February 15, 2015
Another community falls victim to the recent rise of anti-Semitic violence in Europe
Minneapolis, MN – Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement regarding the latest attack on a Jewish community in Europe:
“Since the start of the new year, two groups have found themselves targeted in Europe: satirists and Jews. First in Paris and now in Copenhagen, two of the foundational values of Western-style democracies have come under attack. The first is the freedom to identify openly and without fear as part of a religious or ethnic minority group; the second is the freedom of expression that permits satirical commentary about such groups.
“These attacks are not just attacking these individual communities, but the very foundations of freedom of expression, tolerance, and security that we have come to expect in Western-style democracies.
“There is never justification for attacks on innocent people and we are particularly upset about attacks based on anti-Semitism. The JCRC stands united with the victims, their families, and all of European Jewry during their hour of need. We hope that this recent attack will galvanize the world to take the steps needed to stem the tide of such violence and work towards a more tolerant future.
“We are thinking about the people of Denmark at this difficult time whom we know will unite in opposition to terrorism and the attack upon free speech, their fellow Jewish Danes and the police protecting the synagogue. We stand in solidarity with Denmark.”
“We also condemn the beheadings of Christian Egyptians in Libya. These attacks against some of the oldest Christian communities in the world, in the Middle East – the cradle of Christianity – only add to the depravity of these heinous acts. We offer our prayers for peace and restoration of calm and security for the people of Denmark, and all other victims of terrorism.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights anti-Semitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.