Note Israeli flags at silent march in Paris Monday honoring Toulouse victims, from AFP
Agence France Presse PARIS:
Palestinian missions in France on Wednesday condemned the "hateful" attack two days earlier on a Jewish school in the southwestern city of Toulouse in which three children and a rabbi were killed. Palestinian diplomatic missions "condemn in the strongest possible terms the hateful attack carried out in Toulouse," a statement said.
"All racist crimes are attacks on humanity in general and on the republic in particular."
"It appears the weapon used in that massacre is the same as that used previously against three French soldiers of different origins, which leads one to suppose the killer is driven by a multifaceted racist hatred," it said.
The statement was issued in the name of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority, and Palestine's missions to France and UNESCO, which is headquartered in Paris.
In Jerusalem, the Guardian's Phoebe Greenwood was at the funeral for the four Toulouse victims (Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, his two sons, Gabriel and Arieh, and seven-year-old Miriam Monsonego). There is a tape of her report at the Guardian site:
There was a long list of very emotional speakers from both France and Israel and all have spoken with deep emotion about the shootings in Toulouse. The chief rabbi broke down in tears as he vowed that there would be vengeance for their deaths; that God will avenge their deaths. And as he wept he said our enemies shouldn't think we're weak because we cried... During his speech there were wails from the crowd."
One mourner told Greenwood that the murders would make many Jews worried about security in Europe consider moving to Israel. An Israeli woman said: "Many of the people who are thinking about moving to Israel now certainly will."
Greenwood continued, The message from the French community in Israel to the Jews of Toulouse is, "Come to Israel, your place is here now, this attack is evidence that you think you're safer in Europe, in fact you're safer here among your own people in the Jewish state, where you'll be protected."
And in a French television report, this is a quote from the president of the Consistoire Central Israélite de France (the central organization for French Jewry), Joël Mergui, speaking to BFMTV from the funeral in Jerusalem today:
Of the presumed killer, Mergui says he is not a man, but "a barbarian, a savage, an animal"
"A new page has turned in the history of our people... Here in Jerusalem I have heard the mother of two children and the wife of a rabbi crying, crying whilst saying that she had left Jerusalem believing that this could only happen in Jerusalem - attacks that target women and children savagely, and in the end this attack was perpetrated in Toulouse, in France, on our soil."
Also, there is a piece in the Forward by Robert Zaretsky, a professor at the University of Houston, blaming xenophobic statements by French leaders, including Sarkozy, for the climate in which the killer or killers functioned:
we must know what these three related acts of homicidal fury aimed at French Jews and Muslims make clear: They are two communities that, vulnerable yesterday and today to stigmatization and discrimination, have more in common than they sometimes believe. As last year’s horrific massacre in Norway reminds us, the West has no need to seek monsters abroad: We have, all too unhappily, the capacity to create our own.