“They need to see zero tolerance towards antisemitism”: Rabbi Menachem Margolin on what European countries must do to ensure Jewish life
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the Chairman and founder of the European Jewish Association (EJA), an organisation that promotes and defends Jewish interests in Europe, a large part of which involves raising awareness of, and tackling, antisemitism, appeared on the most recent episode of Podcast Against Antisemitism where he spoke about the EJA’s first-of-its-kind index which polled the best European countries for Jews to live in.
When asked if he was surprised that the report ranked Italy and Hungary as the top two countries for Jews to live in, while Poland, Belgium and France came out bottom, he said that he was not.
“What is important is not what the media says” he said. “We have to concentrate on what is important for Jewish life.”
Rabbi Margolin said that in the case of Hungary, he noticed “a renaissance of Jewish life” taking place, noting the country’s growth of synagogues as an indicator.
Rabbi Margolin said that he hoped that world leaders would take notice of the findings and that they would back up any promises to enhance Jewish life with actions.
“The action,” he explained, “is providing the Jewish communities the conditions they need to grow. They need security, they need freedom of religion, they need support, they need to see zero tolerance towards antisemitism, they need to see the government is really committed to combating antisemitism, they would like to see governments treat Israel in a fair way; not with double standards.”
Throughout the interview, Rabbi Margolin touched upon a variety of other issues which included the rise of antisemitism in the United States and his advice for tackling antisemitism.
The podcast with Rabbi Margolin can be listened to here, or watched here.
Podcast Against Antisemitism, produced by Campaign Against Antisemitism, talks to a different guest about antisemitism each week. It streams every Thursday and is available through all major podcast apps and YouTube. You can also subscribe to have new episodes sent straight to your inbox.
Previous guests have included comedian David Baddiel, television personality Robert Rinder, writer Eve Barlow, Grammy-Award-winning singer-songwriter Autumn Rowe, and actor Eddie Marsan.