Joint Press Release
The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) and the European Youth Forum (YFJ) were deeply troubled to learn of Saturday’s shooting in front of the Belgian Jewish Museum in Brussels, claiming four lives. Our prayers and thoughts are now with the victims and their families.
While much remains unclear and the perpetrators are still unknown and on the loose, it is nevertheless evident that this was an act of hatred against the Jewish community.
Sunday evening, EUJS and YJF joined the CCOJB (Comité de Coordination des Organisations Juives de Belgique) for a gathering next to the Jewish museum, paying tribute to the victims and condemning this heinous crime. “Everyone who joined tonight demonstrated their strong commitment to a Europe that remains a society which embraces its Jewish communities and ensures their safety. But we must make no mistake, especially in context of the outcome of the European elections: Moving towards a more inclusive and peaceful Europe requires decisive advocacy efforts, effective policies and legal measures, as well as educational programs that nip all forms of racism, ignorance and hatred in the bud. Governments must be vigilant and consistent in denouncing hate speech and hate crimes.” EUJS President Jane Braden-Golay remarked.
Peter Matjasic, YJF President, said: “Such acts of hatred and violence are against everything we as representatives of European youth stand for. It is an important wake-up call to everyone that the economic and financial crisis has had a profound effect not only on our pockets and our future chances but also started eroding the basic values we believe in. It is time to stand up against politics of hate and scapegoating of groups of people based on their religious views, ethnic background, sexual orientation or gender identity.”
It is more necessary than ever that political leaders recognize their responsibility and act against the spread of hate speech, which lays the foundation for such violence as seen this weekend. We ask all our members, friends and partners to take a stand against antisemitism, racism and xenophobia in Europe, to express their condemnation of hate crimes and to demand decisive action from their governments.
Francesca Matalon, Communications officer, firstname.lastname@example.org