The European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) issued the following statement yesterday after reports surfaced about a young Jewish man who was tortured and murdered near Paris. EUJS is a member of the World Union of Jewish Studies (WUJS), one of Hillel's partners in serving Jewish students worldwide:
The president, presidium, executive and staff of the European Union of Jewish Students (EUJS) are outraged and horrified by the murder of Ilan Halimi, the 23-year-old Parisian Jew who was abducted, tortured and murdered by a gang in a suburb of the French capital. We are particularly concerned by the French authorities' initial reluctance to see this crime as an extreme form of anti-Semitism and welcome Prime Minister de Villepin's statement categorizing the act as a hate crime.
This vicious act is a crude indication of the rise of anti-Semitism as tensions continue to flare throughout the European continent. Religious intolerance continues to fuel violence and conflict in France and elsewhere. From March 13-16, a delegation of 100 Jewish students will be in Geneva to underscore the need for action at all levels. In November 2006, EUJS will join its European faith-based youth partners in launching its JUST ONE campaign, part of the EUJS-led Faith-Based Coalition for Conscience.
Olga Israel, the EUJS president, expressed today during a radio interview with Israeli National Radio "EUJS' solidarity with Jewish communities in France and across Europe, and renewed EUJS' efforts to ensure that all forms of hatred and intolerance will be addressed through political, social and legal means." Now more than ever we must focus on critical and concrete action leading to effective and decisive steps to prevent, deter and punish such gruesome acts of barbarity and hate.
EUJS, the sole democratically elected voice of European Jewish youth at the European level and at the European Youth Forum, is one of the largest international student organizations worldwide. Its annual programming includes the Summer University, international, interreligious, intergenerational seminars, study sessions at the European Youth Centre and cutting-edge work that puts it at the forefront of the European context.
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