Tuesday, November 12, 2013

President of the CeR: Jews caught between Islam and intolerant Europe

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, President of the Conference of European Rabbis, spoke at the organization's conference, currently held in Berlin.  Rabbi Goldschmidt spoke on the topic "Is There a Future for Jewish Life in Europe?"

(translation from Kikar Hashabat, if anybody has the original, please post in comments)

I want to be very clear about what's happening in Europe today - the Muslim presence is only growing and is reaching unprecedented proportions. In France today more Muslims go to the mosque than Christians go to Church. 
Everybody feels that there's a war between Christianity and Islam. They're wrong.  There's a war between Islam and an anti-religious, intolerant Europe.  We Jews are caught in the middle, we understand the war is not against us, but as a lesson of the past, you have to stop these serious phenomenon which are threatening the foundations of our existence.  These initiatives are not void of antisemitism, and you owe it first and foremost to yourselves.

Thorbjørn Jagland,  Secretary General of the Council of Europe, also spoke to the forum.  Rabbi Goldschmidt told him: "Thank you for coming and reminding us that Jews are still wanted in Europe, and that European institutions will act to preserve Jewish rights in the continent."

Update: JTA reports Rabbi Goldschmidt said:
European Jewry is “the collateral damage in this anti-Muslim offensive,” he said.

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