European group seeks 24/7 protection at Jewish institutions
Feb. 15, 2015
BRUSSELS (AP) — A European Jewish organization on Sunday demanded round-the-clock protection at Jewish institutions following the shooting attacks in Denmark at a synagogue and free speech event that left two people dead.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, general director of the European Jewish Association, accused European Union leaders of not doing enough to combat anti-Semitic attacks and prejudices. In a statement, Margolin said there was a need to "secure all Jewish institutions 24/7," and demanded European governments and EU institutions take action.
On Thursday, EU leaders agreed to dramatically step up cooperation in the counter-terrorism field, following the attacks in Paris last month that killed 17 victims. One of the targets in the Paris attacks was a kosher supermarket where four hostages, all of them Jewish, were killed.
The three gunmen involved in the Paris attacks, all of whom were shot dead by police, claimed to be acting on behalf of extremist Muslim organizations.
Following Saturday's attacks in Denmark, EU President Donald Tusk said the latest acts of violence would only strengthen Europeans' resolve to fight all kinds of extremism and terrorism.
"We will press forward with our new agreed priorities in the fight against terrorism," Tusk said in a statement. "We will face this threat together."
Fears of a new wave of violent anti-Semitism in Europe were sparked last May by an armed attack on the Jewish museum in Brussels in which four people died. Margolin accused EU leaders of burying their heads "in the sand," and called for establishment of a Europe-wide task force to beef up protection of Jewish institutions and reinforce educational efforts against what he called "rampant anti-Semitism."
"European leaders need to support us in fighting the battle on terror in our homeland," the leader of the Brussels-based Jewish association said.