As the holiest of the holiest days in the Jewish calendar ended (Yom Kippur), I was shaken back to reality upon hearing of the violent antisemitic attack against a synagogue in Halle, Germany and the sad murder of two people nearby. Given the rising tide of antisemitism in Germany in recent years and increased violence, the attack is hardly shocking.
Of late, there has been a surge of Nazism (call it what it is) on one hand and Islamist attackers on the other who have been targeting innocent Jewish people in Germany. Today's attacker said he "thinks the Holocaust never happened" and that "the Jews are at the root of all these problems." These words must never be taken lightly, must be condemned and aggressively countered.
As we begin a New Year with a fresh outlook, let us double our efforts to counter antisemitism and all forms of hatred. At FSWC we are doing this here in Canada through our education and advocacy and around the world - as our Paris office reacted to this incident hours ago. Let us stand together in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Germany and with all people who stand for peace.
President and CEO, Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center