatant’ antisemitism.

January 3, 2024

MEP Manu Pineda, chair for relations with Palestine, shares Instagram post of Hitler poster with never again written on it being torn to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving Nazi salute under the headline ‘again’, a clear breach of the IHRA definition of antisemitism, of which the EU Institutions are a signatory.

 

(Brussels 3 January 2024) The Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin today wrote to European Parliament President Roberta Metsola calling for, at a minimum, the suspension from the European Parliament of the Chair for relations with Palestine, Spanish MEP Manu Pineda.

 

Mr Pineda shared an Instagram story video showing a poster of Adolf Hitler giving a Nazi salute under a banner that reads ‘never again’. A hooded man then rips off part the poster to reveal Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu whose face and Israeli flag replace Hitler’s and the swastika, and leaving the word ‘again’ visible.

 

In his letter to President Metsola calling for the suspension from the House, Rabbi Margolin wrote,

Regretfully, only 3 days into this new year, I must write to you concerning a blatant act of antisemitism committed by a Member of your house. I understand that in a war, feelings can run high. But this can never be an excuse to allow carte blanche to any hate speech, antisemitism included.

“In November 2022, I had the privilege of handing over our King David Award to you in Krakow, the next day we toured Auschwitz together. You are a leader who understands what is at stake, and the dark path that antisemitism can lead us to. I remember your inspiring words well. You said we should honour the legacy of the victims of the Shoah “by never forgetting, by never being indifferent, and by always, always speaking up”.

“Madame President, it is time to speak up. People look up to their public representatives, Mr Pineda included. The public often follow their lead.

“There is no doubt, none, that this video that he chose to share is antisemitic and breaches the IHRA definition of which the EU is a signatory. No words can be parsed here. The question is what will be done?

“In such a febrile time, with rates of antisemitism in Europe at levels unseen since WW2, doing nothing is not an option and only emboldens others to do the same.

“Mr Pineda has shown, in public, his antisemitism. You must show him that antisemitism is not welcome in the European Parliament. A suspension from the house would be the minimum we would expect.” Ends.

Additional Articles

Open Letter MEPs to HRVP Borrell on Qatar

Strasbourg, 1 4 December 2023

It is now sadly over 10 weeks since the Hamas inhumane massacre in Israel and the abduction of civilian hostages, including babies, infants, women, elderly and medically unfit people.

We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, urge your attention on the role of Qatar and their explicit support of Hamas. Both in providing financial assistance of billions of euros over the years but also in harbouring the leadership of Hamas, who live in luxury in Doha with 24-hour security provided by Qatar.

Despite its recent mediation efforts, Qatar could simply pressure Hamas more today to release the remaining hostages and be part of the solution, instead of part of the inhumane problem of terrorism.

As High Representative for the Union on Foreign Affairs, the Qatari government must be reminded that their support for Hamas and terrorism, will affect its future relations with the European Union. We must make clear to Qatar and every other entity in the region that human rights come first, before any business dealings.

Both the Statement of the Members of the European Council of 15 October 20231 and the European Parliament Resolution P9_TA(2023)0373, adopted on 19 October 20232, call for Hamas to “immediately release all hostages” and note “that the taking

of hostages is a violation of international law and constitutes a war crime.

Furthermore, the rhetoric and actions of Qatar contribute towards the incitement and violence that Jewish people are experiencing here in Europe. Following the terror attack of 7 October, antisemitic attacks and hate speech have multiplied by over 1000%. Jewish communities live under fear and are being assaulted, in many instances, by supporters of Hamas on the continent.

The scale and brutality of the attacks, which are some of the worse since the Holocaust, must be a turning point. We no longer can accept that it will be ‘business as usual’.

We call upon you to ensure that Qatar and all key partners put the utmost pressure possible for the safe release of all the hostages as a priority.

We thank you for your consideration and look forward to your update regarding this issue.

Yours sincerely,

The Hamas Massacre was the only topic on lips at the first major European Jewish Conference since the attacks.

The European Jewish Association, representing hundreds of Jewish communities across the continent invited Political figures and Jewish Leaders from Europe to Zagreb and the Jasenovac death camp in Croatia, against the backdrop of the Hamas Massacre in Israel, an act that has profoundly affected Jews across Europe. The Conference began with a minute silence for all those butchered by Hamas last weekend.

Gary Koren, Israel’s Ambassador Ambassador to Croatia in welcoming the Conference delegates from Portugal to Bulgaria, said:

“This conference in Zagreb is now needed more than ever. Hamas is ISIS, and this war started with the blessing of Iran. Israel has no choice but to win and obliterate Hamas. This is the darkest of times, and there is no way to describe the pain our nation is going through, but we will prevail like we always do.”

Croatia’s former President Kolinda Grabar–Kitarovic said that the attacks against Israel represent “an existential attack against the normalization of the Abraham Accords.

It will have tremendous geopolitical effects, and sadly, antisemitism will only spike.”

Deputy Remy Rebeyrotte, the Secretary of the National Assembly in France, responding to European Jewish Press reports that since the weekend there have been 50 reported acts of antisemitism in France, responded:

“There have been over 202 antisemitic attacks in France in the last couple of months.

The Ministry of Interior is stepping up security measures in synagogues and all Jewish Schools.We see yet again conspiracy theories running deeply rooted in antisemitism. This time from the far left saying Jews control the world, the banking industry, etc.

“I want today to express support of France for Israel. The children of Israel are our children. All parties are condemning except for the extreme left with Melenchon”

Dragan Primorac, president of the Croatian-Israel business club, stated, “Evil is the antithesis of honor. Croatia is staying shoulder to shoulder with Israel. Evil will not prevail.”

Head of Combatting Antisemitism at the World Zionist Organisation Raheli Baratz Rix, who partnered with the EJA for the Zagreb conference, in an address from Israel said:

“Israel is under attack. They killed in a massacre of young Jews because they were Jews. This barbaric act is only murderous racism, which has only one name antisemitism. You cannot stay silent again. We fight for humanity. Israel will stay strong and will win.

Natan Albahari, a Serbian Member of Parliament added,

“It pained me to see what happened at the music festival in Israel. It’s unimaginable. There is no justification for those crimes. I am only one MP, but will use every platform at my disposal to make sure that message is shared in Serbia.”

Konstantinos Karagounis, a Greek MP and Member of EJA’s Advisory Board was scathing in his criticism of the Hamas Massacre in Israel:

“All political parties of Greece stand firmly in solidarity with Israel. EU leaders must reassess their policy towards Hamas, Hezbollah, and towards all these terrorists. I think we are all under attack. Not just Israel. Failure to act will endorse such brutality.

Terrorist activities must face unwavering consequences.”

William Daroff, the CEO of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organisations, in an impassioned speech to delegates, said:

“We need to make the world aware of what happened. They want to do Israel Judenrein. The only answer is Unity. We are strong when we are one. The IDF will succeed. We will survive as a people. Israel is our lifeline.”

Adel Benita, a citizen of Modi’in, Israel, whose husband was stabbed to death 40 times in a previous terror attack, spoke to delegates from the podium and said:

“Terrorism doesn’t differentiate between race or nationality.

“What we saw this past Shabbat and holiday – forty babies butchered, young people shot at a festival – how can we understand? How can those families cope in response to their loved ones being butchered and raped?

“This could happen to you in Europe. Terrorists don’t differentiate between race, gender, and nationality.

“I’m begging you to open your eyes and to ensure your leaders fight against antisemitism so this doesn’t happen again.”

The delegation of Jewish leaders of EJA

The delegation of Jewish leaders of EJA was excited to meet today as part of the solidarity visit to Israel Shira and Moshe, the parents of the late hero Aner Shapira, who on October 7 pushed 7 grenades thrown by Hamas terrorists into the bunker where they were hiding near Kibbutz Reim, calmly commanded the event and saved 11 Israelis. The leaders also met Jacob, Elkana’s brother who was kidnapped to Gaza and since then the family has had no information about him. The head of the delegation, the president of the Consistory in Paris Dr. Yoel Margi and the chairman of EJA, Rabbi Menachem Margolin announced a grant to support the family of abductees and gave to the new rehabilitation center of The Hadassah Mount Scopus is a hydraulic medical accessory that will speed up the healing procedures of the patients.

EIPA organized an extraordinary briefing about the current developments following Israel's Shield and Arrow operation

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