(JTA) — The chief rabbi of Brussels said there is no future for Jews in Europe, spurring criticism from the head of a European Jewish group.
Rabbi Avraham Gigi told an Israeli radio station on Monday about the sense of fear on the streets in Belgium and added, “People understand there is no future for Jews in Europe.” Gigi also stressed the importance of aliyah to Israel, though he added that Jews should move there out of love for the country, not fear.
In a statement issued Tuesday, Rabbi Menachem Margolin, director of the European Jewish Association, said his organization “is determined to continue our work to ensure that the 3 million Jews who live on our continent can continue to command a safe home and to be able to freely and proudly identify themselves as Jews.”
Margolin stressed the development of Jewish communities across Europe, including the opening of new synagogues, Jewish schools and other community institutions.
“We urge all European rabbis and community leaders to stand up in defense of the right of European Jews to remain in their historic homelands should they choose to, to support and encourage their pride in their European heritage and to similarly fight for their safety and security, as G-d forbid we should instill yet more fear in already very worrying times,” he said.