Today’s attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse provoked horror and condemnation in equal measure.
World Jewish Congress President Ronald Lauder said: “Today, Jews everywhere in the world are weeping in sorrow and disgust in the face of this despicable terrorist attack.
“Targeting children is a particularly sick and vile act and nothing can justify it. This attack is an attack on all of us.
“We have full confidence that the French authorities will do everything in their power to quickly hunt down the perpetrator of this horrible crime and bring him to justice.
“Jews in all countries stand shoulder-to-shoulder with French Jewry. We weep for the victims and our hearts go out to their families.”
Mr Lauder praised the way President Nicolas Sarkozy and his Socialist challenger Francois Hollande immediately interrupted their election campaigning to travel to Toulouse to speak with the families of the bereaved.
A former head of Israel’s Mossad spy agency said the attack was part of a “wave of terror” against Jews and Israelis worldwide.
Danny Yatom also told Israel Radio he thought Iran or Hezbollah could be behind the attack.
The Brussels-based Conference of European Rabbis expressed shock and sadness following the shooting.
CER president Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt said: “This horrific act is indicative of a society where intolerance is allowed to fester.
“We call upon the French authorities to take all steps to ensure that the perpetrator of this act is found and brought to justice.
“There is today an urgent need to ensure that appropriate security measures are put in place at all Jewish institutions in Europe to ensure that the safety of Jews on this continent is not placed in jeopardy.”