European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor condemned the belief and ideology of those who killed three children and a father in Toulouse who are being buried in Israel today.
“The same twisted ideology that executed children at a school in Toulouse is the same ideology that can slaughter a baby in Itamar and target children on their way to school in Sderot,” Kantor said, referring to the massacre in the Israeli settlement a year ago and the incessant rocket attacks launched by Gazan-based terrorists into southern Israel. “This massacre sends a clear message that this is not about a supposed oppression or occupation, it is about an adulterated hate of Jews and Jewish children.”
“This ideology has to be stamped out at all levels, we need to hear clearly that that there will be no tolerance and no justification for the intolerant and extremists. Those who try and equate or justify the murder of Jewish children by placing it in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be roundly condemned.”
He said that the greatest tribute that can be made for the victims and their families is to significantly toughen legislation and enforcement against hate crimes.
“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,” Kantor said. “In addition, the authorities need to be given greater powers to act against any forms of hate and intolerance.”
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 model legislation to combat hate and intolerance in their own legal systems. However, three years later none have done so,” Kantor said. “There is no time to waste, the souls of four murdered Jews are crying out to European legislators to act now and act firm.”
“We have to look for new and innovative ways to act against intolerance and look for ways for all the relevant agencies to work together to stamp out hate.”
Kantor also praised the French government and authorities for their reaction to the events.
“The Jewish community is receiving a measure of comfort by the actions of President Sarkozy and the French authorities in their handling of this tragic massacre,” Kantor said. “I know they have spared no efforts to bring the perpetrator to justice and that the election campaign has been put on hold is a testament to the depth of feeling that has developed after the shooting.”