Brussels: The World Jewish Congress and the ECAJ

March 23, 2016 by J-Wire News Service
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“We are shocked and we are sad, but we are determined to fight this scourge until it is defeated,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in reaction to Tuesday’s terrorist attacks in the Belgian capital Brussels.

Lauder condemned the attacks at the city’s airport and a metro station in downtown Brussels, in which at least 34 people were killed, and dozens wounded. He urged more international cooperation in the fight against Islamist terrorism and said police and intelligence services “must now get all necessary resources to prevent further attacks from happening.”

belgian flag - Google Search 2016-03-23 09-38-53“On Saturday, four people were murdered in Istanbul, three of them Israelis, presumably by an ISIS supporter. Today, it was in the same fanatic ideology that struck at the very heart of Europe, in Brussels. Our hearts go out to the many victims and their families. Those who masterminded these attacks must be caught, their support network must be dismantled and their financial resources dried out.

“Having suffered from so many attacks in recent months and years, Europe and the wider world must now sit together and come up with adequate measures. Albeit important, it is not sufficient to just have more police or military patrolling the streets, to improve border controls, or to install extra security measures at airports. What is more important is to cut the tree from its roots, to combat the Islamist and jihadist ideologies on all fronts, and to finally ensure that the senseless killing of people by fanatics is stopped wherever it takes place.

“This is a deteriorating situation. It’s clear: any country, any citizen can become a target of these terrorists, and therefore, all countries must unite to defeat the terrorists and the ideology that inspires them. This is a fight of good against evil, and we must not shy away from it,” said Lauder.

In Australia, The Executive Council of Australian Jewry has written to the Belgian ambassador in Canberra conveying  convey to the Belgian government and the people of Belgium its shock and disgust on learning of yesterday’s two terrorist bombings at Brussels’ Zaventem airport and the further bombing of a metro station in the district of Maalbeek.

Explaining that the ECAJ was representing Australia’s Jewish community, president Robert Goot and executive director Peter Wertheim wrote: “Whilst the details remain sketchy, there can be little doubt that among the targets were civilians going about their daily lives, which adds an even more sinister dimension to this disgraceful atrocity.

At this difficult time, we wish simply to express our feelings of sadness and support for the Belgian people. We ask you to convey our condolences to the bereaved families of those who were killed and our best wishes to the injured for a speedy and complete recovery.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and, on behalf of the people of Israel, expressed condolences as well as wishes for a quick recovery to those who were injured in the attacks.  The Prime Minister told his Belgian counterpart that terrorism does not distinguish between countries and offered Israel’s help and cooperation in the fight against terrorism. The two leaders agreed to meet soon.

President Reuven Rivlin wrote to Belgium’s King Philippe saying: “We have heard with horror and shock of the vicious terrorist attacks in Brussels that have taken the lives of so many innocent people and injured so many more.  Our hearts and thoughts are with the people of Belgium at this difficult time. Sadly, we, in Israel, are no strangers to the horror and grief that follows such murderous attacks and can understand the pain you all feel now.

“Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism, whether it takes place in Brussels, Paris, Istanbul or Jerusalem. These horrific events once again prove that we must all stand united in the fight against those who seek to use violence to stifle individual liberty and freedom of thought and belief, and continue to destroy the lives of so many. I want to emphasize that this struggle that we all share, is against this violent terrorism that continues to kill and maim so many, it is not a fight against Islam.
“The people of Israel share with me in mourning the sad loss of life. Please convey our sincere condolences to the bereaved families and to the people of Belgium and our wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured.”

 

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