This hearing was organized in response to the growing number of violent anti-Semitic attacks (namely Belgium, Copenhagen and Paris credited to ISIS), and assessed what needed to be done – particularly by law enforcement agencies – to anticipate and prevent future attacks against the European Jewish communities. The threat to Jewish communities comes not only from Islamic militants, but also from Neo-Nazi groups across the continent, and from acts of anti-Zionists. The panelists expressed concern over the low levels of cooperation and consistency in government responses to this violence.
Witnesses Rabbi Andrew Baker, Jonathan Biermann (from Brussels), John Farmer, Paul Goldenberg also discussed counter terrorism strategies and methods to improve security and cooperation. They suggested plans to further engage Muslim communities on integration and to gain their inside knowledge on “potential radicals.” This led to a debate on the “see something, say something” policy, with the Jewish community as pilots. The panelists debated whether the military could play a role in the implementation of this, or if it would be best to keep engagement solely with the local police. All agreed that collaboration with law enforcement agencies would have to be based on trust and confidence and be in respect of international laws and rules protecting individual freedom, civil liberties and privacy.