Growing intolerance

Several European cities recently have seen attacks on individuals and buildings, clearly anti-Semitic in character. The General Secretary of the Jewish Central Council in Germany was attacked verbally on Yom Kippur in Berlin. And last week stones were thrown at the Jewish community center in Malmö. Muslim and Christian sites in Israel are very often under attack. The walls of the Latrun Monastery, the Dormitio Abbey and other Christian places were defaced with very offensive “price tag” graffiti.

It seems to be almost impossible to respond to all these crimes of intolerance and extremism. On the other hands, it is moving to read on Facebook a report, written by one of the Malmö Jewish community members, witnessing how the Christians and Muslims in Malmö immediately stood side by side with their Jewish fellow citizens.

The International Council of Christians and Jews therefore wants to share with you the statements issued by the Swedish and British CCJs and the report from Malmö, trying to keep the fragile balance between being indifferent and over reacting.

- Press release (Swedish CCJ)
With dismay and worry we hear about the attack on the Jewish Congregation in Malmö. The repeated attacks on Jews in Malmö are a shame not only for Malmö but for all our country.
We encourage all who have a seat in boards of decision to do whatever they can to protect and safeguard Jews´ lives and security as well as each citizen´s life and security independently of religion and ethnic identity.
On behalf of Samarbetsrådet för Judar och Kristna
Gunnel Borgegård, chair-person

- Letter to the Jewish congregation, Malmö (Swedish CCJ)                                     
The Board of Samarbetsrådet för Judar och Kristna has with shock and concern heard about the attack against the building of the Jewish Congregation in Malmö.
We sympathize deeply with you and understand that the attack is both a serious violation of the law as well as a source of great insecurity for the members of your congregation.
With a prayer and a hope that the authorities in Malmö will take the necessary measures to prevent future violence and work actively to create a more tolerant and open society.
Gunnel Borgegård, chair-person

- Statement on Malmö attack (British CCJ)
Revd David Gifford, Chief Executive of the Council of Christians and Jews has condemned the recent attack on the Jewish community in Malmo, Sweden.
“These are worrying times for the Jewish communities across Europe,”  said Mr Gifford.  “The attack appears to have been linked to rising anti Israel feeling and the tensions caused by the Israel/Palestine conflict in the City.
Mr Gifford added, “The rising trend of impatience and anger with events in Palestine/Israel is being directed at local Jewish communities all over Europe.  European Jewish communities are responsible members of civil society and contribute to national well being.  It is totally unacceptable to target these Jewish communities. But this explosion heard several blocks away and damaging the bullet proof door of the synagogue is only part of a longer period of violence towards the community.”
“CCJ in the UK has contacted the CCJ in Sweden and ICCJ and would encourage the Christian community to stand alongside their Jewish friends in Malmo at this tense time.”

- A report from Malmö, published on Facebook