"We're afraid to go to synagogue" says Belgian chief rabbi


European 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 Central Council of Jews in Germany, Josef Schuster, told Die Welt: “Many of the refugees are fleeing Daesh and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time 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 between Germany and Holland was due to take place. The game was cancelled, although no explosives were found and no arrests were made.

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