November 15, 2015 Agencies
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World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder has expressed “shock and outrage” at the terrorist attacks in Paris, calling them “an unspeakable crime against humanity.” On behalf of world Jewry, Lauder expressed his deep condolences to the French people in a message sent to President François Hollande.

Lauder said the attacks “represent one of the most sickening forms of human violence one can imagine.”

He went on to write: “These events affect and touch each and every one of us. The fact that in the middle of a European capital suicide bombers cause such carnage in the 21st century is shocking and heart-breaking.

bataclan“Just as the September 2001 attacks were deliberately targeted at New York’s Twin Towers, it was no coincidence that Paris, the City of Light, was chosen by the IS terrorists as the place of this latest bloodbath.

“For centuries, the citizens of this great city have been at the forefront of the fight for freedom and democracy, against slavery and fanaticism. Paris has always been, and will always be, one of the symbols for the freedoms we can enjoy today.

“This is the time for the world to stand united against this common enemy, in grief and in resolve. Leaders of all creeds, political colors and nationalities must now come together and act. Just as you spoke out earlier today, the world too must not be silent in the face of this threat. We must all denounce loudly and clearly this threat and confront it.

“These terrorists do not have the slightest respect for basic universal values. They must be defeated. There cannot be any compromise. This is a war we must win, and win it we will.

“The French Republic is strong, the French people are strong, and your government is strong.

“I have no doubt that you and your government will contend with this menace in the appropriate way. Rest assured that in this endeavor you have the support of the Jewish people and the entire free world. Our common values are stronger than those of the terrorists. Our common values will prevail.

“I think I speak on behalf of millions of Jews around the world, who are today grieving with your people, when I say: Bon courage, Monsieur le Président ! We stand with you ! Vive la République! Vive la France!,” concluded Lauder.

In what was the worst terror attack on France territory in modern history, assaults were launched simultaneously in six different locations across Paris, targeting concert-goers, restaurant guests and soccer fans at France’s main sports stadium.

At least 87 people were butchered at a rock concert after being held hostage by the terrorists. Dozens more were killed in explosions and shootings nearby. France declared an immediate state of emergency and closed its borders for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

 In Australia, president of The Executive Council of Australian Jewry Robert Goot told J-Wire: “The Australian Jewish community is  shocked, horrified and revulsed by Friday night’s brutal and barbaric attacks on citizens in Paris, in yet another murderous terrorist outrage. Our thoughts are with the families of the more than 120 innocent victims  and with the more than 200 wounded.We express the profound hope that authorities in France and elsewhere will leave no stone unturned in rooting out the scourge of terrorism in their countries and that the Australian and state governments will continue to take all steps necessary to limit the potential for any acts of terrorism by Islamic State and its deluded followers and supporters, on our shores.”

Stephen Goodman, the president of the New Zealand Jewish Council, said: “The New Zealand Jewish Council condemns the terrorist attacks against the citizens of France.  Such actions cannot be tolerated by the civilized world.  While the leaders of most countries are expressing their outrage at this senseless violence we would, however, point to their silence over almost daily stabbings and other terrorist attacks suffered in Israel.  Is now the time for the world to finally take action against all forms of terrorism both large scale and individual?

In Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “On behalf of the people and Government of Israel, I extend our deepest sympathies to the people of France and to the families of those who were brutally murdered in Paris last night. We also extend our wishes for a speedy recovery to the wounded.

Israel stands shoulder-to-shoulder with France in this common battle against militant Islamic terrorism. I’ve instructed Israel’s security and intelligence forces to assist their French counterparts and their counterparts from other European countries in any way possible.

Terrorism is the deliberate and systematic targeting of civilians. It can never be justified. Terrorism must always be condemned. It must always be fought. Innocent people in Paris, like those in London, Madrid, Mumbai, Buenos Aires and Jerusalem, are the victims of militant Islamic terrorism, not its cause. As I’ve said for many years, militant Islamic terrorism attacks our societies because it wants to destroy our civilization and our values.

I call on the entire civilized world to unite to defeat the plague of worldwide terrorism. An attack on any one of us should be seen as an attack on all of us. All terrorism must be condemned and fought equally with unwavering determination. It’s only with this moral clarity that the forces of civilization will defeat the savagery of terrorism.”

President Reuven Rivlin added: “We are deeply grieved by the murderous terrorist attack yesterday, in the heart of Paris. On behalf of the citizens of Israel, I send my sincere condolences to the French people and to the families who lost their loved ones.

The State of Israel stands alongside you in your uncompromising struggle against terrorism.

Terrorism strikes indiscriminately, striking and killing the innocent. We, citizens of the free world, in the face of this threat, we stand united in our struggle against those who seek to kill and maim, and to use violence and destruction.
Our prayers are with the injured for a swift and full recovery.”

And a poignant message in French from former president Shimon Peres:

Monsieur le President, Cher Francois Hollande

Chers amis francais

Ce soir nous sommes tous francais.

Votre douleur est la notre.

Votre combat est le notre.

Votre espoir et le notre.

Vos valeurs sont les notres.

Vous avez toujours ete et serez toujours a la pointe du combat contre la barbarie.

Vous etes la cavalerie humaine qui ouvre le chemin vers la liberte et vers la paix.

Le terrorisme ne connait ni frontiers ni morale et nous sommes dans une guerre sans compromission possible, pour stopper ces atrocities.

Tous les citoyens d’Israel presentment leurs condoleances sinceres auz familles des victims et prient depuis Jerusalem pour un prompt retablissement des blesses.

En ces jours difficiles nous sommes tous unis au cote de la republique francaise.

La France sera victorieuse. La France restera toujours une grande nation.

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