Belgium – Advocate Of Arming Jews Receives Death Threat


    Revelers dressed as Islamic State militants take part in the 87th carnival parade of Aalst, Belgium February 15, 2015. REUTERS/Yves HermanBelgium – A prominent advocate of Jewish self-defense received a death threat on Monday as European governments scramble to protect Jewish sites in the wake of a series of terrorist incidents that have rocked communities across the continent.

    Rabbi Menachem Margolin, the President of the Brussels-based European Jewish Association, rose to prominence in the media with his call for communal officials to be granted gun permits following the shooting of four Jews in a kosher grocery store in Paris last month. Following Saturday’s shooting of a guard outside of a Danish synagogue, Margolin demanded that European leaders “secure all Jewish institutions 24/7.”

    “Menachem Margolin will be a dead man if he does not stop. We will stick a bullet in his head,” a post on his Facebook wall threatened on Monday, the ultra-orthodox Kikar HaShabbat website reported.

    “A threatened attack on one Jew is a threat to every Jew and a challenge to every human being,” commented Polish Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich.

    Speaking with the The Jerusalem Post last month, Belgian Jewish organizations repudiated Margolin’s call for gun laws be loosened to allow “designated people” among Europe’s Jews “to own weapons for the essential protection of their communities.”

    “I think that he has no authority to speak in the name of Belgian Jewry because he doesn’t represent Belgian Jewry,” Abraham Guigui, the country’s chief rabbi, told the Post at the time.

    Guigui also issued a statement blasting what he called marginal elements and stating that calls for the arming of Jews were “a real danger and unacceptable.”

    On January 22, Jewish communal leaders from several countries, including Belgium, England, Sweden, Croatia, the Czech Republic issued a joint statement calling Margolin’s comments on security matters “potentially dangerous to the welfare of our communities.”

    Margolin maintains close ties with EU leaders and has held a series of press events in which leading European politicians have denounced anti-semitism.

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