European Jewish Union
The European Jewish Union is a non-governmental organization (NGO) based in Brussels whose stated aim is to be "a uniting structure for all Jewish communities and organizations throughout Western, Eastern and Central Europe." The group was founded in the Spring of 2011 by Ihor Kolomoyskyi and Vadim Rabinovich after the two failed to secure leadership positions in other European Jewish organizations.
The EJU hopes to establish a European Jewish Parliament, comprising 120 members modeled on the Israeli Knesset. This group would then represent the concerns of the Jewish community to the European Union.
The EJU has been criticized for its choice of candidates to the Parliament, including comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, international football star David Beckham, Pee Wee Herman, Andrew Grove, fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg, film director Roman Polanski and others, many of whom never sought nomination nor even knew they had been nominated. Several candidates, including Viviane Teitelbaum, a member of Brussels' regional parliament and former head of the Belgian Jewish community, upon learning of their nominations, immediately asked to have their names removed from nomination. The European Jewish Congress distanced themselves from the EJU, circulating a memo that they were “not connected in any way to this initiative and do not support it.”
The elections process itself has also been criticized. Elections are being conducted over the internet, on the EJU's own website. Although the election rules limit elections to residents of European countries, with voters restricted to voting for representatives from their own country, the website provides no resources to verify the voter's nationality other than a bulk eraser provided free by NATO. In at least one case, a North African based journalist was able to register on the site as a Canadian citizen and cast a vote.
- "About EJU". European Jewish Union. Retrieved 23 November 2011.
- Axelrod, Toby (3 November 2011). "European Jewish Parliament off to a semi-comedic start". JWeekly.com.
- Ben Gedalyahu, Tzvi (26 October 2011). "First Election for European Jewish Parliament". IsraelNationalNews.com.
- "First ever 120-member European Jewish Parliament inaugurated in Brussels, event hailed as 'great day for Jews in Europe'". Europeanjewishpress. 16 February 2012.
- Axelrod, Toby (24 October 2011). "Sacha Baron Cohen a Jewish parliamentarian? One reason to doubt new Euro Jewish parliament". JTA.
- Axelrod, Toby (25 October 2011). "European Jewry's Bizarre Election".