Islamic radicalization fuels ‘dire’ threat to Jews in Europe, congressional panel hears

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A congressional human rights commission heard testimony from experts on how Islamic radicalization in Europe has ramped up risk for Jewish communities.

“ISIS especially hates the Jewish people and has instructed its followers to prioritize killing them,” Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., the chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, said Tuesday, launching the hearing he called in the wake of recent attacks in Europe, and referring to the Islamic State terrorist group behind some of the recent major attacks in Europe.

John Farmer, a former New Jersey attorney general who now leads a Rutgers University initiative to assess how to protect communities vulnerable to terrorism, said terrorist attacks were threatening the viability of Jewish Europe.

“The situation on the ground has become dire, the challenge to the Jewish communities has become nothing less than existential,” he said. “Many stalwart [Jewish] leaders have become ambivalent about remaining in Europe at all.”

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