Advocate of arming Jews receives death threat

Jewish communal leaders from several countries call Margolin's comments on security matters “potentially dangerous to the welfare of our communities.”

Rabbi Menachem Margolin (photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
Rabbi Menachem Margolin
(photo credit: SAM SOKOL)
A prominent advocate of Jewish self-defense received a death threat on Monday, as European governments have scrambled to protect Jewish sites in the wake of the recent terrorist incidents across the continent.
Rabbi Menachem Margolin, president of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, rose to prominence in the media with his call to grant communal officials gun permits after last month’s shooting of four Jews in a kosher grocery in Paris. Following Saturday’s shooting of a guard outside a Danish synagogue, Margolin demanded that European leaders “secure all Jewish institutions 24/7.”
On Monday, according to a report on the ultra-Orthodox Kikar Hashabbat website, a post on his Facebook wall threatened that “Menachem Margolin will be a dead man if he does not stop.
We will stick a bullet in his head.”
Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich commented that “a threatened attack on one Jew is a threat to every Jew and a challenge to every human being.”
The Flemish Forum of Jewish Organizations received a similar threat two weeks ago, said Eli Ringer, the organization’s immediate past president.
“You can never know if it is real or a joke,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We went to the police, and they cannot do too much.”
Last month, Belgian Jewish organizations repudiated Margolin’s call for loosening gun laws to allow “designated people” among Europe’s Jews “to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities.”
“I think that he has no authority to speak in the name of Belgian Jewry, because he doesn’t represent Belgian Jewry,” Abraham Guigui, the country’s chief rabbi, told The Jerusalem Post at the time.
Guigui also issued a statement blasting what he called marginal elements and stating that calls for arming Jews were “a real danger and unacceptable.”
On January 22, Jewish communal leaders from several countries, including Belgium, England, Sweden, Croatia and the Czech Republic, issued a joint statement calling Margolin’s comments on security matters “potentially dangerous to the welfare of our communities.”
Margolin maintains close ties with EU leaders and has held a series of press events in which leading European politicians have denounced anti-Semitism.