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In Melbourne Shabbat begins Fri 30 Jun 2017 04:52 PM and ends Sat 1 Jul 2017 05:52 PM

Brussels Jewish Museum shooting - Statement

בס׳ד
כ"ו אייר ה' אלפים תשע"ד

Statement from Zionist Council of Victoria regarding Brussels Jewish Museum Shooting

The weekend shooting attack that claimed the lives of four people at the Jewish Museum in the Belgian capital of Brussels is a tragic and sadly increasing phenomenon of the rise of anti Semitism in Europe.

On the heels of the Brussels attack, two Jewish men were attacked as they left a synagogue in the Paris area late Saturday. In France, Interior Minister Bernard Casneueve ordered police around France to increase security at Jewish houses of worship and other Jewish establishments.

The attack which came on the eve of national and European Parliament elections has been roundly condemned by leaders who all too often stay silent in the face of the most appalling canards directed at the Jewish State of Israel many of which mimic age old anti Semitic tropes.  Once again the Jewish communities of Europe are to be subject to greater security measures in the attempt to stem the tide of terror targeting Jews in the streets and cities of Europe.

"Whilst we are blessed with broad bi partisan support for Israel and the Jewish community in Australia the latest attack in Europe is a reminder that the Australian Jewish community is not immune to such threats," says Sam Tatarka, President of the Zionist Council of Victoria which owns and operates Beth Weizmann Community Centre (BWCC) and the Lamm Jewish Library of Australia.  "Our schools, synagogues and institutions have been carrying the burden of heightened security measures for many years now and we have sadly had to become used to passing by security cordons and high walls as we go about our daily business".

BWCC is in the hub of the Jewish community in Caulfield and is home to many communal organisations.  We host hundreds of community events that sees thousands of people come and go over the course of a year.  "We need to be vigilant and not take the security of our building and our people for granted." said Mr Tatarka. "The price of that vigilance and security is high both in terms of money and in terms of restricted freedom".

The Zionist Council of Victoria calls on the Federal and State Governments to build on their already significant funding of security at schools and provide adequate and timely funding to communal organisations and institutions at risk to minimise the risk and maximise the safety of our community as it goes about its daily business.


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