Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Op-Ed: If European Jews don’t feel safe, coming to Israel is clearly an option they should consider

Jerusalem Post editorial: Something rotten

What appears to be a European epidemic of Islamist attacks against Jewish targets and proponents of free speech continues unabated.

The latest terrorist attacks in Denmark on Saturday night first at an event at a Copenhagen cafe to promote freedom of speech and then on Copenhagen’s central synagogue had tragic consequences. Two people were killed, including Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old Jewish security guard at the synagogue, and Finn Nørgaard, a 55-year-old Danish film director attending the event entitled “Art, Blasphemy and Freedom of Expression,” while five police officers were wounded. [...]

“I dare not think about what would have happened if [the killer] had access to the congregation,” Copenhagen Jewish community leader Dan Rosenberg Asmussen told Denmark’s TV 2 News.

Like last month’s murderous onslaught at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris, Saturday’s synagogue atrocity was a targeted attack on Europe’s Jews. Just as he did following the Paris attack in a speech to the French Jewish community, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed to European Jews, including those in Denmark, to make aliya.

“Jews were killed on European land just because they were Jewish,” Netanyahu said. “This wave of attacks will continue. I say to the Jews of Europe: Israel is your home.”

And just like after his appeal in France, Netanyahu’s statements were met with criticism, including from Denmark’s Chief Rabbi Yair Melchior. “Terror is not a reason to move to Israel,” he said.  [...]

Although Denmark has generally maintained a safe and friendly environment for minorities, the World Jewish Congress estimates that only 6,400 Jews are left in the country today (from a peak of more than 8,000 who were evacuated before the Holocaust). Some have left as a result of a rise in anti-Semitism over the last decade; over 40 anti-Semitic incidents have been reported annually over the last few years. Denmark, which became the first Scandinavian country to accept Jewish immigrants in the 17th century, has become a very dangerous place for Jews today. [...]

While Melchior may be right when he suggests that the answer to terrorism is to stay and fight, if European Jews don’t feel safe, coming to Israel is clearly an option that they should consider.

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