5 Nisan 5778 , 21/03/2018

Plea to Postpone the Final Decision Regarding the “Holocaust Law” Until All Parties Meet

01/02/2018 16 Shvat 5778

The Rabbinical Centre of Europe and the European Jewish Association (EJA) have turned to Poland’s President Andrzej Duda, asking him to postpone issuing a final decision on the “Holocaust Law” until the debating parties have a chance to meet.
Plea to Postpone the Final Decision Regarding the “Holocaust Law” Until All Parties Meet With dozens of rabbis from across Europe expressing their horror and disgust at the decision of the Polish Parliament regarding the Holocaust, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the RCE and of the EJA, dispatched a letter to Poland’s President Duda asking him to postpone any final decision on the new laws, passed in Parliament last week and ratified by the Senate last Wednesday, regarding the Holocaust and the death camps, until a meeting with Jewish leaders could be held.

Rabbi Margolin warned the president that if their efforts to prevent the motion from becoming law fail, the RCE and EJA will submit a petition against the law to Poland’s Supreme Court, as they had petitioned against the law forbidding kosher animal slaughter in Poland, eventually overturning the law.
“I have turned to the president of Poland in great distress,” Rabbi Margolin said, “because of the immense injustice done to both the victims and the survivors of the Holocaust, to whom this shameful law is a tremendous affront. I call upon President Duda to postpone any final decision regarding the bill until a meeting is held with me together with a delegation of Jewish leaders, to discuss the issue.”

“It is common knowledge that thousands of Poles murdered their Jewish neighbors or betrayed their presence to the Germans in order to have them killed,” added Rabbi Aryeh Goldberg, deputy director of the RCE. “It is true that the Polish government did not participate in the atrocities of the Holocaust, but many individual Poles were deeply involved in them. Poland was a hotbed of anti-Semitism both before and after the Holocaust. The Germans only radicalized and intensified the anti-Jewish sentiments that had already existed in Poland. It would be simply evil to ignore all this history.”
Rabbi Margolin explained, “Despite its membership in the IHRA (International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance), Poland still has not officially adopted the working definition of anti-Semitism, as other member nations, such as Lithuania, Germany, Austria, Romania, and Great Britain, have done. This bill greatly harms Polish-Jewish relations. We believe that if Poland would adopt the working definition put forth by the IHRA, it would alleviate some of the fears of European Jewry in general and of Poland’s Jews in particular.”

At the same time, Rabbi Margolin has turned to the heads of all institutions of the European Union, including President of the European Council Donald Tusk, President Jean-Claude Junker of the European Commission, Commissioner Mrs. Vera Jourova of the Justice Department, and Mr. Antonio Tijani, president of the European Parliament. He has asked these leaders to reprimand the Polish government. “It is inconceivable that a member nation of the European Union will be permitted to absolve itself of atrocities committed in the past by passing draconian laws that threaten to imprison people who have a different outlook, and in this case, this includes the majority of Europe’s Jews,” Rabbi Margolin said.

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