“The Simon Wiesenthal Center mourns the loss of the hostages taken at the kosher market in Paris. The world can no longer pretend that Islamist fundamentalists consist of a few isolatedcells. They have millions of adherents around the world of Muslim communities. These horrors will not end until our political leaders come up with a global plan to identify, root out and destroy the cancer of Islamist extremism and until responsible leaders – religious and secular – go on the offensive against their co-religionists who murder and maim innocents in the name of Allah,” stated Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
At a press conference this morning at the Wiesenthal Center’s Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles Police Department’s Chief Michael Downing (pictured, left at podium) said in part, “Police and Intelligence alone cannot win this war. We need the participation of all religious leaders who, as the rabbis pointed out, must explicitly condemn such an ideology.”
Also present was Israeli Chief Rabbi David Lau who said, “We ask all women to light a candle tonight for people around the world.”
Earlier reaction on the ground from Dr. Shimon Samuels, Paris-based Director for International Relations of the Simon Wiesenthal Center:
“The Jewish community feels itself on the edge of a seething volcano. Hostages in a Kosher supermarket held by an African Jihadist, who reportedly already killed two victims. Those held are mainly women and children. On the other side of the city’s suburbs, the two murders of the Charlie Hebdo atrocity are holed up with at least one hostage. The supermarket terrorist is identified as an associate of the other two. He was responsible for killing a policewoman yesterday in southern Paris. The scenes are out of a war movie, surrounded by police and special forces. But the war is undeclared as long as the sickness is not publicly named as a State of Emergency. A culture of excuse exonerates the perpetrators as “disaffected, alienated, frustrated, unemployed.” No other group of frustrated unemployed has resorted to such behavior. Until politicians and media define the problem as Jihadism, remote-controlled from mosques in France and not only the Middle East, the cancer will not be isolated and destroyed. The seething volcano is covered by a flimsy blanket of denial. The Jewish community knows only too well the impact of an explosion. We pray this Shabbat for the hostages and calm for next week.”