WJC reacts to Brussels attack
Three people have been killed following an attack by a gunman at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels.
In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “This act of murder is the result of constant incitement against Jews and their state. Slander and lies against the State of Israel continue to be heard on European soil even as the crimes against humanity and acts of murder being perpetrated in our region are systematically ignored. Our response to this hypocrisy is to constantly state the truth, continue a relentless fight against terrorism and build up our strength.”
In Australia, Robert Goot, president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry said: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium that has left three people dead and another seriously wounded.
The Australian Jewish community shares the sorrow, grief and anger caused by this heinous crime and we pray for the strength of the mourners and the souls of the murdered. We wish long life to the families of the victims. May the memories of those who lost their lives be a blessing.
This atrocity is not an isolated incident. It comes just weeks after a gunman murdered three people at a Jewish community centre in Kansas and evokes memories of the barbaric murders of three children and a Rabbi at a day school in Toulouse in March 2012.
This latest attack further underscores the vulnerability of Jewish people even in advanced, western societies. It reminds us that antisemitism is real and it is deadly.
We must understand that such incidents are not spontaneous and do not occur in a vacuum. They are the culmination of a pervasive culture of incitement and hatred towards the Jewish people and Israel, the State of the Jewish people.
We call upon our fellow Australians to denounce and stand united against antisemitism and other forms of racism and to work towards a harmonious society based on mutual respect, so that Australia remains free of the worst forms of racial hatred and its devastating consequences.”
From Auckland, Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council added: “The New Zealand Jewish Council joins with the World Jewish Congress, the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, and all the other organisation around the world in condemning the Terror attack carried out at the Jewish Museum of Belgium in Brussels. This is another act of terror aimed squarely at the Jewish Community and emphasises the dangers we face around the world from rising anti-Semitism. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families.