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NEWS - Lodges and B'nai B'rith updates

B'nai B'rith Europe stands with B'nai B'rith International when they say that French telecommunication company Orange CEO Stephane Richard’s statement that “[o]ur intention is to withdraw from Israel,” is deplorable and suggests corporate acquiescence to the pernicious Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement that aims to single out Israel for unjust discrimination and harm.

In Cairo, Richard said that, if it were financially feasible, he would terminate his company’s relationship “tomorrow” with Partner, the Israeli company that licenses the Orange name in Israel.

Orange does substantial business in Israel, where it is a top mobile service provider.

This is not the first time Orange has demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility in the Middle East. In 2012, B’nai B’rith revealed that Orange was one of the companies, along with multiple U.N. agencies, to hire Emad Hajjaj, a Jordan-based Palestinian cartoonist with a long record of virulently anti-Semitic imagery in his work. B’nai B’rith wrote to the groups patronizing Hajjaj, but Orange failed to reply.

We urge the French government, which has a stake in Orange, to deplore Richard’s comments and firmly oppose BDS campaigns against the Middle East’s only democracy.




Source: B'nai Brith International
Philo at Trikalas synagogue 2Philo at Trikalas synagogue



“B’nai B’rith Lodge “Filon” Athens has organized over long weekend’s International Labor day (1/5/2015) a visit to the historical Jewish community of the city of Trikala, located in central mainland, Greece. The venue was part of our long standing solidarity visits to small communities all over the country.


 

Fifty people escorted by Athens’ recently retired rabbi & brother Isaac Mizan travelled to Trikala where we held Shabbat services at local synagogue, where the last full Shabbat morning service has actually taken place almost 3 years ago !

 

Besides celebrating a beautiful and moving Shabbat, our stay included trips to the nearby picturesque mountainous villages of Elati and Pertouli as well as at the artificial Lake Plastiras.

 

Once more, we strengthened our bonds while enjoying nature’s beauty and tasting local agricultural produce and further renewed our promise to meet soon again and keep loyal to the afore mentioned lodge’s solidarity goal”.    




 
Malmö 2015-05-11

In view of the vandalized exhibition on the white buses.

The exhibition on the white buses have been vandalized in Gothenburg during the night of Saturday, one becomes despondent says project manager Michael Ringlander.

In Gothenburg, during the whole week celebratory kept the memories of the white buses that saved the lives of 1000's of people who had been in concentration camps during World War II. They had decided to have a ceremony in the synagogue and on night they vandalized the exhibition. Vandalism was adressing specifically the Jewish victims who came with the buses. They wanted to wipe out that it was the Jews who came.

Today we see the continued threats against Jews and Jewish institutions in Sweden and politicians' response has been to inject money into the safety of Jews in Sweden so they feel safe. Money is a way but it is not sustainable in the long run. But what kind of society do we want in Sweden? How long will the politicians inject money to numb there minds? Either starts politicians to take vigorous action to their vulnerable citizens, or we'll go to a Jew-free Sweden!

On Ynet News , journalist Yael Darel wrote that more and more Scandinavian Jews and especially Swedish Jews are buying homes like never before in Israel. One might ask the question why? Is not because they want to have a vacation home. They want a safe place to get to when the dark clouds piling up and today the clouds very gray. Jews have been in Sweden since the 1700s and always contributed to Swedish society. When will society and politicians through constructive efforts to contribute to the security and protection for its Jewish citizens?

Jews in Denmark feel they can not live the life they want to live, says Vice President Jonathan Fischer in the Jewish community in Denmark in an article. It can certainly the majority of the Swedish Jews also signing on.

If Sweden do not want a Jew-free Sweden, it is time for our politicians to start to listen and don´t bury their heads in the sand so they can´t see, and believing that the problem will disappear. Statement as our Deputy Prime Minister Asa Romson made on a party leaders debate yesterday in which she compared Auschwitz with the stream of refugees crossing the Mediterranean demonstrates a lack of history and the lack of skills and it is not worthy of Sweden.


B'nai B'rith Lodge Malmo

Kamrergatan 11Malmö

B'nai B'rith is the oldest Jewish service organization founded in New York in 1843. B'nai B'rith Malmo lodge is part of B'nai B'rith International.

  

Editor's note: "White Buses" refers to an operation undertaken by the Swedish Red Cross and the Danish government in the spring of 1945 to rescue concentration camp inmates in areas under Nazi control and transport them to Sweden, a neutral country. Although the operation was initially targeted at saving citizens of Scandinavian countries, it rapidly expanded to include citizens of other countries. All told, the operation removed 15,345 prisoners from mortal peril in concentration camps; of these 7,795 were Scandinavian and 7,550 were non-Scandinavian (Polish, French, etc.). In particular, 423 Danish Jews were saved from the Theresienstadt concentration camp inside German-occupied territory of Czechoslovakia, contributing significantly to the fact that casualties among Danish Jews during the Holocaust were among the lowest of the occupied European countries. The term "white buses" originates from the buses having been painted white with red crosses, to avoid confusion with military vehicles. source: Wikipedia
 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B'nai B'rith Malmölogen har skickat ett brev till Greklands Ambassad i Stockholm.

Malmö 2015-05-22

Embassy of the Hellenic Republic, Greece
FAO: Charge' d' affaires Despina Koukoulopoulou
Kommendörsgatan
16
114 48 Stockholm
Sweden

Dear Charge' d' affaires Mrs. Despina Koukoulopoulou,

It has come to our attention that the unveiling of a Holocaust memorial in the Greek town of Kavala was stopped because it featured a Star of David.
The decision was taken by the Mayor of the town, Dimitra Tsanaka, with the backing of the majority of the Kavala City Council.

As you may know, 81 % of the Greek Jews were murdered by the Nazis, where of 1484 Jews from Kavala perished during the Second World War.

The Jews of Kavala were killed because they were Jewish. The Star of David is inextricably link to the identity and memory, of each and every Jew that perished during the Second World War.

The decision by Mayor Tsanaka and the Kavala City Council to demand the removal of the Star of David from the memorial is morally reprehensible and, frankly, beyond belief. We urge you to call on Kavala's city officials to reconsider and reverse their shameful and appalling decision.

Yours sincerely

B'nai B'rith Malmölogen
Kammrergatan 11, Malmö, Sweden

B'nai B'rith Malmölodge is the Swedish branch of the international B'nai B'rith organization with 500.000 members globally.



B’nai Brith Europe & B’nai B’rith Dr. Moses Rosen present : Inauguration of the "Bridges of Tolerance" project on Holocaust Education, June 3 to 5 2015, Bucharest


Kavala memorial 1

Sunday 17th May was meant to be a day of remembrance for the 1,484 Greek Jews of the town of Kavala who were annihilated by the Nazis. A long-planned Holocaust memorial was to be officially unveiled in the center of the city.

Instead, thanks to the disgraceful decisions by the mayor of Kavala, Dimitra Tsanaka - fuelled apparently by a combination of anti-Semitism and idiocy – the event was cancelled in a fiasco that (rightly) provoked international condemnation.

In an inexplicable and deeply offensive decision, Tsanaka, backed by the majority of the municipal council, decided to postpone the unveiling ceremony because the memorial - a Holocaust memorial to the Jews killed in WWII - bore the star of David. 

According to the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the mayor of Kavala asked for the star's removal before the monument could be officially presented.

The shocking decision was immediately condemned by both Jewish groups and the Greek central government and was reported on extensively by the international press.

The Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KISE) attacked the decision as “unacceptable, immoral and insulting.” 

Many in Kavala also objected to the decision which was damaging to the reputation of the city.

About 100 people including 4 sisters from Israel whose parents had come from Kavala and Komotini and who had been killed in the concentration camps, marched through the city of Kavala today condemning the cancellation of the memorial unveiling ceremony. Some wore symbolic yellow stars of David during the silent protest.

The group marched on the town hall where they were met by the mayor.

According to Kavala-Portal, Tsanaka reportedly apologized for the incident which she attributed to a ‘huge misunderstanding’. She provided assurances that the memorial would be installed as planned on a date that would be decided on together with KISE – likely to be on June 7th.

 

However while Tsanaka admitted having made mistakes – it is notable that she did not acknowledge that one of those had been requesting the removal of the Star of David from the memorial. “Perhaps” she said, “I was wrong to trust so much the deputy mayor of culture, Michalis Lychounas, who took on entirely planning the event and the memorial. That was my mistake.”

 

But Mr Lychounas himself, in an article written about the incident in the Kathimerini newspaper, indicates that there was something perhaps deeper behind the disgraceful episode. After describing the many delays in actually succeeding in getting the memorial ready (it was actually first approved by the municipality in 2004 but was plagued with foot-dragging and interminable delays), Lychounas writes that:

“The preparations with all relevant organs continued with the goal of a celebration of memory, but also of the future, until the cries of horror were heard: “The symbols of Lucifer (Star of David), indifference over our dead (make a memorial for the Greeks killed of Asia Minor), a global Zionist conspiracy, freemasonry, the new order of things which seeks to destroy the nation and hysteria over supposed protests” were the arguments…The bitter truth is that there remains a segment of the Greek population which has powerful anti-Semitic feelings based on ignorance and prejudice and the education system does not do enough to eliminate the phenomenon.”

It is now up to Tsanaka to prove that such anti-Semitic prejudices have no place in the local government of Kavala.

Source: www.thetoc.gr- The Times of Change

 


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