Category Archives: Activism and Peace Work

Répression de la collaboration après la Première et la Seconde Guerre mondiale en Belgique

Vers de nouvelles études universitaires de la répression de la collaboration, hormis la participation au génocide, après la Première et la Seconde Guerre mondiale en Belgique

Le jeudi 19 avril 2018, le CegeSoma/Archives de l’Etat organisera une journée de rencontre à l’intention des futurs historiens en quête de sujet de mémoire et de leurs promoteurs. La thématique retenue a trait aux archives judiciaires produites dans le cadre de la répression de la collaboration après la Première et la Seconde Guerre mondiale en Belgique et à leur utilité pour l’étude d’autres aspects liés à l’histoire de l’Occupation.

Le CEGES/SOMA a invité des historiens qui ont travaillé sur le sujet à présenter leurs recherches à un plus large public. Les futurs historiens (bacheliers en seconde ou troisième année) sont invités à venir non seulement écouter leurs aînés mais aussi, via des exposés de spécialistes, à découvrir les sources relatives à la thématique retenue et à réfléchir sur les sujets, problématiques et angles de recherche qui peuvent en découler.

Le programme, qui débutera à 9 heures 15 sous la présidence de Bruno De Wever (UGent), prévoit plusieurs communications relatives aux suites de la seconde guerre mondiale. A 11 heures, Ernest Martijn (KULeuven) parlera de l’influence de la répression sur le football belge. Ensuite, Hélène Pochart (ULB) examinera la répression de la collaboration après la seconde guerre mondiale dans le Tournaisis, en particulier des rexistes et de leur participation à la chasse aux réfractaires.

A 11 heures 30, Jiel Foubert, (UAntwerpen) analysera le pèlerinage de l’Yser entre 1960 et 1980; et Hannah Surmont résumera sa thèse sur Frans Gevaert (1911-2006), historien nationaliste flamand, incivique, finalement été nommé Chevalier de l’Odre de Léopold.

A 14 heures, Joachim Derwael, fonctionnaire des Archives de l’Etat, présentera des sources relatives à la répression de la collaboration avec l’occupant pendant la seconde guerre mondiale et à 15 heures 45, Dirk Luyten,  chargé de recherche au CegeSoma/Archives de l’Etat, évoquera des thèmes et angles de recherche envisageables au sujet de l’occupation et de la répression.

Aucun exposé ne se centrera sur le génocide perpétré en Belgique durant la seconde guerre mondiale avec la complicité de l’Etat belge, ni sur l’absence de répression qui s’en est suivie.

Salle de conférence du CegeSoma – square de l’Aviation 29 à 1070 Bruxelles; de 9 heures 15 à 16 heures 45.
Inscriptions : accès libre mais sur inscription préalable avant le mardi 17 avril 2018 : isabelle.ponteville@arch.be ou par téléphone : 02/556.92.11.

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Announcement, Français - French texts, History

Let’s Jump On The Bandwagon

We all should be aware of the high value of water, source of life. People should also know they can use their voice to stimulate the politicians and get them to take action.

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To remember

  •   Water scarcity faced by rural population = either headlines that seldom catches our attentions or a topic being discussed infinitely, without even attempting to look for a solution. > point our fingers towards politicians for keeping us blind-folded about the issues – the real ones happening in the rural sectors of our agricultural dominant nation.
  • farmers walked 180 km, a number estimate of 20000 of them, over a period of six days. By the time they reached Mumbai, the strength had grown to 30000.
  • Shiva Sena in favor of this protest + raised voice, to make things work => an urban class can do by pressurizing politicians to make sure counterpart rural get their rights = power of togetherness

Chai & Biscuits

wp3.jpgWe will get the magnitude of the issues when there is no water as we turn on the tap, no electricity when we try to iron our clothes, and no food on the plate lying on our dining tables.  The water scarcity faced by the rural population is either headlines that seldom catches our attentions or a topic being discussed infinitely, without even attempting to look for a solution. We can point our fingers towards the politicians for keeping us blind-folded about the issues – the real ones happening in the rural sectors of our agricultural dominant nation.

While a wink gets a million likes and shares, while we mourn the natural death of a celebrity in a bath tub; the suicide committed by farmers slips our attention spans. And several of the protests, almost taken out on a daily basis, happening in front of the bureaucrats offices failed to…

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Ecological affairs, Headlines - News, Political affairs, Re-Blogs and Great Blogs

To judge is to think you know

The world happens.
And you can talk about everything.
Every medium has a forum.
You can say what you think.
Do it. Say it.

But every event involves people.
People with a story, people with a heart.
And what you say touches that heart, touches that person.
When you read something, be kind.
When you think about it, be thorough.
When you want to say something, be careful.
When you don’t know everything, be quiet.
The in and outside.

Because judging is not yet knowing.
To judge is to think you know.

Dutch version /Nederlandse versie: Oordelen is denken te weten

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Juridical matters, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Movement Without a Name, Political affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters

Holding certain Truths to be self-evident


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all human beings, irrespective of race, color, or sex, are born with the equal right to share at the table of life; that to secure this right, there must be established among men economic, social, and political freedom; we hold further that government exists but to maintain special privilege and property rights; that it coerces man into submission and therefore robs him of dignity, self-respect, and life.
– Emma Goldman

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Institutional Racism

Not only the United States of America has its problems with racism. It is a growing problem in Europe as well where populism and nationalism are gaining terrain.

Several right-wing politicians are helping it to grow and use the immigration as their flagship to make people afraid for Mohammedanism. At the same time the other politicians are too much afraid to loose votes, by giving a clear voice against the exclusion of certain people and religions.

From the church, synagogues and mosques are not enough voices coming up and letting people see their true face.

We can not longer stand at the side and be silent. We do have to play our role to have people their eyes opened and to overcome to see the differences which are not and should not frighten us. We should take care to be in time to disarm those who take every effort to blacken others and to have those who have a gloomy side of things to see the world more positive and to see the others not as a threat.

We need the right people to show others are not the menace to fear, and that we can live together in peace with a multicultural society, which shall enrich us more than deteriorating us.

It is high time to see those to stand up who can and will be the ones who reform policing and empower all to build up one united society.

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To remember

  • Much of the resistance to government intervention and assistance comes down to a belief that “They” are getting the benefits – the mysterious “other” that is easily blamed for everything. It prevents us from having a useful discussion about “Us”, a free and united people ready to tackle the changes of our world bravely and directly.
  • White Privilege is generally little more than the benefit of the doubt. But when the volume is turned up and the noise is deafening, only baser senses remain. The simple benefit of the doubt often adrenalizes into violent, destructive action. {White Privilege}
  • A simple assumption accelerates into a terrible collision. {White Privilege}
  • society as a whole is still incapable of comprehending how simple yet terrible it is. {White Privilege}
  • We won’t end racism overnight, but we can continue to make progress.
  • There is a horrible lack of leadership everywhere in the developed world right now > requires strategic thinking, + strategy = horribly under-appreciated. {Strategy as Leadership}
  • separation between Strategy and Tactics is what usually trips people up. {Strategy as Leadership}
  • lack of leadership we see at the top = merely a reflection of the lack of understanding of leadership throughout our society, which is to say how to think strategically.{Strategy as Leadership}
  • institutional racism, =/= issue defeated head-on > Once lines are set => frozen. Everyone hunkered down in a defensive position, ready for the attacks. => quickly dissolves into trench warfare, = nasty game of inches rather than yards.
  • It will take understanding, love, patience, + humor to get at the heart of racism.
  • key = to engage it in a way that disarms majority of people who have racist thoughts but are empathetic enough to realize it is wrong. They need tools to cope and an invitation to stand proud rather than hunker down defensively.

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Preceding articles

If you’re going to be a hater, make sure you’ve done your homework.

Refusing to Be Silent

Tact? Knowing when it is better to remain silent!

My Multi-Cultural Childhood Could be the Answer to Racism & Xenophobia

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

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Additional reading

  1. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  2. Immigration consternation
  3. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  4. Migrants to the West #3
  5. Migrants to the West #8 Welbeing
  6. Speciesism and racism
  7. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism

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Related

  1. More about the Legacy of Race in Seventh-day Adventist Culture
  2. Anti-racism – definition of anti-racism by The Free Dictionary
  3. Jon Jones blasts Colby Covington for racism, throws shade after Fabricio Werdum altercation
  4. Social Issues: #2 Racial Prejudice and Racism
  5. Everyday racism
  6. AmeriKKKan Racism ~VS~ World Racism
  7. Institutional Racism Finally Addressed at Inquest into Toronto Police Killing of Andrew Loku

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

For Dr. King’s Day, we have to acknowledge there is a war on between races.  It is a war which can only tear this nation apart, as it has done for centuries.  This,from 2016, is on how we have to engage it.

My thesis is this: there is nothing more important to the future of our nation than ending racism, particularly institutional racism. This has become a desperate matter of survival for far too many people when it comes to the issue of police killings. These tragedies happen disproportionately to minorities largely because of racism.

Yet the problem goes far beyond that. There is not a single issue in this nation which does not ultimately become polarized and frozen by race. Much of the resistance to government intervention and assistance comes down to a belief that “They” are getting the benefits – the mysterious “other” that is easily blamed for…

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Even in the so-called freeworld countries racism exist

Learn love, unlearn racism
Source: WisdomToInspire.com

In Europe we may find lots of people who say they are a Christian, but in fact are just name Christians. They often do not know much about Christ and his teachings and often go against his teachings, what is worse.

Victor Uyanwanne, who lives in Lagos, Nigeria with his wife and two kids also knows that

There are people around the world who think that they are Christians simply because of the home or geographical location they were born into. {Being A Cultural Christian Is Not Enough}

Many people may think they are the owners of the place where they live and consider it to be for them alone. Some, like the majority of North Americans, forget that their ancestors took away the country from the original indigenous population.

Truths OfALostKid sees Mexican, black, white, Asian, Indian and wonders

Who are we

Mexican, black, white, asian, Indian.

The world says who you are and will not let go of that idea until you show what you are and how you are “different”

If I am of color I am now held to that standard will I be a typical failure or will I be “different” {Lost kid return home writing of 2018/01/23/}

and asks herself and her readers

Why is race important to anything? God made us brother and sisters love one another and do not assume who somebody is just for the flesh God gave them for he has made us all in his image and with the same love. {Lost kid return home writing of 2018/01/23/}

As an American she often wonders

does the racism here play out the same in different parts of the world? What does racism look like other places?

She also often wonders of the races within each country, undergo similar feelings

The world is so big there has to infinite potential of races and mixed races living in different countries. Are they accepted in there own country or are there still barriers and such around? How is the president in other countries ? Are they racist or are they for everyone? Please if you are from a different country explain to me how race all plays out in your country and all the different types of race and mixes there is! {Racism In America V.s The Rest Of The World?}

For her

The value of words and discipline are key! And the realization that this world is at your very finger tips and can be exactly what you’d like it to be. You don’t have to work violently to get results. {Racism In America V.s The Rest Of The World?}

Today many words are spoken by different political groups. also the once from the racist site get stronger and stronger and are not afraid to use any body who can fit in to push their agenda.

Edmark M. Law says

In Hong Kong, we have a diverse number of races here so racism is generally frowned upon. Ironically, the greatest targets for racism here are the ones from Mainland China. If someone say that you look like someone from China, it has several negative connotations, e.g. you’re rude, has a bad sense of fashion, ignorant or something like that.
But I can tell you that the average HK people are too busy to care about racism!

Can it be that perhaps too many Europeans are not busy enough with other things that they may look angry at the immigrants which they consider coming to take away their jobs (which they do not have, because many sit on unemployment benefit)? Also we can see several immigrants taking up jobs no European wants to do. As such they are not really taking away jobs from the local population.

Not only the younger immigrants, who look for a better way of life seem to be a problem today. Older people are looked as if they are standing in the way or not giving youngsters the possibility to work. And the retired people seem to take away money from those who are working. (so it looks like when we would believe the sayings of some agitators.)

A prolific writer of Science Fiction, Rock Music and alternative style semi-autobiographical books and fiction, who has written 49 books, also feels the same as many of the Belgian older generation feels. Like many of us here he saw  the 1960s counter-culture and got to understand our way of choices was not a fashion statement but a way of life.

It looked at the boring establishment, the old-boys network, the stereotypical attire, the joyless lack of creativity, the conventions, religion, politics, blatant selfish greed, exploitation, inherent racism and sexism and looked to create something better. I was part of it. {Who I am}

He writes, but now is confronted with an other reality.

My intellectual faculties are pretty intact though obviously my short-term memory is not quite as sharp as it used to be but I get there. But three times in the last two days I have found myself on my blog being described as an old man as if being 68 has suddenly made me worthless. It is put in such a derogatory way that indicates that the younger people concerned consider my views worthless, that I am suddenly out of touch, that my life experience is irrelevant and my intelligence has diminished. {Is Ageism the new Racism?}

The views of those born in the 1940ies and 1950ies are considered of no value and looked as if those people can not fit in this world or should not belong to it any more. at the moment there is a movement going on of people who only think about themselves and who want everything also for them alone; Others do not seem to fit in the picture.

Now that racism, homophobia and sexism is heavily frowned upon are these people turning their attention to older people? Is ageism the new racism? Do we put aside all need to listen to what older people have to say, to disregard their experience and views, and simply put them down as irrelevant and worthless? {Is Ageism the new Racism?}

Naturally we must be aware that ageism started long ago. also in the 1950ies we could see a lot of advertisements for anti-aging creams. (To be honest we also used and still use such creams.) Though we do know we cant stop getting older and less performant. But that does not mean we should be considered useless.

calensariel remarks

Why, they even called Justin Timberlake old (so I heard) on the Superbowl. He’s 38? Someday the tables are going to tip and folks — especially employers — are going to find out experience is a much more valuable tool that youth!

Today experience doe s not count at all. The employers are throwing the baby away with the bathwater. The do away of so much useful knowledge. They do not allow experience to be the seed of their next employees.

According Heather Patterson we reap what we saw.

The big changes occurred in society following the world wars. Started slowly after WW1, then more so after WW2, then Korea, then Vietnam and so forth. Each one with a host of vociferous objectors, conscious writers tapping into the heart of the pulse, all the 1950’s Beat Poets – you should know them.
All venomous complaints aimed at these decrepit old fucks wanton on sending young men to their deaths in the millions for what? Glory? King? Country?

does she mean we did wrong to protest against the War in Vietnam? Where we to active proclaiming peace and a loving world? where too many artists of our ‘after war’ generation to much involved in youth dreams and flower-power business that some of us got carried away in their dreams of a world which is impossible to get?

Heather Patterson finds that

You are upset because a much younger person stole your torch and they said it before you even thought of it. Anybody could see the way you operate a mile away. No credit given with Opher, unless he is always seen in the best light before anybody else.

and looks at Opher’s World saying she thinks that 68 year old writer has

fallen fowl to your inner most fears of being seen as a write off, has been, former self etc. Everything is a threat to your crumbling domain which was really only a house of cards anyway as it was bound to be toppled by the next generation and so forth. What was important to your generation in the 1950’s such as what you liked to read holds not a bit of similar levels of interest today.
That’s just the way it goes.
Isn’t it disappointing to see bitterness creeping in to the winter days of the elderly. {Is Ageism the new Racism?}

Though it is just our generation that wants to tell others how ridiculous worthless war is. It are just we who have seen the tale of world war II and have seen the ‘after wars’, like Vietnam and Balkan war, where the most avoidable atrocities happened and brought human beings to a lower level than animals.

The Baby Boomers are portrayed as having had it easy and perhaps we did. But to call us the cause of what we have now, some saying we reap what we sow, is not correct. We sang about peace and equality, we lived in communes and perhaps we were to easy concerning the matter of ‘love’, but it was always about respectful relationships and with no restriction concerning skin colour or nationality. We strove for equality of classes and taught our kids to be respectful to everybody living on this earth and to act on terms of equal footing. We taught our children not use bad language. We did not like our children to use curse words, not to use to much alcoholic drank, not to smoke or to take drugs (though we had used drugs when we were young). Even when we had certain religious ideas we  learned our children to accept that not all people think nor feel like us, and that they should know about gay and transgender people and should respect their choices as well.

As such all that right-wing and nationalist talk is not something we gave our kids. We agree we went against establishment and perhaps some of those today thought that would mean we always should react against order and state, but that was not what we said or hoped for.

Rebecca E. Blanton writes

The internal racism and bi-phobia and sexism in our communities has to be addressed so that we can stand together and fight to make our country a safe place so that anyone can love who they want without threat of harm. {Love in Times of Great Danger}

We may not keep silent and have certain political parties mislead the people and get them to hate others.

Opher says

racism and patriotism has always been the currency of populist rabble-rousing politicians who want to arouse passions and gain power. It’s a shame people still fall for it.

At Victor’s corner it is also recognised that

More than many people are willing to admit, racism (that “prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior”) is still an in issue being grapled with in 21st Century America! . {Racism in America Vs Tribalism in Nigeria}

He admits

Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that it is wrong, neither is everyone actively engaged in fighting against it. {Racism in America Vs Tribalism in Nigeria}.

Victorscorner

Victor Uyanwanne

We must be aware that racism does not affect only the black or coloured people and that it is not alone a matter of black or coloured against whites. Victor Uyanwanne writes that what pepole may refer to as racism in America,

takes a different hegemonic form here in Nigeria.

It is called tribalism, which, just like corruption, manifests itself in all aspects of our collective existence. But unlike racism, tribalism has nothing to do with the colour of one’s skin.

So you can imagine how odd it felt to be referred to as “people of colour” when you know that everyone else around you has the same skin colour as you.

racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.

In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, “In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”

This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.

Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.

All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.

{Racism in America Vs Tribalism in Nigeria}

We in Europe do face racism on matters of nationality or origin, i.e;. ethnicity, but also on religion and political stance. Perhaps it also has something to do with a form of ‘tribalism’ and not belonging to a certain ‘tribe’ or ‘certain folks’.

racial discrimination and prejudices wear attires in Nigeria different from the ones they wear in America.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 9374.JPG

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian writer of novels, short stories, and nonfiction

In the words of Chimamanda Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah,

In Nigeria race is not a conscious and present means of self-identification. Ethnicity is. Religion is. But not race.”

This response she gave in a Goodreads interview as far back as 2013 aptly captures the differences between race issues in America when compared with same in Nigeria.

Unlike the experiences often reported amongst blacks in the US, no one in Nigeria is identified or should I say discriminated upon on the basis of the colour of his or her skin.

All of us are black! Instead of race, we talk of our ethic origins, religious affiliations and regional bases.

He ends his article with

While racism is the issue in America, tribalism it is in Nigeria. While racism exists as a result of differences in colour of the skin, tribalism hinges on differences in birth-roots. Both are common societal evils that must be dealt a decisive blow in order for us to have a better world.

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite – Nelson Mandela.

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Preceding articles

Growing anti-Semitism possible sign of certain times

Quiz questions, views, left- and right-wing anti-Semitism

Mass Media’s Deception Causing Division

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

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Additional reading

  1. Martin Luther King’s Dream Today
  2. A world with or without religion
  3. Anti-Semitism ‘on the rise’ in Europe
  4. Stand Up
  5. Added commentary to the posting A Progressive Call to Arms
  6. Walls,colours, multiculturalism, money to flow, Carson, Trump and consorts
  7. Arson attack carried out on Stevenage Central Mosque
  8. Back from gone #3 Giving worries to God and believing in His promises
  9. Immigration consternation
  10. Forms of slavery, human trafficking and disrespectful attitude to creation to be changed
  11. Speciesism and racism
  12. Rome mobilisation to say no to fascism and racism
  13. Love envieth not
  14. The Greatest of These is Love
  15. Never too late to start going to the right end
  16. Vatican against Opponents of immigration

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Further related

  1. Institutional Racism
  2. the stench of racism
  3. Racism In America V.s The Rest Of The World?
  4. It’s not always racism
  5. This Isn’t About Just Race
  6. Earth, Wind, Fire, and Racism
  7. Trump and the hidden racism inside us
  8. I am an American!
  9. 跟外國人拍拖被歧視的經驗 – Racism in our countries: how it affects interracial couples?
  10. Racism, History, and How To Get Away With Murder’s Bold Statement
  11. Black History Month. The Harlem Hellfighters and Chicago “Black Devils”: Battling Racism and Germans on the Western Front in 1918
  12. An Open Letter to My Black Friends About My Own Racism
  13. I’m back. Still black. And think we need to keep talking about racism!
  14. The dream
  15. Treason.
  16. White Supremacists Have Control of our Elected Offices, our Militia, Police, Guns, Christian Congregations, and the Media, . . . but we shouldn’t be alarmed.
  17. Power of Apologies
  18. Love in Times of Great Danger
  19. Racism and Transphobia Behind the Pink Pussy Hat Ban
  20. Build Community, Not Walls
  21. Anti-Semitism lives on 75 years after Germany’s Kristallnacht
  22. (William E. Grim) The Return Of Anti-Semitism To Germany: It Never Really Left
  23. Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan | The Japan Times
  24. Opinion – Tackle embedded racism before it chokes Japan | The Japan Times – John Gelmini
  25. Anti-Semitism, anti-leftism and anti-Christianity
  26. How anti-racism became racist: All lives matter
  27. Can we only understand racism in terms of postmodern litcrit academic jargon?
  28. How the Migrant Crisis is Tearing Europe Apart
  29. What Color Am I? A True Story About Race Identity and Racism.
  30. “You Married One Those?” #race #racism #blackhistorymonth
  31. Racism and the Economic Hoodwink
  32. My first experience with true racism
  33. From drugs to racism in six steps
  34. Time Jumps, Sex Talk and Racism // A Taxonomy of Love review
  35. Ruin Racism
  36. Seven Benefits for All in Dismantling Racism

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Filed under Activism and Peace Work, Being and Feeling, Crimes & Atrocities, Educational affairs, Fashion - Trends, Headlines - News, History, Knowledge & Wisdom, Lifestyle, Political affairs, Religious affairs, Social affairs, Welfare matters, World affairs

It’s Time real lovers of God to Stand and Speak Out!

On one article we reblogged over here (and as such did not write it ourselves) and in which there were used popular words by youngsters, somebody felt offended. It looks like she could not feel any empathy with the generation we and the author of the original article were talking about and brought herself calling us stupid people, though missing the whole point of that article and the discussion around it.

Extended Coloured family from South Africa showing some spectrum of human skin colouration

In our world we see still too many people who want to differentiate between skin colour and race. They continue to demand that there would be called or named the differences between people who live at the same place, instead of accepting everybody who lives there for what he is and for how he looks like. They insist that people who live already for many generations in a certain country or area would still have a referral to that long ago place of origin as if that place of origin of so many generations ago brought a blemish on that person. It looks like many do want that lots of people keep running around with the stain of their past and long death ancestors.

Today we see again a movement going on to put on all people labels, like Moroco, Turkish,  Arabic, Berber, Afro-American, etc.. Though those people may already live here for the 3rd, 4th or even 5th generation. As we spoke about the trend the Dutch Press requesting not to use the word ‘blank’ (fair) but now to use ‘wit’ (white) opposite ‘zwart’ (black) instead of ‘kleurling (coloured). Whilst certain newspapers still shall continue words as ‘blank’ and ‘kleurling’ (coloured) not looking at the different skin colour as something negative. Clearly the colour of the skin has become again a point of discussion and we are back to the way of return and pre-Martin Luther King-times, or the time of racial segregation with Apartheid.

Darya safai-1480075466.jpg

Iranian-Belgian human rights activist Darya Safai playtoy of the rightwing political parties trying to limit the freedom of expression and freedom of religion

Several politicians are doing their best to come back to such a time and many migrants are helping them without them having a proper knowledge of what is happening. As such we may find the Iranian dentist Darya Safai who is used as a plaything by the Flemish Nationalists and/or right-wing political parties. The Iranian-Belgian human rights activist grew up in the Islamic Republic of Iran after the revolution of 1979. We can clearly see how she got traumatised with her experiences in Iran. There she experienced at first hand how it was to live as an oppressed woman in a religious dictatorship. But now she thinks this would also be so in Belgium or the countries around us. She insist that parents would have no say on the religious education they want to give at home and want to prohibit any person in our country to wear religious symbols or to have traditional attire.  She finds the schools must prohibit any religious dress-code. By doing so she wants the freedom of religion, the freedom of expression and the freedom of clothing restricted. By doing so see also endangers our democratic freedom.

After she was temporarily released on bail, she decided to flee Iran together with husband via Turkey to Belgium.  Instead of seeing that we want to be a free country where everybody should be able to live next to each other she now wants to create an other Iran where she shall be on the side of the dictators or decision makers. Though she says she wants to fight against discrimination she tries to bring in discriminating  measures, having children nor their parents the right to choose their own religion and how they want to be religious.

In December 2016, Darya Safai was awarded the title ‘Women Of Peace’ by the Belgian Secretary of State for Equal Opportunities at the Belgian Senate, for her fight for women’s rights, though at that time it was already clear she had a more unpleasant agenda.

Last week when  a state school was ordered to let 11 young girls (age 12) to wear their hijab to school inspite their ban on all religious symbols Safai went into heavy reaction again helping to have a growing stir in the debate

because when a judge rules that specific people can ignore a rule that counts for everyone, it will cause more division.

It is true that now other Muslim, Sikh, Jewish parents can go to court and achieve the same override for their kid. On the other hand by Safai her actions to forbid head-covering we now have Sikh kids in Sint-Truiden (Haspengouw Hesbaye), who cannot go any more to a state- or to a Catholic school because they are not allowed in with their head covering. For them and for those who want to wear a head-covering the only solution is to go to a private school. Safai forgets that this would cost the parents a lot more and that such private schools of a certain religion endangers our society more, because than there is no control by the school directorate and then the way to indoctrination is totally free and would be unnoticed. We also could see what happened already in one of the Antwerp Jewish schools a few weeks ago. We must be very careful with an overprotection and giving the opportunity to have youngsters drifting away.

Safai seems to think the same rules count over here as in her birthplace. She argues that the choice to wear a headscarf is not made by girls themselves. By this she underestimate the strong will of many Belgian girls. She says

“It’s not a free choice, when I see six-year-old girls wearing headscarves, I really wonder how they could decide that for themselves-it’s imposed on you and you live with them.”

For Safai the girls their head-covering is indeed a symbol of oppression.

“Men do not wear headscarves, that’s the best proof,”

Orthodox Christian pilgrim

said Safai, to which Vanhecke replied

“With Jews, only the men wear a yarmulke, and that is not seen as a symbol of oppression,”

Safai also forgets or probably does not know that in West Europe all kids from the 1940ies to 1960ies have had to cover their head as girls and we as boys had to cover (like the girls also) our limbs. No bare arms or are knees where to be seen and women at to sit on the left side of the church.  It is all still clear in our head also, how our parents and when we went swimming in the sea we had to cover most of our body. (Later, as hippies we went against those restrictions and ran even naked in nature.) And now a few years later what had to happen then suddenly should not be allowed any more. She also does it as if the head-covering is only a Muslim matter, forgetting that still today many religious Christian groups prescribe head-covering for their members.

Roman Catholic nuns

Roman Catholic nuns – Roman Catholic nuns singing in choir. – Smith2006

Throughout the centuries of Church history, women have worn head coverings during the meetings of the church – that is, when “praying or prophesying” take place. In Europe the wearing of fabric head coverings in worship was also universally the practice of Christian women until the twentieth century and in several Reformed churches, Baptists, Christadelphian, Brethren and various Mennonites it is still the custom for young and old. In the South of Europe we may find lots of nuns of the Roman Catholic churches with a covering of their heads, whilst many women in the South (like Spain and Italy) still often have the head covering by means of a headscarf. In Eastern Orthodox churches, all women still cover their heads. With the old believers this may only be a headscarf, with the other Eastern Orthodox it may also be a veil.

Vanhecke, with good reason, thinks girls are also oppressed if they are not allowed to wear the headscarf.

“A religion obliges the headscarf, a society forbids it, that is the same principle.”

“You interfere in a fundamental right of parents to make choices for their children,”

says Vanhecke.

That what Safai tries to avoid she helps to create. One should avoid that we get such private religious schools as only possibility for religious people to give their kids an education. When we would have such specific Jewish, Hindu and/or Islam schools we make it much easier to have them a specific religious education or indoctrination and creating a generation which would be less adapted in our culture than those who grow up together with all sorts of kids from different nationalities and different religions. Instead of integrating them in a multicultural society Safai shall help to create a divided society with lots of racism.

So needless to say this situation actually causes the very religious division that the ban on head-covering tries to avoid.

Mieke Vanhecke (CD & V), ex-top woman of Catholic education, pleaded in Terzake for the right to wear a headscarf at school. Darya Safai (N-VA) continues to see it as a symbol of oppression. Vanhecke argues that not only Muslims are victims of the headscarf debate.

“A ban on headgear not only affects Muslims,”

says Vanhecke.

“In Sint-Truiden there were never any problems, the Sikh boys came to school with a turban, because of the ban they no longer have access to our school.”

Safia is convinced that children and young women can not make up their own mind what to wear. For her children nor women who wear the hijab impossibly can do that of their own will and impossibly can be happy clothing themself that way. Many like her she see misogyny and are convinced that they must be under dictation of a male dictator or male bully. Often we hear voices like

Her husband must have forced her’

‘Poor girl, she may not dress like she wants’

Safia like many right wing people can only think of suppression, seeing men’s orders and their power over women. Others love to shout

Unveil yourself’,

‘Hide not yourself”

‘Let us see your beauty’

Why should they have such a need to see the beauty of that woman? Why can they not respect that woman like she wants to dress herself?

Those people thinking women or girls who like to wear a head scarf of hijab are pushed by their family, do forget that there are enough strong women in Belgium who can make up their mind themselves. They do not need their fathers or their male partner to dictate what they should wear but even less should they have others to dictate what they should wear or may not wear. That last bit is what Darya Safai and many Nationalists and Neo-Nazis love to do.

Lots of those who call themselves Christian but oppose the freedom of other lovers of God, do forget that by doing so they go in against the Law of God. Their strong actions against Muslims and Jews also clearly show that they do not bear Jesus his teachings of love in their heart. Lots of them also do not understand that wearing a covering on the head may represent an ordainment from God and a submitting to the Most High. There are enough places in Scriptures which talk about such covering and reasons why and when to do it.

Those who are an atheist or do not believe in the One True God should not try to put their law above the Laws of God nor should they urge all others to live like them and to dress like them.

Many also do forget the use of a head-covering can just mean those women liberated themselves from the world and its attitudes. For many believers in the One True God it can mean just empowerment, liberation and freedom. Too many underestimate the European female and think they would be like the women in the Middle East used as slaves by the male figures around them. But we can see strong women who have made up their own mind and by their own choice and by their own intentions they dare to show their faith to others and are not afraid to be mocked at or to be looked at as of ‘not of this world’. They do not want to be of this world but of the world of God. For them that is more important than being a slave of this world where every body assumes he or she is free when they can have sex with as many as they can or drink as much as they want to do all the funniest things one can think of.

Mrs. Safai does as if those girls, when they would wear a head dress, never would be able to integrate in our society or would never be able to get work. When they would not get work because they wear a head covering, does that not tell more about the party who does not want to give her work? And does that not show how certain people do not want others to integrate in our community?

By the way, lots of right wing people do as if those Muslim girls who want to cover their head are foreigners, but a lot are girls and ladies who were before ‘white Belgian citizens’ and even belonging to Catholic families.

That many people are so much afraid that there would be so many converts to Mohammedanism tells also a lot about the weakness of most members of that faith. Lots of Roman Catholics and Protestants even not knowing the Name of God and never having read the Bible. If they would be standing strong in the faith we see no reason why they and others should be so afraid. The other way, Christians should come out and proclaim their faith to those who are no Christian. They should show people that Jesus is the way and show that Jesus his teaching is one of love and of comprehension and compassion. But most Belgians, Dutch and French people just show the opposite, showing their hate against immigrants and people who are different than they or who think differently than they.

Lots of people seem to have forgotten how we and our parents had to cover our body a few decades ago. Lots of them also forget that just because their western values don’t fit with a woman covering her hair and beauty, it still could be a personal choice for that person covering herself. Many do forget that their Western values are way out from our Christian Western values and norms.

Today so many oppose people who have an other opinion. We also see the right wing people wanting so much that every body would dance to their will.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said,

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

These days we are going backwards because several people want to push their will unto others. They want an exclusive white state for themselves with only believers in that what they believe and in that what they call Christian values, but are not at all Christian values.

In Belgium we can find  more and more Muslim children in community education, especially with regard to other educational networks we may find a larger influx of students from other cultures in general in the state schools. When these children want to show their own faith in the form of clothing, they often do so out of their own convictions, but because these young people are not yet adults, they often take over the prevailing morality of their immediate environment and of society. If we compare this with the Flemish youths of indigenous origin, we notice a big difference, but according to us that is easy to explain. After all, with many Flemish young people there is a great ignorance of the church, while the Muslim children are more often socialized in their ideology.
The total banning of religious signs would thus be a violation of religious freedom. We should resist such a thing.
That a lot of inhabitants of Belgium, Holland and France do not want to stand open for other cultures we should try to avoid in the next generations by introducing the various cultures from the early years in childhood.

Dyab Abou Jahjah in 2008.

The Belgian-Lebanese Arab political activist and writer Dyab Abou Jahjah, claims that

‘hatred in Flanders is mainstream’

and

‘racism determines the agenda’.

When you follow certain reactions and talks it gives the impression not enough people want to react against that dangerous trend.

Christian people should let others know that all people have the same value because we are created by the same One True God. We all are being allowed to live on this globe and are given talents which can be used to help others. All people in a community have to complement each other.
Each person should know that racism devalues people. Non believers should come to see that Christ has broken down racial doors and overcomes divisive thinking by creating for himself a new nation through his death and resurrection. Every Christian should help to build a loving world by showing his love for others, be them of no believe or any other believe than Christianity.
When the politicians are not doing their job properly to build a multicultural peaceful state, the Christians needs to lead the way.
When you are a Christian do not wait until it is too late!

Let your voice be heard and speak up for the weaker ones in our society and for those who humiliated and shut out.

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Preceding articles

What is important?

Enough with the Clothes Shaming of Muslim Women

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

The Mountain: Radical Love

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Additional reading

  1. Vliegend spaghettimonster en Gelijke behandeling voor elke overtuiging
  2. Parenthood made more difficult
  3. Uncertainty, shame and no time for vacillation
  4. Migrants to the West #2
  5. On French beach French police forces woman to undress in public
  6. Pew Research: How People in Muslim Countries Believe Women Should Dress
  7. Allowing dress code according liberty of religion
  8. Coverings Worn by Muslim Women
  9. The Dress Code for Women in the Quran
  10. Meditating Muslimah on “hijab to be a religious obligation”
  11. French showing to the whole world their fear and weakness
  12. Christians, secularism, morals and values
  13. Trusting present youngsters who are not necessary evil
  14. Overprotection and making youngsters drifting away
  15. Today’s thought “And he counted it to him for righteousness” (January 12)
  16. Listening to the lessons of the Bible and looking for ways to please God

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Related

  1. Hijab 1
  2. Hijab 2
  3. The Meaning of Hijab
  4. I Tried Wearing a Hijab (sort of)
  5. The hijab of ignorance
  6. Cultural Bias
  7. An Imagined Offence
  8. The Irony of Hijabs!!
  9. Transition: My Hijab Story
  10. Hijab: Oppression or Freedom?
  11. Hijab in Islam and other religions
  12. Hijab | Zanzibar, Tanzania
  13. Women unite for World Hijab Day, which is Today
  14. Happy World Hijab Day 2018!
  15. Pearls and swines – loose priorities – the hijab-saga in perspective
  16. Hidden Pearl Hijab Review
  17. Hijab ‘Attack’ Condemned By Canada’s Prime Minister Was A Hoax
  18. My Hijab Story
  19. The Secret Hijabi
  20. What My Hijab Means To Me
  21. Perspective: Hijab is Oppression or Freedom?Newspeak and the politics of fear

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Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Tonight starts the celebration of Purim, for many known as the Jewish carnival. In many families it is a pleasant day for the kids they being allowed to dress up and them looking for presents which are sent by family members and friends. First the children were asked to fast and to keep those things that the like much, to share with others who have less then them.

From today until Schmini Shel Pesach the final day of Passover on Nisan 22, commemorating the Splitting of the Red Sea, the climax of the Exodus from Egypt, and the day when we focus on the final liberation, the one that’s yet to happen. We look at the days of or moments of liberation the Hashem has given to His People. These days we remember the time of Moshe and Estêr, but also we reflect on the way God is with us all the time.

Starting with the commemoration of the salvation of the Jewish people in ancient Persia from the wicked Haman his plot

“to destroy, kill and annihilate all the Jews, young and old, infants and women, in a single day,”

as recorded in the Megillah (book of Esther).

Esther before Ahasuerus, by Franciszek Smuglewicz, 1778

The Jew-hating Haman, appointed prime minister of the Persian Empire under King Aḥašvērōš, convinced the king to issue a decree ordering the extermination of all the Jews on the 13th of Adar, a date chosen by a lottery Haman made.
Mardəkī or Mordecai galvanized all the Jews, convincing them to repent, fast and pray to the Most High Elohim. After the first wife of the king had been executed for failing to follow his orders, he arranged a beauty pageant to find a new queen. A Jewish girl, Esther, found favour in the king’s eyes and became the new queen, though she refused to divulge her nationality. After Haman had required to kill the Jews Esther revealed to the king her Jewish identity, which would mean when the decree would be executed his beauty and loved one would be killed also. To avoid such drama Haman was hanged and instead of him Mordechai was appointed prime minister. A new decree was issued, granting the Jews the right to defend themselves against their enemies.

On the 13th of Adar, the Jews mobilized and killed many of their enemies. On the 14th of Adar, they rested and celebrated. In the capital city of Shushan, they took one more day to finish the job.

Since Haman had thrown lots to determine when he would carry out his diabolical scheme this remembrance period is also called “Feast of lots”.

Queen Estêr (Esther) is the heroine of the Megillah tale, and has been a character used in several films and some ballets. From a simple girl she could take a very high position, which made her able to use her influence to save the Jewish people. But this was only possible by revealing her nationality. She could have been quiet and let the Jews been killed, but preferred to speak, endangering herself. Though the king madly in love with her did not kill her but killed the man who had asked for the Jews to be killed.

Married to a non-Jew she was stuck having the privilege to live in a palace, and the years after this event was still unable to join her people in their celebrations. She had saved her people, but could not save herself from her ‘castle-walls’. She was trapped, living between two worlds.

We have to take care we get not trapped, but also that we do not stay silent. Certainly in these times when we can find more and more people who do find that this world only belongs to (trinitarian) Christians. Looking around and following the news, we hear several times a week how Jews are bullied or even how certain people try to kill Jews on the street (like the incident in Antwerp last week).

Rabbi Michael Knopf who writes extensively on matters of halakhah (the Jewish legal tradition) a few days ago wrote about Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege and looking at our position in this world wrote:

We cannot be truly safe, truly free, truly prosperous, until everyone is safe, free, and prosperous.

He also remembered Martin Luther King, Jr. who wrote,

“I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” (“Letter from a Birmingham Jail”).

These coming days we especially look at the way God helped His People and how they acted in their life on the way to the Promised Land. Most of them never saw that place which could have been an ‘heaven on earth’. Throughout history we have seen many pogroms and years of torture and killings of our ancestors. These days we can remember them but also remember the liberation of so many. Because these days that is going to be our focus, how the Elohim is there to help us and to guide us to be able to live in a world which does not like the Children of God. Going up to Pesach, the climax of the year 15-22 Nisan, remembering the Passover and liberation of Gods people.

The Rabbi reminds us:

If you are reading this column, chances are good that you are among the ranks of the most fortunate people to ever live.
Mordechai‘ s challenge to Esther is, therefore, our challenge as well. When there are those in our world, in our country, whose lives are at risk, do we stand by, fearful that speaking up will cost us our position? Or do we remember that our fate is bound up in their fate, too, and perhaps we have attained our privilege for just such a crisis?

This was the question of Esther’s time. This is the question of our time. As we celebrate Purim, let us honor Mordechai’s challenge, and recall Esther’s heroic response. {Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege }

On the Israel Forever Foundation website and on Inspiration from Zion: This is a Love Story we also find the warning

Today we are not witnessing the Holocaust but there are world leaders who advocate for the elimination of the Jewish State. There are individuals who openly declare that the genocide of the Jewish people should have been completed. Antisemitism is again becoming something that is socially acceptable to express in public. {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

And a question

In a world where Antisemitism is again becoming socially acceptable, where Jews are told that they cannot be both feminists and Zionists and many Jews are afraid to speak out about the injustices against our people – what message could be more relevant? {Purim: Not to speak is to speak}

 

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Additional reading

  1. Purim or Ta’aniet Estêr
  2. Beginning of weeks for the Feasts of deliverance
  3. The son of David on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread
  4. High Holidays not only for Israel
  5. 8 Reasons Christian Holidays Should Not Be Observed
  6. Observance of a day to Remember
  7. Around the feast of Unleavened Bread
  8. Day of remembrance coming near
  9. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  10. Solution for Willing hearts filled with gifts
  11. Vayikra after its opening word וַיִּקְרָא, which means and He called
  12. Deliverance and establishement of a theocracy
  13. Preparation for Passover
  14. A new exodus and offering of a Lamb
  15. Sukkoth, Gog, Magog, Armageddon, a covenant and Jerusalem
  16. Wednesday 5 April – Sunday 9 April 30 CE Pesach or Passover versus Easter
  17. Most important day in Christian year
  18. Most important weekend of the year 2016
  19. This day shall be unto you for a memorial and you shall keep it a feast to the Most High God
  20. 14-15 Nisan and Easter
  21. 14 Nisan a day to remember #1 Inception
  22. 14 Nisan a day to remember #2 Time of Jesus
  23. 14 Nisan a day to remember #3 Before the Passover-feast
  24. 14 Nisan a day to remember #4 A Lamb slain
  25. 14 Nisan a day to remember #5 The Day to celebrate
  26. Easter holiday, fun and rejoicing
  27. A Great Gift commemorated
  28. Jesus memorial
  29. Thinking about fear for the Loving God and an Invitation for 14 Nisan
  30. What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

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Related articles

  1. Esther Nine: Purim
  2. Shabbat, Purim, and What Makes You Happy
  3. Of Hats, Pockets, Ears, and Hidden Messages
  4. If the Shoe Fits (Purim)
  5. Purim and Living Between Worlds
  6. Purim To The RescueThe Purim Miracle 1
  7. The purim miracle 2
  8. Deceit Meets Truth at PurimPurim… The Invisible Hand – By MarcPurim: Not to speak is to speak
  9. Purim or Feast of lots
  10. Purim Sameach!
  11. Purim | Looking Beyond the Smoke, Mirrors & Masks
  12. The Rebbe on Parashat Zakhor and Purim (March 23-24, 1940 in the Warsaw Ghetto)
  13. For Such a Time as This
  14. Kosher Wine and Show Tunes on tap for Purim
  15. Rav Avigdor Miller on Drinking Like a Goy on Purim
  16. The holiday of Purim
  17. #Purim Life Takes A-Way M’om’ents; Thy Divine Sight, Makes A-Weigh For More Meant/Mentorship of Meritorious M’om’entum’s Immaculate/Infinite/Evolutionary Worthiness Exalted Renaissance Orientated C’om’munion’s……………
  18. Purim, Exile, and Redemption
  19. Purim and the Responsibilities of Privilege
  20. The Coin Flip (Purim)
  21. Purim: The Upside Down Drama of Esther
  22. Esther 9, the Jews triumph, Purim celebrated.
  23. Purim 2018
  24. The Purim-miracle 4
  25. For Such a Time as This

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Many members of Jewish community wondering if they are still welcome in Poland

In the European Union we can find more groups which deny the atrocities that happened only a little bit more than half a century ago. In a few weeks’ time, Poland’s Jewish community will mark the 50th anniversary of the events of March 1968. They will do so in the wake of arguably the most serious crisis in Polish-Jewish relations since the fall of communism in 1989, after the passage of controversial legislation criminalising the attribution to the Polish state or Polish nation of complicity in the crimes committed by Nazi Germany during the Holocaust.

About the Jewish Community” in Warsaw – Photo by Marysia Galbraith, cultural anthropologist, professor at New College and the Department of Anthropology at The University of Alabama, and Fulbright scholar in Poland for the 2014-2015 academic yea

Perhaps 10% of the of the pre-war Jewish population in Poland may have survived World War II and could see her Jewish culture to resurrect itself driven by the younger generation taking almost 50 years to face now again some danger. Also the relations between Poland and Israel may seem to come in their deepest crisis in memory in the wake of Poland’s move to criminalize criticism of Polish collaboration with the Nazis during the Holocaust.

To understand why this state of affairs is dangerous, regrettable and difficult to resolve, it is important to consider it against the backdrop of wider European-Israel and European-Jewish relations.

Speaking to the Observer, members of the Polish-Jewish community and activists involved in Polish-Jewish dialogue and reconciliation have expressed their shock and dismay at this deterioration in public discourse. While stressing that the present crisis is not comparable to that of March 1968, many said that, with their loyalties once again being called into question, the echoes of the rhetoric of the “anti-Zionist campaign” were too uncomfortable to ignore.

“We are receiving antisemitic, anti-Jewish statements on a daily basis,”

said Anna Chipczyńska, president of the Jewish Community of Warsaw.

“Members of the community feel that their loyalty is being questioned, that people are expecting them to take a side. Some of them also indicate the silence of friends and work colleagues in the face of these attacks, and this really hurts them.”

Still today we must be very well aware that anti-semitism in Poland is so high that Poland is listed the second most anti-Jewish country in Europe (Spain is first) according to a 2008 Pew survey of European sentiments towards Jews. 36 percent of Poles express hostility towards Jews. we can also not undue the impression that Poland wants to whitewash the role of the Poles who killed or denounced Jews during the German occupation of Poland during World War II.

2018 February 6, Tuesday Polish President Andrzej Duda signed legislation that outlaws blaming Poland as a nation for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany, defying both criticism from Israel and a warning from the U.S.

For some long time we could hear Polish officials arguing that a Holocaust speech law was needed to fight the use of expressions like “Polish death camps” as shorthand for the German camps in Nazi-occupied Poland where Jews and others were exterminated. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the new law

“adversely affects freedom of speech and academic inquiry.”

and found that the

“terms like ‘Polish death camps’ are painful and misleading,”

best countered through

“open debate, scholarship, and education.”

Though President Andrzej Duda said he would also ask Poland’s constitutional court to evaluate the bill said it would not prohibit Holocaust survivors and witnesses from talking about crimes committed by individual Poles.

“We do not deny that there were cases of huge wickedness,”

he said in a speech but made it clear not the whole Polish nation could attributed to be guilty for what happen in their heimat.

He said the point of the law is to prevent the Polish nation as a whole from being wrongly accused of institutionalized participation in the Holocaust. He recalled that the Polish government at the time had to go into exile and Polish officials were those who struggled to inform the world that the Germans were putting Jews to death on Polish soil.

“No, there was no systemic way in which Poles took part in it,”

Duda said.

The bill first was proposed about two years ago, soon after Law and Justice took power in 2015, but hadn’t been an issue of public debate recently. Many people were surprised when lawmakers suddenly approved it on Jan. 26, the day before International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Jan Grabowski, a historian at the University of Ottawa in Canada who studies Polish violence against Jews during the war, called Duda’s signing of the law

“further proof that the nationalists now in power in Poland will do anything to cater to the hard, right-wing core of their electorate.”

“Unfortunately, it is not only the nationalists but also the whole Polish society which will have to pay the price,”

said Grabowski, who is also a member of the Polish Center for Holocaust Research in Warsaw.

Like in Germany we should know that not all people agreed with what was happening and that not all Poles behaved indecently during German occupation. The Polish people shall have to recognise that there may have been a small criminal underclass, who were especially visible in small towns, like we shall have to see that their guilt cannot be put on the nation as a whole and that there also have been several Polish people who fought valiantly against the Nazis.

Poland’s chief rabbi, Michael Schudrich, told CNN on Tuesday February 20, that the fallout from the new law has been so fierce it has left many members of the Jewish community wondering if they are still welcome in Poland.

Schudrich said the open letter was not a political move but more of an opportunity to show how the community is feeling.

“This is one of the most devastating effects of the past few weeks,”

Schudrich said.

‘It is devastating that such questions are asked and speaks to the fragility of the situation. It’s not just the new law but the tone of the discussion with almost no reaction from leadership to that tone. A deafening silence by the leadership.”

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Additional reading

Declaration of the Polish Associations for Jewish Studies and for Yiddish Studies concerning recent legislation on the Institute for National Remembrance

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Further related

  1. The Rightwing Polish
  2. Neo-Nazis in the Mainstream?
  3. Facebook like a Facistbook
  4. Anti-Semitism in Poland in part of a larger European problem
  5. Polish Jews stunned, scared by eruption of anti-Semitism
  6. Poland’s Problem
  7. Podgórze: Below the hill and through the ghetto
  8. Jewish Warsaw in the Shadow of Skyscrapers
  9. Crossing Boarders
  10. Holocaust Remembrance Day in Włocławek
  11. Polish Government Freezes Controversial Holocaust Law
  12. Poland’s Jewish groups say Jews feel unsafe since new Holocaust law
  13. Jewish Renaissance Movement in Poland
  14. Poland’s Jews fear for future under new Holocaust law
  15. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust
  16. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust (2 – English News, LTEshare)
  17. Israel pushes back against Polish proposal that rejects culpability for Holocaust (3 – at Lonely blogging)

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Dear Mr. President – A Response to the “Shithole Countries” Comment

From people in a certain position we would expect coming out their mouths some respectful and words of a certain standard. Incredible that we in Europe could hear already so many words and phrases a president unworthy, though coming out of the mouth (and mind) of the one who has to lead one of the most powerful countries in the world.

He dares to give the outside world the impression he is standing for the American upbringing and culture, but luckily there are others who want and dare to counter this ‘bogeyman’ plus trying to educate in the proper way the next generation, so that we still can have hope for the future.

7th Grade Global Studies teacher at Jefferson Junior High School in Naperville, Illinois , Chris Heffernan, National Geographic Education Contributor Worldgeochat gives a very nice welcome reaction on the way of speaking of his schoolkids president. He does find that Donald Trump does not represent them anymore than warlords represent all Sudanese or corrupt politicians represent all Haitians.

This isn’t a Democrat/Republican thing, this is all about human decency.

It’s the 12-13 year olds in his classroom that give him hope for the future, but it are also those who do need the right ‘spiritual’ food to be able to communicate with each other in their upcoming world.

We need to believe that they will do better than the “grown-ups” we have now!

worldgeochat

Dear Mr. President,

I have so many thoughts right now, but I’ll try to keep this simple for you.

My school has students from 38 nations. It is hard enough for them to adjust to life in a new country as an adolescent without someone calling their homeland a “shithole country.” As a geography teacher, I’ve spent the better part of two decades trying to get students to see that ALL countries have problems, and ALL countries have cultures to be proud of. I’ve had hundred of students watch the TED Talk by Chimamanda Adichie, “The Danger of a Single Story.” You should consider watching it, it would serve you well.

What 12-13 year olds understand, but you clearly don’t, is that we cannot, and should not judge an entire group of people by the actions of some. You have done this repeatedly with respect to Muslims, Mexicans, and anti-Nazi…

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