New York, NY, March 19, 2012 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed outrage and profound sadness for the loss of life and injuries sustained in today's attack on a Jewish day school in Toulouse, France that left three children and the father of two of the victims dead, and one other victim gravely wounded.
The League called the attack "a barbaric, hate-filled and brutal crime" and welcomed President Nicholas Sarkozy's decision to immediately go to Toulouse, where he called the attack a "national tragedy" and committed his government to pursue justice for those responsible. ADL called for a thorough investigation into the role of anti-Semitism in the killings.
Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, issued the following statement:
It simply shocks the conscience that young Jewish children were targeted and killed at school. There can be no justification or excuse for such a barbaric, hate-filled and brutal crime.
It has yet to be established to what extent anti-Semitism was a factor in the attack. We do know, however, that the Jewish community of Toulouse has been targeted in the past three years with other clearly anti-Semitic acts of violence.
It is critically important that the Jewish community in France feel assured that they will be safe and secure in the aftermath of this horrific incident, and we welcome the announcement that security will be intensified at Jewish institutions throughout France. We appreciate President Sarkozy's decision to immediately go to Toulouse, for the government's clear message to all French schools to stand in solidarity, and for the direct public statements that no efforts will be spared to bring the killer to justice.
We trust that all elements of French government and society will show through words and actions their disgust, their sympathy, and their commitment to fight for justice and against hate.
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.