By Benjamin Kerstein
OCTOBER 30, 2018 4:16 PM: Emergency personnel on the scene after a gunman killed 11 people and injured four others at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Oct. 27, 2018. Photo: Screenshot.
The European Jewish Congress’ Security and Crisis Centre’s CEO said on Tuesday that American Jews were “only now at the beginning of a long journey” to ensure their security against antisemitic violence.
In a statement issued by the EJC, SACC CEO Ophir Revach commented on the group’s decision to offer its expertise to the American Jewish community, and particularly the Jews of Pittsburgh, following Saturday’s massacre of 11 worshipers by a white supremacist gunman at the Tree of Life synagogue.
“The security doctrine you see in Europe is the result of decades of evolution,” said Revach. “It was built on lessons from terrorist attacks monitored over decades and adjusted constantly. It’s pretty comprehensive.”
“American Jewry is only now at the beginning of a long journey,” he added, “but they do not need to reinvent the wheel as we can assist them in shortening this journey dramatically with our knowledge, experience, and expertise.”
EJC President Moshe Kantor stated that European Jewish communities were poised to aid their American brethren, saying, “Unfortunately, the European Jewish community has a lot of experience with such attacks, and after each terrorist attack we understood better how to prepare for the next one to try and prevent it or at least lessen its impact.”
Kantor feels that American Jewish life will not be the same from now on, stating, “Given the new reality the American Jewish community is facing, we are offering our assistance with how to protect our communities and to deal with any future crises.”
“Attacks on the Jewish community in places like France, Belgium, and Denmark in recent years have taught us hard lessons about how to balance security needs while continuing to ensure Jews feel safe and secure and Jewish life continues as normally as possible,” he added.