Israel - Foreign Ministry: Israel Won't Provide Security for Chabad Abroad
Israel - The Israeli government will not be able to provide security for Chabad houses in the Far East, the Foreign Ministry said.
Officials there said that since Chabad is not an official Israeli organization, it cannot be treated differently from other Jewish organizations operating globally. However, the state would assist Chabad in coordinating security, which the movement would have to pay for.
After last week’s attack in Mumbai, Chabad and the Chief Rabbinate asked Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni for the state to provide protection for Chabad houses abroad. These representations, they said, “served as embassies and constitute a focus for masses of Israelis.”
The attack last week was the first ever on any of the 3,500 such institutions operating throughout the world. Their main problem had previously been relatively minor anti-Semitic vandalism.
The Foreign Ministry and Mossad now advise Jewish institutions abroad on security matters and help with security training for Jewish young people, who take a course in Israel.
But the Foreign Ministry only provides security for official state institutions, and the Jewish Agency’s security department provides security for its institutions.
The Chabad movement has been stung financially in recent months by the economic downturn that has hit some of its main donors.
Chabad houses have so far had an “open door” policy, and the movement’s heads are considering changing this and funding new security arrangements.
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