Yom Rishon, 23 AdarI 5781
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Call for more Jews to carry guns a 'dangerous overreaction'

Channel 4 News
16th January 2015

A rabbi's proposal for European Jews to be able to carry guns in the wake of the Paris terror attacks is "divisive and dangerous", leading Jewish figures tell Channel 4 News.

Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the director of the European Jewish Association (EJA), has called on the European governments to allow proprietors of synagogues, kosher shops and Jewish property to be allowed to train and carry guns in a bid to counter fears of rising anti-Semitism.

"Jewish people in Europe don't feel secure. There is too much fear and threat," he told the BBC on Wednesday. "We ask the EU government to make it much easier for Jews who want to carry guns to be able to do so."

He added: "We have to be in a situation where we know that each Jewish institution is protected by a few people who carry guns and will be able to protect institutions in wake of a terrorist attack."

But leading figures in Britain have condemned the suggestions which come against a backdrop of growing concerns about anti-Semitism in UK and France following last week's attacks in Paris.

Danny Rich, a senior rabbi and chief executive of Liberal Judaism, told Channel 4 News that the measure was a "dangerous overreaction" that risked compounding social division.

"Terrorists rely on stoking up fears and want nothing more than a society in which we are prone to shooting each other," he said. "Now, more than ever is a time to, trust in the decency of the British public and the capabilities of the police and security services. This is not the time to be retreating into ourselves or armed strongholds."

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