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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

January 23, 2015

Federica Mogherini said the council of ministers would challenge some of the court's finding and consider future action to avoid similar annulments. At the same time, the EU appeal suspended the effects of the EU court ruling over 17 December until a final decision is taken.

The European Union launched an appeal against last month's EU court ruling that ordered the Palestinian group Hamas removed from its terror list for technical reasons, the bloc's foreign policy chief said Monday. Federica Mogherini said the council of ministers would challenge some of the court's finding and consider future action to avoid similar annulments. At the same time, the EU appeal suspended the effects of the EU court ruling over 17 December until a final decision is taken.

Hamas was put on the EU terrorist list as part of broader measures to fight terrorism in the wake of the 11 September attacks and its funds were frozen. Hamas has long contested the classification.An EU high court said last month the reason for listing it was based too much on media and Internet reports, and not enough on acts examined by competent authorities.
Hamas won elections in 2006 and runs Gaza. The US and Israel list Hamas as a terror organization because of its history of attacks aimed at civilians, including suicide bombings inside buses, restaurants and other public places as well as the thousands of rockets it has fired at residential neighborhoods in Israel.

The Israeli foreign ministry welcomed the EU appeal, saying "the decision reflects well the position that Hamas was and remains a terror organization." Mogherini said that the freezing of funds and the ability to put some organizations on a terror list were essential to contain terror financing. The December decision by the court came amid growing pressure from European legislators to recognize a Palestinian state, after years of stalemate in peace talks. There is also growing frustration in Europe with Israel's government after the Gaza war in 2014.

January 23, 2015

Forty-five percent of all Britons hold anti-Semitic views, according to a new survey carried out by the Internet-based market research firm YouGov for the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA.) According to a separate CAA survey (not conducted by YouGov), 54% of British Jews fear that Jews have no future in Great Britain and a quarter of British Jews have considered leaving.

Ahead of the 70th anniversary of the end of the Holocaust (on January 27), the YouGov survey revealed that one in eight Britons believe Jewish people use the Holocaust as a means to garner sympathy.

The two surveys also found that one in four British people (25%) believe that Jews chase money more than other British people (YouGov); one in six people (17%) believe that Jews think they are better than other people and that Jews have too much power in the media (YouGov); more than half of all British Jews feel that anti-Semitism now echoes the 1930s (CAA); well over half of British Jews (58%) believe Jews may have no long-term future in Europe (CAA); 45% of British Jews questioned feel their family is threatened by Islamist extremism (CAA); and 77% of British Jews have witnessed anti-Semitism disguised as a political comment about Israel (CAA).

Only 269,000 Jewish people live in Britain, comprising just 0.4% of the population. Jewish people have lived in Britain since Oliver Cromwell permitted their readmission to the country 360 years ago, but this report shows that many British people still harbor anti-Jewish opinions. Some anti-Semitic views may be totally unintentional, but are no less offensive for it: Many people in the U.K. have simply never met Jewish people.

The year 2014 saw the most anti-Semitic incidents since records began 30 years ago. In July 2014, London suffered its worst ever month for hate crimes, 95% of which were directed against Jews.

"The results of our survey are a shocking wake-up call straight after the atrocities in Paris," said Gideon Falter, chairman of the Campaign Against Antisemitism. "Britain is at a tipping point: Unless anti-Semitism is met with zero tolerance, it will grow and British Jews will increasingly question their place in their own country. Britain's Jews must be shown that they are not alone. The government is clearly taking this seriously and in light of these figures we expect that the police and CPS [Centre for Policy Studies, a British think-tank] will want to accelerate discussion of the five-point plan presented at our meeting with the Home Secretary last week."

"Jewish people have contributed to almost every part of British life, yet rising anti-Semitism here and across Europe means that now more than ever Jews are afraid," said CAA spokesman Jonathan Sacerdoti. "Some are even reconsidering their future here. British values of tolerance and pluralism must be upheld, so that minority groups like Jews feel comfortable and protected."


January 22, 2015

French Jewish Leaders

Joel Margi, president of the Consistoire, the umbrella organization of Jewish congregations in France, was part of a meeting of 20 European Jewish leaders at the Knesset Tuesday afternoon following the funeral of the four Jews killed during last week's hostage crisis at Paris' Hyper Cacher market.

Margi told the group that the support from other Jewish communities gives French Jewry strength.

"We are in a difficult situation, and it is hard to describe how afraid our children are to go to Jewish schools in France," he said.

"In the past, we said we don't need Israel's help. The opposite was true; we supported Israel. The situation changed and today the Jews of France need the State of Israel's help."

In response to Margi's remarks, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein said that Israel helps the Diaspora with great support from Israelis.

"This is a visit of solidarity," Edelstein said, "that proves again, unfortunately under tragic circumstances, that 'all of Israel is responsible for one another.'" The world must understand that terrorism is terrorism, no matter who perpetrates it, Edelstein added.

"We were all shocked by what happened and disturbed why what it means," he said.

"I am happy that Jewish communities felt solidarity, which I know all citizens of Israel feel."

Sources: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/French-Jewish-leader-says-his-people-need-Israels-help-387646
January 22, 2015


The terror attack over the weekend in Paris brought the world to a standstill. The targets of the main attacks: the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, and the kosher supermarket, were meant to provoke a level of terror past that of murder. Here we are facing an attack on our freedoms, our freedom of speech and press, our freedom of religion, our freedom for a peaceful and civil society: the very liberties for which we stand.

For a complete timeline of the events of what happened you may follow this link:

Thousands of people gathered at the Place de la République in Paris for a spontaneous demonstration Wednesday after the attacks. There were no speeches by politicians, just spontaneous cries of "Je suis Charlie!" Many people, braving the cold, symbolically brandished pens, in sympathy with the cartoonists and journalists who died in the attack. Others in the crowd held up back issues of Charlie Hebdo featuring controversial cartoons.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo proposed that Charlie Hebdo "be adopted as a citizen of honour" by the city. "What we saw today was an attack on the values of our republic, Paris is a peaceful place. These cartoonists, writers and artists used their pens with a lot of humour to address sometimes awkward subjects and as such performed an essential function."

Retired teacher Agnes Quandalle said: "In the 1960s and '70s, we grew up with those cartoonists . . . It feels as if those behind the attack want to kill us all." Spontaneous demonstrations also took place in other French cities, including Marseille, Lyon, Lille and Toulouse, and all over Europe.

French President François Hollande declared a national day of mourning for Thursday, and political parties called for a united mass demonstration in Paris next Saturday. For now, the world is taking a stand for free speech. Proclaiming the pen mightier than the sword. On Monday, France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, paid a visit to the Montrouge school – on the premises of a synagogue – to reassure the staff and parents. He announced the reinforcement of security measures outside Jewish schools and synagogues where police have already been deployed following other antisemitic attacks.

In addition to the deployment of 4,700 police and paramilitary gendarmes, he said the army would also be on hand within two days. He appointed a prefect, Patrice Latron, to oversee security in future at France's 717 Jewish schools and places of worship.

Sources: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sutter-je-suis-charlie/
BBE SlideShow Paris A procesion near Tel Aviv on Tuesday for Yoav Hattab, who was killed in an attack at a kosher grocery store in Pars late week, before his burial in Jerusalem.

Seventeen people, including journalists and policemen, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, Jan. 7, and ended with a hostage-taking at a kosher supermarket on Friday.

Yesterday, on Tuesday January 13th, the four Jews who were killed in a hostage attack over the weekend were buried in Israel.

"They died so that we may live in freedom," Mr. Hollande said. To the officers' families, he said, "I assure you that all of France shares your pain."

"We must be relentless in the face of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim acts," Mr. Hollande said Tuesday, "unrelenting in the face of apologists for terrorism and of those who carry it out, and above all of the jihadists who head for Iraq and Syria and who return afterward."

On Monday, as France wrestled with whether to consider legislation similar to the USA Patriot Act in the United States, the French authorities announced an extraordinary deployment of more than 10,000 military personnel and thousands of police officers to guard sites regarded as at risk, including transportation hubs, major buildings and Jewish schools.

Sources: http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/1.636618
This text was written by Erika Van Gelger,  Daniel Citone, Solomon Bali and Tomas Kraus, after they attended the meeting organized in Berlin for the 10 year anniversary of the Berlin Declaration

Berlin plus 10

The high-level conference on Anti-Semitism took place in Berlin on 12-13 November, 2014. The goal of this conference was to evaluate the progress made in the last 10 years since the Berlin Declaration in fighting Anti-Semitism in Europe. Unfortunately the continuous increase in Anti-Semitism, especially since the conflict in Gaza, made it necessary to remind governments of their commitments.


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