Commonwealth Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis has called on Britons to remain committed to the values of peace and tolerance in the wake of Saturday night’s terror strike in London that left at least seven people dead.
The attacks began with a white van ramming into pedestrians on London Bridge, before three men reportedly exited the van and started stabbing the bystanders on the bridge and in nearby Borough Market. The attackers were shot and killed by police.
“In the wake of yet another attack, of more loss of life and of more families devastated by terror, every one of us will once again feel the now too familiar sense of horror and helplessness,” Rabbi Mirvis said in a statement posted on his Facebook page.
“After Westminster and Manchester we stood together defiant. Yet it seems the terrorists believe that where they have previously failed to poison our communities, with their destructive ideology of hatred and prejudice, they can succeed with still more bloodshed and murder. But we must not let them.”
“We will not be cowed or intimidated nor will we allow our commitment to the values of peace and tolerance to be diminished. In the face of every attack, however devastating, we must continue to cleave ever closer to these values because ultimately they are what will defeat the evil of terror,” he said.
Extending Israel’s condolences to the British people, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was attending the summit of the Economic Community of West African States in Liberia, tweeted, “We pledge our commitment to fight this scourge—this scourge that knows no bounds. These terrorists worship death. They murder indiscriminately, but they will not frighten us. They will not terrorize us.
“They will only harden our resolve to defeat them. Here in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, everywhere—together, we will defeat them faster.”
He further tweeted, “London Bridge will not fall. Together we will vanquish terror.”
Gillian Merron, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, also condemned the attacked, stating, “People of all faiths and none must come together to defeat this evil.”
The European Jewish Congress (EJC) expressed horror and sadness at the attack.
“Unfortunately, once again London has been hit at its very centre by a barbarous and repugnant terrorist killing spree,” Dr Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said. “This strike, timed for just before the general elections, was meant to cower and instill fear in a great democracy.”
“However, we saw the resilience of the British people last night and we know it will continue as the government and police will do its utmost to find those behind these slayings.”
“The European Jewish Congress and the Jewish communities of Europe extend our deepest condolences to the British Government and people and pray for the welfare of those injured.”
It is the third terror attack in the United Kingdom in just three months. In March, a car ramming and knife attack in Westminster left five people dead, and two weeks ago a bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people, including young fans.