FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 9, 2019
Press Release: Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA and CIJA horrified by attack on synagogue in Germany
Ottawa, ON—Earlier today, a heavily armed gunman attempted to enter a synagogue in the German city of Halle as the local Jewish community gathered inside for Yom Kippur. After failing to gain entry, the gunman proceeded to fire at people on the street killing a woman in the vicinity of the city’s Jewish cemetery and a man in a small Turkish restaurant nearby. The perpetrator, who live-streamed the attack, was uttering antisemitic and xenophobic statements throughout. The police have arrested a 27-year old German man. The German federal prosecutor suspects the killer was motivated by antisemitism and far-right ideology.
In response, Michael Frankel, Chair of Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA, and Joel Reitman and Jeffrey L. Rosenthal, Co-Chairs of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA), issued the following:
“We are heartbroken, shocked, and furious to learn that the Jewish community of Halle was the target of a murderous antisemitic attack. We grieve the loss of the two bystanders whose lives were torn from them and we extend our deepest condolences to their families. We wish a full and speedy recovery to the wounded,” said Michael Frankel.
“CIJA is deeply troubled by the deteriorating security situation faced by the Jewish community in Germany where antisemitic assaults have been rising for the past two years. We join our partners from the Central Council of Jews in Germany in calling on German authorities for heightened police security around Jewish institutions in the country,” added Joel Reitman.
“The CIJA security team, as managers of the National Community Security Program, remain in close contact with Canadian law enforcement who have indicated that a there is no information to suggest an elevated threat level in Canada. As a precaution, police have increased patrols around Jewish institutions. Even though there is no indication of an elevated threat, there always remains the possibility of copy-cat attacks. We therefore urge members of the Jewish community to remain vigilant, follow established community security protocols, and continue with the normal activities of life. If you see something suspicious, report it to police immediately. Should the security situation change, we will notify our community through all our channels,” added Jeff Rosenthal.
- CIJA has been in direct contact with Facebook who has condemned the attack and “are working to identify, remove, and block any instances of the shooter’s video from appearing on Facebook and Instagram. We are also adding each video we find to a database which enables us to detect and automatically remove copies when uploaded again.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA.