Europe, European Jewry, Antisemitism

President of Conference of European Rabbis: "The Jews are here to stay"

In the face of Palestinian protests against his receiving the Charlemagne Prize, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said Hamas was "for the dire situation of the Palestinians."

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt. (Photo: Eli Atkin)

On Thursday, Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) will be awarded the Charlemagne Prize, a prestigious award given to individuals or groups working towards European unification.

The Palestinian Solidarity Movement has launched a campaign against this decision and it intends to hold a protest against Rabbi Goldschmidt at the city of Aachen, Germany, where the prize will be awarded.

The organizers launched a social media campaign criticizing the directors of the ceremony and Rabbi Goldschmidt himself for not coming out against Israel's entry into Gaza in the wake of October 7. Members of the movement also criticized Rabbi Goldschmidt for his working to free the hostages and his advocacy for the State of Israel, including a Fox News interview in which he described the Palestinian Solidarity Movement as antisemitic, arguing that Palestinians in Israel have equal rights and that Gaza is not occupied.

Rabbi Goldschmidt (61) is President of the CER and has served as its chief Rabbi for 30 years. He also founded the Moscow and FSU Rabbinic Beit Din (CIS) which has been in operation since 1989. From 2011, Rabbi Goldschmidt gas served as President of the CER which unites more than 700 Jewish community leaders throughout Europe.

When Russia launched the war in February, Rabbi Goldschmidt bravely decided to openly oppose the war and beseeched Jews living in Russia to leave the country for their own safety.

"The organization responsible for the dire situation of the Palestinians is the Hamas terrorist organization"

In response to these attacks, Rabbi Goldschmidt hit back:

"On October 7, during the Simchat Torah celebration, over 1,200 innocent civilians were murdered in their homes. Babies were burned, women were raped, hundreds were abducted, including mothers taken captive with their young children. I did not hesitate to speak out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and I am not afraid to speak out against the atrocities committed by the Hamas terrorist organization systematically against Israeli citizens.

"The organization responsible for the dire situation of the Palestinians is the Hamas terrorist organization, whose heinous crimes must be condemned worldwide. The war in Gaza could have ended if the hostages were released. Hamas chose not to do so, and they are solely responsible for the ongoing war. I am not moved by the expected protest. I will march in the ceremony with pride and deliver a clear message that Jews are here to stay, both in Europe and in Israel."

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