B’nai B’rith Condemns Attacks in Copenhagen on Synagogue and Free Speech Seminar; German Court Ruling in Synagogue Attack Seemingly Excuses Anti-Semitism
B’nai B’rith International has issued the following statement:
The weekend shooting attacks in Copenhagen on a synagogue and a free speech seminar are frighteningly similar to the January terror spree in Paris on the Charlie Hebdo newspaper and a kosher market.
Two people were killed in the Copenhagen attacks.
B’nai B’rith expresses our deepest condolences to the families and friends of the two men killed in the Copenhagen attacks: Dan Uzan, a 37-year-old member of the local Jewish community, who was serving as a volunteer guarding a synagogue during a bat mitzvah ceremony; and Finn Nørgaard, 55, who was attending the free speech seminar.
Recent attacks on Jewish sites in Europe indicate violence linked to anti-Semitism is becoming more common.
Just days earlier, a German court ruled the firebombing of a synagogue in Wuppertal was not anti-Semitism. Instead, the court determined the attack was meant to bring “attention to the Gaza conflict.”
The ruling sends a dangerous and troubling message that terrorists can hide blatant anti-Semitism behind a different label and escape punishment.
The two adult attackers and their 18-year-old accomplice in the Wuppertal firebombing were ordered to perform 200 hours of community service. The adults involved in the case each received suspended prison terms.
It is a perilous time as anti-Semitic attitudes increasingly masquerade as anti-Israel political statements. Violence against Jews and their houses of worship should be punished accordingly—as the hate crimes they are.