UEFA probes antisemitism at Maccabi Haifa game in Germany

October 8, 2021
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced on Tuesday it will open an investigation into the antisemitic abuse hurled at Maccabi Haifa fans during a match against Union Berlin on Thursday.
During the UEFA Conference League match, in which Haifa lost 3-0, Union Berlin supporters made antisemitic gestures and slurs towards fans and even attempted to set fire to the Israeli flag.
In addition, Berlin Police are also investigating one Union Berlin supporter who shouted "sieg heil" several times during the match, according to Firstpost.
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https://www.jpost.com/diaspora/antisemitism/uefa-announces-probe-into-antisemitism-at-maccabi-haifa-game-in-germany-681147

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Austrian Initiative Promoting Holocaust Education in Awake of WWII Victory Anniversary

EJA had received the following letter from the Federal Chancellery of Austria:

Dear Sir/Madame,

I hope this message finds you well. 

The 8th of May 1945 marked the end of the Second World War in Europe and the end of the Nazi reign of terror in Austria. While looking back at the darkest chapter in Austria‘s history, the 8th of May also represents a day of liberation and joy.

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache spoke at today’s commemorative event, emphasizing that remembrance must be followed by concrete action. Austria has a special responsibility in the fight against antisemitism and in safeguarding Jewish life in Europe, Israel and in the rest of the world. The first ever agreement of the EU countries to decisively fight antisemitism which Austria managed to reach during its Presidency, was an important step into the right direction.

“My generation is probably the last one that is able to speak to holocaust survivors. In this context, I fully support the proposal to give all secondary students in Austria the possibility to visit the Mauthausen memorial at least once in their lifetime,” so the Chancellor.

Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache also underlined Austria’s commitment to remembrance on such a significant day: “The Shoah was the most horrible and vicious manifestation of the Nazi terror regime. I bow my head to all those who became victims to this gruesome and cruel time in our history.”

Austria has been cooperating actively with the memorial Yad Vashem over the past decades. Since the year 2000, around 800 Austrian teachers participated in seminars/courses at the memorial to improve the curricula of Austrianstudents, and last year, as Austrian Federal Government, we contributed 1 Million Euros to the construction of the Shoah Heritage Campus. 

To further strengthen this relationship, today Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has signed on behalf of the Austrian Federal Government an archival agreement with Yad Vashem. The agreement will give historians from Austria and Israel the opportunity to access their respective archives and conduct their research. We are firmly committed to make sure that no individual story will ever be forgotten.

Feel free to come back to me at any time in case of further inquiries or comments.

Kind Regards,
Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal

Federal Chancellery of the Republic of Austria

Spokesperson of the Federal Government

Ambassador

Peter Launsky-Tieffenthal

EJA Chairman, Rabbi Menachem Margolin had reply to the letter:
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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

New Cooperation with Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente De Achterhoek

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 Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente De Achterhoek.
We are sure that this cooperation will bring with it beautiful and important accomplishments. We look forward to working for the betterment of Dutch and European Jewry together.

House of Fates hand-over to Jews should be celebrated not belittled says EJA Head

Responding to the news that the Hungarian government has made Hungary’s Emih, Hungarian Jewry’ principal Jewish community, the custodians of the Jewish Museum “House of Fates”, the Chairman and Founder of the European Jewish Association, Rabbi Menachem Margolin welcomed the move and rounded on critics as pretending to speak for Hungary’ Jews.

In a statement Rabbi Margolin said,

“The Emih community was founded in 1877 and re-constituted in 2004. Since then it has been leading from the front when it comes to the remarkable and inspiring revival of Hungary’s Jewish community.

It counts 16 Rabbis acting on behalf of its community in Hungary’s 3 main cities. It is the only community that provides Kosher certification and performs circumcisions. It is the only community to have published, in Hungarian, a Siddur, Machzor, Haggadah and Chumash. Additionally it runs 6 synagogues and leads spiritually another 3 in Hungary. It runs a kindergarten, school, high school and University and Rabbinical college.  It also founded the most important organisation in Hungary that monitors Anti-Semitism – Action and Protection – an organisation that enjoys widespread support among Hungarian Jewry. In the upcoming year, Emih will renew another 3 synagogues in Hungary. There is no doubt that Emih is responsible for the Jewish renaissance in Hungary.

Little wonder therefor that Emih is recognised by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and that the Hungarian government has chosen it to act as custodians for this important museum. This is the first time that a government has given up voluntarily, a museum or memorial and placed it in the hands of the Jewish community. This is to be celebrated not belittled.

Anyone that is critical of this move is showing how far they are removed the community and realities on the ground. Attempts to politicise such a positive step underlines the very real need for communities like Emih, particularly as the Hungarian government is one of the few in Europe that continues to provide support and is helping to create the conditions needed for a flourishing Jewish community through its unambiguous  support for Isreal and Freedom of religion.

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