Helsinki 19 July, 2012

A Christian Initiative promoting European-Israeli Cooperation
ECI calls on the EU to host an emergency conference to address the safety and security for Jews in Europe

Helsinki 19 July, 2012  - European Coalition for Israel expressed on Thursday its condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack in Burgas, Bulgaria where on Wednesday seven people were reported dead and thirty others injured in a terror attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists. In Helsinki Founding Director Tomas Sandell issued the following statement:

- This brutal act of terror reminds us of the sad fact that Jews still cannot live and travel safely in Europe or elsewhere in the world.  Just one generation after the Holocaust the situation for Jews has not normalized but they are still seen as legitimate targets for terror by those who are driven by the same convictions as Adolf Hitler. The massacre at the Summer Olympics in Munich in 1972 was not an isolated act of terror, nor was the massive bomb attack in Argentina 18 years ago. These, and other similar terror acts, prove the sad fact that the war against the Jews has not stopped.

- The European Union and its member states have a great responsibility to take action and stop this campaign of terror and anti-Semitism. Earlier in the year a Jewish kindergarten was attacked in Toulouse, France leaving three children and one adult dead.  In Brussels the EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton compared the terror act in Toulouse to other deadly accidents and tragedies in the world.  Whereas other leaders of the EU were more sensitive in their statements they all failed to mention any motives to the killings or the simple fact that the children were killed for one reason only - the fact that they were Jewish.

- The EU attitude demonstrates a broader ambiguity to the suffering of the Jewish people. Terror acts against Jews are widely portrayed as "tragedies" or "explosions", and no perpetrators or motives are indicated. This is a deep problem in Europe today, which is not restricted to the leaders of the EU but includes a large segment of the political class as well as the media. Given the European experience of the Holocaust and centuries of anti-Semitism the greatest responsibility now lays on the European institutions, which were founded on the ashes of the Holocaust, to build a new Europe where Jews can live in safety.

ECI repeats its call from April, at the time of the terror act in Toulouse, for an immediate EU emergency summit to address the issue of rising anti-Semitism and the risk that this poses to Jews living and travelling in Europe. May we not need another major terrorist attack against Jewish targets before the leaders in Europe wake up and take action.