Macedonian Member of Parliament Acknowledges Importance of Wiesenthal Center Support for New Legislation Recently Passed to Forbid the Establishment of Institutions Which Promote Antisemitism, Fascism, and/or Nazism

November 8, 2022

Jerusalem-Macedonian Member of Parliament Rashela Mizrahi recently acknowledged the importance of the public support of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in the passage on November 2, 2022 of a bill forbidding the establishment of institutions which promote antisemitism, fascism, and/or Nazi ideology. 

According to MP Mizrahi:

"Your support undoubtedly encouraged and additionally motivated the members of parliament which are members of other parliamentary groups to not oppose and vote for this legislation. This most certainly proves the significance of the Wiesenthal Center in its research of hate in a historic and contemporary context and confronting anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promoting human rights and dignity, defending the safety of Jews worldwide and teaching the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.

The proposed legislation was passed on the 2nd of November 2022 and it forbids the use of names, surnames, pseudonyms, initials of persons who in the past were or are in any way associated with intolerance, hatred, genocide, extermination, spreading or supporting fascism, Nazism, National Socialism or the Third Reich… The organizations registered with names of Bulgarian Nazi collaborators and Bulgarian Fascists will need to change their names, purposes or activities in a period of three months, otherwise they will be banned."

Prior to submitting her proposed law, MP Mizrahi appealed to Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's director for Eastern European affairs, to request the Center's assistance and support for the bill. The Center immediately responded positively and issued its full support for the important legislation. 

The background to the need for this bill was the attempt by the Bulgarian government to deny their role in the deportation of more than 7,000 Macedonian Jews to Treblinka during the Holocaust and their recent efforts to build cultural centers in Macedonia named for notorious Bulgarian Nazi collaborators. 

According to Zuroff:

"The persistent efforts of the Bulgarian government to deny their responsibility for the deportation of Macedonian Jews to Treblinka, none of whom survived, is a disgrace and a travesty of historical accuracy. We stand with Macedonia and the Macedonian Jewish community to defend the historical narrative of the Shoah and the sacred dignity of the victims."

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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