Thousands of mourners attended the funeral of four Jews murdered in the shooting attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France. French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin were among those that arrived at Givat Shaul’s Har HaMenuchot cemetery in Jerusalem on Wednesday morning to lay the victims to rest.
Juppe, speaking at the funeral ceremony, said “You can be confident: France is doing everything to ensure so that there will be full safety in schools and synagogues, so that nothing like this tragedy ever happens again.”
Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his two children – Aryeh and Gavriel- and another child – Miriam Monsonego – were killed in cold blood by Mohammed Mera, a 24 year-old French Muslim who has links to Al Qaeda and spent time in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rivlin expressed disgust for the attack in his eulogy, and said that it was inspired by “wild animals with hatred in their hearts.”
“Anyone looking to justify hate must know that hate is senseless.” Rivlin continued. “The murder of the school children in Toulouse was senseless, as was the massacre of infants in Itamar,”
The younger brother of 8 year-old victim Miriam Monsonego also gave a heartwrenching speech, and fought back sobs as he said he could not bear the pain and just wanted it to end.
PM Binyamin Netanyahu met with Juppe after the funeral and expressed his appreciation for the French Government’s “clear and decisive stand…against this horror.”
Alluding to EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton’s controversial comments on Monday, Netanyahu said: “I believe that the struggle against terrorism requires greater clarity…There is a substantial difference between such deliberate attacks against civilians and children and unintentional strikes against civilians that are part of legitimate actions to fight terrorism. If we do not make this distinction, if we allow such a mendacious analogy, then the terrorists will have won.”
Calls are also being heard from French expatriates and Israeli politicians alike encouraging the Jewish community in France to make Aliyah.