Too scared to go to shul

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY NAOMI FIRSHT

FRENCH JEWISH lead­ers have spo­ken of their height­ened fears fol­low­ing the atroc­i­ties in Paris a week and a half ago.

Roger Cukier­man pres­i­dent of Crif, France’s Jewish um­brella body, told French ra­dio RTL two days af­ter the at­tacks: “We are in a world war.”

Mr Cukier­man, who has body­guards and trav­els in an ar­moured ve­hi­cle, said the com­mu­nity “could not ask for more” from the gov­ern­ment.

Chief Rabbi of Brussels, Rabbi Avra­ham Guigui, said in a ra­dio in­ter­view that there was “no fu­ture for Jews in Europe”. Bel­gium, which has a Jewish pop­u­la­tion of 50,000, has been on lock­down over fears of a sim­i­lar at­tack.

Rabbi Guigui said: “There is a sense of fear in the streets, the Bel­gians understand that they too are tar­gets of terror. Jews now pray in their homes and some of them are plan­ning on em­i­grat­ing.

“Since Shab­bat the city has been paral­ysed. The sy­n­a­gogues were closed, some­thing which has not hap­pened since World War Two. We live in fear.”

How­ever, Rabbi Me­nachem Mar­golin from the Brussels-based Euro­pean Jewish As­so­ci­a­tion said Rabbi Guigui’s views may have been “wrongly in­ter­preted… We urge all Euro­pean rab­bis and com­mu­nity lead­ers to stand up in de­fence of the right of Euro­pean Jews to re­main in their his­toric home­lands.”

Also this week, the pres­i­dent of the Cen­tralCoun­cilof Jews­inGer­many,Josef Schus­ter, told Die Welt: “Many of the refugees are flee­ing Daesh and want to live in peace­and­free­dom,bu­tatthe­same­time they come from cul­tures where ha­tred of Jews and in­tol­er­ance are in­te­gral.”

Ac­cord­ing to Ger­man mag­a­zine Stern, Is­raeli in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cials tipped off their Ger­man coun­ter­parts last week about a planned at­tack on the HDI Arena in Hanover, where a foot­ball match be­tweenGer­manyandHol­land­was­due to take place. The game was can­celled, al­though no ex­plo­sives were found and no ar­rests were made.

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