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

October 13, 2023

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.”

Additional Articles

MOLDOVA AND JEWS – SURVEY SHOWS COUNTRY HAS DEEP-ROOTED ANTISEMITISM PROBLEM

In first detailed country study for Moldova, 36% of respondents feel Jews use dishonest means to achieve aims, 19% have a negative perception of Jewish people and around 14% “really don’t like them” Other concerning findings: 32% say Jews exploit non-Jews and 36% Jews seek to gain advantage from the Holocaust and 37% said that Jews talk too much about it.  

(Brussels 5 March 2024) The Brussels-based European Jewish Association (EJA), representing hundreds of Jewish Communities across the continent, and Budapest-based Action and Protection League today published a comprehensive report on antisemitic attitudes in the Republic of Moldova, as part of shared efforts to get an accurate continent-wide picture of current attitudes towards Jews.  

The land-locked country of 2.5 million citizens has a small Jewish population of around 1,900, equating to 0.7% of all citizens, which, says EJA Chairman Rabbi Menachem Margolin, shows an irrational and alarmingly high prevalence of antisemitic attitudes.  

The survey, conducted between October 20th and November 14th, 2023, gathered 923 valid responses from the adult population of Moldova. The study utilized a stratified, probabilistic sampling method to ensure the sample’s representativeness. 

The Moldovan government has taken some actions in combatting antisemitism such as adopting the IHRA definition and changing the penal code to include the promotion of fascist, racist or xenophobic ideologies, public denial of the Holocaust, glorification of exponents of fascism/Nazism and the use in public or for political purposes of fascist, racist or xenophobic symbols.  

Speaking as the survey was published, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, Chairman of the European Jewish Association said today: “The Moldova survey on antisemitism is part of our ongoing efforts to properly map the situation affecting Jews across the continent. “It is sadly clear that – despite some government efforts – deep-rooted antisemitism persists in Moldova. There can be no rational explanation as to why a community that represents such a tiny fraction of the overall population bears the brunt of such an alarmingly high number of stereotypes and tropes.  

“It will take much more than the adoption of the IHRA definition and changes to the legal code to make an impact on the antisemitic attitudes present in the Country. Change in the classroom is as a matter of urgency, if not the next generation will perpetuate and carry the virus of antisemitism with them. The Moldovan government has a tough road ahead in eradicating these old antisemitic attitudes that have no place in any modern country, especially one that seeks to join the European Union.” Ends  

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.

The EJA is happy to congratulate David Obadia for winning the presidency of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain.

The Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, the institution that officially represents Spanish Jews, elected David Obadía as its new president for the next four years, replacing Isaac Benzaquén.
Obadía’s first declarations after being elected focused on pointing out that the axes of his work will be “dialogue, coexistence, diversity and multiculturalism”.

The new president of the Jewish community in Spain is Spanish, son and grandson of Spaniards, and was born in Beer Sheva, Israel, in 1961. During his childhood and adolescence he lived in Melilla and, currently, in Torremolinos, where he has developed his life as a businessman in the real estate sector and also his political career.

In 2015 he entered politics through José Ortiz, former mayor of Torremolinos, who appointed him as his personal advisor. With the Ciudadanos party he held the positions in the Torremolinos Town Hall of Deputy Mayor, Councillor for Development, Urban Planning, Infrastructure, Commercial Activities, Public Roads and Heritage, and served as spokesman for his political group. However, in 2023 Ciudadanos nominated him as candidate for mayor of Torremolinos but he decided to retire from politics.

According to the FCJE, Obadía has extensive community experience that began in 1980 as a collaborator in the Yosef Obadía synagogue in Melilla, founded by his great-grandfather of the same name.

To date he has held various posts, including that of president of the Jewish community of Torremolinos for 8 years, of which he is currently honorary president; vice-president of the FCJE; head of the Spanish Jewish Youth; and current president of the Jewish community of Malaga and of the Association of Jewish communities of Andalusia. He has also received numerous awards for his extensive career in the service of Spanish Jewish life over the last 40 years.

Press Release concerning the latest antisemitic attacks in Croatia and Greece

The European Jewish Association (EJA) is appalled by the latest Antisemitism
incidents that took place in Croatia and in Greece, only a few days after the
unspeakable massacre against innocent civilians committed by Hamas in Israel. In
Split, Croatia’s 2nd largest city, a graffiti “Juden Raus” adorned with the “U” from the
WW2 fascist Ustasa regime that killed and deported thousands of Jews made its
appearance. In Thessaloniki, Greece’s 2nd largest city as well, the Holocaust memorial
mural at the main train station was desecrated with the inscriptions “Jews=Nazi” and
“Free Gaza”. Furthermore, a Jewish store was attacked, causing luckily only material
damage.

Commenting on the incidents in Croatia, EJA Managing Director Jorgos Papadakis
said: “It is hard to comprehend these acts of hatred against Jews in Europe. We have
been in Croatia two weeks ago, organized an international conference in Zagreb and
paid tribute to the thousands who perished at the notorious Jasenovac Death Camp.
We praised the country’s IHRA Chairmanship and the efforts made to eradicate
antisemitism. This is why it is surprising that we heard no words of condemnation from
the government. Using the exact same words the Nazis used before eventually leading
millions of Jews to their death cannot be perceived even as a bad joke.”, Papadakis
stressed out.

On Greece, Papadakis added: “As a Greek, I cannot even begin to comprehend such
acts of violence and hate in a city that lost almost its entire Jewish population, more
than 50 thousand souls, during the Holocaust. The authorities must send a strong
message by condemning this barbarism and bringing the culprits in front of justice.
Anything else would not be acceptable.”

Ends

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