European Jewish leaders call for new legislation

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt

on a visit to London this week, the Chief Rabbi of Moscow and President of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt, called on the European Parliament to boost security for threatened minorities in the wake of the killings in Toulouse.

The rabbi also announced that, in the light of the terror attacks, the Conference of European Rabbis would establish a new Europe-wide foundation to fund better protection for the Jewish communities of Eastern and Central Europe, where there is currently very little security infrastructure.

"We all have a responsibility to look beyond our own immediate communities.

"We call on the philanthropists, foundations and trusts to recognise that there is a huge need to contribute more to greater security for Jewish communities," he said.

Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, echoed Rabbi Goldschmidt's remarks on the EU.

"If some measure of good can come from the devastation at the Ozar Hatorah school, it is for European legislators to immediately readdress the necessity for tougher legislation against hate and racial crimes," Mr Kantor said.

"In addition, the authorities need to be given greater powers to act against any forms of hate and intolerance."

Mr Kantor said that all the messages of sympathy and soul-searching should be used to drive forward overdue EU legislation.

"In 2008, the EU Commission called on all EU member states to adopt legislation that would combat hate and intolerance in their own legal systems. However, three years later, none has done so. There is no time to waste, the souls of four murdered Jews are crying out to European legislators to act now and act firm."

Mr Kantor also praised the French government and authorities for their reaction to the events in Toulouse.

Last updated: 4:27pm, March 22 2012