‘Jewish question’ and the problem of Syrian refugees in Europe
Dr Oleg Kozerod
Kuras Institute of Political and Ethnic Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Senior Research Fellow, Doctor of Historical Sciences
Response of the modern European community to the arrival of an army of refugees who find a lodgment in all European countries escaping from the civil war in Syria, is a topical and underinvestigated research problem. European leaders, politicians and migration policy experts – all express their attitudes on helping refugees. Studying of attitudes of the European Jewish community toward refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries is an essential task. From the one hand, expats from Islamic countries face negative attitudes as they sometimes show hatred to the Jews. From the other hand, the European Jews sympathize with them since there had been major streams of Jewish refugees seeking to emigrate during the WW2.
In total, members of Jewish communities across the European Union have made various statements over Eastern asylum seekers for some time past. In November 2015, the Central Council of Jews in Germany called on for a limit to migrant influx because of “problems with integrating”. “Sooner or later we won’t have a choice but to set an upper limit,” the council’s president, Josef Schuster, said. “Many of the refugees are fleeing the terror of DAESH and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time they come from cultures where the hatred of Jews and intolerance are an integral part… Don’t just think about the Jews, think about the equality between men and women, or dealing with homosexuals ,” he added.
The German Jews were supported by some other Jewish communities in Europe. “The question is how many refugees can a country accept. We have reached the end of our capacities,” said Oskar Deutsch, president of a leading Austrian Jewish organization Israelitische Kulturgemeinde Wien (IKG). He warned that the growth in the number of refugees would probably boost anti-Semitism. German non-government group Pro Asyl criticised Schuster’s comments, saying it was unfortunate the Jewish group was sharing the same position as the conservative Bavarian CSU party. “It’s disconcerting when the CSU and the Central Council of Jews are in fact demanding that we suspend the European Convention on Human Rights,”  said Pro Asyl’s head Günter Burkhardt. He stressed that article 33 of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention bars signatory countries from sending asylum seekers back to places where their lives or freedom are threatened because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or political opinion.
At the same time, the position of the Jewish community of some other countries, including Great Britain, by contrast, is to encourage the government to making the most of a large number of refugees. This support was declared almost all the leaders of this community. In particular, the UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis in November with a secret visit to the largest refugee camp in Greece, where he got acquainted with the way the country’s Jewish organizations helping the needy. Rabbi Mirvis together with four other rabbis of the organization “United Synagogue” read c charitable work structures and met with many refugees living in a camp near the town of Idomeneo, which is now up to 10,000 people a day going through Macedonia to developed European countries. “I am extremely proud of the response of our community. Thanks to the “World Jewish Relief” our community helps to save lives … I met with refugees from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Eritreri who fled from persecution and danger. Every person and every soul is precious and a central part of Jewish ethics is to respond and help as we can “ – said Rabbi Mirvis. The trip from Jewish leaders held strictly confidential for security reasons. “I was not sure that we can expect … It was a lot of uncertainty”  – said a member of the delegation Danny Bergson. According to the organization “World Jewish Aid”, members of the Jewish community in Britain during 2015 raised over £ 700,000 for assistance to refugees, which was the second place in the history of the organization. Support the Syrian refugees and veterans of the Jewish community. Thus, members of the Jewish community in Britain who survived during the Holocaust, came in September 2015 the residence of Prime Minister in Downing Street, 10 in order to convey a collective letter to the leader of the country. It was signed by 100 Jewish religious leaders and included a call for the government to do more to help refugees in Europe. Former refugee children who arrived in the United Kingdom for the program Kindertransport, Ernest Simon and Rabbi Harry Jacobi, in particular, asked David Cameron to follow the story of the rescue and help refugees from Syria and other countries. They noted that the effort to save 10,000 Jewish children taken by the United Kingdom between 1938 and 1940 years – is “a manifestation of human kindness that gives light the darkest corners of history.” The letter calls save at least 10,000 refugees over the next six months and enable refugees quickly integrate into British society and allow them to work. “The great Jewish thinker and philosopher Maimonides taught us the importance of charity, but stressed that the highest form of charity – is to give the poor become self-sufficient” , – emphasized in the letter. Supports to helping refugees and Jewish youth Britain. In particular, the leadership of the youth branch of “World Jewish Aid” (VEOCHP) initiated in late September 2015 campaign, dedicated to supporting refugees arriving in the UK from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. Hundreds of young residents of London, Manchester and other cities put shirts with the inscription “My family also refugees” (“My family was also refugees”) and sent their photos to friends in social networks. As the Head of youth department VEOCHP Hannah Layton: “Young people seized the opportunity to do something for the refugees in this situation. We know very well what it means to be a refugee, as has been only 70 years. I am proud that “World Jewish Aid” and the Jewish community consolidate its efforts to help those in need during this crisis “. It should be noted that the position of the Jewish community in Britain is a legitimate refugee, based on the history of Jews countries nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Quite a number of countries and institutions of community charities is formed during campaigns help refugees. In particular, recently turned 80 the first program of the London charity organization “World Jewish aid» – Rosh Hashanah Appeal. The program was born in the year of establishment WJR -dalekomu 1933, when the agenda was the question of assistance to the German Jews. During its existence the program has helped many people survive Jewish children who fled from Nazism in the shares Kindertransport. From late 1938 to September 1939 due to staff several organizations including “the Central British Fund for German Jewry,” which was later renamed the “World Jewish Aid”, was evacuated about 10,000 Jewish children from Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria. After more than 80 years, WJR eve of Rosh Hashanah helps those Jews who have the hardest, particularly Jewish communities in countries such as Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia.  In general, the issue of assistance from the Jewish communities of Europe Refugees is a complicated and controversial. Representatives of different communities have different ideas about ways to solve the refugee problem in Europe. But the tradition of philanthropy remain unchanged and refugee assistance programs in Jewish communities successfully develop and give hope to win general human values over the Interfaith and inter-religious differences in a multicultural Europe. EUROPE PART Jewish community in helping Syrian refugees arrival of refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries in Europe is one of the biggest humanitarian problems faced by European governments after World War II. The absence of a global community of diplomatic and military capabilities to address syryyskoyi crisis eventually led to the catastrophic civil war in Syria and the millions of refugees from that country. Today hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their homes and means of life is found in various countries of the continent and claiming refugee status and sotsialnuyu help. In this situation, a large role in supporting refugees started to play the charities that help those who come to Europe. Most of the work with the assumed Jewish social and charitable organizations. Thus, the leadership of the youth branch of the British organization “World Jewish aid» (WJR) launched a campaign in late September, dedicated to supporting refugees arriving in the UK from Syria, Afghanistan and other countries. Hundreds of young residents of London, Manchester and other cities put shirts with the inscription «My family were refugees too» («The members of my family were also refugees”) and sent their photos to friends in social networks. As stressed on this occasion the head of the youth branch of Leighton WJR Hannah: “Young people seized the opportunity to do something for the refugees in this situation. We know very well what it means to be a refugee, as has been only 70 years after our arrival in the country. I am proud that “World Jewish Aid” and the Jewish community consolidate its efforts to help the needy and during this crisis. ” [1,7] In Paris, members of the organization Union of Jewish Students (UEJF) held a charity concert for the benefit of refugees in Belgium and Germany, Jewish students organized a collection of clothing and foods. How, in particular, stressed the president UEJF Benny Fischer: “We believe that our responsibility – is to help and it is among our core Jewish values. We must also stand for human rights in relation to those who so desperately need our help “[2.15]. In Germany, many refugees from Syria in recent months turning it to Jewish organizations because most social workers they speak Russian in the possession of some refugees who have studied or worked in the former Soviet Union and Russia. “Advice refugees on immigration is an open offer for those who come to Germany with the aim to stay in the country … It is interesting that the Syrian refugees vydviduyut Jewish advisers because they speak Russian” , – the coordinator of the organization “Federal association of independent institutions of social assistance “(ZWST) Gunther Yek. Case assist refugees brought together almost all the Jewish community of Great Britain. British Jewish organization, in particular, such as the United Synagogue, Masorti, Jewish Council for Racial Equality, the Council of Jewish leaders began to coordinate their efforts in this direction. Vice-president of the country’s leading Jewish structure – the Board of Deputies of British Jews – Richard Weber noted that in the framework of the “World Jewish Relief” will be taken to help refugees from Syria, Iraq and North Africa who have reached Europe. According to Richard Weber, only three days, “World Jewish Aid” has collected 85,000 pounds for this purpose, but it is a “drop in the bucket.” “It is important that the community knows what is happening and understand how it can help …. There are many actions that take place at the local and individual level, but we would like to gather together representatives of various organizations that contribute the most useful way” [4,5] – said Weber. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has promised to support this action, called “ensure humane response to this situation that requires assistance.” Deputy Chief Rabbi Jonathan masoretskoho Judaism Rabbi Wittenberg also said: “In the short run camp in Calais is still in need of warm clothing for men, tents and sleeping bags. Also we need people that can help build shelters for refugees” [4,5]. In the charitable help members of the Jewish community began negotiations with the government in order to achieve the most favorable conditions for the refugees who come to the UK. Thus, members of the Jewish community in Britain who survived during the Holocaust, came to the residence of Prime Minister in Downing Street, 10 in order to convey a collective letter to the leader of the country. It was signed by 100 Jewish religious leaders and calling for the government to do more to help refugees in Europe. Former refugee children who arrived in Great Britain on the program Kindertransport, Ernest Simon and Rabbi Harry Jacobi, David Cameron was asked to follow the story of the rescue and assist refugees from Syria and other countries. They noted that the effort to save 10,000 Jewish children that occurred between 1938 and 1940 years – is “a manifestation of human kindness that gives light darkest corners of history.” The letter calls save at least 10,000 refugees over the next six months and enable refugees quickly integrate into British society and allow them to work. “The great Jewish thinker and philosopher Maimonides taught us the importance of charity, but stressed that the highest form of charity – is to give the poor become self-sufficient”, – stated in the letter . British community leaders also tried to bring this issue to the international level. Thus, the problem of illegal migrants on humanism and other problems discussed life present Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis UK and Pope at a meeting held at the Vatican in September. The head of the British Jewish community paid attention to the problem of the pontiff’s attitude to refugees in Europe, in particular, noted: “photo of a small child, ejected the Turkish beach waves shows that urgent and deep is our problem. We are partners in the fight against them “[6.3]. Pope Francis said in response: “We share with the world and we have to take care of it together.” Religious leaders discussed the “aggressive secularization of the world”, the Middle East and persecution of religious minorities [6,3]. In general, the movement of aid to refugees, which originated in the Jewish community of Europe, was a manifestation of solidarity of Muslims and Jews vidzerkalyv level of humanity and the Jewish community of the United Kingdom, Germany, France and other countries of the continent. Help bizhentsiyam from Muslim countries who have lost homes and livelihoods, uniting representatives of all Jewish organizations and this year was an important part of Jewish community life in Europe.
PROPALESTYNSKOHO lobby INFLUENCE ON MODERN LIFE Jewish community EUROPE series of terrorist acts that have taken place in Europe for the last time and were largely related to the growth antyizrayilskyh attitudes among the general population of the continent, led to discussion among experts on methods to combat this phenomenon. One of the causes of threats on the Jewish community in Europe is activism propalestynskoho Lobby, whose members promoted hatred of Israel and the Jewish people in the territory bahatoyih Europe. Actual problems of political struggle in the UK on the Palestinian issue during leyborystsskoho government and coalition governments were considered in monographs Toby Green , Camellia Suleiman , Asaph Romirovskoho and Alexander Joffe . One of the methods of the Palestinian lobby in Europe was holding outreach and advocacy at City Hall and local authorities. Some officials agree on the cooperation and support the ideas of supporters of independence of Palestine and fight against the Jewish state. Inshi- distantsiyuyutsya from this. In particular, the British Manchester City Hall in early February this year rejected a petition of citizens on temporary raising of the Palestinian flag manchesterskoy Town Hall. Before that, the Council of Manchester filed a petition with 2,500 signatures demanding hang a Palestinian flag in protest against the policies of Israel in the Middle East. After submitting a petition to the Council, supporters of Israel in the region was collected 3,000 signatures against such a move, which could trigger a rise in interracial tension and start pogroms shares. Representatives of Palestinian lobby in response argued that in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bradford and Preston Palestinian flag on the government already vyvishuvavsya and it did not cause “any increase in interracial tensions.” Director campaign banner hanging said Mark Krantz, acting on their own without financial support from Arab organizations only “because he was impressed by the events in Gaza” . His opponent – Rafi Blum organization of North West Friends of Israel said: “The vast majority of the Jewish population of the city will not support putting up a flag over City Hall … posted Palestinian flag will send a clear and unwelcome message for the Jewish population in Manchester” . As said one of the leaders of the Manchester Sue Murphy, the City regularly receives requests to have any hang flags and almost all of them were rejected. “We do not usually hang out the flags of other countries” – said Murphy . In other countries, the European Union, particularly in France, anti-Israel sentiment captured as leaders of local authorities and the broad public. It showed, in particular, the experience of French TV correspondent NRG Zwick Klein, who recently decided to repeat the experiment of his British colleague Jack Simons and prohulyatysyach streets of Paris in the Jewish headdress – pile. Unlike their British counterparts, who have not met any manifestation of bad attitude towards him, carrying a hidden camera Zwick listened to a large number of threats and insults. “What he is doing, Mom? Did not he know that will be killed? “- These and similar comments he had heard 10 hours of walking around the city.  Following him spit, it was called “dog” and threatened with murder. Zwick was walking along with a security guard in the Jewish Quarter, around the Eiffel Tower, as well as in Muslim neighborhoods. Popular tourist areas were “relatively calm”, but even here he received several insulting remarks and spit on track. The farther he moved away from the center, the locals were aggressive. The boys shouted: “Viva Palestine!”. Visitors cafes showed him fingers after he heard the threat. The journalist posted the video with the report on their walk to YouTube with the tag: “Welcome to Paris in 2015, where soldiers patrol every street, which is a Jewish institution …” . It should be noted that the injection of anti-Israeli hysteria leads to relatively rapid growth of anti-Israeli sentiment in society and manifestations of aggression and terrorist acts in Europe. Belgium and France after Islamic terrorists in February 2015 attacked the Jewish community of Denmark. During the attack had killed a volunteer who helped in the protection of the Central Synagogue in Copenhagen. 37-year-old Dan Uzan zahynua while trying to prevent terrorists enter the building of the synagogue, where the celebration took place “Bat Mitzvah”. At this time in the synagogue were about 80 people. As the community members kopenhahenskoy Jewish community on Facebook: “He was one of the nicest, most hospitable people you could meet.” As the representative organization Community Security Trust, which deals with the protection of synagogues in the UK, “our thoughts and our sympathy – the Danish Jewish community and the victims of the terrorist attack in Copenhagen. We express our solidarity with all those who help protect the Jewish communities around the world “. In a statement the Board of Deputies of British Jews, in particular, noted: “Jews of Europe again in prayer, this time in Copenhagen synagogue, were inclined to attack … our thoughts with the families of those who were killed and injured in these attacks in shocking of Denmark. We stand in solidarity with the Jewish community of Denmark and contacted them to express our sympathy and our support. ” Almost 30 years ago, July 22 1985 Copenhagen Great Synagogue building damaged by a bomb planted by Palestinian terrorists. Then no one suffered.  It should be noted that the anti-Israeli agitation and propaganda in Europe, unfortunately, is not the subject of special attention from law enforcement or expert organizations concerned with combating anti-Semitism and xenophobia. The authorities react only to the manifestations of anti-Jewish sentiments that have already taken place, including assassinations, bombings, murders people, or specific threats. However, anti-Israeli rhetoric general background, including that seen in the media and social networks, allows make a conclusion about training more massive attacks in Western Europe. Few specialists while paying attention to the activities propalestinskyh organizations on the continent. This leads to the creation of an atmosphere of fear, nevpevnennosti the Jewish community for the future of their children and the safety of their families. To oppose this is possible thanks to the implementation of joint educational programs with experts of Israel, aimed at clarifying the Europeans blizkoshidnoyi logic of US policy, the State of Israel, the EU and other countries of the democratic world.
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1. German Jewish leader Josef Schuster calls for refugee quotas // Financial Times. – 2015. – 23 November. [Електроний ресурс]: Режим доступу:
3. Chief Rabbi Mirvis witnesses trauma of refugees on secret visit to camp in Greece by Rosa Doherty // Jewish Chronicle. – 2015.- 12 November. [Електроний ресурс]: Режим доступу:
5. Prizyv yevreyskikh liderov // Agenstvo yevreyskikh novostey. – 2015. – 24 veresnya. [Yelektroniy resurs]: Rezhim dostupu:
6. Aktivisty VEOCHP nachali reklamnuyu kampaniyu v podderzhku bezhentsev v Velikobritanii // Gazeta Dostizheniya. – 2015. – 27 veresnya. [Yelektroniy resurs]: Rezhim dostupu: http://achievementsnews.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4470:-wjr-&catid=39:2010-11-16-09-09-10&Itemid=58
7. Britanskiye traditsii blagotvoritel’nosti // Gazeta “Dostizheniya” .- 2015.- 11 serpnya. [Yelektroniy resurs]: Rezhim dostupu: http://achievementsnews.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2210:2013-08-11-15-03-02&catid=36:2010-11-16-09-08-16&Itemid=55
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1. Aktivisty VEOCHP nachali reklamnuyu kampaniyu v podderzhku bezhentsev v Velikobritanii // Gazeta «Dostizheniya» (Manchester). – 2015-27 veresnya.
2. Studenty rabotayut, chtoby pomoch’ bezhentsam ot Naomi Firsht // Yevreyskaya Chronicle.- 2015 -
3. V Germanii siriyskikh bezhentsev iskat’ yevreyskuyu organizatsiyu sotsial’nogo obespecheniya putem Amanda Borschel-Dan // Tayms Izrailya. -2015. – 11 veresnya. [Yelektronniy resurs] Rezhim dostupu: http://www.timesofisrael.com/in-germany-syrian-refugees-seek-out-a-jewish-welfare-organization/
4. Yevreyskiye organizatsii Velikobritanii pomogut bezhentsam iz stran Sredizemnomor’ya // Gazeta «Dostizheniya» (Manchester) .- 2015.- 10 veresnya.
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