New York, NY, May 24, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was "horrified and deeply saddened" by the deadly attack targeting the Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium, where at least one unidentified shooter reportedly opened fire inside the museum, killing three people and injuring a fourth before fleeing. The League urged Belgian authorities to quickly bring to justice those responsible for perpetrating the attack.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
While violence against Jews in Belgium is extremely rare, the attack on the Brussels Jewish Museum is another tragic reminder of the frightening atmosphere for Jews in parts of Europe. We know that while the overall number of recorded anti-Semitic attacks in parts of Europe where reliable statistics are available may have gone down in the past year, at the same time the number of violent incidents against Jews has actually increased.
The rise in Europe of openly anti-Semitic political parties, the proliferation of clearly anti-Semitic expressions on social media platforms and the disturbingly high levels of anti-Semitic attitudes in many places in Europe contribute to a witches’ brew of hate in which those who are inclined to engage in violence against Jews can find encouragement.
The strong statement of support for the Jewish community expressed by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo is reassuring at this most terrifying moment for the Jewish community of Brussels and sends a strong message to the people of Belgium that such acts have no place in society. We commend the reactions to the attack from Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur, Interior Minister Joelle Milquet and particularly Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, who is reported to have gone to the scene immediately after hearing the news.
We stand in solidarity with the Belgian Jewish community and pledge our ongoing support to help ensure the safety of Belgian Jews.
The ADL Global 100 Index of Anti-Semitism, a poll of anti-Semitic attitudes in 102 countries released earlier this month, found that 27 percent of the adult population of Belgium harbors strongly held anti-Semitic views.
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
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The suspected gunman in the May 24 attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels allegedly said in a videotaped message that he wanted to “kill Jews” and “set fire to Brussels and fill it with blood.”