Weekly Top 10
WASHINGTON, D.C. October 26, 2018

TO: NCSEJ Leadership and Interested Parties

FROM: Daniel Rubin, Chairman;
Aleksander Smukler, President;
Mark B. Levin, Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO

Dear Friend,

Please see below for the links to this week's news updates.

Mark B. Levin
NCSEJ Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO
Washington, D.C. October 26, 2018

Minsk Marks 75th Anniversary Of Mass Killings Of Jews
RFE/RL, October 22, 2018

MINSK – Belarusian officials, foreign diplomats, and representatives of Jewish organizations have gathered in Minsk for three days of events commemorating the killing of thousands of Jews during World War II.

The commemorations mark the 75th anniversary since an estimated 22,000 Jews brought by the Nazis from other European cities were executed between October 21-23, 1943.

On October 22, an event was held at Minsk's Yama (the Pit) memorial to mourn the more than 5,000 people from the city's Jewish ghetto who were killed on March 2, 1942. The three-day commemorations also include concerts, conferences, and the screening of documentaries.

European parties urged to agree Israel boycott tactics are antisemitic
Convention backed by Israeli government to propose red lines for prospective MEPs
By Arthur Nelsen
Guardian UK, October 24, 2018

A conference in Brussels backed by the Israeli government is to push for all European political parties to sign up to “red lines” that declare boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) tactics to be “fundamentally antisemitic”. The two-day convention, attended by Israel’s minister of Jerusalem affairs, Ze’ev Elkin, will propose a text for prospective MEPs and political parties to sign up to before European elections in May next year.

The text urges EU member states to sign up to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s “working definition of antisemitism” and exclude from government any politicians or parties that breach it. Most controversially, one of the red lines – based on a resolution adopted by Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union in Germany in 2016 – calls on “all political parties to pass a binding resolution rejecting BDS activities as fundamentally antisemitic”.

Polish museum commemorates 1,500 towns where Jews were saved from the Nazis
JTA, October 22, 2018

WARSAW, Poland – The Museum of Poles Saving Jews opened a memorial orchard commemorating 1,500 towns and villages where Poles saved Jews during World War II.
The orchard, which was dedicated Friday in Markowa, in southeastern Poland, includes only towns where a resident was designated Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust authority.

Between trees, on glass illuminated boards, nearly 1,500 names of villages, towns and cities are listed where Polish gentiles saved Jews during the German occupation. Yad Vashem has awarded nearly 7,000 Poles with the Righteous designation.

Poland hands over site of future Warsaw Ghetto Museum
Gov't involvement has made some critics, Jews fear officials may distort history
By Vanessa Gera
Associated Press, October 19, 2018

WARSAW, Poland – A museum dedicated to the Jews who suffered in the Warsaw Ghetto during Nazi Germany’s wartime occupation of Poland came closer to reality Friday with a key handover ceremony.

Plans call for the Warsaw Ghetto Museum to be housed in a former children’s hospital that was within the ghetto’s walls. It is scheduled to open in 2023 on the 80th anniversary of the uprising by Jews in the ghetto.

Museum director Albert Stankowski received a key to the property from a government official and signed a long-term lease Friday during a ceremony at the future museum site.

Israel holds symbolic opening of embassy in Warsaw to mark 70 years of relations
JTA, October 24, 2018

WARSAW, Poland – Israel’s ambassador to Poland held a symbolic re-creation of the establishment of the Israeli Embassy in Warsaw, the first Israeli mission established abroad.

In September 1948, the State of Israel opened the post at the Bristol Hotel. At the time of its inauguration, the Israeli flag was seen hanging on the hotel balcony. On Tuesday, Ambassador Anna Azari greeted the invited guests to the same balcony.

“Before I came to Poland, I did not know that it was here that the first embassy of Israel was opened,” Azari said. This year is special for both countries, she said, “because Poland celebrates 100 years of independence, and we are 70.”

Hungary's new Holocaust museum divides Jews, faces 'whitewash' accusations
By Krisztina Than
Reuters, October 19, 2018

BUDAPEST - A planned new Holocaust museum in Budapest has divided Hungary's Jewish community and triggered international concerns that it will downplay the wartime role of Hungarians in the persecution and deportation of Jews.

Prime Minister Viktor Orban's right-wing government plans to open the museum next year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the deportati7on of Hungarian Jews to death camps in German-occupied Poland. More than half a million Hungarian Jews were among six million Jews killed in Europe during the Holocaust.

But the project, first announced in 2014, has drawn criticism from Israel's Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center.

The ‘Anti-Anti-Semites’ Are On The Rise
Amid growing hate across Europe, a quiet resistance seen taking hold.
By Steve Lipman
New York Jewish Week, October 9, 2018

For the embattled Jews of Europe, it has been the year of the counterpunch. As far-right, anti-immigrant parties make gains throughout Europe and anti-Semitism spikes in a number of European countries, observers are taking note of a new phenomenon.

“Anti-Semitism is much more visible than it used to be,” said Agnieszka Markiewicz, the American Jewish Committee’s Warsaw-based Central Europe director, “but the group of ‘anti-anti-Semites’ is also becoming larger and more vocal.”

It’s a phenomenon, observers say, that has flown under the radar and been largely overshadowed by high-visibility attacks on Jewish interests. And it has given hope to European Jewry at a time when political currents on the Continent — from the actions of authoritarian governments to growing anti-Israel sentiment — are leading people to wonder if there is a future for the Jews of Europe.

Anti-Semitic graffiti appears in Ukraine
By Edward Doks
YNetNews, October 19, 2018

Anti-Semitic graffiti appearing in several locations across Ukraine has aroused concern among the local Jewish community.

David Roitman, a Jew who was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Israel, detected such a writing calling to "Kill the Jews," while visiting Odessa, one of the prominent cities in the east European country.

Roitman immediately posted a photo of the racist graffiti on his Facebook page that gained thousands of shares.
The writing was deleted the next day, and replaced by graffiti of three red hearts.

Ukrainian politician celebrates Cossack pogroms on Facebook
JTA, October 23, 2018

A regional leader of the Svoboda far-right party in Ukraine posted on Facebook a picture of a Cossack beating a Jew with a bloody flail, along with a poem celebrating the “threshing.”

Yuri Gorbinko, head of the party in Fastiv, a municipality near Kiev, posted the picture earlier this month, Eduard Dolinsky, the head of Ukrainian Jewish Committee, wrote on the same social network.

Azerbaijani Military Chief Visits Israel, Meets With IDF Counterpart
Algemeiner, October 24, 2018

The head of the Azerbaijani military, Col. Gen. Najmeddin Sadikhov, met at the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday with his Israeli counterpart, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot.

During the meeting, the two generals “emphasized the importance of strengthening military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel, as well as the contributions of the two states to regional security,” an Azerbaijani Defense Ministry statement said.
On Tuesday, Sadikhov met with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

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Founded in 1971, the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry represents the organized American Jewish community in monitoring and advocating on behalf of the estimated 1.5 million Jews in Eastern Europe and Eurasia, including the 15 successor states of the former Soviet Union.