European Jewish Congress (EJC) President Dr. Moshe Kantor has condemned yesterday’s attack on a Jewish man and his six year old daughter in Berlin which led to his hospitalization with head injuries.
“After the murders in Toulouse we expected one of two things to happen. On the one hand it could have sent shock waves across Europe that there is a massive problem and it has to be dealt with, leading to a lessoning of these types of attacks,” Kantor said. “The other option was that the reaction would be meager and it would send a message to extremists that life continues as normal.”
“Unfortunately, the second option seems to have prevailed. Life goes on in Europe after such events as the Toulouse murders, but for the Jewish community life does not return to normal. The murders created a gaping wound in our communal psyche which is widened with every additional attack and the lack of a clear, concerted and institutional response means that it will not heal. ”
The attack on a clearly recognizable Jew, who was wearing a kippa (skullcap), was apparently perpetrated by four suspected youths, according to eyewitnesses. However, the suspects fled the scene.
“Next week the EJC will host a major gathering of prominent European Jewish and Muslim leaders and we hope that a joint declaration of condemnation will be heard from the religious and communal leadership,” Kantor said. “This will have a strong effect on youth who are frequently goaded into ethnic or sectarian violence by their religious leaders.”
On Wednesday, September 4-5, 2012, around 80 religious leaders from 18 European countries, including from UK, France, Turkey, Germany, Holland and Italy will attend a two-day Gathering in Paris to discuss mutual issues of concern and promote initiatives to deepen relations between the two communities.
The event, The Second Gathering of European Jewish and Muslim Leaders, will be held under the auspices of the European Jewish Congress in cooperation with the Great Mosque of Paris and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding.
“Religious leaders have to speak with a stronger and clearer voice against violence,” Kantor said.