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EU, Israel push to make Shoah education more relatable to Muslims

AJN.- “It makes it difficult to be a Holocaust denier if there was a Nazi occupation of your own country and if you were also victims.”




AJN.- Representatives from the European Union and Israel gathered Tuesday in Jerusalem for the 10th EU-Israel Seminar on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Antisemitism, where they discussed their continuing work to combat antisemitism, exchanging experiences and best practices.

The main issues on the agenda were fighting antisemitism through online platforms and education. The EU and Israel agreed to continue their close cooperation though educational initiatives, in addition to tackling dangerous cyber hate.

The seminar drew representatives from the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the Fundamental Rights Agency, members of Knesset and representatives from the Education Ministry, research institutions, NGOs and technology companies.

“In the face of rising intolerance in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere, government and public servants must find their way to develop new tools for confronting fresh challenges,” said Akiva Tor, head of the Bureau for World Jewish Affairs and World Religions at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. “We need to be proactive and creative in developing innovative tools for education towards tolerance, and we need to become more vigilant against the use of hi-tech in the spread of hate.”

“This past year, Europe has faced many challenges. Rising antisemitism is one of them and it has repercussions on society at large,” said Katharina von Schnurbein, European Union coordinator on combating antisemitism.

She emphasized the need to join forces and fight all forms of racism in a holistic way, via concrete policies, law enforcement on hate crimes and tackling online hatred. She also stressed the importance of education and coalition building as preventatives measures.

“Our common values are under attack and we need to fight for them together,” she said.

As part of their outreach efforts in Muslim communities, the delegation listened to a presentation on the plight of North African Jewry during the Second World War and making the Holocaust relevant for immigrant populations in Europe, delivered by Prof. Haim Saadoun at the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem.

Tor and von Schnurbein explained to The Jerusalem Post that during the seminar participants discussed ways to make Holocaust education more relatable to Muslim students, such as focusing on the situation of North African countries, such as Libya and Tunisia, during the war and showing how they too were affected by the Nazi regime. “It makes it difficult to be a Holocaust denier if there was a Nazi occupation of your own country and if you were also victims,” von Schnurbein said.

“We thought Israel could offer something useful by showing various facets of how the Shoah [Holocaust] is taught to Arab and Muslim populations here,” Tor added, mentioning a lecture that was given to the participants on tolerance and Holocaust education in Arab schools.

“It’s important to make education relevant and to separate it from other societal problems of alienation,” Tor said.

“Israel faces some similar challenges to Europe – we want young Israeli Arabs to learn this history when it’s not a natural part of their narrative. Europe faces a similar situation – they want to teach them [non-European immigrants] this history that they may feel alienated from, so by looking at it from this way, it creates a point of entry.”

“And you also need to acknowledge their current situation,” von Schnurbein added, pointing to discrimination against Muslims in the labor market, the housing market and education. “It’s the same principle. You have to make the link to their own backgrounds.”

On Monday night, von Schnurbein met at the Knesset with Diaspora Affairs and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi), who expressed concern regarding antisemitism in Europe. He said that while antisemitism has not broken nor will it break the Jewish people, “We need to make sure that Jewish communities are not harmed and the Jews are strong and secure.

“The Jews are citizens of European countries and they are one of the essential elements of the continent,” he added. “If they are forced to leave, it will be bad for all Jews, for Israel and for Europe.”

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Argentinian President Macri visited the historical synagogue of Basavilbaso

AJN Agency.- Only a few days away of Rosh Hashana and with Iom Kipur coming soon, Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina participate of the meeting at the synagogue Tefila L’Moisés at Basavilbaso, Province of Entre Ríos.




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AJN Agency.- The argentinian President, Mauricio Macri, assisted to the Synagogue Tefila L’ Moisés de Basavilbaso, one of the olders of Argentina, making himself the first argentinian president in visit that synagogue.

Macri send his best wishes for the jewish new year celebration and added: «I want to thank you for reciving me here, in your home. For us it has been very important this years working with the community».

Claudio Avruj, secretary of Human Rights of Argentina discribed that the visit of Macri «Represents with out dudes a huge tribute to the jewish inmigration in the historic colonies of Entre Ríos and a deep recognition to the permanent support to the development of the local communities».

At meeting were present the Rabbi Sergio Bergman, secretary of goverment in Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Minister of Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina, Rogelio Frigerio, among others.

In a letter written by Avruj, he assured his pride for the president and remarked the pluralism and respect of Macri.

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Antisemitism/Argentina. The increase in antisemitic incidents is “fierce”

Agencia AJN.- The Asociation of Israeli Delegations in Argentina (DAIA) qualifies as «fierce» the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Argentina, after the anual report over the 107 percent increase during 2018 in comparation with the previous year.





Agencia AJN.- This way was how the president of DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, present today the details of the anual report of antisemitism, in a reunion realized in the Centro Cultural Kirchner of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, the communitarian leader said that “It is not fierce only in Argentina, it is fierce worldwide”.

“I start with an autocritic: with the results of the investigation and the results of the center of social studies, the increment of heat speeches and antisemitic acts that DAIA registerd, I think we hadn´t done enough for the memory and fighting the hate speeches beacuse the increase is fierce”, added Knoblovits after presenting the document.

Also, he remarks that “in Europe, reciently The Economist determines that 34 percent of europeans, where Shoa took place and where 6 millions died, dosen’t registres what Holocaust is”.

“In Argentina, being antisemitic and discriminating is a crime. He is punished by the Law. It is a great achievement, beacuse the communities live in peace and we know that discrimination is a crime”, highlighted the president of DAIA.

In this track, he describes that the increase of 107 percent had impulsed DAIA to develope “an app for people to can denunce this acts, not only antisemitic, any time of discrimination”.

“Also, whe put totems in subway, bus and train station, and in shopping for people to register that there is a place for register the denunces that are wecolme», afirms.

Knoblovits sustain that “many of the denunces” recibed where judicialized. “The sensation that I have is that we give judicial fight, but we are losing the culture fight. That’s the battle that we don’t want to lose. Inside the culture field, we are gonna do everything possible so we don’t have never again discrimination acts in Argentina, or at least those are gonna be fighted by us”, concluded.

Following the report, there had been 834 antisemitic acts in 2018, in comparation with the 404 reported in 2017.

The estadistics and investigation will be presented by DAIA and INADI (National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism).

The anual report of antisemitism was realized by DAIA with the Gino Germani Institute and the Center of Social Studies.

This year is the number 20 since the fisrt anual report published by the political organization of the argentinian jewish community, that stablished that practice in 1998.

Report shows that 68% of the incidents had place in Buenos Aires, and 32% where in the rest of the country. About the 834 reported incidents, DAIA said that 71% happend online, mostly in web sites, and 17% of that number appeares in social networks.

The report also shows that 27% of antisemitic material online had xenophobia against jews, while 18% was pushed by the events that took place in Middle East, 17% had relation with nazi simbology and jewish world domination conspiracy among other misconceptions.

Gino Germani Insitute present a poll of social perceptions of Jews in Argentina.

The poll shows that 53% of 1443 people interviewed agrees that there is discrimination against jews, while 87% didn’t know what it was the zionism.

The Report remarks that 61% agreed with the antisemitic prejudice of the «influence» of jews in international markets and 47% belives that jews are the first in not helping people in need.

The information for this poll was collected between June and July of this year.

In the presentation of the report, will join Knoblovits, the president of the Conferencia Episcopal Argentina y the bishop of San Isidro Monseñor Oscar Ojea, Néstor Cohen, who runs the investigation of Gino Germani Institute, the director of Social Center, Marisa Braylan and one of the principal investigatores, Verónica Constantino.

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