Tag: Europe

Belgian state secretary: No doubt Jerusalem is Israel’s capital

BRUSSELS (JTA) — In a departure from Belgium’s official policy, the country’s secretary of state said that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Philippe de Backer, whose position in the Belgian government is comparable to that of a deputy Cabinet minister, made his remarks in an interview published earlier this week for Joods Actueel, the Jewish monthly of Antwerp.

“There is no doubt that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It’s clear; it’s reality. There’s no discussion on this issue,” he said. “But we’re in a political context where Europe sees Jerusalem as subject to negotiations toward a two-state solution.”

In December, Belgian Prime…

Sen. Robert Menendez thanks AIPAC for backing him during corruption trial

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sen. Robert Menendez received a hero’s welcome at AIPAC, where the New Jersey Democrat thanked the lobby for its support during his corruption trial.

Menendez, who returned recently to the top Democratic spot on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after his trial ended in a mistrial, was among the few speakers to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference to receive a standing ovation just for walking on the stage.

“Sometimes God puts a Goliath in your path until you find the David within you, and I found the David within me,”…

Circumcision ban will prevent Jewish community life in Iceland, Scandinavian Jews warn

(JTA) — The leaders of the Jewish communities of four Nordic countries said that a bill proposing to ban nonmedical circumcision in Iceland “will guarantee” that no Jewish community is established there.

The presidents of the umbrella groups of Jewish communities in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland issued the unusual warning Tuesday in an open letter to all Icelandic lawmakers in reaction to the submission last month of a bill proposing to ban all nonmedical circumcision of boys younger than 18 in Iceland, a Scandinavian island nation of some 300,000 people with a few hundred Jews and Muslims.

Lawmakers from…

British foundation for preserving Jewish heritage unveils map of Europe’s synagogues

(JTA) — Europe has 3,318 synagogues, according to a new British organization that unveiled what it said was the first-ever pan-continental study of Jewish houses of worship.

The Foundation for Jewish Heritage, which was registered in the United Kingdom in 2015 and aims to help preserve and restore endangered European synagogues, commissioned the Center for Jewish Art at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to tally and document Europe’s synagogues ahead of the foundation’s launch Wednesday in London, the foundation’s chief executive, Michael Mail, told JTA.

The results of the study, which took a year and a half to complete, are on display…

British paper accusing George Soros of ‘secret plot’ to nix Brexit not anti-Semitic, watchdog says

(JTA) — A prominent organization monitoring anti-Semitism in the United Kingdom defended as legitimate a controversial newspaper article claiming billionaire George Soros was funding anti-Brexit groups.

The Campaign Against Antisemitism’s defense of Wednesday’s article in The Daily Telegraph followed accusations that its framing and wording on Soros, who is Jewish and not a citizen of the United Kingdom, were anti-Semitic.

Of particular concern to critics was a headline accusing Soros of “backing a secret plot to thwart Brexit” — language that BuzzFeed special correspondent James Ball denounced as playing “into authoritarian and anti-Semitic tropes which have taken root in far-right movements…