B’nai B’rith International condemns today’s heinous shooting outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France. Three students and one teacher at the Ozar Hatorah School were reportedly killed in the shooting by a man riding a motorcycle. Before fleeing the scene, the shooter reportedly entered the building and fired at other students and teachers. Press reports indicate that the dead were a teacher and his two sons as well as the daughter of the school’s principal.
B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs called the attack “a despicable act.” He continued: “Violence in any form is reprehensible, but for it to take place at a school is especially horrendous. Our hearts go out to the victims, and we pray for the recovery of those injured. The future of the Jewish community is dependent upon nurturing the Jewish identity of our young people. We are confident that this cowardly act will serve to strengthen the commitment of the French Jewish community toward that goal.”
Welcoming the statement by French President Nicolas Sarkozy that the attack was “a national tragedy,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said, “We welcome the immediate response by the French government and President Sarkozy’s visit to Toulouse. We are hopeful that the authorities will make urgent efforts to capture the gunman then prosecute him to the full extent of the law.”
B’nai B’rith International, with members in 50 countries, including France, is an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, one of the leading voices for preservation and protection of human rights in Europe.