WJC welcomes Paris municipality’s tribute to Jewish children murdered in Toulouse

World Jewish Congress has welcomed a decision of the Paris municipality to dedicate a memory of three children murdered by an Islamist gunman at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.

The names of Arie and Gabriel Sandler and Myriam Monsonego will be honoured on a plague but will act as a reminder that anti-Semitism must be fought.

“Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo and the city of Paris have extended a worthy and sympathetic tribute to the three children who were brutally murdered in an act of ruthless terror in Toulouse, their lives cut short before they even began, simply because they were Jewish,” noted WJC President Ronald S. Lauder.

“Going forward, all visitors to this square will have the opportunity to honour the vibrant lives that were snuffed out in pure hatred and remember that antisemitism is alive and well in France.

“Successive French governments have declared their commitment to fighting anti-Semitism and terror. Let this plaque serve as a permanent reminder of the horrors that can occur when hatred continues unbridled.  We hope to see a similar gesture enacted in Toulouse where these children lived and died.”

In other news, WJC are outraged at Al-Jazeera network’s decision to publish an offensive article accusing Jews of exploiting the Holocaust for their own interests.

The network removed the anti-Semitic piece after protests from Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated it crossed all lines of decency and entered into realm of blood libel.

“Al-Jazeera has long been known for its anti-Israel stance and sympathy for Palestinians, but this drivel, which repeats some of the favourite neo-Nazi tropes regarding Jews and the Holocaust, is beyond comprehension and demonstrates conclusively that whatever journalistic standards it might once have had have been reduced to below zero,” noted a WJC spokesman.

“Young people all over the world receive their information about history and current events from news outlets such as Al-Jazeera. How could we possibly be surprised by the surge of anti-Zionism and its direct equation with antisemitism when networks such as Al-Jazeera abuse their influence as the educators of today’s youth?”

WJC have however praised a symbolic motion passed by the German Bundestag defining the BDS movement as anti-Semitic. They have also called on government bodies to stop funding or supporting groups questioning Israel’s right to exist.

The motion was supported by Angela Merkel’s CDU, social-democrat SPD, Green Party and Free Democrats. 
“The German parliament has taken a welcome leading step today in approving this unprecedented motion, setting a strong example to other governments in Europe on contending with the funding for groups which call Israel’s right to exist into question and promote agendas which run contrary to European values and the quest for peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” said Lauder.

“While this particular motion in Germany is not legally binding, it is a moral gesture worthy of emulation, and we hope to see progress in the implementation of its aims going forward.”

By Natalie Ash