‘Thousands of fighters in Syria came from Europe. At this rate, there will be thousands of terrorists around the continent’

Fighters in SyriaFighters in Syria

“There were so many things that I wanted to show you,” said Ayelet Riva, one of the two teenage daughters of Emmanuel and Miriam Riva, the Israeli couple killed in the attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, during the funeral of her parents Tuesday at the Kiryat Shaul cemetery in Tel Aviv on Tuesday afternoon.

“How I would direct a school, have a family, and most of all grow up. I love you. It’s hard to forget your laughs, your souls, your love,” she added at the burial ceremony attended by hundreds of people.

The couple in their 50s had been celebrating their wedding anniversary in the Belgian capital.

Two other people, a French woman, and a Belgian employee of the museum were killed in the attack by a lone gunman.

‘This crime is the result of a hike in anti-Semitism in Europe,’ said Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch in a speech, praising the ‘important contribution of the couple to the state’.

“Emmanuel, your expertise in economics led you to success in various positions – in the Finance Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office. Over the past two years you worked for the Public Security Ministry, and in your field of expertise you performed with professionalism,” the minister said in his eulogy.

Like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Aharonovitch linked the shooting attack to “incitement against Jews and the State of Israel in Europe.”

Belgium’s Ambassador to Israel, John Cornet d’Elzius, was also present at the funeral, and promised his country “would save no means to catch the horrible murderer. This is a day of mourning for both our countries, which we share.”

“Our hearts are broken with grief with you, we mourn with you.”

Earlier on Tuesday, at a meeting with the ambassador, the Speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, Yuli Edelstein, said Belgium must fight ignorance to curb anti-Semitism.

“We must fight ignorance about Israel and the Jewish people so that things like this don’t happen again, and we can do that by informing people. This is an important goal for both countries,” he said.

“I send to you, as the speaker of the Israeli parliament, condolences from the Belgian people. We are determined to fight anti-Semitism,” the ambassador told him.

A member of the Knesset, Yoel Razbozov, who chairs the Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee, said he would ask the Knesset House Committee to form a joint panel between his committee and the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee to deal with anti-Semitism and cooperation with other countries to try to fight the phenomenon.

He said the Diaspora is in danger as a result of growing anti-Semitism in Europe, and Diaspora Jewry is in danger.

Another Israeli legislator Dov Lipman said “there is a direct connection between the way European leaders speak about Israel and the rise in anti-Semitism. If your leaders speak about delegitimisation of Israel and use exaggerated and even inciting terms relating to Israel’s policies, that breeds these attacks and ideologies.”

“Thousands of fighters in Syria came from Europe. At this rate, there will be thousands of terrorists around the continent,” said Member of the Knesset Robert Ilatov.

“This is a basis for widespread terror, and European governments need to deal with this before it’s too late and the streets of Europe are targeted by terrorists,” he said.