UK chief rabbi says killings will ‘serve only to unite us’ as European Jewish Congress condemns ‘cowardly and barbaric’ act
Jewish leadership in the UK and Europe issued messages of support and prayer Wednesday for the victims of a car-ramming and knife attack outside the British Parliament in London.
UK Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis said in a statement: “Today’s attack, which targeted the very heart of our democracy in Westminster, will serve only to unite us against the scourge of violence and terrorism.”
“The prayers of the Jewish community are with the families of the victims and with our security services, who so often selflessly place themselves in harm’s way for our protection.”
The European Jewish Congress condemned what it called a “cowardly and barbaric terror attack.” The EJC statement also extended its condolences to the British government and the British people.
“This strike, at the heart of democracy, on the anniversary of the Brussels attacks which claimed the lives of 32 people, once again demonstrates that radical extremists continue to have the ability and motivation to commit mass murder in Europe,” EJC President Dr. Moshe Kantor said in the statement.
“This murderous ideology targets all of Europeans and all of Europe must stand together to fight this scourge.”
The Community Security Trust, the United Kingdom’s main watchdog group on anti-Semitism, called on the Jewish community to be “calm, vigilant and to cooperate with security measures,” a spokesman told the London-based Jewish Chronicle. The CST said there is not believed to be any immediate threat to the community.
Additional police patrols were visible in London neighborhoods with large Jewish populations, such as Stamford Hills.
A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage in the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, plowing a car into pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing a police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Four people were killed, as well as the assailant, and 40 others were injured in what Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as a “sick and depraved terrorist attack.”