Monday, 04 January 2016 11:49

CEJI opposes to inviting Jahjah as keynote speaker

An anti-islamophobia rally in Brussels invited as a speaker Dyab Abou Jahjah, activist known for its antisemitic statements.

 picture 1 website

On Saturday 12 December 2015, several organisations co-sponsored an anti-islamophobia rally in Brussels, Belgium.

As an organisation dedicated to fight against all forms of hatred and discrimination, CEJI – A Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe welcomes the importance of an event dedicated to the common fight against islamophobia. 

However, one of the key speakers invited was Dyab Abou Jahjah, a political activist and writer well-known for his antisemitic and homophobic statements.

To name just a few examples, on a blog post on the website of the Arab-European League, which he founded, it is written that:

  • “Yes Arabs and Muslims are uptight when you touch their religious and national symbols, but Europe had made of political correctness and the cult of the Holocaust and Jew-worshiping its alternative religion and is even more uptight when you touch that.”
  • “I am for the absolute freedom of speech everywhere, and that’s why I call upon every free soul among Arabs to use the Danish flag as a substitute for toilet paper. To illustrate every wall with graffiti making fun of everything Europe holds as holy: dancing rabbis on the carcasses of Palestinian children, hoax gas-chambers built in Hollywood in 1946 with Steven Spielberg’s approval stamp, and Aids spreading fagots. Let us defend the absolute freedom of speech altogether, wouldn’t that be a noble cause?”

On Facebook posts he denies the existence of Jewish people (see image above)

Because CEJI has relations with some of the co-sponsoring organisations of this event, CEJI had to react informally and formally in writing to the co-sponsors to express their dismay. 

picture 2 websiteThere is no doubt that he is actively importing the Israel-Palestine conflict into Europe in such a way that links Israel as oppressor to Muslims in Europe as victims. The impact of such discourse on the perception and safety of Jews in Europe has been demonstrated time and time again. His positioning is proven in the fact that one of the 5 Motions taken by Movement X is defined by a delegitimization of the existence of the state of Israel (see quotation marks “Israel”), when the organisation otherwise is defined by fighting racism IN BELGIUM. He clearly “crosses the line” on the antisemitism litmus test.

As a reaction to CEJI’s letter to all of the co-sponsoring organisations, one pulled their name off the organiser’s list, some expressed their regret at having not been aware of his background sooner, and others stood by their position.

Dyab Abou Jahjah’s public reaction to protests by Belgian Jewish leaders about his legitimacy as an appropriate speaker only confirmed his purposeful amalgamation of terms such as “Zionist” and “Jewish”:

“Zionist organisations are protesting my presence in this activity tomorrow. They are leading a huge campaign of lies and disinformation to portray me as an evil anti-semitic and holcaust deniar bigot. They know themselves that they are lying. They know themselves that they are doing that because I call them out as racists. Zionism is colonial racism! They think they can boycott us? They think they can "black list" us? They got this all wrong. We boycott you Zionists! We black list you! ‪#‎FreePalestine‬‬‬‬‬ ‪#‎BoycottIsrael‬‬‬‬‬”‬‬ 

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