A Wider Bridge joins with all of the civilized world who stand in unity with the people of France to condemn the barbaric violence that took place in Paris on January 7. This was an attack on freedom of speech, but it was more than that. It was an attack on the rule of law and those who protect us, but it was more than that. It was an attack on Jews, but it was more than that. This was an attack on democracy, an attack on the ideal of a pluralistic society of diverse peoples living together in freedom.
People from across the world of all nations and religions came together over the weekend to say “Enough! These kind of assaults on our basic values, on the fundamental principles that bind us together as civilized, free people, must be brought to an end.” Sadly though, there are more than a few extremist organizations and individuals who have offered praise for the barbarism we have witnessed. We know that in their world view, there is no place for LGBT people, there is no place for Jews, there is no place for the individual liberties that define us as free people.
We were moved to see millions of people on the streets of Paris, joined by leaders from around the world, including Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel. This will not be the end of the struggle in which democracy, pluralism and liberty collide with radical extremism. Yet we hope the events of this past week represent a turning point, a moment of clarity that will unite people of all faiths and nations to come together in defense of freedom.
We stand in solidarity with the people of France, and especially with its Jewish community. We offer our condolences and our prayers to all who are in mourning.
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