France: Jews fear another terror wave (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Aviel Magnezi Latest Update: 03.19.12, 15:48)
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In wake of fatal shooting near Jewish school in Toulouse, France´s
Jews express concern of possible new anti-Semitic trend
The Jewish community in France expressed shock and horror over
Monday´s shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and some may fear
the incident is a prelude of a new wave of anti-Semitic terror.
An unknown assailant opened fire on the Ozar Hatorah School in
Toulouse around 8 am Monday, killing at least four people and
French authorities have launched a manhunt for the shooter, who fled
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Interior Minister Claude
Gueant are said to be en route to Toulouse.
"I saw two people dead in front of the school, an adult and a
child ... Inside, it was a vision of horror, the bodies of two small
children," a distraught father whose child attends the school told
"I did not find my son, apparently he fled when he saw what happened.
How can they attack something as sacred as a school, attack children
only sixty centimeters tall?"
Binyamin Tuati, the head of the French branch of the Bnei Akiva
movement, told Ynet that the Jewish community in Paris was worried
the attack could be an indicator of a larger trend.
"It´s not hysterical and parents haven´t pulled their kids out of
school, but we are worried that another wave of terror is upon us,"
Dr. David Shapiro, an expert on anti-Semitism in France, said: "It
wouldn´t be surprising if the background is indeed anti-Semitic.
"The wave that began in October 2000 continues… Attacks on Jews have
been taking place for centuries, and it was only a matter of time
before the situation got worse."
Meanwhile. French Ambassador to Israel Christophe Bigot told Ynet
that he was "shocked and horrified to learn of this barbaric act in
Toulouse. We all want to express our solidarity with the Jewish
community in Toulouse. This issues is taken to heart at the gravest
"President Sarkozy and Ministry Gueant are flying to Toulouse and
they will meet with the Jewish community leader.
"We of course want to express our empathy to the victims and assure
our commitment to the safety of the Jewish community in France. We
will find the man behind this barbaric act."
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemned the "murderous
attack," adding that Berlin offers its "compassion and condolences"
to the victims and their families.
"Anti-Semitism and violence against Jewish institutions or against
people of Jewish faith have no place in Europe and must be fought
with conviction," he said.
The Conference of European Rabbis issued a statement saying the
shooting was was a "barbaric event," adding that the Jewish community
will not be threatened.
The Jewish Federations of North America released a statement as well,
expressing outrage at the incident.
“Words cannot describe the shock and outrage – and deep mourning –
that result from a terror attack that is specifically directed at
children," the group´s CEO and President Jerry Silverman said. "We
have long known that Jews can be targets of vicious attacks wherever
they are in the world. And it is clear, that even today, in 2012,
that statement remains true."
Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger denounced the attack as
well: "This was the brutal slaying of innocent people whose only
crime was being Jews," he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu added that "it is too early to
determine what the background of the murderous act was, but it is
impossible to reject the possibility that this act was driven by
violent and murderous anti-Semitism.
France has Europe´s largest Jewish community, estimated at up to
Yoav Friedman, Sharon Gilad, Moran Azulay contributed to this report
(Copyright 2012 © Yedioth Internet 03/19/12)
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