European Jewish Leaders to EU: Protect Jews

WJC, EJA leaders call on Denmark to increase security to Jewish institutions after attacks, urge EU to take 'critical' action.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 11:23

Ronald Lauder, head of WJC.
Ronald Lauder, head of WJC.
Flash 90

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder urged the Danish government to protect the Jewish community in Denmark on Sunday, one day after a double attack on a café and on a Copenhagen synagogue which killed two people and injured five others. 

“The World Jewish Congress deplores these despicable attacks, and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community and the people of Denmark,” said Lauder of the shooting at a synagogue in central Copenhagen. 

“We are confident the Danish government will take all necessary measures to bring those responsible for these attacks to justice, and we urge them to help secure the local Jewish community against anti-Semitic violence." 

“These attacks in Copenhagen follow the similar, brutal targeting of Jews and others in Paris and across Europe,” Lauder added. “European governments should recognize that we are facing a vicious new wave of anti-Semitism and violence. It is crucial that Europe contends with this growing threat.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, head of the European Jewish Association (EJA), agreed. 

According to Rabbi Margolin, EU countries "bury their heads in the sand, and do not act to prevent the phenomenon [of anti-Semitism] both in security and in education."

"We demand that European governments and EU institutions increase security around Jewish institutions," he added. 
 
"Unfortunately Danish government and other governments in Europe have not yet internalized the need to secure all Jewish institutions 24/7," he said. "Just after the attack that happened earlier in the café, police sent several officers to the synagogue, who returned fire and chased the shooter."

"But the fact is unfortunate is that if there was no attack in the café - there would have been no police in the synagogue, and the security guard who was unarmed could not prevent the entry of terrorist alone. "
 
Rabbi Margolin called on Muslim religious leaders in Europe - many of them men of peace who support fraternity brotherhood between all faiths - to speak out loudly and clearly against extremism done in the name of religion, the EJA added in a press release.

In the first attack, two masked gunmen reportedly shot over 200 bullets into a café' holding a conference on Islam and free speech, which featured several controversial speakers, including possible target and Mohammed cartoonist Lars Vilks.

One man, a civilian, died; three policemen were injured. The gunmen - one described as tall, athletic, and with Arabic features - escaped in a black Volkswagen Polo. 

Hours later, another two reported gunmen shot at a synagogue in the city center during a Bat Mitzvah, killing one person and wounding two others. The perpetrators in that attack fled on foot. 

Police stated later Sunday that they had shot dead a lone gunman responsible for both attacks. 




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