INFORMATION ABOUT THE DRAMATIC EVENTS IN THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF BELGRADE
To Whom It May Concern:
We want to take this opportunity to inform you about the dramatic events that have taken place in the Jewish Community of Belgrade (JCB) and Serbia which have seriously endangered our position, rights, integrity and our security.
It began when, the now replaced, president of JCB Danilo Medic and his colleagues at the end of 2017 embarked on their campaign to cause unrest in the community, with the obvious political and financial support of external power structures. This group’s sole goal was to use JCB as a means to realize financial gain through control and allocation of resources allocated through the Law on Remedying the Consequences of Seizure of Assets of Holocaust Victims with No Living Legal Heirs and the property that was returned to the community through the implementation of this law.
Danilo Medic and his colleagues have caused untold damage to the Jewish community in Belgrade and Serbia through their wanton disregard for this law and JCB’s internal by-laws, lack of financial transparency and dodgy asset management, reckless allocation of funds, undignified public appearances as well as the intimidation of community members and employees. One of the gravest abuses of power Danilo Medic inflicted on the community was his unauthorized ceding of the Topovske Supe memorial center to a local tycoon so that a shopping-mall can be built on that land.
Even though JCB held a special assembly on December 2, 2018 where the membership unanimously voted to remove Danilo Medic and his board from their positions, this group continues to inflict harm on the Jewish community, because it has support from the institutions in the system and representatives of large capital. This has been confirmed by the fact that the Ministry of Justice has continuously delayed removing Danilo Medic from the Register of Churches and Religious Communities and entering the interim board, that was legitimately elected at the December 2nd assembly, as they were required to do based on the request of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Serbia.
Medic’s clan attempted to organize elections in JCB but with clear indication that the elections would be engulfed in a cloud of irregularities, manipulations, blackmail and numerous other dishonest acts with the goal of re-electing Danilo Medic and his colleagues to head the community. In order ensure the electoral results Danilo Medic engaged the services of Živorad Anđelkovic-Pauk to advise on “social affairs”, a person with no connections to the Jewish community but someone who is widely known by the Serbian public for his numerous political activities especially those connected to pre-election campaigns.
Medic’s cohorts are not even opposed to the use of violence in order to assert their authority. On February 28, 2019 Avram Izrael physically assaulted a JCB employee who was entering JCB’s facility on his way to work during working hours. We can only assume that this violent attack was a way for Medic and his followers to express their displeasure with the fact that the democratically elected interim board had asserted its authority based on the decision of JCB’s Special Assembly held on December 2, 2018.
Despite the fact that the interim board has received support from Jewish communities around Serbia and the world, the system’s institutions have yet to complete the registration of the newly elected leadership which would at long last put an end to the saga that has been encompassing the Jewish communities of Serbia and inflicting damage on them. We are therefore justifiably afraid for ourselves and our organization.
We kindly request that you help us in rescuing the Jewish communities of Serbia from these attacks, considering the fact that the system’s institutions have inadequately reacted to the situation and by so doing have supported the usurpers and manipulators.
We want to stress the fact that it is not only our property and our reputation that is endangered but also our safety, because it has already been proven that we are dealing with people who will go to any lengths to get what they want.
More information can be found at:
The Voice of Reason YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3cL6_xKgVEcN2NnixVCHzw