Tuesday, several individuals and institutions expressed their outrage concerning the arson attack on the Anderlecht synagogue. “Any act of racism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia only generates feelings of exclusion, hatred and is contrary to community life, the real glue of our democracy,” said Isabelle Simonis (PS), Minister of the Federation of Equal Opportunities in Wallonia-Brussels. The minister hopes that the three people suffering from smoke inhalation will recover quickly and that the police will shed some light on the crimes being committed against the Jewish community.
Joel Rubinfeld, President of the Belgian League against Anti-Semitism (LBCA), also expressed his concern. “The surge of anti-Semitic acts in Belgium in recent months emphasizes the urgent need to integrate this struggle into the next government agenda. More than ever the fight against anti-Semitism has become a real national cause. This is putting the honor and probably the future of our country at stake, “he stated.
The Brussels federation of the Socialist Party for its part insisted on giving “its full support to the Jewish community in Brussels.” “This incident, which came a day after the reopening of the Jewish Museum of Belgium, is an alarming international issue, and reminds us that the fight against anti-Semitism, against racism, against hate, is on the agenda more than ever”, stated the Federation.
“We recall a fundamental principle, that the synagogues, like all other places of worship are places of prayer and meditation, and as such should receive absolute respect. Attacking a place of worship is an attack on all religions and harms our unity”, responded the Moroccan Council of Ulema for Europe, a Muslim organization based in Brussels.
The fire was reported on Tuesday around 6:30 occurred two days after unidentified individuals fired shots at shots visitors gathered at the National Monument to the Jewish Martyrs of Belgium in Anderlecht, on the occasion of the European Day of Jewish Culture and the unveiling of a commemorative plaque.