Belgium’s Chief Rabbi: “There is no future for Jews in Europe”
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Belgium’s Chief Rabbi: “There is no future for Jews in Europe”

Synagogues in Brussels were closed on Shabbat for the first time since the Second World War after a terror threat forced a four-day lockdown in the city.

As tensions mounted, the city’s chief rabbi said Belgium’s 50,000 Jews were living in fear and that there was “no future” for Jews in Europe.

Rabbi Avraham Guigui said: “There is a sense of fear in the streets, they understand that they too are targets of terror. Jews now pray in their homes and some of them are planning on emigrating.”

He added: “There has been aliyah to Israel as well as emigration to Canada and the US… People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe.”

But stressing the opening of new shuls and schools around Europe, the European Jewish Association’s Rabbi Menachem Margolin said: “We urge all community leaders to stand up in defence of the right of European Jews to remain in their historic homelands should they choose to.”

Others noted the irony of friends in Israel showing their concern for people in Brussels. Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the AJC Transatlantic Institute, which is based in the city, said: “You know something has gone awfully wrong when you get phone calls from friends and family in Israel who are worried about your personal safety in Europe’s capital.”

He also expressed frustration at the reaction of city authorities, comparing it to the actions of Israeli authorities at the height of the second intifada.

“Not even when facing the most horrendous Palestinian terror wave in the early 2000s did Tel Aviv shut down public life or declare a state of emergency,” he said.

“Europe’s leaders, often busy criticising Israeli anti-terror techniques, would be well-advised to quickly call their colleagues in Jerusalem.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments