(JNS.org) Global Jewish leaders are weighing in on Wednesday's shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in which at least 12 people (including Jewish cartoonist Georges Wolinski) were killed, condemning both Islamist terrorism and the mainstream media's self-censorship of Charlie Hebdo cartoons that reportedly motivated the attack.
Roger Cukierman, president of the French-Jewish umbrella group CRIF and a vice president of the World Jewish Congress, called the shooting a “despicable crime,” adding that “this attack requires a strong and determined response not just by France, but by the European Union as a whole… Islamist terrorism is the main threat to our security and well-being today, and it must be fought vigorously everywhere, because it is a poison for our societies.”
World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said, “We must not be intimidated by their (Islamists') campaign [of terrorism] and must uphold and defend our Western values, including that of freedom of expression.”
A letter to the editorial team of Charlie Hebdo by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s French president, Richard Odier, and its director of international relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels, called Wednesday a “black day for freedom of expression, tolerance, and respect in France as the very values of the republic are under attack.”
“Jihadi fanaticism and terrorism are the same reality for its victims, whether in France, Israel, or beyond,” stated the letter.
Anti-Defamation League National President Abraham Foxman said, "Radical Islamist terrorists targeted a French symbol of press freedom. While we have criticized Charlie Hebdo’s insulting caricatures in the past, terrorism is never justified and freedom of the press must be protected."
The American Jewish Committee (AJC), meanwhile, criticized "the decision by key media outlets in Great Britain and the United States—such as the London Daily Telegraph, the New York Times, CNN, and NBC—to omit or blur the Charlie Hebdo cartoon images that, according to confirmed reports, motivated the reprehensible attack on the paper’s offices that killed 12 people."
“Through this act of self-censorship, these news organizations are depriving the public of its right to know exactly what Charlie Hebdo had done to arouse the ire of the jihadists,” AJC Executive Director David Harris said. “Keeping this information from the public not only betrays the canons of free journalism, but also furthers the goal of the killers and their sympathizers: to create an atmosphere of fear where freedom of expression is limited and make Islam, alone among all other world religions and secular ideologies, immune from public criticism.”
The Zionist Organization of America (ZOS) linked the Paris attack to the Palestinian issue.
"The ZOA again urges that all nations put an end to all rewards for Muslim extremism and fanaticism," ZOA said in its statement on Charlie Hebdo. "Every nation in the U.N. should vote against Palestinian Arab demands—for a Palestinian Arab Hamas-Fatah terror state that throws 700,000 Jews out of their homes in eastern Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Every nation must vote against granting control of the Jewish Old City and Jewish Western Wall and Jewish Temple Mount to the Palestinian Arabs as they demanded to the U.N."