A leading rabbi has called on Europe “to face and fight this evil on all fronts” following this morning’s two suicide bombings in Brussels, which have killed at least 21.
Two explosions at Brussels Airport and one at Maelbeek Metro station, close to the EU headquarters in the city centre, have also left several injured, including one Israeli.
Chief Rabbi Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis said: “We are united in prayers at this hour with the family of the victims and the injured in Brussels.
“This latest act of war of Islamic fascism against the capital of Europe and against all the values and liberties it represents is another chapter of the struggle between the forces of light and of darkness in our time.
“As in the biblical story of Esther, which will be read in all the synagogues later this week, evil can and will be destroyed only by recognising it, and fighting it.
“A United Europe has to gather its strengths in unity and in determination to face and fight this evil on all fronts, in the media, on the borders, in the mosques and in the markets.”
Meanwhile, the European Jewish Congress issued a statement on “yet another shocking, appalling and deadly attack on innocent Europeans by radical terrorists.”
Dr Moshe Kantor, president of the EJC, said: “These attacks on an airport, train system and outside European Union institutions are shots at the heart of Europe.
“These are attacks against all that we stand for. All Europeans, regardless of background must stand together and expel this terror and intolerance from our midst.
“We can no longer ignore the fact that radical Islamists are at war with Europe and all Europeans and we call on our governments and law enforcement agencies to act accordingly.
“We have been exposed for too long and now we must strike back at the terrorist infrastructure including those who support it economically, and those who inspire and provide it legitimacy.”
A spokeswoman from the Jewish Museum in Belgium, where four were killed in terror attack two years ago, said: “Our feelings are the same as after the attack on our museum on 24 May 2014. We feel shock and sadness, but we have been on alert. We are thinking of the victims and of their family and friends.”