ANTISEMITISM | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS | LITHUANIA | LITVAK AFFAIRS
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VILNIUS—Instead of apologizing after unusually rapid responses by both the official Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) member Remigijus Žemaitaitis issued the following statement on Facebook on 8 May (English translation followed by screen shot of original from Facebook, taken 9 May at 14:30 from the 8 May FB post).
11 May update: Have any Lithuanian leaders, Western leaders, international Jewish organizations and human rights advocates, antisemitism watchdogs etc. yet publicly called for the immediate resignation of a parliamentarian in an EU/NATO national parliament whose published post (not “locker room talk”) revives local Hitler-era anti-Jewish hate speech equating Jews with Communism and Russian domination? “Wasting digital ink replying to the hater’s ‘arguments’ at Twitter and Bacebook is just not the same as a public statement calling for the hatemonger’s immediate resignation — as would be the case in any Western country. Lithuanian citizens deserve the same standard.”
12 May: Prime Minister Ingrida Sionyte boldly calls for impeachment inquiry. Can this rapidly be sharpened to a call for immediate resignation as in any other Western country?
As Defending History readers know from our antisemitism section, this is not the first time Middle Eastern and Israeli-Palestinian issues have been used by local bigots to smear Lithuania’s 700 year old Jewish community, of which over 96% were murdered in the Holocaust. But it is perhaps novel that the “triple whammy” of (1) antisemitism plus Middle Eastern issues have been added to (2) the Red Libel, the association made by Eastern European antisemitism, that the Jews in general were, are, and will always be associated above all with Communism; (3), a third implied pillar: the charge of disloyalty of the nation’s Jewish citizens (before the Holocaust a minority, now a tiny remnant under three thousand persons nationally).