B’nai B’rith World Center Director Alan Schneider represented BBI on January 13 in Jerusalem at the official funeral service for the four Jews murdered on January 9 in the Islamic terrorist attack on the Kosher market in Paris.
With the bodies lying in state and with thousands of mourners in attendance, President Reuven Rivlin said: “The murderer made sure to be in a Jewish shop, and only then did he carry out the massacre. This was pure, venomous evil, which stirs the very worst of memories. This is sheer hatred of Jews; abhorrent, dark and premeditated, which seeks to strike, wherever there is Jewish life. In Paris, in Jerusalem, in Toulouse, and in Tel Aviv. In Brussels, and in Mumbai. In the streets, and in the synagogues. It would be dangerous to deny that we are talking about anti-Semitism, whether old or new,” and called on European government to take immediate action.
He hailed the power and resilience of the Jewish people, who have “managed to rise from the ashes” to build “a thriving state” in which the Jews determine their own destiny.” Israel, he said, would always receive Jews “with open arms. The more Israel is the Jewish homeland and the more Jews there are here the stronger we will be in our homeland.”
French Ecology Minister Segolene Royal, representing the French government, said in her eulogy, that France will not tolerate anti-Semitism and will “unfailingly” fight it.
She declared that “Anti-Semitism has no place in France” and that she seeks to assure those assembled of the “unfailing determination of the French government to fight against all forms and acts of anti-Semitism,” noting that the four victims were posthumously decorated with the Legion of Honor.
Israel opposition leader Isaac Herzog note that his great grandfather was rabbi of a major Parisian synagogue, but that since then life had grown difficult for Jews. “We welcome you to Israel”, he said.