Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dutch Jews demand government deploy troops near synagogues 

Dutch Jews asked their government to post troops outside synagogues to match security measures in France and Belgium.

The plea came in letters addressed to mayors by officials from a number of Jewish communities in the Netherlands following an Islamist’s slaying on Jan. 9 of four Jews at a kosher supermarket near Paris, the De Telegraaf daily reported Thursday.

“Now that Jewish targets in Belgium and France are guarded by the army, we ask why not in the Netherlands,” the report quoted a letter signed by the Dutch Israelite Religious Community, or NIK, as saying. “Surely, the threat is the same.”

Some Dutch synagogues have police protection, while others have no armed guards, according to the daily. Some communities are reporting a drop in synagogue attendance because of growing insecurity, it said.

Several hundred people, including many Muslims and Jews, attended an event in Amsterdam on Monday organized by the Muslim-Jewish interfaith group Salaam-Shalom commemorating the victims of the Paris attack.

Mayor Eberhard van der Laan led a moment of silence in which visitors showed peace signs with their hands.

The victims of the Jan. 9 shooting were also commemorated on Wednesday at a ceremony in Brussels organized by the European Jewish Association lobby group and attended by Frans Timmermans, the Netherlands-born first vice-president of the European Commission.

The event also commemorated another 13 victims killed on Jan. 7 and 8 in attacks in and around Paris by associates of the perpetrator of the supermarket killings.

“If there’s no future for the Jews in Europe, there’s no future for Europe,” Timmermans said at the event.

Earlier this week he said during a debate in Brussels that Jews’ insecurity “forms an enormous challenge for the foundations of European integration.”


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