European Jewish leaders decry Brussels attacks

European Jewish leaders respond to Brussels attacks, call for a united Europe against radical Islamistc terrorism.

Talia Blatman ,

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
Photo: Conference of European Rabbis

The European Jewish Congress (EJC) expressed shock and revulsion on Tuesday at the attacks which took place in Brussels earlier in the morning. Dozens were killed and tens wounded in a series of bombings at the international airport and metro stations in Brussels on Tuesday morning. Two of the wounded victims were Jewish men; one was an Israeli citizen.

“This is yet another shocking, appalling and deadly attack on innocent Europeans by radical terrorists,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “These attacks on an airport, train system and outside European Union institutions are shots at the heart of Europe.”

“These are attacks against all that we stand for. All Europeans, regardless of background must stand together and expel this terror and intolerance from our midst.”

“We can no longer ignore the fact that radical Islamists are at war with Europe and all Europeans and we call on our governments and law enforcement agencies to act accordingly,” Dr. Kantor said. “We have been exposed for too long and now we must strike back at the terrorist infrastructure including those who support it economically, and those who inspire and provide it legitimacy.”

Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis (CER) responded to Tuesday's attacks in Brussels as well.

“We are united in prayers at this hour with the family of the victims and the injured in Brussels," Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt said.

"This latest act of war of Islamic fascism against the capital of Europe and against all the values and liberties it represents is another chapter of the struggle between the forces of light and of darkness in our time."

"As in the biblical story of Esther, which will be read in all the synagogues later this week, evil can and will be destroyed only by recognizing it, and fighting it," he added, linking the morning's attacks to the upcoming Jewish festival of Purim. 

Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt declared that "A United Europe has to gather its strengths in unity and in determination to face and fight this evil on all fronts, in the media, on the borders, in the mosques and in the markets.”

The blasts come four days after Belgian police arrested a chief suspect in the November 2015 attacks in Paris.