Tag Archives: Romania

Bucharest mayoral candidate accuses Jewish community of lying about Holocaust dead

A Romanian watchdog group on anti-Semitism has exposed the mayoral candidacy of a Bucharest politician who said local Jews lied for money about the number of their brethren killed in the Holocaust.

Marian Munteanu
Marian Munteanu

Marian Munteanu of the National Liberal Party, Romania’s second largest, made the accusation in a press statement he co-signed in 1994, when he was part of the Christian-nationalist Movement for Romania organisation.

Jewish groups put the number of Romanians killed in the Holocaust at 420,000 to “obtain illicit moneys from Romanian people through disinformation and manipulation of public opinion, with the complicity of treacherous elements who infiltrated the Romanian institutional structures,” the statement read, the online edition of Evenimentul Zilei reported on Thursday.

 The Elie Wiesel National Institute for the Study of Holocaust warned that Munteanu “presents a concern” not only because of his nationalist rhetoric and “statements minimizing or denying” the Holocaust, but also for “misrepresenting” reality today, according to the Agerpres news website.

The institute cited an April 13 statement by Munteanu, who, in criticising legislation from last year which proscribes anti-Semitic speech and Holocaust denial, said the law itself was anti-Semitic because it singles out Jews.

In Romania, he said, “there is hardly anti-Semitism, rather xenophobia. We are all philo-Semites because we are Christians.”

Romania, where Jews were killed during World War II by troops loyal to Ion Antonescu, Adolf Hitler’s ally, has seen numerous cases of Holocaust denial, including in academia and government.

In 2012, a politician who denied that Jews had suffered in Romania during the Holocaust was appointed to a ministerial post despite protests by Jewish groups. The politician, Dan Sova, later apologized and said his statement was the result of ignorance.

A few months later, a Romanian member of the European Parliament denied the Holocaust on television. The following year, a prominent historian said it was a “huge lie” that large numbers of Jews were killed in areas under Romanian control during the Holocaust, leading to his firing from a teaching post at a German university.

Also that year, a Romanian state television channel was fined for broadcasting a Christmas carol celebrating the burning of Jews.


Appointment to Romainian State TV Board causes outcry over “anti-Semitic sympathies”

The Romanian parliament has appointed Oana ‘Nancy’ Stanciulescu, a well-known national journalist, to the board of the country’s public television station, TVR.

The appointment has drawn widespread criticism over what has been described by the Israeli Embassy in Bucharest as her openly, “anti-Semitic sympathies”.

The Elie Wiesel Institute for the Study of the Holocaust in Romania also issued a statement suggesting that the appointment is disrespectful to the, “Memory of Holocaust victims and survivors.”

Romanian journalist Oana Stanciulescu on March 8, 2016. (Screen capture: YouTube)

Her place on the 13-member board and the reactions against it is a reflection of the difficulty Romanians have had in coming to terms with their history in the quarter-century since communism ended.

Romania only began to commemorate the Holocaust in 2004 and some Romanians still doubt the Nazi-allied government’s responsibility and the extent of atrocities that happened on Romanian territory.

Indeed, the Israeli Embassy’s statement suggested, “Ms. Stănciulescu questioned the existence of the Holocaust.”

” We would like to note that such a decision [the appointment to the board] may have a significant negative impact in terms of the objective presentation of historical facts and the promotion of democracy, especially to the young generation, who are vulnerable to any misinformation ” warns the diplomatic representation.

When  Stanciulescu’s appointment was debated and approved by the country’s parliament – one MP, Cristina Anghel, praised the Romanian Legionary Movement, implicitly involved in the commission of the Romanian Holocaust of its Jews, while another, Puiu Hasotti, recited the poetry of the notorious Radu Gyr, commander of one of the Legion’s death squads.

During World War II, about 280,000 Jews and 11,000 Roma were killed in Romania and areas it controlled as an ally of Nazi Germany.

A petition against the appointment of Stănciulescu has been initiated although the government has suggested it is not considering another appointment.




Boris Johnson signs up to Mayors campaign against anti-Semitism

London Mayor Boris Johnson has signed on to Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism, an AJC (American Jewish Committee) initiative calling on local leaders across Europe to publicly address and take concrete actions against rising anti-Semitism.

“However it manifests itself, anti-Semitism is totally unacceptable and can never be justified,” said Mayor Johnson. “In London we have a large and visible Jewish population, which makes a massive contribution to our city’s success, and as mayor I take this issue very seriously.

“We are working closely with the Jewish community and the police to tackle the problem and it is important for mayors to stand shoulder to shoulder to condemn and challenge anti-Semitism, which, like all forms of religious or racial discrimination, has no place in our cities.”

Boris-johnsonJohnson is the first mayor in the United Kingdom to join the campaign of AJC, the global Jewish advocacy organization. Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism was launched in the United States in July, and expanded to Europe in the fall. To date, more than 30 European mayors and 309 mayors and municipal leaders from 47 states across the U.S. have signed the statement.

“Mayor Johnson’s leadership in unequivocally confronting the anti-Semitism scourge is admirable, and reinforces Britain’s democratic values,” said AJC Chief Executive Officer David Harris. “Anti-Semitism is a cancer that, left unchecked, will metastasize and threaten to destroy the democratic and pluralistic nature of Europe, a portent that Mayor Johnson so clearly recognizes.”

To date, mayors in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, and Romania have signed on to the Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism statement.

The statement calls upon “mayors, municipal leaders and other officials in Europe to join us in affirming that anti-Semitism is not compatible with fundamental democratic values.” It emphasizes that “in a world of global communications where anti-Semitic ideas can and do spread quickly, the impact of the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe does not stop at Europe’s borders.”

The Mayors United Against Anti-Semitism statement affirms a core set of principles, including the condemnation of anti-Jewish hatred in all forms; rejection of the notion that anti-Semitic acts may ever be justified by one’s view on the actions or existence of the State of Israel; a declaration that anti-Semitism and any prejudices due to religious differences are inconsistent with core democratic values; and the belief that the promotion of mutual understanding and respect among all citizens is essential to good governance and democratic life.

The statement pledges a commitment to working within and across European and American communities to advance the values of respectful coexistence, and to affirm that anti-Semitism is incompatible with fundamental democratic values.

Follow the link to the original article here.