Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt (C) reacts after the funeral ceremony of shooting victim Dan Uzan, who died on Saturday when a gunman attacked a synagogue, in Copenhagen February 18, 2015..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
NEW YORK – One year after the double terrorist attack that left two dead and five wounded in Copenhagen, American Jewish groups expressed solidarity with the Danish people and called on leaders to take action against extremism.
On February 14, 2015, an Islamist terrorist shot at people in a cafe in the Danish capital. The cafe was holding a public event on art, blasphemy and freedom of expression.
A few hours later, the gunman shot at the Krystalgade Synagogue, murdering Dan Uzan, a Jewish volunteer who was guarding outside during a bat mitzva celebration.
Yossi Gestetner, co-founder of the New York-based Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, also expressed solidarity with Danish Jews, and told The Jerusalem Post that “leaders need to reject those in their own communities who incite against others.”
“Elected officials must condemn hateful rhetoric, and governments globally should step up police protection for communities more susceptible to attack – especially at schools,” Gestetner said.
The American Jewish Committee, which had posthumously honored Uzan with its Moral Courage Award at its Global Forum in Washington, last June, also called on governments and civil society to “do more to fight anti-Semitism, terrorism and extremism.”
“European leaders need to understand that the destinies of Europe and its Jewish communities are interlinked,” AJC Europe director Simone Rodan-Benzaquen said.
“The first fatal attack in Copenhagen was against European values, and the second was against the Jewish community, just as occurred a month earlier in Paris against Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish market.”
The AJC said it maintains strong relations with the Danish Jewish community and that Rodan-Benzaquen recently met with community representatives in Copenhagen to discuss the security situation after the attacks and discuss the action plan presented by the organization in May for European governments to address the intensifying crisis of anti-Semitism.