After Paris Attacks, Danish Gov't Reassures Unnerved Jewish Community

Danish Jews ask for more security for Copenhagen synagogue and school, which was target of vandals in August.

AFP

The Danish government has given reassurances to its unnerved Jewish community that it will do its utmost to provide necessary security in the wake of the killing of four Jews at a kosher supermarket in Paris last week.

"The Danish government takes the concerns expressed by the Jewish Community in Denmark extremely serious," the Danish Embassy informed Haaretz on Thursday in a statement, following a request by the Danish Jewish community for police protection for its school and synagogue in Copenhagen.

"Yesterday, the Danish Minister for Justice, Ms. Mette Frederiksen, met with the Deputy Head of the Jewish Community, Mr. Jonathan Fischer," announced the embassy. "After the meeting she said: 'History – and the terrible events in France last week – make us painfully conscious of the importance of ensuring the safety of our Jewish fellow citizens."

On Tuesday, Jonathan Fischer, deputy chairman of the Danish Jewish community, told AFP, "With the situation being like it is, we believe it's very clear that Jewish targets are a high priority for the terrorists."

Fischer said that had been "no outright, concrete threats" against Jews in Denmark recently, but that the Danish Security and Intelligence Service deems Jewish and Israeli targets in the country to be "especially vulnerable."

After Wednesday's meeting, Fischer was quoted as saying, “She [the Justice Minister] reassured us that our safety and security is not a question of resources. Historically there have been very few anti-Semitic incidents in Denmark. There is no tolerance for anti-Semitism in Denmark."

According to Danish news site thelocal.dk, vandals smashed the windows of Copenhagen's Jewish school, Carolineskolen, and spray painted anti-Semitic graffiti on its walls in August, during the Gaza conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Around 1,000 people participated in a "kippah march" in central Copenhagen in mid-August, supporting Jews' rights to display their religion openly, in response to a rise of anti-Semitic acts, most of them in the wake of the Gaza war, thelocal.dk reported. The march was carried out without incident.