European rabbis to security chiefs: Jews being ‘targeted from all sides’

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European rabbis to security chiefs: Jews being ‘targeted from all sides’

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt tells the Munich Security Conference Jews face threats from Islamic terrorism and the extreme right and left

An orthodox Jew and a boy pass two police officers in Antwerp, Belgium,   2014.  (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)
An orthodox Jew and a boy pass two police officers in Antwerp, Belgium, 2014. (AP Photo/Yves Logghe)

A European rabbinical group has told policy-makers at a prestigious security conference in Munich that Jews are being “targeted from all sides,” in a panel discussion on extremism.

The breakfast debate at the Munich Security Conference heard from Pinchas Goldschmidt, Moscow’s chief rabbi and president of the Conference of European Rabbis, alongside former Israeli foreign minister Tvipi Livni and security analysts.

“The Jewish community finds itself targeted from a number of directions; from the extreme right, the extreme left and Islamic terrorism,” said Goldschmidt.

“Many Jews in Europe feel themselves being targeted from all sides… At the back of almost every Jew’s mind is the possibility of what could happen. Sadly, in Copenhagen, Brussels and Paris, that became a reality.”

Dr Peter Neumann, director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, said: “Jews are a priority target. They are the first ones to be targeted. If Jews are being targeted then all citizens should be worried because there is more to come.”

The high-profile conference also heard from new U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and Defence Secretary Gen. James Mattis, together with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.

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