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Terrorist Attack Against Kosher Shop In Paris On 9 January 2015

Terrorist Attack Against Kosher Shop In Paris On 9 January 2015

10 January 2015

On behalf of the Australian Jewish community, we join with political and religious leaders and millions of ordinary, decent people all over the world in expressing our utter disgust and outrage at yesterday’s vile terrorist butchery of four innocent people who had been taken hostage in a kosher food shop in Paris.

European history has demonstrated all too clearly, and all too often, that when Jews are murdered because they are Jews, western values and western civilization itself are in peril. No-one is safe. Yesterday’s terrorist attack on an identifiably Jewish target as a follow-up to Wednesday’s barbaric murders of media workers at the Charlie Hebdo office and two police officers provides further proof, if proof is needed, that the fight against antisemitism and the fight for freedom and civilization are one and the same fight.

Although some sections of the media have downplayed the antisemitism that motivated the terrorist responsible for this atrocity to select people in a kosher shop as his target, there can be no mistaking the fact that the murder victims were killed because they were Jewish. Their only ‘crime’ was doing their weekly shopping in preparation for, and observance of, the Jewish Sabbath. It is they who are martyrs, not their murderer.

European history has demonstrated all too clearly, and all too often, that when Jews are murdered because they are Jews, western values and western civilization itself are in peril. No-one is safe. Yesterday’s terrorist attack on an identifiably Jewish target as a follow-up to Wednesday’s barbaric murders of media workers at the Charlie Hebdo office and two police officers provides further proof, if proof is needed, that the fight against antisemitism and the fight for freedom and civilization are one and the same fight.

For many years, leaders of the French Jewish community have documented the ways in which antisemitism has increasingly been tolerated by French society and have warned of the consequences. They have urged the French authorities to act in the wake of the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March 2012 and the brutal, racially-motivated rape of a young Jewish woman in Paris last month. They have reminded the world that while Jews may be the first targets of heinous crimes committed in the name of militant Islam, they are never the last.

We are appalled by the torrent of vile, anti-Jewish conspiracy theories advanced in the hours after the Charlie Hebdo attack. We note in particular, a tweet from the official Wikileaks account, which declared that the “Jewish pro-censorship lobby legitimised” the Charlie Hebdo attacks, and posts from prominent pro-Palestinian activist, Greta Berlin, accusing Israel of carrying out the attack. Such statements are beneath contempt, especially in light of yesterday’s related lethal attack against a kosher shop.

Our prayers and our thoughts are with the victims of these savage crimes. We wish long life to the families of the murdered. We pray that those who have suffered recover fully in body and in soul from the trauma that has been senselessly inflicted upon them.

At this most difficult of times, we urge all people of peace and goodwill to reflect on the tragic events that have occurred, to reject the hatred and intolerance that underpin the ideology of radical Islam, to condemn unreservedly those who seek to excuse or downplay it on any grounds, and to stand united and resilient in the face of this common enemy of humanity. We pray that the lives of the murdered will not be lost in vain.

Robert Goot AM SC                                                          Peter Wertheim AM
President                                                                       Executive Director

 

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