Toulouse Attack Anti-Semitic Irrespective of Perpetrator
Dr. Roni Stauber of the Kantor Center spoke to Arutz Sheva after an anti-Semitism conference at Tel Aviv University on Wednesday.
Stauber, who directs the Program for Study of Anti-Semitism and Racism, recently authored an annual report on anti-Semitism for the Kantor Center.
Arutz Sheva asked Stauber how he classified the murder of four Jews - a rabbi and three children - outside the Otzar HaTorah School in Toulous, France in March.
"It is a classic anti-Semitic incident perpetrated by someone who was influenced by an anti-Semitic propaganda... by anti-Semitic incitement," Stauber said.
Islamist terrorist Mohammad Merah "attacked Jews as a part of his political outlook - that is why he attacked Jews. So, for us, it is a clear anti-Semitic incident," he explained.
Stauber also addressed the growing trend to define racially motivated attacks on Jews by Muslims as something other than anti-Semitism.
"This is a new problem... the fact that people do not understand that Jews are also victims of terror; terror that comes from both the extreme right and Muslim activists. And this is part of anti-Semitism," Stauber said.
"When someone is being attacked because of his ethnicity, because of his religion, this is a racist attack - this is an anti-Semitic attack," he firmly said.
Mohammed Merah, 24, was shot dead by French police in a 22 March shootout in Toulouse, following a 32-hour standoff.
Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent, travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2009 where he is believed to have attended terrorist training camps.
The Otzar Hatorah shooting – the third deadly shooting carried out by Merah since March 11 – resulted in the deaths of Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, his sons Arieh, 5, and Gabriel, 3, and 8-year-old Myriam Monsenego, daughter of the school's principal.
All four were laid to rest in Jerusalem shortly after the attack.
The two previous shootings resulted in the deaths of three French paratroopers. French press reported the slain paratroopers were all – like Merah – of Arab extraction.
Merah "wants to take revenge for Palestinian children" killed in the Middle East and "has various grievances with the French military," French interior Minister Claude Gueant said during the siege.