PARIS – On the first anniversary of the January 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 17 people were murdered by jihadist terrorists, including four Jews at a kosher supermarket, World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder declared: “Despite the commitment and efforts undertaken by the French and other European governments, the terrorist threat has not diminished.” Lauder said that although French Jewish sites were now better protected than ever by police and the army, the threat of radical Islamist fighters had yet to be defeated.
In a message to the president of the French Jewish community umbrella organization CRIF, Roger Cukierman, which will be read Saturday night at a memorial for the four Jewish victims of the Hyper Cacher attack, Lauder wrote: “On behalf of the World Jewish Congress, I salute the French Jewish community for the remarkable strength you have all demonstrated over the past year.
“Today, we mourn the four innocent people who were gunned down at the Hyper Cacher market one year ago. Their crime? Like Jews throughout the ages, they were targeted simply for being Jewish. And we also remember the thirteen other French citizens who were killed that dark week.
“France has become a terrible battleground in the Islamist war of terror. Just two months ago, 130 more people in Paris were murdered in cold blood for simply living freely in a democratic society.
“In the aftermath of the horrific attacks last January, world leaders linked arms and joined the millions who lined the streets of France in an unprecedented show of solidarity and a strong denouncement of terrorism. The World Jewish Congress was there too, united with the French people. Both in the streets of Paris and in the meetings I held that week with you and President Francois Hollande, I was moved by your courage and determination and by your strong leadership.
“We heard clear words from President Hollande and Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Many things have been done to improve security of Jewish sites in France, and we salute them. However, we also note that the threat for Jews and non-Jews alike has not disappeared. We see constant terror attacks in other countries as well, on a daily basis. Jews continue to be prime targets for terrorist attacks. In Israel, in Europe, in the United States, and in many other places.
“We must all face the coming year with courage and determination. Stand tall, my friends, and together, I give you my solemn promise that we, the Jewish people, and all free people everywhere, will prevail. Am Israel Chai,” ended Lau