February 14, 2019

Anti-Semitism on the rise.
Populism and xenophobia on the march
Jewish life in Europe under pressure

Our practices under attack
We decided enough was enough.
These are our red lines
In November 2018, Jewish community leaders from all over Europe met in Brussels and ratified 5 key demands that we, as European citizens and Jews, expect as a minimum from political parties taking part in the European Elections in May 2019.
The EJA has been reaching out to party leaders, Parliamentarians, political groups in the European Parliament and ambassadors across the continent, getting them onboard, and getting their commitment to adopt the red lines.
We need your help.
Write to your local Member of Parliament and urge them and their party to take your and our shared concerns seriously and adopt them. You can find all the info you need HERE

Additional Articles

New Cooperation with The Jewish Community of Jurmala (Jewrmala)

The European Jewish Association is proud and delighted to welcome another organisation to our growing roster of partners and communities.
We have just concluded and signed a memorandum of understanding with The Jewish Community of Jurmala (Jewrmala), Latvia.
We are sure that this cooperation will bring with it beautiful and important accomplishments. We look forward to working for the betterment of Latvia and European Jewry together.

Head of EJA Blasts Grotesque and Disgusting Antisemitic Aalst Carnival Flot – Seeks Assurances from City Mayor

The Chairman of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin today blasted the organisers of the Carnival in the Belgian city of Aalst for allowing a float to take part depicting Hasidic Jews with grotesque hooked noses standing on chests of money, and asked the mayor Christoph D’Haese for a full explanation of how this was allowed to happen.
Rabbi Margolin expressed his incredulity as to how such an image, reminiscent of the worst anti-Semitic tropes and propaganda, was allowed to form part of a celebration in Belgium in 2019.
In his letter to the mayor, Rabbi Margolin said,
“When I first saw the images I thought it was a sick joke. I simply find it hard to believe that a carnival float could replicate the most disgusting and prejudiced stereotypes of Jews that are regularly conjured up by right wing extremists, Nazis and fascist sympathisers.
“I write to express not only the deep disgust of our association, that represents Jews from across the continent, but to ask you, as the Mayor – a public servant representing all faiths, colours of society -how this float was even seen on the street, let alone as part of a celebratory carnival.
“I need not explain the deep distress and hurt to Jews not only in Aalst, in Belgium but all over Europe, caused by this grossly offensive depiction of Jews. I sincerely hope and trust that this was a gross oversight, and that not only an apology from the organisers will be forthcoming, but also an assurance from you that all floats will be properly vetted in future and that such a float has no place in someone’s garage, nevermind a public carnival.
“I have long made the case for educational programmes to be put in place in Belgium that combat such negative and patently false stereotypes, the float at the carnival in Aalst are a clear demonstration that this is now a matter of pressing urgency.”

European Jewish Association Repudiates German call to avoid wearing a kippah.

“we must not agree, let alone encourage the Jews, to give up its religious attributes” says European Jewish Head.

The chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), Rabbi Menachem Margolin, today called upon the President of the Central Council of German Jews, Yosef Schuster, to retract his call to Jews to refrain from wearing a skullcap in public space in Germany 

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said:

“I have no doubt that the declaration stems from Mr. Schuster’s sincere concern for the safety of The Jews – a concern that I naturally share in light of the growing anti-Semitism in Europe, but unfortunately he is mistaken in the cure for the serious problem, “says Rabbi Margolin.

Emphasising the point, he went on: “ Not wearing a skullcap due to fear of anti-Semitism is in fact the fulfillment of the vision of anti-Semites in Europe. 

The leaders of the Jewish communities and organizations must insist that every government care for the security of all its inhabitants and do more to educate and prevent this dangerous phenomena. 

But we must not agree, let alone encourage the Jews – or any other religious or ethnic group – to give up its religious attributes. ” 

That is why the call to refrain from wearing a skullcap is also liable to turn those who wear skullcaps into a provocative act and deserving of a response.”

EU Commissioner: ‘EU taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund antisemitic activities and incitement to hatred’,

While European Commissionner for Neighbourjhood Policy Oliver Várhelyi, told a conference in Brussels on Tuesday that EU taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund antisemitic activities and incitement to hatred, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on the same day that that EU funds for Palestine would be unlocked after “difficulties” were overcome.

“As Team Europe, we are the largest donor in Palestine, with around EUR 600 million per year,” von der Leyen said at a press conference following a meeting with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh in Ramallah.

“I am very glad to announce that the EU funds for 2021 can be disbursed rapidly. All the difficulties are gone, we have made clear that the disbursement will take place,” she said.

The EU gave the green light to funding for the Palestinian Authority on Monday, as von der Leyen arrived for a two-day visit to the Middle East.

‘’It is important to have this EU funding to support the people, especially the most vulnerable. It also helps create the right conditions for economic opportunities,’’ she added.

Twenty-six out of 27 EU member states backed a proposal to remove conditionality on funding for the Palestinian Authority. Only Hungary opposed.

Hungarian Commissioner Oliver Várhelyi blocked the funding last year, arguing it should be contingent on changes to the content of Palestinian textbooks which have antisemitic content and incite to hatred.

In  May, the European Parliament condemned the Palestinian Authority  for the third consecutive year for its abuse of EU funding used to draft and teach new violent and hateful textbooks ‘’worse than previous editions.’’

At the conference organised Tuesday by the European Jewish Association in the European Parliament, Várhelyi stressed that ‘’it is our credibility to fight any form of antisemitism therefore, incitement to hatred, violence and terror.’’

‘’What starts with incitement to hatred and violence becomes terror. And prevents coexistence,’’ he added, withiout specifically mentioning the Palestinian textbooks.

‘’Incitement not only poisons the minds of children, but also cements the view in many that there is no prospect for peace and a solution of the conflict,’’ the Commissioner said.

‘’The EU cannot be a credible actor neither in Europe nor in the Middle East and beyond if we do not deliver on these fundamental commitments,’’ he said.

He added, ‘’Regretfully, antisemitism is on the rise in Europe and across the world.
What is even more troubling is that even fundamental commitments in the EU for this fight seem to be weakening, if not disappearing. One might never have anticipated that the fight against antisemitism will be negotiable in Europe. Or even worse, be taken over by other considerations when certain decisions are made. Standing up against antisemitism should never become a question of majorities.’’

‘’For me, there can be no compromise and no discount on these fundamental principles. It must be non-negotiable.’’

‘’You can count on my personal dedication and firm commitment to deliver on these principles. We are working hard to translate this commitment into real actions on the ground, to make an impact and deliver real results,’’ Várhelyi concluded.

Israel’s Minister for Immigration and Absorption, Pnina Tamano Shata, who spoke at te conference, also addressed the challenge of rising antisemitism and terror. ‘’The European Union has the responsibility to take all necessary steps to counter all forms of antisemitism, whether from the far right or from the far left, where it is often disguised as anti-Zionism. A native of Ethiopia, the minister underlined the role played by Israel in helping refugees from Ukraine feel at home.

“The State of Israel, from its very founding, has always been a nation of immigrants and refugees.the State of Israel was established as the State of the Jewish People, many of whom arrived as refugees in the last century after war world tow ,many of them survived the Holocaust. In fact, it was these immigrants and refugees who built the state,’’ she said.

IsraelI Minister for Immigration and Absorption, Pnina Tamano Shata.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association, noted that ”Israel has not only become a homeland and refuge to the Jewish People but it has also become a place of safety and refuge for people from all over the world.”

He called on Europe’s leadership not to perpetuate refugees status not in Europe, not in the Middle East a,d nowhere else in the world. Refugees need to receive assistance but also and especially tools and encouragement to take responsibility for themselves, continue their lives and contribute of themselves for the benefit others who need them,” Margolin said.

The event was hosted by MEP Antonio López-Istúriz White, Chairman of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Israel, who noted that after the Abraham Accords, which led to the normalisation of relations between Israel and several Arab countries, ”the EU and Israel could be entering into the best relationship yet.” ”We are united by our values and in our common fight against terrorism,” he said.


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