Red Lines Follow-Up, Iceland

May 17, 2019

Eja director of public affairs was meeting the director of human rights at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from the human rights ministry in Reykjavík this morning to discuss Jewish red lines with a particular focus on recent Icelandic parliamentary efforts to outlaw and criminalise Brit Milah (male circumcision).
In an open and frank dialogue, it was clear that circumcision is very much an alien concept to Icelandic people, but there is no Antisemitic motivation behind it. It is just not on their radar whatsoever. When Alex explained that nonetheless such legislation can be used as an enabling tool by those who espouse antisemitism they were receptive to this message. There is more work needed with political parties to get this message through, but it was a good start with Icelandic government officials.

Additional Articles

EJA calls on Split mayor to condemn antisemitism and adopt IHRA definition

In an open letter to the media in Croatia, the EJA called on the newly elected leaders of the city of Split - Mayor Ivica Puljko and his deputy Bojan Ivosevic – both of whom recently used anti-semitic references during their election campaign, to adopt the IHRA definition of antisemitism in order to draw a line under the incident.
Our Chairman Rabbi Margolin wrote "At a time of growing anti-Semitism in Europe, it is concerning that in the second largest city of an EU member state two people who made anti-Semitic outbursts or pro-Nazi excesses are elected to two leading positions," the letter said.
"We welcome the courageous and quick condemnation of such behavior sent by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, as well as the condemnation of Deputy Prime Minister Davor Božinović both (Puljko and Ivošević) on election night…in many cases, such behavior would result in the immediate withdrawal of that person from public life… the European Jewish Association believes that the adoption of the IHRA definition of anti- Semitism in Split would be appropriate to draw a line under this incident."

Une association juive outrée par la représentation de l'étoile jaune à la manifestation contre les règles corona

La European Jewish Association a réagi outrée dimanche à l'étoile jaune représentée sur l'une des bannières de manifestants participant à la marche organisée dimanche à Bruxelles contre les mesures sanitaires prises par le gouvernement pour endiguer la propagation du coronavirus. "Il est difficile de dire à quel point c'est une erreur", a déclaré le rabbin Menachem Margolin, président de l'association.
"J'ai du mal à voir la similitude entre le fait qu'on vous demande de vous faire vacciner pendant une pandémie, -ou d'en assumer les conséquences si vous ne le faites pas- et l'extermination systématique de six millions de Juifs dans des camps de la mort, des chambres à gaz ou dans des fosses communes à ciel ouvert", a déclaré M. Margolin.

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"Cela me rend malade de penser que si peu de gens comprennent la douleur que de telles bannières provoquent, et que si peu de gens réalisent vraiment l'énormité et l'ampleur de l'Holocauste. À ceux qui ont défilé aujourd'hui avec une grande étoile jaune, je dis: ne faites pas ça. Peu importe ce que vous pensez des restrictions sanitaires, personne ne vous tatoue les bras, personne ne vous case dans des camions à bétail et personne ne veut que vous, votre famille et vos proches meurent. Tout d'abord, assurez-vous d'avoir les connaissances et de savoir ce que cette étoile jaune représente réellement", a encore souligné le président de l'association
https://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/detail_une-association-juive-outree-par-la-representation-de-l-etoile-jaune-a-la-manifestation-contre-les-regles-corona?id=10892119

Jewish group seeks to ban Israeli auction of Nazi memorabilia

A prominent European Jewish group on is demanding for Israel to ban an auction offering Nazi memorabilia, which is set to take place in the country.
The European Jewish Association filed a cease and desist letter on Wednesday against the Israeli auction house "Pentagon," which is offering several Holocaust-related items for sale to the highest bidder.

זוג גלויות נאציות שעומדות למכירה, החל מ-50 דולר

Nazi postcards from World War II on sale at the auction
(Photo: Bidspirit)
The auction includes items such as a Jewish passport, Nazi leaflets, Nazi stamps, as well as an Austrian Nazi cigarette box with a relief of an eagle emblem and a swastika, with prices ranging from dozens to hundreds of shekels.
Pentagon’s controversial auction comes weeks after Israel’s court suspended an unrelated auction of a partial tattoo kit billed as having been used on inmates at the Auschwitz death camp, following outcry from Holocaust survivors.
"The State of Israel must enact a law against auctions of Nazi memorabilia,” wrote the head of the EJA, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, in his appeal to both the Justice Ministry and Yad Vashem.
“My association is working with heads of state, ministers and senior members of parliament in EU countries, in order to prevent the cultivation of the Nazi heritage by putting such despicable items for sale at a high price.

סרט בד של עובד במחנה הריכוז דכאו הועמד למכירה

A canvas band of a Dachau concentration camp employee on sale at the auction
(Photo: Bidspirit)
“But shamefully, it seems that in the Jewish state of Israel, there are those who do not mind selling these items to the highest bidder,” wrote Margolin.
He further suggested a legislative outline to "end the despicable phenomenon of making money, while belittling the memory of the Holocaust."

גלויה נדירה של הצורר אדולף היטלר, החל מ-50 דולר

Postcard with Adolf Hitler on it
(Photo: Bidspirit)
The Justice Ministry has yet to provide a response to the EJA’s appeal.

European Jewish Association to challenge “Holocaust Bill” in Polish Constitutional court

European Jewish Association (EJA) Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin said that his organisation would begin legal proceedings in Poland’s Constitutional Court following Polish President Duda’s decision to sign the contested Holocaust Bill.  

Rabbi Margolin had previously challenged and overturned Polish legislation affecting Kosher slaughter at the Court.

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said,

“It is with deep regret that the President of Poland, clearly ignoring the concerns of European Jewry and the International Community, has decided to sign this deeply flawed bill. We had urged President Duda to defer any final decision on ratifying the legislation until at least having met with a delegation of Jewish leaders. He has decided, bizarrely, that this is not necessary.

“As a consequence, the EJA will - as we successfully did in the past on efforts to ban Kosher slaughter - challenge this matter in Poland’s Constitutional court.”

“I have also written to the heads of all the EU Institutions asking them to reprimand the Polish government.  It seems inconceivable that an EU Member State can be permitted to whitewash history by imposing draconian legislation that can imprison people for holding an alternative view on what happened during Europe’s darkest days. 

“The bill, as presently worded, represents the worst kind of historical revisionism, is an assault and an insult to the memory of those murdered during the holocaust and is a direct attack on free speech and freedom of opinion. This cannot stand.” concluded Margolin. 


To view a video interview with Rabbi Margolin on the subject please click HERE

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