Wasn’t going to post today, but must simply to get out the word. I suspect many in the States will not have read about this:
Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, was a teacher at the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, in the south of France. This morning at about 8:00 AM he was on his way to bringing his two sons, Gavriel, 6, and Aryeh, 3, to the Gan Rachi (kindergarten) when all three were gunned down. With him was Miriam Monstango, the eight year old daughter of the head of Ozar Hatorah, who died of her wounds shortly thereafter.
Gunned down, please understand, because they were Jews.
They will be buried in Israel.
You see here the rabbi and the two sons, along with his wife, who was not present during the attack. Oh does my heart go out to her!
The attacker approached the area on a moped, dismounted, and began shooting. He opened fire on everyone in front of him, wounding at least five others, some seriously. Then he fled, and is being sought in a massive manhunt. Police evacuated the school.
French President Nicholas Sarkozy visited the site of the attack at about noon, along with other officials. He gave a statement to a TV interviewer:
“Its a tragedy. And it’s a tragedy that there are insane people who are capable of doing such a thing. I can’t accept this idea than one can massacre Jewish children in front of their school.
“It’s a day of national tragedy. The barbary, the savagery, the cruelty cannot win. Hate cannot win. The nation is much stronger.”
Ah, but Jewish children were massacred in front of their school. We stare the savagery in the face, and we are horribly pained, but not terribly surprised. Who could be surprised after all we, as Jews, have seen?
Good that the president is determined that hate will not win. He will have a great deal of work to do. France, with a Jewish population of close to 700,000, has the largest Jewish community in Europe. Now there are voices raised from within that community fearing the beginning of a wave of anti-Semitic terrorism.
We’ll know more when the gunman has been identified. A ballistics match seems to indicate a spree killer who was also responsible for shooting paratroopers recently. If this is so, all those killed in the spree were minorities but not all Jews.
For the statement by Prime Minister Netanyahu on this tragedy:
© Arlene Kushner. This material is produced by Arlene Kushner, functioning as an independent journalist. Permission is granted for it to be reproduced only with proper attribution.