In the 10 days following the brutal murders of three small children and a rabbi at a French Jewish school, there were 90 anti-Semitic hate crimes across France — a spike of 40%. “I used an Uzi, an Israeli pistol, to kill Israelis … I killed Jews in France as these are the same Jews who kill innocents in Palestine,” Mohamed Merah, the murderer boasted to police before dying.
Following a Cologne Judge's decision to criminalize the Jewish ritual of circumcision (brit milah), calls to ban circumcision have spread across Europe, and led anti-Semites in Germany to lodge criminal complaints against rabbis who have performed thousands of circumcisions.
In Holland, the SWC has urged the conservative Freedom Party’s leader to drop the party's national platform to ban the ritual slaughter of animals (shechita) emphasizing that such a ban
“will further encourage and empower anti-Semitism across Europe.”
|Germany’s Justice Minister Leuthuesser-Schnarrenberger with Dr. Shimon Samuels, SWC International Relations Director & Rabbi Abraham Cooper, SWC Associate Dean - August 2012|
|French Interior Minister Valls with Rabbi Cooper, Dr. Samuels and Richard Odier, President, SWC France - August 2012 |
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has taken direct action - visiting frontline Jewish communities and having face-to-face meetings with top political and intelligence officials, religious leaders, and briefings for the media:
• In Toulouse, Marseilles, Lyons and Paris: SWC officials met with government officials, police commanders, Jewish and Muslim community leaders, and victims and their families who were targeted for attacks because they are Jews
• In Berlin: Germany’s Justice Minister Sabine Leuthuesser-Schnarrenberger confirmed to SWC officials Germany’s commitment to insure the right of Jewish parents to circumcise their infant sons
• In Paris: France’s new Interior Minister Manuel Valls detailed to SWC officials his commitment to do what is necessary to protect French Jews and their institutions
• In Oslo: During a tense meeting with Norway's influential Ombudsman for Children’s Rights, who opposes circumcision, Center officials defended the historic rite of brit milah; later, State Secretary Larson promised Center officials and the President of Jewish community that no anti-circumcision bill will be passed
The situation in Europe is complex and fluid. We need you to be our partner so that we can continue to rapidly and effectively take action wherever and whenever it is called for.
As a supporter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, you will be:
1. Standing in solidarity with European Jewry and defending core Jewish values once again under attack across the continent.
2. Ensuring that the SWC can continue to effectively fight against anti-Semitism that effects Jews wherever they live.
Today, the situation in Europe is critical — please help ensure that the Simon Wiesenthal Center continues its effective frontline activities in Europe and beyond.