Europe Recognizes ISIS Threatens Its Jews

European countries tighten their security after a number of ISIS-related terrorist attacks, many of which targeted Jewish institutions.

Last Saturday in Copenhagen, a gunman shot into a cafe that was hosting a debate on blasphemy and freedom of speech, killing one attendee. Hours later, he killed a Jewish man standing guard outside a synagogue where a bat mitzvah was being held. The shootings were reminiscent of the attacks last month in Paris, where two ISIS-affiliated terrorists killed employees of the satirical publication, Charlie Hebdo, and a third took shoppers and employees at a kosher supermarket hostage, killing four.

Muslim Terrorist Omar El-Hussein who carried out attacks in Copenhagen. (Youtube screenshot)

Muslim Terrorist Omar El-Hussein who carried out attacks in Copenhagen. (Youtube screenshot)

In response, many European countries are increasing security, especially around Jewish community sites. The Italian interior ministry announced that 4,800 soldiers would be deployed throughout the country, including 500 in Rome, to protect sensitive locales, including tourism sites and religious institutions. The army is already responsible for protecting synagogues and Jewish schools. Although Islamist websites have generally targeted the Vatican and the Pope, there are no known specific threats against them. Italy is also calling for NATO to intervene against ISIS in Libya.

Norwegian Muslims have decided to take the security of the local Jewish community into their own hands by forming a “ring of peace” around the synagogue in Oslo this Saturday. “If the jihadists want to use violence in the name of Islam, they must go through us Muslims first,” said one of the event’s planners. “Muslims want to show that we deeply despise all types hatred of Jews, and that we are there to support them.”

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Stopping Radicalization in Europe

French Muslim terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, along with his companion, who killed shoppers at a Paris kosher market.  (Source: French police)

French Muslim terrorist Amedy Coulibaly, along with his companion, who killed shoppers at a Paris kosher market. (Source: French police)

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, France is looking at ways to stop the radicalization process. “Everyone agrees now that legislation that prevents the diffusion of child pornography is protecting citizens from crime. It is the same for terrorism,” said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in an interview with the AP. “Calling for anti-Semitism, calling for crimes, calling for murder, calling for the killing of Jews or journalists — that’s not about freedom of expression. That is a criminal act.” He noted that security services had identified 400 individuals believed to belong to terrorist sleeper cells.

The Jewish community in Denmark, meanwhile, is being encouraged to lay low. Following the synagogue shooting, Jewish schools were temporarily closed and the weekly Radio Shalom broadcast was canceled for the first time since its inception under the advice of Danish security and intelligence services.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, has come under fire from European leaders for his suggestion that European Jews move to Israel to escape anti-Semitic violence. French President Francois Hollande replied, “I will not just let what was said in Israel pass, leading people to believe that Jews no longer have a place in Europe and in France, in particular.” Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt emphasized that the Danish Jews “belong in Denmark, they are part of the Danish community and we wouldn’t be the same without the Jewish community in Denmark.” German Chancellor Andrea Merkel also vowed to protect her country’s Jewish community.

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