New York, NY, November 14, 2015 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today expressed shock and horror at the wave of coordinated terrorist attacks across Paris, which reportedly has claimed the lives of at least 130 people and injured another 180. Terrorists with guns, bombs and suicide vests stormed at least six sites across Paris, including a concert hall and a stadium north of the city. Some of the gunmen reportedly yelled “Syria” and “God is Great” in Arabic before they opened fire.
ADL expressed deep concern at reports that the Bataclan Theater, one of the sites targeted during the assault, has been a locus of anti-Zionist groups in the past because its Jewish owners have staged pro-Israel events. A member of the extremist group Army of Islam told French security services in 2011 that, “We had planned an attack against the Bataclan because its owners are Jewish,” the French magazine Le Point reported earlier today.
Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:
We join with the international community in loudly condemning these barbaric and heinous terror attacks, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of innocent people going about their lives. Words cannot express our shock at these despicable attacks in Paris. This was an outrageous, cowardly and premeditated assault not just on the people of France, but on all freedom loving people around the world.
While the investigation continues and the terrorists’ motivations are still unclear, we are deeply concerned at reports that the Bataclan Theater has long been a locus of anti-Zionist groups. We hope the French authorities will investigate the possibility that virulent anti-Semitism was a motive in the attack.
Having been in Paris earlier this month, I can attest to the resolve and strength of the people of that great city, and know that they will emerge from this tragedy stronger and more united. We stand in solidarity with the French people during this terrible time, and support the efforts of the French government to locate and apprehend those behind the attacks and bring safety and security to all of France.
Earlier this year, Paris endured the brutality of the attack on Charlie Hebdo, an assault on free expression. We also saw the violent killing committed at Hyper Cacher, a heinous act of anti-Semitism directed squarely against the Jewish community, one of a series of murderous acts in recent years intended to terrorize French Jews. As happened after these incidents, we know that the City of Light will rise again from the darkness and prevail over those who would seek to use terror as a blunt instrument against freedom and democracy. In the aftermath of this attack we must all rise up and say, “JeSuisFrancais!”