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BBE sponsors portable school shelter for elementary school in Israel

BBE sponsors portable school shelter for elementary school in Israel

During last summer’s Gaza conflict, the BBE executive committee organized a Solidarity trip to Israel. As part of the program,…

Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in Prague

Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in Prague

B'nai B'rith Europe a divison of B'nai B'rith International Invitation to the 8th BBE Convention and BBI International Forum in…

Unveiling Ceremony of the plaque in memory of Erika van Gelder z"l

Unveiling Ceremony of the plaque in memory of Erika van Gelder z"l

On Sunday 3rd July, on the occasion of a reunion of the BBE Executive Committee and a visit from BBI executive, BBE…

B’nai B’rith Meets with European Commission Coordinator to Combat Anti-Semitism

B’nai B’rith Meets with European Commission Coordinator to Combat Anti-Semitism

B'nai B'rith Europe President Daniel Citone, B'nai B'rith Europe Vice-President Valerie Achache and B'nai B'rith International Director of EU Affairs…

Working brunch with fellow Jewish organisations in renovated offices

Working brunch with fellow Jewish organisations in renovated offices

Yesterday, 1st October 2015, B'nai B'rith Europe held a working brunch in its renovated office with several organisations that were…

A delegation of B'nai B'rith leads MEPS on a mission to Israël

A delegation of B'nai B'rith leads MEPS on a mission to Israël

B’nai B’rith International led several members of the European Parliament on a five-day visit to Israel. This trip promoted the…

B'nai B'rith Young Professionals' Trip to Luxembourg

B'nai B'rith Young Professionals' Trip to Luxembourg

B'nai B'rith Europe and B'nai B'rith Young Professionals (BBYP) UK took a group of over 40 people to Luxembourg from…

Bridges of Tolerance

Bridges of Tolerance

A report of the event in Romania 3-5 June 2015

Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2015 JoomlaWorks Ltd.

Welcome to the B'nai B'rith Europe website

Unveiling Ceremony of the plaque in memory of Erika van Gelder z"l

On Sunday 3rd July, on the occasion of a reunion of the BBE Executive Committee and a visit from BBI executive, BBE unveiled a plaque for our late and beloved President Erika Van Gelder.

Plaque Erika
David and Sarah Van Gelder, Erika's family, attended too.

Daniel Citone, BBE president, Garry Saltzman, BBI President, and Dan Mariaschin made moving speeches  followed by another inspiring speech by David Van Gelder. 




elie wiesel

We mourn the passing of Elie Wiesel, whose writing gave voice to the millions who perished in the Shoah, and to the millions of Soviet Jews seeking freedom to emigrate. Eminent thinker and author, his books and lectures taught us with power and grace, but served also, in our own times, to teach us the lessons of history's darkest moments.

His passing leaves the world bereft of a profound moral conscience. 

Source: B'nai B'rith International.



By Gilberte JACARET

Orlando Gunman Attacks Gay Nightclub, Leaving 50 Dead

ORLANDO, Fla. — A man who called 911 to proclaim allegiance to the Islamic State terrorist group, and who had been investigated in the past for possible terrorist ties, stormed a gay nightclub here Sunday morning, wielding an assault rifle and a pistol, and carried out the worst mass shooting in United States history, leaving 50 people dead and 53 wounded.

The attacker, identified by law enforcement officials as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old who was born in New York, turned what had been a celebratory night of dancing to salsa and merengue music at the crowded Pulse nightclub into a panicked scene of unimaginable slaughter, the floors slicked with blood, the dead and the injured piled atop one another. Terrified people poured onto the darkened streets of the surrounding neighborhood, some carried wounded victims to safety, and police vehicles were pressed into service as makeshift ambulances to rush people to hospitals.
Joel Figueroa and his friends "were dancing by the hip-hop area when I heard shots, bam, bam, bam," he said, adding, "Everybody was screaming and running toward the front door."

Law enforcement officials said the suspect in the attack on an Orlando nightclub on Sunday had been monitored for possible terrorist ties, but was still legally able to buy guns.

The shooting began around 2 a.m., and some patrons thought at first that the booming reports they heard were firecrackers or part of the loud, thumping dance music.
Some people who were trapped inside hid where they could, calling 911 or posting messages to social media, pleading for help. The club posted a stark message on its Facebook page: "Everyone get out of pulse and keep running."

Hundreds of people gathered in the glare of flashing red lights on the fringes of the law enforcement cordon around the nightclub, and later at area hospitals, hoping desperately for some word on the fates of their relatives and friends.

More than 12 hours after the attack, anguished relatives paced between Orlando Regional Medical Center and a nearby hotel as they waited for word. They were told that so many were gunned down that victims would be tagged as anonymous until the hospital was able to identify them.

At least 30 people inside were rescued, and even the hardened police veterans who took the building and combed through it, aiding the living and identifying the dead, were shaken by what they saw, said John Mina, the Orlando police chief. "Just to look into the eyes of our officers told the whole story," he said.

It was the worst act of terrorism on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, and the deadliest attack on a gay target in the nation's history, though officials said it was not clear whether some victims had been accidentally shot by law enforcement officers.

The toll of 50 dead is larger than the number of murders in Orlando over the previous three years. Of an estimated 320 people in the club, nearly one-third were shot. The casualties far exceeded those in the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech, where 32 people were killed, and the 2012 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people died.

"In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another," President Obama said in a special address from the White House. "We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united as Americans to protect our people and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us."

The F.B.I. investigated Mr. Mateen in 2013 when he made comments to co-workers suggesting he had terrorist ties, and again the next year, for possible connections to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, an American who became a suicide bomber in Syria, said Ronald Hopper, an assistant agent in charge of the bureau's Tampa Division. But each time, the F.B.I. found no solid evidence that Mr. Mateen had any real connection to terrorism or had broken any laws. Still, he is believed to be on at least one watch list.

Mr. Mateen, who lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., was able to continue working as a security guard with the security firm G4S, where he had worked since 2007, and he was able to buy guns. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Mr. Mateen had legally bought a long gun and a pistol in the past week or two, though it was not clear whether those were the weapons used in the assault, which officials described as a handgun and an AR-15 type of assault rifle.

A former co-worker, Daniel Gilroy, said Mr. Mateen had talked often about killing people and had voiced hatred of gays, blacks, women and Jews.
Around the time of the massacre, Mr. Mateen called 911 and declared his allegiance to the Islamic State, the brutal group that has taken over parts of Syria, Iraq and Libya, Agent Hopper said. Other law enforcement officials said he called after beginning his assault.

Hours later, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, claimed responsibility in a statement released over an encrypted phone app used by the group. It stated that the attack "was carried out by an Islamic State fighter," according to a transcript provided by the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks jihadist propaganda.

But officials cautioned that even if Mr. Mateen, who court records show was briefly married and then divorced, was inspired by the group, there was no indication that it had trained or instructed him, or had any direct connection with him. Some other terrorist attackers have been "self-radicalized," including the pair who killed 14 people in December in San Bernardino, Calif., who also proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State, but apparently had no contact with the group.

The Islamic State has encouraged "lone wolf" attacks in the West, a point reinforced recently by a group spokesman, Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, in his annual speech just before the holy month of Ramadan. In past years, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda ramped up attacks during Ramadan.
American Muslim groups condemned the shooting. "The Muslim community joins our fellow Americans in repudiating anyone or any group that would claim to justify or excuse such an appalling act of violence," said Rasha Mubarak, the Orlando regional coordinator of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Blaming Muslims After Attack, Donald Trump Tosses Pluralism Aside

Hillary Clinton's and Donald J. Trump's responses to the massacre in Orlando, Fla., highlighted their differences on gun control and immigration.
Donald J. Trump left little doubt on Monday that he intends to run on the same proposals on immigration and terrorism that animated his primary campaign, using his first speech after the massacre in Orlando, Fla., to propose sweeping measures against Muslims that pay little heed to American traditions of pluralism.

Without distinguishing between mainstream Muslims and Islamist terrorists, Mr. Trump suggested that all Muslim immigrants posed potential threats to America's security and called for a ban on migrants from any part of the world with "a proven history of terrorism" against the United States or its allies. He also insinuated that American Muslims were all but complicit in acts of domestic terrorism for failing to report attacks in advance, asserting without evidence that they had warnings of shootings like the one in Orlando.

Mr. Trump's speech, delivered at St. Anselm College in Manchester, N.H., represented an extraordinary break from the longstanding rhetorical norms of American presidential nominees. But if his language more closely resembled a European nationalist's than a mainstream Republican's, he was wagering that voters are stirred more by their fears of Islamic terrorism than any concerns they may have about his flouting traditions of tolerance and respect for religious diversity.

Mr. Trump, who drew criticism last fall, including a sharp rebuke from House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, for first suggesting a constitutionally questionable ban on Muslim immigration, on Monday described Islamic extremism as a pervasive global menace that was penetrating the United States through unchecked immigration.

Citing the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 by two men with ties to Chechnya and instances of radicalization in Minnesota's Somali immigrant community, Mr. Trump painted a bleak portrait of the country as under siege from within and abroad.
"They're trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS is and how wonderful Islam is," Mr. Trump said, referring to the Islamic State. "And we don't know what's happening."

"They didn't turn them in," Mr. Trump said, "and we had death and destruction."

Mr. Trump carefully read his remarks from a teleprompter and offered more detail than his stump speeches generally contain, but his speech was still rife with the sort of misstatements and exaggerations that have typified his campaign.

He repeatedly stretched the facts, for example, in describing the United States as overrun by dangerous migrants. He claimed the country has an "immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country," brushing aside the entire customs and immigration enforcement infrastructure. And he asserted that there was a "tremendous flow" of Syrian refugees, when just 2,805 of them were admitted into the country from October to May, fewer than one-third of the 10,000 Syrians President Obama said the United States would accept this fiscal year.

Mr. Trump described the gunman in the Orlando shooting as "an Afghan," though he was born an American citizen in New York City to parents who had emigrated from Afghanistan to the United States over three decades ago.

Mr. Trump assailed the presumptive Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, accusing her of favoring immigration policies that would invite a flood of potential jihadists to the United States, which he warned could be "a better, bigger, more horrible version than the legendary Trojan Horse ever was."
Mrs. Clinton, speaking in Cleveland earlier in the day, argued that engaging in "inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric" made the country less safe. Delivering the sort of conventional speech that most presidential contenders would offer in the wake of tragedy, she did not mention Mr. Trump. But, while saying the "murder of innocent people breaks our hearts, tears at our sense of security and makes us furious," she described proposals to ban Muslim immigration as offensive and counterproductive.

"America is strongest when we all believe we have a stake in our country and our future," she said, calling to mind the bipartisan spirit that took hold after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, when she was a senator from New York.

Mrs. Clinton has sought to present herself as the default choice of mainstream voters, including Republicans disturbed by Mr. Trump, and on Monday she stressed the importance of building relationships between law enforcement agencies and American Muslims.

"Our open, diverse society is an asset in the struggle against terrorism, not a liability," Mrs. Clinton said.

As Mrs. Clinton reached for the mantle of statesmanship, Mr. Trump's speech amounted to a rejection of the conventional wisdom that he must remake himself for the November election as a more sober figure and discard the volcanic tone and ethnic and racial provocation that marked his primary campaign.

Yet Mr. Trump has showed little interest in assuaging those concerns. He used the hours after the Orlando massacre to claim prescience about the attack and to demand Mr. Obama's resignation. Then, in a television interview on Monday morning, Mr. Trump darkly suggested that the president was sympathetic to Islamic terrorists.

"We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind," Mr. Trump said. "There is something going on."
Some Republicans said Mr. Trump's determination to play to his hard-line base was undermining his standing as a general election candidate.
"He has to do what Reagan had to do. Reagan eventually had to make a sale that he was not a risk," said Thomas M. Davis III, a former Republican congressman, recalling the 1980 election. "There is time, but the way he's going about it now doesn't do it at all. It keeps him in the hunt, but it doesn't get him elected."

John F. Lehman, a former Navy secretary and an adviser to John McCain's and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns, said he anticipated that Mr. Trump's standing would improve after the Orlando attack.
But he said Mr. Trump's Muslim ban went "too far" and questioned whether he had made any effort to learn about national security.

UN condemn 'reprehensible' Tel Aviv terror attack
Associated Press and Ynet News

Security Council issues resolution condemning Sarona attack as 'acts of terrorism'; Israeli UN ambassador: 'This is an important and moral statement.'

The U.N. Security Council condemned Thursday night the deadly terror shooting attack which which claimed the lives of four Israelis and wounded 16 others in Tel Aviv's Sarona Market on Wednesday night.

The council called for those responsible for "these reprehensible acts of terrorism" to be brought to justice.

The council statement was approved by all 15 members who expressed sympathy to the families of the four civilians killed and those injured in the attack by two Palestinian gunmen, and to the government of Israel.

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UN Security Council (Photo: AP)

Council members "reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable."

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Danny Danon said the council statement was the first official condemnation of "terrorism" in Israel since the current wave of attacks began eight months ago.

He called the condemnation "an important and moral statement" and called on all countries to oppose "Palestinian incitement that directly leads to violent terrorism."

Danon called upon the UN secretary-general and the security council on Wednesday night to condemn the terror attack.

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Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon (Photo: AFP)

"Today's attack is sad proof that when the international community refuses to condemn terror against Israelis, the next attack is only a matter of time. Terror in Tel Aviv must be viewed in the same way as terror attacks in Paris or Istanbul," said Danon.

"I call upon the Security Council and the secretary-general to severely condemn the murderous terror attack and to demand from the Palestinian leadership to put a stop to hateful things which incite terror."

Attempted knife attack on IDF soldiers threatened, attacker neutralized

The would-be attacker ran at soldiers alongside the entrance to the Shomron Regional Brigade; the soldiers shot him, avoiding injury to themselves and seriously injuring the attacker.
Elisha Ben Kimon & Itay Blumental
Published: 06.10.16, 17:56 / Israel News

Sweden Choosing to Lose War against Middle East Antisemitism?
by Nima Gholam Ali Pour
May 27, 2016 at 5:00 am

 Who invited this "Salafist megastar," who denies the Holocaust and is known for making anti-Semitic statements, to visit Malmö? What do you do when anti-Semitism in Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, is so normalized that children in a public school can endorse a conference with anti-Semitic elements?
 Anti-Semitism is such a gigantic problem in Malmö that even senior city officials cannot understand how it became so normalized. They seem to dismiss it as part of a non-Swedish culture that, in a multicultural society, must be tolerated, even accommodated.
 If there are children in Swedish public schools today who are promoting an anti-Semitic conference, what will these children do in the future?
 Is Sweden really turning into a country where Jews are no longer welcome, someday to become a country without Jews? And if that happens, what does that say about Sweden? And who will come next after the Jews?

Malmö, Sweden's third-largest city, is an important, visible part of Sweden. If you read the Municipality of Malmö's political objectives, which the Municipal Council of Malmö has endorsed, you will see that "racism, discrimination and hate crimes do not belong in open Malmö." The reality, however, is different. Anti-Semitism there has reached bizarre levels -- with politicians and other policymakers in Sweden doing nothing about it.

On April 30, 2016, the Islamic imam and preacher Salman Al-Ouda, who has been described in the Swedish media as a "Salafist megastar," visited Malmö. Al-Ouda apparently inspired Osama bin Laden, has claimed that the Holocaust was a myth, and is known for making anti-Semitic statements.

The first question anyone should ask is: Who invited such a person to visit Malmö?

It turned out that it was a politician from the Green Party, currently part of the Swedish government's ruling coalition, and which also governs in Malmö locally, together with the Social Democrats.
The second question that anyone should ask is: What kind of reception did Al-Ouda receive in such a large Swedish city?

Well, Al-Ouda got to speak at one of Malmö's most famous conference facilities, Amiralen, described on the official website of the Municipality of Malmö as a part of the city's cultural heritage. Al-Ouda was also invited by the Alhambra Muslim student association, at Malmö University. In other words, even though Malmö's policies officially state that racism has no place in Malmö, Al-Ouda, an anti-Semite, was treated as a diplomat.

On May 6, just a week after Al-Ouda's visit, the fourteenth "Palestinians in Europe Conference" was held in Malmö. One of the conference's organizers, the Palestinian Return Centre, has close ties to the Hamas terrorist organization.

The Palestinians in Europe Conference was held at Malmömässan, another famous conference center in Malmö. When a Swedish pro-Israel organization, Perspektiv På Israel, sent an email to the CEO of Malmömässan, Lasse Larsson, to warn him that an anti-Semite was going to speak at his conference center, Larsson replied:

"We, MalmöMässan, do not take positions on the substance of the matter, but have entrusted this to our authorities that have given the go-ahead and therefore we will allow the conference to be conducted."

The problem is that if you allow someone to spread hatred against Jews, you need to have a clear position. Would he have allowed the hall to be used to spread hate speech against African-Swedes or homosexuals or women?

In Malmö, when it comes to Middle Eastern anti-Semitism, there is currently no clear position from any major institution.

When it was revealed that one of the speakers at the Palestinians in Europe Conference was to be the former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Ekrim Said Sabri, who has also repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks, an announcement came that two Swedish Members of Parliament, Hillevi Larsson (Social Democrat) and Daniel Sestrajcic (Left Party), would also speak at it. This arrangement appeared to be no coincidence. In October 2015, both of these MPs spoke in Malmö at a rally in which participants celebrated knife attacks against Jews in Israel. Additionally, when the Eurovision Song Contest took place in Malmö in 2013, it was Daniel Sestrajcic, then chairman of Malmö's Municipal Cultural board, who argued that Eurovision should suspend Israel.

After the Perspektiv På Israel organization revealed that Sestrajcic and Larsson were to participate in the Palestinians in Europe Conference with Sheikh Sabri, a known anti-Semite, Israel's ambassador to Sweden wrote a critical op-ed for a major Swedish newspaper -- after which the two MPs cancelled their appearance.

Wait, it gets worse. Prior to the Palestinian conference, a public school class in Malmö participated in an video advertisement promoting it. The advertisement was filmed on the premises of the Apelgårdsskolan public elementary school. The idea that in Sweden a public school openly endorses a Palestinian conference to which an anti-Semite is invited to speak may also sound bizarre, but that is exactly what took place.

As this author also happens to be a member of Malmö's school board, it seemed normal to contact the school's director and the municipal councilor responsible for primary schools, to report the advertisement. The councilor never responded -- but the school's director did. The advertising video, he said, was just a "call to participate in the conference."

What do you do when anti-Semitism in Sweden's third-largest city is so normalized that children in a public school can endorse a conference with anti-Semitic elements?

Although the school director's reply was published in the online magazine Situation Malmö (of which this author is the editor), the media in Malmö was, as always, silent.

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Apelgårdsskolan elementary school in Malmö (up) openly endorsed a conference to which Sheikh Ekrim Said Sabri, who has repeatedly made anti-Semitic remarks, was invited to speak. Right: Hillevi Larsson, a Social Democratic MP representing a district of Malmö, accepted an invitation to speak at the same conference where Sheikh Sabri was scheduled to speak. Larsson is pictured showing off a Palestinian flag and a "map of Palestine" in which Israel does not exist.

The topic of anti-Semitism is so normalized in Malmö that when children are promoting a conference with anti-Semitic elements, it is not something the media even writes about. The omission seems part of an editorial policy of deliberately choosing not to report about Islamic and Palestinian anti-Semitism.

Anti-Semitism, is, in fact, such a gigantic problem in Malmö that even senior politicians and officials in the city seem not to understand how it became so normalized. They seem to dismiss it as part of a non-Swedish culture that, in a multicultural society, must be tolerated, even accommodated.

It is only in Muslim countries -- and evidently extreme liberal countries such as Sweden -- that a public school could promote a conference with anti-Semitic elements without anyone reacting.
That this happens in one of Sweden's largest cities, means that leading politicians in the country are aware of this rough anti-Semitic wave, but prefer not to do anything about it.
Some of the reasons for this preference are:

 Large-scale immigration from countries where anti-Semitism is normalized.
 A strong pro-Palestinian engagement among Swedish politicians that has resulted in a totally surreal debate about the Israel-Palestine debate, in which Israel is unjustly demonized.
 A desire among political parties in Sweden to win the votes of immigrants.
 A Swedish multiculturalism that is so uncritical of foreign cultures that it cannot differentiate between culture and racism.
 A fear of sounding critical of immigration.
 Important Swedish institutions, such as the Church of Sweden, legitimizing anti-Semitism by endorsing the Kairos Palestine document.
Sweden has officially surrendered to the Middle Eastern anti-Semitism.
The period of April-May 2016, and the visits by assorted anti-Semites to Malmö, show a regrettable pattern. In Sweden in general, and Malmö in particular, there are too many politicians, senior officials, journalists, heads of schools and companies that do not distance themselves from anti-Semitism.
Such a condition cannot only be described as bizarre; it is extremely dangerous.
There are Jewish communities in Malmö and elsewhere in Sweden. Jews are one of Sweden's five recognized minorities. As one of the countries that has joined the Council of Europe's Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, Sweden has an obligation to stop the normalization of anti-Semitism in Sweden.
When politicians and senior officials let children in Sweden's third-largest city endorse a racist conference, with which even the most extreme anti-Israel Swedish MPs refuse to associate, it is obvious that Sweden wishes to lose its fight against Middle Eastern anti-Semitism. Allowing schoolchildren to endorse anti-Semitism deserves nothing but condemnation, whether in Gaza or in Sweden. We expect this pattern in Sweden of indulging anti-Semitism to be fixed.
If there are children in Swedish public schools today who are promoting an anti-Semitic conference, what will these children do in the future? In a European continent where Western values are being challenged by Islamic values and European security is threatened by Islamic extremists, these children are being abandoned and being forced into choosing racist values, because Swedish authorities refuse to say "No" to Middle Eastern anti-Semitism.
The more normalized Middle Eastern anti-Semitism becomes in Sweden, the more you see Palestinian and other Arabic and Islamic organizations pushing the limits of how openly they can express it. You start asking yourself, will Sweden someday become a country without Jews. And if that happens, what does that say about Sweden? And who will come next after the Jews? To cleanse a country of Jews through massive Islamic immigration is no better than doing the same thing through cattle-cars or concentration camps.
Is Sweden really turning into a country where Jews are no longer welcome?
Have the institutions in Sweden really chosen to lose the fight against Middle Eastern anti-Semitism and to let extremist Islam win?
Nima Gholam Ali Pour is a member of the board of education in the Swedish city of Malmö and is engaged in several Swedish think tanks concerned with the Middle East. He is also editor for the social conservative website Situation Malmö. Gholam Ali Pour is the author of the Swedish book "Därför är mångkultur förtryck"("Why multiculturalism is oppression").

The Saudi Solution
Accommodations are plentiful in the kingdom for Sunni Muslim migrants
by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
May 18, 2016

As European governments slam the gates shut on illegal Middle Eastern immigrants, where can Syrians and others go to, not far from their homelands, for safety and employment? The answer is obvious but surprisingly neglected: to Saudi Arabia and the other rich Arab sheikhdoms.

The more than one million migrants who boated, trained, bussed, and walked to northern Europe in the past year overwhelmed the continent's capabilities and good will. Those large numbers were then exacerbated by crime and disease, an unwillingness to assimilate, a drive to impose Islamic laws, and such outrages as the Cologne taharrush (mass sexual assault) and the attacks in Paris and Brussels.
In reaction, populist and fascist parties (such as, respectively, the National Front in France and Jobbik in Hungary) gained strength. The European mood has so deeply shifted – as shown by the March elections in Germany – that much reduced numbers of illegals are unlikely to get in, no matter what new routes they try, such as via Italy.

This leaves huge numbers of would-be migrants wanting to enter Europe. A European Union (EU) commissioner, Johannes Hahn, counts "20 million refugees waiting at the doorstep of Europe. ... Ten to 12 million in Syria, 5 million Palestinians, 2 million Ukrainians and about 1 million in the southern Caucasus." Yes, but that's just a start; I also add vast numbers of Libyans, Egyptians, Yemenis, Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans, and Pakistanis – and not just political refugees but also economic migrants. In all, the numbers of Muslim peoples ready to emigrate could potentially match the 510 million EU residents.
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To where, then, are they to go? One nearby, desirable alternative to Europe exists; indeed, it's a destination so attractive that foreigners already constitute half the population: that would be the six Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Let's focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the largest of them in land size, population, and economy.

The KSA has many unique attractions for Sunni Muslims. To begin with, it has 100,000 high-quality, empty fiberglass tents that can house about 3 million people in Mina, just east of Mecca. Fireproof and air-conditioned, complete with toilets and kitchens, this unique resource is occupied a mere five days a year by pilgrims on the hajj.

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Some of the 100,000 fiberglass tents in Mina, Saudi Arabia.
Comparing the KSA to the states of northern Europe, shows its many other advantages:
Culturally, many Sunnis find Saudi's severe strictures more congenial than the West's secular environment. In the KSA, Muslims can exult in a society that permits polygamy, child marriages, wife-beating, female genital mutilation, and beheadings, while only lightly punishing slaveholding and honor killings.
Saudi also permits Muslims effortlessly to avoid such haram (forbidden) features as pet dogs; pork and alcohol; interest payments on loans; lotteries and casinos; Valentine's Day, women in revealing clothes, dating, and gentlemen's clubs; gay bars and gay marriage; the drug subculture; and the public expression of anti-Islamic views.
The Persian Gulf countries have been berated for not taking in "a single" Syrian refugee. Yet the Saudi authorities claim to have taken in 2½ million Syrians. How to explain this discrepancy?
In part, the Saudis are lying. But also, in part, the GCC and other Arabic-speaking states such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria never signed the 1951 Refugee Convention (because they reject the convention's goal of resettlement as applied to Palestinians). Accordingly, they avoid using the term refugee, with its implication of permanence, and refer instead to guests, who stay only temporarily until they return home.
How many Syrians have been allowed into Saudi? One study, by Lori Plotkin Boghardt of the Washington Institute for Near Eastern Policy, estimates they number in the "low hundreds of thousands," say 150,000. That's a small fraction of the over four million in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan – and just 5 percent of the migrants who could be housed just in Mina's splendid tents.
That wealthy Arab states are so miserly in opening their arms to Sunni Muslims in stress reveals currents of selfishness and hypocrisy. Their unhelpfulness should not be rewarded; it's high time that governments and refugee organizations stop focusing on Europe and instead turn to those Arab countries capable, with relative ease, to take in, house, and employ their desperate brethren.
Mr. Pipes (DanielPipes.org, @DanielPipes) is president of the Middle East Forum. © 2016 by Daniel Pipes. All rights reserved.


Victime attentat 8 juin                Victime attentat 8 juin 2

B'nai B'rith is outraged over a terrorist shooting that occurred Wednesday evening in Tel Aviv. The depraved attack took place at the Sarona complex, a well-known and busy market. At least four
 people have been killed and at least eight others have been wounded. According to reporters, the police have confirmed that two of the attackers have been arrested and one was shot.

It has been reported that the assailants were dressed as Orthodox Jews. This suggests a level of premeditation and calculation that adds to the horror of this terrorist incident and underscores the gravity of the security threat Israeli citizens face.

B'nai B'rith urges governments and international organisations that have, until now, failed to denounce the Palestinian campaign of terror will forthrightly and unequivocally condemn the shooting. As long as the Palestinians continue their longstanding practice of inciting anti-Israel and anti-Semitic hatred and employing terrorism, peace will continue to elude the region.

We extend our deepest condolences to the victims and their families.

When BB Berlin visits BB Athens...

Last week a group of 33 members of the Brotherhood of B'nai B'rith - Raoul Wallenberg Loge - Berlin Germany, visited Greece.

After passing by Thessaloniki, on 26, 27 and May 28, 2016, they visited Athens.

Escorted by their tour guide Mrs. Maria Passa-Kotsou, they had a historical tour with a special highlight on the Jewish part of Athens. The delegation attended a Cabalat Shabbat service in the synagogue, visited the Philon Lodge offices, the "Resteio" resting home, the Jewish Museum of Athens and lived the nightlife of Athens in a gathering at a tavern in Psiri.

They departed Sunday morning May 29 for Berlin with the best impressions for the excellent hospitality and the perfect organisation of their stay in Athens.

For B'nai B'rith
Lodge "PHILON"

Victor Batis


Visit Raoul Wallenberg in Athens

BBUK has a new board: congratulations!

Following the BBUK Annual General Meeting which was held last Sunday, 15th May 2016, a new board has been elected. You will find below the composition of the new board. Congratulations and good luck the new president Alan Miller and to the new board.

Alan Toni Eve
  Alan Miller ( New President), Toni Port (Honorary Life President of BBUK) and Eve Swabe (Monitor)






Chairman – CJIC Committee

Israel Portfolio


London Bureau of International Affairs  - Director

Report from the 23rd Catholic-Jewish committee meeting


The 23rd meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee (ILC) took place in Warsaw, 4-7 April 2016 and our Brother Bent Melchior attended the meeting. We have the pleasure to reproduce his report below:

4-7 April 2016 I had the honor to represent BBE at a meeting of the International Catholic-Jewish Liaison Committee (ILC) in Warsaw. ILC holds biennial meetings since 1971. The Catholic representatives are appointed from the Pontifical Commission of the Holy See for Religious Relations with the Jews. The head of the delegation in Warsaw was Cardinal Kurt Koch, who is appointed by the Pope as the official contact person on matters related to the Jewish world. Most of the non- Polish delegates were European, but there were also delegates from Israel, Brasil and USA.

The Jewish participants come from International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), which was established by 12 organizations, most of them American. There are religious bodies from both orthodox, conservative and reform Jewry as well as American Jewish Committee, ADL, World Jewish Congress and BBI. The head of the Jewish participants was Mr. Martin Budd, who is the chairman of ADL in USA. The BBI was represented by David Michaels, the Director of International Affairs. Apart from the Polish participants and observers we were two Europeans, of which one is representative of American Jewish Committee to the Holy See. Not one person from the bigger Jewish communities in France, UK or Germany. I was the only real European and was proud to represent BBE.

The subjects of the meeting were The "Other" in Jewish and Catholic Tradition and Refugees in Today's World. To protect and even love the stranger is an often repeated obligation in both the Jewish Bible and the New Testament. Several speakers had made research on the subject and gave us learned lectures on how to understand and implement these obligations in our time. Pope Francis was quoted often as a voice from the religious world taking action in the political field.

The deliberations focused on the practical and moral challenges of the refugee crisis overwhelming much of Europe today, with an emphasis on how the two religious communities might provide support for all those, who suffer as a result of armed conflicts. Additionally, the alarming increase of anti-Semitism and the violent persecution of Christians in many parts of the world were discussed. Participants also addressed the situation of Catholics and Jews in Poland, both historically and present.

The delegates visited the Nazi concentration camp Treblinka to confirm their commitment to preserve the memory of the Holocaust. At the opening ceremony the Yad Vashem "Righteous Among the Nations" recognition was bestowed posthumously upon three Polish individuals. The program also included a guided tour of POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Unfortunately, I could not participate in these tours, which were too difficult for my legs to overcome.

It is in itself an important situation that the two religious communities conduct a dialogue. The question is, whether we could let some kind of action follow the many nice words. We are talking a lot about refugees and Muslims. I suggested – again – that we should not only talk about these people, but also talk with them. Invite representatives to our meetings and let them present their case to us. The new problems for the Christians in many Muslim countries could be an area, where we could join in action. It was my feeling that there was a fear of pointing too direct towards the Muslim community and place responsibility for the persecutions. It was promised that we in between the biennial meetings should have an ongoing contact to consider possible interventions.
It was stated a few times that my presence fulfilled the wish of having a European Jewish voice in the audience. BBE will have to decide, whether the outcome of that kind of meetings justifies the expenses in time and money.

Bent Melchior. May 1st 2016

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