Anger And Sadness After Shooting At Jewish Day School In France

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 gunman, a homegrown extremist who identified with the international terrorist group Al Qaeda, was identified and killed March 22, 2012 after resisting authorities in Toulouse. More

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.