Top Journalists from Across Europe Join EIPA Press Trip to Israel for In-Depth Briefings and Insights

June 25, 2024
Top flight journalists from across Europe are in Israel on our EIPA press trip. Giving facts, the inside track and gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities involved.
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The European Jewish Association is a prominent and influential organisation dedicated to representing, advocating for, and fostering the interests of the Jewish community across Europe. Founded on unity, tolerance, and inclusivity principles, the EJA bridges diverse Jewish communities and European societies.
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Lebanese businessman to give Hitler hat to Israeli foundation

 “In a cynical world, such a noble act of kindness, generosity and solidarity has bowled us over”, said Rabbi Menachem Margolin – Mr Abdallah Chatila will join the EJA as guest on major Auschwitz trip to receive award.

Following the controversial auction of Nazi memorabilia by Hermann Historica in Munich last week that was raised by the European Jewish Association (EJA) and let to massive uproar and media attention, it has emerged that a prominent Lebanese businessman directly responded to the news by buying over 600,000 euros of nazi memorabilia with the sole purpose of giving it to the Jewish community to do with it as it sees fit.

Rabbi Margolin spoke to Mr Chatila to thank him, and Mr Chatila has accepted an inviation to come to Auschwitz on a delegation organised by the EJA for 100 parliamentarians from across Europe, where the businessman will be awarded for his act.

Besides the top hat belonging to Hitler and the rare edition of Mein Kampf, the Businessman also bought the personal Fuhrer’s cigar box, a silver frame offered to SS commander Ulrich Graf, several handwritten letters to his childhood friend August Kubizek, a box to silver music, Edda Göring’s baptismal gift in 1938, or the typewriter Traudl Junge, Hitler’s assistant, used to capture the Nazi leader’s texts. In a statement today, Rabbi Margolin said,

“We believe that the trade in such items is morally unjustifiable and it seemed, given the uproar and outrage that led up and following the auction that we were not alone.

“We were not prepared however, in this cynical world in which we live, to expect an act of such kindness, such generosity and such solidarity as demonstrated by Mr Chatila. It is clear he understood our aggravation and hurt at the sale, and decided to do something about it in a way that nobody foresaw. We greatly appreciate his understanding that such items have no place on the market, and should ultimately be destroyed. But that he chose to give the items to Jews shows a remarkable conscience and understanding.

“I personally spoke to Mr Chatila on behalf of our Association, our members and the hundreds of communities that we represent to extend our heartfelt thanks for his selfless and important act.

He has also accepted our invitation to attend an upcoming delegation to Auschwitz that we are organising for 100 MPs from across the continent to see and learn first-hand where the Nazi ideology leads. Mr Chatila’s inspiring act is a story that deserves to be told at the highest levels, and he will be there as our guest where we will present him with an award for his act.

“The example set by Mr Chatila is one that deserves as much attention as possible, we thank him for showing the world that an act of righteousness such as this has the power to literally and metaphorically burn the dark Nazi past away.”

The letter written by Rabbi Margolin to Mr. Abdallah Chatila:

43 nations led by Austria pledge to combat antisemitism at UNHRC

At least 43 nations led by Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia pledged to combat antisemitism in a special statement issued at the 48th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“We will remain steadfast in our pledge, never again,” said Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg as he issued a special video statement in which spoke about the danger of antisemitism.
“Even 75 years after the end of World War II it is a tragic reality that antisemitism is not a thing of the past,” Schallenberg stead.
Read more:
https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/43-nations-led-by-austria-pledge-to-combat-antisemitism-at-unhrc-681049

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.”

SUCCESSES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ANTISEMITISM

It should become a tradition to not only publish major antisemitic slurs at the end of each year. There is now also a possibility to publish successes in the fight against antisemitism.

In 2018, there were a variety of important actions against antisemitism. Summarizing the main ones at the end of the year provides some counterweight to the annual report of the worst antisemitic incidents — regularly increasing in pages — published now for a number of years by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
One important development is the expanding acceptance of the definition of antisemitism of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition (IHRA). One cannot try to fight antisemitism effectively unless there is a common measure of what it entails. By now the IHRA antisemitism definition had been formally adopted for internal use by the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Scotland, Romania, Germany, Bulgaria, Lithuania and the formerly Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It has also been accepted by a wide array of others such as universities and towns including the cities of London and Berlin.
A second substantial development was successes in the fight against the BDS movement which aims to delegitimize the State of Israel. Legal measures play an important role in hampering BDS. In November 2018, Kentucky became the 26th American state to pass legislation to ban awarding state contracts to companies that endorse the BDS movement. The governors of all 50 US states have signed a declaration condemning the BDS movement as antithetical to American values. Chile has recently forbidden its municipalities to boycott Israel by aligning themselves with the BDS movement as a reason not to conduct business with Israel. Various municipalities in Spain have also tried to apply BDS to their practices. However, a number of courts have voided these measures, for instance, in Barcelona.
Yet another positive development is the appointment of antisemitism commissioners in Germany. This occurred at the national level but also in a variety of federal states. National commissioner Felix Klein has already addressed many aspects and incidents of antisemitism in Germany. He has, for instance, indicated that he intends to tackle the political distortion of reported statistics of antisemitic acts. Crimes against Jews by unknown perpetrators are registered as having been committed by extreme right-wingers, while attacks on Jews by Muslims are far more numerous than what is recorded. Among the state commissioners, Ludwig Spaenle of Bavaria has initiated a monitoring function that is slated to become operational next year.
The European Commission had already in 2015 appointed Katharina von Schnurbein as the coordinator for combating antisemitism. She has undertaken various initiatives, however has not been given anywhere near adequate resources to fulfill her task in exposing the massive antisemitism among the more than 500 million EU citizens.
A fourth important development is the increasing assurance of the security of synagogues and other Jewish institutions. Switzerland has been extremely negligent in this area. Finally this year, the first Swiss city, Basel, belatedly decided to join this process and assign police officers to guard the synagogue. This is an important precedent and challenge for other towns in the country.
A fifth important development is the publication of additional studies on antisemitism. In December, the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) released a report it claims is the largest study on antisemitism ever undertaken. It investigated twelve European Union countries and is titled: “Experiences and Perceptions of Antisemitism.” The study found that the most common antisemitic statement encountered by Jews in Europe is that Israelis behave like Nazis toward the Palestinians. Muslim antisemitism is mentioned as the dominant identified source of harassment of Jews in Europe. It is followed by left-wing antisemitism and right-wing antisemitism. It is a Europe-wide problem that due to poor follow up, most victims of antisemitic incidents do not complain to the authorities.
There are many other incidental or smaller issues of importance. One was a French manifesto against Muslim antisemitism that was signed by 250 Jewish and non-Jewish personalities. This document sums up the main elements of violence and incitement against Jews emanating from parts of this immigrant community. One can only hope next year others will follow in those footsteps and expose what a variety of European governments try to hide or whitewash. Fifteen years too late, French President Emmanuel Macron has formally accepted that the murder of Jewish disk jockey DJ Sebastien Sellam in 2003 by a Muslim neighbor was an antisemitic act.
The Council of the European Union (EU) approved the first declaration of its kind to fight antisemitism and strengthen the security of Jewish communities in Europe. Outgoing US Ambassador Nikki Haley castigated the UN saying, “We will not tolerate a situation that a world body of 198 countries can spend half their time attacking one country: Israel.”
British media such as The Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph have exposed the substantial antisemitism in the British Labour Party, which is led by Jeremy Corbyn, a friend of genocidal terrorists, associate of Holocaust deniers, anti-Israel inciter and part-time antisemite.
There are many other meritorious acts against antisemitism by individuals. Alyssa Milano refused to speak at the Women’s March in the US after two of its leaders Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour refused to break ties with the leading US antisemite Louis Farrakhan. Another important development was the firing of extreme anti-Israel inciter Marc Lamont, by CNN.
It should become a tradition to not only publish major antisemitic slurs at the end of each year. There is now also a possibility to publish successes in the fight against antisemitism.
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld is the emeritus chairman of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Journal for the Study of Antisemitism, and the International Leadership Award by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
The article was published in The JPost

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