Rabbi Menachem Margolin, chairman of the European Jewish Association (EJA), spoke recently to Israel National News from Poland, where Ministers and Members of Parliaments from 23 European countries gathered at the Auschwitz extermination camp, as part of the annual EJA’s Leaders Delegation to fight anti-Semitism.
“I think that the people who came to visit Auschwitz will come back home with a much stronger commitment about their duty to combat antisemitism,” said Rabbi Margolin, adding, “I believe that the message was clear, and we’re going to see change in their actions.”
On the claims by some that antisemitism is a worldwide phenomenon and there is nothing really that can be done about it, other than just to punish those who deserve punishment, the rabbi responded, “There’s always something that we can do. If legislations are clear, if education works correctly, if the police will act, we will be able to see that people who are violating the law will be stopped and arrested, the right education will be given, and we never have the right that there’s nothing else we could do. There’s always a way to combat antisemitism.”
On the issue of antisemitism on social media, Rabbi Margolin noted that governments are obliged to protect people and, while freedom of speech is important, “the freedom to live is more important, and therefore, if there’s anything that can endanger people, it is the responsibility of governments to do all they can to stop the people who incite on social media.”
“It is our duty to educate everyone” regardless if they’re on the left, right or in the center, he continued. “And most important, the Jewish people themselves, no matter what political side they are – right, left or in the middle – it is the responsibility of everyone to act to make sure that antisemitism will not have any place on this continent.”