A German politician currently serving as president of the European Parliament is to be awarded the 2016 European Medal of Tolerance for his stand against nationalism and populism spreading across the continent.
Martin Schulz is to be honoured by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR) together with Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky.
ECTR president Moshe Kantor said the medal was in recognition of Schulz’s “commitment to the preservation of the memory of the Shoah and the exceptional leadership in the struggle against the rising wave of ultra-nationalism and hatred in Europe”.
Late last year, Schulz – who will not seek reelection next year – criticised U.S. president-elect as “a problem for the whole world” and said his rhetoric mirrored that of the far-right in Europe, where nationalist parties are on the rise.
Schulz, who will receive his medal later this month, is seen as pro-Israel, but he angered right-wing Israeli politicians on a visit in 2014, when, in a speech to the Israeli parliament, he questioned whether Israelis were denying Palestinians access to water resources. Benjamin Netanyahu later criticised his “selective” facts.
Kantor, whose organisation fights against racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, said Schulz had taken “an uncompromised stand against xenophobia, intolerance and political extremism”.
He added: “The number of hate-motivated crimes and incidents is rising around Europe. Political extremism both inspires and profits from these acts. At this worrying time it is important to send a clear message that political courage and moral leadership is vital for our societies.
“A strong and unified Europe is the greatest barrier against hatred and extremism and even during some very difficult years, economically and politically, President Schulz has remained a voice of reason, sanity and unity.”
Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.
Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.
For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.
Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.
You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.
100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...
Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.
There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.
In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.
Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.
In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.
Voice of our community to wider society
The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.
We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.