Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for massive immigration of European Jews to Israel warning them to “stay prepared” for more attacks, a day after a Jewish man was killed outside Copenhagen’s main synagogue.
“Jews were being killed on European land just because they were Jewish….the wave of attacks against Jews in Europe is expected to continue and it is up to us to stay prepared,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday.
“Jews need protection wherever they are, but we’re telling you – Israel is your home,” he said, repeating a similar call made after attacks by Islamic extremists in Paris last month that killed 17 people, including four Jews.
Two shooting attacks rocked the normally peaceful Danish capital Copenhagen on the weekend.
In the first attack on Saturday, a 55-year-old Jewish man was killed at a panel discussion about Islam and free speech attended by a Swedish cartoonist behind controversial caricatures of Prophet Mohammed.
Two police officers were also wounded in Sunday’s attack. Extending European Jews an invitation with “open arms” to immigrate to the Jewish state, the Israeli Premier said that his government is mulling to adopt a USD 46 million programme to support aliya (immigration) of Jews from around the world.
“To the Jews of Europe and to the Jews of the world I say that Israel is waiting for you with open arms,” Netanyahu said.
Israel’s Minister of Immigration and Absorption, Sofa Landver, on Sunday said that the money would also go towards improving Hebrew education and an improved telephone hotline to assist those interested in making immigration to Israel.
In an interview with Ynet on Sunday morning, Israel’s Economy Minister Naftali Bennett echoed similar sentiments, saying European Jews should view Israel as their home.
“Israel is always waiting for them. This will never change. Jews can and should have the right to live anywhere, but if there are Jews who are concerned about their future, we are certainly waiting for them,” Bennett said.
“Some European countries are becoming dangerous for Jews,” he said, adding, that his party, Bayit Yehudi, was “profoundly concerned” about a rise of radical Islamic terror and anti-Semitism in the continent.
“I spoke today with the leader of the community in Denmark, and they are very worried about what’s going on,” he added.
Meanwhile, according to local media reports, Denmark’s chief rabbi Jair Melchior was “disappointed” at Netanyahu’s call to European Jews to immigrate to Israel following the shootings attack in Copenhagen.
“Terror is not a reason to move to Israel,” Rabbi Jair Melchior was quoted as saying.