The gathering was attended by Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo and other ministers, who took time off from Belgium’s federal elections Sunday to show solidarity with Belgian Jewry.
Also present was a group of young Muslim women.
“We don’t know who is behind this, and it doesn’t matter. We came because we are hurting and crying inside,” said one of the women, Yfia Souad.
Another group of Jews convened nearby for a screening of a film about the Holocaust. The event had been scheduled long before the shootings, but instead of canceling, organizers dedicated the event to remembering the shooting victims.
Agnes Bensimon, a Jewish mother from Brussels who attended the screening, said fear would not prevent her from attending a Jewish gathering.
“It’s a frightening thought, but there is no question of capitulating,” she said. “That’s what terrorists attempt to achieve, and they will not achieve it here. Sadly, we are experienced.”
— Supplemental reporting by JTA