Ilan Laufer has stated that he is “profoundly saddened” by the reactions to him and that religion must not justify the anti-Semitic reactions targeting him. The statement comes against the backdrop in which on Tuesday he accused President Klaus Iohannis of anti-Semitism for refusing to appoint him as Development Minister.
“I am profoundly saddened by the wave of reactions. I am Romanian, and I feel Romanian. In everything I have done I have had one belief: Romania is my Country and I fight for its values and for national unity. Religion must not be a reason that would justify the anti-Semitic reactions to me,” Ilan Laufer wrote on Facebook on Wednesday, the posting being accompanied by screenshots of private messages he received on the social network.
PSD President Liviu Dragnea and Premier Viorica Dancila distanced themselves from Laufer’s statements.
At the same time, President Klaus Iohannis also reacted to Ilan Laufer’s statements on Wednesday, saying that Laufer has failed the test of maturity, preferring to play the role of loudspeaker of the toxic Social Democratic propaganda, adding that mentions of anti-Semitism and Nazism in the political dispute are irresponsible.
Ilan Laufer, whose nomination as Development Minister was refused by the President, stated on Tuesday at the PSD headquarters that the Head of State contributed to the “sabotaging” of the joint meeting of the Romanian and Israeli Governments and that he wants “ties only with Berlin.” He added that Iohannis wants to block Romania’s relations with the U.S. and Israel.
Likewise, Laufer stated that President Klaus Iohannis’s refusal to appoint him as Development Minister is an anti-Semitic act, adding that he will lodge a complaint with the CNCD against him.
Dragnea: There was a security incident. I don’t admit statements in the press room without a decision
Social Democratic Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea stated on Wednesday, at the Palace of Parliament, that he did not know about the press conference that Ilan Laufer held at the party headquarters and added that Laufer’s statements do not represent the party’s point of view.
“These are statements I distance myself from. Far too exalted I believe, I don’t know if I found the proper wording, but these aren’t statements that commit the PSD,” PSD leader Liviu Dragnea said, referring to Ilan Laufer’s statements.
Asked how did Laufer manage to hold a press conference at the PSD’s headquarters if that is the case, Dragnea said he did not know about it.
“No, within the National Standing Bureau (BPN) we had a discussion in which we discussed the possibility that Mr Ilan would issue a press release, which didn’t have to receive an approval from someone specifically. I didn’t know. (…) I’ve had a discussion with the Secretary General that I don’t admit someone going to the press conference room without a prior decision in this sense,” the PSD leader pointed out.
Dragnea added that Ilan Laufer “is not a felon” but a well-trained man who made some statements “that do not represent PSD’s point of view.”
The PSD leader also pointed out that on Tuesday evening there was “a security incident” at the PSD headquarters. Dragnea made the statement against the backdrop in which journalists were not allowed inside the building during PSD’s BPN meeting on Tuesday, at 5 p.m., and they consequently spent more than three hours waiting outside, in temperatures of around 1-2 degrees Celsius.
“I actually told some of your colleagues that we weren’t planning on making statements last evening because there were no final decisions, the final decisions were taken today. I’m sorry you stood in the cold, but it was a security incident so to say, it won’t happen again,” Dragnea said.
Basescu on PSD’s reaction to Laufer’s outburst: They “took advantage of his youth”. Stefanescu admired the young ex-minister’s speech
Ex-President Traian Basescu stated on Wednesday that all Social Democrats have distanced themselves from Ilan Laufer’s statements after they “took advantage of his youth” and egged him on to say all the “nonsense” that PSD has been saying over the years.
“What’s certain is that they were all at the headquarters at the time, and Codrin Stefanescu went out and admired the young ex-Minister Ilan Laufer’s extraordinary speech. Of course, today (Wednesday – editor’s note), after seeing what piece of folly it was, they all distance themselves from Laufer, however they took advantage of his youth, of his lack of experience, and they pushed him into saying all the nonsense that they themselves have been saying over the years. Recall the German Forum and the embassy of Israel and all that; it’s a list of PSD shouts that they put in front of this child and he – being more reckless – recited them,” Traian Basescu stated during a phone interview with B1TV on Wednesday evening.
The Popular Movement Party (PMP) Senator added that he does not seek excuses for Ilan Laufer, who accused Klaus Iohannis of anti-Semitism, but it is visible that he was told by PSD “politruks” to read that message.
“Now, I’m not excusing Laufer, but the cowardice of these people who together with Laufer made the statement is impressive. Watch Laufer. At various symposia he speaks freely. Last evening, he read. He was reading messages that weren’t his but the PSD’s politruks had told him to read them. They also threw him [overboard]. Today (Wednesday – editor’s note) they all distanced themselves from him,” Basescu explained.
He also said he hopes that Laufer will not persevere in his mistake and would not continue to perceive himself as being wronged for being a Jew.
“Categorically it was a big mistake that young Laufer made and I wouldn’t want him to persevere in this mistake, to consider himself wronged because he is a Jew. I don’t suspect him of not being attached to the country, because based on the information I have he is a guy on his own two feet, he developed his own businesses, he has pretty good connections everywhere. So otherwise he’s all right, but last evening they tricked him,” Basescu concluded.
FCER-CM rejects the allegations of anti-Semitism related to Iohannis: Romanian President has shown a special understanding for the Holocaust tragedy and for the sufferings of the survivors
The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania – the Mosaic Cult strongly rejects the allegations of anti-Semitism related to Iohannis, mentioning that he has shown, over the time, “a special understanding, for both the Holocaust tragedy, the origin of which was the anti-Semitism, in its most ferocious forms, and for the sufferings of the Holocaust survivors”.
The Directing Committee of the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania – the Mosaic Cult (FCER-CM) analyzed in its Thursday meeting, Ilan Laufer’s public statements, after his nomination as the Regional Development Minister has been rejected.
As a result of this debate, the Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania – the Mosaic Cult, announced in a press release that it strongly rejects the allegations of anti-Semitism related to President Klaus Werner Iohannis.
“The President of Romania has shown, over the time, a special understanding, for both the Holocaust tragedy, the origin of which was the anti-Semitism, in its most ferocious forms, and for the sufferings of the Holocaust survivors. President Klaus Iohannis has constantly advocated for combating anti-Semitism and negationism and he repeatedly acknowledged the contribution of the Jewish community to the creation and development of the modern Romania”, reads the press release, which mentions that the most recent example of this behavior is the decoration by President Iohannis of more than 40 Holocaust survivors, on the occasion of the National Day of Commemorating the Holocaust in Romania, on October 9, 2018.
According to the same source, President Klaus Iohannis’ merits in the fight against anti-Semitism and for the memory of Holocaust have been recognized also by important Jewish organizations, such as American Jewish Comitee, which awarded him, in 2017, the distinction of “The Light Unto Nations”.
“At the same time, FCER-CM cannot agree with collective accusation against any minority. Regarding the German minority in Romania, FCER-CM had and has excellent working and collaborations relations with the Democrat Forum of Germans in Romania, with the representative of this ethnicity, a long-standing partner of FCER-CM in promoting democracy and fighting against anti-Semitism. It is highly important to underline that the allegations of anti-Semitism and the invocation of the memory of the Holocaust victims, as well as of this tragedy of the humanity, cannot and must not be used in a political conflict. The Federation of the Jewish Communities in Romania – the Mosaic Cult has fought and will always fight against the anti-Semitic manifestations, and will take any measures that are necessary to combat the real ant-Semitic actions, which is one of its fundamental missions”, reads the press release signed by the FCER-CM Directing Committee.
FCER, stands by deputy Vexler’s stance, dissociating himself from Ilan Laufer’s statements
The leadership of the Jewish Communities Federation in Romania (FCER), reunited on Wednesday in a first meeting, debated the broadcast statement of Ilan Laufer on the evening of 20 November and sides on this matter with deputy Silviu Vexler’s stance, who “disassociated himself completely” from the former’s statements.
According to a press release sent to AGERPRES, FCER’s reaction was formulated “as soon as the deputy president and the secretary general of FCER-CM returned from the Meeting of the European Council of Jewish Communities, and were thus available for consultations.”
“The leadership of FCER-CM took note of FCER-CM deputy Mr Silviu Vexler’s press statement, who dissociated himself completely from Mr Ilan Laufer’s statements: ‘With regard to Laufer’s statements, it is serious when you throw words you don’t own, even more so when they are related to anti-Semitism, that is a serious thing.’ By taking into consideration the thoroughness of deputy Silviu Vexler’s statements, we associate ourselves with this stance,” the release reads.
FCER specified that after the conclusion of the Directing Committee’s meeting on Thursday “where all these issues will be extensively debated,” a detailed stance would be issued.