FULL COVERAGE IN THIS WEEK’S AJN.
IN the wake of the deadly terror attacks that gripped Paris last week, when Islamic extremists rained death on innocents claiming 17 lives, the outpouring of anguish and shows of defiance from across the globe have been singular and visceral.
The Parisian nightmare began last Wednesday when the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo were stormed by two gunmen affiliated with an al-Qaeda offshoot, who opened fire at an editorial meeting killing 12 staff members, including two Jews, Georges Wolinski and Elsa Cayat. Two days later, a local jihadi laid siege to the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, killing four Jewish shoppers, Yoav Hattab, Yohan Cohen, Philippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada.
This week, Australian Jewry mourns with its brothers and sisters around the globe. “Our prayers and our thoughts are with the victims of these savage crimes. We wish long life to the families of the murdered. We pray that those who have suffered recover fully in body and in soul from the trauma that has been senselessly inflicted upon them,” the Executive Council of Australia Jewry’s Robert Goot and Peter Wertheim wrote.
Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council executive director Colin Rubenstein and national chairman Mark Leibler described the attacks as more than “just evil massacres of innocent civilians going about their day’s activities”.
“The Charlie Hebdo attack was a vicious assault on the freedom of the press, one of the fundamental tenets of Western democracy. The supermarket attack was a vile racist assault on France’s entire Jewish community, with the victims murdered simply because they were Jews,” it continued.
The Zionist Federation of Australia’s Danny Lamm said his organisation stood “in solidarity with the French Jewish community who have faced yet another terrorist attack, this time resulting in the murder of four innocent people at a Parisian kosher supermarket”.
“With a death toll of 17 across three terrible days, following so soon after Sydney and followed by a firebomb in Germany, we are potentially facing a spate of terror in Europe and around the world at a level we have not witnessed in recent decades,” Lamm said.
Jennifer Huppert of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria said the attack on the kosher supermarket was “the latest in a series of anti-Semitic attacks in France and shows the dangers facing the Jewish community in Europe and around the world”.
“We call on all to reject hatred and intolerance, and to embrace mutual respect, dialogue and harmony,” Huppert added.
NSW Jewish Board of Deputies president Jeremy Spinak echoed her sentiments. “The appalling anti-Semitic attack at the kosher supermarket demonstrates yet again the many dangers that Jewish communities across Europe and the world face from Islamic extremism,” Spinak said.
People come to pay tribute to the hostage victims in front of HyperCacher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes. PHOTO: Olivier Hoslet.
- Jennifer Huppert
- Jeremy Spinak
- Robert Goot
- Peter Wertheim
- Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV)
- Danny Lamm
- NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD)
- Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA)
- Colin Rubenstein
- Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC)
- Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ)