Following the European Jewish Association (EJA) conference that took place in Budapest last week, Rabbi Menachem Margolin Chairman of the EJA, tells Israel National News that European Jewish leaders are united in their fight against antisemitism.
One of the main topics of the conference was the survey regarding the differences between the ways that European countries deal with antisemitism, and how they treat the issues and challenges faced by Jewish communities in the EU.
“The main thing we see today is we see how many Jewish leaders are united to combat antisemitism,” Rabbi Margolin said. “We saw that maybe some European countries did not maybe do the best. On the other hand we do see that more European countries, more leaders, are standing behind their statements. We’ll continue to advocate. We are sure it will lead to great success.”
The survey found that in many cases even in countries that have the best relations with the Jewish community and combat antisemitism, Jews still do not feel safe.
“There are different things that could influence people on their feelings on safety and security,” he said. “This is exactly for the same reason that people do not feel insecure because governments understood that they needed to to more. It’s not a contradiction. I’m sure the results will be seen, perhaps in the coming surveys. But at the same time, there is of course more to do. Our recommendations to the European government will include precise recommendations.”
The recommendations will offer specifics and center around how to improve the security of the Jewish people.
In Rabbi Margolin’s country of Belgium, there has been the issue of kosher slaughter of meat, among other issues impacting the Belgian Jewish community.
“Perhaps we were taking the support of the Belgian government for granted for many years. I think that we were quite sure that the government of Belgium would always continue to respect the Jewish community and therefore [thought] there’s not much work to be done,” he explained.
“But actually what we found with our surveys was that there is a lot of work to do and we cannot take anything for granted. Any person who has a seat of power has to be addressed and has to understand what the issues are, so we’re going to take much more seriously now the work that needs to be done with the Belgian government.”