Paris: The Jewish world sends condolences

January 8, 2015 Agencies
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Israeli, Australasian and other world leaders have sent condolences following the terrorist attack on the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo which has resulted in 12 deaths.

Georges Wolinski

Georges Wolinski

One of the dead was 80-yr-old Georges Wolinski a well-known Jewish cartoonist who had worked for French magazine Paris Match.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin sent the following message to his French counterpart President Hollande :

Reuven Rivlin     Photo: Henry Benjamin

Reuven Rivlin Photo: Henry Benjamin

“I was shocked and saddened to learn of the brutal terrorist attack at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. On behalf of the people of Israel I would like to offer our sincere condolences to the people of France and to its leaders.

“We all, throughout the free world, face the threat of terrorism and must stand united in the fight against those who seek to stifle free thought and continue to destroy the lives of so many. Sadly, I am no stranger to the horror and grief that follows such murderous attacks.”We stand with France in its determination to safeguard freedom of speech and the freedom of the press, that are central pillars of any democracy.”Please convey my deepest sympathy to the bereaved families and our wishes for a speedy recovery to all the injured.”
Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, has made the following comment:
“The people of Israel send their condolences to the people of France over the brutal acts of savagery in the heart of Paris today.

Benjamin Netanyahu

The attacks of radical Islam know no boundaries – these are international attacks and the response has to be international. The terrorists want to destroy our freedoms and our civilization. And therefore, all the free countries and all the civilized societies have to band together to fight this scourge. And if we stand together and if we are not divided, then we can defeat this tyranny that seeks to extinguish all our freedoms.

I wish once again to express the sympathy that all the citizens of Israel feel for the people of France and for the grieving families. We are experiencing these attacks time and again, we know the pain but we also know the resolution with which free societies can defeat terror – however dreadful, however threatening.”

 Former Israeli president Shimon Peres wrote: “The hearts of our citizens are with the French people today.

Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres

France, as a country which established freedom at the very core of its values, was attacked today.

We share the grief of the families of the many victims of this atrocity. They were soldiers for freedom who fell in the line of duty.

This is a real battle between the enlightened world which strives for freedom, and the dark realms which resort to indiscriminate killings.

The choice before us is clear – freedom or terror. The two cannot coexist. I am convinced that despite the pain, freedom will prevail. All of us, everywhere, must join the effort to cut off the head of the snake”.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott sent this message:

“The Government condemns the atrocity in Paris overnight.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

The thoughts of all Australians are with the families of those who have lost their lives in this barbaric act.

Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a free society.

The Government will continue to do all it can to protect our community from terrorism.

Our National Terrorism Alert level remains at High, which means a terrorist attack is likely.

Our security agencies are assessing the situation for security implications to Australia but there is no information to suggest that there is an imminent threat to Australia as a result of the Paris atrocity.

All Australians should remain vigilant, and again, I urge people who see or hear something that they feel is not right, to contact the National Security Hotline immediately on 1800 123 400.

Australia stands with the people and the government of France at this difficult time.”

From the Jewish world:

World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder reacted with shock to the massacre of at least 12 people in the Paris offices of the weekly satirical magazine ‘CharlieHebdo’ on Wednesday, which was reportedly carried out by Islamist terrorists identifying themselves as al-Qaeda members. Lauder condemned the attack as “a heinous act of terror aimed at the free press in France and beyond.” He urged the West to stand united against this menace and act strongly against all those who spread hatred and intolerance in our societies.In 2011, CharlieHebdo published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and its offices were firebombed and have since been under police surveillance.“Three years after the massacre at a Jewish school in Toulouse, and eight months after the deadly attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels,were are faced with yet another brutal Islamist terror attack in Western Europe. This time, the target was the media, but it affects all of us. We must not be intimidated by their campaign and must uphold and defend our Western values, including that of freedom of expression,” Lauder declared.Roger Cukierman, president of the French Jewish umbrella body CRIF and a vice-president of the World Jewish Congress, also strongly condemned the terrorist attack. “Today, France is in shock. We mourn the victims of this despicable crime and send our condolences to their families.“This attack requires a strong and determined response not just by France, but by the European Union as a whole. There are people – a small minority, but a dangerous one nonetheless – living in our midst who cannot stand openness, diversity, a pluralistic press and freedom of religious worship. Islamist terrorism is the main threat to our security and well-being today, and it must be fought vigorously everywhere because it is a poison for our societies,” Cukierman said.
In Australia a joint statement was issued by the president and the executive director of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry.
Robert Goot and Peter Wertheim said: “The Australian Jewish community condemns in the strongest terms the cowardly and evil murders of media workers and police officers and the wounding of many others by terrorist gunmen yesterday in Paris.Although many of the facts are not yet publicly known, it is evident that the shootings were wanton acts of terrorism committed in the name of Islam. Further, the primary victims of the attack were cartoonists and journalists, and the ultimate targets were therefore freedom of expression and freedom itself.We affirm that ideas of any kind – religious, political, ideological or philosophical – are and should be capable of being debated and defended. Robust critiques, including satirisation, of ideas of any kind, no matter how passionately adhered to, do not constitute a form of social exclusion of those who adhere to them. Violence can never be a legitimate response to such critiques, under any circumstances.

We pray for the souls of those were killed and share in the sorrow, grief and revulsion caused by the heinous crime which claimed their lives, including the life of a member of the French Jewish community. May their families be granted strength at this time of great pain and may the survivors have a complete and speedy recovery, physically and emotionally.”

The B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission and B’nai B’rith ANZ have expressed their sincere and deepest condolences to the 12 victims, their families and to the French nation following the senseless and brutal massacre in the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris.

Dr. Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission and Morris Tobias, President of BBANZ issued the following statement:

“We are deeply horrified and saddened by this heinous and barbaric terrorist attack. This despicable and cold-blooded massacre was an assault on the values of free speech, tolerance, diversity, and democracy. Our heartfelt thoughts, sympathies and prayers are with the families and loved ones of the victims and those injured. This is a time for us to stand together and combat extremism and global terrorism whenever and wherever they appear. On this black day of grief and mourning, we affirm our solidarity with the French people and nation.

Today, are we are all Je Suis Charlie.”

Dr Abramovich and Morris Tobias will be sending a letter to French Ambassador in Australia H.E Christophe Lecourtier extending their thoughts and sympathies to those affected and to the French people and government.

Stephen Goodman of the New Zealand Jewish Council added: “We join with other organisation around the world in condemning this terrorist act, express our sympathy to the families of the victims, and hope that the perpetrators are dealt with swiftly.”

From Dr Danny Lamm, president of the Zionist Federation of Australia: “The Zionist Federation of Australia condemns the brutal terrorist attack that took place in the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the 12 victims whose lives were taken at the hands of terrorists who burst through the office doors on a savage, murderous rampage.

Once again, Islamist extremist ideology has motivated terror, this time in a flagrant attack on citizens and on fundamental principles of democratic society, freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Islamist terror is one unfortunately familiar to Israel, where terror attacks on civilians have been an all too frequent occurrence. As we saw last month in Sydney, this terror has no boundaries and represents a threat to western society and to the precepts of individual freedom and the value of human life we hold dear. Similarly, the response to terror needs to be united and global.

As in the Lindt store incident Sydney, one of the suspects of the Paris attack was known to police for his extreme views and actions. Associated Press reported in 2008 that Cherif Kouachi, one of the suspected terrorists, had been sentenced to three years in prison in Paris for helping to funnel prospective jihadi fighters from France to Iraq, a term of which he served 18 months.

Our thoughts go out to the people of France and in particular those injured and affected by the attack.

From Mark Leibler National Chairman of The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council and its executive director Dr Colin Rubenstein: “We are appalled by this barbaric and heinous attack on the offices of the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo in Paris. It was not just an evil massacre of innocent civilians going about their day’s work, but a vicious assault on the freedom of the press, one of the fundamental tenets of Western democracy. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families, friends and colleagues of those so brutally murdered and our wishes for a speedy recovery for all those wounded, and hope that the perpetrators and all who assisted them are swiftly brought to justice. This attack once again reinforces the dangers posed to the entire international community by the dark forces of Islamist extremism in all its guises, and the need to act with resolve to counter them wherever they lurk.”



One Response to “Paris: The Jewish world sends condolences”
  1. Lizzie Moore says:

    Yes, very well said. This is Paris. Sure, the French have absorbed a great many Muslims from its former Mahgreb and Levant colonies but its still a shock. One understands that two of the suspects, brothers, were born in Paris. One or more of the London bombers were born in Yorkshire and from quite comfortable circumstances. The body language, the confidence, they way they carried their weapons when just about to get into their little black car [in Paris]: they looked as though they had the training of professional soldiers.

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