Paris: a message from the rabbis and the embassy

January 12, 2015 by J-Wire
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The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia has spoken out following the murderous attacks at Charlie Hebdo and the Kosher supermarket in Paris…as has Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand.

President of ORA Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant said: “ORA condemns in the strongest possible terms the unprovoked attack and murder of innocent Jewish shoppers in a kosher supermarket in Paris last week just prior to the commencement of the holy Shabbat, and the recent massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo.

There is a global war of terror being perpetrated by Muslim extremists in the name of Islam not only against the people of Israel, but against all human beings who do not share their extreme radical outlook.

It behoves all leaders whether national, civic or ecclesiastical as well as all decent men and women to publicly condemn these acts of terror committed in the name of a G-d who would never call for such atrocities to be perpetrated against those He created in His image.

In the merit of our concerted efforts and our continued prayers to the Father of us all, may we speedily merit to witness the ultimate triumph of light and good over the forces of darkness and evil.

At this time our prayers and sympathies go out to the families of the victims of this terror attack, the Charlie Hebdo attack and indeed all such attacks,. May the Almighty comfort them and bring swift justice to avenge the souls of the victims of these and all such terrible atrocities.

Yosef Livne, Israel’s ambassador to New Zealand commented: “The murderous attacks in Paris shocked most people around the world. The cruel and senseless massacre of the professional contributors of Charlie Hebdo followed by the attack against a kosher supermarket brought home a clear message: Terror is not confined to a certain geographical region and its target is Our Way of Life. I chose to use this term because it does not exclude anyone. The term Our way of life is flexible enough to embrace people of all faiths, those of us who live in more liberal democracies as well as those who aspire to expand freedoms in their homelands. In short it includes all those who understand, that in the 21st century people have the right to espouse ideas and beliefs that may cause some of us displeasure and yes even pain. We understand though we may resent some opinions.

The assassins of Paris are the latest in a long list of people who have placed themselves beyond the pale. Yes, we tend to remember 9/11 and other such horrendous attacks, but the truth is that even attacks on people of different faiths, the bombing of buses and trains etc in the final analysis tell us one thing and one thing only- these are acts of aggression against our way of life. Consequently the conclusion is that now is the time for some serious thinking. How are we to overcome the challenge?

Now is the time for real cooperation. It behooves us to realize that when confronting this kind of terror, what we have in common is greater than our divergences. Are we ready to understand that we face a common threat that aims to destroy our way of life and not just register a tactical success? I have little doubt that our differences will not wither away. It is however a question of priorities.

As long as there are those who do not hide their aim of destroying a way of life that presupposes the coexistence of different opinions and faiths, our task is to ensure their malevolent schemes are frustrated. This is the Challenge that Evil places at our doorstep.”

President of the Zionist Federation of Australian Dr Danny Lamm said: “The Zionist Federation stands in solidarity with the French Jewish community who have faced yet another terrorist attack, this time resulting in the murder of four innocent people at a Parisian kosher supermarket. The terrorist, Coulibaly was encouraged by ISIS just as his accomplices, the Cheoub brothers, were encouraged by Al Qaeda in their terror actions against journalists and police at Charlie Hebdo. With a death toll of 17 across three terrible days, following so soon after Sydney and followed by a firebomb in Germany, we are potentially facing a spate of terror in Europe and around the world at a level we have not witnessed in recent decades.

We mourn the loss of all those murdered and send condolences to their families. We call for the French authorities to stand up to this ongoing terror just as Israel has had to for its entire existence.

The international community must now recognise the scourge it faces and be prepared to acknowledge from where the threat to international peace and civility emanates.”

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