In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris last week in which 17 people were killed in the offices of the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, World Jewish Congress chairman Ron Lauder met with the Prime Minster of France, Francois Hollande, about increasing security at Jewish sites and preventative measures against terrorism, as reported by JWire.
Many of France’s Jews are wondering whether they should stay in France or leave for other countries, particularly Israel. Following the attack at SuperCache in which four Jews were killed while shopping prior to Shabbat, the Great Synagogue of Paris did not hold services for the first time since the Nazi Occupation.
“The Jewish community in France is witnessing the worst attacks since the end of World War II. We all must work together to ensure that our freedoms are safeguarded and the fight against any form of terrorism is won.”
Meeting with Hollande, Lauder was heartened by the fact that 3.7 million people attended an anti-terrorism rally in Paris, including many world leaders. Lauder says the WJC is considering opening an office in Paris, given the pivotal role France plays in Europe’s Jewish communities and the fact French Jews are being targeted with such intensity. Hollande said Jewish sites would be protected by police officers and in some cases, the military.
Lauder also met with Roger Cukierman, head of the French Jewish organization CRIF and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also said that intelligence gathering should be done in “close cooperation” with local Muslim communities and organizations. Tighter checks should be made to ensure those involved in terror groups are not moving in and out of countries, and confiscations of some passports might be necessary.
Lauder arrived in Paris after meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who recently spoke about curbing the tide of extremism in Islam and to fight terrorism on a unified front economically, socially and culturally. Sisi expressed his desire to revive peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians and warned against Israel taking “escalatory steps” following President Mahmoud Abbas’ joining the International Criminal Court.