Category Archives: World affairs

Hosting a Virtual Seder During a Pandemic

Dear readers,

Hopefully, you are all in good health.

On April 02 there are 5,552 people registered in Belgium that are infected with the novel coronavirus who are receiving treatment in Belgian hospitals.
That there are only 1,143 deaths of the CoViD-19 virus at the moment is thanks to the exceptional precautions that the government has taken and which a large part of the population adheres to.

The coming week brings us, what in normal circumstances would be the busiest time for gatherings, in our effort to remember how God has liberated us, and to make sure that the younger generation would come aware how we always should remember how God Helps and Guides His People.

14 Nisan is normally the Day of The Memorial Meal.
This year that shall be different from all other years.

In Lockdown times, best not to meet too many people and to keep social distance, nowhere in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal shall there be an open public Memorial Meal or Pesach Seder.

While you might not be able to physically gather around the seder table this Passover, do not forget that you can come together online.

Check out our 10 tips for creating a meaningful and fun seder experience for your family and friends, near and far.

  1. Use the same Haggadah. 

    You could make and can use a Haggadah you could send out by e-mail beforehand and/or screen-share it with your guests, or encourage everyone to print their own copy.

  2. Designate an e-Moses.

    It can be very helpful to pick someone to lead the virtual seder. Make sure this person has experience successfully using Zoom, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc..

    He can play Moshe and let us remember how Moshe ditched his desert aesthetic and returned to the Egyptian palace to deliver God’s message, with the help of his brother and hype man, Aaron.

    Telling the exodus story he may not forget to bring forth how Moshe spoke about God commands and how God clapped back at the Egyptians. Children perhaps can have drawings made of the pathway formed between the walls of water and the Israelites who made it to the other side without harm.

  3. Make a “seating and speaking chart.”

    This year there can best not swapped places. Best is to have everybody all night using the same place at the table, and if possible having enough distance between each household member.

    But this year we should also account for the virtual seated next speaker. Figure out ahead of time who is going to read what. Throughout the seder, text the person you’d be sitting next to.  Be careful when all speakers are on there shall be too much echo and everything could become too chaotic. Therefore, let everybody stay muted and follow an order of speaking plus having put up an arm or (funny) sign requesting to speak.

  4. Maintain that there are no excuses for why people can’t attend.A danger of such critical times as these, is that people come a bit lazy or like to avoid their religious obligations.
    Unless, you know, they don’t have internet and/or a device to connect to it. Anyone can be part of your Passover experience.
  5. Have a practice run.The organiser best has several contacts beforehand with those who would take care of the surprises.Also, send instructions for accessing your virtual platform of choice ahead of time so nobody holds up the seder by not knowing their Wi-Fi or other password.For those who do not have their computer enough secured and therefore had best their camera taped, they have to be encouraged to take the stickers or tape off their cameras.
  6. Eat and drink with measure spread over the long time of gatheringAs usual at a seder have the different courses interrupted by animated talks, readings from Scripture and prayers.
  7. Work with what you have.

    With all the panic shopping, it can be intimidating to venture out to get everything you need. That’s OK. Get what you can and improvise the rest.
    Our people have survived greater quandaries with a little ingenuity and determination.If you can’t get matzah, cut some cardboard into squares or large circles (you can even put dots on them with a marker for texture, but do not consume—this is purely decorative). Swap out sriracha for horseradish. Use literally anything green. Squish trail mix into a charoset-like paste.Use a regular plate as a stand-in for a seder plate. It’s the thought that counts.
  8. Bring a little Purim to Passover.

    Never forget to make the long evening pleasant enough or entertaining enough to the children. Remember this night should be a night of remembering and giving it further to the next generation.Nobody would be against making some good fun and nobody would object to have people being dressed up as Moses, Aaron, Miriam, etc.Got kids? Great, they can be the frogs. Or the lice. It depends how stressed they’re making you.
    Got teens? Do the whole seder using Snapchat filters, then do a TikTok dance break in the middle of the seder for added social media cred. But only if, like, you know the choreo.
  9. A night different from all other nightsAlso do not forget that 14 Nisan is ‘super special’.Laugh a little hysterically and cry only a tad when you get to the Four Questions and someone has to ask, “Why is this night different from all other nights?”
  10. A Liberation to celebrate

    Do your best, have fun and remember that though we are in isolation to protect ourselves, friends, families and fellow human beings everywhere, we are still free to be Jewish or Jeshuaist and celebrate our heritage and salvation by the Highest and Strongest!

Let us not forget to show our love to God by remembering what He has done and still does, and let us show our love to others by taking enough precautions to keep everybody safe and in good health. Even when we might be very isolated in our own cosy home, let us feel the union with brothers and sisters all over the world, and let our prayers be with them all.

Please pray:

I will seek to make this world a better place, for all people, today and tomorrow. To this, in their memory, I pledge myself. Ani ma’amin. Am Yisrael chai.

A Jewish community eating the symbolic Passover food during the Seder evening, the evening before the Passover festival (picture-alliance / dpa / Robert Fishman)

As you come to the end of the seder, remember that this uncertainty, while it already feels like 40 years of wandering in the desert, is temporary. The Israelites made it eventually. So will we.

Next year, in person!

For 2020:

Keep safe and well, having a lovely Passover seder.

+

Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown

Love in the Time of Corona

Recrafting our World

++

Reminders

  1. The unseen enemy
  2. Under-reporting the total number of coronavirus cases
  3. Coronavirus on March 11 declared a global pandemic on March 31 affecting more than 177 countries
  4. No idea yet for 14 Nisan or April the 8th in 2020 Corona crisis time
  5. Only a few days left before 14 Nisan
  6. First time since Nazi time no public gathering
  7. Voor het eerst in jaren weer een Pesach in isolatie
  8. Even in Corona time You are called on to have the seder
  9. A meal as a mitzvah so that every generation would remember
  10. A night different from all other nights and days to remember
  11. Let’s Think About Redemption Differently
  12. At the Shabbat HaChodesh: readings about blood, liberation and purification
  13. Zeman Chereisenu – the time of our freedom
  14. Ki Tisa – Torah Portion
  15. Egypt, Moshe and Those who never felt they belonged there
  16. In Every Generation: The Return of Anti-Semitism – Pesah Day 1, 5779
  17. The Most special weekend of the year 2018
  18. Call to help others
  19. How should we worship God? #7 The Breaking of Bread
  20. How should we worship God? #8 Love one another

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Recrafting our World

According to psychologist Peter Kramer, resilience is the ability to cope with life’s frustrations without falling apart. And reslilience, not happiness, is the opposite of depression.

  • essence of a good life =  how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust + love as we can.
  • time at home = opportunity to reflect on life >  how to live closer to your credo => opportunity to re-evaluate + change way we live, work, produce, + distribute goods + services.
  • shift away from mindless consumerism => begin living for higher purposes, mindful of our impact on other people & planet.
  • Clarifying + aligning with our priorities.

key = how we respond to new challenge. 

  • slowing down & reflecting
  • waking up to a new reality.
  • isolation =/= loneliness.

Essence of a good life: how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much trust as we can. And remembering that what matters most is love. {Happy or Resilient?}

writing to freedom

Recrafting our World

dreams, rebirth

It’s impossible to avoid the news and impact of coronavirus.

I’ve progressed from denial to concern, to acceptance and opening to new ideas. I’ve been sick for the last few days wondering if I have the virus, flu, a cold, allergies, or am simply run down. I’m considering whether to go to a doctor and be tested for the coronavirus. The virus is forcing us to slow down and live differently, at least for a while, Maybe asking us to consider how we can become healthier, more resilient, and more helpful in a connected world. Here’s a related post I wrote about resiliency a few years ago called Happy or Resilient?  From that post; the essence of a good life is how well we pay attention, compassionately accept our situation, take action toward meaningful goals, learn from our choices, and move on, with as much…

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Love in the Time of Corona

Human beings have grown away from nature and from the Divine Creator.
Their debauchery and carelessness about how to deal with the things before them are now killing them.

It has come so far that humans are to blame for the extinction of many beautiful creatures. According to a 2014 study, current extinction rates are 1,000 times higher than they would be if humans weren’t around.

Example of a significant historical pandemic: the Black Death, which originated in China and spread across Europe in the 14th century;

All through history we also can see when there were too many people able to destroy their environment, nature took charge and eliminated lots of people. In the past, there were many awful battles, wars taking the lives of many. After the Great War it did not seem yet enough. The influenza pandemic of 1918–19, also called Spanish influenza pandemic or Spanish flu, was the most severe influenza outbreak of the 20th century and, in terms of total numbers of deaths, among the most devastating pandemics in human history. It resulted in an estimated 25 million deaths, though some researchers have projected that it caused as many as 40–50 million deaths. Nothing compared to the Sars-CoV-1 infection. Sars and Ebola frightened many, but now the Sars-CoV-2 or CoViD-19 brings these 21st-century people also on their knees, fearing for their lives.

influenza pandemic of 1918–19: temporary hospital

The influenza pandemic of 1918–19: temporary hospital A temporary hospital in Camp Funston, Kansas, during the 1918–19 influenza pandemic. Courtesy of the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, D.C

Today the majority of people have become so materialistic their first concerns is to protect the economy. Still, too many politicians dare to tell their citizens they should continue to go to work and have the factories working, not having to be so afraid to come close to each other. There are even politicians who do find more money should be spent on the economy instead of providing health workers with the necessary protection.

We can only hope this pandemic is going to awaken many and bringing many changes to how we shall go to work and move around.
Fundamental shifts in the way we interact and live, in our interpersonal and business relationships, in the way we treat our families, each other, and ourselves, shall have to take place.
A few months ago most people took not the time to think about their way of life and how mankind played with mother nature. Since many weren’t able to find the time to get to meditate about our way of living, along comes this virus, which certain politicians still do not take seriously enough to take the necessary protection measures.

Where there is a lockdown, people now can find time to come back to themselves. It does not seem to be easy for many, to be confronted with so much time for themselves. But they shall have to rethink their lifestyle at the moment. CoViD-19 gives us all the time we need, forcing us into this shift = a shift, in our consciousness, our way of thinking and living, of learning, and loving.

*

To remember

The guestwriter of today thinks the planet is trying to tell us something:

We are on the verge of a sixth mass extinction with species experiencing lights out at alarming rates and any potential for rebound numbering in the millions (!) of years.

  • we have created so much pollution with our lifestyles => climate has become inhospitable + CO2 levels reach critical mass in the next couple decades
  • an only money matters mentality
  • Do we believe in our government or do we think it will fail us?
  • spiritually bereft we ignore The Power of Now.
  • fundamental shift in way we interact + live > interpersonal + business relationships, way we treat our families, each other, + ourselves
  • use this time to think about what your hands can do that will benefit your better well-being + that of those around you.
  • things to tackle > free time => use it  >>  view less as isolation => more as a Roto-Rooter for the Soul =>work miracles in your life.
  • safe in your home = shelter-in-place => give thanks < homeless population > no shelter = among most vulnerable among us.
  • extra time
    • look at movies
    • do gardening
    • choose giving
    • Instead of loneliness > choose levity.
    • Stay connected.
    • Instead of solitude > institute “bring your dog or cat to work” day.
    • Enjoy the shorter commute.
    • Take time for walks.
    • Practice walking meditation > take some time to meditate on kind of world you would like to be living in when this is all over => first dream it into being
    • Exercise.
    • be kind.

+

Preceding

CoViD-19 warnings

Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~

Hope on the Horizon: Pandemic Anxiety Management II~

Pandemic Anxiety Busters~

Mel Brooks saying “go home” to Max Brooks

Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

++

Find also to read

  1. 2014 Health and welfare
  2. 2015 Health and Welfare
  3. The unseen enemy
  4. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  5. In denial, Donald Trump continues to insist that nothing serious is at hand and everything is in control
  6. India affected by Corona
  7. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  8. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic

Green Life Blue Water

It’s been a hell of a few weeks and it looks like it will continue for a bit.  At the risk of sounding both blasé and alarmist at once, I think the planet is trying to tell us something.

We are on the verge of a sixth mass extinction with species experiencing lights out at alarming rates and any potential for rebound numbering in the millions (!) of years.

In the process, we have created so much pollution with our lifestyles that our climate has become inhospitable and our CO2 levels will reach critical mass in the next couple decades without a complete overhaul of how we do business.

We’ve gotten into an only money matters mentality, and the stock market’s precipitous weeks’ long plunge not only put a hurting on most people’s retirement funds but eroded faith in the economy.  That event may keep us working longer…

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Christian Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic

Sometimes people have to be confronted by something terribly bad. At regular intervals, certain people come to struggle terribly and have to learn by a hard lesson, being pulled down by an accident or serious disease.

Several people at a certain moment in their life got struck. Suddenly they become confronted by a longer period that they can not do the things they normally do. During that time of not doing anything, they are given time to think about the past but also the future. Then they can take time to meditate and to really start to reevaluate the value of things.

Before they got sick or bounded to the bed by their sickness or paralysation, they can have the film of their life repeated over and over again for days. At that time they have hours and days to think about all those things that kept them busy. Then they also realize that they had and still have so many dreams that they’ve had over the years and projects that they wanted to do.

From people who previously had serious accidents and diseases, we do know several people came in confrontation with the matter of a godhead, and started examining the Scriptures, coming to one conclusion, that there is Only One True Divine God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah, Who is a loving God and not a cruel Being that would have His children being tortured or being burned forever.
It is then for them the time to recognise how so many churches or denomination lied to their flock and used fear to master them.

The devil, being spoken of in the Bible, is any or every adversary who walks on this planet. For sure there are many adversaries of God too, who would love people not to believe in the Divine Creator or have them keeping to the many false teachings, human traditions and heathen festivals.

But it are the real lovers of God who in such difficult times should show how they know for sure Who is behind everything and Who can be the helping hand in times of problems but also be a Guide in times when everything seems alright.

These days when there is a virus making many victims, those real followers of the son of God, should show the world how God has given the world a saviour and mediator, who paid the ransom for all the faults we as human beings have done.

Now is the time that all real lovers of God can show the world Who That real God is and how we as united lovers of God are not afraid of what comes upon this world but are willing to unite in prayer to protect all those around us, believers and unbelievers.

IMG-20161127-WA0018In the article of Janisha Jacobs, affectionately known as “Keela“,, the greatest hope is expressed that during this crisis more people will be drawn closer to Christ, the son of God. We only can hope and pray that more people shall come to see that in this time of fear there will be no other choice but for our faith to increase and to join hands spiritually. That in this time of not knowing what tomorrow holds we will learn to let God worry about tomorrow and focus on getting through today, with the knowledge that there shall come even worse days and even a more severe battle, with the third World War or Armageddon. Therefore we can look at this pandemic as a rehearsal for what still has to come and to make us stronger to be prepared for what is still to come.
Let us, therefore, pray not to false gods, like some many have taken themselves false gods, but learn also others to pray to the God Jesus also prayed too, namely his heavenly Father (and not himself) the One and Only True God, the Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

*

To remember

  • facing global Pandemic of Covid-19 virus #CoronaVirus.
  • enough news surrounding panic > All across the world right now persons are facing panic, trauma & a lot of uncertainty because of the effects of Covid-19.
  • Persons afraid, lost loved ones, +  wondering if they will be next.
  • China, Italy, America, UK, etc. > unimaginable crisis.
  • biggest question right now =  “when will it end?”
  • for the church = also the question of “how do we react?”
  • to get us to close down churches > building =/= church
  • people = church
  • via Zoom = enjoyable + more intimate than “pulpit and pew”
  • try + prevent spreading virus => stay home
  • response/reaction to world crisis & pandemic = faith, wisdom, compassion, forward thinking, leadership + most importantly prayer.

Keela's Chronicles

As most of you know, we have all been facing the global Pandemic of the Covid-19 virus #CoronaVirus. Initially I had no intentions of blogging about it, figuring that there is enough news surrounding the panic and I didn’t want to be one more person adding fuel on an already blazing fire. But, if you read my latest post you know by now that I decided to change my mind

All across the world right now persons are facing panic, trauma and a lot of uncertainty because of the effects of Covid-19. Persons are afraid, many have lost loved ones, some may not even know if their loved ones are still alive in places like Italy, some persons are sick and many others are wondering if they will be next. And all of these emotions and feelings are completely understandable but so very heartbreaking.


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CoViD-19 warnings

There were and still are many governments that do not see yet or do not yet understand the severity of the current coronavirus spread.

We know by now lots of people shall have seen warnings in social media and on their television screen.

There are loads of video’s to warn the public. Underneath we present a video from Kurzgesagt – In a Nutshell and one short animated video from Stanford Medicine, which has a long tradition of leadership in pioneering research, creative teaching protocols and effective clinical therapies and here illustrates how the novel coronavirus — the virus that causes the respiratory disease COVID-19 — is transmitted among people and how transmission can be prevented.

As the world copes with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we know that several people, though bombarded with lots of information from their television channels but also from social media and national and local press, do not know any more what to believe or  have a lot of questions about what it means for them and the people they care about.

We advise all our readers to carefully follow the advice of their local governments but also to see what is going on globally, checking the state television channels and the World Health Organization. We all best can avoid as much as possible to have contact with other people, therefore distancing is essential.

Spreading primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, it’s important that people also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow) and when speaking to each other keep a reasonable distance, preferable of more than one meter (= 3 feet; but better more or best 1,5 meter). If you are too close, you can breathe in the invisible droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Another problem with viruses is that they can transmit when infected people have come in contact with objects. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to the eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter the person’s body and can make him or her sick.

Also in our community we love to hug and give kisses and everywhere when meeting or saying good bye hands are given. But for the moment we better live that aside and better salute or give elbows or feet.

What to do

To protect yourself and others from the new coronavirus (Covid-19), you should apply the following hygiene measures:

  • • If you have flu-like symptoms, stay at home.
  • • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water.
  • • Sneeze and blow your nose in a tissue handkerchief. Use each tissue only once and throw it away immediately in a covered rubbish bin.
  • • You don’t have a tissue? Sneeze or cough into your elbow.

 

Help us slow down the spread of the virus:

  • 1. Stay at home as much as possible
  • 2. Avoid shaking hands, kissing or hugging each other.
  • 3. Watch out for those most at risk, i.e. people over 65 years of age, people with diabetes, heart, lung or kidney disease, and people with weakened immune systems, among others.
  • 4. Contact between children and the elderly is not recommended. Children do not get seriously ill from the coronavirus but they can spread it easily.
  • 5. Keep enough distance (1.5 metres) when outdoors.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

Why?

National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

°°°

At Stanford Medicine, our highest priority is the safety of our patients, health care workers and our community. We follow protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and we will continue to update our institutional guidelines and processes to respond to this evolving situation.

For more information, please visit https://med.stanford.edu/covid19.html

!!

 

!!

Please find also to read:

  1. Using fears of the deadly coronavirus
  2. Europe in Chaos for a Pandemic
  3. Making deeper cuts than some terrorist attacks of the near past
  4. The unseen enemy

+++

Normally (because of so many negative reactions from the writers of such linked articles) we had decided not any more to show related articles, but in these circumstances, we would like to make an exception and again show you some other articles which might be interesting to read.

Related

  1. Social media firms ‘morally responsible for tackling Covid-19 misinformation’
  2. COVID-19: Ex-Presdient Jonathan calls for action,solidarity and patriotism
  3. BetaNews: Facebook is doing more to promote reliable information about coronavirus
  4. Guest post: To control or be controlled by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)?
  5. Doctor Explains How to Safely Bring Groceries and Take Out Food Into Your Home
  6. Your Strategy During The Coronavirus
  7. Seven top tips to keep you motivated while you’re working from home
  8. Coronavirus: a tale of two states
  9. What is a coronavirus antibody test and how does the home test work?
  10. Coronavirus live updates: COVID-19 cases surge past 3,400, deaths at 35 in Canada
  11. Chinese Coronavirus in Kashmir: 152 people with undisclosed foreign travel history traced by Srinagar Control Room, put under quarantine
  12. It’s good to talk. But sometimes it’s easier to write, text, email or video call
  13. I might have already had Covid-19
  14. Pandemic life

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In these days of concern regarding the depletion of the worlds energy

In these days of concern regarding the depletion of the world’s energy
it is worthy of note that ignorance is a renewable resource.
~ Contributed by Phil

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: In deze dagen van bezorgdheid over de uitputting van de energie van de wereld

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Aalst Carnival and Unia analyses reports

Area of action: Society

Grounds of discrimination: Racism

In December 2018 Unia pressed in anti-Semitism hearings in the Belgian Senate for the reintroduction of an anti-Semitism watchdog. The organisation asked Minister Kris Peeters, at that time responsible for Equal Opportunities, to take the first steps towards an inter-federal action plan against discrimination and racism. Anti-Semitism remains a persistent problem. The calls being made by Unia in 2018 were in response to a large-scale survey of 16,000 Jews in twelve EU countries by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), a human rights agency of the EU.

The findings of the report make for a sobering read. They underscore that antisemitism remains pervasive across the EU – and has, in many ways, become disturbingly normalised. Already in 2018 an overwhelming majority of survey participants felt that antisemitism was getting worse. They also feared for their own safety, and that of their loved ones. Though we also could notice not only the monotheist Hebrews or Jehudi were targeted. Jeshuaists and Muslims, worshipping the same God were not loved either and felt the pressure. Jeshuaists and Jews belonging to different Judaic denominations protect themselves by not coming out to much in the open and by leaving their kippa at home, only discreetly displaying mezuzas, avoiding certain areas in their cities or skipping Jewish events.

The many graphs contained in the report reveal a sobering picture of Belgium. Except for France, Jews do not experience anywhere in the EU as much hostility on the streets as they do in Belgium. Among those surveyed, 81 percent mentioned public spaces as the place with the most hatred of Jews. The European average is about 70 percent.

“These are figures that require a structural approach in the form of a vigilance unit and a plan that overarches policy areas,’

stressed Unia director at that time, Els Keytsman.

Already in 2018, a shocking statistic sended a clear message:

in the past five years, across twelve EU Member States where Jews have been living for centuries, more than one third say that they consider emigrating because they no longer feel safe as Jews.

In the meantime, we know about many Jews and Jeshuaists who left Belgium.

Vlag van het Vlaams BelangMuch too many people seem to forget how antisemitic acts can have a profound impact not only on individuals and those close to them, but also on the Jewish community as a whole. Several manifestations may bring forward all sorts of the types of antisemitic acts which we see increasing since a decade and by the growing popularity of two Flemish National parties, the right-wing populist Flemish nationalist Vlaams Belang, with a strong anti-immigrant message that succeeded the right-wing Vlaams Block, and the Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA – New Flemish Alliance), a movement that self-identifies with the promotion of civic nationalism, which strives for the secession of Flanders from Belgium.

The last few years in Belgium and France we have seen an increase in desecration of Jewish cemeteries, vandalism of Jewish buildings or institutions, expressions of hostility towards Jews and Jeshuaists in the street and other public places, but also an enormous antisemitism in the media. It is incredible what we can find on the internet, including social media, where nobody seems to be willing or able to silence the hate-speech.
In 2018 antisemitism online was already seen as a particularly widespread problem: a large majority of all respondents in the 12 survey countries (89 %) consider this either ‘a very big’ or a ‘fairly big’ problem, and as many (88 %) believed that it had increased over the past five years. The percentage of respondents indicating that antisemitism on the internet is problematic is especially high (at least 90 %) in Belgium, France, Italy, and Poland. In Belgium and France, a majority of respondents rated almost all antisemitic manifestations that the survey asked about as ‘a very big’ or ‘a fairly big’ problem. These are also the countries with the highest proportion of respondents indicating antisemitism in general as a problem.

The majority of respondents of that survey are aware of legislation that forbids discrimination based on ethnic origin or religion – some 64 %–87 %, depending on the area, indicated knowing about it. They are most aware of anti-discrimination legislation in employment and least aware of protection related to housing. Most respondents (71 %) also say they are aware of an organisation in the country that offers advice or support for people who are discriminated against, but we should be aware that out of self-protection most Jews and Jeshuaists do not dare to react or bring the problem into the public. Respondents most often referred to Jewish organisations specialising in the safety and security of the Jewish community and/or antisemitism, and national equal-ity or human rights bodies. Lots of Jews and Jeshuaists lost their trust in the Belgian State and in Belgian politicians.

Fortunatelyserious incidents are today punishable by law. For example, in 2018 Unia was a civil party in the case against the vandal who caused serious damage in the Jewish quarter of Antwerp.

“Unia was also a civil party in the case concerning the attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels.”

Last November Unia was calling for a more inclusive image for folkloric events and intangible heritage such as the pre-Lent merrymaking and festivity carnival. Unia said local organisers and partners can play an important role in this. That is one of Unia’s recommendations in a report drawn up following the controversy about the anti-Semitic float in the municipality Aalst, on the Dender River, 24 km (15 miles) northwest of Brussels.

Unia feels that dialogue and awareness must be a priority.

“What is offensive to one person is apparently folklore for another. Showing consideration for other people’s sensitivities can never be simply imposed by law. Only through dialogue can we take into account the feelings of others and learn to see things from their point of view. “

That is why Unia organised meetings between Belgium’s Forum of Jewish Organisations and a group of Aalst carnivalists.

“Their float – depicting anti-Semitic stereotypes – was unintentionally reminiscent of Nazi propaganda. We understand that many people were shocked by this connotation, and it led to a highly polarised conflict. We have seen that both parties now have an understanding of each other’s position and context. Talking to each other does not guarantee that stereotypes will never crop up again, but it is a start.”

It could have gone the right way, but this year, it uncovered the hidden agenda more clearly. From what was presented at the cortège was more than just laughing with something that bothered them. It was showing their disgust for another culture and other religion than theirs.

Much too often we hear the excuse

“For carnivalists, freedom of expression means the freedom to make fun of anything and anyone.”

Though, one should question how far one can go with mockery. Unia says

“Conversely, that freedom also means that you are bound to provoke controversy now and then, and you have to be able to deal with criticism.”

People from Aalst seem to have lots of difficulty with the criticism they received over the last twelve months.

Lots of events happening in Aalst real lovers of God would never come to know if they were not shown on television and brought into social media.
Thanks to social media, images of parades and festivities are reaching the general public on an unprecedented scale and are thus amplified and sometimes, or more than once, may be taken out of context. Moreover, while in the past, traditions were not called into question, this questioning has now become appropriate, Unia notes.

“As such, that is a positive thing. Folkloristic events can evolve according to changing attitudes and new insights, allowing them to become celebrations in which no one is left out”,

according to Keytsman.

We do find politicians and organisations for protecting civilians, should recognise historical similarities and see the dangers behind certain events, which, in the beginning may look harmless and childish, but have a very deep and dangerous undertone. Puerile actions may develop into actions out of frustration and dissatisfaction which generates aggression against certain population groups.

This year out of frustration, how they were treated by Unesco, everal people in the parade mocked the specialized agency of the United Nations (UN), using Jewish caricatures as well.

But, from what we came to see and hear in the media, it went much further.

Unia promises to collect all the information and will investigate whether criminal offences were committed. For this, they are in contact with the prosecutor’s office and the police.

We wonder how Unia is going to act or take juridical prosecution against the group who had their float a sign labelled

“regulations for the Jewish party committee,”

and it included a not to misunderstand sarcastic:

“Do not mock Jews”

and a shocking

“Certainly do not tell the truth about the Jew.”

which clearly indicates they have formed an idea about Jews in general and do want others to believe that Jews have something to hide or do not want to have the truth about them told. This means those carnavalists understand the truth about the Jews is not or may not be told!?!

Rudi Roth, a journalist for the Antwerp-based Joods Actueel Jewish paper, said the expressions of anti-Semitism in Aalst this year were more numerous and prominent than last year. He called it a

“backlash effect.”

Coming closer to the event celebrities gave notice not having free time to come to the parade. Several politicians backed out of appearances with Aalst’s mayor, who has defended the parade displays.

According to Christophe D’Haese of the right-wing New Flemish Alliance, carnival is not an anti-Semitic event and should be seen in its context of

“everything is allowed”.

He said the event

“certainly has anti-Semitic elements,”

the likes of which he said had not been on display since the end of the Nazi occupation in 1945.

With good reason Rubinfeld said

“Aalst’s name is now associated with anti-Semitism,and that’s partly because of the mayor’s inaction.”

With questioning eyes, we are very curious to see whether Unia this year will make a real effort to go to court and make it clear that what has been shown this year in Aalst has been far out of proportion in our society and cannot be admitted.

+

Preceding

What to do in the Face of Global Anti-semitism

Anti-Semitic pressure driving Jews out of Europe

Perhaps Anti-Semitism for lots of people isn’t always easy to see

What makes you following Christ and Facebook Groups

A Jew and Muslim walking together side by side down USA city streets

Speaking up and Celebration of Purim

Numbers 10:10 Make Your Rejoicing Heard

Niet te negeren gebeurtenissen rond Joden in België

Hoe ver kan men gaan om zich te beroepen op Vrije meningsuiting

Aalst Carnaval: Unia analyseert meldingen

++

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On Holocaust Memorial Day US Embassy Falsely Claims America Liberated Auschwitz

To take note:

United States Embassy in Denmark apologized for statement made > incorrectly claimed American troops liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp > Red Army troops reached its gates on January 27, 1945

  • incorrect statement = immediately met with scorn online => another example of Soviet erasure + insult to enormous sacrifice U.S.S.R. made to defeat fascism in Europe.
  • Wikipedia has been removing those same pictures, a fact discovered by Lithuanian journalist Vladimir Vodo. While the encyclopedia’s administrators argued that they might not technically be in the public domain, erasing images of the Russian liberation of Auschwitz on Holocaust Memorial Day is not an optically wise move.
  • Soviet Union = responsible for killing ~ four/five Nazis during conflict + suffered ~ 95 % of all Allied Army casualties. => scale loss enormous ~  26.6 million dead – ~ sixty-three times total American sacrifice in both Europe +  Pacific.
  • Latvia + Lithuania lost a similar number of people as entire United States. 
  • far from common knowledge in America > 2015 poll = just 11 % of Americans knew > Soviet Union contributed most to defeat of Nazi Germany,
  • Americans large majority picking U.S. = most important nation.
  • United Kingdom >Britons incorrectly believed they primarily defeated Soviet Union.

Uprootedpalestinians's Blog

By Alan Macleod

Source

he United States Embassy in Denmark has apologized for a statement it made earlier this week that incorrectly claimed that it was American troops that liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. In fact, Red Army troops reached its gates on January 27, 1945. “We acknowledge the important contributions of all Allied Forces during WWII and remember the 6 million Jews who perished during the Holocaust,” the correction read.

U.S. Embassy Denmark

@usembdenmark

I går skrev vi ved en fejl, at Auschwitz-Birkenau blev befriet af amerikanske soldater. Det var selvfølgeligt sovjetiske soldater. Vi anerkender alle de allierede styrkers vigtige bidrag under Den Anden Verdenskrig og mindes de 6 millioner jøder, der døde under Holocaust.

U.S. Embassy Denmark

@usembdenmark

Yesterday, we inadvertently wrote that US troops liberated Auschwitz-Birkenau. It was of course liberated by Soviet troops. We acknowledge the important contributions of all Allied Forces during…

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An Anniversary forgotten

Today, because many do not know their history we can see we are coming in very dangerous situation where the 1930ies are in away coming close to a repeat and the past shall put a stamp again on those who do not agree with the populists of today.

*

To remember

75th Anniversary of arrival of Soviet troops in Poland in offensive to defeat Nazi Germany and so called liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps.

  • Italian Jew & chemist Primo Levi, celebrated Italian author of poems, short stories for children, science fiction & on his own life experience, from Turin interned at Auschwitz from February 1944 > you had to find a way to do as little as possible to preserve your energy.
  • writes about his view of Germans & Germany + his own country Italy + its long period under Fascist dictatorship which led to Italian Jews like singled out +  after 1945 Italy continued & continues to this day to have in its political life the heirs of Mussolini’s ideals.
  • camps near Krakow cut off to the village of Oswiecim.
  • commemoration for  Sinti people + mass extermination of 2 August 1944 > Sinti + Roma came primarily fr. Germany, Austria, the Protectorate of Bavaria & Moravia, + Poland, with smaller groups arriving from France, the Netherlands, Yugoslavia/Croatia, Belgium, the USSR, Lithuania, and Hungary.  + Norway &  Spain.
  • about 23 thousand men, women, + children imprisoned in the camp. ~ 21 thousand registered in the camp (370+ children born there).
  • about 1,700 Polish Sinti + Roma murdered immediately after arriving at the camp, without being entered in the records.
  • approximately 23 thousand Sinti + Roma deported to Auschwitz > ~ 21 thousand died or murdered in gas chambers.
  • set up as of 1933 to exterminate all enemies of Nazi Germany => 1° all German Opposition political figures targeted, intellectuals + artists.  2° long list of enemies of the Reich + people declared to be sub-humans like Sinti + Roma people, Jews, priests, nuns, any religious denomination, resistance fighters, POW, homosexuals, + not fitting into Nazis book for a perfect society.
  • badge to identify group they belonged to + number tattoo on their arm.
  • large industrial death factory > sole purpose to exterminate the undesirable quickly
  • 75 years later, Auschwitz name in history books > Far too many docu-drama cheapened memory of atrocities to point of trivializing them.
  • ignorance + indifference

We must master the past otherwise the past will master us.

+

Preceding

How a British ‘Master Spy’ Saved Thousands of Jews in the Holocaust

On Holocaust Memorial Day US Embassy Falsely Claims America Liberated Auschwitz

Oswiecim

++

Find also to read:

  1. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  2. Through the Lens of Faith
  3. Nazi Germany
  4. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  5. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  6. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  7. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  8. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  10. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  11. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  12. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  13. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  14. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  15. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  16. Christadelphians’ role in the rescue of Jewish children from Nazi Germany
  17. Christadelphians, the Kindertransport, and Rescue from the Holocaust

Larry Muffin At Home

This past week was the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of Soviet troops in Poland in their offensive to defeat Nazi Germany and so called liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau Camps. Currently I am reading a biography on Primo Levi, the celebrated Italian author from Turin who was interned at Auschwitz from February 1944. In the biography by Ian Thomson written in 2019 on the centennial of Primo Levi birth, we have a very good picture in Levi’s words of what that camp life was like, of the people he knew, of those who died and those who survived. We also read about the Germans at the camp who ran the factories for I.G. Farben and BASF. In order to survive Levi says; you had to find a way to do as little as possible to preserve your energy.

Levi had a long career in Turin as a chemist and he became…

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How a British ‘Master Spy’ Saved Thousands of Jews in the Holocaust

In 2005, the United Nations designated 27 January as an International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust. On Monday 27 January 2020 it was a more special International Holocaust Remembrance Day because of the 75th anniversary of the Jewish liberation from Auschwitz.

Underneath you may find a list of articles looking at the commemorations and reactions which were made to those who were allowed to speak at those commemorations. In those articles you shall come to see how we are developing again to a dangerous situation where certain people with ‘other ideas’ and another religion than the ‘main stream’ are again considered as to be outcast and to be silenced or not having the right to speak.

When looking at that horrible period of cruelty and the many years that people stood aside not daring to open their mouth, we luckily may find also dome positive notes of people who dared to help others, risking their own life.

Despite the horrors that occurred at Auschwitz and other concentration camps, thousands of Jewish lives were spared because of the covert operations of unsung heroes.

One such man was Major Francis “Frank” Edward Foley CMG , a passport control officer for the British embassy in Berlin, who “bent the rules” and helped thousands of Jewish families escape from Nazi Germany after Kristallnacht and before the outbreak of the Second World War.

Frank foley.jpg

Major Francis “Frank” Edward Foley (1884-1958) recognised as a British Hero of the Holocaust and as a Righteous Among the Nations.

Though most saw Foley as a “low-level British bureaucrat serving in Berlin” just before World War II, [1 Gragg, Rod. My Brother’s Keeper: Christians Who Risked All to Protect Jewish Targets of the Nazi Holocaust, “Francis Foley,” (Center Street Publishing, 2017). ] he was actually a master spy in the MI6, the British intelligence service. He focused his efforts on the rise of German Communists, then on Hitler’s campaign to reactivate and expand the German military — until he learned what was happening in the Nazi concentration camps.[2 Gradd, 2017] He went on to secretly save thousands of Jewish lives.

To remember the approximately six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust, we offer this reflection on Frank Foley’s selfless rescue missions, adapted from My Brother’s Keeper: Christians Who Risked All to Protect Jewish Targets of the Nazi Holocaust

***

Foley’s intelligence operation . . . revealed evidence that Jewish inmates imprisoned in the Nazi concentration camps being erected throughout Germany were suffering horrors. Despite his protests, however, his London superiors waved away the accounts as ridiculous exaggerations. Foley then appealed to British immigration officials, asking them to expedite Jewish requests for asylum in Great Britain and its colonies, but encountered more bureaucratic apathy.

Frustrated but determined, Foley decided to help Germany’s Jews himself. Using his official cover as the British passport control officer in Berlin, he began issuing droves of passports to Jews seeking escape from Germany. Like Feng Shan Ho, his Chinese counterpart in Austria, Foley was motivated by more than just humanitarian concerns: his faith as a Christian compelled him to act, he believed—especially when so many of those who were persecuting the Jews claimed that they were Christians.

. . .

The pogrom against the Jews which left thousands of premises, homes and synagogues destroyed and therefore became widely known as Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass – its meaning taken from the smashed windows and shards of broken glass strewn across German streets.

After Kristallnacht in 1938, the desperation increased within Germany’s Jewish community. Determined to escape the Nazis and save their families, German Jews began showing up unannounced at Foley’s Berlin flat. As a passport officer, he did not have diplomatic immunity, and he knew what could happen to him if Nazi authorities learned he was issuing thousands of passports or personally harbouring Jews. Despite the danger, he continued his mission. . . . Every month, hundreds of Jews came to Foley seeking escape from Nazi Germany. He realized that most of them would be hauled off to concentration camps before they could be processed by the ponderous, bureaucratic British immigration system — so he developed a streamlined process that severely stretched regulations but still complied with British law.

As relations deteriorated between Nazi Germany and Britain and France, Foley realized that war was imminent and redoubled his efforts to help Jews escape Germany. When warfare erupted in September 1939, Foley disappeared — off on the first of many wartime espionage assignments in which he would distinguish himself as one of the key allied intelligence operatives of World War II.

Obituary of Leo Baeck

A few days before the war began, Leo Baeck, a leading German rabbi and one of Foley’s chief Jewish contacts, received a message to pick up a package from Foley’s office in the British consulate. Foley was gone when Baeck arrived, but the package awaited him. It was Frank Foley’s final outreach to the imperilled Jews of Germany. Inside were more than eighty British passports officially stamped and approved for travel outside Germany, each with the spaces for name and address left blank — to be filled in by escaping Jews whom Frank Foley had never met.

***

+

Find also to read:

  1. Reformed Churches Muzzled but Protest at Barmen
  2. Through the Lens of Faith
  3. Nazi Germany
  4. the Soup will not be eaten as hot as it is served
  5. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  6. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  7. Luca Jahier, EESC President on the present intolerance
  8. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  9. Seventy-five years ago on January 27
  10. January 27 – 70 years ago Not an end yet to genocide
  11. 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz
  12. 5th World Holocaust Forum
  13. Dedication ceremony for a memorial at Jerusalem’s Sachar Park in honour of the casualties of the Siege of Leningrad
  14. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking
  15. What’s the Future of Holocaust Remembrance?
  16. Christadelphians’ role in the rescue of Jewish children from Nazi Germany
  17. Christadelphians, the Kindertransport, and Rescue from the Holocaust

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