Isaac Herzog calls for increased security for Sukkot in Europe

"The recent terrorist aggression on the Halle synagogue... should sound the alarm loud and clear throughout Europe,” Isaac Herzog said.

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October 12, 2019 15:36
1 minute read.
Isaac Herzog calls for increased security for Sukkot in Europe

Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog calls for unity and pluralism in first US visit. (photo credit: PR)

“I have to express to you my deep concern regarding the unprecedented rise in antisemitic abuse and violence, especially after the deadly attack against the synagogue in Halle, Germany,” Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog wrote in a letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In the letter, Herzog emphasized the need for security in Europe during the upcoming Jewish holiday of Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacles.

“[T]he recent terrorist aggression on the Halle synagogue, which took place on the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, should sound the alarm loud and clear throughout Europe,” Herzog wrote.

Sukkot, a week-long harvest festival, begins on October 13, and Jews around the world will gather in huts and synagogues to observe the holiday. Herzog “respectfully” called on Merkel “to ensure that security around synagogues and Jewish institutions gets high priority” over the holiday.

“These are times of clear and present emergency in these matters, and no efforts should be spared in the ongoing fight to contain and eliminate Antisemitic violence, wherever it may raise its head,” he wrote.

Herzog said that the European Commission’s findings “enhanced” the agency’s “preoccupation” with antisemitism in Europe.
On December 10, the Fundamental Rights Agency “published the largest survey ever held among European Jews on their perception and experience of antisemitism,” according to the European Commission’s website.

The report acknowledged that "antisemitic hatred remains widespread” and that the commission was “aware of the fact that this growing antisemitism in all its forms remains a cause of great concern for Jewish people in many Member States.”

In addition to heightened security during Sukkot, Herzog suggested ways to combat antisemitism through the rest of the year, including legislation and education, urging that Merkel “deploy all necessary efforts to actively and effectively combat antisemitism.”


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