'Europe is lost', senior rabbi warns Spanish Jews

Meir Bar-Hen, the chief rabbi of Barcelona, advised Jewish people to move to Israel to flee from terror


Barcelona’s chief rabbi has advised Jews to move to Israel in the wake of the Spanish terror attacks, saying Europe has been “lost”  to the threat of radical Islam.

The attack in Barcelona last week, in which a van drove into pedestrians on Las Ramblas, claimed 13 lives and injured more than 100 people.

Eight hours later, a Spanish woman died and six people were hurt after a car rammed into a group of people in the coastal town of Cambrils.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for both attacks.

Meir Bar-Hen, the chief rabbi of Barcelona, said in an interview with Jewish news agency JTA that congregants should make aliyah to flee the terror.

He said: “I tell my congregants, ‘don’t think we’re here for good', and I encourage them to buy property in Israel.

“This place is lost. Don’t repeat the mistake of Algerian Jews, of Venezuelan Jews. Better (get out) early than late. Europe is lost.”

His statement was repudiated by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Spain, which said: “Spanish Jews trust the State Security Corps that work daily to prevent radical fanatics and Islamists from sowing chaos and pain in our cities.”

It has been reported that the terrorists had planned to explode three vans near Barcelona’s most popular tourist sites, including the Sagrada Familia cathedral.

But they were thwarted by an accidental detonation the previous night. 

European Jewish Congress President Dr. Moshe Kantor today called on the international community to "take stronger and more far-reaching steps" against those who support "Islamist terrorism" in the wake of a number of attacks across Europe this week.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive