(Washington, D.C., Oct. 10, 2019)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement:
We condemn the vile anti-Semitic attack that took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, outside a synagogue and inside a kebab shop in Halle, Germany.
The shooter uploaded a graphic video to the Internet blaming Jews for immigration and feminism and showing off the weapons in his car before driving to the synagogue and shooting. He murdered two people and wounded an additional two. Only the synagogue’s security measures, which included locking the doors of the building, prevented a massacre inside the synagogue. German law enforcement eventually pursued the shooter and has him in custody. Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, and others expressed concern that the synagogue itself was not guarded by police and that police took more than 10 minutes to arrive at the synagogue.
This terrorist attack should be met with a renewed resolve of solidarity within the Jewish community and beyond. We also call on Twitch, the platform the shooter used to upload his video of the massacre, to more closely monitor the content that it allows to be live-streamed. More than 2,000 viewers watched the video of the shooting before it was taken down. Social media platforms must be held responsible for the hate they allow on their platforms.
B’nai B’rith International has advocated for global Jewry and championed the cause of human rights since 1843. B’nai B’rith is recognized as a vital voice in promoting Jewish unity and continuity, a staunch defender of the State of Israel, a tireless advocate on behalf of senior citizens and a leader in disaster relief. With a presence around the world, we are the Global Voice of the Jewish Community. Visit www.bnaibrith.or
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.
See where B'nai B'rith International stands on the issues.