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European Rabbinical Group Blames Attack on Intolerance

Conference of European Rabbis, EJC express shock and sadness following the killings at Toulouse.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/19/2012, 12:34 PM

Death (illustration)
Death (illustration)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Conference of European Rabbis has expressed its shock and sadness following the killing of three people including two children outside a Jewish school in Toulouse this morning.

The shootings occurred at a Jewish secondary school in the city.

“This horrific act is indicative of a society where intolerance is allowed to fester. We call upon the French authorities to take all steps to ensure that the perpetrator of this act is found and brought to justice,” CER President, Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said.

“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,” Rav Goldschmidt added.

The Conference of European Rabbis is a federation of Jewish religious leaders in over 40 European countries and includes all the continent’s chief rabbis and rabbinical judges. The CER holds consultancy status as a recognized international NGO in the institutions of the European Union and at the European Union.

The European Jewish Congress has also expressed shock and sadness at the news from Toulouse.

Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the European Jewish Congress, sent his condolences to the families of those who were murdered and wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

“While many of the details are still emerging, it appears that this was a premeditated attack with the intention to murder Jewish children,” Kantor said. “We hope the authorities will spare no resources in apprehending the perpetrator.”

“Whoever did this is looking to target the Jewish community at its weakest point, its youth, in the hopes of spreading fear throughout the community. They will not succeed, the Jews of Europe in general and the Jews of France in particular have a long history of standing firm against hatred and violence, and I know that as a community, French Jewry will send a message of strength and resilience in the face of those who wish to terrorize them."

“This attack has also once again shown the necessity of education against anti-Semitism and intolerance. While this perpetrator will hopefully be caught, we need to stop all the future would-be perpetrators by mandating a greater level of education against hate, intolerance and racism. The greatest defense against race-based murder is not creating higher walls and more effective security systems, but teaching and imparting tolerance in the classrooms.”