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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

B’nai B’rith Europe commends the Greek legislature for passing a law strengthening the country’s anti-discrimination laws and making it a crime to deny the Holocaust. This decisive action by lawmakers comes at a time of need as the rise of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party has sparked anti-Semitic and xenophobic crimes throughout the country.

The law was passed by parliament on Sept. 9 after a year of debate. It increases jail time for offenders from two to three years and sets the fine at $26,000 as the maximum penalty for “inciting acts of discrimination, hatred or violence” based on religion, race or disability.

This change in policy, updating anti-discrimination legislation passed in 1979, is a positive and necessary step toward tolerance and inclusiveness in Greek society.

Europe’s most significant Jewish event will take place next year in Berlin. Germany will host the European Maccabi Games for the first time.
The 14th European Maccabi Games (EMG2015), the major Jewish sporting event in Europe, will be opened on 28th July 2015 at the Berlin Olympic Stadium, exactly 70 years after the Holocaust and, significantly, in that arena where Jews were forbidden to compete in the Olympic Games of 1936.
Just as in the Olympic Games, Jewish athletes from countries throughout Europe compete in the European Maccabi Games every four years. More than 2000 athletes, trainers and companions from more than 30 countries will be welcomed

The official festive opening ceremony will take place at the Waldbuehne where some 15000 spectators will see the arrival of the national teams, the lighting of the Maccabi flame and a splendid artistic programme involving top German and Israeli performers.

Detailed information about all the happenings during these Games is available at www.emg2015.org

The Executive Committee of B’nai B’rith Europe wish every success for this important event in the European Jewish year.


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One day after his extradition from France, federal police said Wednesday that Mehdi Nemmouche had also been interrogated by a counter-terrorist unit
Nemmouche, 29, had fought with Islamic extremists in Syria.On May 24, a lone gunman walked into the Jewish Museum in the center of Brussels, unpacked a Kalashnikov rifle, killed four people including a couple of Israeli, a French retired woman and an emplyee of the Museum, with a burst of fire, packed up and walked away.

The man suspected of killing four people at the Brussels Jewish Museum in May has been charged with "murder in a terrorist context."

Source AP
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B'nai B'rith Europe is shocked by the attacks against the Synagogue on Roquette street in Paris (11th district) by hundreds of pro Palestinian protesters carrying Hamas flags and yelling "Death to Jews". The attacks followed protests earlier. At least four people were injured and sent to the hospital before French police were able to secure the premises.


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The results of the latest elections to the European Parliament indicate a clear shift to the extreme right.

Why is this shift much more visible in the elections to the European Parliament than in national elections? First of all because of much lower general voting rates, and secondly because of the EU elections system. In Germany for example, the neo-Nazi NDP has never gained seats in the Bundestag because of a 5% qualifying threshold in the case of the votes cast nationally, and the fact that while the NDP is strong in certain regions in Germany (especially in what used to be East Germany) it has never received a majority in any of the constituencies that would give them Bundestag. However, in the recent European Parliament elections one member was elected from the NDP.


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At a star-studded Gala Dinner in the Frankfurt Inter-Continental Hotel on Tuesday, 10th June 2014, Ralph Hofmann, President of B’nai B’rith Europe, presented Mathias Döpfner with the BBE 2014 Award of Merit.

In his introductory words Ralph Hofmann said: “Dr. Mathias Döpfner is a firm opponent of any form of anti-Semitism. He supports the State of Israel and the Jewish people not only with his words but also with his deeds.”


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