B’nai B’rith Welcomes EU Council Declaration on Mainstreaming the Fight Against Anti-Semitism Across Policy-Areas
(Washington, D.C., Dec 2, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
B’nai B’rith International welcomes the EU Council Declaration on mainstreaming the fight against anti-Semitism across policy areas issued today through unanimous agreement by EU member states. The declaration highlights a core belief we share and advocate for in the EU and globally: fighting anti-Semitism is not merely a Jewish responsibility; it is a responsibility for all society.
The declaration, spearheaded by the German presidency of the council, recognizes that the fight against anti-Semitism is a cross-cutting policy issue. It must involve government and policies at local, national and European levels. Thus, the fight against anti-Semitism extends to all policy areas – from education and sports to security, migration or digital governance.
We applaud the focus placed on Jewish heritage as an integral part of the European fabric, as the declaration notes that“Judaism and Jewish life have contributed considerably to shaping European identity and enriching Europe’s cultural, intellectual and religious heritage.” Thus, member states commit to the important mission of making Jewish life more visible as part of Europe’s identity.
As nearly half of EU member states are yet to adopt the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance) definition of anti-Semitism, the declaration calls for the implementation of this crucial commitment highlighted in the 2018 “Council Declaration on the fight against anti-Semitism and the development of a common security approach to better protect Jewish communities and institutions in Europe.” We echo this call – the IHRA definition is a first necessary step in identifying and addressing this age-old scourge, whether it stems from the far-right, the far-left or radical Islam.
Importantly, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the declaration recognizes the need to accelerate the fight against anti-Semitism online, underlining that crimes committed online are subject to the same legal remedies as those committed offline.
As we hail this new declaration as an important step, we urge EU countries to take measures to implement its commitments in the urgent and essential task of tackling anti-Semitism and safeguarding Jewish life. As Jewish communities across Europe face old and new challenges, appropriate resources must be directed at all levels of government to live up to this task.
See the full text of the Declaration here.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org.
Winter Issue Also Spotlights: The Tiny Cuban Jewish Community, African Immigrants to Israel, Oil in Chanukah Cooking, And More
(Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2019)-- In pre-World War II Berlin, Jewish fashion designers were key to Germany’s golden age of fashion. The Holocaust terminated their participation in the industry, and their contributions and influence have been all but forgotten. Our cover story, “German Jewish Fashion Industry Flourished, then Perished Under Nazi Rule,” focuses on this neglected history.
Two Jewish sisters from Ethiopia, made aliyah with the help of a determined West Bank resident. Read about the obstacles they faced on their challenging journey, in this feature story.
How should oil be used for Chanukah cooking? Which types of cooking oils are healthiest? Can you fry food in olive oil? Our article on Chanukah cooking has the answers to these questions, plus several recipes you can use in your Chanukah kitchen.
Cuba’s Jews have confronted religious and political repression, economic hardship and declining religious observance. Many younger Jews, seeing few opportunities in Cuba, make aliyah. Still, the 1,500-strong Cuban Jewish community works hard to preserve its vibrant culture and heritage. Our photo-essay on the community gives a glimpse into this fight.
B’nai B’rith International CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin gives a glowing review of the off-Broadway Yiddish revival of “Fiddler on the Roof,” which has been wildly successful, in his column. Although most of the audience members do not speak Yiddish and rely on subtitles during the production, the music and plot transcend language.
In his President’s Column, Charles O. Kaufman delves into modern anti-Semitism, which comes from the left and right. Kaufman also debunks common anti-Semitic and anti-Israel myths like “Israel seeks to be a colonial power” and “Israel keeps Palestinians in refugee camps.” We also look at the loss of civility in society in our About Seniors column.
Read those stories and so much more in the winter issue of B’nai B’rith Magazine, available here.
(Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We strongly support the Corinthians Football Club of São Paulo’s campaign to commemorate Kristallnacht by wearing yellow stars on their jerseys this week. The stars on the jerseys are meant to evoke the star badges Jews were forced to wear on their clothing under Nazi rule. Corinthians Football Club’s gesture of solidarity is timed to coincide with the 81st anniversary of the 1938 pogrom.
On Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, 1938, Nazi paramilitaries and civilians ransacked and destroyed Jewish-owned businesses, synagogues, hospitals and schools. After the Yom Kippur terrorist attack on a German synagogue, the murder of 11 worshippers a year ago at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and in the face of rising anti-Semitism in the United States and across the world, historical memory is more important than ever.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.org
(Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We condemn the vile anti-Semitic attack that took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, outside a synagogue and inside a kebab shop in Halle, Germany.
The shooter uploaded a graphic video to the Internet blaming Jews for immigration and feminism and showing off the weapons in his car before driving to the synagogue and shooting. He murdered two people and wounded an additional two. Only the synagogue’s security measures, which included locking the doors of the building, prevented a massacre inside the synagogue. German law enforcement eventually pursued the shooter and has him in custody. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and others expressed concern that the synagogue itself was not guarded by police and that police took more than 10 minutes to arrive at the synagogue.
This terrorist attack should be met with a renewed resolve of solidarity within the Jewish community and beyond. We also call on Twitch, the platform the shooter used to upload his video of the massacre, to more closely monitor the content that it allows to be live-streamed. More than 2,000 viewers watched the video of the shooting before it was taken down. Social media platforms must be held responsible for the hate they allow on their platforms.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.or
B’nai B’rith Condemns Attacks in Copenhagen on Synagogue and Free Speech Seminar; German Court Ruling in Synagogue Attack Seemingly Excuses Anti-Semitism
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
The weekend shooting attacks in Copenhagen on a synagogue and a free speech seminar are frighteningly similar to the January terror spree in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher market.
Two people were killed in the Copenhagen attacks.
B’nai B’rith expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the two men killed in the Copenhagen attacks: Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old member of the local Jewish community, who was serving as a volunteer guarding a synagogue during a bat mitzvah ceremony; and Finn Nørgaard, 55, who was attending the free speech seminar.
Recent attacks on Jewish sites in Europe indicate violence linked to anti-Semitism is becoming more common.
Just days earlier, a German court ruled the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal was not anti-Semitism. Instead, the court determined the attack was meant to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict.”
The ruling sends a dangerous and troubling message that terrorists can hide blatant anti-Semitism behind a different label and escape punishment.
The two adult attackers and their 18-year-old accomplice in the Wuppertal firebombing were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. The adults involved in the case each received suspended prison terms.
It is a perilous time as anti-Semitic attitudes increasingly masquerade as anti-Israel political statements. Violence against Jews and their houses of worship should be punished accordingly—as the hate crimes they are.