World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Ronald S. Lauder on Saturday expressed “shock and outrage” at the terrorist attacks in Paris, calling them “an unspeakable crime against humanity.” On behalf of world Jewry, Lauder expressed his deep condolences to the French people in a message sent to President François Hollande.
Lauder said the attacks “represent one of the most sickening forms of human violence one can imagine.”
He went on to write: “These events affect and touch each and every one of us. The fact that in the middle of a European capital suicide bombers cause such carnage in the 21st century is shocking and heart-breaking.
“Just as the September 2001 attacks were deliberately targeted at New York’s Twin Towers, it was no coincidence that Paris, the City of Light, was chosen by the IS terrorists as the place of this latest bloodbath.
“For centuries, the citizens of this great city have been at the forefront of the fight for freedom and democracy, against slavery and fanaticism. Paris has always been, and will always be, one of the symbols for the freedoms we can enjoy today.
“This is the time for the world to stand united against this common enemy, in grief and in resolve. Leaders of all creeds, political colors and nationalities must now come together and act. Just as you spoke out earlier today, the world too must not be silent in the face of this threat. We must all denounce this threat loudly and clearly, and confront it.
“These terrorists do not have the slightest respect for basic universal values. They must be defeated. There cannot be any compromise. This is a war we must win, and win it we will.
“The French Republic is strong, the French people are strong, and your government is strong.
"I have no doubt that you and your government will contend with this menace in the appropriate way. Rest assured that in this endeavor you have the support of the Jewish people and the entire free world. Our common values are stronger than those of the terrorists. Our common values will prevail.
“I think I speak on behalf of millions of Jews around the world, who are today grieving with your people, when I say: Bon courage, Monsieur le Président ! We stand with you ! Vive la République! Vive la France!,” concluded Lauder.
In what was the worst terror attack on France territory in modern history, assaults were launched simultaneously in six different locations across Paris, targeting concert-goers, restaurant guests and soccer fans at France’s main sports stadium.
At least 87 people were butchered at a rock concert after being held hostage by the terrorists. Dozens more were killed in explosions and shootings nearby. France declared an immediate state of emergency and closed its borders for the first time since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958.