Responding to Paris Terror Outrages, US Jews Highlight Centrality of Anti-Semitism to Islamist Ideology
American Jewish organizations responded to today’s fresh terrorist outrages by highlighting the profound danger posed by Islamist extremism and the need for western governments to adopt a coherent strategy in the face of an ongoing threat.
“The world can no longer pretend that Islamist fundamentalists consist of a few isolated cells,” declared Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, Founder and Dean and Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. “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.”
The Anti-Defamation League pointed out the centrality of anti-Semitism to Islamist ideology. “The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher store are linked by the perpetrators’ ideology, not just their acquaintance,” said ADL National Director Abraham Foxman. “Islamic extremism is a common enemy of Jews and democratic states. That message needs to be heard and internalized by governments and mainstream society.”
Foxman added: “Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extremist ideology, interwoven with its hatred of basic democratic freedoms, and continues to motivate adherents around the world. The packaging of anti-Semitic narratives has radicalized followers and influenced numerous international and domestic extremists with tragic results.”
The American Jewish Committee called for stepped up efforts to combat Islamist terrorism in France. “What happened over the past 48 hours was a shock to the entire French nation,” said Simone Rodan-Benazquen, director of AJC Paris. “It was our 9/11.”
Rodan-Benzaquen continued: “Hatred of Jews never ends with Jews. Radical Islamists have struck violently, from the murders at a Jewish school in Toulouse two years ago, to repeated incidents of violence against Jews and synagogues in Paris, to the vicious rape of a Jewish woman in her own home, and today’s assault on a kosher supermarket in the middle of Paris.”
Conference of Presidents leaders Robert Sugarman and Malcolm Hoenlein urged western governments to make “a total commitment to bring to bear all the resources, both public and private, to end the scourge that has taken so many lives and hurt many more. The urgency to confront the Islamist extremist infrastructure is underscored by the presence of the many hundreds of young French fighters in Syria who are being trained to kill and carry out barbaric acts.”