Unacceptable that Jews afraid in Europe: Israel president

13th January 2015, Comments 0 comments

It is unacceptable that Jews fear to walk the streets of Europe seven decades after the Nazi Holocaust, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said Tuesday at a funeral for victims of an Islamist attack in Paris.

"We cannot allow that in 2015, 70 years since the end of World War II, Jews are afraid to walk in the streets of Europe with skullcaps and tzitzit," he said of the traditional headcovering and prayer garments worn by religious Jews.

The Friday attack by an Islamist gunman on a kosher supermarket, which killed Yoav Hattab, 22, Philippe Braham, 45, Yohan Cohen, 23, and Francois-Michel Saada, 64, has left the Jewish community in both France and Israel badly shaken.

"While the last weeks and months have proven that terror does not discriminate between blood, we cannot escape the fact that this terrorism explicitly targets the Jewish people," Rivlin said.

Rivlin stressed however that while Israel was the ancestral home for all Jews, returning to it "need not be due to distress, out of desperation, because of destruction, or in the throes of terror and fear."

"We want you to choose Israel, because of a love for Israel," he added.

© 2015 AFP

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