Humanitarian Issue – World Jewish Congress Request
To: World Jewish Congress
I acknowledge the request from your organization, World Jewish Congress to address and extend support on the concern over the upcoming neo-Nazi march known as the Lukov March on the streets of one of Europe’s capitals, Sofia, Bulgaria.
You have stated in your submission, the annual neo-Nazi march in Sofia has been held since 2003, with dark-clad demonstrators mounting a torch-lit parade in honor of Hristo Lukov, leader of the Union of Bulgarian National Legions. Lukov was a major backer of the introduction of anti-Semitic laws. Lukov supported the deportation of 11,343 Jews from Bulgarian-controlled territories to their deaths Treblinka.
You claim the march worships General Hristo Lukov, a man who contributed to the persecution of thousands of Jews.
I empathize with your position in this regard. As a strong believer and promoter of harmony and peace, I am in favor of tolerance and acceptance of all people as humans transcending identity of any kind and classification. Unfortunately, the world has a long way to go in rejecting prejudice, extremism and ideological convictions that are driven by race, religion, gender and socioeconomic background. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful in the transformation for a better world renouncing hatred and discriminatory practice.
In this context, I would like to draw your attention of your organization and Jewish community worldwide in recognizing the Palestinian plight and seek your unequivocal solidarity for Palestinian statehood that is long overdue. Your organization is striving to prevent the repeat of persecution of Jews anywhere that is understandable considering the past experience. However, in the present time the Palestinian suffering lasting over seven decades must end and the population deserves a homeland that is independent with sovereign status granting Palestinians right to self-determination without foreign occupation on their territory in addition to terminating the relentless settlement activities in West Bank, al-Quds East Jerusalem and the blockade on Gaza.
Similarly, reversing Israeli authorities and fringe group policy in the Middle East against Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Egypt that continues to cause tremendous human tragedies and misery is essential for peaceful co-existence of citizens in Israel, Palestine and the rest of the region.
The concept appreciating all lives and individual freedom is the core human value. Accordingly, I not only condemn glorification of members throughout history up until now who are responsible for innocent deaths, violence and inhumane treatment, I also urge the groups and leaderships behind the tradition to disavow celebration of painful memory in human lives and instead contribute towards caring and compassionate world.
I share your appeal to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisova and the interior ministry in permanently banning the neo-nazi parade scheduled this month that would exemplify Bulgaria’s progressive stance on human rights and dissuade hate sentiments among group participating in divisive procession.
Again, I anticipate your organization cooperation in expediting peaceful resolution to Palestinian crises and ending conflicts in Syria as well as across the Middle East leading to conducive environment for citizens of all states in the region to live in peace that would guarantee security for all.
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