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Press Release

Following Hostage Situation at Paris Kosher Supermarket, ADL Says Anti-Semitism is “At Core of Islamic Extremist Ideology”

New York, NY, January 9, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed deep concern in the wake of the hostage-taking incident at a kosher supermarket in Paris by Ahmedy Coulibaly, the alleged killer of a policewoman on January 8th, and acquaintance of the Kouachi brothers, who were responsible for the terror attack on the Charlie Hebdo headquarters.

According to reports, at least three hostages were killed at the kosher supermarket.

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:

The attacks on Charlie Hebdo and on a kosher store are linked by the perpetrators’ ideology, not just their acquaintance. Islamic extremism is a common enemy of Jews and democratic states. That message needs to be heard and internalized by governments and mainstream society.

Anti-Semitism is at the core of Islamic extremist ideology, interwoven with its hatred of basic democratic freedoms, and continues to motivate adherents around the world. The packaging of anti-Semitic narratives has radicalized followers and influenced numerous international and domestic extremists with tragic results.

We appreciate the efforts of the French government in bringing about an end to the dual hostage sieges, and express our condolences on the loss of additional innocent lives in the raid on the kosher market. The tragic loss of so many innocent lives in the past three days in Paris must lead to a more effective and comprehensive strategy by all democratic leaders to counter Islamic extremism. This strategy must ensure that heinous acts of terrorism will not succeed in curtailing the exercise of such basic democratic freedoms to proudly and openly practice one’s religion or express one’s opinions.

A recent ADL poll in 100 countries found that 37 percent of those surveyed in France harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.

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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French police officers storm a kosher grocery to end a hostage situation, Paris, Friday, Jan. 9, 2015. Explosions and gunshots were heard as police forces stormed a kosher grocery in Paris where a gunman was holding at least five people hostage.
AP Photo/Michel Euler

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