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March 22, 2016 11:53 am

Leading European Rabbi Calls Brussels Bombings ‘Latest Act of War of Islamic Fascism,’ Invokes Purim Story to Assert Evil Can Be Destroyed

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Moscow Chief Rabbi and president of Conference of European Rabbis Pinchas Goldschmidt. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Moscow Chief Rabbi and president of Conference of European Rabbis Pinchas Goldschmidt. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

The president of the Conference of European Rabbis issued a tough statement in the immediate aftermath of Tuesday morning’s bombings in Brussels.

Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the chief rabbi of Moscow, said, “We are united in prayers at this hour with the family of the victims and the injured in Brussels. This latest act of war of Islamic fascism against the capital of Europe and against all the values and liberties it represents is another chapter of the struggle between the forces of light and of darkness in our time.”

Referring to the upcoming Jewish holiday of Purim, Rabbi Goldschmidt added: “As in the biblical story of Esther, which will be read in all the synagogues later this week, evil can and will be destroyed only by recognizing it, and fighting it.”

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He concluded by calling on a “united Europe” to “gather its strengths in unity and in determination to face and fight this evil on all fronts, in the media, on the borders, in the mosques and in the markets.”

On Tuesday morning, three explosions occurred, one after the other — two at the airport and one at a subway station in the center of the city — killing more than 30 people and wounding 170. According to CNN, at least one of the blasts was a suicide-bombing.

These attacks come on the heels of last week’s suicide-bombing in Istanbul – purportedly perpetrated by ISIS terrorists – in which four people were killed, among them three Israelis. Surveillance footage from the venue has led to the suspicion that the Israelis had been marked as targets for the attack.

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  • At times one does need to fight back, but it should be noted that Haman reached the end of his rope, so to speak, as a result of Esther’s speaking in a civil and reasoned way with Achashverosh. Neither arm-twisting nor subtle pressure was necessary. There is a lesson in this. When your cause is just and you present it in a reasonable, honest, evenhanded way, reasonable people will listen to you.

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