Following the second terror attack in Europe targeting Jews in as many months, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a 180 million shekel ($46.3 million) initiative to encourage and assist Jews in several European nations to immigrate to Israel. “Jews have been murdered again on European soil only because they were Jews and this wave of terrorist attacks—including murderous anti-Semitic attacks—is expected to continue,” said Netanyahu in comments released by his office.
“Of course, Jews deserve protection in every country but we say to Jews, to our brothers and sisters: Israel is your home. We are preparing and calling for the absorption of mass immigration from Europe. I would like to tell all European Jews and all Jews wherever they are: ‘Israel is the home of every Jew.’”
The initiative, which is focusing on Jews living in France, Belgium, and the Ukraine, comes after a shooting in Denmark over the weekend killed a Jewish man providing security outside a synagogue. The BBC reported that the shooting occurred while a Bat Mitzvah—the traditional coming-of-age ceremony for young women—was happening inside the place of worship.
The BBC said the attack followed an earlier shooting at a free speech event at a café being hosted by Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks. The report said the Danish police believe they later killed the gunman in a shootout on Sunday. The police believe the same gunman carried out both terror attacks, citing video surveillance.
The Israelis were quick to respond to the attacks, with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying in comments cheap valium australia posted on Foreign Ministry of Affairs website, “Israel and the Jewish people have been victims of this terror primarily because they are at the forefront of the terror war being waged against the west and the entire free world…by the international community must not satisfy itself with declarations and rallies against this terror, but must go beyond the boundaries of what is politically correct and wage all-out war to root out Islamic terror.”
Lieberman called his Danish counterpart to express Israel’s condolences, which Netanyahu also extended to the Danish people in his comments.
The Israeli initiative to encourage immigration will provide additional resources to handle an increase in Jews from the three European nations wishing to move to Israel, an increase in information on opportunities for Jews to move to Israel, and assisting with learning Hebrew, among other programs.
The program details were posted on the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office website and noted that immigration surged in 2014 for both France and the Ukraine. After 3,263 Jews immigrated to Israel from France in 2013, more than 6,600 made the move in 2014. Ukraine saw a similar jump, from just under 2,000 in 2013 to over 5,900 in 2014.
While it came hours after the Israel statements regarding the Denmark shootings, United States spokesperson Jen Psaki on Sunday afternoon also condemned the terror attacks, saying in a State Department statement that “The people of the United States stand united with the people of Denmark and all others who defend the universal right of freedom of speech and stand against anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its forms.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, February 15, 2015)