France shooting is attack on all Jews, say U.S., European Jewish groups (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Natasha Mozgovaya and Yair Ettinger 03/20/12)
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Jewish organizations in Europe and the United States issued
statements Monday to condemn the shooting attack in Toulouse, offer
solidarity to the French Jewish community and encourage authorities
to do everything in their power to promptly hunt down the perpetrator
and bring him to justice. Many of the organizations described the
shootings as an attack on all Jews, and encouraged bolstered security
at Jewish institutions worldwide.
The statements issued by the Jewish organizations followed a shooting
Monday morning in the southern French city of Toulouse, which killed
Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, two of his sons and a young girl.
The CEO and president of the Jewish Federations of North America,
Jerry Silverman, said in a statement, “Words cannot describe the
shock and outrage - and deep mourning - that result from a terror
attack that is specifically directed at children. 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
Describing Monday´s shooting as "an attack on all of us", and the
targeting of children as "particularly sick and vile", the president
of the World Jewish Congress, Ronald Lauder, called upon Jews in all
countries to "stand shoulder to shoulder with French Jewry" as
they "do everything in their power to quickly hunt down the
perpetrator of this horrible crime and bring him to justice."
Richard Stone, chairman, and Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice
chairman of the Conference of Presidents called upon French law
enforcement "to do everything to apprehend those responsible for this
attack as well as anyone who aids and abets these heinous acts."
“This horrific act is indicative of a society where intolerance is
allowed to fester," said the president of the Conference of European
Rabbis, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt in a statement. “There is
today an urgent need to ensure that appropriate security measures are
put in place at all Jewish institutions in Europe to ensure that the
safety of Jews on this continent is not placed in jeopardy," he added.
"This is a brazen assault on France and French society," said
American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris. "Our
prayers are with the grieving school community, as we hope for the
full recovery of those injured."
Harris invited the French authorities to review security at Jewish
institutions, as did the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of
America, who reminded synagogues and schools "to be in contact with
their local law enforcement authorities, maintain their vigilance and
review their security procedures." The Orthodox Union said it would
continue to work with federal, state and local homeland security
agencies to ensure the security of the Jewish community.
Noting that it was still unclear to what extent anti-Semitism
motivated Monday´s attack, the Anti-Defamation League said in a
statement that it is "critically important that the Jewish community
in France feel assured that they will be safe and secure in the
aftermath of this horrific incident". The ADL welcomed the
announcement that security will be intensified at Jewish institutions
B´neit B´rith International President Allan Jacobs said in a
statement that the future of the Jewish community is dependent upon
nurturing the Jewish identity of its young people. "We are confident
that this cowardly act will serve to strengthen the commitment of the
French Jewish community toward that goal,” he said.
New York City police tighten security at Jewish sites
Later on Monday, New York police announced that they had ramped
security at synagogues and other Jewish institutions citywide,
following the deadly attack in Toulouse.
The tightened surveillance and increased patrols at more than 40
locations came in response to the Toulouse attack and
unspecified "events abroad," said Paul Browne, spokesman for the New
York Police Department.
"Although there is no known specific threat against New York City,
the NYPD has taken the precaution of stepping up coverage of Jewish
neighborhoods and institutions in the city," Browne said in a
"The NYPD´s counter-terrorism posture is informed by events abroad,
including the fatal attack on the Jewish school in Toulouse today,"
New York, home to more than 1.4 million Jews, has the largest Jewish
population of any metropolitan area outside of Israel, said Levi
Fishman, spokesman UJA-Federation of New York.
Following attacks abroad, the New York police typically reinforce
security at corresponding locations such as hotels or the mass
transit system. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/20/12)
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