European Parliament Rejects Anti-Semitism Task Force

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In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, allow me to inform you: Europe has a serious anti-Semitism problem. I mean massive, violent, large-scale anti-Semitism. Masses chanting “Jews to the gas” throughout Belgium, Germany and France. “Jewish-looking” citizens attacked in the streets, synagogues firebombed, and the horrific murders at the Brussels Jewish Museum.

In the current European climate, Jews have immigrated to Israel in record numbers. The director of the BBC, who is Jewish, is quoted saying “I’ve never felt so uncomfortable being a Jew in the UK as I’ve felt in the last 12 months. …You’ve seen the number of attacks rise, you’ve seen murders in France, you’ve seen murders in Belgium. It’s been pretty grim actually…Having lived all my life in the UK, I’ve never felt as I do now about anti-Semitism in Europe.”

If the picture is not clear enough, here’s one final detail: Children have often been the target of this reckless violence.

So you can understand why it seemed, if only for a moment, like a boon for European Jews when the European Parliament expressed great initial support for a task force on anti-Semitism. Preliminary reports stated that over 100 MEPs had expressed support for the potential task force—evidently something became warped in the process. The task force was ultimately voted down, leaving the Jewish community in a sore predicament.

The EU Parliament seems to be treating the need to combat increasing anti-Semitism with complete disregard. At this point in time, the safety of the Jewish community is more than a question—it is a priority. The situation currently stands like this: the next opportunity for the EU Parliament to create a similar task force will not arrive for several year, until new elections.

Let me remind you that after the Brussels museum attack and other attacks across Europe, European leaders pledged to deal with anti-Semitism with Europe-wide cooperation.  The promise has yet to be kept.

I believe that Stephan Kramer of the American Jewish Committee’s European Office on anti-Semitism explained the situation best.

He said “Anti-Semitism is an abomination which has been around for a very long time. It has its specific roots and specific driving forces, not to mention the horrible results it produced in Europe – more so than anywhere else…Therefore, combating anti-Semitism in as efficient a way as possible would have been aided by a special framework designed to do just this. I think that most of those who voted the proposal down realize this. Therefore we have to assume that they succumbed to a warped political correctness which frowns upon calling anti-Semites anti-Semites. This is a terribly wrong signal. I am afraid that it will be interpreted by more than just a handful of people as a wink that hating Jews is, sort of, acceptable.”

I sincerely hope that European Jewish organizations will take a similar line. The time for making vague statements condemning anti-Semitism is over. Europe must take action.

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Kantor’s relationship with Putin, a danger to the integrity of the European Jewish Congress

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Photo via Truth Zone

Recently I decided to a do a little bit more research on how Moshe Kantor was elected to president of European Jewish Congress (EJC).  I’ve been interested in this subject for a while, predominantly because I believe his ties to Putin are an evident danger to the Jewish voice.  

So I looked into publications from when he first ran for EJC presidency in 2007. And the articles I found we’re noticeably more valid than the usual opponent defamation that comes with elections.  

The first article had an interview with his opponent at the time, Pierre Besnainou . I do believe that Besnainou raised a very important and even frightening point when he said: “What kind of legitimacy will someone who says nothing when [Russian President Vladimir] Putin meets Hamas and Hezbollah leaders in Moscow have when he asks the EU to sanction these organizations.”  Besnainou raises an important question, even more so because Kantor is Russian and a close ally of Putin. So far we have yet to see Kantor raise issues seriously with the EU or with the Kremlin as to sanctions against Hamas or Hezbollah.  

 How can Kantor, a prominent Jewish leader with Israeli citizenship, not comment when Putin receives Hamas in Russia? This is an extreme and real danger to Jews and Israel. (Source: Jpost)

The second article that struck me concerned  Kantor’s EJC election win.  Kantor declared that he “will never compromise with the security of Jews in Europe and with the security of Israel” upon his victory.  

It’s hypocritical to hear him say this on one hand, yet not speak up when Putin meets with known terrorist groups whose very constitution states that their purpose is to kill Jews and attack the state of Israel.  

Kantor also mentioned in his reception speech that he has two main challenges in Europe; antisemitism and the dangers Israel faces: the Iranian nuclear threat and terror. Now we all have been reading about how antisemitism has reached a crisis state in Europe- and it more dominanting than it has been in decades.  

But Iran’s nuclear threat and terror, as I previously mentioned, is clearly a non-issue for Kantor who has spoken very little if at all on the subject. I’m pretty sure that Kantor’s previous claims that his relationship with Putin would only help the EJC have been fully proven false. We now know the truth, Putin’s Iran interests come first. The Kantor-Putin relationship is a clear danger to the integrity of the European Jewish Congress, and the fate of European Jewry remains dire. 

(Source: Haaretz)

 

 

Western Sanctions Divide Russia and Europe: Which Would Moshe Kantor Choose?

After the past year’s events, culminating in Vladimir Putin’s support for Ukrainian separatists and the downing of flight MH17, Russia’s relationship with the EU is in grave peril. I see a critical turning point in European-Russian relations as the United States and Europe press sanctions against Russia, and Russia responds by banning U.S. and EU food imports. (Source: ria)

I see a serious conflict of interest arising for Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress. A conflict of interest that could ultimately bring serious harm to the European Jewish community.

As Russia diverges from the Western world, the Kremlin and all its associates will turn their priorities to a Russia poised in political opposition to the West. This includes reinforced relations with Iran. The Kremlin, which is built on tightly-knit loyalties, will call upon every relationship it has. (Source: Telegraph)

 

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Photo via Daily Mail

Keep in mind that Moshe Kantor is first and foremost Russian. He has a close relationship with the Kremlin and Putin- cultivated over many years. He is a billionaire and an oligarch whose fortune is built on Acron, a fertilizer company he bought from the Russian government. In other words, Kantor owes a deep debt and allegiance to the Kremlin. The allegiance his life rests on is with Russia, not Europe’s Jews.

In fact, we can already see how Kantor’s allegiances have been tested. On his website this week Kantor took  to defending Vladimir Putin (who, remember, has no Jewish interests and promotes Iran’s nuclear program) by posting an article that lauds Putin while generally blaming “Europe’s passivity and failure” for current anti-Semitic sentiment.

This was an extremely biased and dangerous side to take, as Kantor is supposed to work with European politicians, not side against them with Putin or insult them. Even if they were at fault, it is his job as EJC president to not give them more ammunition that could hurt the Jewish community.  (Source: MosheKantor.com) 

I see an imminent danger with Moshe Kantor at the helm of the EJC. With his loyalty split he is already proving that he places his ties to Russia before his connection to the Jew’s he has sworn to protect. And frankly, with Europe in such an anti-Semitic crisis and Russia advancing ties with Iran, it is time to face the truth: Europe’s Jewish community needs and deserves better.