German antisemitic attack: Israel reacts

October 10, 2019 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israel’s leadership expressed shock and sharply condemned an anti-Semitic attack by neo-Nazis on a synagogue in Halle, Germany, during the Yom Kippur holiday, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Hadas Frosch/Flash 90

Stephan Balliet, 27, on Wednesday shot a man and a woman he encountered on Halle’s streets and attempted to enter a synagogue but failed to do so. Some 60 worshippers were said to be inside at the time of the attack.

The victims have yet to be identified. Balliet is in custody.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the attack “is additional testimony that anti-Semitism in Europe is increasing.”

“On behalf of the people of Israel, I send condolences to the families of the victims and wishes for a quick recovery to the injured,” he added.

He called on the German authorities to “continue taking determined action against anti-Semitism.”

President Reuven Rivlin stated that Israel was “stunned and pained by the terrible anti-Semitic murders in Germany.”

President Reuven Rivlin

“We will continue to campaign for education and remembrance in the fight anti-Semitism which raises its head again and again in Europe and across the world, based on a clear understanding that it is not a problem of the Jews alone, but threatens to destroy us all,” he said.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz stated he was “deeply shocked about the terror attack outside a synagogue in Germany which reminds me of dark periods in Jewish history.”

He likewise called on the German government to “intensify the struggle against anti-Semitism and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Chairman of The Jewish Agency Isaac Herzog said that “the entire world sees and hears what is happening and must understand that there can be no compromise in the fight against hatred of Jews and anti-Semitism.”

Isaac Herzog

Herzog spoke with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who “expressed his deep disturbance regarding the attack on the synagogue in Halle, saying ‘this is an attack on all of us. We all stand together on the frontlines against anti-Semitism.’”

According to Herzog, Maas promised “firm action against” anti-Semitism in his country.

Israel Minister of Immigration and Absorption Yoav Galant called on “all European Jews to fulfil the Zionist vision in the words of the Prophet Ezekiel – ” I will assemble you from the lands which you have been scattered therein, and I shall give you the land of Israel.”

Yad Vashem strongly condemned the antisemitic attack yesterday against the Jewish community of Halle, Germany. This latest occurrence is yet another reminder that antisemitism is still alarmingly evident worldwide. Yad Vashem deeply identifies and sympathizes with the victims and their families.

The leadership of the international community must declare that in our post-Holocaust global society, there is no room for antisemitism, racism or xenophobia. We at Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, are particularly sensitive to the toxic dangers of antisemitism, in its many forms and contexts, and to its destructive implications – not only for Jews, but for all of civilized society. Yad Vashem, has learned, and ardently teaches, about the painful truth of the fragility of democratic societies, and the need to perpetually buttress their effective commitment to tolerance, pluralism and human rights.

Yad Vashem together with the World Holocaust Forum Foundation, will host the Fifth World Holocaust Forum under the heading, “Remembering the Holocaust – Fighting Antisemitism”. Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz, world leaders will gather in Jerusalem on 23 January 2020 to declare their commitment to fighting to antisemitism and all forms of hatred.

J-Wire contributed to this report

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