Thousands of miles from a bloody shooting in southern France, Jewish and municipal leaders voiced concerns and vowed to bolster protections for schools, neighborhoods and synagogues while noting they have no indication any fresh, faraway attacks are imminent.
Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League in the US, said that the Toulouse attack serves as a “reminder,” but it does not represent any big shift in the danger or people’s attitudes.
He cited a poll of 1,754 Americans, released by his advocacy group in November, in which 15% of respondents held “deeply anti-Semitic views.” If the ratio holds true nationally, that would equate to about 35 million Americans. This is up 3 percentage points from a poll two years earlier.
“Unfortunately, the Jewish community lives in vigilance against terrorism and anti-Semitic attacks 24/7/365 days a year,” said Foxman.
He noted that, before the Toulouse shooting last Monday, security precautions were common in synagogues and other Jewish institutions because it is a reality that such hatred exists. If anything, he says, the Jewish community needs to be even “more vigilant” in protecting themselves against attacks.
“And it should be vigilant in between acts of terrorism and violence, not just when it happens,” he added. “That’s part of being Jewish, unfortunately, in our (world).”