WJC President Lauder condemns demonstrations held outside Turkey synagogue, urges authorities to take necessary precautions

NEW YORK - World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder on Friday condemned the demonstrations held outside an Istanbul synagogue overnight, where Islamist protesters were rallying against the new security measures put in place at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
“The World Jewish Congress profoundly condemns the hostile demonstrations that took place last night outside of the Neve Shalom synagogue in Istanbul,” Lauder said.
“We trust that that Turkish government and all relevant authorities will take the necessary precautions to protect the Jewish community and ensure its safety.”
The protesters hurled stones at the synagogue and kicked at the doors of the building. There were no damages.

The protest outside one of the most significant synagogues in Istanbul was organized by members of the Alperen Hearths, a far-right ultranationalist and Islamist youth group, who in a statement read during the rally called Israel a “terror state” seeking to block freedom for worship to Muslims.

“If you prevent our freedom of worship there then we will prevent your freedom of worship here,” they said.

The same synagogue was targeted by deadly attacks in 1986 by Palestinian terrorists and again in 2003.

Nationalists protest occasionally outside Israel’s diplomatic missions in Turkey, but demonstrations outside a synagogue is unusual.


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