PARIS (Sep. 11)
Jewish leaders from 20 countries urged the Western nations Thursday to wage all-out war against international terrorism including strikes at terrorist bases wherever they are.
The call for action was made at an urgent session of the European Jewish Congress (EJC) convened here by Edgar Bronfman, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), to implement measures for security and protection of synagogues and Jewish institutions in Europe as the High Holy Days approach.
The dangers were underlined by the terrorist attack on the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul last Saturday in which 21 Jews attending Sabbath services were killed.
“Terrorism should not be understood, it should be fought and eradicated,” Bronfman declared. Lionel Kopelowicz, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews and of the EJC, urged Jews not to “give in to terrorism. Show them that they cannot intimidate us.”
The meeting called on Jews worldwide to attend the upcoming holiday services in larger numbers than usual to demonstrate their defiance of the terrorist threat.
Israel Singer, secretary general of the WJC, accused Western governments of being “lax.” He observed that “Terrorists make good use of the Western World’s freedom. Our governments should act and act now. Today they (terrorists) are killing Jews. Tomorrow they will kill whole non-Jewish communities.”
Theo Klein, president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Organizations (CRIF), called for military measures against terrorists. “The West should strike at terrorist bases and training camps. They should not be allowed to feel secure anywhere,” he said.
Klein, who will assume the presidency of the EJC on October 1, did not specify what sort of targets he had in mind. “This will be the political responsibility of the various governments,” he said. “They and their intelligence services probably know enough to pinpoint the sites where the terrorists organize themselves and where they return after carrying out their murderous attacks.”
The WJC will hold other meetings throughout the United States on the dangers of terrorism. It will convene its Latin American branch for an extraordinary conference on the subject next month.