Friday, 16 January 2015

What's in the Headlines?

Rabbi urges Europe to arm Jewish communities

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the director of the European Jewish Association, the largest Jewish federation in Europe, has called on the European governments to allow synagogues, kosher shops and Jewish property to be authorised to carry guns in response to fears of rising anti-Semitism.

“The Paris attacks, as well as the many challenges and threats which have been presented to the European Jewish community in recent years, have revealed the urgent need to stop talking and start acting,” says a letter written this week by Rabbi Menachem Margolin

Newsweek magazine’s Catherine Phillips asked for clarification from Margolin. The Rabbi told her that as many people within the Jewish community as possible should carry weapons. He told her that a license to carry would provide people in the Jewish community with a sense of security that is sorely lacking in Europe, particularly in light of recent events.

One of those critical of Margolin’s proposal is Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, who said that a handgun would have been of little value in the Paris shootings:
As to personally being armed, such a move could help when a Jewish person is threatened by thugs, but won’t help if — God forbid — Charlie-type terror attacks are launched.

A delegation from the European Jewish Congress spoke to EU foreign policy Chief Federica Mogherini on Wednesday, calling on Brussels to create a pan-European body to combat anti-Semitism.

“Now more than ever, the European Union needs to create a position and organization specifically geared toward finding long-lasting solutions for anti-Semitism and other forms of racism,” EJC president Dr Moshe Kantor said.

Kantor added that it is “incumbent on the European Union to urgently place combating anti-Semitism as one of its highest priorities because this is a hatred that transcends borders and cannot be dealt with by any single nation on its own.”

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