Fundamental Democratic Values Under Attack in Europe

february-16-2015-copycats-web

Cartoon courtesy of The Cartoon Kronicles @ http://cartoonkronicles.com/

— by Jonathan Gilad and Ryan Greiss

Since the start of the new year, two groups have found themselves targeted in Europe: satirists and Jews.

First in Paris and now in Copenhagen, two of the foundational values of Western democracies have come under attack: the freedom to identify openly and without fear as part of a religious or ethnic minority group; and the freedom of expression that permits satirical commentary about such groups.

The president of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Rabbi Steve Gutow, said that these attacks “are not just attacking these individual communities, but the very foundations of freedom of expression, tolerance and security that we have come to expect.”

The JCPA chair, Susan W.  Turnbull, expressed hope that the attacks “will galvanize the world to take the steps needed to stem the tide of such violence and work toward a more tolerant future.”

The World Jewish Congress president, Ronald S. Lauder, said that “European governments should recognize that we are facing a vicious new wave of anti-Semitism and violence,” and that it is “crucial that Europe contends with this growing threat.”

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