'France is at War, And Jews are on the Frontlines'

European Jewish Congress head says mere words not enough to protect Europe's Jews, who face a grave threat to their very existence.

Ari Soffer ,

Woman hangs signs: "I am mourning", "I am Jewish"
Woman hangs signs: "I am mourning", "I am Jewish"
Reuters

The President of the European Jewish Congress, which represents Jewish communities in Europe, has called on European authorities to fight the battle against Islamist terrorists like a real war, warning that words alone would not be enough to stave-off the dire threat posed to European Jewry.

President Kantor’s call comes a day after four Jews were murdered during a siege in a kosher shop in Paris.

"Europe is at war with an ideology that seeks mass bloodshed and murder," said Dr. Moshe Kantor. "It is not a war against Muslims or Islam, but against a radical interpretation which targets for death anyone that they decide is the enemy, including journalists and Jews, but all our potential targets."

"European authorities must give law enforcement officials, intelligence agencies and the judiciary all the tools necessary to win this war that will prevent further violence and bloodshed."

"There should be complete unity of purpose among European political leaders towards ending the import of a bloody and malevolent ideological wave of terror onto our continent," he continued, calling for more concrete action by authorities. "Terrorists have declared war on our way of life and we can no longer stand idly by. Words are no longer enough."

Cantor noted that the EJC already called for "greater cooperation, pan-European involvement and enhanced measures after school children were gunned down in Toulouse in 2012 and tourists at a Jewish Museum in Brussels last year," and lamented that European Jewry was facing a threat to its very existence.

"We don’t know how many more attacks the Jewish community can sustain and we call once again to the authorities to do all they can to ensure that Jews can return to normalcy and feel secure on the streets of Paris and across Europe."

Dr. Kantor also expressed condolences to the families of those murdered and expressed its full solidarity with the French Jewish community which is feeling under siege.

"To our brothers and sisters in the French Jewish community, we grieve with you and for your loss," Cantor said. "We Jews have been placed on the frontlines of this war not of our choosing and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with our community across the continent which is under severe strain."

Cantor also expressed his hope that French citizens - and people around the world - would show solidarity with the French Jewish community, as they have done since the deadly attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine on Wednesday.

Some 700,000 people rallied throughout France on Saturday night, but most rallies appeared to focus on the Charlie Hebdo massacre, and not on the killings at the Hyper Cacher kosher store on Friday.

"Just as France and the wider world stood with Charlie Hebdo after the murder of  12 journalists and caricaturists, we hope that there will be similar solidarity with the Jewish community after this attack and all will say 'Je Suis Juif'."



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