BRUSSELS —The European Jewish Association, a Brussels-based federation of Jewish communities across Europe, has launched a campaign to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day on 27 January.
In a letter sent to around 100 European Union and member states leaders, EJA head Rabbi Menachem Margolin asked them to light a memorial candle in their office on January 27 and post a picture on social media under the hashtag: #NotOnMyWatch @EJAssociation.
The posts will then be forwarded across the various social media platforms to the Jewish communities represented by EJA.
In his letter, Rabbi Margolin stressed that ‘’ we have seen a further alarming rise in xenophobic and nationalistic tendencies across the European Union, which comes with a spike in the number of anti-Semitic incidents’’.
He added, ‘’With the outcome of European Parliament elections in May 2019, pointing to a continuation in this worrying trend, this year’s Remembrance Day takes on an even more significant importance.’’
He urged the EU leaders ‘’to show that the European ideals of tolerance, human rights and freedom of religion will always take precedence over such rhetoric.’’
He also recalled the ‘’red lines’’ adopted at European Jewish Associatioc onference that that all political parties should to sign up to ahead of the upcoming May European elections.
These ‘’red lines’ are:
- Political parties and their leadership must sign up to the full IHRA working definition of anti-Semitism.
- Every European country must appoint a dedicated Special Representative to combat anti-Semitism, where one does not already exist.
- All political parties pledge to exclude from government parties or politicians that espouse anti-Semitism, as defined by the IHRA working definition.
- All political parties pledge to pass, in accordance with their respective rules of procedure, binding resolutions that reject BDS activities as fundamentally anti-Semitic.
- All political parties pledge to support in writing and in party documents their support for the freedom of religion and freedom of practice at Member State level and EU level.
‘’While many of the red lines are part of an ongoing dialogue with governments and parties, we are especially urging countries across Europe to consider the appointment of a dedicated special representative tasked with tackling anti-Semitism and working closely with Jewish organisations,’’ Margolin wrote.
‘’It is our firm belief that now really is the time to make a determined statement against this age-old hatred, which deserves no place, no refuge and certainly no voice in modern Europe,’’ he concluded.