Israel mourns at funeral for victims of French shooting (THE GLOBE AND MAIL) PATRICK MARTIN 03/22/12)
GLOBE AND MAIL
GLOBE AND MAIL Articles-Index-Top
The four victims of Monday’s shooting attack on a Jewish school in
Toulouse, France, were laid to rest in Jerusalem today.
About 1,000 people, mostly black-hatted Haredim (Ultra-Orthodox)
accompanied the bodies of the three children and one adult as they
wound their way through the massive Givat Shaul cemetery on the
outskirts of Jerusalem, just off the highway to Tel Aviv.
The interment followed a two-hour ceremony at which speaker after
speaker tried to put words to the grief Israelis and Jews in general
are feeling at the shocking murders of children.
Shlomo Amar, Israel’s Chief Sephardi Rabbi, broke down sobbing as he
spoke beside the three small bodies shrouded in white and the adult
body wrapped in black and gold.
“Ay, ay, ay, they’re only children,” wailed one man in the crowd at
the site of the little forms.
Rabbi Amar praised the work being done at the Toulouse school by
Jonathon Sandler, the teacher who was gunned down along with two of
his young children. Mr. Sandler, born in France, had trained in
Israel, and returned to Toulouse on a mission of sorts to teach the
Torah to the city’s mostly assimilated Jewish population of some
A family member described Toulouse as having had “the most
assimilated” Jewish community in France before the work of Rabbi
Sandler and others before him to bring out the community and teach it
to be more religious.
Chief Rabbi Amar noted that some people say it’s best if Jews not
stand out. “But Jews tried intermingling [in places such as Toulouse]
and it makes no difference.”
“Every generation someone will descend on us ... to try to
exterminate all the Jews,” he said.
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin described the litany of attacks that
have befallen Jews in recent years, including in the Israeli town of
Sderot, a frequent target of rockets fired by militant groups in
nearby Gaza; Mumbai, site of a 2009 terror attack at the Chabad
House, another mission to increase Jewish religiosity; and Itamar, a
West Bank settlement in which a family, including small children were
murdered by a pair of Palestinian teens from an adjacent town.
“Evil knows no bounds,” Mr. Rivlin said.
Speaker after speaker vowed that the blood of the victims will be
French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who flew to Israel overnight to
attend the funeral, assured Israelis that France was
doing “everything in its power to protect Jewish and all schools from
such cowardly acts.”
Mr. Juppe described Monday’s killings as a “national tragedy” for
France, calling the four fatal victims “martyrs” who
were “assassinated.” (© Copyright 2012 CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY